The idea of memory transference was introduced in the first “Avatar” movie with the Tree of Souls, a sacred tree on Pandora that could transfer a human’s memories permanently into their avatar. This was how Jake’s mind was transferred into his avatar at the very end of the film, after an earlier failed attempt to do the same with a dying Dr. Augustine. The RDA, it seems, has figured how to do this on its own in “Avatar: The Way of Water,” allowing it to transfer the memories of its best soldiers (like Miles Quaritch) into the bodies of its Recoms.
Speaking to Empire Magazine for its August 2022 issue, Stephen Lang explained how his character both will and won’t be changed by this process when he returns in “The Way of Water.”
“He’s bigger, he’s bluer, he’s pissed off. [Laughs] But there may possibly be an aspect of humility. When you take two Na’vi arrows in the chest, that’s gonna have some kind of effect on you.”
It won’t just be mental changes, either. Lang also teased the new ways Quaritch is able to move physically thanks to his Recom:
“Quaritch was always a character who moved in straight lines and at right angles. But now he is as lithe as they come. He can move with that same kind of cunning and feral quality that any of the Na’vi can.”
Can “Avatar: The Way of Water” avoid the ableism of the original film with its depiction of Quaritch and his “life after dead” as a Recom? We will have to wait and see when the movie finally arrives on December 16, 2022. In the meantime, you can check out the August 2022 issue of Empire Magazine when it goes on sale on Thursday, July 7.