%%Please start a Image Pickin' thread if you think this image should be changed.

->''"This is why we're here. Because this little gray rock sells for $20 million a kilo. That's the only reason. This is what pays for the whole party, and it's what pays for your science. Those savages are threatening our whole operation. We're on the brink of war, and you're supposed to be finding me a diplomatic solution. So use what you've got and get me some results."''
-->-- '''Selfridge''', setting up the entire film and [[AnAesop its Aesop]] in a single paragraph.

''Avatar'' is a 2009 ScienceFiction film directed by Creator/JamesCameron.

The film takes place in a future where Earth is a polluted CrapsackWorld, though the story itself unfolds on Pandora, a large moon of the planet Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri system. It has lots of {{Unobtainium}} (seriously, that's what it's called as an in-joke; most viewers miss the single line in the film in which it is revealed that the characters in the film intentionally chose the name ironically), which the human [[MegaCorp Resources Development Administration]] is mining, but in order to get at the richest source of it, they need to relocate a clan of the native population; ten-foot-tall, blue HumanoidAliens called the Na'vi who live in the forests.

A paraplegic former U.S. Marine named Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is given a remotely-controlled Na'vi body called an "avatar" in order to communicate with the Na'vi and gain their trust, but the resident GeneralRipper Colonel Miles Quaritch (Creator/StephenLang) has other ideas and wants to [[KillItWithFire remove]] [[HumansAreWarriors the Na'vi by force]]. Jake ends up torn between his humanity and the adopted Na'vi way of life, made harder by his growing romance with Neytiri, TheChiefsDaughter (Creator/ZoeSaldana).

James Cameron first got the idea for ''Avatar'' in TheNineties and wrote an 80-page scriptment for it, but he shelved the project because he felt that the special effects technology at the time was insufficient for portraying Pandora and its inhabitants adequately, particularly in regards to translating actors' faces to CGI. Thus, he spent the time between ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' and ''Avatar'' creating smaller products as he developed these technologies and amassed a large budget for the movie.

The film is also notable for using a form of [[UsefulNotes/ThreeDMovie stereoscopic 3D]] for filming. The film's financial success led to [[FollowTheLeader a surge in interest for 3D films]].

A sequel was in DevelopmentHell for the better part of a decade, since James Cameron was interested in utilizing experimental technology to portray new environments (specifically, Pandora's [[AuthorAppeal oceans]]). Production finally began in September 2017. Currently, there are four sequels planned for release in December 2020, December 2021, December 2024, and December 2025--although lead actress Sigourney Weaver has expressed some doubt that [[ScheduleSlip the first one will make its release window]]. Cameron is set to write and direct all of them.

A prequel spinoff made by Creator/CirqueDuSoleil titled ''Toruk: the First Flight'' [[https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/TORUK debuted in 2015]]. A theme park land at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney's Animal Kingdom]] set decades afterwards called ''Ride/PandoraTheWorldOfAvatar'' opened in late May 2017.

Do not confuse it with ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', or any other meanings of {{avatar}}.
!!This film provides examples of:


[[folder:General Tropes]]
* AlienInvasion: By humans, naturally.
* AlienLandmass: The SceneryPorn includes the Hallelujah Mountains of Pandora, verdant floating rock formations that are sacred to the Na'Vi. The phenomenon is {{Hand Wave}}d as an interaction of the planet's magnetic field with its {{Unobtainium}} deposits.
* AllThereInTheManual: With dashes of AllThereInTheScript, [[WordOfGod All There in the Interview]], and [[RuleOfThree All There in the Book]]. Any information that could possibly help explain why humans are there, what the {{Unobtainium}} actually does, or other such information was put in an incredibly detailed encyclopaedia on the Internet.
* AlwaysABiggerFish: On Jake's first excursion into the Pandoran forest, a massive titanothere charges at him. Grace tells him to hold his ground. When it halts and then retreats, Jake is exultant, not realizing that the reason for its fear is [[spoiler:the even bigger and nastier Thanator creeping up behind him]]. This time, Grace tells him to run...
* AnalogyBackfire: When Jake asks why Neytiri saved him from danger despite perceiving said danger as being Jake's own fault:
-->'''Neytiri:''' You have a strong heart. No fear. But stupid! Ignorant like a child!\\
'''Sully:''' Well, if I'm like a child, then maybe you should teach me.
* AnimalWrongsGroup: PETA's at it again in the backstory. In fact, RDA mucking around on Pandora was ''not'' popular at all, thanks to ads put out by PETA... until someone revealed that the emaciated Na'vi in the commercials PETA put out was a human with prostheses. This is what caused the whole "RDA gets mining rights" fiasco and people unaware of Selfridge being an ass to Na'vi, and presumably was a holdover from the first draft (RDA was being monitored by an inspector as a result of charges of abuse, but he was bribed).
* ArcWords:
** The Na'vi greeting "I see you", plays into the film's repeated [[BodyMotifs image of eyes]] and learning to see the world from another's perspective.
** Grace Augustine repeatedly refers to collecting "samples" as a method by which they could come to understand the Na'vi greater. Tellingly, when [[spoiler: she's mortally wounded and plugged into the Tree of Souls, she mentions to Jake that they should "try and take some samples."]]
* ArmiesAreEvil: The military, lead by Quaritch, are the antagonists of the film.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: During the pause in the final battle, Quaritch asks Jake how he feels betraying his own race, to which Jake hissed in response.]]
* ArtMajorPhysics: Averted. Per the ''Avatar'' [[AllThereInTheManual technical companion website]] [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/doku.php/isv_venture_star Pandorapedia]], the starship ''Venture Star'' combines beamed light sail propulsion for the outbound flight and a fusion/antimatter hybrid drive to decelerate at Alpha Centauri. Yes, those are some of the leading ideas for interstellar flight that don't involve new science.
* AnyoneCanDie: The film pulls no punches in showing nobody is safe during a battle situation. In terms of leading characters, [[spoiler:five (Eytukan, Tsu'tey, Grace, Trudy and Quaritch) die, with only one of them an antagonist.]]
* AssInAmbassador: Jake clearly couldn't care less about the Na'vi or their culture, at least until he falls in love.
* AsYouKnow: "''This'' is why we're here. {{Unobtainium}}. Because this little gray rock sells for 20 million a kilo."
* AudienceSurrogate: Jake comes across as your average red-blooded American guy... and ends up with all the wish-fulfillment that guy could ever want.
* AwardBaitSong: The theme song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YDz-ftqr1g "I See You"]], composed by Music/JamesHorner and performed by Leona Lewis was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 2010.
* BadassBookworm: Norm. He punches a merc on the face, suits up and fights in his avatar, [[spoiler:and when his avatar gets killed, he grabs a rifle and proceeds to kick even more ass]].
* BecomingTheMask: The main character even remarks at one point that [[spoiler:the situation had become reversed -- "out there was reality, and in here [in his human body] was the dream."]] At the end of the movie, he undergoes a ceremony that [[spoiler:permanently puts him in the avatar body, and he leaves his old human body to die in the toxic atmosphere.]]
* BigBad: Selfidge takes this role at first before it is usurped by [[DragonAscendant Quaritch]].
* BioluminescenceIsCool: Taken UpToEleven; every piece of plant life responds to touch with bioluminescent bloom.
* BittersweetEnding: Sure, the RDA has left, but a lot of Humans are dead. The Omatikaya are homeless and the Na'vi lost even more of their members in the fight as well. On the plus side, a recent interview with the director confirms humanity ''will be'' returning to Pandora eventually, so Earth isn't entirely screwed.
