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Headscratchers: Avatar
"But sooner or later, you always have to wake up."
Jake Sully

A Note for Tropers: For the sake of keeping this page halfway concise, please read other people's posts before adding your own. We only need the one post about wiping out the Na'vi, people. Thank you.

Due to the length of the page, entries have been split into the following topics:


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     Trudy gets amnesia 
  • Why wasn't Trudy arrested after the destruction of the hometree? She refused a direct order to open fire and deserted her postion in the formation, yet she is not imprisoned, or even penalised. While it is possible in the confusion that she was forgotten, but it seems unlikely. The only reason it seems is so that she can break Grace and Sully out of jail.
    • She's taking food to them. Clearly, not a normal job. Of course, it could be that everyone has to do extra jobs due to the relatively small population size, or she could have simply offered to cover for who was meant to do it.
      • It is equally obvious that she was lying about working the food delivery in order to break them out of isolation.
    • Because it would be so hard to simply report a fake problem and return, right? And that's if Quaritch even cared, having successfully committed some murder, he may well not have cared if one person didn't join in.
      • The possibility of her reporting a fake problem and not being called on it is nixed based on the fact that her own crew members protested her decision to break off (and would readily testify to that if asked about it) coupled with the fact that she made no effort to conseal her decision, coupled with the fact that subsequent testing of the system by maintenance crews would have revealed no issues with the weapon system. Basically, when faced against a mountain of evidence against your position and you have only the deferrence owed to you by virtue of being the aircraft commander at the time, you lose.
      • He would have to care. He's the head of Security for the mission. A gun-ship crew suddenly deciding that they don't want to use their gun-ship as a gun-ship anymore in the middle of a battle that they were assigned to is a massive security breach. When she says "I didn't sign up for this shit!", she's clearly deluded, since she signed up for exactly this shit. She signed up with a shady paramilitary force to be a pilot of a large helicopter full of machine guns and missiles operating under the command of a profit-driven corporation. What the hell did she think they were going to use those weapons for? Gardening?
      • She signed up to be a pilot for a military contractor and protect scientists and soldiers. She did not sign up to perpetuate a terror attack on innocent civilians and children.
      • As someone who signed up to be a pilot, she also agreed to fly whatever missions she was ordered to fly. Being a small population base with the only logistical support from a ship that comes once every 6 years, the company would not sign up an employee without a "and perform other duties as required" clause in their contract. The scene shows her clearly firing missiles before saying "Screw this," and safing the missile launch function on her aircraft's weapon system thus demonstrating her proficiency in the use of said weapons and conveying that she knew she could have to use them at some point.
    • Legally, this is generally covered under a code of Ethics. Signing up and agreeing to be part of a military chain of command does NOT automatically relieve one of responsibility to judge actions (and orders) based on an established ethical code. This is the whole reasoning behind why "But I was just following orders" is NOT considered an acceptable defense from violations of the laws of warfare. Soldiers are required to disobey illegal orders. Now, the problem of course is determining which orders are illegal. And that still doesn't explain why Trudy wasn't locked up pending an investigation (and likely trial) into her failure to obey orders. Made more complex because they're all really Private Military Contractors.

     Where did that shuttle fall anyway? 
Let's review the final attack on the Spirit Tree. The humans militarize the shuttle by loading it with pallets of explosives. The shuttle will fly over the Spirit Tree and drop the pallets out of its cargo bay as gravity bombs. Makes sense. During the battle, the shuttle gets close enough to the target for the crew to start wheeling the pallets down the ramp. At this point, Jake chucks some grenades into the engines, causing the shuttle to plummet. In other words, turning a gravity bomber into a big damn gravity bomb, explosives and all, already directly over the Spirit Tree. This is never addressed of course, but c'mon. Nice going Jake.
  • Watch the film again. Jake takes out the engines on one side of the ship. Which means the engines on the other side are going for some time, and what happens when all the engines on the right side of something are firing and none of the ones on the right are? That something turns. You can see the ship veering away from its intended target, and the trees it hits knock it further off course.
    • Yah, all of a few hundred meters off course. Given how much General Ripper talked up the power of the explosives, you'd think simply being in the same hemisphere would have caused injury.
  • At no point did anyone actually detonate the explosives. They're presumably not going to blow up because of being on fire.
    • Before the new chief whose name I can never remember jumped in and shishkebabbed all but one guy, they armed the detonators on the pallets. Fire on explosive, maybe not; fire on detonator, or 'oopsieupsidedown' maybe. Or just the juice from the marine that got mooshed oozed in and set it off... or the fuel in the shuttle exploded. It must have been carrying a buttload of fuel to move that slowly in a partial hover.
