Avatar's Stephen Lang Tells Us What Spider's Final Decision Means For The Story Moving Forward

Warning: SPOILERS for Avatar: The Way of Water’s ending are in play. If you haven’t made your return trip to Pandora just yet, consider yourself warned.

Over a decade of waiting has paid off, as Avatar: The Way of Water joined the flow of new movie releases in theaters this past weekend. As James Cameron’s sci-fi follow-up begins its journey into the world, the future of the Avatar franchise has some new questions in the wake of The Way of Water’s ending. With one of those questions pertaining to a decision made by Jack Champion’s character Spider, the story in Cameron’s overarching epic has an interesting dynamic in play. 

Actor Stephen Lang, who played the nefarious Col. Miles Quaritch and his recent resurrected self, added some interesting context to the decision we’re about to discuss from Avatar 2’s ending. As such, we’re going to give you one more warning before discussion what Lang told CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell during 20th Century Studios’ press day for Avatar: The Way of Water

Jack Champion looks on with a smile in front of recom soldiers in Avatar: The Way of Water.

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Spider’s Decision At The End Of Avatar: The Way Of Water

With the final major set-piece of Avatar’s big sequel seeing the Sully family squaring off against Col. Quaritch’s Recombinant Na’vi avatar, it looks like Miles’ ticket has been punched yet again. If it wasn’t for Spider saving him from drowning, the infamous villain would have died, depriving the franchise of its most memorable foe. However, thanks to Quaritch still drawing breath, Stephen Lang has set up the following concept for future sequels to explore:

It’s cool. The kid’s torn, for sure, but it’s kind of … it’s justice there, whether … look, parentage aside, all of that aside, the fact of the matter is 20 minutes before that, I saved his life. I gave up the mission in order to keep the kid alive. Because there ain’t no doubt in my mind that [Neytiri] would have slit his throat. And so, I think he, you know, he returns the favor. So we’re even-steven at that point, you know. That doesn’t necessarily reflect the fact that he thinks of me as ‘Daddy,’ because he doesn’t.

That’s right, folks: Spider is the original Miles Quaritch’s son. The short short version of that story is as follows: Spider, originally named Miles himself, was born not too long before his biological father died. So you can see where the whole Na’vi resurrection of Col. Quaritch would present some problems for a child who grew up among The People, as children can’t travel in the cryo-sleep journey that is necessary to get to and from Pandora.

Jake Champion in Avatar: The Way of Water

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

What Spider’s Actions Mean For The Avatar Story Moving Forward

So what do Miles “Spider” Socorro’s actions mean for the future of the Avatar series? Well, as Stephen Lang explained above, Spider rescued the Recom version of Quaritch in the name of settling the score. With this new spin on an old foe flat out admitting the two are not blood relations, Spider and Colonel Quaritch don’t have any familial ties to be obligated towards. Which makes sense, as the young man witnessed his pseudo-resurrected father engage in some cruel behavior throughout Avatar: The Way of Water

Those of you thinking there might be some sort of family reconciliation in the next chapter, or even in the potential sixth and seventh Avatar films James Cameron is tinkering with, might want to think otherwise. While there’s some wild f-bomb inspiring ideas ahead for Pandora, it doesn’t sound like Miles and Spider building a father/son relationship is going to be one of them.

Should Miles and Spider ever meet for a rematch, there's bound to be some mixed feelings in the air. So maybe they won't be ready to kill each other instantaneously upon their reunion. Anything is possible, as the future of Cameron’s sci-fi epic is still as mysterious as it was after Avatar first premiered in 2009. 

While we may not have the full story on what’s to come, we do know that Avatar: The Way of Water opens a lot of doors for the future of the franchise. You can see why that’s the case in theaters now, whether you’re experiencing it for the first time or making a return trip. While you’re at it, you can take in Avatar again, as that origin story has been added yet again to the library provided with a Disney+ subscription

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.