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Avatar 2's Smaller Scale Battle Has Fans Gearing Up For An All-Out War In The Sequels

This article contains spoilers for "Avatar: The Way of Water."

After 13 years of anticipation, James Cameron has finally debuted "The Way of Water," the long-awaited sequel to "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time (via The Numbers). Will the sequel live up the financial expectations set up by the first? For now, it remains to be seen, as the film's domestic gross rests at $134 million, behind industry expectations, per The Hollywood Reporter. The sci-fi spectacle has a long way to go before it turns a profit as Deadline estimates "The Way of Water" has a price tag of $460 million, making it the most expensive movie of all time.

While the financial narrative of "The Way of Water" will continue to unravel, all signs point to audiences adoring their sophomore return to Pandora. With a CinemaScore of "A," the sequel holds the same grade as the original. Solid box office receipts and positive word of mouth are all indications that Cameron's planned sequels will manifest, at least in part. It's almost certain that the threequel will make its December 2024 date. "We'll probably finish movie three regardless because it's all shot," Cameron told The Hollywood Reporter two weeks before "The Way of Water's" release. As of now, the jury's out on if "Avatar 4" and "5" will see the light of day. 

This should be good news for fans who are eagerly awaiting to see what's next for Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his family, especially after the contained (but still explosive) third act of "The Way of Water." Surprisingly, the film's finale is small-scale, which has left some fans thinking that a mega-battle between the Na'vi and humans will blossom in the forthcoming sequel(s).

Fans are mostly positive on the film's final battle

While discussing "The Way of Water" on the fan "Avatar" subreddit, user u/xHazeEdits shared how they were blindsided with how the film's action-packed finale took place in the ocean. Several other "Avatar" fans chimed in, sharing their thoughts on the sequel's smaller-scale battle. "The whole film felt way smaller in scale compared to the first one, I guess [the] third film has [a] huge fight as an end to the trilogy," wrote u/Schwartzy94. "Smaller scale, but the action choreography is more creative," a fan replied.

Those who have seen "The Way of Water" know James Cameron featured several different sets in the film's finale, as well as various POVs. While Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) fought in the air, others like Jake (Worthington) and his children assaulted the water-bound RDA base. Though most fans seem to agree that the action sequences in the third act were intense, some couldn't help but want more. "I really hope there's an extended cut which shows more action," wrote u/The_Liamster. 

"I was a bit underwhelmed by the final battle despite all the build up. I wanted to see more of the Sea Wasps and AMP suits which were underused." Another fan disagreed: "As much as I love the RDA tech, I kinda liked that the final battle was smaller scale than in the first movie."User u/cyvaris pointed out how the "Avatar" finale doesn't showcase the full militaristic might of the RDA, saying, "It's a very deliberate choice to not involve the true 'military' forces of the RDA. It leaves the film with some great room to grow and evolve stakes." 

When will audiences see the full might of the RDA? Fans think Cameron's sequels will give viewers the bombastic and large-scale action sequences they want.

Fans are convinced the Avatar sequels will feature large-scale action sequences

"Avatar: The Way of Water" fans are certain that future films will feature larger action sequences between the RDA and Na'vi. "I feel lots of ground work was laid for 'Avatar 3' and [an] epic battle awaits us in '3' and then '4' will deal with the aftermath and setting up the epic conclusion in '5,' wrote user u/AvengedCrimson. Others, including u/Joutja, agreed with this sentiment. "I keep having to tell people that this is just chapter 1 of 4 so it's just easing us in right now," they wrote. "The really big stuff will come later."

Some fans expressed disappointment with the finale but acknowledged that it's building up to something quite chaotic. "The final battle of the first one felt waaaay more epic whereas this one was a more personal battle," wrote u/RaptorDelta. "I can't wait to see a huge clans vs RDA fight again." User u/FearlessRisk argued that the finale was deliberately done on a smaller scale because Jake Sully was fighting for his family, not the safety of the entire planet.

Will future "Avatar" sequels give audiences an all-out war between the RDA and Na'vi? It's almost certain, as Quaritch's Avatar (Stephen Lang) is still alive. Beyond that, RDA leader General Frances Ardmore (Eddie Falco) is still pursuing her mission to eliminate the Na'vi and make Pandora a suitable home for humans.

"Avatar 3" is slated to hit cinemas on December 20, 2024.