  • It also keeps moving forwards. Destroying one engine causes it to start to tilt forwards, crushing the marines trying to push the explosives off the ramp. The shuttle goes forwards as the pilots increase engine power to try and regain control. By having full power on one size and only partial of any thrust on the other, it is going to move in a curve away from the area. Quaritch's claims are not factual statements anyway. Yes, the explosion probably caused a lot of damage to a sizeable chunk of forest, but that does not matter as much as what could have happened and it will regenerate in time, indeed, very quickly compared to on Earth.
    • Actually, it's going to do at least as much damage, but more likely far more, since the shuttle itself will also blow up.

     Given how the gunships could be thrown with some degree of accuracy... 
...You'd think someone would have thought to toss the gunships at the larger bombers. I mean, given how the gunships are essentually Pintos, it'd be like throwing bombs on the things. That would have to bring them down eventually.
  • Look closer during the battle. Jake actually does that, and the wreckage of a Scorpion hits the shuttle. And it doesn't do a damn thing. At most, the damage were aesthetic scorch marks.
    • It did start a small fire. The shuttle is large enough (and designed to survive multiple reeentries) that only a direct hit to the engines or cockpit would really be feasible to cause significant damage.
It's a good point though. Since not all rocks on Pandora are floating (obviously), why didn't they at least bring a few good decent-sized rocks to throw at the helicopter blades?
  • Rocks are not standard armaments for Na'vi. Thus, they wouldn't have the proper equipment (ie. holsters) to contain any number of rocks. They also wouldn't have time to make any either, due to Quaritch's "preemptive attack".

     Why all there in the manual but not in the movie? 
Why diddn't they just put many of the more important stuff like what the unoptanium actually does or how the mountains stay afloat in the movie instead of just in the pandorapedia? it's not like the movie wasn't long enough or was filled to the brim with a clever story...
  • ....because it would make the movie even longer?
    • other movies have double the infos in half the time, therefore a 4 times bigger plot density. I'm sure they could've crammed in a handfull of sentences somewhere without making the movie longer.
    • Name one example of a movie that plays for 85 minutes and gives more info than this movie does. It takes quite a while to explain every minute detail of an entire movie universe. By the way, 'cramming sentences' into the dialogue disrupts the flow of the movie, which is unadvisable in pretty much any circumstances.
    • The flow of a movie is very important, but so is sustaining the audience's suspension of disbelief. If the audience is left wondering what happened to Grace's school for the Na'vi, exactly what (groan) unobtainium is good for, the original use for the Avatar Project, etc., that disrupts the entire experience for the poor audience. James Cameron had the ambition to create a huge universe and make stunning strides in CGI, but then he was too busy coordinating a five-minute "Jake really likes flying his pterodactyl" scene to explain any of it in adequate detail, hence the need for supplemental material to cover his own plot holes. It's bad storytelling, plain and simple; for example, the atmosphere of Pandora is a superfluous detail at best. The whole "humans can't breathe the air" thing is merely confusing, since the audience is stuck wondering "why?" and having to come up with their own conclusions, then be aggravated when their conclusion that matched all the evidence given in the movie is refuted by the Survival Handbook or whatever. The one scene where it actually comes into play, when Quaritch's attack exposes Jake to open Pandoran air, could have been redone to a scene in which Quaritch breaks Jake's ribcage in the attack, or otherwise damage Jake('s equipment) to the point where he can't control his Avatar. My point here is, if you add details to your story in order to answer the audience's pending questions, and said details just make the Epileptic Trees worse, you need a lot less details.
    • I don't know about you, but my suspension of disbelief was definitely there the first time I watched it. And the whole "bad storytelling" viewpoint on the movie is more of a minority, considering aggregate reviews say it's 'imaginative' and 'absorbing'. But it's your opinion, so feel free to disagree.
    • Mine sure as hell wasn't. I won't argue that the movie is a cinematic milestone in CG special effects. but as a well-written, original film with developed characters, competent dialogue and a message that respects its audience's intelligence, it's... also a cinematic milestone in CG special effects. Since I wasn't being paid by the studio to write a glowing review, I can say without hesitation that the problem with Avatar is just bad storytelling. Remember that "the minority" also thought Pet Rocks were a stupid idea and refused to do the Macarena with everyone else; the minority is usually right.
