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The Way Of Water Moments That Gave Avatar Fans Flashbacks To The Original

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

While it was certainly crucial that "Avatar: The Way of Water" distinguishes itself from its predecessor, it was equally as important that the film re-introduce the world of Pandora to audiences. And given the length of time between releases, that was definitely needed. Coming out 13 years after the first "Avatar" broke box office records (via Bloomberg) and ushered in a new era of special effects blockbusters, its long-awaited sequel has finally arrived after being announced back in 2010 (via Variety). The film, taking place over a decade after the events of the first film, follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his family as they must leave their forest home to live amongst the sea-dwelling Metkayina tribe in order to escape the wrath of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) once again.

"The Way of Water" expands upon the world we have come to know from the first film with its collection of new characters and colorful creatures. The film also knows that it has to put audiences back into that world by bringing up some familiar aspects. And according to fans who have seen the sequel, it seems that the film has succeeded at doing just that.

Fans appreciate these clever callbacks

The release of "Avatar: The Way of Water" is riding high on fans' nostalgia for the first, and it's clear that moments in the film aim to make that connection. 

A Reddit thread discussing spoilers for "The Way of Water" saw Redditor u/pjtheman bring up a unique moment that reminded them of the original film, saying, " ... After they kill the Tulkun and there's the big wide shot ... they use the exact same music as after Hometree gets blown up in the first one," with u/Oobedoob_S_Benubi, responding, " ... if I hadn't known beforehand it had a new composer I surely wouldn't have guessed." With the death of James Horner in 2015 (via ET Online), Simon Franglen has taken on providing the musical score for the "Avatar" sequels (via Film Music Reporter).

Meanwhile, u/ArrowsOfFate notes thematic parallels, commenting how, " ... Jake's brother being the perfect brother ... He dies, and Jake is then offered to pilot an avatar body ... Que Neteyam and taking the role of protector." The user goes on to mention how Neteyam's brother, Lo'ak, must challenge the Metkayina's ways by befriending the outcast Tulkun, Payakan, just as Jake Sully had to challenge the way of the Na'vi in the first film. While fans note plenty of similar moments from the original, no one is calling it a full-on copy, which is no surprise when the king of sequels is at the helm. 

Cameron had a new story he wanted to tell through familiar lenses

James Cameron has crafted what many consider to be some of the best movie sequels ever put on the screen. From the thrilling action escapade that is "Aliens" to the emotional and technical breakthroughs made in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," the director has had a consistent track record of matching or even surpassing these movies' cinematic predecessors. And while its debatable if "The Way of Water" quite achieved this, with its critical reception being more or less like its predecessor (via Rotten Tomatoes), the film was nevertheless made with the best intentions from Cameron and company. 

In a Directors on Directors interview with Robert Rodriguez for Variety, when Cameron is asked what he hoped to focus on for the sequel, he recalls when he was first writing the film in 1995. "'What story do I want to tell?' Of course, I'm going to go back to Pandora — I'm going to go back to Jake and Neytiri," the "Titanic" director comments. "And it's like: What if Romeo and Juliet didn't die? What if they married and had kids, and they had a family, and they had to think about something besides each other?" He goes on to comment how his time as a father heavily influenced the sequel. 

In an age where its getting harder to impress audiences with sequels and follow-ups, it's good to know that James Cameron still knows how to deliver the goods.