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UPDATED: Copernicus Grades Cameron On The Science of AVATAR!!

Merrick here...
Our longtime friend and frequent contributor Copernicus saw AVATAR and wanted to share some thoughts about the film's science. Copernicus is a quite a scientist himself, so this is a very fascinating read & we really appreciate his taking the time to put this piece together for us.
Here's Copernicus...

First, a little background: I’m a professor of astrophysics who has searched for planets, worked on SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programs, and taught classes on life in the universe. Right now, I’m helping to build a global network of telescopes to search for planets and supernovae. That is a long-winded way of saying that it is part of my job description to think about the possibility of life on other worlds. So when James Cameron makes one of the most expensive movies ever made, and one that puts us right in the middle of an alien culture… in 3D.... well to say I’m interested doesn’t begin to cover it. Since the movie has already been reviewed to death, I’m going to focus on something that hasn’t been covered yet – the science. But while this is interesting exercise, for me it is story first, and science second. I’d put it like this: Copernicus’ Law of Science Fiction: Bending the laws of physics out of service to the story is fine, doing it out of ignorance is unconscionable. I don’t mind if the ships in Star Trek can go faster than the speed of light – otherwise the story would be pretty boring. And I know there’s no sound in space, but I want Star Destroyers to rumble, and the Millennium Falcon to have that iconic whine. But if a director casually gets science wrong for no real reason other than that he is stupid or lazy (see ARMAGEDDON, THE CORE, and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, to name a few), then to hell with him. If the filmmakers don’t respect the intelligence of the audience, I’m not going to respect the movie. Fortunately, James Cameron has a knack for science that rivals his moviemaking skills.


Historically, movie directors have had their asses kicked by astronomers as far as taking us to exotic worlds. For the most part, movie planets look like an extreme form of Earth -- they almost always have an oxygen atmosphere at an Earthlike pressure and gravity. Movie planets don’t even come close to matching the diversity of worlds in our solar system: the surface of Io is a mottled, sulfurous orange-yellow, constantly being repaved by volcanoes shooting hundreds of miles into the sky. Titan has a thick smog atmosphere that blots out the sun and rains hydrocarbons. Mars has planet-wide dust storms and a 17-mile-high volcano that nearly reaches above the atmosphere. Venus has a crushing, choking sulfur dioxide atmosphere with a pressure 92 times that of earth, and a temperature that can melt lead. Enceladus shoots ice geysers into space. And the real Pandora orbits within the rings of Saturn. These are only a few of the hundreds of planets, minor planets, and moons in our solar system: we’ve discovered hundreds elsewhere in the galaxy, some of which seem even crazier: super-Earths, nearly boiling puffed-up Jupiters, and objects that may be free-floating rogue planets without a star. So I can’t think of a better use for 3d and a few hundred million dollars of effects than filmmakers starting to raise the bar to finally approach the awesome reality of nature. Due to the limits of budgets, finances, and creativity, I can’t think of another film that has attempted something near the scale of what Cameron has done here. I’ll address the different aspects of the science in sections.


From a visual perspective, Avatar’s Pandora is breathtaking. While most movies have only hinted at the exotic nature of their worlds with an establishing matte painting or two, here Cameron takes us on an elaborate three-dimensional tour though various habitats, from the treetops to the forest floor. He’s created a whole ecosystem, from semi-intelligent trees to giant land and air creatures. Most seem inter-related via symbiotic relationships. In fact, Cameron has taken the Gaia hypothesis, that the biosphere of the Earth is itself a kind of living entity, and sexed it up – the biosphere of Pandora is essentially a god, and it’s networked! Creatures can plug into each other via what amounts to USB hair and fiber optic roots. While some of these ideas are not without their faults (see below), Cameron gets points for creativity – this is true science fiction, not space opera. I do have one minor complaint, that given their networking abilities, the Na’vi should not be so technologically inferior to the humans. On Earth, the largest barrier to technological progression was that information that existed in the brains of primitive humans could not be easily shared or preserved. As soon as writing was developed, suddenly it was possible to store information outside of the brain, and record and build upon knowledge. The knowledge available to a human or tribe went from one brain’s worth (and a minimal amount of oral tradition), to thousands, and ultimately billions of brains’ worth. The result was a technological and social explosion. Hominids have had technology like spears for about half a million years, but only 7,000 years after the development of writing we had left the planet. And the sharing of knowledge is still undergoing a revolution with the development of the internet. Now we have instantaneous access to the combined knowledge of the entire history of humanity. Since the Na’vi have had the ability to download information and share it in a massive network for long periods of time (evolutionary timescales), they should be way ahead of us in terms of technological development. Still, I have to give Cameron a pass here. It is thematically necessary that the Na’vi are technologically primitive, and their root-network is necessary to the plot. Maybe you could say that they could have evolved more technology, but they don’t need it or want it. Still, that reeks of the “Noble savage” idea, and I have to agree with Stephen Pinker that that is a bunch of hoo-ha. But my major complaint from an evolutionary standpoint is that there is no way in hell that life on Pandora would evolve to look so similar to Earth life: there are humanoids, space horseys, hammerhead rhinoceri, and pseudo-pterodactyl beasties. And to make it worse, they have DNA, and the DNA is close enough to our own that Na’vi and human DNA can be combined! Again, I have to give Cameron a pass. First, it is easier for the audience to relate to familiar things. And more than that there is a significant plot point that I won’t spoil towards the end of the film that hinges on humans and Na’vi having similar DNA. One way out of both my evolutionary nitpicks is the panspermia hypothesis -- that life in the galaxy was seeded in multiple places by an advanced civilization. But even then the odds against evolution producing such similar animals on different planets is astronomical. Since we have a clear record of evolution on Earth, some civilization would have had to keep taking specimens from earth, first pterodactyls, and ultimately humans (after they evolved), and then would have had to deliver them to Pandora, possibly modified via genetic engineering. That would be an interesting sequel: humans and Na’vi come together to confront their godlike humanoid ancestors! Grade on astrobiology: A for the scale of the ecosystem, C for being too much like Earth – call it a B overall.


Pandora is a moon of Polyphemus, a fictional gas giant orbiting Alpha Centauri A. I’ve always wanted to know what the view would be from the moon of a gas giant. Can you imagine a quarter of the sky being taken up by a massive cloud-covered planet visible night or day? We get to see it in Avatar, and since Jupiter is the king of the gods, maybe majestic is an appropriate word to describe it. I wonder if Cameron’s choice to set this on the moon of a gas giant wasn’t a slap in the face to Lucas, as if to say “this is RETURN OF THE JEDI done right.” (I know it is ambiguous in the Star Wars universe whether or not Endor orbits a gas giant.) But what had me really geeking out is the choice of the star system. Alpha Centauri A is perfect. First, as the closest star system to the sun (4.37 light years), it may well be the first star we travel to. Second, it is familiar in that you can see it with the naked eye if you live in the southern hemisphere – it is the brightest star in Centaurus. Actually, what appears to be a single star can be resolved as a binary system if you use a telescope. It is Alpha Centauri A, a bit more massive than the sun (1.1 solar masses), and Alpha Centauri B, a bit less massive than the sun (0.9 solar masses). The choice of G-type stars near the mass of the sun is great – they last for billions of years – plenty of time for life to evolve. They are in an elliptical orbit around a common center of mass, which means they come together and drift apart over the course of one 80 year orbit. The two stars get as close as 11 astronomical units (an AU is the average Earth-Sun distance; 11 AU is about the distance to Saturn), and get as far apart as 36 AU (about the distance to Pluto). Would you see the companion star (Alpha Cen B) in the sky from Pandora? That depends on where it is in its orbit. At the farthest distance it would be a few hundred times the brightness of the full Moon as seen from Earth. But your eyes are logarithmic detectors, so it would actually only seem a few times brighter than we perceive the Moon. At its closest approach, Alpha Cen B would be a few thousand times as bright as we see our Moon. This is not all that bright – in comparison, on Earth the Sun is about half a million times brighter than the Moon. So on Pandora, if Alpha Cen B is up in the daytime then you might not even notice it, depending on how far away it is in the sky from Alpha Cen A. But if it is up at night (as it would be for half the year), it would never get completely dark – the sky would just be kind of dark blue. Technically, there is a third star in the system, Proxima Centauri, but it is a tiny red dwarf a huge distance, about 12,000 AU, away – it is not even clear it is bound to the system. At any rate, it would not be prominent in the sky as seen from Pandora. Incidentally, my first job as a graduate student was to help calibrate the fine guidance sensors on the Hubble Space Telescope to help my advisor look for planets around Proxima Centauri. Sadly, we didn’t find any. It is an interesting question as to whether planets around either Alpha Cen A or B could exist in stable orbits that would last for billions of years. You might think they couldn’t because the gravity of the other star would perturb any forming planet. However, simulations show that at least at Earth-like distances, stable planets can form in that system. Grade for astronomy: for the choice of star system, setting in on a moon, and around a gas giant, Cameron gets an A+.


Electromagnetic radiation comes in many forms, gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, visual, infrared, and radio. Our eyes evolved to see in the narrow range that the sun has its peak output -- the visual band -- and the flora and fauna of Earth evolved pigments and colors that work at these wavelengths. But this isn’t universal -- some animals can see a narrower region of the spectrum than us, and others see farther into the ultraviolet or infrared. Our cornea blocks most UV light, but bees, for example, don’t have one and can see farther into the UV. They can see patterns in flowers that we can’t. In fact, colors are really something manufactured in our brain – physically colors are just different wavelengths of light ranging uniformly from short wavelengths (violet) to long (red). What we see as blue or green or red helps us differentiate sky from grass from blood, but to a creature from another world, all these things might appear as the same color. In fact, you could imagine that bats might use echolocation to “see” rough surfaces as one color and smooth surfaces as another. So since colors are something created by our brains and not intrinsic to the universe (only wavelengths of light are), it is virtually certain Pandorans would see color differently than we do. Alpha Cen A has almost the same temperature as the Sun, but it is just a bit hotter. As a result, the star puts out most of its light at visual wavelengths just like the Sun. But the star’s output is only part of the story – the oxygen and ozone in our atmosphere block much of the ultraviolet light from the Sun, and water vapor blocks some of the infrared light. Pandora doesn’t have an oxygen atmosphere (if the movie mentioned what gasses it contains, I didn’t catch it), so we might expect more of the ultraviolet light to reach the surface. The creatures there might be able to see farther into the ultraviolet. There might be all kinds of patterns that the inhabitants of Pandora can see that just look blue to us. Maybe that’s which there are so many blue colors in the film. To take this a step farther, I would have loved to see a scene where a character sees beautiful colors or patterns as an Avatar, only to have this beauty evaporate into a uniform sea of blue when he sees the same vista with human eyes. Another feature of Pandora adding to the ubiquitous shades of blue is that bioluminescence seems to be a staple of the ecosystem. As Massawyrm points out, this makes sense for a world that may spend days at a time shrouded in darkness. Remember that a day occurs when Pandora rotates on its axis. But it might take a month or so to orbit its gas giant, which we know looms large in the sky, and could blot out the sun for days. Grade for the astrophysics: For the fact that this world doesn’t have an oxygen atmosphere, and the plausible use of color, A.


Since Pandora is a moon and is presumably smaller than the Earth, the gravity would be lower. This is alluded to in the film, and creatures do grow larger and survive falls from greater heights than you could on Earth. I wonder if Cameron dialed in a different gravity to the physics engine rendering everything. To my eye, for at least the human scenes, the gravity looked just like Earth gravity, but then again if the gravity is close the differences can be subtle. Virtually all science fiction movies feature planets with gravity at 1g, since, of course, until now, filming has always been done on Earth. Since here so much of the world was created inside the computer, I would have liked to see this aspect pushed a bit farther. In one of my biggest pet peeves regarding the science of Avatar, there is one scene where the gas giant, Polyphemus, can clearly be seen to be rotating in the span of about a second or two. Let’s say it rotates about a degree out of 360 degrees in those 2 seconds. That means it makes one rotation in 720 seconds, or 12 minutes! Jupiter takes about 10 hours to rotate. So the gas giant in Avatar rotates about 50 times faster than Jupiter. Winds on Jupiter can exceed 100 meters per second, so the winds on Polyphemus would have to exceed 5000 m/s – this is supersonic and clearly implausible. Here’s one case where Cameron opted for visual effect over realism, but to me the bargain isn’t worth it. It looks unrealistic and takes me right out of the movie. But I do like the look of the clouds on Polyphemus – they look like a cross between Neptune and Jupiter. The highlight is a giant storm resembling Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. That is particularly appropriate for Polyphemus, named after a mythological cyclops. But my biggest beef in Cameron’s trading physics for visuals is those goddamn floating mountains. Seriously, floating mountains? How the hell do they stay up there? This is such an egregious flouting of the laws of physics that surely there is some reasoning behind it. Between the fact that Pandora seems to be sort-of at 1g, the impossible rotation of Polyphemus, and the floating mountains, physics is one one area AVATAR gets a marginal fail on Copernicus’ Law of Science Fiction. But on all the other aspects of science, Cameron gets either a pass or passes with flying colors. The dream of interstellar travel will only become a reality far beyond our lifetimes. But I love the fact that today I can be deeply immersed in not just a plausible, but a compelling alien world just by putting on a pair of 3D glasses and visiting my local theater. Even if I have to drive 100 miles to see it in IMAX, that is nothing compared to interstellar distances! And I love that there is a filmmaker that plays more than lip service to the science in his films, stimulating discussion and thought about distant worlds among geeks everywhere. I was inspired to do astronomy after seeing STAR WARS as a kid. I’m willing to bet that a fair fraction of tomorrow’s astronomers will have decided to devote their life to the discovery of new worlds because of AVATAR.
Mail Copernicus -- Copernicus

Thanks for the enthusiastic response to the article. Thanks for all the emails, and it is nice to see some interesting discussion in the talkbacks (who knew?). A few updates: People have sent links to several sources that explain many of the questions I had. One is the pandorapedia. Another is A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora. And people sent the script treatment. I have not read the entirety of that last one yet, but the first two are interesting reading. Levitating mountains: As dozens of people have pointed out, the mountains supposedly contain unobtainium, a room-temperature superconductor. Superconductors expel magnetic field lines, and as a result magnets can levitate above a superconductor. Here superconducting mountains are apparently levitating over the strong magnetic field of the moon or planet, or both. I had thought about some kind of mechanism like that but dismissed it for two reasons: (1) how could mountains form, stay in place, be weathered and shaped, etc. (2) if there is unobtanium in the floating mountains, why not get it there so as not disrupt the Na'vi. But I think I was just short-sighted. In the case of (1), the intention is that the mountains started out attached, but broke off and floated upwards at a certain point, and now they sort of float around. I buy that, at least enough for a cool movie scene. And for (2), maybe the unobtanium in the mountains isn't the right kind, or isn't pure, or is hard to mine. Interestingly, a geologist emailed me with another sighting indicating the strong magnetic field of the planet: the stone arches seen at the climax seem to be from mineral growth along magnetic field lines. Awesome. Plenty of people have asked where the water comes from for the waterfalls in the floating mountains. To me, it is just like a normal mountain, with the bottom missing. Where does the water come form in normal mountains with waterfalls: rain and snow. Yes there was tons of water, but have you ever been to Yosemite in the spring? When the snow melts it all comes down at once, and it is an impressive sight. And this is a little out of the purview of this article, but plenty of people have also asked why the humans didn't nuke the planet from orbit. (A) maybe they didn't bring any -- the proverbial "somebody's gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes" problem, and (B) you people scare me! Why doesn't the US just nuke countries we don't like? That is not cool, man. Planet rotation: Someone affiliated with the film who asked me not to name them (but who ought to know) says the planet rotation scene was intended to be time lapse. Brilliant. I'll have to see it again to confirm that, but I'd buy it, because I think there were other shots where the planet didn't seem to be rotating quickly. Oxygen atmosphere: I said that Pandora doesn't have an oxygen atmosphere, but I was wrong about that -- it does, but it has other gasses that are poisonous to humans. Clearly Cameron, a fellow diving and deep sea enthusiast, thought of this, because the people only need simple gas masks to breathe, and not huge oxygen tanks. DNA: The Pandorapedia says the Avatars don't have DNA, just something analogous so that you can map to it. Great! Although, from my memory, the movie implies they do have DNA. I'd need to see it again to be sure. Maybe the character explaining it knows as much about DNA as most people do and just got it wrong. If I had a nickel for every time I was at a partly and someone told me that they heard that "they" (meaning scientists) have broken the speed of light, teleported something, etc. Interstellar travel: From the pandorapedia: "Mission Profile: 0.46 year initial acceleration @ 1.5 g to reach 0.7 c; 5.83 years cruise @ 0.7 c; 0.46 year deceleration; 1 year loiter in orbit around Pandora; Mission Duration: 6.75 + 1.0 + 6.75 = 14.5 Earth years. However, relativistic effects shorten the time onboard ship to slightly less than 6 years each way." Hmm, I don't think that calculation is quite right, but it is close enough. To see, let's take the special relativistic part, the cruising speed. If ET is Earth Time, ST is Ship Time, v is velocity, and c is the speed of light, then ET=ST/SQRT(1-v^2/c^2). So ST=5.83*SQRT(1-0.7^2)=4.1 years for the cruising. Even if you assume there is no time dilation on the accelerating and decelerating parts, then the trip is only 5 years, not 6. Maybe they are including the hanging out on Pandora time. To do the calculation correctly I'd have to drop some GR on you bitches, and I'm too lazy and you'd be bored. 70% of the speed of light is a good figure though -- it is almost plausible! From what I've read of the ship technologies, they sound very well thought out too. Eyes: One of those sources mentioned that some of the creatures have two pairs of eyes -- one visual, and one that sees in the IR for nighttime hunting. Sweet! This is not without precedent. We have two separately evolved "circuits" for vision in our brains -- one primitive automatic one and another one for conscious sight. Look up "blindsight," where people with damage to the latter circuit can't consciously see, but can catch a ball. And of course we have two types of cells for day / night vision in our eyes: cones that allow you to see color when there is plenty of light, and rods that allow you to see black and white only, but give you night vision. Try this: put an eye patch on while you are inside for about 30 minutes, then go out where it is dark and blink between your dark and light adapted eyes. You can really see the color difference. It is awesome. Wow, it appears that many of my nitpicks about the science were actually taken into account by the filmmakers and there are answers. I'm impressed! Hats off to Cameron and company for getting all this right. I can't wait to use this film in my introductory astronomy classes. -Copernicus

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    What Science?

    by Drsambeckett1984

    It was made up cat people nonsense!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by Tjunior


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Great article

    by FarSky

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST


    by Tjunior


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by Drsambeckett1984


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:52 a.m. CST


    by Drsambeckett1984

    I actually agree with the article in parts, one of the few new ideas in Avatar was the toxic to humans atmosphere of Pandora.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Floating Mountains


    Have you never thought of the idea that on this world certain magnetic elements in specific rocks and an alien magnetosphere would create such a phenomenon?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    did you take into account ...

