Na’vi Funerals & Expressing Grief

Today while browsing through an Avatar forum, I came across the topic of death and grief on Pandora. While the person who originally started the topic just wanted to open up a conversation about death in general and how we shouldn’t fear it, I had my own thoughts about death and grief and how it was shown to us in the film. I decided to also post my thoughts here, because I think it’s an interesting topic, specifically as it pertains to world building and the overall culture of the Na’vi, as well as how the cultures might differ among the clans.

In response to the person’s curiosity about Neytiri’s funeral attire, this was my response:

“I was also curious about Neytiri’s attire during Neteyam’s send off, as well as the solid stripe going down Jake’s face and the black/darkly colored bands that were on his arms. I am mostly curious about what Na’vi practices are when it comes to the death of a blood family member in comparison to the death of a clan member, because in the first film, we briefly saw a send off of an Omaticaya clan member, however no one was in funeral/grieving attire. They came in their everyday attire and placed their seeds of the sacred tree on the member as a way to say farewell so that the member’s spirit can go on to become one within Eywa.

I wonder if the attire for Neteyam’s funeral is what Omaticaya wear when a direct family member dies, or if this was the funeral practices of the Metkayina. Because I also noticed that Tanowari’s and Ronal’s clothing were also different for Neteyam’s send off. They did say in the movie that the Sully’s were Metkayina now, so I wonder if this was just Metkayina attire for funerals.

I also noticed that Neytiri was wearing Neteyam’s necklace for the funeral as well.

It’s all very interesting to think about and I have not seen anything yet in the official canon about the funeral styles of the different Na’vi clans. I am interested in it because the funeral for the Omaticaya in the first film felt much lighter, especially with Jake narrating that the Omaticaya believe that all energy is borrowed and that in the end, all energy must be returned. Granted, I understand the horrific circumstances that Neteyam died under, so his death is a lot heavier and I imagine that no Na’vi, no matter what their spiritual beliefs are, wants to experience the death of a loved one, especially the death of a child. I imagine that dying of old age vs. dying due to murder and war are very different in terms of energy being returned to Eywa. However, I like the idea that death is not the end, no matter how you die. Your soul goes on, back into Eywa where there is freedom, peace, and no pain.”

Even though we did not see a funeral for Neytiri’s father in the first film, I imagine that it would have held the same heaviness as Neteyam’s, and I can’t picture a funeral like we saw in the first film happening for Olo’eyktan’s funeral. It definitely wouldn’t be as light and accepting. Not only because he was the clan leader, but because of the circumstances he died under. His death was absolutely brutal. And the fact that he died in Neytiri’s arms makes it that much heavier.

I feel sad that Olo’eyktan could not get a proper burial with the Omaticaya sending him off. But in my imagination, I like to think maybe they did, in the best way they knew how, after they made it to safety while congregating under the large tree; the scene where Jake showed up with the toruk.

I also wonder if Neytiri has a bead and a song on her songcord for her father. I would have liked to hear what song she created for him. I’d like to hear Mo’at’s song for him too, if she has one.

Death can be heavy and traumatic, and grief can feel like the end of the world. But I love how the Na’vi always have a way to be near their ancestors with the Tree of Voices. It makes me wish we had something like it here on earth. Same with the Black Panther films and how they can speak to their ancestors on the ancestral plane. When it comes to my own ancestors, I, for one, would love to be able to see my great grandfather again. Many people never meet their great grand parents, but I was fortunate enough to actually grow up with mine 💜

Movie Review – Avatar: The Way of Water

*Please know that this review will contain mild spoilers for the film*

Hello everyone and welcome or welcome back to my blog. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie and I needed these days to process my feelings and get my thoughts together. I think I’m ready now to give my personal review of this film. But before I get started, I will give the warning that this blog post is going to be very long.

Summary

Avatar: The Way of Water follows the journey of the Sullys as a family unit. In this film, we are introduced to the Sully family with a brief recap of what has been taking place over the past decade, and we meet each of the Sully children. The Omaticaya have found a new place to live since the first film and have adapted to using the more violent weapons that they have been taking from the RDA each time the RDA comes to try and kill and colonize. As a clan, they stop the RDA from inflicting further damage on Pandora and take the weapons to use for when they come up against the RDA again.

The Omaticaya have built a type of militaristic base in a high cliff where they store the weapons and RDA equipment. Jake is putting his military background to good use and seems to be doing a decent job at keeping the Omaticaya safe. But of course, this does not last, and the RDA bring in the big weapons that the Omaticaya can’t win against, and just like before, the clan has to move again.

