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Shout Out / Avatar

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  • The Marine colonel swigs from his coffee mug in the middle of a gunship attack, like Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now.
  • There are oodles of Aliens Shout Outs. Let's just mention that Sigourney Weaver's first appearance on-screen is inside a capsule and leave it there, although to prevent one accidental similarity Cameron changed her chracter's surname to Augustine rather than the original Shipley, which he decided was too similar to Ripley. Believe it or not. Also, RDA company man Parker Selfridge is a bit more sympathetic than Weyland-Yutani company man Carter Burke.
  • The original Avatar Project leader (before Grace and before its focus on the Na'vi) was Dr. Cordell Lovecraft, and the project was called "Dark Dreamer". (Fun fact: Lovecraft was awarded several Nobel Peace Prizes, only to be withdrawn by protests from several groups... one of them being the UN.)
  • The burning direhorse is drawn from The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many thought it was a shout out to various films, but it actually drew from real life. Reality Is Unrealistic strikes again.
  • There's also the Colonel referring to the Na'vi as "terrorists", and saying they'll use "shock and awe" tactics.
  • The battle suits utilized by the military seem like they might also be useful for fighting evil robots
  • Corporal Wainfleet screaming "Get some!" while firing on the Na'vi, much like the door gunner in Full Metal Jacket.
  • The dire horses and thanators bear more than a passing resemblance to a couple of other multi-limbed alien creatures filling the roles of horses and great cats.
  • A copy of The Lorax appears in the extended version in the abandoned schoolhouse.
  • To StarCraft and Warcraft:
    • An army of human Space Marines in battleships and mech suits versus a race of blue-skinned, three-meter aliens with neural connections in hair-like braids and psionic-like powers, as well as a hivemind of ferocious predators? Sounds like Starcraft. The shout out seems to go both ways as as the Terrans have a similar Future Copter unit called the Banshee. The RDA also uses Power Armor walkers to fire heavy machine guns, like a prototypical Terran Marine, and while the RDA troops aren't outright convicts, some are morally dubious.
    • Likewise, the Na'vi and their Bond Creature culture and reverence towards trees and use of flier-mounted archers is very similar to Warcraft Night Elves. The Night Elves also have intelligent megafauna in their ranks to supplement their armies. The RDA are more like the Starcraft Terrans than the Orcish Horde, the later who comes into conflict with the Night Elves.