Avatar: Tsu'tey's Path (2019) and Avatar: The Next Shadow (2021). Recent expansions to the world of James Cameron's Avatar. What do you think?

Griffith

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I am about to start picking up Tsu'tey's path and truth be told I am excited. Avatar (mainly out of nostalgia) holds a special place in my heart, I've played the games which are now as old the movie, so these new comics are genuinely exciting for the few people who care. Especially The Next Shadow which gives us the first look into the events after the movie.
 

BrawlMan

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Never liked Avatar (2009). Seen it better when it was called Princess Mononoke back in late 1999 when I was 10. Especially when PM has the actual grey areas that Avatar (2009) lacks big time. I do not mean to be rude, but I just do not like the movie and see no point in the sequels. I rather just watch Ferngully again. That has Robin Williams and Tim "Motherfucking" Curry.
 

Hawki

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"What do I think?"

That's broad, but my thoughts are that while Avatar is a great film that gets far more flak than it deserves, it feels iffy to have an EU or even sequels. I also can't help but reflect on the guilt that Avatar came out in 2009, and depicted a world in environmental collapse. Come 2020, and the world of 2154 feels far less distant. Like, the collapse part, but without the cool spaceships.

But on a less downer note, I'm left to ask what happened to Avatar: The High Ground (the supposed interquel that would bridge the films) and why, out of all the characters in Avatar, the comics would focus on Tsu'tey. I have no idea why people are so fasciniated by him (and by people, I mean people on FFN who see Tsu'tey as their husbando).
 

Breakdown

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I enjoyed Avatar, but I'm not sure where the sequels can go, aside from the obvious "more humans show up on Pandora, they get beaten again".
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I enjoyed Avatar, but I'm not sure where the sequels can go, aside from the obvious "more humans show up on Pandora, they get beaten again".
Apparently different planets and biomes?

I remember rumors that one of the Avatar sequels is supposed to take place entirely in/on the ocean.
 

Hawki

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I enjoyed Avatar, but I'm not sure where the sequels can go, aside from the obvious "more humans show up on Pandora, they get beaten again".
The weird thing about Avatar is that we know from supplementary materials how it ends. That
humans eventually return to Pandora, everything's hunky-dory, science expeditions are conducted on Pandora, and everyone lives happily ever after.
So either the movies can move to that conclusion, or break that conclusion and in doing so, break canon. And also subvert the subversion of the first film's ending.

As you said, I like the film, but I never saw the need for a sequel. Granted, you could say the same for Alien or Terminator, and Cameron delivered stellar sequels to both those films, but...

Apparently different planets and biomes?

I remember rumors that one of the Avatar sequels is supposed to take place entirely in/on the ocean.
Avatar 2 seems to take place largely in ocean areas, given the amount of concept art we've seen.

But even then, what of it? It's all well and good to explore new locations, that doesn't help if the plot remains the same.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Avatar 2 seems to take place largely in ocean areas, given the amount of concept art we've seen.

But even then, what of it? It's all well and good to explore new locations, that doesn't help if the plot remains the same.
It's not like Avatar's plot was particularly important though. Avatar was Avatar because of the incredibly impressive tech and visuals and the best implementation of 3D at the time (or since).

Having interesting and unique visual design is much more important to Avatar than having a unique or interesting plot. If every movie gives a unique local and visuals I think that's honestly enough.
 

Hawki

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It's not like Avatar's plot was particularly important though. Avatar was Avatar because of the incredibly impressive tech and visuals and the best implementation of 3D at the time (or since).

Having interesting and unique visual design is much more important to Avatar than having a unique or interesting plot. If every movie gives a unique local and visuals I think that's honestly enough.
I can't speak for everyone, but speaking for myself, the narrative elements of Avatar (and by narrative, as in, Five Elements of Story narrative) have been more important to me than the visuals. Yes, the visuals are nice, but visuals don't make or break a work. The CGI of Babylon 5 has aged terribly for instance, it's still my favourite sci-fi show.