* BodyPaint: Jake is covered in this during his initiation ceremony, and almost all Na'vi use warpaint during the FinalBattle. Also, PlayedForLaughs with [[spoiler:Trudy and her gunship]]. [[JustifiedTrope Possibly sensible on their part]], as it provided a way to quickly say "[[FriendOrFoe this one is not a target]]". (It ''would'' equally quickly say "this one IS a target" to the enemy, but as a high-tech force they have Identify-Friend-Or-Foe transponders anyway.)
* BoldlyComing: Jake is sent out as a spy/diplomat. After three months, he's mated to Neytiri.
* {{Bookends}}: The opening flying dream over the credits and Jake opening his eye is repeated at the end when Jake opens the eyes in his avatar body and the same flying shot as in the opening is used for the closing credits.
* BornInTheSaddle: The "Horse Clans of the Plain" who provide the initial cavalry charge in the FinalBattle seem to be so.
* {{Bowdlerise}}:
** The extended edition DVD/Blu-Ray has an additional audio track with "all objectionable language removed".
** Promotional standees for ''Avatar'' add a rear panel to Jake's Avatar loincloth (wherein in the actual movie there is merely a woven thong up the back).
* BrownNote: Several people walked out with motion sickness from watching it in 3D, and [[http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,583351,00.html one man died, apparently from over-excitement]]. As might have been expected, the film prompted many people LongingForFictionland, although most mentions of this were [[http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/11/avatar.movie.blues/index.html rather sensationalist]], to say the least.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: There are several creatures which have Earthlike equivalents -- [[HorseOfADifferentColor horses]], humanoids, and [[http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/597194/titanothere titanotheres]]. Many of the land critters also have an extra pair of legs, a few also having an extra pair of eyes, and for most, breathing is performed through operculum-like openings rather than the nose and mouth.
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Humans have forgone the smeerp route and given the animals names compliant with the earth creatures they resemble -- dire horses, hammerhead titanotheres, viperwolves, etc. The Na'vi have their own names for them, as would be expected.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Averted. Space travel is [[FasterThanLightTravel Slower Than Light]], and so witheringly expensive that absolutely nothing that can be made or synthesized on Pandora is brought from Earth -- and per WordOfGod, personnel who develop medical problems that cannot be treated on Pandora [[spoiler:are put to sleep]].
* CategoryTraitor: When Jake betrays the human colony.
* CentrifugalGravity: ''Venture Star'' has a pair of centrifuge modules which house the crews.
* ChekhovsArmoury: Eytukan's bow, the 'angtsik (titanotheres), the neural network itself, toruk, breaking your fall with leaves, and the fact that it's [[BrickJoke mentioned in passing]] as being a ''mobile'' link station.
* ChewingTheScenery: Neytiri. '''"EYWA HAS HEARD YOOOOUUUUU!!!!!"'''
* TheChosenOne: Jake is chosen by Eywa and becomes the first human welcomed into the tribe.
* CloseOnTitle
* ColonelBadass: At one point Quaritch charges outside (the atmosphere on Pandora is largely inhospitable to humans) to unload a full magazine at the deserters, then, after his assistant has shown up, slips on his breathing mask.
* ContemplateOurNavels: "When I was lying there in the VA hospital, with a big hole blown through the middle of my life, I started having these dreams of flying. Sooner or later though, you always have to wake up..."
* ConvenientCranny: When Jake flees from the creature near the beginning of the film he ends up ducking in the root system of a tree, but his hiding place is not that effective; the beast still manages to claw at him fairly decently.
* CoolAirship: The C-21 Dragon Gunship. Also doubles as an AwesomePersonnelCarrier, ferrying a squad of [[MiniMecha AMP suits]] into battle.
%%* CoolGun
* CoolStarship: The ''[[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/realdesigns.php#id--Avatar_ISV_Venture_Star ISV Venture Star]]''.
* CrapsackWorld:
** Earth has become this. Wars, terrorism, and accidents kill many people every day, the entire planet's landmass and its moon are covered in immense, massively polluted cities where twenty billion people live in unbelievably crowded and depressing conditions, the oceans have half the animal life they used to have and are used for farming [[FutureFoodIsArtificial spirulina for food]]. It is said that the people on Earth in the original script are greyish and sickly due to their diet of cheap carbohydrates and synthetic proteins, and that the atmosphere is so polluted the exopacks used on Pandora are also necessary for human life ''on Earth''.
** There's also Pandora. The planet is so dangerous to humans, they call their colony "Hell's Gate". The planet is covered with lethal animals and vegetation, and even the atmosphere is ''naturally'' poisonous, without the need for pollution. Colonel Quaritch, a career military veteran, who had been on the front lines of wars for decades without a scratch, got a scarring head wound on his very first day planetside.
* {{Cyberpunk}}:
** Pandora, despite the pre-stone-age level of the natives, have a planet-wide network. Every native plant is part of a natural internet, every animal has a natural brain implant, and every sapient native has a brain implant that overpowers the will of any native creature, allowing them to be controlled and allowing the Na'vi to tap into their planet's natural plant internet.
** The many images of Earth in the Avatar universe show smoggy and futuristic landscapes with countless lights, city streets flowing with people, entire "skies" of advertisements serving as ceilings for lower levels in the cities, elevated trains and immense sky-scrapers, and even a Hive-city structure covered in advertisement screens that has an uncanny resemblance to the Hometree. The air pollution has gotten to the point that everybody has to wear a dust mask outside on the streets. Not unlike other cyberpunk settings, large corporate bodies like the RDA are [[MegaCorp incredibly powerful]] and their presence seen everywhere. Computer technology is also shown to have progressed greatly in the movie, with interactive holograms and an incredible interface which allows for easy blueprint making and construction as long as the required materials are present, and of course, there are advertisement screens and lights everywhere.
* DataPad: Transparent ones onto which info can be dragged from computer terminals.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Used for a throwaway joke near the end of Jake's first day Avatar piloting, when he inspects his queue. Grace admonishes him not to play with it or he'll go blind (though the queue isn't actually use for reproduction).
* DeadpanSnarker: Various characters are candidates for this, but Grace and Jake are probably the most apparent early in the film.
-->'''Grace:''' Yeah, yeah, I know who you are and I don't need you. I need your brother. You know, the [=PhD=] who trained for 3 years for this mission?\\
'''Jake:''' Hes dead. I know its a big inconvenience for everyone.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Grace Augustine]] gets mortally wounded, but they bring her body to the Tree of Souls in an attempt to save her mind by plugging it into the neural network. [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope It fails.]] ]]
* DragonAscendant/DragonInChief: At first [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Selfridge]] seems to be the BigBad of the movie, but by the time Quaritch [[spoiler: [[MoralEventHorizon blows up Hometree]] ]] it's become ''very'' clear who's really calling the shots.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint:
** Selfridge completely misses the point when Grace tries to explain to him how the Na'vi use trees to communicate...
--->'''Dr. Grace Augustine:''' What we think we know -- is that there's some kind of electrochemical communication between the roots of the trees. Like the synapses between neurons. Each tree has ten to the fourth connections to the trees around it, and there are ten to the twelfth trees on Pandora...\\
'''Selfridge:''' That's a lot, I'm guessing.\\
'''Dr. Grace Augustine:''' That's more connections than the human brain. You get it? It's a network -- a global network. And the Na'vi can access it -- they can upload and download data -- memories -- at sites like the one you just destroyed.\\
'''Selfridge:''' What the HELL have you people been smoking out there? They're just goddamn trees!
** Jake completely misses the point when first introduced to Eytukan.
--->'''Jake:''' What's he saying?\\
'''Neytiri:''' My father is deciding whether to kill you.\\
'''Jake:''' Your father... It's nice to meet you, sir! (''cue every weapon getting aimed at Jake's throat'')
%%* {{Dropship}}s
* ElvesVsDwarves: Na'vi vs. Humans.