      • Making claims of payment is ridiculous. Anyway, what about the number of people who liked it, despite what I would say were actually rather negative elitist reviews (as encountered with any scifi). Some people just have this perception that anything that challenges them and causes them to think can not possibly be entertainment, or that something has to be a 100% complete original note  with a ridiculously convoluted plot for it to be good. Some people just don't want to admit that it is possible to combine the two, because they want to defend their ridiculously pretentious little ivory tower of 'proper' entertainment and say that anything that was at all successful was somehow bad.
      • It's not elitist to think a film is bad. I doubt that ideas like "don't destroy the environment" or "exploiting natives is bad" are going to challenge anyone's preconceived notions. And Inception was a pretty successful film, not exactly an "ivory tower" piece.
  • I'm more interested as to why bother putting explanations in "proper" scientific terms, when instead all that's needed for the actual story is: "Humans can't breathe the air for more than forty seconds or so without passing out, and after a couple minutes you're dead." I know that there are some incredibly hard-core sci-fi fans out there who demand explanations, but for the sake of storytelling, things like the uses of your Mineral MacGuffin (beyond "we wants it") or the way the neat mountains float (beyond "they do") aren't strictly necessary - and providing the exacting details only invites scientific criticisms. Let the Epileptic Tree seekers find them where they will. You'd think a storyteller of Cameron's level of success would know that by now, but...
  • But there are simple explanations shown in the movie. The whole "humans can't breathe Pandoran air" was clearly outlined during that mini-briefing given when the Valkyrie lands, the RDA want unobtanium simply because it's worth a lot (no explanation for its usage is given in the movie), and the only explanation given for the the floating mountains is something about a magnetic field. All the extra details are given in supplementary material designed explicitly for the Epileptic Tree seekers.
    • He had a lot of free time in the middle. It was rather boring in the middle so instead of Jake learning to ride navi-chocobos while the world dies they could have explained a lot of details. Saying that the material was worth a lot isn't useful. The scientist should have explained that it was a superconductor, and later that navi trees used it to talk due to its magical superconducting qualities, and that they were alive, so that mining it would be bad. To edge off some of the complains about why they didn't mine it from elsewhere they should have mentioned as an aside, when they flew into the mountains with the army, that they tried mining from there but it crashed because there wasn't enough superconductor to make it float anymore. To illustrate how dangerous Pandora is, they should have had a scene where someone's breath thing failed, and done some brief explanation while the person died. Otherwise that's a pointless detail that should have been removed. My biggest thing was the fact that the movie was anti-science. They could have fixed that by mentioning that the trees were curing human diseases, something in the original script, indicating that Pandora actually had some scientific interest. That would have given the humans an alternate option- work with the navi, and cure all earth diseases.
    • Your whole "middle of the movie was boring" statement seems more of a personal problem. There were (and are) plenty of people who enjoyed the movie throughout without any qualms, and they make up the obvious majority. And all your proposed scenes for the movie to 'explain' everything is just your assumption that viewers are total idiots (some are, but not all). Inception started in media res and has a much more convoluted plot than Avatar, but it all it took to follow the movie was to stay attentive. Just like how the mechanics of the 'dream-machines' in Inception aren't pivotal to the plot, neither is why humans can't breathe Pandoran air (besides that they can't), what makes unobtanium so expensive/profitable, or how do the mountains float. And seriously, you think this movie is anti-science? Do everyone a favor and read the Science Is Bad trope entry on the Film page, then come back.
      • Most of the people I've spoken to about mentioned it had a slow pace, and they were waiting for the final battle for a long time. It's not obvious who is right. I'm assuming that viewers would like there to be no plotholes. It was a very fun movie, there were just a lot of moments that disrupted my immersion. You're not taking my point. The workings of the device in inception don't matter. Every bit of science in inception presented in a very plausible way, and you assume it works. The problem is that Avatar has a lot of moments that wake you up from the dream, because they violate your assumptions. Assuming the viewer is clever, a lot of the time the viewer will be going "what?" rather than focusing on the beauty of the film. With the science is bad message- that clearly wasn't his intention, it just emerges because the rather anvilicious anti-corporate and pro-nature messages got confused. Most of the film shows technology killing Na'vi, and we are shown very few positive results of science. The Na'vi, Purity Sue the lot of them, don't need any science and are perfect without it.
      • -which is why the Science Is Bad trope is considered to be 'played with'. And still, all your prior points are personal problems. Some people enjoyed the movie without a single break in their suspension of disbelief (as I was), and some had multiple breaks (as you have). There's no right/wrong, so what's with all the 'suggestions' to fix the movie?
      • The Avatar program itself is pointedly the result of Science.