Once Quaritch’s conscious is restored into the body of an Avatar, as well as many other RDA troops whose human bodies died, he goes on the hunt for Jake Sully with only one goal: Kill him. He gives a Pandora speech to his new troops that is almost identical to his speech in the first film, and they are soon on their way.

After a scary run in with these new Avatars, the Sully children almost get taken by Quaritch and these new RDA people. Jake and Neytiri come to save them, and it is at this point that Jake sees that Quaritch is alive again and that his family is no longer safe in the forest. So, he gives up his title as Olo’eyktan, passing the title and position to another clan member, and he and his family leave the Omaticaya clan for good, seeking refuge in the reef with the Metkayina clan. This is where the movie truly begins and the TWOW story finally starts.

Characters

Jake Sully & Neytiri – Although Jake and Neytiri are important characters and very vital to the overall story of TWOW, it felt like they were secondary characters – especially Neytiri. This might have been on purpose since the franchise as a whole seems to be turning into a family saga of sorts that will follow the Sully family for many generations.

It was interesting to see Jake and Neytiri step into the role of parenthood and all the struggles that parenthood entails, in addition to running for their lives. I do think that their lives were made significantly harder due to the number of kids they had. 3 biological kids, 1 adopted, and 1 sorta kinda adopted, for a total of 5 kids to look after. In terms of safety, that’s just too many and we see throughout the entire movie just how dangerous this is.

It was interesting to see Neytiri take on the role of a mother. In the first film she was very much a warrior in her own right. She was harsh, stubborn, fierce, and mostly showed tough love. However, she loved deeply – both her partner, Jake, and her people. In TWOW, we see a softer side of Neytiri. This softness does not completely overshadow the Neytiri we grew to know in the first film, however, the overall toughness seemed to be hidden away for the majority of the film. We don’t get to see Neytiri in all of her glory until the very end of the film and I found this disappointing. However, Zoe Saldana’s performance during this climax scene was absolutely amazing! I felt her rage. I felt her hurt. I felt her passion to protect yet hatred enough to get revenge, and it brought tears to my eyes.

Seeing Jake as a father was interesting. In a way, I still see him as the bumbling idiot that had no idea how to survive on Pandora and ran into everything headfirst and dealt with the consequences later. As in no thoughts, head empty, let’s just see what happens. And even though Jake was this way in the first film, he did always try his very best. He gave everything 100% effort no matter how stupid his actions were.

In this film, even though he does still have some of these same qualities, we see that he thinks more before acting. He has become completely strategic and has come to rely on what he knows that can keep people safe, and that just so happens to be rooted in his military training. I think this was a necessary development for his character since the franchise seems to now be moving toward being a family saga. The contrast in still seeing Jake Sully as a Pandoran newbie vs. a skilled Na’vi leader and protector of an entire clan and family is still hard for me to process, personally. Maybe if we could have gotten more time to see Jake living on Pandora as a Na’vi and as an actual clan leader, the shift into this new era of his character would have been easier to digest. But what can we do when it’s been over a decade between films? Oh well.

Netayam – The first-born Sully child and the oldest of the kids. He’s a teenager who does his best to look after his siblings but very clearly has a soft spot for his younger brother and often allows him to get them in trouble. For the most part, he is mature and has a good head on his shoulders and wants to live up to the image of his dad who has become a bit of a living legend. His father is the Toruk Makto, the Olo’eyktan, and has helped lead the Omaticaya to victory on numerous occasions against the RDA (such as when the RDA raids Pandora and the Omaticaya stop them, like we see in the beginning of the film). Netayam sees he has big shoes to fill, and he tries his best to be perfect.

Lo’ak – The second born son. Lo’ak is stubborn, disobedient, and so much like Jake that Jake just has no idea what to do with him. Lo’ak is constantly getting into trouble because he also wants to be like his dad, but he also wants his dad to be proud of him. Lo’ak is eager to be a warrior and often finds himself in trouble because he never thinks before he acts. And since he’s so pushy and stubborn, he often drags his siblings and new friends into his shenanigans.

Lo’ak was pretty much the main character of this film and therefore the best character in the movie because he had the most story and character development. I would not be surprised if the next film follows him even more.

Kiri – Kiri is the eldest (adopted) daughter and the most different. We find out pretty early on that she was born from Grace’s Avatar body, however, it is not explained how this was able to happen. Kiri is around the age of 14 or 15 and she feels a lot closer to nature and her environment more than she does people. She also has a very unique connection to Eywa and Grace Augustine. She can feel Grace inside her just as much as she can feel Eywa and we soon learn that Kiri has abilities that so far no other Na’vi has.

