James Cameron Teases Avatar 3’s New Na’vi, Including The Desert People

When James Cameron brought us back to the planet Pandora it wasn't just a case of making another movie set in all the places we'd seen before. The vast majority of Avatar: The Way of Water takes place n the oceans of Pandora, and alongside a new tribe of Na'vi we had not met before. And now James Cameron is confirming that there are many other Na'vi groups that live in very different regions of the planet. 

In science fiction movies we are used to seeing alien worlds that only consist of a single environment. In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Hoth is a planet of ice. In Dune, Arrakis is a desert world. Pandora, however, is more like earth in that it is made up of a variety of biomes. In a conversation with Avatar: The Way of Water production designers Dylan Cole and Ben Procter for Deadline, James Cameron says Pandora has a lot more going on. He explained...

There’s rainforest, there’s arctic, there’s desert, there’s oceans, all those different biomes and all the creatures and cultures. Not only did we have to do creature design, but we had to do cultural design and imagining what these different Na’vi adaptations to these different biomes might look like. Desert people, the Windtraders that travel around, that sort of thing.

So there are at least two other major biomes on Pandora, with tribes of Na'vi that live in them. It seems all but certain that, with three movies left to see, we will have a chance to see much more of Pandora and the Na'vi before the story is over. Cameron says he and his production team spent time doing both creature design and cultural design for each of these areas, and you don't spend too much time doing that sort of thing if you're not planning to actually use the work.

At the end of The Way of Water Sam Worthington's Jake Sully makes the decision to stay with the reef people and hight the invading humans rather than continue to run from them. However, while Sully and his family may not be running, they will certainly need all the help they can get to fight the growing threat from humanity. Perhaps this will mean traveling to these other parts of the world in order to unite all Na'vi against the "sky people."

James Cameron makes another interesting reference in the comment above, to a group of people he calls Windtraders. They apparently travel around Pandora, one assumes conducting trade between the existing Na'vi tribes. We don't know anything about the WIndtraders in the movies, but the name is used as the primary gift shop inside Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, showing that James Cameron already had plans for these characters. 

The whale-like tulkun that appeared in the newest Avatar movie appeared first in the Avatar: Flight of Passage attraction. In many ways, Avatar: The Way of Water felt like the theme park attraction. We knew there were hints of the Avatar sequels in the Disney World land before the new movies ever came, and we're finding more of them all the time. 

We could see more parts of Pandora in the upcoming Avatar 3, or James Cameron could be waiting for the final two films to bring us to those parts of his world. Either way, at this point it seems clear audiences will be there to go along for the ride.

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.