      • I personally found the atmosphere and the need for unobtanium to be perfectly logical without explicit explanations. The floating mountains took a bit more suspension of disbelief, but I'm not sure a long technobabble explanation would be more believable than the comment about "magnetic fields." I actually kind of like that the closing of Grace's school is never stated and the audience can draw their own conclusions about the colonizer/colonized dynamic. Just because every detail is not explicitly laid out does not mean a film is full of plot holes (I'm not saying Avatar doesn't have them, just that except for the floating mountains, these aren't really good examples).
      • Leaving so many questions open is not my idea of good writing.
      • More than a few people found even the original theatrical version to be thorough enough to actually suffer depression over so it seems reasonable to assume that the story answered most questions well enough. This troper has been a writer for a few years and has put their share of credit hours into studying exactly this sort of balancing act between information and story. One thing that comes up in every single class or review I've ever been involved in is this: an over-used, over-long, or overly-technical exposition fairy will do very little besides bore your readers and ruins the immersion of the story. The same applies to movie writing. Leaving huge gaping holes that are vital to understand but impossible to fill in with what's provided is indeed bad writing but as far as I could tell, there was very little in Avatar that couldn't be filled in if one was paying attention. If you try to pack in technical details in a casual form it tends to come across as contrived and clumsy and so it's better to let some details be observed when it would break the mood to explain outright. The unobtainium, for example; Selfridge has a piece on his desk and when he rants about how valuable it is, you get a good look at it. It's obviously metallic and yet when he sets it down, it freaking floats... at room temperature, showing that it's a superconductor (in the extended version, when they first go up to the floating mountains, this is actually mentioned in the dialogue). As for where they would have put such gobs of information, all of that 'boring time' they 'could have spent explaining things' was all world expansion, character development, and a few scenes to load Chekhov's Gun, so replacing them with a huge series of As You Know scenes would have harmed the movie more than helped it. But, I suppose if you'd rather sit and watch a CGI packed lecture on thermodynamics, neuroscience, and biology instead of watching a CGI packed action adventure, there's still time to switch theaters.
      • JC even did it right by then taking every single piece of 'missing' information you could ever want and putting it in the survival guide, so nowhere is there anywhere people need to make assumptions. The novelisation is going to do even more of that.
      • Most of the questions in the entire JBM comes from people applying what they heard in supplementary material and then ask more questions. Basically, they're only apply a part of what the supplements say and then claiming the story has 'holes' when an answer comes from the same supplement.
      • Blame limitations on Length. Nearly everything was there, some was lost due to time. Anyway, 99% of scifi doesn't explain everything in the film, or there would be no story. At least everything is physically possible, which is a lot better than some scifi. That's why there is so much background material, for people with interest to learn. I agree that the line about unobtainium being a superconductor was kind of important (in order to know it's the meissner effect), but that was put back in in the SE.
      • The problem with the supplemental material is that someone shouldn't have to do homework to understand what's going on in a film. It's even worse when someone watches in a theater, as they don't have access to the homework in the first place. As has been said before, Avatar is a stunning film in terms of computer-generated effects and is a huge step forward in bridging the gap between real performances and computer-simulated settings—but it also has a lot of plot-holes and dangling threads. Telling someone they have to do homework to actually understand why the film even works in the first place is ludicrous, not to mention somewhat rude. Supplemental material should expand on the information in a film, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be information in the film to begin with.
      • ...and knowing WHAT the composition of the atmosphere is rather than just that is't toxic to humans does what exactly? Fuck all. The fluff is fluff, it's there as incidental background for people who are interested but is not actually required to understand anything. Yes, a bit too much got cut out for technical reasons (IMAX film length, and people with short attention spans) re. Neytiri's and Grace's backstory.
  • My major gripe is that why the Navi dont like humans is 'never' explained, they give lots of examples of Humans being diplomatic and trying to make the Navi accept them and never show why the Navi still dont like them. Without the manual the plot is drastcally different than with the manual, I hated the movie until a friend who liked the movie PM'd me a torrent for most of the background material to show why the plotholes made sense actually but if that had never happened I would still be wondering what makes the Navi way of life so much better than the way our hunter gatherers lived why did the Navi not accept the things humans where offering them despite the things we offered them being massively useful.
    • The Na'vi live in the forest and call it their home. The RDA are bulldozing the forests. Therefore, the RDA is threatening the home of the Na'vi. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
      • Except that we didn't see the bulldozing until halfway through the movie, and there was no suggestion that this had ever happened to them before.
      • Except that's not true in any way. Did you miss the HUGE STRIP MINE on the intro shots?. Did you listen to a word Selfridge and Grace said?
