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Avatar 2: Everything That Happened In-Canon Between Avatar & Way Of Water

The following contains spoilers for "Avatar: The Way of Water."

As much as casual audiences may not want to admit it, 2009's "Avatar" truly changed the game. It solidified James Cameron as a filmmaker dedicated to advancing the art of storytelling. It made 3D the norm for numerous big-budget productions over the next several years, and if everything goes well with "Avatar: The Way of Water," we may just get a new "Avatar" movie in theaters once every couple of years. 

That being said, it's been 13 years since "Avatar" first stormed its way into theaters. That's a long time, and there's a good chance many people who plan on checking out the sequel haven't seen the movie since it came out over a decade ago. For a quick recap, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) joins the Na'vi cause to protect the land from invading human forces. They emerge victorious, pushing the humans off their land, while Jake Sully fully transfers his consciousness into a Na'vi body so that he can be with his beloved Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña). 

Not only have 13 years passed in the real world between the two films, but roughly 14 years have passed in the film's universe. That's a long time, and while "Avatar: The Way of Water" summarizes the major plot points of what happened between the two stories, here are all of the major milestones to be aware of.

Jake and Neytiri got busy

By the end of "Avatar," Jake and Neytiri manage to overcome their differences and agree to start a life together. By the time "The Way of Water" rolls around, they're still together roughly 14 years later, and they got a few kids out of the deal. There's their oldest son Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), middle child Lo'ak (Britain Dalton), and youngest Tuk (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss). Based on their personalities throughout "The Way of Water," it's safe to say that Neteyam and Lo'ak are relatively close in age as teenagers, especially seeing how Jake trusts them to go on missions with him against the Sky People. Meanwhile, Tuk is a bit younger, with her being about eight years of age, during the main events of the film. 

Jake and Neytiri also have an adopted daughter in the form of Kiri (Sigourney Weaver). Weaver appeared in the first film as Dr. Grace Augustine, but she died during the conflict between the Na'vi and the humans. When Dr. Augustine died, it rendered her avatar body brain-dead, and it just so happened to be pregnant with Kiri. She's about 14 years old in "The Way of Water," so her birth most likely occurred shortly after the events of "Avatar."

"The Way of Water" dedicates a ton of screentime to these four children, and it's clear they are going to have ample development should the series continue with more movies.

Jake and Neytiri were warriors between films

We actually could've seen for ourselves what Jake and Neytiri were up to had James Cameron decided to go with his first idea for a sequel with a script he had already written. At an "Avatar: The Way of Water" press event, Sam Worthington revealed that Cameron gave him a script for a project we'll refer to as "Avatar 1.5" to use as a resource for filming "The Way of Water." Worthington went on to say, "Part of that story was about them being warriors and taking on the battles of other clans and things like that." 

As we see in "The Way of Water," military forces have only returned to Pandora within the last year, so there was a lot for Jake and Neytiri to stay busy between those periods of occupation. Apparently, the main Na'vi tribe we've come to know got into battles with other factions living on the planet, which likely came in handy when the military returned because Jake, Neytiri, and the other Na'vi warriors were well-trained to blow up supply routes.

Maybe one day, we'll actually see "Avatar 1.5" come to fruition on the big screen. Heck, if "Star Wars" can get away with prequels, then surely "Avatar" could take a similar approach.

Humanity still loves its avatars

It may have taken a decade and some change for the military to return to Pandora, but they came back with some shiny new toys. The most prominent of these is the reveal that Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) and some of his compatriots have returned as avatars. Their memories were uploaded to the new bodies, and despite being killed in the first "Avatar," they're back to cause more trouble. 

They even came up with a catchy name for the project, as evidenced on the avatars' vests: Project Phoenix (spelled PROJ PHNX). Of course, this makes sense, seeing as all those valuable assets have passed away. The military can simply upload the memories of anyone they want into a new body, and bingo. Theoretically, what's stopping them from continuing to upload memories into new bodies, pretty much ensuring anyone they want is now practically immortal?

By the time Quaritch and his team arrive on Pandora, the military already has a full base set up and operational. They get introduced to the new way of things this time around, and it's clear their Na'vi bodies will be valuable assets as they attempt to traverse the hostile landscape.

Tsu'tey was more than merely a rival

Of course, there's more to be gleaned between the events of "Avatar" and "The Way of Water" than from the movies themselves. Fans of comic books may know there are various "Avatar" storylines published by Dark Horse Comics, one of which consists of a six-issue series called "Tsu'tey's Path." Naturally, Tsu'tey (Laz Alonso) is a Na'vi warrior in the first film who is initially betrothed to Neytiri and weary of trusting an outsider like Jake. However, he finds himself mortally wounded during the events of that story. 

Anyone who wanted to believe that Tsu'tey was more than just someone competing for Neytiri's braid in "Avatar" should absolutely check out his comic book series. The events of the comics all take place during "Avatar," but they help fill in the gaps to make Tsu'tey a more well-rounded character, up until his untimely demise at the hands of the Sky People. 

Jake defends his new position

A short time after the events of "Avatar," we have "The Next Shadow," a four-issue comic book arc also from Dark Horse. This series sees the Na'vi attempt to pick up the pieces after the evacuation of the majority of the human forces while Jake comes to terms with his new life. To really drive this point home, the arc starts with Jake going to visit the grave of his human body. It isn't long before some of the natural Na'vi are skeptical of Jake's ability to lead, and some even plot to kill him by challenging him to combat with a poison-laced knife.

Jake catches the knife, allowing the poison to enter his system. While he searches for an antidote, he begins having visions of his previous life, including all of the deaths that occurred due to his inaction. It's more of a spiritual journey for Jake than anything else, and as evidenced by the fact Jake's in "The Way of Water," he finds an antidote in time. 

The calm before the storm

Last but not least, if you want to be fully caught up with the story of "Avatar" before "The Way of Water," then you need to read "The High Ground." It's a three-issue graphic novel series that picks up over 10 years from the events of "Avatar" after Jake and Neytiri have founded their family. They've lived in relative peace during that time, but Jake has always been suspicious the Sky People could return. And that's precisely what happens. 

Humans bring an armada of ships to occupy Pandora once again. Jake and Neytiri round up as many as possible who are willing to fight to protect their home, and this helps fill in the blanks at the beginning of "The Way of Water." We actually see in the movie humans return to Pandora, but that story fast-forwards in time before we can really see how their presence impacted the Na'vi. Through this comic book arc, we get a better sense of the sacrifices the Na'vi made to protect their home from the colonizers. 

For diehard "Avatar" fans, all this information paints a clearer picture of what transpired in the sci-fi franchise, so you can be ready for "The Way of Water" and anything else James Cameron has up his sleeve for this series.