    by webbigail

    Copernicus, did you take into account the rotation of Pandora when you estimated the speed of rotation of its primary? And why no analysis of the human's future technology shown? How does Cameron rate on that aspect of the film's science?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Floating Mountain explanation

    by tiltandflip

    The way he explained the flaoting mountains: they are loaded with "unobtainium", and because of the moon's natural magnetic field, they float like magnets repelling against one another.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Anyone got a spare dictionary?

    by masteryoda007

    Nice article, very interesting indeed.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Reminder: Babylon 5 almost completely played by the rules

    by ballyhoo

    and still managed to tell a hell of a story. The lesson here is that no matter how much you think bending the rules is okay, that kind of thinking can eventually lead to Lacey White breathing in space.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Floating Mountains by PitchPerfect

    by webbigail

    That explanation did occur to me too and probably was Cameron's excuse. It would have been good to hear a character in the film mention the superconducting mineral and the extreme magnetic field of Pandora as reason why the 'mountains' could float. Perhaps Cameron thought it good enough to show a mineral sample floating in a magnetic field. There are several other 'throw-away' sights or lines of dialog that foreshadow later scenes, serving as explanations for actions in those later scenes. Perhaps the average movie-goer though doesn't pay enough attention to such things and later has undeserved qualms about those (previously explained) actions.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST

    What about the avatars, themselves?

    by Curious Jorge

    They didn't explain any of the science of the avatars, and I had a few questions about that. For example, when the avatar is lifeless, how do you keep the brain from deteriorating? And second, in a body that is specifically designed to be remotely controlled, how do you just transfer consciousness?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    awesome article

    by tgmee

    This is why I come to this website!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Re: Floating Mountain explanation

    by Curious Jorge

    Mining the unobtanium was the whole reason for destroying the Great Tree; if the floating islands were filled with unobtanium, they could have avoided killing the Navi by lassoing those rocks and pulling them out into space to mine.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Grade for Using the Exotic Wailing Bitch: F

    by Frisco

    The EWB has got to go, people. She is a crutch and has become a sure sign of unoriginality. <P> The movie as a whole was fine if you ignored the story. The science was okay. I didn't like the fact that it was set in the Alpha Centauri system: it made the Earth-like environment seem even more coincidental. It was also extremely unlikely that they would waste months or years trying to get at the richest yield of unobtanium "within 200 klicks" when they could plop down anywhere they wanted from orbit. Ahh, I'll stop now. I don't want to sound like a hater. It really just is depressing, though, to see all of that creativity and passion and hard work put to use in telling such a trite story.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Great article!

    by JamieCOTC95

    Thank you for the article. As anyone else, I could see Cameron's love of science all over this film and it was great. I just wished they had hired a better writer. :\

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Science in the Fiction

    by Bellam

    Great article. I also would love to hear about the scientific plausibility of the Avatars and transferred consciousness and all that jazz.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Just Blinded by Science!!

    by Franky_Four_Fingers

    Long read,interesting observations. Now, if you could just explain STINO's Red Matter we can get back to business.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST

    She blinded me with Science!

    by vic twenty

    That bitch. BTW, loved Avatar in Imax 3-D. The story was familiar but the execution was great. Thanks to Jim Cameron for another great film and thanks to Copernicus for a very interesting article! You should have a standing invitation to break down science fiction films to see how they hold up to what we know currently.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    science or special effects doesn't take away from bad storytelli

    by tigerking7979

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Missed a major point - war drives tech - especially weaponry

    by DoogieHowitzer

    It would seem that a planet with that much interconnection might be lacking large conflicts (i.e Wars). With the only need for weaponry being individual self-defense and hunting, the push to develop mass-destruction technology is absent. I give Cameron kudos for realizing that an alien culture may lack the NEED for many of our advanced technology due to their very alien nature. Even our information technology backbone and much of our medical advancement is driven by the defense industry and has been for hundreds of years.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Real answers and hard science have no place on AICN...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...AICN is for poo flicking.<P> Only huge throbbing opinions cobbled together from a mixture of fact, fiction, delusion, hearsay, religion, wild speculation, megalomania, and monkey shit will be tolerated.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Uneven Science

    by Buckrogersbarker

    They can travel to another star system and control hybrid clones with their BRAINS, but they can't economically fix a guy's spinal cord. They have shuttles, gunships and all manner of military hardware and yet their big plan is to drop a grocery cart of randomly assembled explosives out of the back door of a shuttle. The only way they can extract ore is by remote control monster trucks controled by an unshaven guy with a CAT ballcap wearing flannel. Things were very uneven and it might be confusing why until you see that it was meant to drive home a point.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    floating mountains never explained in movie....

    by tigerking7979

    they were just there to look cool. and nowhere is it stated that unobtanium is in these mountains. If so then the humans would be raiding the floating mountains

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:42 a.m. CST

    ...showing up with a REAL scientist? What a mood killer.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Lack of Technological Advancement By Na'vi

    by Stryder

    I actually thought about this as I was walking out of the film. I'd be willing to go along with the "they just don't need it" explanation when I think about our own reasons for advancing technology. Yes, communication and archiving of ideas was the catalyst for great human advancement, but WHY do we need technology? It seems to me that every single bit of technology (tools, clothing, writing, domesticated livestock, etc.) exists to work around some natural problem, to "bend nature to our will". Well, what if we didn't have to do that? What if we had our own little USB ports so that we could exchange thoughts and feelings with every single living thing in the world? Would we still feel the need to create cites, farms, libraries, or computers? Maybe not. Yeah, it's a big Hippy-dippy idea, but I can see how it kinda fits with the inter-connected ecosystem that Cameron created. The flip side of this is that without the NEED for technology, there isn't a lot of need for critical thinking and problem-solving. In my view, that not only stifles technological advancement, but also artistic advancement. Art, after all, exists because artists are compelled to communicate their ideas and emotions to others through a creative medium. If the Na'vi can fully understand each other ("I SEE you") through their empathy aided by their biological transference of information, then there's no reason for painting, written stories, drama... I'll give them singing because there's a physiological component to making noises to communicate emotion that seems instinctual to most higher life forms. It's an interesting problem, and I think it comes down to this: Would you be satisfied in Eden? If you were able to know what everything around you was thinking and feeling, how would you view the world? Would you be at peace with your place in the universe and simply accept it? Or would you still look to the stars and wonder, "Now how the hell do I get up THERE?"

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Stryder, all of which leads to the question . . .

    by WickedJacob

    maybe humanity is doing them a favor by shaking them out of perpetual infantile bliss.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11 a.m. CST

    Copernicus, what about convergent evolution...

    by kisskissbangbang the explanation for the broad similarity of Pandoran fauna and flora? Dolphins look like fish because certain shapes decrease water resistance, and so on. I'd expect some similarities in morphology, with lots of differences, too, of course. I think I've read that the Pandoran ecosystem is supposed to be based on liquid ammonia as the solvent, which is the standard alternative to water in hard sf. That should mean Pandora is colder than Earth, and that there are no icecaps or bergs, since ammonia ice sinks instead of floating like water ice. Finally, I thought I heard there was a tie-in book listing 500 types of Pandoran fauna. Perhaps you might return to do a review of it. Great piece.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    ...Stryder, even on this planet "technology"...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...(a big word, I realize any tool it technically technology) as we think of it seems like a bit of a fluke.<P>Any number of aboriginal civilizations on this planet evolved a simple and sustainable lifestyle that worked for them and stuck with it for thousands of years.<P>I see no reason why the basic human hunting and gathering society couldn't have gone on indefinitely. The technological explosion of the last few thousand years seems like an anomaly and not at all inevitable...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Bravo! All hail Copernicus.


    Great job. I loved this.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Infantile Bliss?

    by Hipshot

    That's for people who are protected. Clearly, the Na'vi must be hyper-alert within their environment. They ain't kids. I doubt very seriously that technological humans are more "adult" than those who live in constant awareness of danger. They could be perfectly evolved to survive in their environment, but still vulnerable to a threat from off-planet.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST


    by braddavery

    Why would forcing them to be like us be "doing them a favor". Humans are awful.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Then go live in a tree.

    by WickedJacob

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Great Article, Awesome Talkback

    by Crow3711

    And I'm loving a lot of the discussion going on in here. Science always propels excellent conversation. I'm personally in the camp of buying that the Na'vi simply don't want or need technological advances, and DoogieHowitzers argument about "War Driving Tech" is also an extremely compelling argument to why the Na'vi don't strive for technological advancement. Personally I felt they, as a species, just made a different choice than humans. We chose globalization. They chose tribal existence. I don't think that is entirely unbelievable by itself. <p> The floating mountains are the only real scientific complain I can come up with. For me, the spectacle of it was better than the logic, so I ignored it for the most part, but I was expecting to hear at least one line of dialogue vaguely explaining it. Chalk it up to some alien form of magentism I guess, but I expected a line that the "unobtainium" or some other alien element, was actually magnetic or something strange that the mountains were made of. I was surprised they ignored it, but it didn't matter. Cameron wanted some fucking floating mountains. Let him have it. It was cool as shit. <p> The best thing about this article is thinking back on this one time in a 10th grade science class, my teacher made us watch Armageddeon, and he stopped it like every ten minutes, and we dissected every retarded bit of it and how absolutely none of it was scienctific in any way. It was the best two classes of my life. He was really driving the point home for the kids who hadnt figured it out yet, that most movies are total bullshit, but that they should, in fact, be held up to scientific fact in some way. The funniest bit of armageddeon is when they are drilling into the meteor at the end, they have to drill 800 feet, but earlier in the movie they established it was roughly the size of texas. So, 800 feet barely scratches the surface of that meteor, its literally nothing. Complete retardation. Hilarious. I'm glad Cameron brought the scientific pain on this one. Watching this movie in 3D was incredible. In 2D, yeah, it would be much less awesome, and the story would be much less interesting, but as it stands, a complete triumph. I loved it.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    The Na'vi dont appear to have evolved on Pandora

    by Turingtestee

    Everything else has six legs.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Since Life on Earth evolves trough competition

    by cookylamoo

    How does life on a Gaia world evolve? And do predictors on a Gaia world get the OK before they eat you?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Here's why the Na'vi don't have advanced technology

    by Frisco

    Because somehow, magically, while they are clearly meant to be stand-ins for human indigenous populations they are 100% well nourished, free from infestation by parasites, devoid of curiosity, and long-lived. They live in a cross between the garden of Eden and the United Federation of Planets, where every need is addressed *somehow* and there are no consequences for living like the drones in John Lennon's "Imagine."

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    ...SUNSHINE has a DVD commentary by a physicist...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...from Cambridge. Really interesting. Within the original and fictitious concept for the movie they tried to be as correct as possible with the science...great commentary.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Navi, Pandora, and common ancestry

    by Curious Jorge

    One other thing to keep in mind... there is obviously a shared ancestry between Earth and Pandora. The Navi were humanoid, many of the trees and plants looked like variations of what you might find on Earth, and even the animals were very similar in basic design. So when you consider that there is a common ancestry, then the only logical conclusion is that the planet was seeded with life.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    ...I'm telling you, "technology" is a fluke...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...a basic hunter gatherer type society can and has gone on virtually unchanged for thousands and thousands of years.<P>Our little Sumerian writing experiment has really snowballed for now on this planet, but hunting and gathering is the norm.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Why didn't the eagles fly Frodo into mordor?

    by whiskey_dick

    Is there any reason they have to have a ground war with na'vi? As a few people have mentioned, wouldn't it be a lot easier to just zip in and haul away the floating mountains of unobtanium? If they really need the source guarded by the Na'vi for whatever reason, can't they just nuke the shit out of them from orbit then grab their rocks in peace? (ps-I know there's an explanation for Frodo and the eagles, just wondering if there's one for this as well).

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Lack of technology

    by Bass Ackwards

    I like a lot of the responses in this thread, another idea that hasn't been brought forth, maybe we just caught them earlier in their evolutionary development? Who's to say that if this Pandora had developed another 1000 years, that these guys wouldn't be brimming with technology?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST

    What about the atmosphere?

    by Rectal Blowout

    I read that someone mentioned that ammonia is lighter/thinner then air. Sound waves would be different. So the sounds might be higher in pitch(is that correct?) Anything flying through the air would require less resistance. Fire and explosives would behave differently. Does the movie explain that the Navi are spraying piss everywhere causing the atmosphere to be ammonia?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Do the Na'vi

    by Rectal Blowout

    use litter boxes?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    The mountains floated do to the unobtanium

    by eric haislar

    and the string magnetic field. Duh!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    ...Blowout...yes, but they don't have odor free or clumping...

    by FlickaPoo

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Awesome article and talkback

    by Uncle_Pooch

    better than the film...sorry to say

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    Thanks, Copernicus. You should do this more often.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    I thought that the floating mountains

    by Rectal Blowout

    contained a higher amount of a magnetic element or mineral that was in a tug of war between Pandora and Polyphemus.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:43 a.m. CST

    That's it, haters...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...keep sucking it. Suuuuuuck it.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    A useless exercise...

    by Batutta

    Why don't all you geniuses apply your scientific knowledge...TO THE REAL FUCKING WORLD. You are not going to solve anything of value by picking apart the inconsistencies of an artificial creation.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    If you're going to cut and paste...

    by Scorpio

    ...from a document you wrote elsewhere, please remove the line breaks. I'm sure your article is really interesting. But I can't finish reading it because it's a mess.

  • against Earth, or surrounding planets/moons with intelligent lifeforms, since it's a "living" planet.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Fantastic Work

    by J-Tall

    We need a lot more of this on this site. The story in Avatar may have been simply average, but the scale and depth of the world and visuals was simply unbelievable. It won't hold up in the long run as well because it won't be the same movie at home, but for now it's an incredible ride Thanks for bringing Cameron's amazing world even more to life.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST


    by mrdck

    He waffles on about some fucking star system without touching on the obvious stuff. Why are the navi fucking blue when the environment is mostly green? What are the chances of them looking human with human facial expressions and able to speak perfect fucking english? How fucking plausible to project consciousness into another organism? Doesn't this demonstrate Cameron's staggering hack concepts and unoriginality? No, that fucking nerd has decided not to address those issues.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST

    please pay Copernicus to do this for every sci-fi film!

    by BadMrWonka

    not every new one that comes out, I mean EVERY SINGLE MAJOR SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE EVER MADE.<p> As a science and film geek, I ruined my boxers when I saw this article.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Even I knew the science behind the floating mountains

    by shazzbot

    and I'm a jackass posting on an AICN forum.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    "able to speak perfect fucking english?"

    by DocPazuzu

    Well, mrdck(blood), I'm guessing you were either asleep or blowing some guy at the back of the theater when it was explained that Grace ran a school for the Na'vi where they, yes, were taught English.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    not sure what Etch-A-Sketch you're reding this on, but it looks perfectly fine to me, not weird line breaks at all. Perfectly formatted.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by sewiz

    This reminds me of this chem. teacher I had in high school...he would always put these really difficult bonus questions on our tests involving why certain scenes in movies were physically always drove me nuts, he have us try to prove why Superman couldn't have caught Lois Lane and crap, due to the physics of it...but I always just wrote-men can't fly- and forgot about the stupid problem. As hardcore Sci-Fi goes, I don't think Jim's little project qualifies. I think they designed what they wanted the world to be, and then tacked on some (air quotes) science to explain it all. Oh, and I really liked this sucker, though I gots to see it again to get the true experience cause my stinking mother in law bought are tickets for the Imax and put us on the front row, thinking she was buying back neck still hurts.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    yeah, that type of magnetic activity occurs in a lab setting when the Nitrogen is like -150 degrees celsius or some nonsense. Pandora is a hot planet. You might want to trust the astrophysicist over YouTube.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    "perfectly formatted"

    by BadMrWonka

    as opposed to, say, my typo-ridden post above...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Let's start at the fucking, beginning, shall we?

    by gingerella

    Sigourney Weaver wakes up from cryo after a 5 year sleep and demands a cigarette like she's just got off a nine hour flight to Sydney. Why? Why. Why, fucking, why? Nicotine stays in the body for 3 weeks from your last cigarette. She might be in need of a piss but after being out for 5 years she's be as likely to spark up as a non smoker. The Science of Avatar. Fuck me gently.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    A, gingerella...

    by sewiz

    Weaver's character was back from using her Avatar, not waking up from a 5 year sleep...she was already on Pandora when Jake arrived.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    My "Etch-A-Sketch"...

    by Scorpio

    is a netbook with 800x600 resolution. Even when the browser is maximized, the article is riddled with line breaks (make your browser small, you'll see what I mean). Or just look at the code. It's not "perfectly formatted", it's bad HTML because he saved it as a text file which resulted in line breaks, then copied/pasted into whatever ancient technology they use here on AICN. Result: lines with anywhere from 1 to 10 words.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST


    by mrdck

    Why don't you go and play in the retard pen with your friends? I will spell this out so your retarded brain can process it- what are the chances that a lifeform in another system can learn and pronounce a human language? The odds are overwhelmingly against them having the necessary speech functions to do so. NOW do you understand you fucking ape?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Oh. As you were. Carry on...

    by gingerella

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:27 p.m. CST

    BadMrWonka - Floating Mountains explained

    by shazzbot Skip to 2:13.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    If there's unobtainium in the floating mountains...

    by Ghostpirate

    Why not take those and leave the blue people alone?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Coolest Review I've Read

    by wes


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Very cool. Thanks for the data download.

    by Citizen Sane

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Copernicus, you can't question what's possible on another Planet

    by Orionsangels

    When you don't know everything that exist in the Universe. You're judging Cameron's world by you're limited view of the Universe.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    Probably because it's much less costly and dangerous for the miners to mine stuff on the ground then fuck with shit floating in the air and dealing with the flux that screws with all your instruments.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    But is it impossible? This is the problem all you haters have and the question you're too afraid to ask yourselves before you launch another torrent of rancid horseshit. <p> Is it impossible? <p> If you say yes, then you have a case. If you say no, then shut the fuck up.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    This article is really badly formatted, check out the white spac

    by Tall_Boy66

    I don't mean the paragraph breaks, I mean the layout and not using the full column space. In an article about technical things, the technical layout of AICN failed it. Somebody fix all that open space on the side there. I've never seen that on AICN before.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Was it just me?

    by Cagliostro

    Or did I see a waterfall pouring off of one of those floating rocks? If so, explain that one.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    Houston, we have an erection.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    When did we get more?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    You've never seen streams running down mountains? If the mountain isn't attached to the ground it becomes a waterfall.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST

    That is...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...the mountain doesn't become a waterfall, but the stream does.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    If Pandora's air renders you unconscious in 30 seconds

    by Tall_Boy66

    When Stephen Lang kicks open the door and starts shooting, he's out there for longer than 30 seconds. Yes, I know he held his breath but is it 30 seconds after you've been exposed, or 30 seconds after you take your first breath? I guess it's the latter one.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST


    by Cagliostro

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:01 p.m. CST

    There's only 8 planets with a bunch of dwarf-planets...