  • Having to have a manual is lazy writing, period; if your story can't stand on its own, then that's a problem to be fixed. What bothers me more is when people excuse the issues with the film by saying, "read the manual". Allow me to quote SF Debris's review of Star Trek: Generations on this:
    You don't get credit for stuff you don't put in the movie because... now try to follow this, because it's a pretty big leap... you didn't put it in the movie. I shouldn't have to wait months and watch all your deleted scenes to say, "Oh, this finally makes sense," or pore through some non-canon books to say, "Oh, so this isn't a pile of nonsensical horseshit after all."
    • No. There are three kinds of scifi. What I call "scifi for people who wouldn't like to admit they like scifi" where "x works because it does, now sit down and shut up" (e.g. star wars); mostly-realistic with elements that may be unfamiliar/small departures from reality/things that are not invented yet (e.g. star trek, avatar, mass effect); and 100% realistic (e.g. stephen baxter), with non-classifiable ones being either due to special circumstances, e.g. 40k, or due to being very old. EVERY single one of those aforementioned universes has background material, in several cases containing far more information that could be deemed critical to full universe understanding. It seems to me that you've run out of "BAAAWWW I DON'T LIKE IT" and now moved onto "I don't like it because it's too detailed". The film works without the book (singular, not 'books'), but it's there specifically for people who want more and people who wonder how foo works (which overlap, of course). The deleted scenes don't come into that anywhere, especially in terms of interfering with sequel plotlines. You can go ahead and watch something with only what's on TV/in the cinema all you like, even if it does make you look a bit dense, but don't complain because they took the effort to properly flesh out the universe.
      • Avatar is ultimately a morality tale. It's purpose is to deliver An Aesop about imperialism and so forth. That's how the story is constructed, and every element of the story is boxed in to lead you to exactly the conclusion the filmmakers want. In order to properly judge the actions of the humans in this story, you need to understand why they are doing what they're doing. The film tells us that they're attacking the Na'vi to get Unobtanium. However, because the film never tells us what Unobtanium is for, we are left with moral uncertainty.
        If Unobtanium is a luxury item, if it is not essential for human survival or of human civilization, then the actions of the humans are unquestionably immoral. However, if Unobtanium is vital for human survival, if it is an essential need for people, then... well, the actions of the humans can be taken very differently. You can still see them as wrong, or you can see them as a necessary evil, as the desperate actions of a species trying to stave off extinction.
        Without this knowledge, Avatar as a film is unable to communicate effectively. The audience cannot accurately judge the actions of the humans. Their actions are given an incomplete context, and therefore the audience does not know enough to decide who's in the right or who's actions are justified.
        So I submit that the missing information is not mere "background material", but is crucial story information. One simple line, "we use it to make starships," would have been sufficient. It could have been thrown into that obvious exposition scene where they guy picks up a piece of the stuff and explains that this is why they're there. Not having it there damages the ability of the film to effectively communicate.
      • I'm sure most people would agree that even if it WAS survival based, it's not acceptable to commit genocide to do so.
      • As to the "you've run out of "BAAAWWW I DON'T LIKE IT" and now moved onto "I don't like it because it's too detailed""... who are you talking to? I don't know you, and we haven't had any conversations before (that I'm aware of). Perhaps you could spend more time evaluating my actual arguments, rather than inventing some adversary whom you can assign motivations and perspective as you see fit.
      • The previous message, of course. Are you really stupid enough not to read the thread before commenting? Who do you think? Next time try looking above at people complaining because the universe was too detailed.
      • Keep a civil tongue in your head! The guy you're insulting is right. With the background material you know that the humans are doing what they're doing to save humanity, and the genocide the General Ripper is attempting is unauthorised and Earth would have his head if they knew. With the background material the humans are no worse or better than the aliens. This turns a film of cartoonish human baddies vs noble aliens into assholes vs assholes. So the director makes a film that gives off totally the wrong message to his audience.
    • There have been plenty of movies or TV episodes that I watched and enjoyed the first time, but the second time utterly collapsed because of the massive Fridge Logic. Having a book external to this that plugs all the holes doesn't mean that those holes aren't still there.

     Virus? 
Why don't they use all those billions of dollars they spend on the Navi clones to build a virus that will wipe out all the Navi? I mean seeing how they could clone the Navi they should have quite a comprehensive knowledge of how the Navi works biologically and with that knowledge they should be able to wipe out all the Navi without any ridiculous infiltration tactics.
