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The new trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water is all about the visuals

Never mind the story, feel the visuals of James Cameron's latest CGI-heavy sci-fi epic

Avatar: The Way of Water
Image credit: 20th Century Films

It’s time to return to the magical, wonder worlds of Unobtainium, biological neural networks running through trees, and endless warfare that exposes the ugly side of humanity — which is to say, there’s a new trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron’s upcoming sequel to his all-conquering 2009 sci-fi hit.

As should only be expected given the first movie’s predilections, the trailer is heavy on the world building aspects of life on Pandora, as Kiri — one of the children of Jake and Neytiri, protagonists from the first movie — reveals that she can feel the planet’s life force, and hear its heartbeat. Don’t go expecting a pastoral respite from the drama from the first movie, however; before too long, the conflict between the Na’vi and humanity rears up once again, via a series of eye-catching action sequences briefly teased. (Bad news for those who hoped that the upcoming (multiple) Avatar movies would move beyond the colonial guilt narratives of the first installment.)

Judging from this tease, like the first movie, the star of The Way of Water is unmistakably the special effects artistry of those responsible; virtually every frame of the trailer features a significant number of CGI elements underscoring just how alien Pandora actually is.

The official description of the movie runs, “Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.”

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Avatar: The Way of Water is written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver, from a story by Cameron, Jaffa, Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno. Cameron directs, and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang are all back once again. The movie will be released December 16.

Why not revisit another James Cameron masterpiece… in comic book form? Here’s Marvel’s adaptation of 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.