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Pandora's oceans come alive in new trailer for James Cameron's 'Avatar: The Way of Water'

The long-awaited follow-up to James Cameron's sci-fi epic is almost here.

By Matthew Jackson
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In a little more than a month, audiences will finally be able to return to Pandora when Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters, more than a decade after James Cameron first introduced us to the faraway planet and its spirited, adventurous inhabitants. Now, a new trailer has landed to remind us just how close a new Pandora adventure is, and it's just as transportive as the first.

Though we've seen a healthy amount of footage from the new film, we still don't know all that much about the plot. We do know that it's set more than 10 years after the first film -- the story of a human who used an "avatar" to infiltrate the Na'vi race on Pandora and eventually chose to become one of them -- and, as the title suggests, it will introduce us to the seafaring side of the Na'vi way of life. We also know that Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) now have a daughter, Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), and that a new conflict is brewing that threatens to tear their family apart.

In the footage below, you'll see that some version of that division has apparently already happened, as Kiri and Jake talk about hearing a "heartbeat" of a person they've lost, while we see footage of Neytiri separate from her mate and her daughter. We don't know exactly what's happened to divide the family at this point, but it's clear that they'll have a lot to face in the epic to come. It's also clear that, in true James Cameron fashion, it will look incredible. 

Check out the trailer below:

Avatar arrived in 2009 to critical acclaim and instant box office dominance, becoming the highest grossing film of its release year and reigning for a decade as the highest-grossing movie of all time, until it was eclipsed by Avengers: Endgame a decade after its release. Cameron has spent much of the past 10 years working to advance his own filmmaking toolkit to make The Way of Water and its ocean-based cinematography happen, and the film marks the beginning of an ambitious four-part sequel saga that could end up the biggest project in Cameron's stellar career.

Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters Dec. 16.

Looking for more science fiction? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, with both seasons streaming now on Peacock. The series returns for Season 3 next year.