Also, even if Avatar is/was solely carried on visuals, what's that going to matter in 2022, or whenever it's released? Times have changed. The cinema landscape of the 2010s was different from the one Avatar emerged in (see the proliferation of cinematic universes for instance), and it's debatable how much of a future cinemas will have post-Covid. If the Avatar sequels are riding on visuals, I don't expect them to get far.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I can't speak for everyone, but speaking for myself, the narrative elements of Avatar (and by narrative, as in, Five Elements of Story narrative) have been more important to me than the visuals. Yes, the visuals are nice, but visuals don't make or break a work. The CGI of Babylon 5 has aged terribly for instance, it's still my favourite sci-fi show.

Also, even if Avatar is/was solely carried on visuals, what's that going to matter in 2022, or whenever it's released? Times have changed. The cinema landscape of the 2010s was different from the one Avatar emerged in (see the proliferation of cinematic universes for instance), and it's debatable how much of a future cinemas will have post-Covid. If the Avatar sequels are riding on visuals, I don't expect them to get far.
I disagree.

Avatar's story wasn't particularly unique or interesting. It wasn't anything that we hadn't seen before. It's a retread of Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and at least a half dozen other movies.

The reason that so many people flocked to see Avatar wasn't because the story was just so amazing. It was because the of the unique visuals and the unique 3D experience that it provided, and I honestly think that the 3D viewing experience of Avatar still hasn't been topped 10 years later.

Movie theaters aren't going to survive on movies with good plots. You can watch those at home on your 65 inch 4k TV. Movie theaters are only going to survive on the movie theater experience, on seeing a movie in theaters that you can't watch the same way at home. The viewing experience of Avatar in a theater is completely different than seeing it at home, and that's the important part.
 

Hawki

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I disagree.

Avatar's story wasn't particularly unique or interesting. It wasn't anything that we hadn't seen before. It's a retread of Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and at least a half dozen other movies.
There's certainly similarities, but I feel Avatar stands on its own. It shares the tropes, yes, but so do a lot of works.

The reason that so many people flocked to see Avatar wasn't because the story was just so amazing. It was because the of the unique visuals and the unique 3D experience that it provided, and I honestly think that the 3D viewing experience of Avatar still hasn't been topped 10 years later.

Movie theaters aren't going to survive on movies with good plots. You can watch those at home on your 65 inch 4k TV. Movie theaters are only going to survive on the movie theater experience, on seeing a movie in theaters that you can't watch the same way at home. The viewing experience of Avatar in a theater is completely different than seeing it at home, and that's the important part.
Speaking for myself (again), the 3D added nothing. There's a single shot where the 3D adds to the film, and that's where Neytiri shoots the arrow at Quaritch. It's framed so that the arrow goes straight to the camera, and in 3D, it looks like it's coming right at you. Apart from that? Eh...

I've never been a 3D affecionado. And if we're talking about 3D experiences, Gravity takes the gold medal for me.
 

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Speaking for myself (again), the 3D added nothing. There's a single shot where the 3D adds to the film, and that's where Neytiri shoots the arrow at Quaritch. It's framed so that the arrow goes straight to the camera, and in 3D, it looks like it's coming right at you. Apart from that? Eh...

I've never been a 3D affecionado. And if we're talking about 3D experiences, Gravity takes the gold medal for me.
So to you 3D is only being used correctly if the director is jamming it into your face and screaming "LOOK AT THE 3D!"

The 3D in Avatar is used incredibly well for adding depth to scenes, and on an IMAX screen it feels like you're being enveloped in the world. It's like a theme park attraction, and it's the experience you're never going to get watching the movie at home.

I saw Avatar twice in IMAX theaters, once on release and once when they released the extended version that holiday season. I have not watched it since, and would never want to watch it without the giant screen, great sound system, and 3D. Without those things it's a fairly mediocre movie with very pretty colors.

I agree though, Gravity was also fantastic as the kind of theme park ride type 3D movie that you can't experience anywhere outside of a theater. Those are the kinds of movies that make going to a theater worth it.

