The rap on the first Avatar — even though it is the highest-grossing film in the history of cinema — is that no one remembers it. Supposedly, James Cameron’s magnum opus left behind no cultural footprint whatsoever. I tend to disagree; nobody who saw Avatar forgot the characters’ distinctive look, or the awesome 3D aerial sequences. I certainly didn’t.

Still, it has been 13 years since Avatar first opened in theaters. That’s a long time. (Marvel has released 28 movies in the intervening years. 28! Plus television shows!) So even if you did see Avatar and do remember its broad strokes, you might be a little fuzzy on the details. And with the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, finally coming to theaters, you definitely might want to brush up on some of the specifics. Plus, the new movie features a lot of returning actors, but some are playing the same characters, and others are playing new characters. At least one or two are playing a character who died in the first movie! So it can get a little confusing.

To that end, I prepared this primer on all the crucial characters and plot points from the first Avatar. This is the essential stuff you need to know before the you head back to Pandora.

What to Know Before Avatar: The Way of Water

Get ready for Avatar: The Way of Water with this refresher on the first film.

That’s where Avatar left things for The Way of Water, which opens in theaters on December 16. And if you want to revisit Avatar for yourself, it is currently streaming on Disney+. Whether you remember it or not, you might be surprised to see how well it holds up 13 years later.

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