Warning! This article contains SPOILERS for Avatar: The Way of Water.While Spider’s shocking decision in the finale of Avatar: The Way of Water could be considered admirable, it actually created two major problems for the next installment in the franchise, Avatar 3. The second Avatar film explored the importance of family as seen through the tight-knit interactions between Jake Sully and his children and also through the tense bond between Quaritch and Spider, a.k.a. Miles Socorro. The two families showed two very different relationships parents have with their kids. Spider, who was an orphan, had longed for a father figure in his life.
Surprisingly, though, Quaritch appeared to care for his son after nearly losing him to Neytiri in the second movie’s climatic final battle. After the underwater fight between Quaritch and Jake, Spider saw his unconscious father sinking into the ocean. Despite his father’s wild intentions to eliminate the Na’vi, Avatar: The Way of Water‘s Spider ultimately chose to save his father’s life from imminent death by bringing him out of the water and resting him safely on the shore of a small landmass. But while this choice allowed Spider to explore his true feelings for his father, it actually did more harm than good.
Spider Saving Quaritch Continues Avatar’s Villain Problem
In the first Avatar, Colonel Miles Quaritch served as the film’s primary antagonist who sought to wipe out the Na’vi resistance and strip Pandora of its valuable resources. Although his “apparent” death happened at the end of the film, Quaritch returned in the sequel, this time as an avatar containing the memories of his human self. Spider’s decision to save Quaritch from his second death was great to help provide depth to his character, but director James Cameron will need to change Avatar‘s villain in any future installments. Ultimately, Spider’s decision locked in Quaritch’s return for Avatar 3, but even after two movies, he’s still a very uninteresting and underdeveloped foe.
The Way of Water spent only a short amount of time exploring Spider’s relationship with his father. Furthermore, the main motivating factor behind Quaritch’s goals in the second film came down to him being on a revenge mission. The problem with this, however, was that it made him feel largely one-dimensional. Quaritch’s goals repeated exactly what he did in the first movie, and didn’t necessarily present anything new to him. The only real difference in Quaritch’s character as the villain in Avatar 2 was him being a Na’vi versus a human, but even then, this alone wasn’t enough to make his character more interesting this time around.
Spider Saving Quaritch Will Make Avatar’s Neytiri Problem Worse
As with Colonel Quaritch, Neytiri’s story took a strange turn in the second Avatar film. In large part, her character felt underused with Neytiri being sidelined for much of the film due to her being given little screen time. She showed a very different side to her character in The Way of Water‘s final act by nearly killing Spider as Quaritch held her daughter, Kiri, hostage with a knife.
From the beginning, Neytiri hated Spider, claiming that he should be with his own kind. Whenever Spider reveals to her that he saved Quaritch, the man who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Na’vi and her father, she’ll only hate him even more. Likely, this setup for Neytiri’s story in Avatar 3 will show her go further down the dark path she was already on in Avatar: The Way of Water.
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