A stunning fan-made Avatar timeline draws together all the different mediums in a single cohesive narrative. The recently released Avatar: The Way of Water is set 14 years after the events of the first film, and a lot happened on Pandora during that period. The bare-bones are fleshed out in the sequel’s opening scenes, which serve to introduce Jake and Neytiri’s new family and set up the return of the Sky People. The details, however, are actually told in a range of other mediums, with director James Cameron indicating they should indeed be considered canon.
The Geekritique YouTube channel has developed a reputation for putting together comprehensive timelines, with a focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline and viewing order. The latest video, however, is an analysis of the Avatar films and the official tie-ins, demonstrating that this has become something much greater than a mere film franchise. Disney in particular has expanded Avatar into a nascent transmedia franchise, with a particular focus on comics and graphic novels that add even greater depth to the world of Pandora. Check out the video below:
Disney is actually following a very familiar format with Avatar, taking lessons from Star Wars. Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, and swiftly slotted in new Star Wars films for a December release – the same slot Avatar now occupies. Star Wars films were accompanied by Visual Dictionaries, which helped give viewers a deeper sense of the galaxy; Avatar: The Way of Water‘s release is accompanied by a Visual Dictionary in that same familiar format. Meanwhile, gaps in the timeline are being explored in other mediums, with the priority going to comics. The Disney era of Avatar is therefore mirroring the first phase of Disney’s Star Wars era, although it’s a little cleaner, because the only things to be effectively erased from continuity are games that are no longer available in the first place.
The most important comic book series is clearly Avatar: The High Ground, a three-issue miniseries based on Cameron’s original script for Avatar: The Way of Water. It introduces readers to Jake, Neytiri, and their family, and essentially covers the first year after the return of Avatar‘s Sky People. Readers will no doubt want to check this series out to get a better idea of Cameron’s intentions when it comes to the movies, and particularly to find further clues to the nature of Kiri, the mysterious Na’vi who appears to have been positioned as a Messianic figure in the franchise. With Avatar 3 not set to debut until 2024, there is time to catch up.
Geekritique‘s timeline is easily the most comprehensive to date, guiding fans through all the different mediums that tell this ongoing story. No doubt the world of Pandora will continue to expand; Avatar was considered the jewel in the crown when Disney acquired Fox’s film and TV empire back in 2019, and the House of Mouse will want to make the most out of this blockbuster franchise. It will be thrilling to see this timeline continue to grow.