Throughout the film, Kiri very much seems like a fictional version of Jesus. She is “weird” and different from other Na’vi her age. Not just because her mother was human and she was born from her mother’s Avatar body, but also because of her abilities that are very much along the lines of “performing miracles” like how Jesus did in the bible. Kiri seems to be a spiritual offspring of sorts, conceived by Eywa through Grace. Which again, is very reminiscent of Jesus who was conceived by God through Mary while Joseph/Jake are just kind of hanging around for the ride.

I have no idea where Kiri’s story is going to go or what we are going to find out about her, but I am hoping she gets more story and character development in the next movie because in this one, her story seemed to fall by the wayside. There is a moment in the film where Kiri connects with the Metkayina’s tree of souls under water where she meets Grace face to face (since Grace was buried with Na’vi ancestors in the first film). Right after Kiri asks why she is so different, Grace gets snatched away due to connection issues with Kiri (no spoilers for this as this was quite intense and you need to see why the connection was lost for yourself) and we never get an answer. This mystery around Kiri’s existence remains for the entirety of the movie.

Spider – The human child on Pandora. We find out early on that Spider is the son of Quaritch and it was assumed that Spider was going to be shipped back to earth after the events in the first film. However, babies can’t be placed in cryo-sleep in order to space travel, so he stayed on base at Hell’s Gate on Pandora. He is pretty much a third son to the Sully family as Jake has taken a liking to him and the kids see him as another family member as well. Neytiri is the only one in the family that does not have loving feelings for him.

Spider and Kiri have a closer relationship and I think it is because they are both so different than everyone else. Kiri is different due to all the things I just explained above, while Spider is different because he is the first human ever born on Pandora and feels like Pandora is his home even though he cannot breathe Pandoran air. He feels more at home among the Na’vi, yet he is not Na’vi himself and wants to be.

Tuktirey – The youngest daughter in the Sully family. I believe she is only around the age of 6, so we don’t actually get a lot of her character, developmentally. In my opinion, she seemed to only be there as a plot device. She was just there to be cute and then to also serve as tension when she is placed in danger.

The Metkayina clan and royal family – This is the new clan we get to know in this film, and please note that I am only using the word “royal” as a description to separate the clan leaders and their family from the rest of the Metkayina. I understand that the term “royal” is a western view of hierarchy when understanding indigenous leadership.

So, we meet the Metkayina pretty much the same way Jake met the Omaticaya in the first movie. I really enjoyed getting to see this new clan and I loved how some of the visual and cultural aspects were inspired by the Maori people of New Zealand/Aotearoa. I will admit, I wanted to see more of Maori culture in the film because I have loved learning about the Maori ever since I met a Kiwi for the first time back in 2018 who loved sharing things about New Zealand culture. But I had to keep reminding myself that this is a fictional film and the cultures we see inside it are only inspired by. Not true representations.

Ronal and Tanuwari are the leaders of the Metkayina clan, and they have three children with one on the way. Two teenage sons and a teenage daughter. And as with the Sully children in this film, the royal children also get way more screen time than their parents. I don’t have much else to say about them besides kids will be kids, and there is a very obvious potential romantic connection between Lo’ak and Tanuwari’s daughter, Tsireya. It’s not one I care to see, but whatever.

Actors

I think overall, all the actors did a great job with their characters to tell the story that needed to be told; even the characters we are not supposed to like. I think the Na’vi Dreamer Best Actor Award goes to Britain Dalton who played Lo’ak – he seemed the most real to me in presenting a coming-of-age story, Zoe Saldaña who played Neytiri (Seriously! Her final battle scene is truly one to experience), and Stephen Lang who plays Colonel Quaritch. Anyone who can make me hate a character this much definitely deserves an award. The Na’vi Dreamer Best Actor Runner Up Award goes to Kate Winslet who played Ronal. I really liked her as Tsahìk of the Metkayina and wished we could have seen more of her. She is tough and strong-willed just like Neytiri, and we see a few times throughout the film how they clash yet still come together because they are ultimately fighting for the same thing.

Actors I did not particularly care for were Jack Champion who played Spider and Bailey Bass who played Tsireya. I know I am a minority in saying so because so many Avatar fans love them and there has been a lot of hype lately surrounding Bailey Bass as an up-and-coming actress, but this is just my opinion. Jack Champion did not give the emotions I felt were necessary in the situations he was in which made me not feel as strongly for his scenes. And I personally am just not a fan of Bailey Bass as an actor, even in other things I have seen her in. When I watch interviews of these two actors, I feel the same. There is something about the both of them that I find off putting personality wise. They just don’t do it for me. Oh well.

