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This happened almost exactly a decade ago, so excuse me if I get some of the details wrong.

I overheard a couple of people talking about somebody I assumed was a mutual acquaintance who had died very recently.

Person A: Y'know, this sounds like that time she "died" seven years ago.

Person B: Yeah, I know.

A: And that time she got shot on...I forget, that one island?

B: Yeah, but she's definitely dead.

A: Wow. What happened?

B: Okay, so, apparently, she was been working for this company that was doing some shady s@#$, maybe government-sponsored, I don't remember.

A: Okay.

B: So she and some of her coworkers got sick of it and quit, and then started going against the company, getting involved in all this environmentalist stuff, helping natives, you know.

A: Native Americans, you mean?

B: Huh? No, I don't think so. Anyway, her friends are doing the real hardcore stuff, really trying to stick it to the man here, and she's--well, I think she was their driver? She got her friends from place to place and all.

A: Cool. So what happened? Car crash?

B: No! What happened, is she was helping out her friends, you know, speeding around, absolutely flying, and then her old boss?

A: Yeah?

B: F@#&in' shoots her.

A: Holy s@#$, no way!

B: Yeah, I know! I guess he, like, had killed one of her coworkers before? But man, I couldn't believe it.

A: What happened to the boss?

B: I think he died, maybe one of her friends killed him?

A: S@#$, man.

I had to leave then, but still wondered about them.

Who were they talking about?

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SPOILERS A-PLENTY IN THIS ANSWER!

They were talking about:

TV/movie characters played by Michelle Rodriguez and their deaths, most notably Trudy Chacón in the 2009 James Cameron film, Avatar. Noting that 'this happened almost exactly a decade ago' this places the conversation around 2009, the year that Avatar was released...

The opening lines refer to:

Rodriguez's role as Rain Ocampo in Resident Evil (released in 2002: "that time she "died" seven years ago"). "Died" is used in inverted commas here, since although she is shot dead in the film, it is only after she has been turned into an undead zombie (plus, her character is brought back in later films through the use of clones). (Thanks to @Rishabh2 for the reminder...)

and

Rodriguez's role as Ana Lucia Cortez in Lost, in which her character dies after being shot by Michael Dawson, another of the passengers stranded on the island ("that time she got shot on...I forget, that one island"), but continues to appear in dreams, visions and flashbacks.

There then follows discussion of many elements of:

the movie, Avatar:

1. The 'company that was doing some shady s@#$' with potential government connections is RDA, the Resources Development Administration, who are brutally mining the forest moon of Pandora for the valuable mineral, Unobtainium.

2. Her friends 'doing the real hardcore stuff' are the main characters, Jake Sully and Dr Grace Augustine, who initially intend just to scout out and study the planet, end up joining forces with the blue-skinned 'natives' of Pandora against RDA, in the face of the threat from the RDA's mining activities. Ultimately they wish to save the planet and its people, the Na'vi ("all this environmentalist stuff, helping natives").

3. Trudy Chacón (Rodriguez's character) is 'their driver', since she is a pilot of RDA craft.

4. The remainder of the conversation concerns Chacón's craft being shot down by Colonel Quaritch, the head of the RDA's private security force, during her attempts to assist Jake, Grace and the Na'vi in their fight against the corrupt and uncaring mining corporation. (This occurs after Quaritch has killed Grace and before he is himself taken out by Neytiri, a female Na'vi who has bonded with Jake.) However, it is never confirmed that Chacón actually dies in the incident - she is merely presumed dead and it seems that the speakers here clearly think that this might be another mysterious Michelle Rodriguez death where there is more to it than meets the eye...

As for the comment in the title ("Weren't we supposed to know more of the story by now…?")

The sequel to Avatar is long-awaited and (some might say) long-overdue! At the time of writing it appears that the release date is scheduled for December 2021 - so Michelle Rodriguez fans have a little while to wait still to learn whether Chacón is truly dead or alive!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds mostly correct to me, but rot13(fvapr gur pbairefngvba vf unccravat 10 lrnef ntb, 7 lrnef orsber gung vf nebhaq 2002, fb vg zvtug or ersreevat gb erfvqrag rivy) $\endgroup$ – Rishabh2 Dec 2 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Rishab2 is correct, but otherwise you're spot-on. V jnfa'g gelvat gb envfr gur cbffvovyvgl bs ure punenpgre'f fheiviny, ohg rirelbar xabjf, va zbivrf, abobql'f qrnq gvy lbh frr gur obql, naq gung tbrf qbhoyr sbe Zvpuryyr Ebqevthrm! $\endgroup$ – Exal Dec 2 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Rishabh2 Ah yes, of course! I had forgotten about that one (and overlooked the whole 'ten years ago' part!" - will edit in, thanks :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Dec 2 at 20:11

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