Official new Avatar concept art offered a glimpse of the unfortunate status of Earth.
In Avatar: The Way of Water, General Frances Ardmore revealed that Earth is a dying planet by the year 2170. This was mainly due to many reasons such as deforestation, air pollution, famine, human overpopulation, and massive flooding.
James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide, an Avatar tie-in book from 2009, further explained why Earth is facing extinction, noting that it stemmed from the hundreds of orbiting factories that were built on the Earth's moon, Mars, and the solar system's asteroid belts.
This development forced humans to find a new world to live in, leading them to Pandora.
Avatar Concept Art Shows Earth’s Dire State
Overpopulation is front and center in this image while also highlighting the film's lead character, Jake Sully. This appears to be taken from a deleted scene from Avatar where Jake strolls around an overpopulated city.
It's likely that a number of currently-endangered species, like tigers, have become extinct on this dystopian Earth:
Litter appears to be everywhere as humans unknowingly destroy Earth throughout the years:
Aside from littering and overpopulation, pollution was also one of the major problems on Earth:
It seems that most humans prefer walking during this time of crisis, potentially due to a shortage of resources:
Upon looking closely, the humans are already wearing upgraded face masks due to the Earth's polluted air:
Overpopulation, pollution, and shortage of resources are some of the factors that put Earth on the brink of extinction:
Will Future Avatar Films Head to Earth?
In Avatar: The Way of Water, the Resources Development Administration (RDA) came back to Pandora to fully colonize the planet to make it the new home for humans, mainly because Earth is on the verge of not being inhabitable.
While the Sky People (aka humans) had been mentioning why Earth is in peril due to various factors, the first Avatar movie only had a brief flashback sequence set on Earth highlighting Jake and the two RDA agents in the Municipal Crematorium.
It's possible that future Avatar movies will finally make use of Earth as one of their primary locations, considering the planet is a significant part of the franchise's story.
Interestingly, an Avatar 2 tie-in comic confirmed that Jake and Neytiri already took a group of Na'vi to space to battle the Sky People's forces. This served as a huge step for the franchise as it moves closer to finally going to Earth at some point.
Moreover, Avatar producer Jon Landau told Variety in December 2022 that "a section of the story" in Avatar 5 could go to Earth, featuring Neytiri "[opening her] eyes" to what exists on the planet:
"I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I’ve now subsequently heard that Jim has talked about it a little bit. In [‘Avatar 5’] there is a section of the story where we go to Earth. And we go to it to open people’s eyes, open Neytiri’s eyes, to what exists on Earth.”
It looks like Avatar's endgame could be mainly focused on exploring Earth and how to potentially save it through the help of the Na'vi.
Avatar is streaming on Disney+.