Something I find the new actors of this film struggled with, is trying to speak with a Na’vi accent. Everyone sounded completely different and no one’s accent was consistent. Most times, there was no accent at all. I try not to hold this against anyone too strongly since the main cast was just a bunch of kids under the age of 20 during filming, but it’s still something I noticed heavily.

I also found myself wishing that more Na’vi language was used because there was significantly less used in this film in comparison to the previous one. Absolutely everyone spoke English and the English used was so modern and of today that it would often take me out of the immersion once they started using terms like “yo” and “bro”. Even with a sky person as a father, I found this hard to swallow that Na’vi children would speak like this when the only person from Earth they’ve been around is their father, Jake. Not to mention, the first film took place in the year 2154 which means the second film is over a decade after that. I’m pretty sure people from Earth are no longer using the terms “yo” and “bro” that far in the future. Had they started using other modern slang like “cap” and “lit” I probably would have walked out the theater.

I also questioned why the Na’vi weren’t speaking Na’vi to each other and why they relied on English. My brother, who I saw the film with, told me his point of view which was that to us it is English for the sake of understanding the film, but to them, it was supposed to be Na’vi and this transition into Na’vi sounding like English happened when at the beginning of the movie when Jake Sully was narrating and said that he no longer hears the difference between the two languages anymore. Na’vi comes just as naturally to him as English does. And as he said this, his two kids that were arguing, we hear them speaking Na’vi but then switch to English. However, I did not get this transition at all if that’s what it was supposed to be. I still felt like there needed to be more Na’vi language in the film and at least some consistency in the accents.

Plot/Story

The main plot itself was very basic and “one note”. And that was: Quaritch is trying to kill Jake Sully. Jake Sully is trying to protect his family. That’s it. However, all the nuance comes in once we start to explore what it takes to keep family safe, specifically kids; what it means to live through a war and have that war follow you wherever you go; how it feels to never have a true sense of safety and to bring that safety insecurity to other people around you. And also, what it is like to grow up with this as your constant backdrop of life. It’s tough. It’s scary. And one cannot stay a child for long in situations like this.

Things got a little convoluted and strange when three other plot points were introduced but then never truly explored. At first, we think that Quaritch has been revived to finish what he started and kill Jake Sully so they can finish the original plan: Get the unobtanium. But then we are introduced to a woman in charge of a new group of RDA who seems to be trying to colonize Pandora because Earth is on its last leg and humans won’t survive much longer on it. So, her job is to “remove the hostile party” who is preventing them from colonizing, which is the Na’vi.

But then! We meet some other people who are only on Pandora for hunting. They are hunting and killing the tulkuns just so they can extract some whale blubber that stops aging and sells for 80 million dollars a kilo or something else outrageous. Why they are going hunting for whale serum when the earth is dying, I’ll never understand. Anti-aging whale serum is not what’s going to save the earth.

And lastly, Kiri’s story. It’s a sub plot that never gets fully realized and left me feeling disappointed. We know that Kiri is essentially Grace’s daughter. But how was she born? How was Grace’s avatar impregnated? Why can Kiri feel Grace and Eywa inside her? How does she have the abilities that she has? Who is she and why is she so different? All of these questions are posed, but absolutely none of them get answered.

All of these forgotten plot points left a lot of questions to be answered.

(L-R): Neytiri and Jake Sully in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Locations/Scenery

Was there ever any question that exploring a new area of Pandora would be absolutely stunning? If so, there shouldn’t have been because James Cameron did not disappoint! Seeing the marine side of Pandora was dreamlike, much like exploring the forest was in the first film. I really enjoy the overindulgence that James Cameron takes with showing viewers this new world. It allows us as viewers to take everything in and experience the newness at the same time as the characters who are also experiencing these things for the first time.

I personally have a love-hate relationship with water. I think water and marine life is amazing and beautiful. I love going to the beach and one of my most memorable moments at the beach was when I took a trip to Clear Water in Florida, bought some goggles, and went swimming in a more secluded area of the beach. I was able to swim among seaweed with small schools of fish, sea stars, sand crabs that burrowed away once I got too close, and I’ve even picked up a sea jelly before. However, I also have a fear of water. Storms absolutely frighten me, and I would never in a million years choose to live near a body of water, nor do I have any desire to ever go on a cruise. Being in the middle of an ocean with no land in sight is not my idea of a good time. That would bring me nothing but anxiety.

Seeing the underwater world of Pandora renewed my love for marine life and made me strongly want to go back to Clear Water to take another swim with the fish. I loved getting to see the Tulkuns and Ilus and the sea jelly that resembled a butterfly that helped Na’vi breath under water. I also loved the marine version of the tree of souls. It looked like a cross between a sea anemone and a palm tree which was really cool.