* EnhanceButton: Used when [[spoiler:Jake smashes the camera]] on the bulldozer thing. Less JustForFun/{{egregious}} than most examples, as it doesn't actually enhance the image very much, and mostly just gets rid of motion blurring. It also helps that there's hardly any distance between the camera and [[spoiler:Jake]].
* EpicMovie
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: Pretty much a given with Pandora.
* ExaggeratedTrope: The whole ''Film/DancesWithWolves''/''Film/TheLastSamurai'' plotline is cranked UpToEleven, and, thanks to AppliedPhlebotinum, [[spoiler:the protagonist not only goes to live with the natives and adopts their culture and identity -- he ''bodily'' becomes one of them. WordOfGod [[http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2009/08/james-cameron-the-new-trek-rocks-but-transformers-is-gimcrackery.html states]] this was kinda intentional.]]
* ExpandedUniverse: Creator/JamesCameron wants to flesh out the universe of ''Avatar'' in several books and even other films. The official wiki is a great example.
* ExposedExtraterrestrials: Lampshaded by Jake when he first walks into the village wearing nothing but what is basically a thong; he even uncomfortably fiddles with the string running down the back.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Selfridge looks visibly uncomfortable at Quaritch's [[spoiler: MoralEventHorizon destruction of Hometree]], but never so much as lifts a finger to stop him.
* EyeAwaken: ''Avatar'' loves this one, use multiple times, from the opening shot to once Jake is able to [[spoiler:reoccupy his Avatar body after the destruction of Hometree]], to [[BookEnds the very last shot of the movie]].
* FantasticAesop: Live in harmony with nature. On a planet where there is apparently next to no disease and a global sentient mind.
* FantasticRacism: The film is a perfect example of this. The interactions between the alien Na'vi and the humans parallels indigenous cultures meeting Western explorers and colonists. Most humans see the Na'vi as primitive savages to be exploited for their land's natural resources, while a few scientists genuinely want to communicate with and educate them, while studying their way of life. The Na'vi are distrustful toward the humans, whom they see as physically-inferior warriors. The only reason Jake was able to get them to trust him was because he wasn't a intellectual or a diplomat, neither of which they see as worthwhile roles.
* FantasticRomance: Made possible by the eponymous "Avatar" project.
* FearsomeFoot/FeetFirstIntroduction: There's a shot of Quaritch's boots as he walks up to give his briefing to the new arrivals.
* FetalPositionRebirth: Whenever the Tree of Souls is being asked to [[spoiler:permanently transfer a human into their Avatar body]], both the human and Avatar bodies are in this position. On the other hand, there otherwise wouldn't be place for both bodies, with the Na'vi being almost twice a human's height.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: A couple of times, mixed with TemptingFate:
-->'''Dr. Grace Augustine (to [[BigBad Quaritch]]):''' What are you gonna do, [[spoiler: shoot me?]]\\
'''Quaritch:''' I can [[AxCrazy do that.]]\\
'''Trudy:''' Damn, I was hoping for a plan that didn't involve [[spoiler: [[VasquezAlwaysDies martyrdom]] ]].
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: The purpose of the Avatar project was to improve relations with the Na'vi by having the ambassadors who look like the Na'vi. Unfortunately, the Na'vi found it insulting, like black-face.
* GaiasLament: Earth has little to no plant or animal life left, warfare and terrorism grip the populace and resources are running out, the entire human race lives in massive polluted cities, the moon's darkside has even been fully developed, most food has been reduced to artificially processed algae.
* GivingThemTheStrip: Jake's backpack is grabbed by the Thanator, so he unfastens its straps to escape.
* GoingNative: Thanks to [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's]] [[spoiler:moss-mediated brain transfer]] technology.
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: The Na'vi have enormous eyes, the Avatars' eyes are smaller but still much larger than a human's.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The RDA board of Directors and-or the planet spanning neural network of Pandora.
* GreenAesop: The whole point -- to the point where it has been compared to every other story with a Green Aesop.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Specifically invoked. Creator/JamesCameron wanted a species that a human protagonist could believably find attractive.
* GreetingGestureConfusion: When Jake hears that Neytiri's father is debating whether or not to have him killed, Jake thrusts a hand at him, past the guards... to offer him a handshake.
* HeelFaceTurn: Arguably, with Jake siding with the Na'vi instead of the humans.
* HughMann: Averted -- the Na'vi are well aware that the avatars are not actual Na'vi and are remotely controlled by humans.
* HumanityIsInsane: Seems to be a common opinion of humans among the Na'vi. During his first encounter with the natives, Jake learns that he is "stupid like baby" and must be "cured" of his "insanity".
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Played with. On one hand, you have it played straight with RDA; an enormous, corrupt corporation with enough resources to field its own ''private army'' in numbers rivaling modern military's in our time, fully and unashamedly intend to wipe the natives of Pandora out of existence just so they can mine Unobtanium freely. On the other hand, there ''are'' humans, like Grace and later Jake, who want to work with the Na'vi, and are horrified by RDA's intentions for the planet and its inhabitants.
** Another complication is the state of Earth itself, according to the backstory: war-torn, exhausted, and polluted almost to being uninhabitable with companies like RDA having an iron grip on the populace. The only chance for humanity to survive seems to be colonizing other planets, but the catch is that it requires Unobtanium, which is vital to building the star ships needed for colonization, hence why the metal is so valuable. In short, humanity isn't just acting out of malice or some sort of misguided Manifest Destiny, they're on the brink of extinction and ''desperate'' for a solution.
* IdenticalStranger: Stephen Lang, Colonel Quaritch's actor, is [[http://movies.yahoo.com/news/james-cameron-found-avatar-darth-vader-stephen-lang-175002625.html set to appear in major roles]] in all of the movies, under different roles.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: The film is referred to as ''James Cameron's Avatar'' by third parties (probably to avoid confusion with the other ''[[Film/TheLastAirbender Avatar]]''), though this is rare for the film itself.
* InfantImmortality: Averted. After the destruction of Hometree, a Na'vi mother is seen crying over a dead child being carried by an older male. In the EU Grace ran a school to teach Na'vi children, but some of her students, including Neytiri's sister, attacked the RDA and were shot.
* InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace: The exopacks show a lot more face than your typical oxygen mask.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha
* IronicEcho:
** [[spoiler:Grace]] mentions that she would die for a chance to have access to the Tree of Souls so she could take samples. After being mortally wounded, she is brought to the Tree of Souls in an attempt to use it to save her life. Despite being in too much pain to move, she still manages to express her desire to take samples.
** Also the various uses of "time to"/"have to wake up" throughout the film in concurrence with the film's real world/dream state theme.
--->'''Trudy:''' Damn, I was hoping for a plan that didn't involve martyrdom.\\\
'''Grace:''' What are you gonna do, shoot me?\\\
'''Quaritch:''' Oh, I can do that.\\\
'''Jake:''' One life ends, another begins.\\\
'''Jake:''' Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here's the dream.\\\
'''Jake:''' Sooner or later, you always gotta wake up.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Grace comes across as condescending and rude earlier on in the film, but later on is shown to be more compassionate and understanding than most other human characters.
* JungleOpera [[RecycledInSpace IN SPAAAaaace]]!
* LensFlare: And yes, they're 3D.
* LimbSensationFascination: One of the things Jake loves about his avatar body is that it is whole. When he first "wakes up" in it, there is focus on his exploring new things he can do, like running and jumping.
* {{Loincloth}}: All the Na'vi.
* LoveAcrossBattlelines: The protagonist is a human soldier falling in love with a warrior of the clan he's hired to defend the human colony against.
* LuddWasRight: Debatable, the humans are seen as bad and they use technology. But the technology is not ''why'' they are doing what they do, and the hero needed that technology to join the Na'vi in the first place.
