How Old Jake & Neytiri Are In Avatar (& Their Ages In The Sequels)

While it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how old Jake and Neytiri are in James Cameron's Avatar and its upcoming sequels, some limited information is available. The original Avatar was released in 2009, but its sequels have been continuously delayed for a host of reasons, one of which is the complexity of Avatar 2's record-breaking underwater scenes. Hopefully by the time Avatar 2, 3, 4 , and 5 arrive in theaters, the cast themselves aren't too old to be recognizable.

All the Avatar films are set on the fictional moon Pandora, in the Alpha Centauri A system, nearly four and a half lightyears away from Earth. The first movie follows the story of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he joins the Avatar program and gets to know Pandora's indigenous people, the Na'vi, including his future mate Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). While much of the sequel films' plot is still under wraps, Cameron has confirmed that they will form an interconnected saga centering around Jake and Neytiri's family on Pandora, and that the pair have three children in Avatar 2: Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo'ak (Britain Dalton), and Tuktirey (Trinity Bliss).

Related: Avatar 2's New Locations Can Fix Its Na'vi Story Problem

Even though Avatar 2 will release in 2022, its story takes place only eight years after the original, which is set in the year 2154. This means that whatever age Jake and Neytiri are in the first Avatar, they should be canonically eight years older than that in the sequel. As for Avatar 3, 4, and 5, audiences will just have to wait and see. The short version of Jake and Neytiri's ages is that technically, in Avatar Neytiri is 18 and Jake is 28 (making them 26 and 36 in Avatar 2). However, several factors make this a little complicated.

James Cameron's Avatar script actually has Jake Sully aged 22 when he's first introduced, not 28. However, that's when he's back on Earth, getting into a bar fight that constitutes Avatar's most important deleted scene. Once he's recruited to take his brother's place in the Avatar program, Jake travels to Pandora for nearly six years, "five years, nine months and twenty-two days," to be exact, which is why he's 28 on arrival: Jake is born in the year 2126 and arrives on Pandora in the year 2154. But time dilation in space travel means that he would have aged more slowly in those six years than someone who wasn't traveling close to the speed of light over the same period, so he might be somewhere between 22 and 28 relative to whatever is left of humanity on Earth in Avatar. But that's ignoring the fact that Jake actually spends his entire journey frozen in a cryo pod, which probably means he's not aging at all. This all adds up to the reality that Jake's age for most of Avatar really can't be determined, but he likely feels like he's in his mid-20s, roughly. Trying to gauge the age of his synthetic Avatar body as opposed to his human one, however, would become very complicated indeed.

Neytiri's age might seem more straightforward, but it has some complexities as well. In Cameron's script she's introduced with the descriptor "in human age she would be 18," but that raises as many questions as it answers. As with the math that leads to Jake being 28, Neytiri's birth in the Earth calendar year 2136 and the film's setting in 2154 add up to make her 18, but that's by Earth standards. Avatar's Na'vi homeworld of Pandora is in an entirely different solar system, orbiting a planet that orbits a different sun. Logistically, and culturally, the Na'vi certainly mark their age very differently from humans. But Neytiri's character does behave roughly like an 18-year-old, albeit a rather mature one with a lot of responsibilities, and she seems to occupy a social space in her clan of someone who is on the cusp of real adulthood.

Assuming Jake feels about 22 and Neytiri feels about 18 also helps ease some of the awkwardness of the ten-year age gap they technically have. There's also only a two-year age gap between Worthington and Saldana, as they were 33 and 31, respectively, when Avatar first came out. Avatar's sequels may shed more light on how old Jake and Neytiri are, but their ages will always be a bit uncertain.

More: What Avatar Gets Wrong About Environmentalism (& How Avatar 2 Can Do Better)



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