Avatar – the Same Villain?

There will be four Avatar sequels to Avatar. That’s exciting. But I can’t wrap my head around having the same villain in all four movies. Stephen Lang will be reprising his role as the tough sumbitch Colonel Miles Quaritch, that much is confirmed. But why?

I don’t see the appeal of having the same villain in four movies. Granted, Cameron is taking his cue from Peter Jackson in his aim for shooting all four movies with one overarching story a la Lord of the Rings style, but I think it’s a mistake. James Cameron, who can defeat his own blockbuster achievements, is the right man to pull something like that off. And he has enlisted four additional screenwriters to help him on Avatar II, III, and IV. There must be a good reason for this, I hope. But I’m skeptical.

Stephen Lang was a great villain in Avatar, but we know that Colonel Quaritch was killed in battle when he tried to snuff out Jake Sully. He took two in the chest from Neytiri’s bow, effectively ending his life. Will Cameron resort to the ol’ “unless you saw him die, he didn’t really die” tactic?

Cameron explained it this way:

“Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back. I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.”

So, it’s science fiction you say, eh? Maybe it was a clone. The Colonel had survived Pandora long enough with beauty marks to show – three scars to the head – that he learned to have safeguards in place. I hope we don’t get cheated here. It feels cheap to have the same villain back, again and gain. Yes. All four movies, can you believe it?

I would rather a new villain appear. Let’s follow Jake Sully and Neytiri, and the whole Na’Vi as they encounter new challenges, either more humans arriving with new dangers or threats from indigenous warlords or beasts.