I also loved the differences in physical appearance of the Na’vi clans. The Metkayina have wider and flatter tales and arms to help them swim. They also have skin that is more teal in color and their stipes look different than the Omaticaya’s stripes. The clothing is also more aquatic and made from items of the sea or the nearby sea forest. The Metkayina also tattoo their bodies which is something the Omaticaya do not do. I would have loved to learn what the tattoos mean to the Metkayina, but I suppose knowing that would not have progressed the plot further. Hopefully we get another book of canon that can explain more about the Metkayina.

Music

The movie opens with a new song that we viewers have never heard before. It is the voice of Neytiri, and it is beautiful, and melancholic, and filled with spiritual longing. Almost like a prayer; it held a lot of weight to it. I was happy initially, because I thought that finally, we were getting to see the musical side of the Omaticaya who are supposed to be the clan of weaving and music according to canon from the Avatar book ‘An Activists Survival Guide’.

By the end of the film, we find out that this song is a funeral song, and suddenly the song feels even heavier than it did at the beginning of the movie. I won’t share who died for the sake of anyone reading this who has not yet seen the movie. But my eyes teared up watching and while listening to this song. Who knew Zoe Saldaña had such a beautiful singing voice that can evoke so much emotion.

As for the rest of the music in the film, a lot of it was recycled music from the first film which was both nostalgic yet disappointing at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Avatar music from the first film, I was just hoping for new stuff throughout the entirety of this new movie. I found a lot of the music and sound effects to be very dramatic and initially over the top for the scenes that we were getting. But as the movie progressed and things started to get more tense, the music and sounds were much more fitting. I hope the soundtrack will be released so that I can give more attention to the music alone and have a better idea of how I feel about it.

James Cameron seems to like having “a big song number” or a theme song for his films. In Titanic he had the song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ sung by Celine Dion. In Avatar he had the song, ‘I See You’ sung by Leona Lewis. For The Way of Water he has ‘Nothing Is Lost’ sung by The Weeknd. I will be honest…I am NOT a fan of The Weeknd and never have been. His voice is just not my cup of tea. So, needless to say, I don’t particularly care for this movie’s theme song.

My favorite song of the film was the funeral song which sounded much like a cross between a prayer and a lullaby.

(L-R): Ronal (Kate Winslet), Tonowari (Cliff Curtis), and the Metkayina clan in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Overall thoughts and rating

Overall, I am happy that we finally got this movie. It’s been a long 13 years and thank you, Mother Eywa, that we do not have to wait another 13 before the next one comes out. This movie had lots of callbacks to the first film (sometimes it was a bit ham-fisted and in your face) but did not rely on them. This truly was a film that focused on family with the main focus being on the children. This wasn’t entirely my favorite thing, as mentioned before, because…well, as a young adult myself, I don’t care to watch films that center around children. There were some moments where I kind of rolled my eyes at certain happenings because the “kids were being kids”, for lack of a better description, and it was kind of annoying.

I have no idea where the story can go next as there were many loose ends left by the end of the movie. One of the things I hated (even though I knew it would happen) was that Quaritch survives, yet again. Like I said, I knew he would because it has already been shared across the internet by James Cameron himself that Quaritch will be in all 5 freakin films. My irritation grows with how he survived. I have never wanted a fictional character dead so badly in my entire life. I have ZERO desire to see a redemption arc for him. I have ZERO desire to see him grow a heart and remain Na’vi forever. And I have ZERO desire to see him change his mind about what he has been doing just to become “a family man”. No. No. And no. We don’t know what his overall arc will be; we can only speculate. But I will not be satisfied with anything but his death. That’s harsh. But I don’t care. He deserves any and all grisly endings that come his way.

Another thing I did not like was at the very end, when Jake is giving his little speech and he hugs Spider and says, “a son for a son”. Um…no???? This rubbed me alllll types of wrong ways and I think this line was in poor judgement and taste. If you’ve seen the film, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. In the scene where Neytiri said it, it made sense in the midst of her rage, taking on the meaning “an eye for an eye”. But in the scene where Jake said it, it was absolutely not okay, and very much felt like he was being quick to replace who he and his family had just lost. I hated it. He could have given his speech about family without including that line. I blame James Cameron and the writers for that. Bad choice.

We have a whole year to wait for the third film and I am as curious as I ever have been. What is Kiri’s connection to Eywa?

How was Grace’s avatar impregnated with her when there was no conscious or life inside the avatar? Who’s the father if there is one?

Is Kiri the Pandoran version of Jesus? Is she a seed of Eywa?

