Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water.
The perfect future for Colonel Quaritch after Avatar: The Way of Water might have already been revealed by James Cameron in details revealed about Avatar 3. Stephen Lang debuted as Colonel Quaritch in 2009’s Avatar, the face of the RDA on Pandora – and though the character met his demise at the hands of Neytiri, Avatar: The Way of Water brought the villain back as a recombinant soldier, a clone of Quaritch in a new Avatar body. The Way of Water set Quaritch on a new journey in the Avatar films, since he’s been reintroduced to his son, and has started to embrace Na’vi life.
While Avatar focused the audience’s attention on the Omatikaya, a clan of Na’vi who live in the forests of Pandora, Avatar: The Way of Water found Jake Sully and his family seeking refuge with the Metkayina, a reef clan. Glimpses of other Na’vi clans were seen during Avatar while Jake was recruiting an army to battle the RDA, but Avatar 2 explored the details of a new community of differently-adapted Na’vi. This opens the door for more clans to be introduced in the upcoming sequels to The Way of Water. One of these clans has already been teased by director James Cameron, and could be the key to Quaritch’s future.
James Cameron Has Teased The Ash People For Avatar 3
In an interview with French publication 20 Minutes, James Cameron teased the introduction of another Na’vi clan, finding the balance between good and bad in both the humans on Pandora and the indigenous Na’vi. Expanding on the idea that earth is represented by the Omaticaya, and the Metkayina represent water, James Cameron stated that “fire will be represented by the ‘Ash People,'” implying the appearance of volcanic Na’vi who will be the antagonists of Avatar 3. The director expanded by saying that both Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water dealt with “very negative human examples and very positive Na’vi examples,” but that Avatar 3 would flip this on its head.
This idea follows on from producer Jon Landau’s previous comments in an interview with Gizmodo, during which he mentioned that future Avatar films would explore areas outside of Pandora, including the prospect of bringing Neytiri to Earth. This is important because it will prove to Neytiri that humanity is not just represented by the RDA on Pandora, that “not all humans are bad… not all Na’vi are good.” It seems this theme is set to be introduced during Avatar 3 with the inclusion of the Ash People, an addition to the franchise that could see some major changes in the principal characters’ storylines.
Quaritch Must Integrate Into Na’vi Life Even More In The Avatar Sequels
Avatar: The Way of Water debuted a more lively Quaritch than the human iteration previously seen in Avatar, helped along by the character’s new Avatar body which grants him more speed, agility, and the ability to blend in better on Pandora. Quaritch’s quest to track down and kill Jake Sully forced the former Colonel to begin to embrace life as one of the Na’vi, which included him learning the native language and bonding with his own Ikran. The Way of Water showed the beginnings of a change in Quaritch, as he showed remorse for burning down a Na’vi village, and sacrificed his plan in order to save his son, Spider.
By the end of The Way of Water, a severely injured Quaritch flies away on his Ikran to places unknown, but since Stephen Lang has been confirmed for all of Avatar’s upcoming sequels, it can be assumed that he’ll be back in full force when Avatar 3 releases in 2024. However, Quaritch will surely go through many changes as his story develops in the franchise, as he is gaining more of an appreciation for Na’vi life, and has been using his learning curve as an opportunity to bond with the son who was abandoned after his death in Avatar. This sets up the perfect storyline for Quaritch in Avatar 3.
Humans Aren’t The Only Villains On Pandora
Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water have firmly planted humanity as the franchise’s primary villains, shown in some beautiful but heartbreaking scenes including their destruction of a sacred Na’vi site, and the moments in which the RDA returns to Pandora at the start of The Way of Water, burning the land for miles around. While this has been an effective storyline for the first two films in the series, it would be risky to continue featuring only humanity as the antagonists going forward, as Cameron risks recycling old stories. This means that new villains need to be introduced in Avatar 3.
Avatar: The Way of Water reinvented the human threat on Pandora by introducing the recombinant soldiers, cloned Avatar versions of deceased RDA soldiers, who died during the final battle at the end of Avatar. This has already blurred the lines between good and evil, as the humans not only now look like their enemy, but can now see the world from their enemy’s own perspective, which could be hugely transformative. Avatar 3 could change the game once again by making a native Na’vi clan the enemy, perhaps battling both the humans on Pandora, and Jake Sully and other Na’vi clans.
Becoming One Of The Ash People Would Be The Perfect Storyline For Quaritch
Quaritch’s future is unclear after the events of Avatar: The Way of Water. He could return to the RDA base, regroup, and set out again, or he could be dealing with his failure on his mission to eliminate Jake, and has started to feel a connection to his son and his new life as a Na’vi. Avatar 3 could take Quaritch straight into the arms of Pandora’s Ash People, which could see the character fully integrate into Na’vi life and become a true member of their clan. Not only would this be an excellent progression for Quaritch’s story, it would also be the perfect throwback to the original Avatar film.
Seeing Quaritch fully embrace Na’vi life among the Ash People would be a brilliant payoff to his Avatar journey so far – seeing him go from human, to Avatar, to fully-fledged Na’vi. This would also beautifully mirror Jake Sully’s experience in the original film, as he found himself becoming engrossed in life among the Omaticaya, and learning their ways before being officially welcomed into the clan. After the epic events of Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar 3 could see a Na’vi vs. Na’vi fight, with Jake Sully and Quaritch both leading their respective clans into battle against each other.