After The Way of Water, What Those Other Avatar Sequel Titles May Tell Us About The Future Of The Franchise

Sigourney Weaver in Avatar 2
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water is finally here after more than a decade. James Cameron has been teasing us with multiple sequels for years, but as Avatar production kept getting pushed back again and again, it was unclear if we would ever actually see the films. Now we have two Avatar films down, a third Avatar that we know for sure is on the way, and two more that, if not guaranteed, are certainly looking a lot more likely.

All the way back in 2018, when the Avatar sequels were written, and the second and third movies had begun production, a rumor surfaced that the four Avatar movies already had titles. In early 2019, James Cameron confirmed that the leaked titles were among the titles being considered for the films. At the time, no final decisions had been made, but the leak is notable because the title being considered for Avatar 2 at the time, was, in fact, The Way of Water.

Just because Avatar 2 went with its leaked title doesn’t mean the other three sequels will do the same, but the possibility certainly exists. And even if the sequels end up being called other things, these three titles are still likely reflective, in some way, of what those movies are going to be about. So, now that we’ve seen the first two Avatar films, let’s look at the other three titles and see if we can’t guess what they mean and what the future Pandora stories might be about. 

Sigourney Weaver in Avatar

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Avatar: The Seed Bearer 

Out of the gate we have the Avatar title that’s the least clear based on the events of the first two films. The original Avatar is the one that takes place in an actual jungle, where there are lots of trees, and therefore seeds. Avatar: The Way of Water takes place in Pandora’s oceans, and based on the way Avatar 2 ends we’re expected to believe that at least the next movie is going to stay there.

So who or what might the seed bearer be? Well, we actually do meet a seed bearer of sorts in Avatar: The Way of Water: the avatar of Dr. Grace Augustine. In the original film Grace is connected to the tree of Souls in an attempt to save her life by moving her mind into her Avatar. This appeared to fail at the time, but in the sequel, we begin to question that assumption.

We learn in the new film that the Na’vi girl Kiri, played by Sigourney Weaver, was born from Grace’s avatar, though nobody understands how it happened or who or what Kiri’s father is, assuming she has one. Kiri is clearly going to be important to the rest of the films, and Avatar 3 may be about tracking down her origin in order to understand just who she is and how she is connected to Pandora. 

A Na'vi swims with a Tulkun in Avatar: The Way of Water.

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Avatar: The Tulkun Rider 

Before seeing Avatar: The Way of Water, this title was certainly the most confusing. After seeing the new movie, it’s now the one that makes the most sense, and all for the simple reason that we finally know what a tulkun is. They are the whale-like creatures that play a key role in Avatar 2. They’re seen as part of the family for the reef-dwelling Na’vi. They’re also being hunted by the humans for their glands, which are incredibly valuable.

While the Metkayina clan have a close relationship with the tulkun, we don’t really see any of them ride the creatures the way they do the ikrun or ila. However, there is one Na’vi who builds a unique relationship with a specific tulkun: Jake and Neytiti’s son Lo’ak. He links himself with one of the creatures in a way that no other Na'vi apparently does, creating a bond between Na'vi and tulkun unlike any other. Based on what we know right now, I’d have to guess that he is The Tulkun Rider of this title.

Of course, even if that’s the case, it doesn’t exactly explain what the title means or why it’s important to the larger Avatar story that somebody can ride a tulkun. It does strongly imply that Avatar 4, which James Cameron is already teasing is going to be something else, will be set in and around the reefs of Pandora once again. This would mean that the cast will be heading pack to do a fair amount of filming under water when production resumes for the last two Avatar movies.

Kiri in Avatar: The way of Water

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Avatar: The Quest For Eywa 

Eywa is a word we’ve heard frequently in the two Avatar movies so far, but having said that, exactly what or who it is, isn’t exactly clear. Eywa is the Great Mother, but Eywa is more of a force or a concept than a person. The Na’vi worship Eywa, but not as a god, more as an idea. It’s connected to the idea that Pandora itself may be some sort of living thing, with a consciousness distributed throughout the world. 

We’ve seen with the two tribes of Na’vi that we’ve met now that there is very little that different Na’vi groups have in common, but they do share this concept of Eywa. The fact that Eywa is hard to define may be why there will be a quest for Eywa in the final Avatar movie. This will likely also connect back to Kiri. It’s clear that Kiri has some connection to Pandora, or to Eywa, that will be important. It likely will all be connected to the mystery of her birth, bringing everything back around to where the Avatar movies started. 

Certainly there’s a lot that could have changed between when these Avatar titles were leaked and now. The last two movies still could change drastically since they haven’t begun filming yet, meaning that maybe these titles won’t even be accurate to what’s going on in the plot by the time the films are finished. Even if the surmises here, based on admittedly little evidence, turn out to be correct, there are still a lot of details needed to make the story complete. Where the Avatar franchise will go from here, we really don’t know, but now that two films have been delivered, there can be some confidence that eventually we will get out answers.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.