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Exploring Avatar – Kiri’s Origins

Exploring Avatar – Kiri’s Origins

Exploring Avatar is a podcast myself and Gerry from Discovering Pandora produce on YouTube weekly. We try to have a new episode out each Friday at 10 CST, depending on a variety of factors that will vary some weeks.

For those who don’t want to watch the entire live stream, here is a short of some of our coverage of Kiri’s origins. If you’d like to see the entire stream, click below!

Exploring Avatar LIVE Tonight 9:30 CST breaking down Kiri’s origins and more

Exploring Avatar LIVE Tonight 9:30 CST breaking down Kiri’s origins and more

Follow the link below as we break down the new images from Entertainment Weekly, and discuss each one. Plus Kiri’s origin was revealed by James Cameron, we will dive deep into that one!

(L-R): Kiri in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Neytiri, Jake Sully, and Neteyam in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Ao’nung, Ronal, and Tonowari in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Tulkun and Lo’ak in 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Avatar-The High Ground Volume 1 Preview

Avatar-The High Ground Volume 1 Preview

Avatar-The High Ground is a 3 Volume comic series based on the original Avatar 2 screenplay by James Cameron. However as the sequels grew and the story changed, his Avatar 2 script was shelved and now lives on as a prequel to Avatar-The Way of Water. Volume 1 is a hardcover book that is 88 pages long, of which we now have a 10 page preview thanks to Amazon.

Volume 1-Release date October 12th, 2022

It has been almost a decade since the humans were forced to leave Pandora—but now they’re returning—with an armada of heavily-armed starships!

After years of peace, Jake Sully has settled down with Neytiri and raised a family, so for him, the stakes are even higher than when he first went to war against the corporate might of the RDA.

During the development process of creating the four Avatar sequels, a lot of new ideas and stories were created and discussed. One such EPIC original story idea that didn’t make it into the sequels was James Cameron’s original story—“The High Ground.” Cameron shared what he had written with Dark Horse Comics and it is now being adapted by award-winning author Sherri L. Smith (The Toymaker’s Apprentice, Orleans), and illustrated by Brazilian artist Guilherme Balbi.

Avatar: The High Ground Volume 1 ventures into all-new territory in the Avatar saga, and is a direct prequel to the highly-anticipated film sequel Avatar 2!

Wow, that was a great start to this series. I love that just like in Avatar, Jake Sully is narrating. We quickly move through what happened at the end of Avatar right into the Sully family, with Jake disconnecting from the memories stored in Eywa, while seated with Lo’ak and Neteyam. Neteyam, the oldest of the Sully children, is giving Lo’ak a hard time, and they are discussing Lo’ak getting his own ikran, which is called iknimaya, a rite of passage for all young Omatikaya hunters. We then learn that when Kiri completed iknimaya she was able to simply bond with her ikran by asking it to be her friend. As Jake, Neteyam, and Lo’ak begin to ride off on pa’li, one of the brothers says not to forget about Spider. Then we transition into a flashback of Neteyam when he was completing his iknimaya, it show’s how dangerous it can be, with him even having his leg bit by an ikran he’s trying to bond with. After which we see Norm in his Avatar body again, going to meet up with Na’vi, with human kids and Na’vi kids all playing and having fun. Next we see Lo’ak as it’s now his turn to complete iknimaya, he seems to easily complete the bond with his ikran, and the whole Sully family is there cheering him on. As the whole family flies on their ikran, Jake and his thoughts are elsewhere, he knows the human threat is only temporarily defeated, they’ll be back. Tuktirey is trying to get Jakes attention, and Neytiri mentions how the skypeople always have their heads in the clouds, but the Na’vi hearts are in the clouds, and with that the family is on their ikran again,  flying high in the clouds.

The mystery of who and what Kiri is exactly only deepens. Norm is back in his Avatar, that makes me really happy for him, I would have hated for it to have been killed. It’s great jumping right in and getting to see the entire Sully family, Jake, Neytiri, Neteyam, Kiri, Lo’ak, Spider, and Tuktirey. I can’t wait to dive into this series!

You can preorder Avatar-The High Ground on Amazon here-https://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Ground-Sherri-L-Smith/dp/1506709095/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=avatar+the+high+ground&qid=1662504933&sr=8-1

Interview Magazine featuring Sigourney Weaver

Interview Magazine featuring Sigourney Weaver

Since Kiri is such a hot topic, I wanted to share excerpts of a recent interview of Sigourney Weaver by Elizabeth Banks of Interview Magazine. If you’d like to read the interview in its entirety just click the link below.

Sigourney Weaver Interview Magazine

BANKS: Can we talk about the biggest movie of all time that you happen to also be in, Avatar? You worked with James Cameron when you were starting out, and he brings you back for this ginormous movie. What are the defining qualities that make James Cameron who he is and what’s your relationship like?