    by JKrow21

    With maybe hundreds more in the Kupier Belt. And then there's Ceres in the Asteroid Belt.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Let me try that again...

    by Cagliostro

    Usually mountain streams are generated by snowfall melting and the like. I saw no snow, nor any substantial precipitation to generate what was clearly a very large water flow pouring off of a fairly small rock.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Pandoran biology

    by grisp

    A few points as a biologist (and thanks to Copernicus for an interesting review). I too am willing to bend the rules if it services a good story (a simple story doesn't mean it's a bad story - and this is a classic story, been used many times). Likelihood that humanoids would evolve on another world - practically zero, but necessary for this story, so, okay, a pass. Given this occurrence (or some type of panspermia - also exceedingly unlikely), the rest is certainly within the realm of debatable possibility. Six legs versus four. Well, this one generated a lot of conversation with my other biologist friends. If I remember correctly, most 6-limbed creatures had split forelimbs. That's certainly developmentally possible, and could persist if selected for. The debate was whether that would ever be favored by natural selection. The consensus was it might under circumstances where fighting outweighed other necessities, running, etc. where those limbs might get in the way. If that was the case ancestrally, then it could (again, only a possibility) be a trait that was difficult to get rid of during the course of further evolution. What about the Na'vi and other four-limbers (were there any? don't remember). Either their lineage split earlier (possible) or they have vastly reduced additional limbs under their arms (perhaps only the skeletal girdle left - like the real limb girdles of pythons), i.e. they did have a compelling reason to get rid of them in evolutionary terms and the necessary mutation(s) came along at some point in their ancestral lineage. My first guess would be the former explanation, but the presence of the six-limbed "prolemurs" suggest the latter (presuming they're related to the Na'vi). Five vs. four fingers? Easy enough developmentally too, given the similarities in human and Na'vi DNA (again, extraordinarily unlikely to begin with, see above, but given the original conceipt, okay...) Simple mutations create six fingers or toes in humans, so that's reasonable enough in a hybrid. The transfer of consciousness is certainly not within the realm of possibility now - but is a concept common in the science fiction literature (more often used in the context of transferring a human personality to an AI I think). Like transporters and warp drive in physics, interesting to contemplate - maybe we'll get there some day, but can't really see how to now. Again, integral to the story though. Also, no deterioration in an "unoccupied" hybrid body since the body is presumably alive. Blue skin? In a mostly green world? Well, first of all those are debatable. They have mostly blue skin with lots of mottling (breaking up the shape and outline). And correct me if I'm wrong, but they have a pretty colorful background, especially at night. Presuming they're adapted to be camouflaged (lots of predators, etc.), they're not as obvious as the simple color mismatch would imply. And I don't think one should presume camouflage is most adapted here. Lots of prey species on our world are exceptionally colorful (there are lots of examples of small colorful birds eaten all the time by accipiters and other small raptors who are mostly visual hunters). Sexual selection is the most typical explanation that's been developed and demonstrated for such cases. (Usually, though not always, resulting in differently colored males and females though...) So, it's certainly interesting to think about the possibilities, even they just happened to be blue in Camero's imagination, and that's the only reason their blue in the film. In the end, Avatar was a gloriously fun ride, without the enormously glaring impossibilities of so much dreck we're confronted with all the time. Kudos to Cameron and company for spending so much time at least trying to get things right (far more than most sci-fi filmmakers do). And Batutta, we do spend our time trying to solve problems in the real world. That's our day job. Don't we get to have fun too? We're geeks after all. If you're not a geek, what are you doing on this site? You work all the time? Oh wait, you're surfing the web and commenting in movie talkbacks, guess not.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Tall_Boy66, yeah the average human.

    by Orionsangels

    Miles Quaritch is anything but average.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Avatar beats I Am Legend

    by jsscript2007

    20th Century Fox said this morning that James Cameron's Avatar did better than expected by dropping only -3% from Saturday to Sunday and finished the weekend with an opening gross of $77.3 million (not $73 million). That broke 2D I Am Legend's record for best December debut ever at the domestic box office.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    This place is getting worse by the day.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Box office update

    by eric haislar

    "Avatar" performed better than expected this weekend domestically with a total of $77.3 million, allowing the film to break "I Am Legend's" ($77.2 million) record to become the biggest December opener ever! The film dropped just 3% from Saturday to Sunday, which is pretty impressive. Internationally, "Avatar" opened to $159.2 million, putting its worldwide total at $236.5 million.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    The mistake the "haters" made is that they forgot

    by estacado1

    to turn off their brains when watching this movie. They, (including me) didn't expect a JC movie would require them to do that. I made the same mistake when watching the first Transformers and hated it. But when the second one came, I learned my lesson and enjoyed it tremendously. Only if I knew that it required me to turn off my brain, I would've likely had my eyeballs fucked just like everyone else. They should make these "turn off brain" prerequisites obvious in trailers. For example, the trailer for 2012. You know it's going to be ridiculous from the get go, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    The arctic is nearly dark for half the year...

    by ReportAbuse

    Yet there is not an unusual amount of biolumenescence to be seen there.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Six limbs

    by ReportAbuse

    I think it would've been cool to have had the Nav'i also be six limbed ... it wouldn't have been hard to do and wouldn't have taken away from their "relatability" quotient that much. Would be a nice nod to the Barsoon stories.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST

    They made a Marmaduke movie????

    by eric haislar

    Why god Why?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    SETI != Science. SETI is a religion.

    by tailhook

    And anybody who participates should have their scientific credentials heavily scrutinized and taken with a grain of salt. At least Copernicus has a nice background besides that very black mark on his record. As per the hypothesis that totally alien enviornments *MUST* produce completely alien aliens, unless of course they were 'seeded'... thats simply a hypothesis based on a feeling, nothing to do with any type of science.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Non-FTL movies

    by ReportAbuse

    SF films involving sub-lightspeed adventures around just our own solar system can be interesting if well made. 2001, Silent Running, and Sunshine come immediately to mind. Then those two Mars movies a few years back which weren't so great but had the right idea, and of course Total Recall although that was less about space travel than goings-on on Mars itself. I'm sure there are others I've missed. The trick to sci-fi set in our own solar system is to make it interesting without benefit of a lot of alien interaction, unless you first set up the idea that aliens from other systems have already established a presence in our own neck of the woods.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    This is the kind of stuff I go to AICN for.

    by ganda1f

    Seriously, this is the kind of film-loving overthinkingit kind of stuff I love AICN for. Excellent article.<br><br>Watching the film, I assumed the floating mountains were from Unobtainium, and the only reason they hadn't been mined was because the company didn't have the resources to do so easily. It would have required a large scale solution with massive boosting power, working in fog where scanners refuse to work. They had a small base-camp there, which implied they had considered this in the past, but in the end drilling into the ground with proven tech was always going to be easier and cheaper.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Hey Copernicus

    by BozeMaster69

    Have you ever sent your kid up to the sky in a weather balloon?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Fox updated numbers - Legend #1

    by jsscript2007

    Sorry Chief, missed it by that much.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    "LONG ISLAND GOO SPEW" = Game Changer

    by keylimepirate

    In webisode format on YouTube, this is the one to beat! Spanky Carlyle is an Avatar for us all...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    How does he feel about Sigourney smoking?

    by saber12

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by sansara07

    By the time the snow clears it will probably be Christmas day, and on boxing day Sherlock Holmes could well steal avatars thunder. I have no doubt avatar will earn it's money back, but I can't see it making $1bn unless WOM is unprecedented. As for repeat viewings, I felt slightly nauseous the first time so I won't be going back. I predict final haul to be $700m globally.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Low Tech

    by AugustusGloop

    The Nav'i don't seem to have ANY written communication, which seems in line with their biological networking. With no written communication, no symbology, I can see how advanced technology would not develop. Even one person, working alone, can't remember everything he's ever thought up unless it's written down. So they have perfect communication, but not necessarily perfect memory or perfect recall. 'Noble savage' doesn't have to apply here, since they have an ecosystem that's perfectly in balance. It's something that is TRULY alien to our world and way of thinking, so I don't have a problem with their lack of technology. From a physics standpoint, would it be possible the floating mountains are at the L1 point between Pandora and the gas giant? Maybe they were ejection matter from a large asteroid impact? The idea of a moon orbiting closely enough that the L1 point is within the atmosphere is really pretty cool, and in a few shots, when hit with missiles or colliding with ships, we do see some of the mountains crumble and fall from their positions. I think that would also explain the really giant crater under them where the mystical hive-mind tree is located, and would be an ideal place for flying creatures that large to nest. The young would be in less danger of falling from the nests, for instance.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    It's Upsidaisium I tells ya!

    by tangcameo

    Hasn't ANYONE watched Rocky & Bullwinkle? Jeez!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by phoenixmagida5th

    Exactly! Cameron ripped off Bullwinkle J. Moose

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Floating mountains...

    by Marathoner

    Films work because of "willing suspension of disbelief." The floating mountains caught me off-guard until I rationalized it as a gravitational anomaly, which makes sense on a very basic level and for the purposes of the film is "good enough" as they say.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Avatar sequel plot

    by estacado1

    The humans come back with a bigger army, and the Na'vi need to get help from the Foo'gla, an alien race from the planet Kloontakun. As with how the Na'vi are connected to their planet Pandora, Pandora is connected to Foo'gla but wirelessly. In ancient Na'vi folklore, there's a story where there is a distant cousin to their race that came from a far away land where they once has regular contact, but for some reason the Foo'gla stopped contacting them. <p>It's Jake's job to go and find the planet Kloonkatun and get the Foo'gla's help. To get to Kloonkatun, he needs human technology, so Sigourney and Jake go back to earth, but along the way, they are sucked into a black hole and turn up in front of a strange planet, more beautiful than Pandora (more stuff for Cameron to work on). And as it turns out, the planet is Kloonkatun. The Foo'gla have been monitoring the ongoings in Pandora and know a huge human army is on their way. <p>But it is revealed that fighting the humans is not the correct path to take. It seems that ALL planets are connected wirelessly, and humans on Earth have lost their way because they have destroyed their planet. So we need to revive their planet and give the humans a second chance. But to do that requires Pandora and Earth to merge into one huge planet. And Na'vi and humans will live side by side on the same planet. However, merging planets takes time and the idea of sacrificing their planet and share it with the Na've and live in primitive ways isn't very appealing to the humans. <p>So, the general in charge of the huge army heading for Pandora decides to attack anyway, and the Na'vi and the Foo'gla join forces to fight the huge human armada. In the end, the human army is decimated and the process off merging planet starts. The End. It gives room for a final part of a trilogy.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Copernicus: That's a good start, but there's much more.

    by Royston Lodge

    I liked your analysis of the science of Avatar, but I noticed that you didn't touch on my biggest pet peeve on that subject. I'll get to that in a second.<p> Firstly, Cameron did a huge job exploring the flora and fauna of Pandora. I had no complaints in that department. Great stuff.<p> Secondly, you sort of touched on my second-biggest pet peeve when you referred to the "Noble Savage" stuff. Cameron spent precious little time exploring the REASONS for the Na'vi's culture and sociology. WHY are they so peaceful? The implied answer is that they're biological connection to the ecosystem makes them that way, but to me that reeks of Deus Ex Machina and/or "Alien Space Bats". Why are the Na'vi such a matriarchal society? They don't seem to have any agriculture, so why aren't they nomads? One could argue that the jungle provides all the food they need, but then Cameron reveals that there are other clans who live in non-jungle ecosystems. So if Pandora doesn't provide the same amount of food to all the clans, why are there no wars over resources? Furthermore, if the jungle clan has sole possession of the Na'vi's holiest places, why do the other clans never declare a holy war? Maybe these concerns are outside the jurisdiction of a scientific analysis. On the other hand, I think "getting the sociology right" is just as valid a concern as "getting the science right".<p> But that's not my biggest pet peeve. Not even close.<p> My biggest pet peeve is how Cameron doesn't explore in the slightest how the strange day/night cycles on Pandora would affect not only the Na'vi, the fauna and the flora, but the human colonists as well. As has already been pointed out, Pandora does not have an Earth-like day/night cycle or Earth-like seasons. <p> - How does this affect Na'vi culture? When do they sleep? How often do they sleep, and for how long? How do their bodies let them know they need to go to sleep if the do not have a regular day/night cycle to regulate their "internal clocks"? <p> - The bioluminescence and the ability to see into the ultraviolet might allow them to navigate in the dark, but it doesn't solve the problem of where the fauna gets the energy it needs to grow during the months that the gas giant blocks all the sunlight. Are all the plants part fungus, able to leech nutrients from the soil? Are they able to absorb radiation from the gas giant? If so, how does that radiation affect the humans? Maybe the "bionetwork" allows the flora and fauna to share nutrients as well as information, so when there's sunlight on one part of the moon everybody benefits? Who knows? Cameron never tells us.<p> - In your article you mention the extreme tectonics on Io, caused by the tidal forces of Jupiter and the other Jovian moons. So how come Pandora is so tectonically stable? I didn't see one volcano in that movie, but WHY doesn't Pandora suffer from the same tectonic effects that Io does?<p> - You also mention Olympus Mons in your article. On Mars, Olympus Mons grew to such a huge size because there is no continental drift - it always stayed in one spot on the surface so the magma kept pouring up at the same point, and there are no earthquakes to knock it back down to size. The great size of the Home Tree implies that there is similarly no continental drift on Pandora. How else could a tree grow to such a great size unless there are no earthquakes to knock it down. But there are mountains on Pandora, and they don't seem to be volcanic. How can you have non-volcanic mountains without continental drift?<p> - If Pandora is a moon, does that mean it has a dark side and a bright side? If the moon has a dark side, presumedly there would be much less life there. Why can't the humans just mine for unobtanium there and leave the bright side alone?<p> - What technological and social adaptations do the humans have to make in order to survive the weird day/night cycles and bizarre seasons that would come from being on a moon? Is there a period of acclimatization for new arrivals' "internal clocks", or do the colonists' building have an artificial day/night cycle that is closer to Earth's? Jake didn't appear to have any sort of "settling in period". (Sure seems like a recipe for Space Madness to me! Heh heh heh...) <p> - Did the humans bring all their own food, and livestock, and seeds to Pandora, or do they eat the local produce? The local produce would breath the local atmosphere, so shouldn't it be poisonous to humans? There's a farm in the movie. Is that just there to provide food for the avatars? Where are the greenhouses for the humans' food? Or have they genetically engineered new varieties of produce that can breath Pandora's atmosphere but still be nutritious for humans? <p> The best sci-fi always explores how humans adapt to alien worlds, but Cameron almost completely ignores these questions (with the exception of the face masks to survive the atmosphere). That's my biggest pet peeve regarding the science of the movie.<p> Anyhoo, I'm just sayin' that there's a LOT more to say about the science of Avatar than what you included in your article. Consider this a plea for an extended article! Heh heh heh ... <p> (And I don't even care about the floating mountains. They don't have any real impact on the plot of the movie, so they don't bug me. They're like The Force, or the Vulcan Neck Pinch, or the Monoliths in 2001/2010. They're kinda silly, but ultimately harmless. The other questions I raised above, on the other hand, so have an impact on the plot of the movie because they would effect the culture of the Na'vi and the behaviour of the colonists.)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Great article

    by BackwardGalaxy

    Fascinating article and I haven't even seen the movie yet. AICN needs more articles like this one.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    What I didn't get about the floating mountains...

    by The Dum Guy

    Was, how could they sustain waterfalls?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    The only thing JC needed to explain...

    by Marathoner where does Jake's avatar go when he's back in his body and it's clearly daylight?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    we are not worthy....

    by grammaton

    ...for such an epic review pls.... someone gets this guy together with Neill Blomkamp and some few hundred mio bucks from Peter Jackson :-)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I trained as a scientist

    by Player01 I loved this post, naturally. The floating mountains, as others have mentioned here, contain unobtainum in varying ratios. That + the huge magnetic fields from the gas giant combined to create them. Still... if you've tried to do this with even earth bound supermagnets (as I have) you will find it's not as easy to achieve stasis as you'd think!!!!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    My thinking:

    by Lobanhaki

    is that Unobtainium is an very powerful, naturally occuring room temperature superconductor, and that what Cameron is doing is having those huge rocks and floating mountains suspended on top of the powerful magnetic fields coming from the planet. Superconductors actually do this: they repel other magnetic fields very effectively.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Worship Science Who created reason!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Bow and swear fealty to the power called Science!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Why did Jake have to visit the other clans?

    by Royston Lodge

    Couldn't he just contact them using the bionetwork?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    That was an EXCELLENT read

    by MattmanReturns


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    No Oxygen?

    by Kerish

    New here but one thing caught my eye. He says that the atmosphere has no oxygen, is this stated anywhere in the film? Anyway if this is so then how can things burn? Jake lights a match and then later a torch. How can these things burn if there is no oxygen? There are other gases that can sustain combustion but these are very toxic and quite caustic gases. Simply having a gas mask would not suffice, they would burn your skin and eyes. Also given the large amount of plant life there should be oxygen. Otherwise, intersting read. Kerish

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    It's fucking cool.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    That's the ticket.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST


    by HaterofCrap

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    re oxygen

    by DocPazuzu

    I figured the atmosphere on Pandora was largely oxygen-based but that there are either additional gases there fatal to Earth life or simply an overabundance of spores or actual toxins which are lethal to humans.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Hollywood should just take ideas from AICN forums...

    by CodeName

    I enjoy reading all of the ideas coming from talkbackers. Positive, or negative, there's something to be learned here. There are a lot of great minds in here. I'd love to see a genre film just based off of ideas from AICN forums with a big budget, but done right. I'm sure Hollywood has taken from talkbackers before and either a) was subtle about it, or b) failed.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    If Pandora gets no light for much of the year...

    by Royston Lodge

    ... does it snow there? Is there enough radiation from the gas giant to actually provide heat, as well as light? If so, then how come they don't get TOO MUCH heat when Pandora's hit by the combined strength of the gas giant's radiation AND the star's sunlight?<p> Trying to put a self-sustaining ecosystem that supports sentient life on a moon just seems WAY TOO COMPLEX to me.<p> Sea life on Europa makes sense, because problems like day/night cycles, seasons, tectonics, etc aren't nearly as big a problem.<p> But it seems super-implausible to me that the sort of flora and fauna that we see on Pandora could exist under those conditions.<p> Not impossible, but implausible.<p> Which is why I crave some decent Star Trek pseudo-science to explain it! Heh heh heh . . .

