Warning: Contains potential SPOILERS for Avatar: The Way of WaterJudging by the lore established in both Avatar and its sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar 4 could logically introduce a secret clan of underground Na’vi. The world of Pandora is a vast, complex place and, even though the first two Avatar movies both boast pretty lengthy runtimes, these franchise installments have only just scratched the surface of the fictional universe that James Cameron has created for the series. While Avatar allowed viewers to get to know Pandora and its native airborne inhabitants via a literal human avatar in the form of its hero, Jake Sully, Avatar: The Way of Water expanded the franchise’s purview by taking to the sea.
In the sequel’s riskiest (and best) move, Avatar: The Way of Water’s second act slowed down its pace to a crawl so that viewers could get to know the Metkayina clan. Sea-based Na’vi, the Metkayina were markedly different from their forest-dwelling counterparts introduced in the original Avatar. The Metkayina could breathe underwater for far longer than Neytiri and Jake Sully’s brood and were masterful swimmers thanks to their deep spiritual connection to the ocean. Since Avatar: The Way of Water ended with Jake Sully promising to fight the human invasion, it should come as no surprise that Avatar 3 will reportedly introduce fire Na’vi.
Avatar’s Na’vi Clans Are Still Missing An Earth Element
Na’vi clans in the Avatar franchise represent the 4 elements. Since Avatar 3’s plot will focus on Jake Sully’s battle against the human soldiers invading Pandora, it makes sense for this sequel to focus on Na’vi who boast literal firepower. Jake’s clan represents air, as epitomized by their connection with the high-flying banshees. Now that Avatar: The Way of Water has introduced a water clan and Cameron confirmed a fire clan will appear in Avatar 3, this leaves only an Earth clan. Since they haven’t appeared yet, it makes sense that these Na’vi would live underground.
The Metkayina can hold their breath for so long that they are functionally aquatic creatures, and their bodies are sufficiently different from the air Na’vi for the two to be considered different species. The Metkayina have clearly adapted to life in the sea for generations, connecting with Avatar: The Way of Water’s Tulkun clan as well as relying on the seas for their food. As such, it would make sense that other Na’vi may be equally reliant on another element for survival. The clearest way to suggest that the Earth Na’vi center their lives around the element of the earth would be for them to live underground.
It Makes Sense Earth Na’vi Would Be Underground
Having Na’vi live underground would also explain why the characters of the Avatar franchise haven’t mentioned them before. While it is unlikely that the other Na’vi don’t know the earth clans exist, it is possible that the air Na’vi have little contact with them. After all, the Metkayina were bemused by the arrival of Jake Sully and his family in Avatar: The Way of Water, and they haven’t even carved out subterranean existence. For the next Avatar sequels to avoid plot holes, it would make sense for the series to reveal that the Earth clan lives beneath the ground and only make contact with the surface-dwelling Na’vi when necessary.
What An Underground Clan Would Mean For Avatar’s Sequels
If Avatar 4 does reveal that there are Earth clans of Na’vi living under the surface of Pandora, this won’t necessarily be good news for the heroes of the series. The Metkayina were only introduced because Jake Sully needed somewhere to keep his family safe from murderous human invaders. Similarly, the fire clans have only been mentioned now that Jake has accepted that he must take up arms against the human threat. Everything about the villains of the series, down to Avatar: The Way of Water’s coffee symbolism, proves the humans want to colonize Pandora and exploit its natural resources.
Thus, the potential arrival of the Earth clan in Avatar 4 would suggest that the Na’vi are still going to be battling off a ruthless human invasion even after the events of Avatar 3. This could prove devastating for the heroes of the series, who had already been forced to leave their homes behind before the action of Avatar: The Way of Water even began in earnest. However, on the other hand, Avatar 4’s Earth Na’vi could also prove key to saving Pandora since their return would unite them with the Na’vi clans of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, allowing the natives to harness all the elements against their attackers.
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