  • The problem comes because most of the questions aren't phrased that way. Most of the time I've seen it asked here, it hasn't been from the perspective of, "Why aren't the villains more pragmatic?" but from the perspective of, "Why didn't the humans wipe the filthy animalistic savages out?" It's crossing over from Fridge Logic about something the villains could, logically, have done, to complaining that they didn't commit genocide because the question-asker thinks that's what the Na'vi deserved for daring to not bow down to us as the superior race. Check the edit history at Awesome.Avatar for a prime example of the people that ask these questions.
    • ...Do we really, really have to go through this yet again?

      They don't make a virus to wipe out the Na'vi because: They. Do. Not. Want. To. Wipe. Out. The. Na'vi.

      They say this explicitly. Repeatedly. Even Quaritch doesn't want to wipe them out at first, telling Selfridge that his attack on Hometree will have minimum casualties. Even at the end, when he's gone war-whacky, he's planning to make one decisive strike to put them off attacking rather than just wiping them out.
    • Why the flying fuck does this keep coming up? For fuck's sake, do so many tropers really think that fucking wiping out an intelligent race of people is the best answer to everything?

      It's frankly a little disgusting at this point. Fuck, even without going into that, do you even watch the goddamn movie where they say they are not willing to fucking commit genocide?
    • Moreover, it's odd how very much worse the humans come off in those "questions" and reviews than they do in the actual movie. People are so eager to condemn Cameron for painting humans horrible soulless monsters, despite all the very explicit signs of civilization and decency the "villains" demonstrated. And then these very people start "wondering" about the absense of genocide.
    • Never underestimate the Hate Dumb, 99% of who are "blind bashing", and in many cases don't WANT to understand the context. Of course, all this ignores the fact that the Na'vi rarely if ever get sick and a pandemic will no have the impact it would on Earth with such a stable population. Neither do they have the capability to produce a virus, because they are specifically limited in what weapons and methods they can use, which is exactly why they have the marines there in the first place.
    • Given the Na'vi's heavily distributed population using biological or even chemical weapon would probadly not be worth the resources used in deploying them.
    • I think part of this comes from people who aren't used to villains having moral standards. They understand that Quaritch is a villain, so they assume that he's 100% evil. From that perspective, it seems odd that he doesn't commit genocide against the Na'vi. But that's a skewed perspective.
  • I would guess that this question comes up because the film itself never bothers to tell us what unobtanium is for. Is it a necessity for a human civilization on the brink of extinction, or is it a luxury item? While other materials clarify it, the film itself does not. Therefore, if one assumes that the acquisition of unobtanium is vital for human survival, simply exterminating any resistant life-forms on Pandora is a prudent if ghastly measure. If the film had made it clear that unobtanium was not essential for human survival (which it isn't. Humanity doesn't need interstellar travel to survive the next few billion years), then I imagine fewer of these questions would be asked.
    • Perhaps it doesn't, but it just makes you look ignorant when his has been explained 10 or so times here. Also, no, because you're working under the false assumption that species A will see genocide as necessary for its own survival, when in face, among sentient species, they explicitly do not. The chance of humanity surviving 'the next billion years' is essentially zero anyway, space travel or not, while on the other hand, it is possible anyway and Pandora holds no critical importance in the availability of spaceflight, especially since otherwise they'd never have got there.
    • If unobtanium was vital to the survival of the human race, I think someone would have mentioned that in the movie. But that's open to interpretation.
    • "These bastards are sitting on my money!" (Paraphrase). That is it. Not "our people are dying out there, and these bastards don't give shit!" - just that there's a lot of precious stuff and these bastards are not giving it to you on the ridiculous pretence that their home stands atop of it. Dose assholes!

     Miscellaneous 
  • Has anyone actually watched Dances with Wolves before calling the movie Dances with Wolves, because comparing a work to other work that they hadn't watched, especially to mock it, really enfuriates me.
    • From reading the plot summary of it, I'd say no. The same goes with a LOT of works that get called derivative though - the truth is that people who don't like it just latch onto similarities as another thing to add to their list - nobody ever points out that Inception is a blatant rip off of a TNG episode, or indeed, that LOTR lifts elements wholesale from Beowulf among others.
    • Well, I dunno about inception but probably the reason nobody rips on LOTR for lifting elements from Beowulf is that Tolkien acknowledged that Beowulf was one of his biggest inspirations, and in fact he was one of the biggest proponents of Beowulf as classic literature.
    • The above has it, at least for most. Any similarities between Avatar and pre-existing works are going to draw more attention - even to the point of Flanderization - because James Cameron spent so much time insisting that his storyline would be unlike any you've ever seen before! Most people, from authors and filmmakers to musicians, acknowledge their influences; James Cameron would have you believe he did it first.