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    CodeName, they already made a talkbacker movie

    by MattmanReturns

    It was called Snakes on a Plane, and it sucked.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Really Alien

    by logotrope

    I think Bass Ackwards has a good point, which is that we don't know at what point in the Na'vi's evolution we have encountered them. Homo sapiens was at the hunter-gatherer stage for tens of thousands of years before developing agriculture and cities. Maybe the Na'vi haven't been at it as long as us and *will* outstrip us technologically someday. I suspect, however, that Cameron really did mean to show that they simply didn't need or want advanced technology--which I don't see as being the same as worshiping the noble savage idea. Cameron really does have an affinity with Miyazaki. As for the similarity to Earth biology and human anatomy, this is an idea we never seem to get away from in cinematic science fiction. And I think the reason for it is obvious. If you design a truly alien world, in which the biological forms resemble, say oversize viruses, then you are going to make some science geeks very happy--but audiences are going to stay away in droves. For the purposes of story, you have to give people something they can relate to. They can relate to big blue cat people. Aliens made out of rods and cones, however, would be too big of a leap for a mass audience. Personally, I would love to see someone like Cameron create a compelling story against the backdrop of a really and truly alien world where the standard concepts of plant and animal don't apply, and where there are no Princesses of Mars to fall in love with. I don't expect it any time soon, though.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    I agree with the seeding of Nav'i

    by zinc_chameleon

    from another quadraped race. Ever since the Permian extinction, we know that all vertebrate life on earth follows the same pattern. BUT: The banshees are *not* pterodactyls, they had to have evolved on Pandora, as they have the standard six feet and four eyes. Nobody has mentioned the four eyes yet -- two binocular and two peripheral, but from what I know of vision science, their brains would be quite a bit bigger than their Earth counterparts. As witnessed in the Thanador's grabbing Jake's machine gun out of his hand. No lion could do that.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST


    by CodeName

    Really? That movie was inspired by talkbackers? Wow, I've been away too long.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Are they pursing Unobtainium

    by Rectal Blowout

    <P> for a source of energy or for its antigravtic properties? I take it it has those properties because I'm assuming the floating mountains have them and have broken away from the landmass. Now they float because of the magnetic fields. </P> <P> An Anti-gravitic mineral or element would be pretty fucking rare. To be used for levitation would be pretty valuable. But if Unobtainium is to be mined for an energy source then I question that. </P> <P> So if Earth-scum can travel half the speed of light using an anti-matter drive(I would guess), then why the fuck would they want Hardtofindium I mean Unobtainium, for energy? Anti-matter as an energy source would be quite effective getting a lot of bang for very little. And can't Earth-scum produce enough anti-matter to run Earth-scum's energy needs? This is silly. </P> <P> Use Unobatinium for antigravitic purposes and anti-matter for energy purposes. Together they would solve Earth-scum's energy issues. Besides they will have fusion before that too. </P>

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:58 p.m. CST


    by JohnnyLaBamba

    Rectal, the Ubisoft game's Pandorapedia explains that they use unobtainium for anti-matter reactions. I would have loved Giovanni Ribisi's character to have said something like, "We have found the ultimate green energy within these rocks. What's everyone complaining about?"

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 4:59 p.m. CST

    If the humans can make ...

    by Royston Lodge

    If the humans can genetically-engineer Na'vi bodies with human characteristics, why can't they make human bodies with Na'vi characteristics? That way, the humans could live on Pandora sans-breathmasks.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Floating mountains

    by kobain

    AWESOME article! I've been thinking about those floating mountains ever since thursday at nigh, just as I left the movies. I got nothing... unobtanium-filled matter could be the most logical explanation... but then I thought back to 1989 when The Abyss came out. The theatrical cut didn't make a lot of sense. The guy was suddenly surrounded by alien creatures (maybe aliens, maybe a lost civilization lost in time and advanced away from human civilization?) they showed him a short movie, and they take the city out of the water and return him to the waiting boats on the surface... did it make sense? no, not at all. But years later we got the "Director's cut" and suddenly the ending (if silly) made A LOT of sense... so I'm thinking that maybe we should just put off any discussions about floating mountains until they release a 3 1/2 hours long director's cute with the original jim-intended cut. I bet a lot more thing will make a lot more sense... I have a feeling that such director's cut DO exist... if you watch the movie closer you'll notice that when Norm's (Joel Moore) avatar is killed he exits the pod , puts on a mask and goes into the jumgle looking all ready to war... well suddenly, that little subplot goes nowhere and he just about disappears from the movie... that is not a sign of obsessive-Jim I BET there are things we didn't get to see int he theater just because the cut would have been way too long. what do you think?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Communication and "human" rights issues

    by JohnnyLaBamba

    The Pandorapedia also says humans have found a way to communicate via subspace. Assuming subspace communication with Earth is part of the story's cannon, I find it hard to believe that groups like the UN would be OK with the wholesale destruction of an intelligent indigenous people. The movie takes place 150 years from now. 150 years ago we ended slavery, so I'd assume that our human right record as a species would have steadily improved. I really see the movie as an allegory to the settlement of the New World, rather than a prediction of what our species will be like in the future.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by bythehairofsanjaya

    They did not use nukes because the soldiers were mercs, employed by the company and no matter how influential corporations are not allowed nukes, only militaries of countries are if things are tracking 150 years from now as they are today. But regarding that the weaponery was waaaay to primative for 150 years in our future. Given the resources the US could duplicate every weapon they had in the movie with today's technology. The military pays for a lot of today's technological advances. 150 years from now I think we would be seeing some increadible stuff. Robots, drones, nano-enhanced soldiers, nano destructo-clouds, lasers, advanced probes, holograms, super-smart bombs, plasma, sonic bombs, etc., etc. You name it. Fail on that issue.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Best article on Avatar yet

    by Latauro

    Can we get Copernicus articles on all science fiction films, please? I could definitely get used to this.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:30 p.m. CST

    20th century guns...

    by zinc_chameleon

    were explained in a featurette by Cameron. The magnetic fields and their interplay make it impossible for energy weapons-say shaped ion charges--to function properly. He wanted it that way, so that the humans had to fight primitives on a nearly primitive level. Even in 1986 'Aliens' all weapons used caseless ammunition, no brass cartridges ejected on LV-428.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Floating Mountains again =)

    by Naboo_the_Enigma

    I remember hearing that not only was Pandora's atmosphere toxic, but very dense as well. I assumed that the mountains were simply floating because the rocks in that area were lighter than air. That is also why the banchees could fly with such small wings. Maybe they have buoyancy sacks like fish, too.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:44 p.m. CST

    I like this, now let's hear his take on Transformers...

    by br1947

    I bet his head explodes! 'splosions!!!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Won't the humans just drop an A-bomb on Pandora?

    by KingNineReturns

    This is obvious. They never have to return, just launch a giant fucking warhead toward that planet, kill everything on it, and THEN go mining. Stupid movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST

    You totally missed the point Copernicus

    by drturing

    The perspective given to the Na'vi by being in direct commune with their ecosphere means that they don't need all the shit we have. Hell if I could have a personal dragon, I wouldn't give a fuck about my Xbox.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    BTW I like this article, Copernicus.

    by KingNineReturns

    I agree with the talkbackers above who say you should do this more often.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Things you missed out on

    by drturing

    The Na'vi have overdeveloped lats cause they're arboreal, the hybrids have five fingers instead of four, the creatures have breathing intakes that allow them to scoop up more air when they're on the move... And at one point the movie was supposed to be mostly purple and even more alien, but it was too disorienting to the human eye in visual development. They can't nuke the planet cause it'd render the unobtainium radioactive, DUH.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Drturing, there's a problem with that argument...

    by Royston Lodge

    If the planet provides everything the Na'vi need to survive and thrive, then what evolutionary need is there for sentience to evolve in the first place? You end up with a SERIOUS chicken vs. egg problem.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    In the original script

    by drturing

    there was an official from Earth whose job was to oversee violations of the environment, etc. But Selfridge had him on the take. A corrupt bureaucrat. Even more real than all the pseudo science. It's so strange how this film convinces some idiots they're smarter than it. Loads of people saying "those floating mountains don't make any sense". Uhhh, unobtainium is obviously a room temp superconductor with levitation properties. The moon orbits a gas giant... It's all there for you.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST

    alien life

    by Dollar Bird

    I haven't seen the movie, but I was thinking from the commercials the same stuff as some of the posters above. The chances of life on other planets being even remotely familiar to ours is pretty slim. I know that cat-people are a lot more relatable to viewers than virus-people, or sea-cucumber-people, or Opabinia-people, or even vegetable-people. It's fun to make monsters that combine and alter the stuff we know, like the horses and pterodactyls; heck, I'm looking forward to all the multi-limbed critters from A Princess of Mars. But, since the guy's been to the bottom of the ocean and seen some of the really weird stuff, you'd think Cameron would have played around a little further than dinosaur-wolves, hammerhead-rhinos, and cat-people.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST

    At least when Copernicus gets the debate started...

    by Royston Lodge eliminates the yahoos who tell us to shut up because it's "just a movie".<p> For that, Copernicus gets a patented, coveted, genuine, Royston Lodge No-Prize.<p> Remember to polish it daily.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Royston Lodge

    by drturing

    DUde, I can't believe here in AICN you actually have determined that sentience is a direct result of evolutionary need! you cracked the eternal problem of why there is conssciousness in the first place! WOW!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Drturing, I'm not interested in what was in "the original script

    by Royston Lodge

    That's like forgiving the shitty ending of 2001 because it makes way more sense in the novel.<p> If it's not in the movie, it doesn't count, as far as I'm concerned.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:01 p.m. CST

    I honestly couldn't give a fuck about how realistic

    by savagedave

    The science is. If there's one thing that defines pointlessness for me it's sci-fi fans arguing over whether or not the fucking ships propulsion system would work or some such.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    The Hallelujia Mountains in Cameron's own words:


    From the 1995 Avatar scriptment: <p> The pilot tells them they may get a glimpse of the MONTES VOLANS, the famous "Flying Mountains," which planetologists say are the rarest phenomena in known space. <p> Also called the HALLELUJIA MOUNTAINS, they are like floating islands among the clouds. <p> Literally floating. Mountainous chunks of rock, some over ten miles across, hovering thousands of feet above the ground. <p> Here's how it works: Polyphemis (the massive planet around which Pandora revolves) has a mother of a magnetosphere... a naturally occuring magnetic field a million times more powerful than Earth's. As Pandora rotates and revolves through this field, its molten iron core generates its own field, with "cells" or vortices which are small regions of intensely powerful magnetic force at the surface. <p> Added to this unique phenomenon is another... Pandora is blessed with a naturally occuring substance a million times more precious than gold. Its joke name of "Unobtanium" has stuck, over the years. Unobtanium is a rare-earth mineral, formed volcanically, which is a room-temperature superconductor. <p> The room-temperature superconductor has been the "snark" of modern materials science... a substance which transmits electricity with zero resistance, but at normal temperatures, rather than the liquid-helium cooled superconductors of human science.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Point taken on the sentience question, but...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...I still find it hard to buy the idea that sentience, and complex language, and complex tool-use (compound bows!), and sophisticated construction would evolve just cuz, for no evolutionary reason, but more advanced technology wouldn't evolve because "they don't really need it"<p> I prefer the theory that the humans simply happened to come across Pandora at a point in the Na'vi evolution BEFORE they have developed advanced technology.<p> Which of course means that the Prime Directive applies, and the Corporation is clearly violating Federation law.<p> Nootch!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    That's hard to read

    by NippleEffect

    shoulda cleaned up the line breaks

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    royston - bout the original script

    by drturing

    he thought of everything but couldn't fit it. the damn movie is near 3 hours as it is

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:13 p.m. CST


    by NippleEffect

    full screened my boowser and it fixed itself

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    You could say the same thing about 2001, though.

    by Royston Lodge

    I'm just sayin'.<p> A movie can only be judged on its own merits, not on the bits that didn't make it in.<p> If everything is resolved in the novelization, then that'll make it a really good book, but it won't make it a better movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Why the Na'vi are noble

    by drturing

    They have a direct subconscious mainline to their ancestors, their god, and their entire planet and every living thing on it. It's a lot easier to eat crab as some alien thing that magically appears on your plate, until you go scuba diving and see with your own eyes a crab as a wild, living thing. The whole movie is about shifts in perspective. It's why the Na'vi say "I see you". It's not about seeing; it's about perceiving. If you understand the cost of eating meat - by actually killing it and appreciating and respecting the living thing you take - you've got a way better perspective than a liberal who's eating beef pad thai tonight.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    About the ancestral memory

    by drturing

    Imagine what that would do to a species; to be able to actually have the perspective of collective unconscious. Right now we're a species who doesn't give two shits about the next generation, despite our superior technology that makes us feel empowered but blinds us to the cost of our existence.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    no royston see

    by drturing

    its a minor thing you thought of, which if you can stretch your imagination is happening off screen. just like at points sully has to shit and wipe his ass awkwardly cause he doesn't have use of his legs. i thought of that, but cameron wisely chose not to show you that in his limited running time. Also, that same shit is happening on earth every day and we have idiots like PETA pulling stupid publicity stunts but i don't see the UN doing jack shit about it.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST


    by HaterofCrap

    they could plug into it just before it goes off. or maybe try and plug into the fire as it heads towards them.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Cameron's explanation continued...


    Unobtanium does not exist in our solar system. It is unique to Pandora. And it is the reason to go there... the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow bridge. <p> Another interesting property of superconducting materials is that they will levitate in a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic levitation, or maglev, effect has been used to lift trains and run them without wheels since the late 1980's. On Pandora the effect causes huge outcroppings of unobtanium to rip loose from the surface and float in the magnetic vertices. These floating islands circulate slowly in the magnetic currents, like icebergs at sea, scraping against each other and the towering mesa-like mountains of the region. The Pandorans call them the Thundering Rocks, and the entire area is sacred to them. <p> Which could be a problem, since the humans have come to mine these mountains and get rich. Which is why they are called the Hallelujiah Mountins.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Wait, what are we debating now?

    by Royston Lodge

    You've lost me. I thought we were debating whether or not it's acceptable to judge a movie leniently by considering elements that are only revealed in texts that are outside said movie. I don't personally buy that argument.<p> Earlier than that, we were debating why people think the Na'vi's evolutionary progression had reached a certain point but would presumedly go no further because "they don't need it". I don't necessarily buy that argument either, but I do have to admit that the Deux Ex Machina of the Na'vi's "god" does change things a bit.<p> You've completely lost me when you bring up PETA and the UN though. Respectfully, sincerely, without any malice intended, I have no idea which of my points that's supposed to refute.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST

    So, yeah, they float because of Unobtanium... [SPOILERS]


    ...and apparently that could be a plot hole, as some one mentioned above, that is the mountains are made of unobtanium, why attack Hometree and Ney'tiri's clan, when they could just mine the mountains? Probably because it would be considerably more difficult to mine floating mojuntians than the ore in the ground. Narrativley, it's obviously because there has to be some conflict between what the RDA wants (the unobtanium) and what the Na'vi want (to not be displaced or steamrolled by the RDA.) Mining from floating rocks above their land isn't quite as compelling a conflict as destroying their home (and I mean come on... the Hometree sequence was a MASSIVELY dramatic piece of the movie.)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Royston, I agree, but here's a thought...


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    The science of wheelchairs

    by Mr. Neutron

    Seriously, you can project into another being's body, but they haven't figured out how to cure paralysis? Or get this guy a motorized wheelchair? Fail.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Nope, that wasn't a thought, but here's one...


    I get that you can't base the merits of the story on elements not mentioned in the movie, but what about films like, say, Blade Runner, that only hints at much of the exposition and pretty much just drops you into the setting of the story and leaves you to figure it out. I get that things unexplained in the film end up having to be simply taken for granted, but there is the "screeching halt" factor for the pacing's sake, where I'm sure Cameron didn't feel the need to bring everything to a stand-still just to clarify the scientific veracity of everything. I felt that he clarified what he needed to in order to get what's going on, and just left much of the rest to either be accepted by the audience or not.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Lightstormer, that's a really good thought.

    by Royston Lodge

    I bow to your superior skillz. Heh heh heh.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Hi, Melnick. Welcome to last August.


    This point has been argued - and explained - to death, thanks. Just go see the movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Royston, you mean my first one?


    I kinda thought it went without saying. ;-)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by Dr. Hilarius


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Could someone clarify the marines for me

    by drewlicious

    Were these character actual military or former military turned mercenary like Blackwater? I thought they were a private army and it kind of affects my sympathies in the battle. I have an easier time watching hired guns eat it than some guy who enlisted.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST


    by drturing

    i thought you said the un wouldn't allow for the wholesale environmental destruction going on... i said there was originally a character, a corrupt UN observor. it might've been someone else. Happens when i sniff glue a lot.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Lightstormer, agreed, but there's a difference.

    by Royston Lodge

    In Blade Runner it's not like Ridley Scott expects you to go out an buy Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep just so that you can fill in the plot holes.<p> In Blade Runner (at least in the director's cut), these questions don't really come up because they aren't integral to the story.<p> Blade Runner is full of INTENTIONAL ambiguity. What does the unicorn mean? Will Rachel self-terminate? Is Decker a replicant?<p> In Avatar, I'm told many of my questions are answered, if only I'd read the original script. I gotta call out "bullshit" on that one, just like people rightly call out "bullshit" on 2001's ending (even though I LOVE LOVE LOVE the book).<p> If Cameron had intentionally thrown some ambiguity our way, I'd have nothing but love. But there isn't a single ambiguous moment in the movie. Everything is spelled out, in black-and-white. There is no confusion about what he's trying to say. The "missing bit's" are not ambiguity - they are holes.<p> And again, I have to put this on the record, I LIKED the movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:50 p.m. CST

    in treatment the marines are blackwater style mercs

    by drturing

    which is uncanny, cause it's right there in the txt from 14 years ago. and i think jake mentions when he departs the shuttle that they're mercs?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    drturing: Yup, that was someone else.

    by Royston Lodge

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Yes, Jake says they're mercs who are only in it for the money.

    by Royston Lodge

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Neutron

    Sorry I haven't obsessively followed these talkbacks. For 18 months. Whatever the reason/ rationalization for the 1950s wheelchair, it takes me completely out of the story to see something so foolish and out of place. Instead of enjoying $300M of techno-coolness, I'm wondering "why the hell is he in an old wheelchair?" Even Capt Pike could move better.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:54 p.m. CST

    They float because Pennywise is the Na'vi god.

    by Royston Lodge

    We all float down here.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:56 p.m. CST

    no no wait royston

    by drturing

    you're arguing about things that do have a logical consistency but because they haven't been chosen to be shown in a 3 hr movie you're saying is bullshit. What we're saying is the people who made this movie went so far as to think of all of those things (which are totally extraneous to the story told) even though it was just offscreen detail in order to create a truly believable scifi world.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    But, again, you can say the same about 2001!!!

    by Royston Lodge

    Arthur C. Clarke thought about and wrote down everything that happens in that movie but it didn't make sense when committed to film. Just because the plot holes are filled in if you read the book doesn't forgive the fact that the plot holes are in the movie!<p> But, now we're repeating outselves. Adding more exclamation marks won't change anything.<p> Heh heh heh...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Melnick, seriously?

    by drturing

    It isn't a 1950s wheelchair. It's actually a tweak on modern wheelchair design. BTW have you seen what we're giving soldiers who leave Walter Reed here in the 21st century? It's made quite clear that yes in 2154 you don't need a wheelchair, you just need enough money not to have one. Given that something that is still totally eluding us is how to regenerate and replace nerve tissue, not so out of bounds.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7 p.m. CST

    Sentience Arises: Complexity Theory

    by zinc_chameleon

    As soon as cells specialize into neurons (adapting microtubules to move information) then sentience begins. It's typical human arrogance to think that just because we developed sentience, no other organism can. We got our brains because there was a lot of food in the trees, but to get to it, you need detail, color, and 3d vision. That made our cerebrums develop to handle all the extra information. No need to postulate dire survival scenarios; it's called evolutionary opportunism.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:03 p.m. CST


    by Bruce Thomas Wayne

    Because Stephen Lang is a badass.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Only humans have neurons?

    by Royston Lodge

    That's news to me.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Or are you saying that all animals are sentient?

    by Royston Lodge

    That would be a bold statement.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Royston (Re: Blade Runner)


    I wasn't talking about narrative ambiguity (is Deckard a replicant, the uniceron, etc.) I meant undefined details in the setting of the story. The main example that comes to mind is why does LA in 2019 look like Hong Kong? I could think of others if I watched BR again (it's been a year or two since last time,) but I'm saying there are elements of the setting that remain unexplained and you either go with it or you don't, similar to certain details in the setting of Avatar that aren't given a minute or two of exposition just so that we "get it" all. They're just kind of presented as-is. Again, I'm just playing devil's advocate. I get what you're saying, I totally do. But I don't think it was Cameron's intention to lure you into reading the scriptment or the novelization just to follow details of the story. I think you either go for some of the ideas or you don't.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    If access to lots of food causes sentience...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...then how come animals with more access to food didn't develop it before hominids did?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Uniceron? WTF?


