The exact identity of Avatar 2‘s villain has yet to be revealed, but the trailer and synopsis offer evidence as to exactly who will act as the long-awaited sequel’s antagonist. Upon its release in 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar proved to be one of the most technically groundbreaking sci-fi films in living memory. Its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, has been a long time coming, first announced in 2010 upon Avatar‘s enormous theatrical success. Avatar 2 is finally set to release in December 2022.
Set on the world of Pandora, Avatar concerns humanity’s future among the stars as they seek the precious metal unobtanium, which is found in abundance on Pandora. Much of the first film was driven by the RDA (Resources Development Administration) and their efforts to exploit the native population of Pandora, the Na’vi, in order to better access their natural reserves of the mineral. In Avatar, humanity’s obsessive need for unobtanium proved to be the main drive behind the film’s central conflict, but as they were expelled from Pandora, this calls their exact part in Avatar: The Way of Water into question.
There are several viable contenders for the role of Avatar: The Way of Water‘s villain. Both of Avatar‘s major villain actors Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang are confirmed to be returning, despite the death of their respective characters in the first film. In addition, Avatar 2‘s trailer hints that there may be some conflict between different Na’vi tribes on Pandora, making it possible that both humans and Na’vi will be Avatar: The Way of Water‘s antagonists.
Why Are The Na’vi Working With The RDA In Avatar 2?
Interestingly, the trailer for Avatar 2 shows Na’vi working for the RDA. Given that the first film’s story was driven by the organization being at odds with the Na’vi, the apparent alliance between them seems to be an unlikely development. However, exactly how RDA forces and the Na’vi came to ally themselves with one another is as yet a matter of speculation.
As Jake Sully and a handful of other humans stayed behind on Pandora after the events of Avatar, it’s possible that they brokered some peace between other RDA forces that arrived on the planet. It’s also possible that the RDA have somehow continued the use of their Avatar program, which allowed them to have their own members operate a specially designed Na’vi body. It’s also a possibility that the RDA has managed to sway some of the Na’vi to their side, although this seems less likely. Ultimately, due to Avatar 2‘s place in the timeline, it’s unclear exactly why the Na’vi are working for the RDA, as over a decade has passed between the films and much could have happened in the intervening years.
Quaritch Will Return As A Villain In Avatar 2 (But Also A Na’vi?)
The return of Stephen Lang’s Miles Quaritch has been confirmed by James Cameron, although the director has been decidedly quiet about the exact capacity in which he appears. As Quaritch is killed at the end of Avatar, the implication is that he will somehow be resurrected for the sequels, as Cameron intends for him to act as a recurring antagonist throughout subsequent entries into the franchise. Interestingly, Avatar 2‘s trailer seemingly reveals Quaritch as a Na’vi, which may explain exactly how he returns.
As Avatar establishes that the RDA has the capacity to transfer human consciousness into a Na’vi body, it’s not a stretch to imagine this is what has happened to Quaritch. If true, it would be an interesting development for the villain, who was characterized by his seething hatred for the native Pandorans. Though the idea that Quaritch returns to the Avatar franchise as a human villain in a Na’vi body is particularly compelling – especially as it would draw parallels with Jake Sully’s own story – it has yet to be confirmed and remains speculative, even if the trailer offers strong evidence that it will be the case.
Avatar 2 Teases Warring Na’vi Clans On Pandora
One of the biggest draws of the Avatar franchise is the world of Pandora. The beauty of the idyllic and breathtaking natural world was enough to win over Jake Sully, and as of Avatar 2, it will have been the character’s home for over a decade. In that time, it would appear that Jake has maintained his connection with Avatar‘s Omaticaya tribe, starting his own family with Neytiri, who will also feature heavily in Avatar 2. However, the sequel will also introduce the coast-dwelling Metkayina tribe, and Avatar: The Way of Water hints that the Pandoran clans may be at war with one another.
Though the Na’vi who looks suspiciously like Quaritch presumably belongs to no specific clan, he does appear to be supported by an army that includes Na’vi. Combined with the evidence that there are Na’vi working with the RDA, there’s reason to believe that Avatar 2 will also see Jake and Neytiri face other Na’vi. In addition, the Metkayina tribe will almost certainly possess a different set of values to the Na’vi tribe introduced in Avatar, and these differences could be the reason for potential conflict between the Pandoran natives.
Why Humans Will Likely Still Be The Avatar Sequels’ Big Threat
Though the villain of Avatar 2 could be Na’vi, the most likely major antagonist remains the franchise’s human element. Mankind’s greed was the driving force behind the first film, and despite humanity’s defeat at the hands of the Na’vi, there’s no real reason for the RDA to leave Pandora well enough alone. After all, with the planet’s unobtanium reserves still ripe for the taking, and with Quaritch now having a personal score to settle with Jake and Neytiri after Avatar, there are many potential motivations behind the humans’ role as Avatar 2’s villains.
Of course, should Quaritch return in a Na’vi body, this could complicate matters. This would potentially allow him to sway some of the natives to his side, forming his own army in order to wage war on Jake, Neytiri, and their family. It would also even the odds physically, giving Quaritch the same physical Na’vi qualities that served Jake well in the first film. Regardless of the exact nature of Avatar 2‘s villain, the franchise’s biggest threat remains the might and power of the RDA, who act with humanity’s interest at heart – something which has already been proved to be a threat to the Na’vi’s way of life.
- Avatar 2 (2022)Release Date: Dec 16, 2022
- Avatar 3 (2024)Release Date: Dec 20, 2024
- Avatar 4 (2026)Release Date: Dec 18, 2026
- Avatar 5 (2028)Release Date: Dec 22, 2028