      • Way to totally misrepresent what he said in order to make him look stupid. When he said "unlike any you've seen before," he meant "unlike any you've seen before." He was touting the visual effects, not saying that he came up with the most original story ever.
      • YMMV, but it sounds like you're being a Literal Genie there
      • The list of material people claim Cameron ripped off is as long as my arm and then some. From Dances with Wolves to Star Trek Insurrection to some obscure comic books, etc... Cameron really has to be a genius in order to take all that stuff and condense it on a single movie!
  • Aside from the Dances with Wolves comparison (which I don't believe is supposed to be literal, I've also heard pocahontas and fern gully mentioned. Basically the plot line of "White Man! The Superior Indian!" has been done a bunch) I'm really bothered when people describe the visuals as innovative... I don't see it. I mean, the cgi is of a high quality, but surely it's about what they're showing, not how they're showing it. None of this seemed particularly unique looking. By the time we got to the floating island I was wondering if we'd abandoned all pretence and had just walked into a seventies prog rock album cover.
  • So, question...why are half the supporters on this page so rabid? "YOU'RE AN IDIOT FOR NOT KNOWING THIS, READ THE MANUAL, YOU'RE JUST TWISTING WORDS, RARGH" is kind of looked down upon in this little community; or at least I thought it is.
    • People get worked up about things they're enthusiastic about, and let's be honest, if you're not at least a little more enthusiastic than most, you probably wouldn't be editing this wiki. This movie just happens to be a Base Breaker of epic proportions, hence all the Serious Business on its pages. That said, this sort of thing happens on other pages, too.
     Humanity: that much closer to extinction! 
  • Jakes saves Pandora, gets the girl and a new body. Dose it not bother him that by his action, humanity is that much closer to extinction? or at least is on the road to a very bad future? Humans needed Unobtanium to power their interstellar ships, so by cutting them off the Unobtanium reserves on Pandora means it got that more expensive to use them. Also, Unobtanium is the only hope of Earth's energy crisis. Human technology is the only thing between them and extinction. Even if they find a suitable habitable planet to colonize, now the even more expensive interstellar travel means only a tiny fraction of humans will get there (think Terra Nova, IN SPACE!). Q.E.D, the billions left on Earth will die once there is no energy left, or the energy gets highly rationed to prolong the inevitable fate of being on a dead world with no power. It just baffles me people side with the Na'vi: their a few hundred, humans number in the billions. They don't need to mine all of Pandora to get the Unobtanium, so the Na'vi will still have hope. With no Unobtanium, humans are basically hopeless even if they find a suitable habitable planet to colonize, which i doubt will come in time to at least save the species. Isn't Na'vi culture against the needless death of life? By doing their little war, they could have condemned more people to death that many supervilains in the history of comic books.
    • Unobtanium isn't "the only hope" of any energy crisis. It just makes interstellar travel cheaper. This has been discussed ad nauseum on these pages already, and you're pretty much factually wrong on all points.
    • "Unobtainium only hope" == Wrong. This isn't Spaceballs.
      Humans closer to extinction: No, there are 16 billion or so.
      "No energy left" - what, once the sun dies off in a few billion years? Yeah, that will be a problem in a few billion years.
      "Their a few hundred" - their what? Assuming you meant they're, you're still 100% WRONG as usual. Learn basic mathematics, biology and research skills.
      "Colonize (sic) a new planet": No. You'd need 80 million IS Vs, or 40 million for 2 trips, or 6.67m for all 12 extant IS Vs, plus cargo.
      "Their little war" - you mean humanity's? Nobody asks to be invaded.
      Next please :P
    • OK, so i need to make myself way clearer, and sorry for any grammar mistake. From The Avatar wiki: "Humans mine unobtanium to save the Earth from its energy crisis; bluntly put, they need it for their survival." I'm pretty sure they made it very clear they need it for their energy production the way we need uranium in our nuclear power planes. On a world where most animals have died of, including most damn fish, and the RDA cultivates protein-rich algae to feed the 20 billion humans, if you take away their only hope for enough energy, what do you think will happen?
      ** They're 20 billions or so humans, so thanks for proving just how stupid would be to atempt to colonize a new planet and showing they're stuck on dying Earth.