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Unicorn, obviously. (Friggin' enter key!)


  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Royston, it's where the food is located...

    by zinc_chameleon

    that made primates happen at all. And all vertebrate lifeforms, starting with the sea snail Aplysia, have neurons. Neurons are a specialized kind of microtubule, something found in all animal cells.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Lightstormer, I see the clarification, but still think ...

    by Royston Lodge

    ... there's a difference.<p> In Blade Runner I would argue that those are merely aesthetic details which do not have a direct impact on the story being told. The fact that L.A. looks like Hong Kong does not change Decker's motivations, or the motivations of the Replicants, or the motivations of Tyrrell, etc.<p> It's the same reason I don't really care about the floating mountains. They are merely an aesthetic detail, and their presence in the movie does not fuck up the internal logic of the story.<p> But many other scientific questions in Avatar do have an effect on the story, because they would have an effect on how the human colony functions, the motivations of the characters, and the behaviour of the flora and fauna.<p> If Cameron sets up a scientific maguffin to solve an issue in the story, and then chooses to disregard that scientific maguffin later on when it's no longer convenient, that's what I consider bad storytelling.<p> In my humble opinion, the fact that Pandora is a moon would have MUCH more of an effect on the behaviour of the characters, and that's what bugs me the most about the science of the movie.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Grading a world that doesn't exist?

    by saber12

    Okay then.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    zinc: So, then, sentience doesn't start the moment ...

    by Royston Lodge

    ... neurons evolve, because every animal has neurons but not every animal is sentience.<p> And if the location of the food is the key, then how come animals that might theoretically have better access to the food, like perhaps snakes or birds, become sentient first?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    The answer was articulated by drturing up there...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...when he rightly point out to me that we really don't know what causes sentience.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    You seem to be saying...

    by Royston Lodge

    "There has to be lots of food, but it has to be hard to get to."<p> Does that scenario apply in Pandora?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST



    I gotcha. It's all good. It's a much worthier complaint than "The blue people fucked and that was just stupid." Or "there was a Leona Lewis song in the credits, so it totally ruined the whole preceeding 150 minutes."

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Ok, that actually does make sense.

    by Royston Lodge

    For the Na'vi, there's lots of food, but there's also lots of predators and the food is up in the trees.<p> So, the ones that develop sentience are better suited to defend themselves from the predators and are also better able to get up the trees.<p> They develop tools to better feed themselves and to better defend themselves from predators.<p> But then their evolution stops, because they have access to this global neural network.<p> They are also uniquely fortunate in that they can commune directly with God, but we cannot. Which is why we went on to invent war.<p> I'm almost buying it. I'm almost there. But it still requires Deus Ex Machina to work.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:38 p.m. CST


    by Madcapper

    Seen the film? Did you think before you post? No. Well, I can inform you that according to Cameron, and all probability, fixing a man's legs, which have all but withered away, is expensive in the future. Do governments today provide every mangled war-veteran with prosthetics and/or surgery? No. Does Cameron think they will in the future? No. Do you?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    So they can get the ponytail jack right

    by MacReady452

    when building these Avatars but they can't get the number of fingers right. ok.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    The number of fingers

    by Royston Lodge

    I think the problem is that the operators would then have to adapt to using four fingers instead of five. While not impossible, it's easier just to give their avatars five fingers. The ponytail jack works, yes, but Jake has a hard time learning how it works. He eventually learns how to use it, just as he eventually would have learned how to use four fingers instead of five. But would the benefit of four fingers outweigh the cost of having to learn how to use them? <p> If not, then just fuck the hassle and give the fuckin' jarhead his fifth finger so he doesn't fuckin' complain about it. Heh heh heh...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Mac, the avatars are hybrids


    ...between human and Na'vi. Humans are used to having more fingers. Plus, their facial structures are different. No one said they were built to be exact replicas of Na'vi physiology.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    The thing that bugged me about the movie

    by saber12

    We have technology that can put minds of people into other people, and we're worried about some mineraL? Fuck that. Why did they even NEED Marines? Just infiltrate some Navi and go in and do some fucking digging.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    I liked the film,

    by Madcapper

    and even though the movie wasn't dwelling on it, I enjoy the whole taker/leaver subject..

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Royston, that is a good point

    by drturing

    about where the Na'vi are on the food chain. I wonder, however, if the global consciousness of Pandora is sentient or not. Neytiri says it does not judge - in other words it can be accessed, and it sometimes shows some kind of awareness, but it's not a sentient being that judges (although it does, or is it just defending itself). It does seem that this theme as originally written Cameron has pulled back on from his original idea, where it was far more a part of the story and lots of exposition by Grace. I think rather wisely he decided to make it more ambigious so it wasn't as preachy as it could be. This is an obviously recurring theme of Cameron's - an intelligence with a perspective beyond man's limited rising up and showing him who's boss - a la the wave in The Abyss.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I don't think that point is ambiguous, really.

    by Royston Lodge

    Take used sentient thought and language to communicate with the planet, to warn it about the impending war. The fact that the planet responded to sentient thought and language proves to me that the planet itself is sentient. That goes one step beyond the traditional Gaia hypothesis, which doesn't actually claim that the ecosystem is sentient.<p> Or, an alternate interpretation could be that the planet itself isn't sentient, but the souls of the Na'vi that are contained in the planet's bionetwork ARE still sentient, and can still issue instructions to the animals.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    That should be "Jake", not "Take".

    by Royston Lodge

    If they can engineer a giant blue smurf-cat then why can't they develop an edit button?!?!?!?!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST



    You've got me interested in the possibilities of Pandora's sentient ecosystem - I hope it's developed more in the next movie (or two.) Plus, I REALLY hope to see some Slingers and Slinths in the next movies (fascinating creatures in the scriptment but unfortunately not used in the film.)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    It doesn't have to be sentient, I suppose ...

    by Royston Lodge

    ... but it does need the ability to accept instructions from a sentient mind, process those instructions, and then issue output. You know, like a computer.<p> It clearly received an instruction from Jake's sentient mind, processed the information that he was trying to convey, and then issued output in the form of instructions to the planet's animals.<p> So, from a scientific point-of-view, it doesn't really matter if the planet is sentient or not. It can theoretically get the job done whether it's a sentient being or "merely" a super-sophisticated biological computer.<p> From a literary/theological point-of-view, how do we feel about a global biological computer evolving on its own without the need for any programmer?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by LouisVondredi

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:46 p.m. CST

    The USB thing

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    Thanks for the post. It's OK for a scifi/fantasy film, but that USB thing, and "downloading" the mind and "uploading" it into another body, was something that really fails the plausibility test. Neural networks do not work that way. Neurons perform computations - but that doesn't mean the brain is a digital computer in the sense that you "upload" and "download" stuff from it. A brain's a distributed network. Furthermore, even if one could access all of the connections and all their relative strengths of one neural network (brain), and store those values in another neural network (planet), those values would be meaningless in the context of a third neural network (avatar brain) which would have completely different parameters. Of course, it works just fine in a scifi/fantasy movie, so don't mistake this for a complaint about the movie. Just a statement about the scientific plausibility of one aspect of it.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:47 p.m. CST

    I agree with the guy who said pay Copernicus...

    by The_Breeze review every S/F ever made. Very interesting article, even though there were a few parts I didn't agree with. The floating mountains don't make any less sense, than, say, fireflies might make to an alien visitor to OUR world. Would have been nice if he had examined the human tech a bit more, though.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    drturing - subject: the Nuke

    by Vesuvio

    Alright, so nuking the shit out Treehome would turn Unobtainium radioactive.<p> BUT, why not nuke the tree of souls? There was no Unobtainium there. That attack had the sole purpose of ceasing the Na'vi insurrection.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST


    by scotsman75

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Maybe they didn't bring any nukes with them.

    by Royston Lodge

    It is a scientific/commercial mission after all. Maybe they just didn't think of bringing any nukes along? Maybe the nukes are gonna be on the next ship in, but it's not scheduled for another five years? Maybe the fucking bean-counters back at corporate headquarters took a look at the requisition for nukes and said, "too expensive. Just give them a few extra battlemechs to shut them up."

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Maybe their insurance doesn't cover nukes?

    by Royston Lodge

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Maybe the nuke factory was on strike?

    by Royston Lodge

    Damned unions.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I did read somewhere that

    by drturing

    the Bluray has at least one ten minute added scene, where Jake proves himself to be a hunter - which sounds like the titanothere hunt in the scriptment (which I believe played way too close to dances with wolves buffalo hunt scene)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST

    My brain registered "nuking the shit out of Treehorne."

    by Royston Lodge

    He treat's objects like women, man!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Royston Lodge

    by Vesuvio

    That actually make sense.<p> Maybe the strenght of the Na'vi was underestimated by the human mission on Pandora.<p> But in the other hand, the chief of security himself alerted the newcomers the Na'vi were hard to kill.<P> So, again, to carry around at least ONE WMD (a "just in case" measure) would seem to be the most likely attitude by the humans.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:15 p.m. CST

    My biggest problem was with the millitary tech

    by tradeskilz

    Since the humans in Avatar had developed interstellar travel and other cool stuff i would assume that military tech would have advanced at a similar rate. So relatively speaking the weapons the military guys used were fairly low-tech. I would guess that most weapon platforms would be unmaned and remotely controled or operated by some kind of AI. Givent the nature of the conflict at the end, collateral damage was not a concern so it stands to reason a battalion of robots could've been sent in to kill off any indiginous species. Sure it could be argued that a none true AI would lack human 'common sense' but that wouldt have been an obstacle in that scenario. Sure there was the problem of that 'flux' field that disturbed electronic instruments but surely we could let our terminators hunt with optics and IR and what not. And even if unmanned/AI machines was unfeasable in that situation im sure we would have about a thousand other creative ways to kill the Na'vi that didnt involve having soldiers doing foot patrol, helicopters or dropping crates of C4. Considering that we are already making breaktroughs in nano technology and metamaterials which could be used to make us vitrually invisible and/or indestructible. If we include chemical and biological warfare its not even a sport anymore. They could have easilly engineered any number of lethal or non lethal weapons to disable or kill the Na'vi considering the extremely advanced genetical engineering capabilities the humans had. Shit, they could probably have used DNA locked nano bots that target only Na'vi and deliver it via an aerosol or something. Problem solved. But sure for arguments sake we assume that any such research has been banned or limited to government controlled militaries and thus the mercenary outfit on Pandora only had access to conventional weapons. The mehanized armor suites were really kick-ass and i can see armies using something like that as some kind of mobile weapons platform. The inteface used in the suites makes sense to me from a usability standpoint (an area in which i have some expertise). They seemed very agile and natural to operate which is quite important. I liked the little rearview mirrors they had, which i thought was a nice touch since sometimes there is just no substitute for good old fashioned solutions. I dont want to get bogged down in a discussion about situational awarnes and such so i wont go in to any depth about that. However the fact remains that the mech-suites were poorly armed. You would think that such an advanced war-machine would have several beyond visual range and close combat engagment options instead of just the one .50 cal machinegun and giant bowie knife (lol). In the end the mystery 'flux' field pretty much covers up a lot of flaws since had all targeting options been available they could pretty much have 'painted' every hostile on the planet in minutes and killed them off. Even so the millitary sure had a real lack of other basic targeting options that we even today make us of when conventional radar is unavailable. Not like electonic warfare is something new. Anway, the truth is though that projectile weapons and missiles etc look good on screen. Im sure they could have make some cool high energy lasers and rail guns but in the end we all love a good old machinegun. And honestly would it have been as cool if they had just nuked the site from orbit or launched a couple of hundred future-tech flechette missiles of some kind and perforated every living thing on pandora in one fell swoop? (yea probably)

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Weill, just cuz the humans on Pandora WANT nukes...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...doesn't mean the suits back home have to give them nukes.<p> Quaditch: I want my goddamn nukes you piss-ant!<p> Burke: Listen Colonel, I hear you. I really do. But my hands are tied. We simply don't have the budget, at least not until the next fiscal year. Then we can discuss including a nuke or two - you know, small ones - one the next supply ship.<p> Quaditch: You little fucking piss-ant! Don't you fucking know what we're dealing with?!?!<p> Burke: Sorry Colonel, I've got another call coming in. Thanks! <click> Asshole. <brring brring> Hello? What do you mean they blew it up?! WHO'S THEY?!?! What the hell's an aluminum falcon?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Bottom line

    by TheKGB

    Its a fucking meh Science Fiction Fantasy movie...get over it...

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Damn, some bits got cut out of that joke at the end there...

    by Royston Lodge

    I don't need nukes. I need an edit button!

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:21 p.m. CST

    As has been said by others...

    by PurityOfEssence

    The scriptment explains that the floating mountains were made up primarily of unobtanium. Which in the scriptment was a room temp super conductor. This is not an argument for or defense of the scriptments justification of said floating mountains.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 9:49 p.m. CST

    He taught classes on life in the universe?

    by MajorFrontbum

    I guess he's been to several other planets and rubbed shoulders with the locals? What a load of fucking bullshit.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    hallelujah mountains...

    by neodelrio

    It is explained in the documentary short narrated by Sigourney Weaver, that the hallelujah mountains were able to float due to its magnetic properties coupled with unobtanium. So that does bring up the point that they could have just mined the mountains. Unless they were protected for their unique properties, like a national park or something like that. Also the deposit under the hometree was supposed to be much larger. I am also curious if there is any science behind suspended hibernation, or if that is just a convenient plot explanation for the 5 year journey.

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 10:40 p.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    maybe I've missed something about what you've said, but I have to ask. Do you really think you're smarter than Stanley Kubrick?

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:06 p.m. CST

    the geniuses at IMDB...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    "Could Avatar be this generations Star Wars?" Maybe if they stopped trying to jerk my dick 24/7 I'd belly up and see it. There's no such this as "this generations star wars."

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    This generations star wars was this generations star wars.

    by saber12

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Noble Savage

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Its an interesting one and matter for debate, surely its all about perspective. <p> I also agree that being so interconnected with nature and other beings on the planet, that they had a different view of "progress", they would understand and feel the costs much different to us. <p> It also depends on what is more important to you and what you value, our natural inclination is to say what is important to us, because we aren't really connected and what we value is the right way. <p> People are living longer than ever, thanks to medicine, fertilisers, sewage etc which is great for the people living, but the planet is becoming overpopulated, especially given the amount of resources most of us consume, so not great for the planet or for most other life on this planet. <p> There is no clear cut answer, but I do know lots of people who talk about craving a simplier life, but could they really deal with the cost of that, i.e. being on a deserted island with minimal medical care and seeing family members die from things that would be considered trivial from a modern medicine standpoint. <p>

  • Dec. 21, 2009, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Maybe I'm a retard

    by Rectal Blowout

    but don't they fly by the floating mountains? And if so isn't there a magnetic flux vortex or some shit like that? A strong magnetic pull in that region. So how are they able to fly around without the copter flying all whacky? I know the gadgets go whacky.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:08 a.m. CST

    Avatar was horrible

    by darthvedder81

    What was with all that narration? Tell-tale sign of a filmmaker trying to fix his broken movie.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:12 a.m. CST

    So is an avatar kind of like an indirect zombie?

    by CodeName

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Uh, rectalblowout

    by drturing

    That's why it's a helicopter, which is held aloft in the air by vectoring thrust from blades which literally chop air. Helicopters are not held aloft by magnets.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:16 a.m. CST

    I still want an explanation for the goddamn waterfalls...

    by The Dum Guy

    I just watched parts of the movie again tonite, and a number of the floating mountains have waterfalls, but it seems too hot for them to have snow (or even enough room for that much snow) and it never rained during the movie.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST

    dum guy

    by drturing

    it's set on a planet covered in RAINFOREST. Of course it fucking rains. Also, the scene where neytiri drinks water from the plant. Rain.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:55 a.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST

    At least in the future vehicles will still have the beep beep

    by saber12

    back up sounds.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Alpha Geek Endorsement

    by Nirgaul

    This reads like a stupid love letter to Cameron and 20th Century Fox, from Beaker and Bunson. If someone puts a floating atoll in a movie, clearly its just there to look cool. Who would even bother to question that? Why bother to certify the science in this movie, when this movie is clearly about the visual spectacle? Its not science, its an eye candy demo.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Where was the A.I.?

    by Teddy Artery

    This story takes place in the year 2154 (if I recall correctly)... Ray Kurzweil estimates we'll have achieved a Singularity by 2046 (or near that time). This is set nearly 100 years past that eventuality... Why wasn't a strong A.I. basically calling the shots on everything, and/or why weren't the humans 'networked'. Surely by that time human brains will contain enough biological hardware to supplement our communication and intelligence abilities?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:09 a.m. CST

    People are starting to become cyborgs now

    by Teddy Artery

    fer cryin' out loud... any remaining social mores against artificial improvements will have fallen by the wayside as it would become an economic and competitive disadvantage to not be an enhanced human.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    I don't think something as small as those mountains would retain enough water from sporadic rainfall to have a continuous flow of water that would make for a waterfall (at least not that long of one).<br><br>I'm not saying it ruins the movie, it is the only thing I really questioned about, after seeing it.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    I think you're missing the point of Copernicus' article. it's not as though Cameron doesn't have a "reason" for most of the sci-fi elements of Avatar, Copernicus was just having fun assessing the scientific and realistic validity of them. <p>so yes, Sigourney Weaver telling us about the floating mountains is nice, but not really the point here.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:15 a.m. CST

    that has to be the most interesting article...