What story will be conjured up for the humans next as the reason why they are colonizing Pandora? In the first film, they were searching for Unobtanium. In this film it was colonization to actually live on Pandora since Earth is dying but then changed halfway through the film to be hunting for Pandoran whale blubber that stops aging completely.

What humans and Avatars survived the battle? Because it sure didn’t look like any survived besides Spider and Quaritch, and the good sky people who have completely defected over to Pandora who also hardly had any screen time at all. I mean, come on, Norm was on screen for what, 3 minutes?

Will Lo’ak be the main character of the next film? Because he truly was the main character of this one.

I guess I just have to wait and see. Anyway. I think I’ve rambled on for long enough now. Overall, even though I liked the film, I do not feel as strongly for it as I do the first one. I still recommend watching it if you have not seen it yet. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I hope you liked the film if you saw it already. And if you feel so inclined to share your thoughts, leave a comment below!

The Way of Water Countdown: T-8 days

I’ve been gone for a while. I needed to take a step away from all the Avatar fandom groups that I used to frequent. The reason being is that one day, a couple months ago, I was spoiled for a major plot point of the new film. I wasn’t searching for spoilers (because why on earth would I?), but one day while scrolling through my Instagram stories, I came across someone who reposted something that was shared at a huge event for movie directors and producers. At this event, James Cameron was sharing some spoilers amongst his fellow directors and producers. Someone that was there posted about it. Someone else reposted it, and it eventually found it’s way to my story feed since I am a part of online Avatar fan groups and follow Avatar hashtags.

I’m sincerely hoping that it was a bluff on the original poster’s part and that I can be surprised once I see the film, but only time will tell. I have no idea why people post spoilers of any kind, let alone spoilers for huge films such as Avatar, and do it without warning! So, I took a step away and I will continue to do so until after the movie. I haven’t even seen any of the new trailers. I’ve only seen the teaser and some photos before stepping back from the online fandom space.

I don’t really have much to say other than release day is getting nearer and nearer and I just wanted to come on here and say that I’ve purchased my tickets. I’m taking my brother with me. I’ll be at an IMAX theater with great seats and I’m happy that I’ll get to see this movie in theaters. I never got to see the first film in theaters and when it was re-released in theaters back in September, it was only in theaters for a week where I live, and since I was in a period of a rather dramatic job transition during that time, I once again did not get to see it in theaters. But not this time!

I’m seeing it in theaters and I’m even seeing it a day early! I have no idea how I was able to get early viewing tickets, but I did. I’m truly hoping for the best and to be amazed. I’ve kept it no secret that I have concerns and worries about this film due to certain things taking place, characters that still exist, and new characters that I don’t really care about or want to follow. I also don’t want any annoying teen romance that it looks like we’ll be getting.

Oh well. After 13 years, the movie has finally been made and will be in theaters. Let’s see if I’m still a fan after this lol. I truly hope I am not disappointed.

Avatar: The Way of Water trailer reaction

OOHHH MYYY GOOOSSHH, YA’LL!

I finally got to see the trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water and it’s sooo good! And when I tell you I almost burst into tears at the conflict shots, I really did get teary eyed. Particularly at the brief scene of Spider drawing his arrow and his ferocity when doing so.

I am so ready for this film. I was super skeptical, even as a long time fan, that I just would not be amazed and that absolutely nothing could top the first film. Well this trailer has me so pumped and ready to see this movie. I’m ready to be astounded. I’m ready for a beautiful story. And I’m ready to ugly cry lol!

I will admit that when I saw the avatar that was supposed to be Quaritch, I had an instant attitude though. I still stand firm in my opinion that he needs to still be dead. I hate that he is still the villain in this second movie, and I’m completely beside myself with annoyance that he will still be the villain in the rest of the films.

Anyway. I’ve watched the trailer three times already and I can’t stop staring at how absolutely beautiful everything is. I am soooo excited to be exploring more of Pandora.

I love it I love it I love it 💙🤍💜

Creating a Na’vi Name (Part 2)

So, I’ve gone back to thinking about the creation of a Na’vi name. I made a post some time ago about introducing my Na’vi name, but only stuck with creating a first name. Since the official Na’vi name conventions include both the family name and the name of a parent depending on whether your are male of female, I initially chose not to create a full name. But now I sorta kinda want to, so here I am yet again lol.

I have chosen to keep the naming structure that the Na’vi have which is [first name] te [family name] [mother’s name]’ite. I am to use the ending of ‘ite’ since I am a female. However, I don’t want to just transliterate my family name or use my mother’s name at all. Instead, for the family name, I am just going to take the meaning of my family name, just as I did with my own first name. And for the place where my mother’s name is supposed to be, I am going to substitute it with a small portion of my online presence name.