* MachineWorship: [[spoiler: The neural network that spans Pandora is worshipped by the Na'vi as a Goddess. In the climactic battle, the invading RDA forces strike the nearest datahub-tree. Unfortunately for them, this seems to convince the world-mind to fight back, with all the dangerous creatures attacking the marines but leaving alone the Na'vi.]]
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction:
** Grace just goes "this is gonna ruin my whole day" after being shot. For bonus points, the only time she goes "ouch" after that is from a ''syringe'', and it's rather flat. On the other hand, receiving such an injury can actually have this effect as the body dumps a load of adrenaline into the system to try and cope, plus the potential for shock.
** At one point, Colonel Quaritch ignores that he is ''on fire.'' He triages the problem of first and second degree burns to his arm to focus on a complex bailout from a crashing aircraft. Then he puts the fire out.
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: The amazingly realistic CGI used in this film, plus the film's overall budget, required a hell of a lot of corporate finance. And the themes of the film are arguably somewhat anti-corporate. Fox wanted James Cameron to reduce the prominence of the message. He refused, and they made it anyway.
* ManlyTears: In the original script when Jake first gets to use the legs of his avatar body, he cries.
%% * TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay
* MeaningfulName:
** Unobtainium. The humans don't get much of it. This is an in-joke relating to something that has incredible properties. See {{Unobtainium}}.
** Jake, or Jacob, is the name of one of the great Patriarchs of Literature/TheBible; his brother Thomas' name means simply "[[MySiblingWillLiveThroughMe the twin]]." Grace Augustine is named after both a heavenly gift and the great Doctor of the church... it goes on.
** Some people think Eywa sounds like Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God.
*** ...and 'Selfridge' sounds a ''lot'' like 'selfish'.
* MegaCorp: The RDA, which is stated to be better funded than most world governments.
* MightyWhitey: Jake Sully, a white male, leads the primitive Na'vi to victory against seemingly hopeless odds in their battle with the marines.
* MineralMacguffin: Obviously, this is {{Unobtainium}} again. Despite the backstory provided, we only see one TINY piece of it twice during the movie, which is somewhat justified -- even a sliver of it is enormously valuable.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Pretty damn hard, as James Cameron personally made sure that every aspect of his universe was plausible at the very least. Even seemingly implausible aspects such as floating mountains are explainable by the nature of superconductors (such as unobtanium) to repel magnetic fields (such as the abnormally intense planetary magnetic field of Pandora).
* MotherlyScientist: Dr. Grace claims that Na'vi children she taught at her school called her "mother".
* MyselfMyAvatar: The eponymous Avatars.
* MySiblingWillLiveThroughMe: Tom Sully's Avatar was created to work with his DNA; when he is killed, only someone with identical DNA, in this case his twin brother Jake, can operate the Avatar. So he does.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Jake Sully provides all the intel that the RDA needs to successfully take down Hometree. Not only that but he completely neglects to mention that they only want a small rock from ''underneath'' their land. He goes so far as to sleep with Neytiri without ever actually passing on the message that the entire Avatar program was intended for.
* NobleSavage: The Na'vi way of life is depicted in the film as noble.
* NonMammalMammaries: Averted, as the Na'vi are mammals. Creator/JamesCameron did say they weren't in one very early interview, but also got Jake's name wrong and called Pandora a planet, so was clearly discussing something much earlier in the development process than the finished universe.
* NotDisabledInVR: The artificial Na'vi body that Jake Sully uses has working legs.
* NotWhatISignedOnFor: An odd example when Trudy mutinies.
-->'''Trudy:''' Screw this. I didn't sign up for this [[PrecisionFStrike shit]]!
* NubileSavage: Neytiri.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Jake; American character, Australian actor, accent bouncing back and forth as much as it liked.
* PiecesOfGod: [[spoiler:Just about all plantlife on Pandora forms a neural network, and most animal life (including the Na'vi) have the ability to tap directly into that network.]]
* PinballProtagonist: Until Grace dies, Jake doesn't actually really make any moral decisions, with one key exception -- otherwise, he is just drifting along with the plot. Even afterwards, all he's doing is trying to make up for his errors, and get together with the only people who'd accept him.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** Trudy saying "[[NotWhatISignedOnFor I didn't sign up for this shit]]" when mutineering. Not the only instance of vulgarity in the movie, sure, but probably the most impactful one given the context.
** Grace's "Oh shit." earlier in the film is another great example.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "They have sent us a message. That they can take whatever they want. Well, we will send them a message. That THIS! THIS IS OUR LAND!"
* RailroadPlot: Humans go to Pandora to mine unobtanium. The largest deposit is, unfortunately, under the Na'vi Hometree.
* RemoteBody: Jake spends most of the movie as the controller of a synthetic alien.
* RuleOfSymbolism: The film, despite taking a lot of flak for its derivative plot, makes judicious use of symbols: dreams, twins/doubles, living inside another body...
* ScaredOfWhatsBehindYou: One of Jake's early experiences in his avatar found him separated from the group and facing down a strange aggressive creature that he had to try to intimidate. When the creature runs away, Jake jeers at it, until he starts to realize that there's another, much larger creature behind him...
* SceneryPorn: Pandora is beautiful -- especially at night with the bioluminescence.
* ScienceHero: Grace Augustine, Norm, Max, and ultimately Jake.
* ScienceIsBad: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]], as on the surface it looks straight (evil humans with tech versus Noble Savages), but a closer look reveals a subversion -- the most sympathetic humans are all scientists, the only way the protagonist is able to interact with the Na'vi is through science, and the Na'vi forces use some stolen tech themselves in the FinalBattle. Indeed, even the [[spoiler: Na'vi goddess]] is shown as being a scientifically based and verifiable entity. Ultimately it's more "[[ArmiesAreEvil Imperialism is Bad]]", and the imperialists (as is generally true in history) have the more advanced weapons. Science used responsibly is treated as a Good Thing.
* SealedCastInAMultipack: The film has the humans spend the long trip between Earth and Pandora in deep sleep.
* SentientCosmicForce: A physical one in Eywa.
* SerkisFolk: The Na'vi (both real and Avatars). Also the direhorses, whose movements were performed by real horses (although the animators had to add an extra pair of legs).
* ShadesOfConflict: The movie is closer to WhiteAndGreyMorality than a lot of fans and detractors may claim. While the Na'vi just want to be left alone, the humans are willing to disrupt the Na'vi culture in order to get a MacGuffin that can be used to improve the already abysmal quality of life back on Earth, as well as helping with space travel. Whether it would ''actually'' be used to make Earth suck less is a lot less clear; Selfridge seems largely concerned with mining Unobtainium, regardless of environmental impact, and when [[spoiler:Grace tells him Eywa is alive, he brushes her off entirely]]. We don't know if his attitude is the typical one of the RDA administration, but there's a good chance we'll see in the sequel.
* ShakyCam: Used lightly enough that the audience can tell more-or-less what's going on. There may be hope for this trope yet.
* ShownTheirWork:
** The biggest problem a large spaceship will have is getting rid of waste heat; the ''Venture Star'' has huge radiators, and they're red-hot.
** See also the amount of detail in [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/ Pandorapedia]], such as [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/doku.php/scorpion_gunship their careful examination]] of [[RockBeatsLaser the Scorpion's vulnerabilities and advantages against the Na'vi]]. [[http://io9.com/5460957/the-complete-history-of-pandora-according-to-avatars-designers?skyline=true&s=i Or this series of articles]].
** Also regarding the Na'vi language: While James Cameron isn't an expert in language construction, he had the very good sense to hire people who ''were.'' He also had the actors practice their Na'vi lines until everything was perfect.