    by iwasredempted

    ever on aicn. the point about the shared knowledge of written language accelerating the technological advancement of humankind was not something i really took into account. i read an article about the notion of a singularity that is imminent written by a scientist from california that was incredibly interesting. but i've forgotten what the gist of it was about. that's what happens when you drink yourself silly.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Teddy Artery. just read your post thanks..

    by iwasredempted

    for the reminder of what the singularity is. the thing is will ai be benevolent or malevolent?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by Player01

    BringingSexyBack: the case for consensual modern stupidity.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Avatar may have had a simple story

    by MandrakeRoot

    But any movie that evokes this kind of discussion is truly one of a kind. I can't think of any other movie this decade really delving into science this deep to tell a story. So yeah, maybe the actual narrative wasn't the most complex or original, but they certainly did not skimp on creating an absolutely fascinating world. Plus I think for this type of the film the story was more than serviceable. And honestly 3D or not, I think the film looks great, so it will hold on fine on home theater viewings. If you browse the internet and see how many times people are seeing this movie it's absolute MADNESS. Some people have seen it 5 times already and it just opened a few days ago. A great opening weekend haul, and I predict a lot of families who haven't seen it already will see it over the Christmas holidays, looks like Cameron has nothing to worry about. Good for us, cause I cannot wait to what he has in store for a sequel.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi Noble Savage

    by happyboy

    Dont worry too much about Pinker's Blank Slate or about Copernicus' hyperbole about the sum of human knowledge. Scientists are optimistic by nature and extremely vulnerable to ideas attesting that we've somehow "solved" basic human problems. A very smart MD friend of mine insisted 20 years ago to me that aging might be "solved" in our childrens' (this generations') lifetime. Meanwhile, lifespan is REGRESSING for some segments of the the American population due to diet, inactivity, medical care etc. Copernicus is a physicist, not a biologist, anthropologist or sociologist. His views on social evolution are not any clearer than any other layman who happens to have a lot of optimism concerning the future. The basic answer to why they didn't develop is that the Navi are not human. There are plenty or organisms that share a common consciousness right here on Earth. EO Wilson spent decades documenting the hive mind of ants, whose explorer drones operate more like fingers than individual consciousnesses, and who mark scents to food that the entire colony can "see." The individuals are not even biologically distinct, since they rely on other members of the colony for basic functions discrete for humans such as reproduction, digestion etc. And ants and bees have not developed into some SUPERORGANISM that dominates with technology (although they are extremely successful organisms with a combined biomass that exceeds humanity). Evolution (if such a thing exists) doesn't work to some end point with "technology" or humans at the apex. Organisms evolve in a manner that best supports a particular body plan. Just because humans evolved technology doesn't mean that other organisms would do so, need to do so or want to do so. The basic sociological premise of Copernicus isn't even supported in the history of HUMAN advancement. Europe had relatively late development of movable type compared to Song China and Korea. Those East Asian nations also had a huge advantage in roads and infrastructure to disseminate information, more ordered and centrally controlled society to spread knowledge, and a huge advantage in the number of literate people and also an advantage in technology and economy for millennia. . Yet in the end they didn't outpace the West in development. There are a lot of factors many of the social, not technological. It's sexy to point to one thing and say we're on track to make it infinitely better but go back 30-40 years and look how many of those predictions have come true.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:41 a.m. CST

    Once more about the friggin waterfalls

    by Cagliostro

    Spare me the rain and snow, just like regular mountains explanation. From any aerial view of the floating rocks there was neither, and the amount of water that I saw pouring off of one was more than the mass of the stone itself. It would need to be sustained by a source more akin to a full blown river. I could buy a slight treacle dripping off, from maybe cloud moisture, but come now.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:42 a.m. CST

    Oh and a few points...advanced weaponry, etc..

    by MandrakeRoot

    Gingerella said Sigourney couldn't wait for a cigarette after being in cryo. That's wrong, we first saw her and she was coming out of her Avatar, not out of cryo. So it's perfectly feasible for her to want a cigarette, although it makes you wonder, there's gotta be some shit for the Na'vi to smoke, no? <p> And the less advanced human weaponry was explained by Cameron that the really advanced tech was not usable on Pandora due to the high levels of electromagnetism or something like that. I don't remember exactly but it was something like that. Basically his excuse to do pterodactyls vs helicopters...turned out pretty fuckin cool if you ask me.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST

    MandrakeRoot Avatar did not have a simple story

    by happyboy

    It had an accessible story so that the other elements wouldn't intimidate viewers ages 7 to 70 but it wasn't simple. Word of mouth for this movie is better than expected. I know people who have already seen this movie 3 times, and like Cameron's other movies this movie will actually pick up steam as it goes. Suffice it to say that this movie is better than advertised on all fronts. Remember when the trailers first hit and noobs (almost all of them who had either NOT seen the movie in 3d Imax or seen it at all) were swamping this site with talk how the rendering and technology looked cheap or dated? Where are they now? They basically all crawled back into their holes because they have owned themselves with their own shortsightedness and lack of clarity. Comments about the CG aren't even acknowledged by the moviegoers, this movie broke technological ground, period. Bitching about the story will go the same way. In 6 months this movie will be acknowledged as revolutionary and over time criticisms about the plot will go away. How many people are still talking about how derivative Spielberg's Jurrasic Park was since it was 2 hours of kids running from monsters and we've seen that story how many times? In the end people when people talk about Avatar wont even remember that the QQing of some nerds and other shit talkers on the internet trying to piggyback on the success of this movie with their own criticisms

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Why nuking the site from orbit wasn't an option

    by dastickboy

    Well for a start, it's a mining operation, why carry nuclear warheads? Also, it was shown in what must be the very first scene, hell even the very first line of onscreen dialogue that the passengers on the ship had travelled for near 6 years.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Other reason there are no nukes

    by Alientoast

    RDA (the company in the film) has to abide by an international treaty that forbids them from carrying nuclear weapons/WMD in space. This is from the field guide. Also, the company is interested in the flora/fauna of the planet for other uses, such as pharmaceuticals and food production (the Earth of the film has virtually wiped out it's ecosphere, it mentions that spirulina is the #1 food product on the planet now).

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:29 a.m. CST

    Awesome article!

    by ottomatic

    People seem to forget this is a movie.Not the actual future.Some shit happened in the movie cause it would be awesome in 3d on the big screen. <p> <p> <p> If we really wanted some land or minerals on a alien planet we would not create avatars.We would make a biological weapon to wipe whatever threat there was out.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:55 a.m. CST

    I love this The Science Of Movies stuff

    by AsimovLives

    And i really love when movies get it right. Contrary to popular belief, it's harder to simulate real life physics then to go on all fantasy. Any movie that does real physics right for a movie gets kudos and one step up in excelency.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Teddy Artery

    by AsimovLives

    Anybody who wears glases are technically cyborgs, because they use technological aparatus to overcome a physical short-coming. Teeth fillings too. And any time pf heart pacemaker or prostectics. Literally speaking, there's lots and lots of cyborgs walking around today. They just don't go around and killing the future savior of mankind. Mostky.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Teddy Artery

    by AsimovLives

    Anybody who wears glases are technically cyborgs, because they use technological aparatus to overcome a physical short-coming. Teeth fillings too. And any time pf heart pacemaker or prostectics. Literally speaking, there's lots and lots of cyborgs walking around today. They just don't go around and killing the future savior of mankind. Mostly.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Teddy Artery

    by AsimovLives

    Anybody who wears glases are technically cyborgs, because they use technological aparatus to overcome a physical short-coming. Teeth fillings too. And any time pf heart pacemaker or prostectics. Literally speaking, there's lots and lots of cyborgs walking around today. They just don't go around and killing the future savior of mankind. Mostly.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Oh brother!!!!

    by AsimovLives

    Sorry for the multiple posts. So, so sorry.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST

    bad storytelling

    by godhelpus

    What's up with this incessant bad storytelling criticism? What in the fuck does anyone here know about storytelling?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:17 a.m. CST

    Does anybody here know what Cameron studied in college?


    He majored in art and physics. His dad was an electrician, his mom was an artist, so he's kind of always had the dichotomy of technical-vs-artistic present in his life, which almost makes it perfect for thim that filmmaking is a marriage of the two. He's studied science his whole life. He's a member of the Mars Society - when he was going to make some films about exploring Mars, he worked with them to create the most accurate off-world exploration vehicles and machines ever used in a movie. He lives for science about as as much as he lives for science fiction. Just bringing this up for those who say, "There's no real science here, just eye candy." Trust me - the man has done his homework.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Thank you Copernicus

    by JethroBodine

    Thank you Copernicus for letting us borrow your brain for a little while. It's allowed me to see this movie with new eyes.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:50 a.m. CST

    "Why doesn't the US just nuke countries we don't like?"

    by MattInTheHat

    Did you forget that the US is the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons against civilian targets? But yet they think they should be allowed to keep them while comdemning other countries for trying to develop them.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Thought on the "Noble Savages"

    by Alientoast

    I think one thing to consider re: the Na'Vi, who are in a Neolithic stage of development, is the fact that while they are able to tap into the collective knowledge of their ancestors, they also have a very real connection to that bio-net. Humans on Earth, during the neolithic period, had a connection with the Earth...but alot of it had to do with survival (ie, if you wipe out everything, you'll go hungry in the future) and abstract ideas of a diety. The Na'vi, more or less, have a frickin batphone to their god via the bio-network. Plus, as we saw in the movie, their "god" can exert an actual will on the world as a whole, such as when the wild animals started attacking the humans. The Na'Vi are also provided with everything they need to live a comfortable existence. IMO this would create a rather strong reason to just chill in the Neolithic hunter/gather stage. There are also no pressures to develop agriculture, such as lack of game. They also seem to have a relatively controlled population, so the need to boost food production doesn't seem to exist either. If there was suddenly less game or gatherable wild plants/berries/nuts, or the population expanded to a point where hunter/gatherer isn't sufficient, you would probably see a shift towards agriculture and domestication of livestock for consumption purposes.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:29 a.m. CST

    I nominate this for AICN Article of the Year...


    ...and not just because it supports James Cameron or Avatar, but because it's one of the rarest of all AICN articles - the kind that actually compels talkbackers to speak intelligently, coherently and with civility to each other. There are disagreements here and there but everyone's been largely civil, not to mention articulate as well. And it certainly shows the contrast when certain morons show up just to troll the board and piss people off, and I'm glad to see everyone wisely carries on and continues talking with the smart people instead of feeding the trolls. Thank you, Copernicus. And thank you to all the well-spoken and well-mannered Talkbackers who have made this board a pleasure to be a part of.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Royston I think you're confusing the word "sentient" with

    by SuperXY

    The word sapient. Sentient is just being able to process stimuli. Sapient would be using the processed stimuli in the manner of higher lifeforms.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    Re: Waterfalls.

    by Malicoire

    I've seen the movie twice now (first in 2D second in RealD) but I've never paid strict attention. Were there roots / vines connected to the waterfall rock? If so, one could assume that that system was irrigating that entire rock formation. It could also be that there was an abnormally high concentration of Unobtainium in the particular boulder and the field generated by it increased the collection of atmospheric moisture. Here's a question, did we ever see it rain there?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Noble Savages.

    by Malicoire

    There are still areas of this planet without a society as advanced as the Na'Vi. See some of the South American settlements, African Tribal units, or West Virginia.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    See, fuckers?

    by DocPazuzu

    All you need is a bit of imagination, an open mind and allow for a fucking scientific POSSIBILITY or two for something to work. <p> You cocks with your "how can fire burn on Pandora" and everything else, trying to sound clever and perceptive, now sound dumber and more cynical than ever. <p> I wish articles like this would be posted after every new sci fi movie just to make you haters look like the insufferable tools you really are. <p> Well done, Copernicus!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST


    by BendersShinyAss

    if you are who you say you are, then i hope you forget the extra solar planets for a while and concentrate more on Venus, Mars and our own moon. look into the expanding/growing earth process as well.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST

    I would LOVE...

    by DocPazuzu see a Copernicus vs BendersShinyAss science free-for-all. It would be the funniest and most excrutiating reading in history.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    "Human" "rights" 150 years in the future

    by TheManWhoCan

    As JohnnyLaBamba pointed out regarding the sub space (instantaneous) communication with Earth and the UN not being cool with the displacement of an intelligent species. Maybe the company is selling one of those ‘war on terrorism’ spins to the UN (and by doing so conning the general public) like the Iraq wars were about Oil and a lot of idiots thought that the allied nations (USA) were ”liberating” the Iraqi people from a mad dictator and that the oil thing was just a secondary concern. So the general public think that the corporate army mercs types are doing the right thing by the Navi and ….wait a minute… have the bonus of bringing back a bunch of practically free energy rock unobtainium as well so it’s a win/win situation for both species. Go Team! Either that OR the general public don’t know what a Navi is in the first place and think that the miners are just up against a dangerous wildlife situation and not an intelligent species.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:11 a.m. CST

    One of the best artcles here in AICN

    by ominus

    thank you Copernicus for writing it.And a movie which brings such wonderful discussions,is a respectable achievement from its part.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Royston Lodge just won best post in the talkback

    by ominus

    'What the hell is an 'Aluminum Falcon'?' AHAHAHAHA hilarious

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:17 a.m. CST

    The floating mountains

    by BendersShinyAss

    the funny thing is i don't think i once heard them refer to the mountains as being full of uinobtainium... i heard the area was in a state of gravitational flux. sort of like an orbital phenominon only within the close confines of the planets surface.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    i wasn't going to respond to you Paz

    by BendersShinyAss

    but what makes you think i want to vs capornicu in a science free for all. if anything i reckon he and i could talk for days before one of us passed out from mental exaustion

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Floating Mountains

    by ominus

    since the Pandorian flora is so rich,it means there is a lot of rain happening.If we assume that the mountains are hollow inside (isnt the waterfall coming out from a hole in the mountain,in the movie?),then they are more like natural water springs. <p>I say this from experience.Near my village,which is located in a very dry area, there is a small mountain which doesnt have a snowy peak,but at its basement there is a big water spring,which is used by the local villagers for their sheeps. <p>The mountain is hollow inside,and it storages the water which comes from the heavy rains during winter. <p>The spring keeps keeps water all the time,even during the hot summer,until the new rains of winter,when the mountain refills its water storage.and that mechanism is working for centuries now. <p>So i believe a similar natural mechanism is going on in the floating mountains with their waterfalls.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:37 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    It doesn't matter what you want. It would end up a free-for-all, albeit a very civilized one, simply because Copernicus would demolish every single one of your loony flat-earthisms.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    The most realistic Human-Alien stories were written by Stanislaw

    by bingo the clown

    In his books Solaris, and Fiasco. The point of both books was that any communication would be impossible, because the aliens would genuinely be alien, not humans that look different. (As an aside, it's sad that both film versions of Solaris missed the point).

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    All animals are sentient Royston

    by spacechampion

    Sentience just means the ability to feel, ie. an organism with sensors. That includes animals and probably some plants, fungi, bacteria, even virii. The word sapient means to know, sapience the ability to know, and homo sapiens sapiens = thinking man. Do you grok it?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    no bullshit souls on Pandora

    by spacechampion

    The "souls" were simply the uploaded memories from the Na'vi to the sentient trees. I don't think we saw evidence for the trees being sapient, ie. had any kind of conscious mind, but it did relay memories and pass information throughout the world from tree to tree like a network of computers. No "souls" required.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Fantastic Article

    by JadedOne

    I would love to see more like this when SF movies come out.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by MattInTheHat

    Once awoken to the threat via the Drs memories and the plea from the Hum'vi the bio-net could have simply reacted by instinct as any organism reacting to a threat. No need for there to be a "world mind". The filthy hu-maans would have been seen as alien and therefore the wildlife through the bio-net would have "downloaded" the instinct to attack (and defend itself, as in help the Na'vi). ???

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:12 a.m. CST

    i want to follow up on what Alientoast mentioned...

    by iwasredempted

    and bear with me as i'm not the most articulate person. what we deem as advancement i contend has come about because of war and the pursuit of money or gold if you will. shiny things. the military industrial complex has advanced humankind. but can you really say that kind of advancement has more value then what the navi culture has? isn't the idea of star treks federation inherently socialist in it's purest form. ha just kidding. threw that one in to see what would happen.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Asi re: cyborgs

    by toadkillerdog

    That is flat out wrong. Teeth fillings and Glasses do not a cyborg make. A cyborg is a physical melding of an artificial machine and a living organism. If someone had a mechanical eye, then that would make them a cyborg. Same with a mechanical ear (cochlear implant is a possibility with that). <p> If we went by your logic, wearing a wrist watch would make us cyborgs. Using binoculars would make us cyborgs. <p> You may are on the right track with the pacemaker though.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Could somone please help me out with some

    by southafricanguy

    info? My girlfriend and I saw Avatar in 2D recently. We now want to see it in 3D. However we live quite far from an IMAX 3D screen, but fairly close to a regular digital 3D screen. I need to know what exactly is the difference (neither of us has ever seen a film in 3D). Is the regular 3D cool, or is it necessary to go out of the way for the IMAX? Thanks.....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:24 a.m. CST

    to iwasredempted

    by Alientoast

    Early on, technology advancement was for the purpose of making you more efficient at obtaining food (bows+arrows vs. thrown spears or thrown rocks...better range, more portable. etc), defending your terroritory (see the former example), and being able to better process your resources (ie, making clothing and shelter). But as populations grew and conflict over resources grew in turn, more advanced weapons and technology gave your tribe/society a better chance of survival, since it could acquire more resources and defend against people who might kill them. While hunting tech would stagnate, we became more skilled at making weapons that increased our ability to kill rival humans. At their core, many technologies have a distinct dual use in a civilian/military point of view: Better medical care not only makes your population healthy, but it also allows you to save the lives of wounded soliders so they can fight again another day. Metal working can make sturdy containers for storage and durable farming tools, but it can also make armor and weapons.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    One thing the NO ONE has thought of...

    by zinc_chameleon

    Could it be that unobtainium is the source of the miraculous networking power of Pandora? That would explain the Nav'i locations of Home Tree and Tree of Souls. I'm thinking that Pandoran neurons utilize trace amounts of unobtainium to do their magic. I actually expected Augustine to say that to Selfridge: that the use of unobtainium was the key to *human* immortality, and that was far more valuable--especially to rich Earthlings--than a superconductor power conduit.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    "One thing the NO ONE has thought of"

    by Alientoast

    Actually, I had the same thought as well. Infact, if they did a sequel, I bet that would be a plot point. Money is one thing, but I'm sure RDA executives would pretty much go bonkers over the idea of being able to grow a clone body and transfer their minds into the new body. Or super rich clients being willing to pay untold riches to live forever. Wanna live forever? That will be 500 Billion Dollars, please. And ya, the unobtanium being over the "holy sites" does seem to indicate it has a role in the bio-computer.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    toadkillerdog you are wrong

    by ominus

    wearing a wrist watch,using the internet,any kind of technology which expands ourselves from our limited body,does make us a are using the hardcore definition of cyborg,thats why you disagree.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    religion also anthropologically speaking...

    by iwasredempted

    serves the purpose of instilling fidelity to a tribe. i'm opening a can of worms here but the jihad is the perfect example of this. idiots use this notion to appeal to hardscrabble population susceptible to influence. philosophy serves no purpose when someone is starving. they want to know who to punch to get some food.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Royston re: The Holiest places and holy war

    by toadkillerdog

    There is ample evidence on earth of tribes not declaring a war - holy or otherwise, on another tribe that holds the 'sacred' place. See Mecca and Medina in Islamic culture. <p>

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    food or who they need to punch for pussy...

    by iwasredempted

    hence the 7 virgins. so sad.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Theory on floating mountain waterfalls

    by tradeskilz

    It could be that the water on pandora contains trace ammounts of unobtainium. The water vapor then gets caugt in the magnetic lines on pandora and when they make contact with the mountains the vapor condenses and forms water deposits on the mountains. Huge amounts of water would have to be condensed (or whatever) but given the strong magnetic fields and what not something like that could happen. Perhaps someone with more expertise im that area could elaborate on that theory or shoot it down.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Ominus. No, I do not think so.

    by toadkillerdog

    If you want to change the definition of what a cyborg is, feel free. Why not just add wearing computer generated high tech insoles for your feet? Are you gellin?<p> Hell, why not just say that shoes with gore-tex (a technological enhancement) make you a cyborg? What about rain repellent clothes (another technological enhancement)? <p> No, you are wrong for wanting to expand the definition from what it has been since it was created 50 years ago. <p> If you do so, why not just expand the definition for what it means to be a human being as well? Humans and Chimpanzees share over 95% of the same DNA, and although come TB'ers are no where near as smart as a chimp, I still hold out that a chimp aint a human. Call me a traditionalist.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Really cool

    by PornKing

    Good to see that the filmmakers spent the time to get the science right for those of us who actually paid attention in high school, or watch anything remotely educational once in a while. Copernicus's original gripes with the science were over my head. Even if those things were done wrong, I wouldn't have noticed. But it's awesome to see that those gripes were, in fact, accounted for and have solid explanations. Lastly, I think it's a credit to the filmmakers that they didn't need to perpetuate 'movie falsities' in order to make the movie interesting and fun. They realized there is enough weird, cool things in nature that by simply using those things and imagining them in another world, you could create great science fiction.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST


    by secretcylon

    Imax 3d imo was UNBELIEVABLE. Incredibly beautiful. I'm going back to take my son, but I really can't wait to see it again and go back into that world. I was afraid the screen would be too big but it wasn't. There just aren't enough adjectives to describe how awesome i thought it was. I'm actually curious as to how the movie played in 2d...

