The Way Of Water Sees Neytiri Still Struggle With Her Heritage
Zoe Saldaña and Sam Worthington break down the emotional struggle that Neytiri faces in Avatar: The Way of Water. In Avatar, Neytiri fell for Jake Sully, who at the time was a spy sent by RDA to infiltrate the Na’vi. Although he did change his mind and side with the Na’vi, the betrayal was difficult for the couple to get past. Jake’s consciousness was transferred into his Na’vi Avatar body by the end of Avatar. He and Neytiri have since created a family, which will be threatened by the return of RDA in Avatar: The Way of Water.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Worthington and Saldaña explain how Neytiri struggles with inner turmoil regarding her identity. In Avatar: The Way of Water, Jake and Neytiri will be forced to leave their home and clan to protect their family, which displaces Neytiri and their children. Neytiri’s identity is tied to her clan; the daughter of their leaders in Avatar, she has grown into a leader in her own right.
Sam Worthington: Neytiri gets displaced because of the decisions that are made. And so, she goes on a more difficult journey.
Zoe Saldaña: And just dealing with that inner turmoil of an identity that was very well-defined by her ancestry, and it’s been rocked by the choices that she’s made. By choosing this man of another species, having a family with him, but also dealing just with the violation that’s happening in her planet. I think she hasn’t found any resolution about it, and that’s her journey.
What Jake And Neytiri May Be Dealing With In Future Avatar Films
Neytiri’s journey in Avatar: The Way of Water seems to be an especially difficult one. While Jake Sully found a new world and home in Avatar, Neytiri broke many traditions to be with the man she loves. Along with the loss of her father, her home on sacred Na’vi land, and many of her people in the war with RDA. This has continued with Neytiri and Jake starting a family between the events of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water. With the return of the humans and RDA, they must find a new safe haven, which will pull Neytiri even further away from her roots.
In Avatar Neytiri was next in line to become the Tsahìk, the spiritual leader, of the Omaticaya after her mother. Her heritage and culture are a core part of her character. She has bucked tradition by choosing Jake, but that choice will continue to pull her farther from her intended path. When Jake and Neytiri seek refuge with the Metkayina clan, they likely don’t hold the same esteem and power they did with their own clan. More than that, the Metkayina will undoubtedly have different customs and a completely different culture than what Neytiri grew up with in the Omaticaya.
While Neytiri and Jake are motivated by their need to protect their family first, it seems that Neytiri will struggle with the choices that she and Jake have made in Avatar: The Way Of Water likely feeling lost as she leaves everything she has known. The Na’vi are also deeply connected to Pandora through Eywa, nature, and wildlife. RDA’s return is a threat to Pandora, as they will come back stronger with weapons and soldiers prepared for what they will face on Pandora. While Neytiri didn’t fully resolve these issues in Avatar and will continue to struggle throughout future Avatar movies, Avatar: The Way Of Water may bring this inner turmoil to a head. This could force her to finally confront her losses, and the sacrifices she has made and will continue to make.
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