The meaning of my family name is “brave; powerful”. The Na’vi word for brave is tstew. My online name is Na’vi Dreamer. Dreamer is a word that I have always loved for many reasons, and I feel it fits me very well which is why I chose it as a screen name. The Na’vi word for dream is unil. In order to get the word “dreamer”, I have to add the suffix ‘-yu’ which roughly equates to the English suffix of ‘-er’. The ‘yu’ suffix turns a verb into a noun. Specifically, it turns the verb into the person who is doing that verb. So, unil = dream (the verb), and unilyu = dreamer (the person doing the verb).

So, putting that all together, my family name would be [tstew] and the last part of my name would be [unilyu’ite]. Once again, the Na’vi naming structure is: [first name] te [family name] [mother’s name]’ite. So my full Na’vi name would be as follows:

Oare’yawne te Tstew Unilyu’ite

And you guuuyyssss!! I actually really love it! I won’t lie, I thought doing it this way would make me come up with something ridiculously difficult to pronounce or that looked and sounded terrible. But I like this! Here is my best attempt at a pronunciation guide:

[oh-ahr-eh | yau-neh] [teh] [ts-steh-oo] [oo-neel-yu] [ee-teh]

The literal translation of my first name is Beloved Moon, and the literal translation of the rest of my name would be Brave Dreamer. And seriously, I love it so much. Oare’yawne. Tstew Unilyu.

Beloved moon. Brave dreamer 💙💜🤍

~ Na’vi Dreamer ~

Avatar: The Way of Water

So after all these years, and a leak of the possible sequel name, it has finally been confirmed that the Avatar sequel’s name will in fact be called The Way of Water. Even though the title confirmation is not much of a surprise, I’m glad that the questions surrounding the title have finally been settled.

Concept art from 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR 2. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. ©2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The concept art that has been released online has been beautiful so far. While I am not very excited for the supposed story of this Avatar sequel, I am excited to be visiting Pandora again. I’m sure I’m not the only one that wishes a place like Pandora could be real.

There have been a few leaked pictures of Avatar 2 from the CinemaCon showing recently. I won’t post them here since as far as I know, they were leaked and not officially released. But man oh man, they look great! Pandora looks as amazing as ever, the few new characters shown look like they mean absolute business, and there might possibly be another new character for all of us to fall in love with. And no, I’m not talking about Jake’s and Neyriti’s kids 🙄.

There are 8 more months until the next film hits theaters and I am itching to be proven wrong about all my apprehensions. I guess I haven’t been very optimistic because in my own personal experiences, sequels have almost always disappointed me; in films and books. So, prove me wrong James Cameron! Because I actually really want to be lol.

The trailer for the film will be released for the first time to the public next week in theaters before the second Doctor Strange movie. And believe it or not, I’m so eager to finally see the trailer that I am tempted to buy a ticket to the movie just so I can see the it. I’m so happy to be exploring more of Pandora. I wish the trailer could be released to the public online at the same time as in the theater. Heck, why not just post the trailer on the Avater.com official website on DS2 release day??

I’m sure all the Avatar fans might crash the site lol, but a girl can hope.

~ Na’vi Dreamer ~

Things I Think About When Watching Avatar

(…and other documentaries about isolated tribes)

Whenever I watch this film, I literally have so many questions. Some of these might sound like silly questions, but I don’t care. Since this is going to be a fairly long post, I’m just gonna list my random Avatar thoughts in no particular order.

Loincloths. How do they prevent genital infection and diseases? Their crotches and most sensitive parts are out in the open to the elements. How do women stay clean and healthy down there? What about dirt, dust, and bugs getting into all their cracks and crevices? Isn’t it uncomfortable?

Unlike men, a vagina is a working, self-cleansing organism. This means that women release fluids regularly. If they are walking around naked, or almost naked, how does this not get everywhere? This is why panties were invented, but panties don’t exist on pandora. How do they protect their lady bits??

Do Na’vi women get periods? Is that just a human thing? What do actual isolated tribal women do during that time of the month? What do they call it?

What do they use to clean their teeth? Is oral hygiene and health a thing? Does their breath smell? Or do they just not care about bad breath? Is bad breath a “first world problem”? How are the Na’vi’s teeth so white?

Do the Na’vi stink? Do isolated tribes stink? Rinsing off in a river is not bathing (according to modern cultural standards, of course). How do you kill germs without soap or alcohol? How do they not get clogged pores and bad acne? Or how do they not suffer from dry skin?

How are they so hairless? I’ve seen so many documentaries where previously undocumented tribes use nothing but handmade weapons and materials. The Na’vi also use handmade weapons from the earth and their environment. How do they do things like shave their heads and bodies then?