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Floating landmasses

    by ScriptCunt

    ... I remember Skyrealms of Jorune (an 80's rpg) introducing an alien world with similar floating terrain and explaining it off as a by-product of "crystal magnetism" creating a buffer not unlike a mag-lev train. But it's too bad that more of the weird-ass alien nature of a world like Jorune wasn't mined for Avatar... the fauna in particular.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Any species that can talk and make weapons...

    by Anything But Tangerines

    is not the innocent "harmony with mother nature" species they are made out to be. I assume in "Avatar" they are at a pre-industrial hunter-gatherer stage, but trust me, words+weapons=war.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Avatar..and you ask why they are blue? Really?

    by MacFaux

    Cause..<br><Br><br><br> *kind of looks familiar, heh?<Br><br>"Avatar or Avatara from the Sanskrit "descent" viz., from heaven to earth, from the verbal root "to cross over" refers to a deliberate descent of a deity from heaven to earth, and is mostly translated into English as "incarnation", though more accurately as "appearance" or "manifestation".<br><br> Anyone read the Puranas? Upanishads? Nope? nichts? Great Blue Gods of India!!!<br><br> Well...whether the Na'vi are truly 'indigenous' or in point of speculators fact 'incarnate'..I dig the J-Cam hat tip and can't wait to see where he might take the mythology of Pandora. Gotta love all the theories on not just exo-biology..but exo-evolution. Amazing the all the anthro-arrogance both ways...typin they couldn't possibly be like as doomblety fook dumb as sayin they must be like us.<br><br> Floating Mountains? a problem.. really? How many times does a character have to bring up "flux vortices" before you figure and feature quantum treatment of the production of a time-dependent external superconducting magnetic field? If you see the movie again count how many times Sigourney says it alone. 4? 5? Does Giovani's character have to keep showing you the floating Unobtainium at room temp till you draw out the alluded connection? Ghe-heh!<br><br> And as far why didn't they just ..haul off the mounts... Where is Xiphos when you need him to school circle METT+T (Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops & Time Available)..I get very few AICN Military types here ..but didn't anyone go to B-school? anyone take an operations class? sigh.<br><br>I dig the debate. much that it is great fun. especially Royston and DocPa and some others..but some of you AICN children are as Neytiri would say .."like a baby" ..want everything digested and regurgitated back up to feed your knowledge...Do as Jake. RTFM.<br><bR> Ps. Quibbles Copernicus...Didn't feature the dark spot on the Gas giant as a Storm..but as a shadow. just an observation. how bout that? And didn't feature the structure around the Tree of Life as naturally occurring. Felt artificial. just sayin.<br><br> And FU u lil tardos.. I liked the Leona Lewis song.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    toadkillerdog but i do accept your examples

    by ominus

    as definitions of what a cyborg is. i repeat:a human when he uses every technology that enhances the abilities of a human in spiritual,intellectual,biological way,transforms him into a 'cyborg' <p>i will give you an example.lets say i use binoculars which gives me the ability to watch things a lot further than i could with my own eyes.You say that this does not make me a cyborg. <p>But what if i replaced my eyes with bionic eyes which apart from giving me normal human vision,they also give me the ability to watch items which are a lot further than me,like using wearing binoculars.Then you will say that this does make me a cyborg. <p>am i correct? but tell me what's the difference and the simalirty between the two examples? the nature of the technology or rather the way that the technology is handled by the human user differs,but the ultimate purpose of both technologies is the EXACT you agree? <p>our disagreement lies solely on how we personally accept the nature of the interconnection between man and only accept that a cyborg is a human who has integrated technology in his body in neuro-synaptic level.i ALSO accept as cyborg the non neuro-synaptic level of connection between man and machine. <p>check the wiki article to get some ideas of what i am talking about:

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    keep up the good talking you are doing here guys

    by ominus

    i am going right now to watch the movie for the 3rd time.cheers.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Cyborg dictionary

    by Alientoast

    Well the dictionary defines Cyborg as "a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device". It was coined in the 60s as a shortened word for Cybernetic Organism. Now if you wanted to get super technical based on the definition in the dictionary, "person whose physiological functioning is aided by" is rather vague and could be interpreted as generic tool use so long said tool is electronic or mechanical. Of course, that begs that question what do you define as a mechanical device?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Well Ominus, we can agree to disagree on that

    by toadkillerdog

    I do not think that wearing most(not all -giving myself some wiggle room), external devices, or clothing for that matter, makes you a cyborg. I do think there can be instances where external devices can simulate a cyborg like state (see below). But, and here is a perfect example, SCUBA gear. <p> Does wearing SCUBA gear make you a fish? An amphibian? A cyborg? <p> I say the answer is no. <p> Does using a forklift make you a robot or a cyborg? I say no. <p> Does driving a car with bluetooth make you a cyborg? I say no.<p> Does wearing an iPod make you a cyborg? I say no. <p> The definition needs to stand as it was meant to be, otherwise you wind up with a too fluid and ultimately useless word. <p> Back to the wiggle room for a minute. I can see a time where the definition can change to incorporate external devices, in the very near future, where articles of clothing will have interfaces with say a Cloud (computing) and your own neural net, and it does not have to be plugged in. Perhaps using optical interface? I can see that being a form of cyborg. But not just using a pair of external binoculars.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by Cagliostro

    Now we got Aquifers in these floating rocks? And if rain seeps into the ground to collect, why would it not just seep out of the bottom in the form of a trickle? We also now have theories that Unobtanium somehow pulls moisture out of the air, gathers it somewhere? (Didn't see so much as a puddle on the tops of those things), and then shoots it out in the form of a very large, self-sustaining waterfall? That's more than a stretch. I'l just go with the "magic" possibility since we've run out of science.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by toadkillerdog

    Exactly. If you chose that definition, then a car that provides locomotion (or a wheelchair for that matter) makes you a cyborg. <p> No, the definition as created was for a melding of the mechanical and living into a seamless unit. Not just the usage of a tool that you can carry in your hands (arc light cutter) or wear on your back (jet pack), or put on your eyes (night vision binoculars). <p> In order for something to hold it's true meaning, it can not be polluted with superfluous additions.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by YackBacker

    How the fuck did you get that text bold? HTML code doesn't work for me. I must know your secret!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    all of this is irrelevant, because the movie is just a romance

    by HaterofCrap

    everything else in the plot is total bullshit

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    <i>colors are something created by our brains and not intrinsic to the universe</i><p> That's actually a philosophical claim, NOT a scientific one; and Michael Watkins offers a strong argument to the contrary in his book _Rediscovering Colors_.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Re: COLORS

    by berserkrl

    That first line was supposed to be in quotation marks.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    What a great read!

    by SkidMarkedUndies

    So in depth and thorough. Thanks, Copernicus for sharing your knowledge.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by BringingSexyBack

    with all these here funky gadgets on my belt.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    "I could buy a slight treacle dripping off, from maybe cloud moisture, but come now."<P>What does uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar have to do with the waterfalls on the floating mountains?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST


    by Cagliostro

    That was just a brain fart. If you read my last post you'd see that I corrected myself and wrote Trickle.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    I haven't seen it on IMAX, but I've seen it on 2D and 3D screens and I would highly recommend seeing it on 3D. The only thing I liked better on 2D was the clarity of the pic vs 3D, although not the big of a difference (the only thing that really seemed different on 2D was the scars on Colonel Miles Quaritch face, they looked more defined).

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by The Dum Guy

    I'm with you on this, I thought maybe cloud vapors collecting might be it, but we never see alot of clouds.<br><br>And, people keep saying that it is rain forest, yet it never rained in the movie (I do concede that showing everyone hanging around inside while it rained would be a useless scene, so maybe it was cut out).<br><br>I dunno, but I don't really buy the thought that they are hollow (maybe they are semi-filled with helium?).

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    There's really no reason to see this in 2D

    by Rickey Henderson

    The movie is intended for 3D viewing. Seeing it in 2D gives your brain too much time to absorb to the bland plot.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:34 p.m. CST

    It did raIn in the movie.


    Anyone remember the scene during the montage when Jake was recording his log and Grace was telling him, like, "You're not just learning the language out there, you need to listen to what she's saying," and Jake says, "Do you mind? This is my video log, here." Look at the window in front of Grace. It's raining.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST



    Hey, dude? How'd you like the movie? I guess you're asking what's the difference between the nearer, regular 3D version vs. the Imax 3D version. Well, first you want to find out if the Imax is a real Imax or a Liemax theatre (you have to find one of the sites that shows if it's Digital or 8-perf 70mm or whatever they call it, I don't recall exactly.) If it's digital, then it's basically an enhanced, slightly modified version of a regular theatre. The screen will be just a little bit bigger and the sound will be pretty darn good. The real 70mm theatres , however, are monstrously huge. (The one I went to in Irvine on Sunday night has, like, a 70-ft screen.) The difference is noticeable, trust me. I saw the movie first Friday morning in a Liemax theatre, and the presentation was solid. No complaints, really. Seeing it in Irvine made a difference. The depth of the 3D was much more prominent and the sound was ferocious. Even my girfriend commented on the difference in the 3D at Irvine and she's not nearly a technical junkie like I am. The presentation was ridiculously good, and we didn't even have good seats. We were way off by the right-side aisle. (Note: You'll want to get there VERY early for your show. We were there 90 minutes before the show, and we were in the front third of the line to get in and still didn't end up with good seats. Just a heads-up.) <p> So, if it turns out your nearest Imax is a Liemax, you probably won't see a tremendous difference between that theatre's presentation and the nearby Real-D theatre, most likely. If it's a legit, full-size Imax, and it's less than maybe 2.5 hours away, it may well make it worth the trip. Just make a day out of it. Get some snacks and drinks together, drive out, listen to some music, bring something to read while you're waiting in line, watch the movie and drive back home. Quality time with the lady, my friend.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Oh, and if it's a real Imax theatre...


    ...sit all the way in the back, dead center. Trust me.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Since I STILL haven't been able to see this..

    by Jaka

    (Damn Christmas shopping!)...but will be doing so in a REAL IMAX theater, I found this scientific point of view to be far more enlightening than any review I've read thus far, and I'll definitely sit in the back and dead center. Oh I do love a run-on sentence. Yes, I do!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    2 reasons not to nuke

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    Here's two reasons why nuking from orbit would be a bad idea: <p>1)The radiation would make a difficult mining environment even worse to the point of it being impracticable. <p>2)The blast and radiation may ruin the unobtanium ore.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    isnt there just an avatar writer you can interview?

    by alice133

    i didnt think so.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Not that it matters, but...

    by jsscript2007

    Avatar is not having a case of the Mondays. Monday's Box Office: Up In The Air $526,064 Invictus made $746,201 Avatar made $16,385,820

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Jsscript - Fucking awesome!!


  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:10 p.m. CST

    At this pace, with the international numbers

    by jsscript2007

    and a similar weekend as last minus the snow storm and positive word of mouth(as execs predict) Avatar could pop the $500M target.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    in about a week from now.

    by jsscript2007

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Another 50 million for Monday World Wide

    by screenplay3

    Total stands at 285. It opens in Japan tomorrow. It's going to be a epic week for this puppy.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by jsscript2007

    I don't know why, but the more money it makes the happier I get.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Same here, JS.


    Here's what I'm gonna do: When it hits that $500 million mark, I'm going to go back through various Avatar talkbacks and copy and paste all the stupid shit people have been ranting about for the past year, railing on Cameron and how "stupid" the movie looked and how "it will flop," and how "no one will go see it" and all that nonsense. I'me just going to repost all that crap and wait for the original posters to take a look at how stupid they've made themselves appear.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST


    by copernicus

    me: "colors are something created by our brains and not intrinsic to the universe" beserkrl: "That's actually a philosophical claim, NOT a scientific one; and Michael Watkins offers a strong argument to the contrary in his book _Rediscovering Colors_." beserkrl, it is a scientific claim -- What is fundamental about the window of the spectrum near 400 nanometers (blue) vs., say 1.2 microns (the infrared)? (Most) humans are trichromats -- we see colors because of cones in our eyes sensitive to different wavelengths of light. They peak at 435 nm (blue), 545 nm (green), and 575 nm (red; at least usually). If we had cones that peaked at different wavelengths, we'd see colors differently. We know this because the response curve is different in individuals with a condition called anomalous trichromacy. Not all humans see colors exactly the same way, which you can show with color tests. Some might be tetrachromats (have four types of color photoreceptors or pigments), and some some animals certainly are. In fact, stomatopods have 16 kinds of receptors (12 for color)!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    That would be worthy of becoming a poster

    by jsscript2007

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by jsscript2007

    Those predictions of Avatar failing should be posted alongside other historical chokes like The World is Flat.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I think it would've been fun to see...


    ...people predicting absolute failure for Titanic had everyone been on AICN back in 1997.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    I can't imagine what Cameron

    by screenplay3

    Feels like right now. Proving the doubters wrong, again!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    What Cameron is feeling right now, given the grosses,

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    is "shit, now I have to make Avatar 2 and 3", as he settles down at the word processor to initiate another 5 years of intensive hard labor.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    I saw it on an freezing Monday Morning Dec. 21...

    by zinc_chameleon

    in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada, the first show at 11:15 a.m. To a full house! Saskatoon is only 250,000 people, so I figured I'd be about the only one there. Not so. When I had to take a pee break during the climactic battle scene the crowd nearly killed me with bad looks. They were very serious about this film.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST


    by jsscript2007

    No pee breaks allowed. Next time pee in your empty cup. Or better yet, someone elses.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Humanoids on a planet other than Earth = stupid.

    by Ironhelix

    I am waiting for a movie to decide that it REALLY wants to show me an alien world, and not just change the colors on Earth life, and call it "alien". The fucking "rhino" creature that Jake runs into in the beginning is actually a wholesale ripoff of a prehistoric creature. Cameron didn't even TRY to show us anything wonderful with his movie, he just took the easy way out, and remade Dances with Wolves.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Floating Mountains

    by landj9697

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:43 p.m. CST

    The Easy Way Out

    by jsscript2007

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Too funny. Gotta go pee.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Floating Mountains

    by landj9697

    I was able to imagine that the mountains could have once been part of the planet that was heavy with unobtanium and near the surface. Just as we see with moons of gas giants in our own system, there are usual tremendous tidal forces exerted upon some of these satellites (Io for an extreme example). Considering the fact that this is in a triple star system, and the fact that we could that there were other moons orbiting the planet, it is not unthinkable that at some time Pandora was subjected to tremendous tidal forces that allowed the area containing these deposits to wrenched free, allowing them to lift away from the moons surface.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Goof on me if you like...

    by crashcow

    But articles like this and, yes, a lot of the talkbacks, make me proud of the level of intelligent coolness that's out there. Granted, other talkbacks prove the existance of the famed "super douche bags," but, on the whole, I'm proud.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:06 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Careful there buddy. Posting shit like that at AICN will not go well with the Hater crowd!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:17 p.m. CST

    The Arches and MAgnetic Field

    by mattforce7

    I actually caught onto that in the first viewing, i mean, its obvious if you know what magnetic fields look like. Clearly not intended to be artificially constructed. Then again, im a scratch that, just well read.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    HOwever, Brilliant Read!

    by mattforce7

    Just read this article again along w the UpDate, and this makes me want to see the movie again( i was going to either way) iMax 3D here I come.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Thanks Copernicus - regarding Nukes.

    by ganda1f

    This is a great read, and thanks for updating it. This is the kind of film geek stuff I love - when you scratch the surface of a film and find more than you expected.<br><br>Regarding the whole 'Nukes' thing - Camerons script treatment spelled out that the company mining Pandora wasn't permitted access to Nukes.<br><br>I believe it also mentioned that cool future-weapons didn't work on Pandora, thanks to the strong EM fields, and thus they had to use 20th century equivalent technology.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Lightstormer et al...thanks for the info guys

    by southafricanguy

    Could you tell me though if I go to a regular digital 3D theatre, will it be a real 3D experiance so to speak? Can you guys give me more specific info regarding the difference between IMAX 3D and regular 3D other than just the screen size? Thanks....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    You don't belong here

    by J-Tall

    Wait a minute, you are extremely intelligent, have a impressive career and can admit when you are wrong- or can be improved upon... That much intelligence and humility don't belong here....well done

