'Avatar 2' Plot: James Cameron Describes Sequels Identically To New 'Star Wars' Movies

The 'Avatar 2' release date has been pushed to a distant future where Na'vi rule the Earth.
The 'Avatar 2' release date has been pushed to a distant future where Na'vi rule the Earth. 20th Century Fox

James Cameron has finally revealed the plot of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in a new interview with Variety and his plans sound suspiciously similar to that other blockbuster holiday franchise, Star Wars.

“The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children. It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans,” Cameron said. It’s a bit of a surprising reveal, since one of the reasons Avatar has struggled to stay in the pop consciousness is the utter blandness of its lead characters. It seems the series will be shackled to Sam Worthington through Avatar 3 at least.

But what’s even weirder about Cameron’s use of the words “family saga” to describe the plot of the Avatar sequels is that those were the exact words used by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to describe Disney’s approach to the Star Wars sequel series that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue in 2017 with Star Wars: Episode VIII.

“The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga,” Kennedy told The Costco Connection magazine (!), “The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story.”

Maybe it’s to be expected that two major sci-fi franchises would ground their ongoing space wars and galactic political struggles in the personal perspective of a single, pivotal clan. But the complete overlap in how the Avatar and Star Wars series are described by two of their primary architects is still a bit surprising.

Even more striking is the likelihood of head-to-head release dates. Avatar 2 is currently expected to hit theaters in December 2018, pitting it against the untitled Han Solo: A Star Wars Story movie. This would make for a December 2019 showdown between Star Wars: Episode IX and Avatar 3, should Avatar keep the release date schedule James Cameron wants:

“The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If it’s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we’re able to fulfill on that promise.”

Whether the identical plots of the upcoming Avatar and Star Wars sequels says more about the blandness of the blockbuster mold or the beautiful universality of narrative storytelling will be up to the individual viewer. But wherever you stand 2019 is looking like a Star Wars vs. Avatar family saga face-off of mega-budget proportions.

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