Sigourney Weaver’s Surprising Avatar 2 Role Avoids 1 Big Sequel Problem

Sigourney Weaver is officially coming back for Avatar: The Way of Water, but not in the way that many expected. Appearing in the first Avatar, Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine, a xenobotanist who joined the Avatar Program and helped create peace with the Omaticaya clan. Dr. Grace dies in Avatar, but Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar 2 character is someone completely different, avoiding one of the sequel’s biggest problems.

Avatar: The Way of Water is the long-awaited sequel to the incredibly popular first Avatar film, the current highest-grossing movie of all time. While the film series mostly focuses on the alien Na’vi and their planet Pandora, Avatar 2 is bringing back several characters from the original film, such as protagonists Jake Sully and Neytiri, as well as the villainous Colonel Quaritch. Sigourney Weaver is one of the biggest name actors in the first Avatar, meaning that her being part of the returning cast of Avatar 2 isn’t surprising. However, the new direction the film is taking her character is truly baffling.

Who Is Sigourney Weaver Playing In Avatar 2

The Sigourney Weaver Avatar 2 character isn’t Dr. Grace Augustine from Avatar, as she died at the end of the first film. Instead, the 72-year-old actress will be playing a teenage Na’vi named Kiri, who is one of the adopted children of Jake and Neytiri. While this change is shocking, it actually helps Avatar 2 avoid one big sequel problem. Colonel Quartich, who died in the first film after taking two arrows to the chest, is back for Avatar 2, this time in an Avatar body. Quaritch coming back already lessens the stakes of the first film, and if Dr. Grace had also come back, death in the series could have felt completely meaningless.

Since Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar 2 character is completely new, it means that death in James Cameron’s Avatar is indeed permanent. The lack of plot armor is good — it keeps the tension high, making audience members question if characters like Jake or Neytiri could actually die. If Sigourney didn’t come back at all in Avatar 2, the possibility would have remained open for her to come back as Dr. Grace in one of the installments leading up to the Avatar 5 movie. Since Sigourney Weaver is back and playing someone else, it proves that Dr. Grace is truly dead.

Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar 2 Role Can Beat The First Movie

While Sigourney Weaver’s character was important to the first Avatar, it mostly felt as if she was there to bring some star power to the (at the time) mostly unknown cast. Weaver’s role as Kiri in Avatar 2, though, could be even more interesting than her role in the first movie, and not just because she’s one of Jake and Neytiri’s children. Since she is playing a young Na’vi, Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar 2 character could be more involved in action sequences than Dr. Grace was in the first film. Playing a young character also provides the chance for an even better performance, as Sigourney’s character was pretty bland in the first movie, and playing someone significantly younger provides more of a challenge.

The best thing about Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar 2 character, though, is the emotion it will bring to the film. It is incredibly likely that Kiri will have some sort of connection to Dr. Grace, or else it wouldn’t make sense to bring the actress back. It could be that Kiri has some of Dr. Grace’s memories, or that she was made from Grace’s DNA, but the similarities between Grace and Kiri in Avatar 2 will add a layer of emotion, making Jake remember his lost friend.

How The Other Dead Avatar Characters Are Back In Avatar 2

Apart from Sigourney Weaver returning as a different character, two other actors are reprising their roles somewhat similarly: Matt Gerald and Stephen Lang, who in Avatar respectively played RDA soldiers Lyle Wainfleet and Col. Miles Quaritch – the first movie’s main antagonist. Indeed, one of the more interesting reveals about Avatar: The Way of Water is that it’s resurrecting Stephen Lang’s Col. Miles Quaritch as a Na’vi. Both Wainfleet and Quaritch died in Avatar, but in Avatar 2, they will return as Recombinants.

Avatar 2’s Recombinants are the result of the Avatar Program being used to permanently transfer human minds into Na’vi bodies, which explains why Na’vi dressed like RDA soldiers appear in the trailer. Led by Quaritch, Wainfleet and the other Recombinants will be serving as the villains in Avatar 2. Curiously, with the process of Recombinants essentially being a corrupted version of how the Na’vi brought Jake back to life, it’s becoming more possible that Kiri and Dr. Grace share a soul in Avatar: The Way of Water. While nothing’s been confirmed, the difference between Kiri and the Recombinants could play into the Avatar franchise’s core themes of nature vs industry.