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Why I Loved “Avatar: The Way of Water”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

We have to have a serious conversation about why everyone should see the sequel to “Avatar.” *Spoilers ahead!*

I have been in love with the original “Avatar” movie since the first time I watched it. I was unfazed by the biggest criticism on the Internet being that the movie being too long, considering no one could remember the names of any characters — I could. I sat through the entire first movie every chance I got just to rewatch it and I was obsessed with all of it. The visual effects, the message behind it, everything. I could not get enough of it. There has always just been something so mesmerizing to me about the world James Cameron created. Pandora as a whole is absolutely insane to me. The fact that someone thought that up one day and the production was perfectly done just adds another layer of admiration to the whole thing for me. 

So, you can imagine how absolutely groundbreaking it was for me when it was finally announced “Avatar 2” was coming out in December 2022. I had been waiting patiently for years to see the sequel; I wanted nothing more than to go back into the world of Pandora again. It didn’t help that my family loves Disney World. We had gone a few times between the first and second Avatar movie, which built up my anticipation for “Avatar 2.” This allowed me to walk through the world of Pandora multiple times during my trips. Riding the Flight of Passage changed my life trajectory. 

From the first trailer I saw for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” I had high expectations. It had been about 12 years since the first one came out, which allowed for technology to advance and stories to be perfected. There had been plenty of time for the movie to be perfected. 

I believe that it was in fact perfected.

There was a blurb in the beginning explaining all of the changes throughout Pandora since the last time it had been seen on-screen. It was short, but it let you know exactly what was happening and where everything was at that point. It was extremely easy to fall back into the world and you see that Jack and Neytiri now have four children, and you get to watch them grow up. It’s extremely heartwarming to see them all together and growing closer. I also love that they have an “adopted” daughter, Kiri, who is the daughter of Grace Augustine’s inert avatar. It’s also really incredible that Sigourney Weaver plays Kiri, since she was the actress of Grace in the first movie. I honestly couldn’t fully tell if it was her until I looked it up later to see if it was. I also really loved that they had a human friend, Spider, that lives with the Na’vi tribe despite being the Colonel’s son. It made for a great struggle between loyalty later in the movie. It also made it beyond difficult to know how to feel when Spider saved the Colonel toward the end of the movie. I wanted to be mad at him for choosing to save him, but I just couldn’t be because of the amount of emotional layers involved.

It was almost natural to fall back in love with the Na’vi throughout and to be rooting for the Sully family throughout the entire film. There were so many moments where the emotions were high in the film and in the theater, especially with so many moments that were heartbreaking. When the Sully family was forced to move, I was devastated despite knowing that Jack was right and it was the best decision. The family death was so impactful that I cried as soon as it happened. You had been rooting for all of them to survive the entire time. Despite so many near-death moments, the pure sense of loss that happened with the death took a lot of me. However, to balance it out, there were a lot of heartwarming moments, such as Lo’ak becoming friends with Tulkun and helping him throughout the movie.

Overall, the imagery is outstanding and I couldn’t get over how engaging it was while watching, adding a whole new layer to the watching experience. The changes of setting were done perfectly, each adding different aspects to the story, allowing the story to be told in a truly meaningful way. The storyline itself was clearly thought out and meaningful to the director. You can easily follow it the entire time with a sense of appreciation throughout. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Avatar, I highly recommend the second movie because it adds a new group of characters to follow with a storyline that brings you through a beautifully devastating emotional rollercoaster.

Kylie Kruis

Bradley U '25

Hey :) my name is Kylie and I'm the President of the Bradley chapter of Her Campus. I am currently a sophomore Psychology and English Literature double major at Bradley with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Follow me on Instagram @sleepy.kylieee !