* SignedUpForTheDental: Jake's major motivation to participate in the Avatar program is to get his paralysis fixed. To repeat the line from the CrapsackWorld point:
-->'''Jake:''' Sure, they can fix a spinal [cord injury] if you have the money, but on veterans' benefits? Not in this economy.
* SleeperStarship: Most of the passengers aboard the ''Venture Star'' are cryonically frozen since it takes about five years to reach Proxima Centauri.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Despite the classic HumansAreTheRealMonsters plot, the film falls squarely on the idealistic side: the cynical, war-loving Colonel is defeated by the peaceful scientists, the Na'vi and mother nature, who are bonded by ThePowerOfFriendship via a PsychicLink.
%% No "So X it is good/bad/horrible/average", please. Reviews go in Reviews.
* SolarSail: The ''Venture Star'' has a large solar sail which is used for accelerating towards Pandora. The sail is shot at by a large laser somewhere in the Solar System to provide enough thrust to reach 70% lightspeed.
* SoulJar: Not exactly, but when Jake (in Avatar form) is [[spoiler:fighting the colonel]] toward the end of the film, and he makes a move to [[spoiler:attack Jake's unprotected human body]], the effect is similar.
* SpacePlane: The absolutely ''massive'' "Valkryie" shuttle is capable of going either to or from space unaided, and can rotate its engines to land without a runway.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: The [[GreenAesop pro-conservation message]] is conveyed through the world of Pandora, a flawless alien paradise untainted by technology. On Pandora, deforestation is depicted as evil because it nearly leads to the destruction of a sentient organic [[BrainComputerInterface mind-linking supercomputer]] that lets the resident aliens communicate with their dead relatives, and nearly everything that humans had to develop through technological advances--medicine, transportation, shelter, and even ''data storage''--is naturally provided by the [[GeniusLoci living ecosystem]]. It's easy for the Na'vi to preach about respecting the environment when their environment apparently supplies them with all the perks of an industrialized society.
* SubspaceAnsible: It never appears in the film itself, but the [[AllThereInTheManual Pandorapedia]] mentions that the ''Venture Star'', the otherwise-[[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness realistic]] starship, has a low-bitrate superluminal communication ability using quantum entangling.
* TaxonomicTermConfusion: The [[AllThereInTheManual tie-in novel to the movie]] lists the scientific name of the Na'vi as ''Homo pandorus''. However, in biology creatures with separate evolutionary origins are not allowed to be given the same genus name.
* TechnoBabble: Both played straight and subverted. Played straight when Grace uses a jargon-heavy explanation to describe to [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Selfridge]] why the Na'vi concept of Eywa residing in all of Pandora's plant life is actually a very real fact. Subverted, as the unnecessarily TechnoBabble-heavy explanation goes right over Selfridge's head.
* TechnologyPorn: The few scenes showing Earth, which were not ever seen in the theatrical release, also show ''endless'' amounts of lights and neon signs, and entire planes of advertisement screens, only matched in real life by cities like Tokyo or Shanghai. Earth may be in a potentially irreversible state of severe environmental decay, but at least its technology is amazing, and its cities bright and lively.
* TemptingFate:
-->'''Grace:''' [[spoiler:What're you gonna do, Ranger Rick? Shoot me?]]\\
'''Quaritch:''' [[spoiler:I can do that.]]
* ThankYourPrey: The Na'vi. Taken from tribal cultures that do the same.
* ThrowingOffTheDisability: Achieved by means of transferring his brain/mind into a different body. Jake actually signed up for the program for both a chance at this and the fact RDA would fix his spine as soon as his tenure was over, but decided that it wasn't worth performing genocide for.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Done briefly when [[spoiler:Neytiri cradles Jake's dying human form.]]
* ThirdActMisunderstanding: Jake's motives are revealed at the point where he's already past Becoming the Mask, and he tries to explain to his teammates that he's on their side now, but they don't believe him.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Not a trailer, but the soundtrack album gave away a couple of key plot points in its track titles. Most notably, "[[spoiler:The Destruction of Hometree]]" and [[spoiler:Shutting Down Grace's Lab]]". The trailer gave away basically the entire plot.
* TribalFacePaint:
** When Jake is inducted into the Na'vi they paint his entire body with a white paint of some sort.
** Some of the Na'vi (e.g. Neytiri) wear a different kind of paint when going into battle.
** The bioluminescent spots on the Na'vi can be viewed as a sort of permanent face paint.
* TrilogyCreep: The number of sequels has been moved up [[http://www.deadline.com/2013/08/fox-james-cameron-set-group-of-writers-to-spearhead-trio-of-avatar-sequels/ from two to three]].
* {{Unobtainium}}: They actually [[LampshadeHanging call it that]]. WordOfGod is that it is used in starship drives. Before the discovery of Pandora, interstellar travel was too costly and long.
* WatchingTroyBurn: [[spoiler:The destruction of Hometree]].
* WeakerTwinSavesTheDay: Inverted. Jake is the stronger brother; a marine. However, he still gets to be the hero by virtue of his DNA being similar enough to his dead brother, a scientist.
* WhatDidYouExpectWhenYouNamedIt: Really, humans? You named this world ''[[Myth/ClassicalMythology Pandora]]''? Even if it does mean "All-Gifted", there is a reason that name has fallen out of use.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: Played with VERY strangely. Here we have human characters taking on alien forms, learning to associate with said alien species, etc. and the protagonist taking the side of said aliens over that of his EvilMentor.
* WheelChairAntics: [[TheSmartGuy Norm]] can briefly be seen messing around with [[TheHero Jake's]] wheelchair, balancing on the back two wheels in the link room.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: Many. Just to name a few:
** Bioluminescence is a major part of Pandora -- the forest glows at night.
** The Hallelujah Mountains, which are, er, mountains. That float magnificently, thanks to gravity and magnetic fields.
** Iknimaya.

[[folder:Pandora and the wildlife]]
%%Tropes that deal with the wildlife and general setting of the movie.
* AlienSky: Pandora is one of the moons of a gas giant named Polyphemus, so we are treated to many shots of said planet in the sky. Other moons are also visible.
* AllThereInTheManual: The video game has additional information on the characters, species, etc. that doesn't appear in the movie. Same thing with an independent published guide giving backstory to the creatures, plants, technology, and Na'vi. Also an [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/ online encyclopedia]]. There is an ''actual'' manual on the Na'vi in the movie, courtesy of Dr. Grace.
* BigDamnHeroes: By way of DeusExMachina.
* BondCreatures: The Na'vi have a rite of passage where they must sneak into the aviaries of the banshee and bond with one of them. They can do something similar with the direhorse, but with multiple people, as they do not bond with a person for life like with the banshee.
* CallASmeerpARabbit:
** One of the more frequently-seen Pandoran animals has four eyes, six legs, hairless blue skin, a snout like an anteater, and nostrils in its chest. They call it a direhorse. Fair enough, it is kind of like a horse, and it acts an awful lot like a horse, but still... No one else looked at those horses and thought Odin's eight-legged steed, Sleipnir?
** The name "Direhorse" was given by humans to the creatures known by the Na'vi as Pa'li -- much in the way the Ikran were given the name "Banshees" and the Toruk was given the name "Great Leonopteryx". Humans aren't very original with names for alien creatures in THIS universe, it seems.
* ColorContrast: It emphasizes the purple part of the green/purple contrast a lot more than most forest settings.
* ConLang: The Na'vi language.
* DeathWorld: Pandora, pretty much every variety all at once.
* DeusExMachina: The Na'vi are starting to get hammered by the forces of humanity, when suddenly a herd of titanotheres and banshees come out of ''nowhere'' and rush the humans, destroying almost all of them. The implied explanation is that Jake's pre-battle talk with [[GeniusLoci Eywa]] made an impression, considering if they lost, the sky people would destroy ''everything'' living in the name of expansion.
