It's 2009 and you just walked out of a 3D showing of James Cameron's latest blockbuster "AVATAR" that all of your friends are talking about. "That was a pretty neat experience," you think to yourself as you return to your car and head home. "I wonder what Cameron is going to do next?" But next never came, at least not in the traditional modern franchise sense. You went on with your life, and each year "AVATAR" faded more into memory. Or perhaps you never saw "AVATAR" in theaters. Maybe you were too young, not even alive in 2009 when it dazzled the world. Maybe it never captured your imagination and, as it faded from the cultural zeitgeist, faded from your memory as well.
Whatever your history with "AVATAR", the eyes of the world are now returning to the franchise after thirteen years of waiting. Though it has appeared quiet from the outside, there may actually be a surprising amount of content and history available for those interested in getting caught up before "AVATAR: The Way of Water" releases on December 16th. Here is a quick start guide to the current state of the "AVATAR" franchise for new or returning "AVATAR" fans!
Quick Reference Guide:
Lore and Worldbuilding
Whenever most people think of "AVATAR", they don't remember characters or plot. They remember the world of Pandora, Cameron's breathtaking and immersive environment, rendered digitally with unmatched spectacle. While the film doesn't explore much of the depth of Pandora on the surface, a literal decade's worth of expansion and additional exposition has created a wealth of information for incoming fans to peruse. The single-most comprehensive collection of all the canon information is the AVATAR Wiki.
The AVATAR Wiki is meticulously maintained and curated by members of the community to make sure that the information presented is up to date and accurate based on the latest releases. It functions as a living archive, containing details about every past, present and future "AVATAR" project that has come into being over the last decade.
For those less inclined to simply read words on a screen, a run of "AVATAR" comics published by Dark Horse Comics explores both familiar and new stories from different perspectives. The first comic series, "Tsu'tey's Path", explores the events of the first film from the point of view of Tsu'tey- the next-in-line chief of the Omatikaya Na'vi tribe.
The second series, "The Next Shadow", immediately follows the events of "AVATAR". As the first story set after the first film, it provides an interesting glimpse into the time between "AVATAR" and "AVATAR: The Way of Water".
The third series, "Adapt or Die", is set to be released on May 4th and is a prequel story which precedes the events of the first films by several years. It will explore the history of the AVATAR program on Pandora, following Dr. Grace Augustine's attempts to create peace and goodwill between the RDA corporation and the Na'vi people.
We might be a little bit biased, but in the thirteen years between films no aspect of the "AVATAR" property has been expanded like the Na'vi language has. At this point, it's possible to fully learn Na'vi as a second language! It can be used to discuss nearly any topic, albeit with some creativity required. With the language certain to be featured front and center in "AVATAR: The Way of Water", there's never been a better time to pick up a few Na'vi phrases and learn how to say hi to your friends in Na'vi.
The only thing better than reading about something that interests you is discussing it with others. Whether you're new to the franchise or longing for a return to Pandora, there's a space for you among the People! Join thriving communities of AVATAR fans on Twitter, Discord and Reddit and share in the excitement as we await "AVATAR: The Way of Water" releasing worldwide on December 16th, 2022.
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A community blog for language updates, AVATAR news, and community happenings, maintained by the members of Kelutral.org