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In what year is ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ set?

The aging of a few characters and comments from the director provide these clues.

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Avatar: The Way of Water.

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Now that the long-anticipated sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way Of Waterhas arrived in theaters across the country, fans are quickly heading to social media to try and work out the franchise’s timeline. Specifically, what year is Avatar: The Way of Water set, and how long has passed since the first Avatar?

Here is everything you need to know. 

How much time has passed between Avatar and Avatar: The Way Of Water?

Thankfully, we do have a solid answer for how long has passed between the two blockbuster films. During this year’s CinemaCon, Disney released an official synopsis for Avatar: The Way Of Water. This synopsis reads:

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.

This confirms that at least ten years have passed on Pandora since viewers last checked in on the planet. This is reflected in the visuals viewers see on screen as Jake Sully and Neytiri’s children look like young teens.

However, James Cameron has given a more accurate timeline for the franchise. In an interview with IGN, Cameron described the film’s plot by saying:

“We follow [Jake and Neytiri] forward in time, 15 years to where they have a family of pre-teens and teenagers. More of a family dynamic. It’s not a Hallmark, Disney family dynamic. It’s a very dysfunctional family dynamic, but ultimately there’s a core there that they all draw their strength from. I think that’s the thing that’s fundamentally different from the first one.”

When do the events of Avatar: The Way of Water take place?

Due to these varying time gaps, fans are currently unsure of the exact year the movie takes place. However, we know the original Avatar movie is set in 2154, so based on the information given in the official plot synopsis, Avatar: The Way of Water can’t take place until at least 2164. Plus, if we presume the 15-year time gap Cameron mentioned during the interview is correct, then, Avatar: The Way of Water must be set in or around the year 2169.

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Jonathon Greenall
Jonathon Greenall is a news and SEO writer for We Got This Covered. Jonathon has been a freelance media writer for several years and has appeared on several sites, including CBR and Enbylife. They're also an experienced TTRPG designer, and their games have been featured on Gizmodo, TechRaptor, and other outlets. Jonathon is a lifelong fan of movies, comic books, and anime and has covered everything from the latest big hits to obscure forgotten media.