Warning: SPOILERS for Avatar: The Way of Water follow…
Thirteen years after James Cameron’s Avatar became a worldwide sensation, Avatar: The Way of Water has brought fans back to Pandora with a big splash in its opening weekend. It’s also causing waves on Fandom with over a million page views in this past weekend alone, a spike of over two times the previous traffic for this franchise on Fandom’s wiki.
The surge is so potent that Avatar rose to become the #18 Wiki on all of Fandom after its opening weekend, outperforming giant Wikis like Disney, Grand Theft Auto, and Naruto. The Avatar franchise’s vast international popularity is also clear, as it’s currently the number #1 movie Wiki in English, #3 in the Polish language Wiki, #7 in the German language Wiki, #9 in the Spanish language Wiki, and #11 in the French language Wiki.
Although interest in all matters Na’vi and in the planet, Pandora, are clearly at an all-time high, most of the biggest performers at the Avatar Wiki were for the Sully family’s children. In fact, their adoptive daughter, Kiri, took the top spot.
THOSE SULLY KIDS
Within the decade plus between films, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his wife, Neytirii (Zoe Saldana), have started a vast family. Their two sons, Neteyam (Jamie Flatters) and Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), debuted on the top 10 list at numbers #3 and #5, respectively. Jake and Neytiri’s youngest daughter, Tuk (Trinity Bliss), ended just outside of the top ten at #11.
Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) likely landed the top spot because she is clearly more than simply a Na’vi or a human-created Recombinant and a lot of mystery surrounds the character and her abilities. She is Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive daughter, and the biological daughter of the Recombinant of Weaver’s previous character in the first film, Dr. Grace Augustine. Despite her death in the first Avatar, Grace sowever appears in some little cameos in The Way of Water (with Weaver pulling double duty), and it’s worth noting Grace herself sowever had a strong showing at #17 in the Avatar Wiki coming out of The Way of Water‘s release. Not surprising, given numerous of the film’s unresolved plotlines revolve around Grace and Kiri…
The biggest lingering question is this: Who is Kiri’s father? When Kiri briefly has some spiritual facetime with her late mother, that’s one of the few matters that she asks Grace. The other Sully children theorize that Kiri’s dad is Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore), one of the other human researchers on Pandora who has an Avatar of his own. And there may be something to Norm’s romantic attraction for Grace.
That said, the movie seems to lay out the case that Grace’s pregnancy may have been caused by Eywa, the living deity of Pandora itself. Shades of The Phantom Menace’s immaculate conception of Anakin Skywalker, this would mean that Kiri has no father, and Eywa is her true parent. Perhaps she was conceived when Grace’s Recombinant was connected to the Tree of Souls in the first film. Regardless, Kiri demonstrates powers that no other Na’vi has. The plants and animals of Pandora appear to obey her commands, and she seems to have the ability to breathe underwater for extended periods. In other words, Kiri is the closest thing that Pandora has to a superhero.
Check out the full Top 10 pages at the Avatar wiki coming out of The Way of Water release to see how Sully family-centric they are.
MILES AND MILES
While Jake and Neytiri posted at #4 and #7, respectively, it’s interesting to see that Miles “Spider” Socorro (Jack Champion), and his father, Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), had even higher rankings as a pair. Spider — who also is somewhat of a surrogate child to the Sullys (well, more so for Jake…) — came in at number 2, behind only Kiri, while Quaritch arrived at #6, just ahead of Neytiri. This demonstrates that there is a lot of interest in this father-son pairing.
Although The Way of Water doesn’t spend much time on who Spider’s mother was, the tie-in comic book story, Avatar: The High Ground, established that his mom was Paz Socorro. Paz was a pilot who served under Quaritch’s command, and they had a relationship that led to her pregnancy. There’s a strong possibility that Spider was the first human to ever be born on Pandora. And following the death of both of his parents in the last battle from the first film, Spider was orphaned and left behind on Pandora. He was also too young at the time to be posted in Cryo for the long journey to Earth.
There is some question about if the Quaritch Recombinant is truly the same person we met in the original film. The Quaritch Recombinant makes a point of telling Spider that he isn’t his father, and he even goes so far as to crush the skull of Quaritch’s human body when they come across his remains. The Way of Water quickly establishes that the Quaritch Recombinant was created from the memories of the real Quaritch, and he maintains his lethal grudge against Jake and Neytiri throughout the film.
Surprisingly, the Quaritch Recombinant demonstrates more compassion than his human counterpart. Although the new Quaritch ruthlessly terrorizes the Na’vi while searching for Jake, he also forms a genuine bond with Spider. So much so that Quaritch releases Tuk when Neytiri threatens Spider’s life. In turn, Spider saves Quaritch after Jake leaves him for dead.
Regardless, Spider rejects Quaritch and refuses to leave with him at the end of the film. Instead, Spider is formally welcomed into Jake’s family as an adopted son. But it’s unclear if Neytiri sowever resents Spider after the events of the movie. That relationship, and Quaritch’s unresolved feelings for his son, should provide some good dramatic material in Avatar 3.
In the meantime, you can dive into more about the franchise at the Avatar wiki or by checking out the story below about how the Na’vi’s method of bonding with the other life on Pandora isn’t actually that far-fetched.