      ** The Na'vi-Human little war.
      ** The only possible explanation i can find for the unobtanium as the last hope for energy is its obvious superconducting proprieties; its already used to contain the matter-antimatter engine of the IVS, so I'm assuming they use it in a similar manner in a fusion reactor of some sort or an matter-antimatter reactor. Were out of fossil fuel in 50 years or so, so in 150 years what are they gonna use for energy? Why, fusion power of course! Some are atempting to harness its power right now, so please, YOU do more research.
      • That's fanon. Energy can't be used to create food - this isn't Star Trek, there is no FTL travel and only minimal FTL communication, no Space Is an Ocean or Casual Interstellar Travel, no energy weapons everywhere.
        You need a ship to be able to colonise somewhere. Unless that somewhere is Mars, the asteroid belt or the moon (or possibly Venus), humans don't have the requisite tech level, barring 200-person-at-a-time ISV runs somewhere, if an ISV even has a fuel range long enough to the next habitable world, and then you have a cargo problem.
        The one humans started, you mean? Stop going on as if they're the victims rather than the instigators.
        You're still wrong, because 'a few hundred' is not a viable population on the species level with a global distribution. There are a few hundred Omatikaya, not Na'vi in general. If you take the time to do any research at all, you'll see that unobtainium is used in ISV engines (making the ISV a third of the size of the first one by greatly reducing the size of its cooling systems). I never disputed that fusion is a likely source of energy in 2154, but I did point out that it's not 'humanity's only hope'. Again, energy won't 'run out' until the sun's life ends - deuterium is abundant enough to outlast humanity, not to mention the existence of tritium and He-3. I was the one who pointed out that there isn't some deuterium crisis - even Jake can afford a MASSIVE TV that covers a wall, despite not being able to afford healthcare or a flat much wider than his bed. I didn't dispute the use of fusion, I pointed out that its use is why Earth is not facing an energy crisis.
    • Careful on the "we're going to run out of fossil fuels" assumptions. People have been saying we only have twenty years of fossil fuels left since the 1970s. Never mind the fact that the U.S. alone has about 200 years of untapped natural gas that can be harvested if need be.
    • See, this is what I cant stand about the movies hatedom. Is it really fair to expect the Navi to pay for the humans screwing up their own planet ,so they decide the yhave to wreck someone elses? It doesnt matter if you think theyre dicks, it doesnt matter if you think theyre being unreasonable, it is THEIR FUCKING PLANET. Now, I understand the actions desperation can bring about, but that still doesnt make it morally right, and it sure as hell doesnt mean the Navi are somehow in the wrong for driving the humans off.
      • There are far worse things for far less prescient reasons in human history. Practically every colonization war in our history has not been for resources, its been pretty much 'because we can' and that's lead to wars and slaughters and point blank genocides throughout our history. It's obviously wrong for humans to wipe out the Na'vi, but at no point in our history have we ever decided that just because it was morally wrong that we wouldn't do it. We have at times not been quite so crass or blinkered, but only when we could combine 'not killing people' with 'taking all their stuff'. If it more convenient or expedient to kill everyone then yeah, we will pretty much do it. The whole point here is that while killing all the Na'vi would be wrong there was no obvious reason not to when they started to put up resistance. It doesn't make it less wrong, but you don't travel half way across the galaxy to come back and tell your boss 'Sorry, the natives said no'.
      • You likely do when the reply to the alternative would be 'nice work, now we lost our contract and half of management has been arrested. You're fired'. This isn't 15th century national politics.
    • Alright. First of all, the way the humans treated the Na'vi was immoral, wrong, horrible, whatever adjective you want to use. I will not deny that. However, expanded universe canon makes it clear pretty bluntly that humanity needs unobtanium to solve its energy crisis and indirectly secure its own survival. Maybe it isn't scientifically accurate. But in-universe is what matters and in-universe, unobtainium is necessary for the survival of 20 billion humans. That is a problem I also had with Jake Sully banishing the humans. He says himself, "the aliens went back to their dying world." Right there, he says it, he is condemning them to death. While the way the humans treated the Na'vi is horrible, I really don't think Sully was justified in kicking them off the planet. It probably would have been better for both sides if Sully had instead of condemning humanity to death, negotiating from a position of strength for a deal that is good for both sides. Once again, I am not condoning humanity's actions on Pandora. They could have handled it INFINITELY better.
      • Reallistically speaking, Sully did not kick humanity off Pandora, unless Eiwa provides him with armed spaceships and orbital defenses, he does not have the means to do so permanently. He simply sent home the particular grup of humans that caused the problem, but it is canon that even before the movie started, there is already another human ship in their way to Pandora. Unless Cameron wants to show that everything has to be solved with violence, then at some point of the sequels some sort of middle ground between the two civilizations have to be reached.

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