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Avatar was created by director and producer James Cameron who was born in 1954. Even though there is some controversy of James Cameron stealing ideas from other people, he is the one who ultimately created and produced the movie. Around eleventh grade, Cameron started creating the world of Avatar and writing the script for how he thought it should be. “Cameron says he has been pulling together elements of Avatar almost all his life” (Gardner). He wrote the Avatar movie and came up with his ideas from the late 1960’s to the late 1980’s, when his vision for the movie was finally where he wanted it to be. Although the filming process was stalled because of the lack of necessary filming technology, the process in making the movie took about ten years. The movie came out almost 8 years ago in 2009.
Avatar is about a paraplegic, Jake Sully, who is offered his brother’s job (his brother died suddenly) to go into Pandora in an Avatar’s body to learn information about the Na’vi and to get them to leave Hometree. Along the way there are several problems that occur and Jake has to stay true to himself and what he believes along his journey in Pandora and at the base. In the end he learns that he has done the right thing and has benefited not only himself, but the Omaticaya people.
In the very beginning, Jake Sully was skeptical about taking on the job of going into Pandora as an Avatar. When he first transformed into the Avatar his thought process changed and he liked being in the Avatar body more because he could actually walk and be like his old self. When he would wake up in his human body, he did not feel good about himself because he would have to go back to his own reality, which was being in a wheelchair instead of being able to walk. As time went on and he had to really crack down on the fact that he was supposed to be learning about the Na’vi and make them leave, his outlook on the colonel and the Na’vi tribe changed. Jake started learning the ways of the Na’vi people and was slowly falling in love with them and their way of life. When the colonel told him that he needed the information soon and that they needed to leave, Jake realized that he did not want the Na’vi to have to leave their homeland because it was theirs and not any one else’s to have, especially not the colonel. Jake realized that the colonel was wrong about everything and he did not want to do what was being asked of him. The Na’vi people were good people and they did nothing wrong to deserve what was going to happen to them. When he started to fall in love with Neytiri, his views about the people changed even more drastically. He began to disregard anything the colonel said and would do his own thing. Finally, when the colonel came to attack Hometree, Jake made a point to let the colonel see him helping the Na’vi because what he was doing was wrong. The rest of the way through the movie Jake was helping the Na’vi in trying to take down the colonel and his civilians because this was their homeland and not theirs to take. In the end Jake knew that what he did was right and everything he did for the Na’vi paid off and helped them. He eventually became one of them and felt like he was destined to become one of the Omaticaya people.
Jake is called to adventure when he is asked to replace his brother, who had died, in this mission to get to know and build relationships with the Omaticaya people, in order to negotiate with them to get them to leave their land. He agrees and is immediately sent to the base where everything is taking place. When Jake Sully first transforms and crosses the threshold into his Avatar body is when the thrill of the story starts to take place. Jake is a paraplegic and therefore does not have the luxury of walking on two feet like any other human. However, when he comes alive into the blue Avatar he gains different feelings in this new body that he has not felt in a very long time. Jake can finally walk again. Now that Jake has transformed into this new being he feels like he can do anything, He starts leaping and running because he has not been able to for so long. Once he has travelled around Pandora for a few days, Jake runs across some issues. When the light darkens, Jake comes across several black, exotic looking animal. He has to defend himself and so “Jake fights until he is pinned by a viperwolf, at which point Neytiri saves him, having to kill several viperwolves in Jake’s defense” (Jake Sully). Once Jake and Neytiri meet and become familiarized with each other, Neytiri helps him with everything Jake needs to know about the Na’vi people and how they live. She guides him along this journey in Pandora by showing him their traditions, language, and why their land is so sacred to them. Once Jake receives enough information from Neytiri, he then reports back to the colonel the information that he knows. However, after reviewing Jakes data logs, the colonel finds out that Jake has said that he does not think negotiation with the Omaticaya people will lead them anywhere or make them change their minds on leaving the land. Therefore, the colonel leads an attack on Hometree because Jake has basically not been doing his job. Before the attack, Jake tries to explain to tell the Omaticaya people that he was sent there for an important job stating, “Okay. Look, I was sent here to..” (Avatar) but then he gets cut off when the colonel pulls his plug. After this happened the Omaticaya people knew that he was “A demon in a false body” (Avatar) and that he was not one of them. This did not change the fact that they still stayed and many Na’vi were killed and their sacred Hometree was destroyed. After all the fighting had ceased, the colonel eventually died by the bow and arrows of Neytiri. The Omaticaya people forgave Jake in the end because they saw that he was fighting with them and that he really was one of them. Jake asked to become one of the Omaticaya people because he loved Neytiri and he loved the people. Thus, the Na’vi performed the ritual and in the last few seconds of the movie Jake opens his eyes and is reborn as a Na’vi. He was finally one of them.
There are lots of themes throughout the Avatar movie. One theme I found most clear was ‘always stay true and stand your ground.’ When the Na’vi people knew that their land was going to be attacked they didn’t leave to go to safety. Instead they stayed and were going to fight because this was their sacred home and where they had lived for their whole lives. Even though the Na’vi knew they could possibly die, they stayed true to their beliefs and were going to stay there and die if they had to. Another theme I pulled out was, ‘what others view as sacred, we do not care about.’ When the colonel attacked Hometree he did not care that Jake had told him that the tree was sacred to them and he did not care about their beliefs. This shows that us as humans need to respect and appreciate the beliefs and sacredness of other cultures even if it is not what we believe or hold sacred. Another theme that was reiterated several times was the theme of courage. Jake Sully had to have the courage to go back into his Avatar time and time again and risk being killed for the information he was supposed to collect from the Na’vi. He also had to have the courage to go against his own kind for the greater good of the Omaticaya people and their home. Lastly, a universal theme that was presented was the man versus himself. Jake had some hard moments in Avatar that he really had to question what he was doing and if he was in the right or wrong. Ultimately he had to decide if he was going to fight with the Na’vi or do what he first set out to do. Through lots of thought and conversation, Jake ended up doing the right thing and fought with the Omaticaya people to help preserve their land.
Avatar reflects the worldview of the culture that created it in lots of ways. When the Na’vi were being forced off their land is an interpretation of when the United States forced the Native Americans to leave their land. The Native Americans had the land and resources that the United States government wanted and they basically had no choice but to leave their land because “thousands of federal soldiers and Georgia volunteers entered the territory and forcibly relocated the Cherokees” (Library of Congress). The Na’vi tribe also represents cultures around the world that are viewed as less than the other and that they are not as important as other countries or people. For example, many people view America as one of the best countries in the world. It is where you come for freedom and opportunity whereas, those little countries that no one really talks or knows about do not have as much importance to people as The United States would. Also, another worldview that can be seen in Avatar is the connectedness between nature, animals, and people. All these aspects to the Na’vi are what represents life and connectedness. The Omaticaya people were connected with everything around them and anything on their land was of importance to them and played a role in their lives. This represents life in general because everything around us represents something important to sustain life and the world we live in. Also, everything is connected in one form or another, in order for us to live in this world and create a beautiful world we live in.
Avatar is a worldly movie that reflects on the upcoming and past problems that we have had and are having in the world. It’s the creation of a story that everyone should be able to relate to in one way or another ranging from love, hard decision making or even how others view society and their land. It demonstrates how the world can be at times and how harsh reality can be when people only care about themselves and not the wellbeing of others.
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