* ExpansionPackWorld: There are other moons around Polyphemus. Possibly with life on them. Cameron has announced that after the ''Avatar'' sequels, which will be focused on Pandora, there may be others exploring other moons and planets in the Alpha Centauri system -- including planets orbiting Alpha Centauri B.
* FertileFeet: Reconstructed. Nothing grows as a result of Na'vi passage, but any plants or ground coverings they interact with react with [[HollywoodDarkness bioluminescence]]. Mainly just for RuleOfCool and SceneryPorn.
* FloatingContinent: In fact, this is the reason why humans are there. There's also the [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/officialavatarmovie/4054823306/sizes/l/ Hallelujah Mountains]]. Justified as [[AllThereInTheManual Superconductors]], like the Unobtainium in the Hallelujah Mountians do float in magnetic fields such as the flux vortex.
* GeniusLoci: The entire moon, shown both when [[spoiler:the animals suddenly gain enough intelligence and work together to massacre the Marine strike force, and in Jake's memory transfer]].
* GiantFlyer: Pandora is full of these. Even an ikran is HUGE compared to a human.
* GlowingFlora: The alien jungles of Pandora contain an enormous variety of bioluminescent plants, with almost every form of plant life giving off some blue or purple glow. This results in some very surreal forests, and the nighttime experience is as such rather different from nights on Earth it's a whole lot less dark, to begin with.
* GondorCallsForAid:
** You may think [[spoiler:Jake appealing to Eywa for help against the humans' final assault]] to be cheesy or perhaps Narm. And then you see the [[spoiler:Na'vi getting their asses handed to them]]. And ''then'' you see [[spoiler:every animal and its mother]] ripping the assault force a new one. Good planning indeed.
** A more traditional version of the trope is the "Toruk Makto unites the clans" montage.
* HandyFeet: Na'vi have them, at least those who are not serving as avatars to humans anyway.
* HeliCritter: The fan lizard.
* HiveQueen: Eywa, an overmind-like, super-intelligent being made of alien trees, which is linked to most advanced life forms on Pandora and has a form of internet (i.e. instant global communication) built of its roots and seeds.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: It's blue. And has six legs.
* HungryJungle: This is how Colonel Miles Quaritch describes Pandora's jungles to Jake when he first meets him. This is also how Pandora's jungles are initially depicted when Jake finds himself stranded in them during one of his first few nights on the moon.
* ImmuneToBullets:
** The Hammerhead Titanotheres. Claimed to be so by Dr. Grace Augustine and how! Despite not being fully armored all-over these beasties can withstand explosive, armor-piercing and incendiary 30mm GAU rounds without a hitch.
** Shooting thanators isn't very productive either, not because they're armored, but because they get ''seriously annoyed'' by it and take your gun away from you.
* TheLifestream: Kinda played with. Eywa acts as this, kinda. It doesn't happen automatically, they [[BrainUploading Brain Upload]] just before they die.
* {{Lightworlder}}: Much of the reason the 10-foot-tall humanoid Na'vi can live very well on Pandora is because of the 20% weaker gravity putting far less strain on their bodies. While humans are stronger on Pandora than Earth thanks to decreased gravity, they are still weaker than native animals both proportionally and totally. The Colonel mentions the need for constant exercise to prevent muscle atrophy.
* MeaningfulName: Before she opened the box, [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Pandora]] was created to be the perfect woman, and her name literally means "All-Gifted".
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast:
** The thanator. "Thanatos" is the Greek word for "death," and also the name of its personification. It's very appropriate in this case.
** Then there's the Toruk, which in Na'vi means "[[ShadowOfImpendingDoom Last Shadow]]".
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: the "flux vortex" of the moon's strong magnetic field makes a lot of instruments, such as mapping and targeting systems, completely useless. Things like thermal scans, communications, and motion sensors still work, though they get statics.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Averted and done straight. The air is unbreathable to humans thanks to its concentration of CO[[subscript:2]] and H[[subscript:2]]S, causing a coma in a matter of seconds, and death in minutes. Pandoran plants are loaded to the brim with toxins, as far as humans are concerned. However the namesake Avatars are created by the improbable working combination of human and Na'vi DNA. Which is another can of worms in itself, because the Na'vi, according to Pandorapedia, do not ''have'' DNA. There's a mention of NV Transcriptase, which had been done science to in order to interact with human DNA.
* OminousFog: The otherwise [[SceneryPorn scenery pornographic]] Pandora gets this trait once [[spoiler: Hometree is destroyed]], since the ashes contribute to the fog.
* OneProductPlanet: Pandora may appear to be this as it is valued for its Unobtainium, but the background mentions genetic development from plants on Pandora. Also, one of the few examples of this trope that uses Slower-Than-Light travel.
* OnlyTheChosenMayRide:
** The Ikran are dragon-like creatures that the Na'vi use as mounts. Every Ikran chooses its own master, and only then if the one they choose can best them in combat and tame them.
** Worth special mention is Toruk Makto, who is said to be untameable by even the strongest of Na'vi. Jake manages to do so.
* PlanetaryRomance: It's set on a detailed alien world with a mostly primitive setting involving frequent use of melee weapons and seemingly magical abilities with vague scientific explanations. James Cameron even stated that he was heavily inspired by ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'', the first major planetary romance ever written. One might argue that the film is a {{Reconstruction}} of (or a GenreThrowback to) this century-old genre, updating and re-imagining many tropes characteristic of it.
* PsychicLink: The link between avatars and their operators, enabled by the link bed.
* RockOfLimitlessWater: The floating islands have waterfalls constantly flowing from out of them, despite not having a source for such water. In this case, there is a [[HandWave somewhat logical reason given]] for the phenomenon that does not quite justify the amount of water created this way.
* RubberForeheadAliens: Averted. Despite being 10 foot tall CGI figures, the Na'vi are amazingly humanlike in their appearance, especially compared with the other wildlife shown on Pandora. This was done so that the audience could identify with them more easily. Lampshaded and discussed in extra material -- a scientist notes that, despite looking and acting very human, we have more in common with garden snails than with them.
* SavagePiercings: One clan of Na'vi wear nose bones.
* SceneryGorn: [[spoiler:When hometree is destroyed]].
* SceneryPorn: Arguably the most visually stunning movie ever created.
* SecondHandStorytelling: We follow Jake Sully's story practically minute-by-minute until he begins to gather the tribes, when we just get narration.
* ShadowOfImpendingDoom: The Na'vi name for the Great Leonopteryx, a flying Apex predator, is Toruk, which translates to "Last Shadow". Toruk's favored method of attack is to dive with the sun behind it so by the time you see its shadow fall on you, it is often already too late.
%%* SicklyGreenGlow
* SingleBiomePlanet:
** Fully averted (there is no land mass at either of the poles, so the icecaps are floating with no fixed features), but there's never a location visited where temperatures look like they could drop below freezing (with the POSSIBLE exception of the plains).
** The sequel will feature [[http://www.nme.com/movies/news/james-cameron-avatar-2-to-explore-pandoras-ocea/171501 Pandora's oceans]], which fits with Cameron's obsession with the ocean.
* SquareCubeLaw: The lighter gravity of Pandora partly accounts for the huge bodies (though not the great strength) of the Na'vi, Avatars, and wildlife (although the AMP suits may seem to stretch the suspension of disbelief [[note]]From an engineering standpoint there's no reason the AMP suits shouldn't ''work''; most of the problems with HumongousMecha as war machines don't apply in an alien environment where you're more concerned with hacking your way through the underbrush and carrying heavy enough weapons to put down most things short of titanotheres than you are with the enemy spotting you at long range and taking you out with antitank missiles.[[/note]]).