Where do the Na’vi poop and pee? I know that might be a gross thing to wonder about, but this was never addressed in the movie, nor is it anything addressed in real life documentaries that I watch about isolated or traditional tribes. What is used to clean themselves afterward?

How do the Na’vi combat illness/sickness? What medicines do they have, and for what ailments?

How did the tradition of riding Ikrans come about? Who was the first Na’vi that said, “Yes, I will almost get myself killed by riding an Ikran and then make this a coming-of-age tradition for my people?” Lol

Matter of fact, who was the first lunatic that decided to ride a Toruk!?

Why do the Na’vi live in hammocks in the trees instead of actual shelters? Where do they seek protection from the harsh elements such as severe rain storms and wild animals?

Where do the Na’vi get their cloth and beads from? If they are made from their surroundings, what are they made of?

Where do the feathers come from? We have yet to see a Pandoran animal with feathers and have only been introduced to one plant that has feather-like leaves.

If the Omaticaya clan is primarily isolated from other tribes, how do they continue to reproduce without eventually intermarrying with family?

Have the other Na’vi clans had direct contact with the Sky People? Are the Omaticaya the only clan that can speak English?

Does Na’vi’s hair grow with their neural connectors, or do they grow as open/loose tendrils that need to be protected by the hair which is why it’s braided up the way it is? For these connectors to be so sensitive and vital to Na’vi living (eyesight, connecting with Eywa, their Ikrans, the Direhorse, etc.), how is only hair strong enough to protect it?

Are all marriages arranged, or only for the clan leader and Tsahik? Even though Neytiri broke this tradition, in the deleted scenes, Mo’at told Neytiri that she can never be Tsahik now if she chooses Jake (because he was an outsider). Are leadership rolls only saved for insiders/actual clan members? If so, Neytiri should be able to be Tsahik (if she wants to be) now that Jake was made a clan member and the next clan leader by the end of the film, right?

Why didn’t the Na’vi use their tails more? What was the purpose of them besides looking cool?

What do they use to make their war paint? Plants? Skins of fruit? A type of tree sap?

What creates the poison that they use to coat their arrow tips with?

Why was there an extra, empty hammock already available for Jake to sleep in?

Wow, I wish I could ride an Ikran.

Wow, I wish I could ride a Direhorse.

Wow, I wish I could speak Na’vi.

What does it feel like to connect to Eywa?

I guess I’ll stop there. These are just some of the many things I think about during and after watching this film. There’s more, a lot more, but this post is already getting too long lol

Why I Like The Na’vi

One of the many reasons that I like the Na’vi so much is because of their connection to nature. I honestly can’t remember a time that I didn’t love nature. Unless it was mosquitos lol.

I was the kid that collected rocks and my mom would get frustrated every time she washed my clothes because a hoard of rocks would fall out of my pockets and into the washing machine.

I used to pick yellow dandelions even though I was allergic to them.

I would also collect the big, white, fluffy ones and make wishes over them before blowing them into the air. And yes, I called them “wishies” and not dandelions lol. I believed that as long as the dandelion seeds caught the wind instead of falling straight to the ground, then your wishes or prayers would come true.

I had a pet caterpillar and cried when I had to release it after it turned into a butterfly.

I climbed trees like it was my religion and dreamed of the day that I would have a treehouse and live in it ( I am an adult and still want one lol).

After watching the movie Ferngully as a child, I swore I could talk to trees and hear them.

I could go on and on. People like to talk crap about Avatar, but if you got nothing else out of the movie, I hope you can take away the message of appreciating the natural world around you. There is so much beauty in it and as long as you take care of it, it will always give.

Pandoran Fauna: The Tetrapteron

I wonder if we will get to see the Tetrapteron in the new movie since the new movie is supposed to largely take place in or around water. The Tetrapteron is found in wetlands or near the ocean and hunts in flocks, so this would be really cool to see.

I just imagine a scene where the camera is panning over a body of water and there is just a huge flock of Tetrapterons that are a multitude of beautiful, bright colors, standing in the water or flying low over it like flamingos do.

Low flying Tetrapterons over turquoise water with the beauty of the rest of Pandora in the background. That just sounds so perfect 💙

Pandoran Fauna: The Slinger

This is by far THE MOST horrifying and creepy animal on Pandora. Hands down.

Out of all the frightening animals on the moon of Pandora, this would be the one to make me completely faint in fear…or just die on sight lol.

Like, wtf??

Read that page. Reeeaaddd it! And tell me if you would get anywhere near that creature. Two creatures in one body??

Count me out.