Watching Parasite, Get Out, or any other plot heavy movie is the same experience whether you're watching it on your couch at home or in theaters, and those aren't the kinds of movies that are going to get people flocking back into theaters once they've reopened. No one really wants to leave the comfort of their home to watch the new Natalie Portman romcom. People will to see something like Avatar or Gravity because they can't get the same experience at home, but an Avatar sequel has to have something new to offer visually that people haven't seen before in order to make them interested in seeing it.

I watching Avatar twice and I don't remember the name of a single character. That's how much the plot mattered.
 

Hawki

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So to you 3D is only being used correctly if the director is jamming it into your face and screaming "LOOK AT THE 3D!"
Hardly.

Gravity is an excellent case of 3D adding to the film, or at least in the opening shot. Like ,we see the Earth, see see objects and astronauts above it, and it's like you're up there with them. Like, you could almost reach out and grab a spanner. That's an excellent case of 3D adding to immersion. In contrast, nothing in Avatar gave me that same experience.
 

happyninja42

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Never liked Avatar (2009).
I found myself falling asleep during the climax of the film when I saw it in theaters.

I can't speak for everyone, but speaking for myself, the narrative elements of Avatar (and by narrative, as in, Five Elements of Story narrative) have been more important to me than the visuals. Yes, the visuals are nice, but visuals don't make or break a work. The CGI of Babylon 5 has aged terribly for instance, it's still my favourite sci-fi show.
*digital fistbump* Word. We Are All Kosh.

Personally I don't mind CGI that's not great, and I also don't really care if it's amazing. I mean yeah sure, it looks cool, but if what you are showing me is just a digital spectacle that I have no personal investment in, I don't really care either way? Which is how I feel about Avatar. Personally I didn't find the story engaging at all. It was so derivative that I was falling asleep I was so bored. Now, I don't have a problem with telling a classic story, and the Hero's Journey is popular for a reason, but you still have to tell it well. And for me at least, Avatar didn't do that. It seemed to want to make up for an uninspired narrative, with stunning visuals. Which for me, didn't make up the difference.
 

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I found myself falling asleep during the climax of the film when I saw it in theaters.
I didn't see the movie until it hit DVD. That's pretty much why I avoided it in theaters. Now I did not fall asleep, but I was barely engaged. Whenever I watched Avatar, I kept thinking I've seen better, or I would rather watch that instead.
 

happyninja42

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I didn't see the movie until it hit DVD. That's pretty much why I avoided it in theaters. Now I did not fall asleep, but I was barely engaged. Whenever I watched Avatar, I kept thinking I've seen better, or I would rather watch that instead.
Yeah, I mean given how many different things people compare it to when they criticize it, it's hardly like that's a unique problem. If there are 2 dozen films with the same premise, well, is that really a problem in itself? If so, then do people equally criticize the thing they are comparing it to? Usually no. But again, for me it's about "are you telling it in a way that I'm enjoying?" And for Avatar, sadly no, it did not.
 
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Dalisclock

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I enjoyed Avatar, but I'm not sure where the sequels can go, aside from the obvious "more humans show up on Pandora, they get beaten again".
I've heard the opposite joke.

"Humans show up again, Nuke the site from orbit, collect the starship fuel, make sure to erase the recordings and have everyone sign punitive NDAs beforehand"
 

laggyteabag

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I know this is a thread about the comics, so sorry to continue to derail it, but im really interested to see how the sequels turn out, commercially and critically.

I would wager that Avatar was only as successful as it was, because of the way the film looked for 2009. These days though, great looking CG films are basically a dime a dozen, so it is unlikely that it will stand out like that anymore.

Im also curious to see what the demand of a sequel to an 11 year-old film is like. Unlike Star Wars, which basically went all-in on games and EU comics and books after the OT and PT, to keep the franchise evergreen, Avatar has basically been dormant for the best part of 10 years, causing it to once again be overshadowed by Avatar: TLA and now Korra. Hell, even if you search for Avatar Comics on Google, I had to get to page 3 before I saw anything for Avatar (2009).

Just not sure if the franchise has the legs for 4 more bi-yearly sequels. We'll see, I guess.