WEAVER: I think many people have a mistaken idea about Jim, that he’s really driven and really serious. Of course, that’s true, but it wasn’t until I was on the road with him hawking aliens that I realized how incredibly funny the guy is. I was like, “Where did this come from, and where was it when we were spending months running around with the machine gun you designed?” I know he’s going to present me with really unique challenges, and he’s not going to be shy about getting what he wants. In many cases, my first reaction is, “I can’t do that.” I don’t voice this, because I know that I’ll get teased mercilessly about what a wuss I am, but I think that everyone enjoys working with Jim because he does demand so much. On Avatar: The Way of Water, I was older than a lot of the other people, and we had to do a lot of parkour. We had to do burpees. We had to do freediving. Don’t you love these jobs where you have to learn some really outlandish thing that you keep with you for the rest of your life? Freediving, especially, I’m grateful that we spent a year doing that.

BANKS: How long can you hold your breath?

WEAVER: Our teacher Kirk Krack, who teaches the Navy Seals, would have us do these still breathe-ups. We were breathing up on, I think, at least 50 percent oxygen. What we’re breathing regularly is 30 percent oxygen, so you have the advantage of more oxygen in your tissues, and then you’d lie very still, not moving and holding your breath. My husband is from Hawaii and he’s a big swimmer and body surfer, so we took the training together, and we both one day held our breath for six and a half minutes.

BANKS: What?!

WEAVER: I know.

BANKS: Sigourney!

WEAVER: Kirk couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe it either, but that’s his training. You learn that you’re not going to die if you don’t take a breath. You learn to say to, he called it “the smiling villain” that wants you to breathe, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m doing this, see you later.” It’s a whole psychological thing. It’s very, very interesting stuff.

BANKS: What are the other projects that you have coming out?

WEAVER: So Avatar I can’t really talk about, but I would say that it’s the biggest stretch I get to play in every possible way. I think if Jim Cameron didn’t know me really well, he wouldn’t have cast me as something as goofy as this. I had to work in a completely different way to play this character, a very physical way.

Empire Magazine Exclusive Avatar content

Empire Magazine Exclusive Avatar content

Over the last few days Empire Magazine has been dropping Avatar bombshells on us all, it’s really been quite amazing. From never before seen photos to new quotes and information about the Avatar sequels. This is a break down of those articles.

6/30-We got to see the two covers for the upcoming August release of Empire magazine, the standard cover has Ronal on it, and the subscriber cover has Kiri on it. This is our first official confirmation of who Kiri is. It was recently speculated that Kiri was Grace/Sigourney Weaver, we now know that Sigourney is indeed playing the character, and she is the adopted daughter of Jake and Neytiri. While that still leaves a lot to be answered about the character it was awesome getting that confirmation so quickly. If you’d like to order a copy of Empire you can do so here- https://www.greatmagazines.co.uk/empire-august-2022 It hits newsstands on 7/7/22.

7/1-Next up was a new photo showing Ronal (Kate Winslet) and Tonowari (Cliff Curtis). Kate describes Ronal as- “She is deeply loyal and a fearless leader. She is strong. A warrior. Even in the face of grave danger, and with an unborn baby on board, she still joins her people and fights for what she holds most dear. Her family and their home.” Kate also goes on to brag about her achievement of holding her breathe for 7 minutes and 14 seconds while free diving for the movie. We also learn that when Jake and Neytiri are displaced from their home and flee to the Metkayina’s waterworld, we are supposed to expect friction, drama, and conflict. It’s not going to be easy for the Sully family.

7/1-Also on July first we learned more about Sigourney Weaver playing Kiri, and got a new photo. The photo is very interesting, showing Kiri watching a video of Grace, further cementing the theory that she isn’t simply a new character played by Sigourney, but has serious ties to Grace herself. Recently a few of us theorized on who Kiri could be among other things, all that information was put together in a lovely blog post by EanaUnil and can be read here- https://layonyayo.com/clearing-up-the-confusion-about-the-children-avatar-2-the-way-of-water/

In this article we are told there are things about Kiri that we need to know. The only thing we haven’t already discussed however is that she’s a Na’vi. Which is very interesting as we can see she has 5 fingers and toes through photos already released, plus she still has that Grace nose that was very specific to Graces Avatar.

