It's been four years since the original, groundbreaking Avatar was in theaters, and if is right, we won't be seeing Avatar 2 for at least another two.
The actress stopped by the Jonathan Ross Show to promote Star Trek Into Darkness, and the talk soon turned to what, exactly, is happening with the sequel: Saldana explained it was set to film next year and both the second and third installments would be filmed back-to-back:
I think that they're doing a part two and a part three and they're probably going to shoot it at the same time. If we just do two and then wait, I'll probably be 45 or 50 by the time we get to part three. It takes a long time, it's a very hard process.
It appears to be taking a page from the Lord of the Rings school of, "Well, since we're all here...let's just knock this out."
Shooting two films of this magnitude probably take Saldana out of the running for another familiar sci-fi epic, so it's doubtful we'll be seeing her fight the Empire, though she'll probably still have enough time post-Avatar sequels to shoot Star Trek Beyond.