James Cameron presented clips from Avatar: The Way of Water at D23, with the footage returning to Pandora, and depicting Na’vi children fighting soldiers.
Writer-director Cameron appeared onscreen – beamed in from New Zealand – and joked about the length of time it’s taken to make an Avatar sequel, saying: “Hopefully you’ll see something today, and decide whether it’s all been worth it.”
Stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana appeared onstage in Anaheim to talk up the movie. Speaking of the relationship between their characters – Jake Sully and Neytiri – Saldana said: “When we ended in Part One, they chose each other, and they fought together, so the continuation of that bond meant they were going to grow as a family.”
While Worthington said of the film’s theme: “That currency of love and being with your family — that’s what life is.”
What happens in the new Avatar: The Way of Water footage?
The first scene was mostly showing off how gorgeous the world looks, with Na’vi diving into the water, alien fish swimming by, and Na’vi children playing with the fish.
The second scene took place in a lab featuring Sigourney Weaver’s human form talking into a video diary. The Na’vi kids and one human kid are in the lab watching, asking who “knocked up” Weaver’s character.
Next, the Na’vi were navigating a rainy forest at night. The Na’vi kids appeared to be captured by Na’vi wearing Earth soldier uniforms and holding guns while Na’vi wielding spears stalked them in the dark. The Na’vi used bird calls as signals as they worked to rescue the kids. A fight ensues, as one Na’vi warrior was shown shooting a Na’vi soldier in the eye with an arrow. Eventually, the kids use a smoke grenade to escape and run for cover.
The fourth scene shows the Na’vi back at home. The kids are eavesdropping as Sully and Neytiri argue. Sully wants them to leave, but Neytiri says they can’t abandon their home.
The next scene showed Na’vi gathering at a tent over the ocean. Two new Na’vi criticized their daughter for bonding with an outcast.
And finally, the last scene showed a group of Na’vi wast-deep in the ocean. An ocean Na’vi introduced them to a stingray-like alien while feeding it fish. A group of Na’vi kids were shown riding the stingray creatures underwater.
Avatar: The Way of Water releases worldwide in December.