7/2- “What I said to the Fox regime at the time was, ‘I’ll do it, but we’ve got to play a larger game here. I don’t want to just do a movie and do a movie and do a movie. I want to tell a bigger story.’ I said, ‘Imagine a series of novels like The Lord Of The Rings existed, and we’re adapting them.’ Now, that was great in theory, but then I had to go create the frickin’ novels from which to adapt it. I had to think long and hard whether I even wanted to make another Avatar film, because it was kind of ours to lose. When you’ve done something that’s been that transcendent in terms of success, do you really want to go try and do that again? There’s a lot of pressure on it. I thought about it for a good two years before we finally made a deal.” -James Cameron, Avatar director and creator

I think what might be even more interesting that the James Cameron quotes is this photo of a Tulkun and Jake and Neytiri’s son, Lo’ak. If you remember when the Avatar Sequel titles were leaked several years back they were-

Avatar: The Way Of Water

Avatar: The Seed Bearer

Avatar: The Tulkun Rider

Avatar: The Quest For Eywa

The Way of Water has turned out to be the title they stuck with for Avatar 2, but look at what could be the title for Avatar 4, The Tulkun Rider. Could Lo’ak end up being the Tulkun Makto? That question won’t be answered for years, but it’s something to file away. The first trailer for Avatar 2 and this photo has been sure to make sure and create a connection between Lo’ak and a tulkun.

7/3- Now we have official confirmation that Quaritch is back, in an Avatar. It’s something we already knew from the trailer however again it hadn’t been touched on in an official capacity. Empire goes on to tell us that this time Quaritch is back in Na’vi form, his consciousness having been added to an avatar body. Something I want to touch on here, is they say Na’vi form, they also said that Kiri is an Na’vi, it could be they are using the word Na’vi incorrectly. Obvioulsy Avatar’s have Na’vi DNA and look roughly like them, however I think Empire is possibly using the word incorrectly with Kira and with Quaritch.

Stephen Lang goes on to say about Quaritch, “He’s bigger, he’s bluer, he’s pissed off. But there may possibly be an aspect of humility. When you take two Na’vi arrows in the chest, that’s gonna have some kind of effect on you. [He] was always a character who moved in straight lines and at right angles, but now he is as lithe as they come. He can move with the same kind of cunning and feral quality that any of the Na’vi can.”

Empire also explains that the RDA has a whole set of Recoms, aka Recombinants, which are Avatars embedded with the memories of human soldiers. So this is an explanation for who or what the new Quaritch is, and why we see him with Lyle Wainfeet in the trailer, who was also previously killed in Avatar. Jon Landau also brings up the Recoms and the RDA.  “They are coming back with an armada to take back the prized possession that they lost. This time, they’ve built an entire new city, Bridgehead, and are stripping away the resources of Pandora’s oceans and they have a weapons-spewing 3D printing facility that means they’re even more tooled-up this time around. This is RDA scale,” promises producer Jon Landau.

7/4- We got an amazing photo of the Sully family. The Sully Clan L-R-Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Spider (Jack Champion), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss), and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). We didn’t get much new information, a couple nice quotes and this fantastic photo.

“I’m a father of five. I look around, I don’t want to specifically say the Marvel Universe, or the DC Universe, at current fantasy and science-fiction and all these heroes seem unbound in the mire of relationships, the stuff that pulls you down and clips your wings, that stops you running around and risking your life. I thought, ‘What if I take these incredible characters of Jake and Neytiri and give them a family?’ That gives them feet of clay right there.” -James Cameron

“It’s about what you are teaching your children as they develop, and grow. Jake comes from the point of view of being a Marine and leans into that way of thinking because that’s what was ingrained in him about surviving. Pacifism and militarism are definitely going to come clashing.” -Sam Worthington/Jake Sully

7/4- James Cameron is unsure if he will direct Avatar 4 and 5.

“The Avatar films themselves are kind of all-consuming. I’ve got some other things I’m developing as well that are exciting. I think eventually over time – I don’t know if that’s after three or after four – I’ll want to pass the baton to a director that I trust to take over, so I can go do some other stuff that I’m also interested in. Or maybe not. I don’t know. Everything I need to say about family, about sustainability, about climate, about the natural world, the themes that are important to me in real life and in my cinematic life, I can say on this canvas. I got more excited as I went along. Movie four is a corker. It’s a mother******. I actually hope I get to make it. But it depends on market forces. Three is in the can so it’s coming out regardless. I really hope that we get to make four and five because it’s one big story, ultimately.” -James Cameron

7/5- James Cameron addresses the Avatar trolls, Avatar has made 2.84 billion and is the all time highest grossing film, after losing the spot temporarily to Avengers: Endgame. It’s set to raise that number even higher (can we say first film to reach 2 billion and 3 billion) when it’s rereleased this September (9/23/22) in the US. The first Avatar movie was 162 minutes long and Avatar 2 The Way of Water is going to be almost 3 hours in length.

“The trolls will have it that nobody gives a shit and they can’t remember the characters’ names or one damn thing that happened in the movie. Then they see the movie again and go, ‘Oh, okay, excuse me, let me just shut the f*** up right now.’ So I’m not worried about that.” “I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours. I can almost write this part of the review. ‘The agonisingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f***ing break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee.” -James Cameron