* StarfishAliens:
** The creatures of Pandora were supposed to be like this, and they even got Wayne freakin' Barlowe and Neville Page to help out. But eventually they had to tone it down because the creatures looked "too alien". At one point the banshee and Leonopteryx looked like giant flying manta rays. This was part of an overall theme change, as the Na'vi concept art at the time had a reptilian look, which is where all the confusion about their being mammals originated from thanks to out-of-date information.
** Pretty much all life on Pandora has six limbs, four eyes, and breathes through an operculum on the chest... except the [[HumanAliens Na'vi]], Prolemuris (a clear evolutionary link intended to show the reasoning behind it), and ikran.
** Though there are still some minor creatures in film that are definitely Starfish Aliens, many of the flora and fauna were inspired by deep sea Earth creatures and plants.
** The creatures on Pandora, while looking [[BuffySpeak vertebrate-y]], are also shown to breathe through an operculum (e.g. ikran, toruk and pa'li).
* SuperPersistentPredator: The thanator scene most obviously, but from the sound of things, pretty much every single piece of wildlife on Pandora. May be justified, if ''everything'' is this vicious, it may be necessary just to land a meal.
* TreeTopTown: Hometree appears to play this trope straight, except it just consists of [[WorldTree one huge tree]] instead of several.
* UniverseBible: 350 pages of alien language (''Speak Na'vi''), plants and wildlife taxonomy, a scale structure for the alien music, Pandora's physical properties etc., etc.
* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: Every creature on Pandora, except the Na'vi, ikran and stingbats. WordOfGod explains that this is due to the fact that they evolved from the monkey-like Prolemuris, which as we see in the film has six limbs -- but two of those are two arms that bifurcate into four forearms (each with a two-fingered hand as opposed to the Na'vi four-fingered hand). These forearms fused into two by the time the Na'vi had evolved, leaving them the only ones with four limbs.
* WaterfallIntoTheAbyss: The Hallelujah Mountains. The floating islands have waterfalls constantly flowing from out of them, despite not having a source for such water.
%%* WorldInTheSky: The Hallelujah mountains in Avatar are not an example - they are a FloatingContinent.
* WorldTree: Hometree, and especially the Tree of Souls.
* {{Wormsign}}: The Toruk is named ''Last shadow'' by the Na'vi for a reason.

[[folder: Warfare, battles and events, armaments and related tropes]]
* AnnoyingArrows: Justified in [[spoiler:the attack on the home tree]], where the Na'vi arrows harmlessly bounce off the gunship cockpits. Later when the Na'vi fire their arrows from a dive on their banshees at the gunship canopies, they have sufficient velocity and the right angle to penetrate.
* ArmiesAreEvil: This one is led by a GeneralRipper who sounds like a AM talk show host, and takes his orders from a CorruptCorporateExecutive. All of the science department employees shown in the movie are shown as closer to Earth and completely accepting of the Na'vi.
* AttackItsWeakPoint:
** The enemy AMP suits and vehicles all have canopies and air intakes where they're vulnerable.
** The Na'vi have a weak point in the form of [[spoiler:the tree that's their primary link to their deity]] (Quaritch specifically goes after it to "blast a hole in their racial memory"), and in their queue (the braid-looking neural link thing), as seen when Jake and Grace are taken prisoner and frog-marched with knives held to their queues.
* AwesomeButImpractical: [[http://www.pandorapedia.com/human_operations/vehicles/dragon_gunship The Dragon Gunship]] is very powerful (carrying enough conventional weaponry to wipe out [[BigApplesauce Manhattan]] in six seconds), but requires several components to be shipped all the way from Earth. There was a second Dragon airframe on Pandora, but said components hadn't arrived from Earth yet.
* {{BFG}}: The [[MoreDakka autocannons]] and [[KillItWithFire Flamethrowers]] carried around by AMP Suits.
* {{BFS}}: In the final battle, Jake uses an AMP suit bayonet as a sword, before switching to using it more as an axe.
* BloodlessCarnage: Toyed with, likely to keep a PG-13 rating. Though characters get battered and bloody, and wounds are shown after the fact, when characters are actively seen being shot/arrowed/sliced in battle, there's little, if any, blood shown. Also, they seem to have no problem showing humans being killed pretty brutally (but again, without blood), but the Na'vi simply drop in most instances. Particularly noticeable in the final battle where [[spoiler:dozens of Na'vi are gunned down, and simply drop like it's an old western]]. On the other hand, the level of realism does make the InstantDeathBullet unlikely.
* TheCavalry: [[spoiler:In the form of stampeding six-legged titanotheres the size of houses, no less]].
* CoolVersusAwesome: Most of the battles, given that one side is armed with helicopter gunships and MiniMecha and the other is an army of 10-foot {{Noble Savage}}s riding pteranodons and six-legged horses.
* CurbStompBattle:
** The first major fight is this, with [[spoiler: RDA wiping out the Na'vi Hometree]] (and, unbeknownst to them, [[spoiler:killing their leader]] in the process) causing hundreds of Na'vi deaths. Indeed the only downside to that fight for them is, beyond seriously pissing off the Na'vi, is causing a couple of [[spoiler:HeelFaceTurn[=s=] in their own troops]].
** The final battle was definitely turning into this (especially for the ground forces) for the Na'vi, even with the surprise factor on their side. And then Eywa itself decided to intervene, and the people doing the curbstomp got stomped back in the curb.
* DavidVersusGoliath:
** Trudy's Samson vs. Quaritch's Dragon.
** Quaritch in his 14-foot AMP suit VS Jake in his 10-foot Avatar body.
** Conversely, the 10-foot-tall Na'vi versus any human NOT in an AMP suit.
* FantasticShipPrefix: The ''Venture Star'' has the prefix ISV (Interstellar Vehicle).
* GaiasVengeance: [[spoiler:The Na'vi equivalent to Mother Earth eventually does this to the humans.]]
* GasMaskMooks:
** Humans need to wear exopacks when outside their structures. A subversion in that they are designed to leave the face clearly visible.
** Subverted in the official game, where some RDA soldiers wear masks which hide their lower faces.
* GoryDiscretionShot:
** More like Gory Camera Pan. A lot of the attacks that would be bloodier are quickly panned away from. Most noticeable near the end where [[spoiler:Jake is running on the top of the shuttle]] and unloads his machine gun into a group of marines. You see him open fire, but the camera very quickly pans up so you can't see most of the results, although you know exactly what they are. Gotta keep that PG-13 rating.
** Quaritch's second-in-command getting crushed by a titanothere. It's only shown crushing his AMP suit but we can still hear him scream.
** The additional scenes in the special edition show a few more nasty deaths of humans. We can see the aftermath of a raid against mining bulldozers, with one shot showing a soldier impaled by arrows and another one a burned out AMP suit, with pilot being implied to have been burned alive in it. Also an additional scene of a sturmbeest crushing an AMP against a tree (and impaling it straight through the cockpit in the process, no less).
** Same with a soldier being crushed by an crate full of explosives.
* HandCannon: Quaritch always carries a [[RevolversAreJustBetter massive revolver]] with a laser sight and high-powered scope.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Jake's intel gives the marines the info needed to [[spoiler:destroy Hometree]]. By the end of the movie... well, let's just say it doesn't work out for the bad guys.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Those Na'vi arrows are HUGE. [[spoiler:Quaritch in particular, who gets two straight through the chest, pinning him to the interior of his AMP suit]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Exhibited in a deleted scene where the Na'vi are hunting sturmbeest on horseback and with air support. Both Tsu'tey and Jake manage to land arrows ''in the nostril'', '''from the air''' (after which Jake yells "Hell yeah!" and Neytiri repeats it). [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the sight of [[{{Mook}} other (lesser) warriors]] failing to get arrows through the beasts' armor plating; either you AttackItsWeakPoint or the projectile bounces off.
* ImproperlyPlacedFirearms: The machine guns the humans (and a few Avatars) use looks suspiciously like a German [=MG3=] with extra plastic parts. Note the outdated drum magazine at the side, and an internal ShoutOut to the ''Aliens'' Smart Guns. AllThereInTheManual that it is actually an M60 variant with a heatshield/grip and drum magazine, which is around the right size that while being impractical for a human to carry, it is just about assault rifle size for a Na'vi, who are also strong enough to handle the weight and recoil without a problem. They're also using outdated variants on purpose - importing weapons and ammo from Earth is extremely time-and-resource consuming and would malfunction in Pandora's harsh environment. And, as mentioned below, Pandora's very strong magnetic field and thick atmosphere would make the railguns, coilguns, and other such things common on Earth unreliable at best and useless at worst.
* KillItWithFire: Human soldiers favor incendiary missiles and flamethrowers. [[JustifiedTrope Makes sense]] in a HungryJungle.
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: The small arms used by the humans aren't that dissimilar to ours -- in fact, in the background, the machine gun is an [=M60=] variant, although [[AllThereInTheManual other sources state]] that forces back on Earth have more advanced weapons, such as railguns, it's just that the weapons used on Pandora are cheaper and easier to make and maintain, plus Pandora's very strong magnetic field and thick atmosphere make many weapons unreliable at best and useless at worst.
* AMechByAnyOtherName: The [[MiniMecha combat AMP suits]] used by the military, which are pretty much the descendants of the Power Loader from ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', or [[VideoGame/StarCraft Terran Goliaths]]. They ''were'' originally developed as the equivalent of power loaders, but modified to carry armament and having been used on Earth in this capacity as well, particularly in environments dangerous/toxic to unprotected humans. At least their large cabin, with excellent view but poor protection, and lack of in-built weaponry heavily suggests this. Quaritch's suit is seen to have ''[[{{BFS}} a combat knife]]''. The manual, on the other hand, states that they are purpose-built for combat and that several armies back on Earth use them.
* MiniMecha: The AMP suits straddle the line between PowerArmor and HumongousMecha. Though it also states that AMP suits are normally equipped with armored cover which is placed over the cockpit. However because of the electronic problems on Pandora this had to be removed in order to give the pilots a better field of vision.
* MoreDakka: The Tie-in guide says that AMP Suits have a [[KillItWithFire flamethrower]] and (auto)cannon built in, for self-defense and defoliation. In the movie, the actual weapons are more "Interchangable", the ammo system is the "built in" part. The Dragon Gunship has [[MacrossMissileMassacre about 300 missiles]], 10 grenade launchers, and four [[GatlingGood Miniguns]]. More or less every ranged weapon trope besides Kill It With Fire (though that would depend on whether the commander decided to spring for incendiaries) on a heavy-duty flying platform.
* NoseArt: For the film's climax, Trudy has a white and blue cheatline painted on her chopper, presumably to [[spoiler:help the Na'vi tell her apart from the other aircraft flying around.]]
* OnlyAFleshWound: Averted, painfully. One character takes a rifle bullet to the stomach and is in too much pain to move for the next few scenes; the protagonists perform first aid and rush them to a healer, but the wound is too severe, and they arrive too late anyway.
* OutRunTheFireball:
** Quaritch does this to escape the exploding gunship. Granted, he's in a giant robot suit, which should help to protect him from the heat, though it gets some burning fuel on it.
** Several Na'vi are also shown doing this while Hometree explodes around them.
* PlanetLooters: A peaceful moon is brutally invaded by short, militaristic aliens who want a valuable mineral to make their dying world a little more convenient ''and'' make a shitload of money in the process. To the aliens' credit they ''tried'' to negotiate mining rights first. Kind of subverted in that the natives don't seem to know or care how important the mineral is themselves, and the moon is too remote and [[EverythingTryingToKillYou too dangerous]] for colonization.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: All the human soldiers are explicitly this, even though most served as army or marines in the past. Most likely a result of how much flak Cameron took for portraying actual marines this way in ''Aliens''.
* PunnyName: A few human firearms manufacturers have this. Hirte and Fahl? (Hurt and Fall) [[http://james-camerons-avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Wasp Massa-Cirre]]? (Massacre)? Matanza (Slaughter) Arms? '''Subtle'''.
* RealityEnsues: [[spoiler:Jake and the rest of the Na'vi leadership task the Horse Clan with intercepting Quaritch's ground troops. Quaritch's ground troops are armed with a wide array of nasty weapons including 30mm automatic cannons. The Horse Clan might have been more effective if they hadn't attacked head on and tried flanking tactics. As it happened... UsefulNotes/WorldWarI anyone?]]
* RealRobot: The AMP suits have been jury-rigged as heavy weapons platforms by the SpaceMarines.
* RockBeatsLaser:
** [[ZigZaggingTrope Played with]]. In the first battle, the natives' basic weapons do very little damage to human gunships. In the second, after they work on their tactics with advice from Jake, and with much nastier compound bows it's subverted when that's ''still'' not enough to carry the day against the wall of gunfire, despite doing quite well at first. [[spoiler:Then the DeusExMachina kicks in]]. Also, {{Lampshaded}} by Trudy:
--->'''Trudy:''' You're going up against gunships with bows and arrows.
** It is also used straight -- a billion-dollar mining machine is blinded and halted by a guy with a ''rock''. {{Justified|Trope}} in that he didn't break the machine, just its camera, blinding its remote operator.
* RuleOfCool: The whole movie, basically.
* SpaceMarine: The corporation's private military contractors fill this role in this movie, although one wonders why Cameron didn't [[CanonWelding just bite the bullet]] and call them the [[Film/{{Aliens}} Colonial Marines]]. With their AMP suits supporting foot-mobile infantry, they're ironically far closer to the Mobile Infantry of ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' than the so-called film adaptation of that book.
* StandardSciFiArmy
* StuffBlowingUp:
** [[spoiler:The Dragon ship and the makeshift bomber go out with huge kabooms that put Creator/MichaelBay to shame. {{Justified|Trope}} in case of the bomber, because it's loaded with [[MadeOfExplodium lots of explosives]]]].
** The Hometree falls after perhaps several dozen huge explosions.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: "You're not the only one with a gun, bitch."
* ThisMeansWarpaint: The Na'vi [[GoingNative and their allies]], just before the FinalBattle. Trudy even put warpaint [[NoseArt around the cockpit]] of her stolen gunship.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]: using your longbow as a club always works in the movie. {{Justified|Trope}}, as Na'vi bows are at least 8 feet long and would have to be heavy enough to be used as a melee weapon in order to withstand their draw weight.
* VasquezAlwaysDies: Trudy Chacon explodes with her gunship in the climactic battle.
-->'''Trudy:''' Damn, I was hoping for a plan that didn't involve martyrdom.
* WarIsGlorious: So much cool hardware and stirring martial prowess, this one's inevitable.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: When Jake first exits the RDA Complex, we see dozens of Avatars running around. Apart from Grace, Norm and Jake, none of them are ever shown after this point. A deleted scene from the final battle shows the Avatar Project staff storming the link room, and using the Avatars to take over Main Ops from the RDA and Selfridge.
* YouKilledMyFather: Neytiri's father is killed in the attack on Hometree. Sure enough, she gets her revenge, using her father's own bow.
* ZergRush: Attempted by the Na'vi in the final battle. Didn't work very well, [[spoiler: until Eywa performs a much larger ZergRush -- this time with Titanotheres, who can actually withstand the heavy fire. And Viperwolves. And many many more Banshees. Capped off with a Thanator offering itself to Neytiri as an EpicMount]].
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