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    LIGHTSTORMER..hey dude. I really enjoyed

    by southafricanguy

    it, but I feel I need to see it again, and in 3D before I can really solidify my opinion. But there is some seriously awsome stuff in there. However I am a bit dissapointed at all the stuff left out from the scriptment. I really wanted to see the Slinger and the Medusa (the two coolest alien creatures on Pandora imho..). Also really want to see all the future Earth stuff that was filmed but was cut out. The hunt Jake goes on (also filmed but cut), and the relationship between Norm and Trudy (also filmed but cut). I am really hoping for a serious directors cut (or extended edition) of Avatar when it comes out on DVD as its clear a lot was cut....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Also missed all the cool science stuff that

    by southafricanguy

    was explained in the scriptment, as well as more explanation to how the whole Gaia aspect of Pandora worked....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Finally, I missed the attack on Hellsgate that

    by southafricanguy

    takes place in the scriptment. Would have been an awsome action set piece imho. I guess Avatar was just too expensive per minute for Cameron to include it all....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    exo-evolution and vision

    by grisp

    BSB: Overanalysis is what happens when science geeks go on break, see a kick-ass movie, and can't completely turn off the juice and relax after giving/taking finals... so... let us have our fun. "Evolutionary need" for sentience is a bit misleading. Natural selection (as opposed to artificial selection) is divorced from need. If more intelligent individuals in a population survive longer and produce more offspring with similar characteristics (i.e. intelligence is heritable), higher intelligence will continue to evolve (unless opposed by some constraint). Given your understanding of that Happy Boy, a bit surprised you question whether evolution occurs. Whether and how this leads to consciousness/sentience/sapience is yet to be determined. Lots of speculation about it though. A strong suggestion is that sociality (the need to play well with others to survive and reproduce) has an important role. The Na'vi are currently social, and likely had a social history as a species (social ancestral precursors, presumably). Given the strong selection (relative difficulty of surviving) on Pandora, one would have to speculate that the pace of evolutionary change is/was rapid. As far as vision on Pandora goes, as Copernicus points out, we're trichromats. Males with red-green colorblindness have a dysfunction in one of the cone types, for example. The sheer number of receptor types in stomatopods must allow them an incredibly fine number of categorical boundaries for color. So what about Pandoran eyes? We don't know, but the suggestion that one pair is for color, the other for B&W makes sense, especially if the receptor system is similar and the more anterior eyes have a higher complement of cones, with the more lateral ones having rods (rods being also generally more sensitive than cones). Predator's eyes tend to face forward and have cones more tightly packed in the center of their visual receptive field (e.g. raptors). Prey more often have lateral eyes (don't need color detail in the front, better to have broad sensitivity all around) (e.g. rabbits). Since it seems lots of things on Pandora are both predator and prey, why not have both types of eyes available if you can swing it? Another cool way to demonstrate to yourself that rods are more sensitive than cones is to go out on a clear night and look directly at a group of stars. Since your cones are mostly in your fovea (responding to direct line of sight), if you shift your gaze to the side a little and continue to attend to the same patch of sky as you do this, you'll see a few fainter stars suddenly pop out as you bring your rods to bear on that part of the visual field.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    you got IMAX 3D which uses actual film being played through two separate projectors projectors. So it's a little less sharp than the digital ones, and you gotta keep your head straight. Then there's Real D which is projected digitally through one lens, apparently allowing you to look around the screen more without ghosting and other problems. Dolby 3D is also digital and apparently has the best color representation out of all of them.</p> <p>I went with IMAX cause of its insane size. I'm kinda in a hurry, so I hope this helps a little.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:16 p.m. CST

    LlGHTST0RMER and southafricanguy

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Hey guys, just caught a second viewing tonight with two of my old school friends and it blew them away. Movie is solid on a second viewing too. Absolutely love it.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I'd love to see this again in imax-3D

    by tradeskilz

    Only there are like ONE FUCKING screen in my entier country. Next time work the internatioal theater corporations a bit more and you will sell even more tickets.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:45 p.m. CST

    5 years, 9 months and 22 days.

    by Maniaq

    according to the movie <p> also, just wanted to say LOVED the stuff about alien eyes and the colour blue - didn't consciously think about it while watching but, yeah onw that I think about it... <p> the human eye has only about 2% blue cones and they have the highest sensitivity - it's mostly (around 64%) about the red - in an ALIEN ecosystem, however - especially one with all that phosphorescence... <p> also, about the mountains - I was under the impression the mountains themselves were just made of regular materials - like iron... but they happened to be directly ABOVE a very large unobtainium deposit...

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Starwarrior and the REAL reason for floating mountains

    by white_vader

    2001 a Space Odyssey. It was an abandoned concept, Cameron is a huge 2001/Kubrick fan. Yes they came up with an explanation, but it's a jury-rigged explanation. I think the art of the floating mountains in 2001 may have even been by Chesley Bonestell - can anyone help me there?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    copernicus - COLORS

    by berserkrl

    I agree that there's nothing special about that range, and that different perceivers perceive different ranges. That's a scientific claim, and no one's disputing it.<p>The controversial philosophical move, and the one I think Watkins successfully shows to be mistaken, is the one that infers FROM that uncontroversial scientific claim TO the philosophical claim that colors are subjective.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Cameron's comment on floating mountains...

    by BurnHollywood

    ...From this month's "Popular Science" was (as I recall...I don't have the issue here) that when he proposed it to an expert, they chuckled and said that level of magnetism would rip apart a human's blood hemoglobin. He shrugged and went with it makes for a pretty image.<p> Long story short, there's a ton of verisimilitude in AVATAR, and Cameron was aware of with a number of SF flicks, the point was to make things appear *somewhat* realistic...

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Maybe in Pandora's passed. It was hit by an asteroid?

    by Orionsangels

    An Asteroid hit Pandora millions of years ago. Creating a massive crater, that released massive amounts of the unobtainium, slowly raising the massive chunks of rocks into the air. This process of took millions of years of course.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:25 p.m. CST

    I meant PAST, sorry

    by Orionsangels

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:26 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    In brief, the fact that I can perceive X but not Y, and you can perceive Y but not X, doesn't show that either X or Y is subjective.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Alright, forget the nukes.

    by Vesuvio

    What about an attack with traditional missiles... launched from Orbit, straight into the Tree of Souls?<p> Any company policy against that?

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by jsscript2007

    Have you seen this week old interview with Cameron ala Popular Mechanics? It's pretty cool.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Good work, Grisp, but...

    by zinc_chameleon

    You've forgotten that our optical system is not tacked on to our neural networks, but *extruded* from it, with specializations for light reception. An extra set of eyes would require an additional occipital lobe, plus connections to the thalamic right all the way to the associtional areas in the cortex, to integrate all that data. Most vision scientists (I just teach the stuff) believe that primate sentience is a result of the our enhanced visual system, a way our neural networks (brain) plays catch-up. Sentience/consciousness is simply another enfoldment of neural matter, no need to get philosophical about how and why.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    This film seems unwieldly now.

    by #1 Zero

    I haven't seen the film, and I respect SF that tries to go in depth and be realistic (I'm thinking Dune's extensive biological and plant life explanations of things). But with all these science elements in it I think 1)I don't really care if its possible or not 2) It seems like there will be a lot of things to keep track of to really "get" the movie. I understand the article was for anyone wondering if anything in the movie was possible, and I'm sure Cameron did research just to appease the science geeks in the audience but I just want to enjoy something like this. I don't want to hear 20 minutes explaining why a plant grows or that "Unobtainium" (a stupid name even if its a real term) floats in the mountains. Also I respect the scientist who wrote the article but when he says some SF does things that are not credible, well the story comes before the science in my eyes. Some SF novels are the exception but movies care more about imagery than anything else. Also even modern SF novels aren't heavy on science. Go back to Rendevous with Rama type books for that. And I don't think the general audience is insulted by lack of credibility. 2012, Day after tomorrow, and other films he mentioned made fortunes. Not many people are thinking, "Oh that could never happen". They just want to see the tidal wave hit new york. And if they do say "that could never happen" they quickly forget it and enjoy the film, then complain about it later. Also, for as much credibility as Cameron may have for scientific accuracies in this film, T2 was completely illogical in terms of the time travel paradox. T1 not so much but T2 has way too many contradictions to be a plausible time travel story. I think he just cared about telling a story with that one.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Um, Indians... Remember Them?!

    by blhotz

    Considering this movie ahs been called "Dancing with Aliens". It is UNCONSCIENCEABLE that a "critic" could completely forget the history of man that included Native Americans who behaved very much like the Na'vu with little technological ambition. But I'll be a good sport and continue reading your article unlike you who wouldn't do the same for such movies as Armageddon.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    BTW... not sure what is more "retarded"...

    by blhotz

    The science of Armageddon or ppl who try to critize it. 75% of the time the critics look more foolish than the movie... funny how so many ppl "just make shit up" because it makes sense to them.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:47 p.m. CST



    Agreed. Downright DISGRACIOUS.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 9:53 p.m. CST

    When white man takes over Pandora. The Navi open up Casinos?

    by Orionsangels

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST


    by BubbaDestructo

    Nice to see you on this talkback! I saw Avatar in a digital IMAX 3D (read: "LIEMAX" 3D) but we were wearing RealD glasses, and a long intro about RealD was presented to the audience before the film started. I was (pleasantly) suprised to see IMAX 3D's competitor integrated into an IMAX theater. <p> From my brief research, I believe these are the ways to see Avatar, from 'best' to 'worst': 1) IMAX 3D (true 70mm IMAX film on a 4-story-tall screen, in 3-D) <p> 2) RealD 3D (digital 4K with circular polarized glasses, to allow head tilts) <p> 3) Dolby 3-D (true color representation) <p> 4) Digital IMAX 3-D (a slightly bigger than average screen, with 2K projectors shown in 3-D) <p> 5) 2-D (not really comparative here, and in fact may be better in some ways due to wider aspect ratio and being able to read the scene without 3-D elements to process visually) <p> Note that James Cameron filmed Avatar in 2K. When you see it in 3-D, it is effectively 4K. James Cameron really wanted to do higher resolution, but the processing/ rendering time, plus the reduced cost-benefit due to most digital cinema projectors and commercial HDTVs not getting to that level of resolution (yet), made it not useful to go beyond 2K. <p> I couldn't even imagine what a 4K or higher native resolution would have been like - unreal. <p> The next stage will be frames per second increase. It's already being used for sports events. time to move beyond 24 fps.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    3D, 2D and sports

    by Jaka

    I plan on seeing Avatar in IMAX 3D because I have one in my backyard (figuratively). So many people have said they have to drive long distances to view IMAX 3D that I figure I'd better take advantage of it. Then, as it's nearing the end of it's theatrical run I'm going to catch it in plain ol' 2D because that's how I'll be viewing it at home from that point on. <br><br> The clarity of slow-motion and extreme zoom used during LIVE sporting events has indeed become quite impressive. It's filming at such high fps that has allowed them to do those things. Five years ago there was nothing like it, now I just take it as "the way it is".

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:10 p.m. CST

    How could you look more foolish than Armageddon?

    by Jaka

    I mean, they land on a moving asteroid. I'm not sure there is a more foolish premise than that ever put to film. If it hadn't had a huge budget and big stars it would have been a laughable b-movie... and might have been better for it, now that I think about it.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:21 p.m. CST

    We should steal the Navi bodies to use for basketball

    by saber12

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Madcapper - seriously?

    by Mr. Neutron

    There are fanboys, and then there are fanboys. Cameron says they won't fix all paralyzed soldiers because it's expensive, but they will project their consciousness into alien bodies? What flavor is the koolaid you're gulping down. <p> My original point remains: the wheelchair is a foolish character device in a movie with such advanced technology. It takes me out of the story and for that reason alone it is a fail. I apologize for not showing the proper reverence.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Pandora's Shadow

    by Clavain

    Actually I noticed this one having just seen this photo online from the Cassini Mission: There was a website somewhere and I'm sorry I do forget all the details maybe Copernicus can fill in but there is a reason that the shadow in that Cassini photo is fuzzy at the edges. I remembered seeing a scene in Avatar where the moon shadow on the gas giant looked just like someone had put a big hard edged circle on the image so sure it's really nitpicky but something I picked up on based on the recent photo above as not being correct. And thank you Copernicus, this was a great review of the science here!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Bubbadestructo......thanks for the usefyl info

    by southafricanguy

    dude. Much appreciated. At least now I can make a good deceision about which one to go to...

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 10:43 p.m. CST

    My astronomy prof was boring.

    by hippolyta

    I would love to audit your Astronomy of Avatar class!

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Melnick - you haven't seen the damn movie, have you?


    The reason I ask is because you just said something TWICE as stupid as your initial post. <p> No, they don't just project every marine's consciousness into alien bodies. Jake's avatar originally belonged to his identical twin brother. There was a genetic match. It's even said in the movie they were lucky Jake existed, otherwise they'd have to scrap all the millions of dollars and the materials used to create his avatar in the first place. The money had ALREADY been spent. Jake was their only chance to keep it from being a waste. Not to mention how many times they refer to the fact Jake is the FIRST soldier in the avatar program. In other words, they hadn't projected ANY soldier's consciousness into an avatar before they needed to do it with Jake. Jesus, man. Know what you're talking about.

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST

    lightstormer....dont be crazy dude! Do you

    by southafricanguy

    actually expect people to have informed opinions based on whats actually there?? You do know this is aicn talkbacks right? The home of "dont let facts get in the way of what I want to believe" opinions....

  • Dec. 22, 2009, 11:44 p.m. CST

    But for heavens sake, exactly. who gives a

    by southafricanguy

    shit if your opinion is positive or negative, but please actually know what the fuck you are talking about.....

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    Finally saw it. Amazing.

    by Joey_Jo_Jo_Junior_Shabadoo

    Just came back from the theater, and I am ready to go right back. Only minor complaint for me is the score, and I'm a big Horner fan. Perhaps the second viewing it is better. Anyway, truly an amazing experience. Can't wait to go back.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Coolest article ever...

    by Bones

    Seriously--I thought this was going to be dry as hell--but it was informative and entertaining.<p> Ain't Learning Cool?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:08 a.m. CST

    BubbaDestructo - 2k/4k

    by CmdX

    The digital interface and tech in these theaters won't allow you to have 4k images for each eye.<p>The 3D basically requires you to have 48 frames of data to be sent to the projector per second, which the projector then adjusting itself to take those 48 frames of data and sync it with the RealD/Dolby system. With existing tech in these theaters (and the digital cinema standard) it is impossible to send 48 4k frames to the projector in any one second, but it is possible to send 48 2k frames. So you aren't losing any clarity if you watch 3D movies on 2K projectors instead of 4k projectors. Of course IMAX Digital (LieMax) and Dolby systems allow you to use 2 projectors, but then to do 4k for each eye you would basically need to use very expensive high-performance hard drives in a huge RAID setup. It would be an insane pain in the ass for something almost nobody is going to notice.<p>With the 2K projectors you might see the space between the pixels and if they aren't aligned perfectly you could have some problems. But that shouldn't be too noticeable unless the screen is huge AND you are really close to it.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 5:48 a.m. CST

    'takes me out of the movie'

    by quantize

    for fucks sake it's science fiction/fantasy...FICTION...people and their douchebag rules to ensure they can have their petty hates..FINE..dont fuckin enjoy it..NOBODY GIVES a fucking SHIT

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9 a.m. CST

    CmdX - thanks dude

    by BubbaDestructo

    Your info is useful. Yes, the 48 fps data is 24 fps left eye, 24 fps right eye. The cost to make 4K or higher resolution per eye is way too much for most theaters right now. <p> Much appreciated!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Hey Southafricanguy, Kwis, etc.

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Glad to see you guys enjoyed Avatar. I posted my thoughts about it at length in the Harry review thread, but in short I rate this as Cameron's third best movie, and feel that with an extended cut's additions (which I have a gut feeling WILL be coming) this could very well vault to the top of the pack. Like you, southafricanguy, my only disappointment was the stuff cut out from the scriptment. However,as you said, I know that a lot of that stuff was filmed and cut (stampede, earth scenes), even to finished renders, but because IMAX can only hold a 170 min runtime it was cut to fit - at least I surmise that that was the reason. The original cut was at least 40 mins longer this time last year.<p>As for the format you should see it on - IMAX 3D is the premier one, and if you can make the trek you should. Real D is also good, but you should definitely catch this in 3D either way. It is an experience like no other. Never encountered any of this ghosting stuff people are talking about it in any format, either, IMAX or otherwise. Anyway, this movie is certainly addictive and multiple viewings are a must - I swear it contains some sort of sense memory trigger for the brain, such is the dreamlike state it induces.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Floating mountains explained again

    by Lweel8

    I actually never thought that the mountains WERE floating. It appeared that they were always held in place by the giant roots. But if they were floating, the roots answer the question, "why didn't they float away."

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    eyes and sentience

    by grisp

    Interesting points Zinc, though I'm not convinced you're completely right about the CNS complexity necessary for an extra set of eyes. After all lots of invertebrates have extra eyes without an extra lobe, or even a cortex, but seem to be able to integrate all that info well enough. I'm more of a bioacoustic rather than a biovisual guy, so bear with me on the visual stuff, but... I can imagine several ways to get to multiple eyes in a "vertebrate," but one possibility is somehow splitting up the sensory substrate within an organ, and then producing multiple organs (perhaps some additional cortex, but no extra lobe necessary). Amphibians for example have two auditory organs in their inner ears (one tuned to high frequencies, the other to low), rather than a single continuous one like birds and mammals. Imagine something like that happening between the rods and cones in the eye (already the case in our eyes). Imagine a few developmental mutations (here's the handwaving part), and those become separate organs. That's already happened with eyes in some fish, for instance (Bathylychnops). So add strong selection for color-forward vision and B&W lateral vision and you've got separate sets of eyes without building a lot of extra brain. In terms of sentience - what is sentience exactly? Are dolphins sentient? They're probably more acoustic than visual (and if they're not sentient, they're certainly on the way there). I'd love to see a reference or two for your visual-system-builds-sentience argument (out of interest here, not criticism). I still think social behavior, regardless of the major sensory modality, must play an important role though. I would love to see a movie with a sentient alien species that uses something other than vision as their predominant modality (though that might not make for the most visually compelling movie, I guess). Are there any out there that I'm not thinking of?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I loved Avatar, but IMAX can die a horrible death

    by AvaStar

    Those bait and switch motherfuckers deserve to be raped and murdered

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:11 a.m. CST

    "My original point remains: the wheelchair is a foolish characte

    by Alientoast

    Not really. Example: Modern company needs an employee to go somewhere dangerous to do something. Said employee has some health issue that while serious, does not in ANY WAY effect what their job is in said dangerous area. Said employee is given access to equipment worth millions to do said job. Said job rakes the company a TON of money. Why does the company have any obligation to fix the employee's health issue if it is a non-factor in what the employee needs to do for them? Sure, you can offer to fix the health problem as an incentive, but if there's a time table involved they sure as heck aren't going to tend to your "minor" issue before hand. Plus, the scriptment/books for the film basically indicate that the Earth is basically in the grips of a monopoly of an Ultra-Corp (like Weyland-Yutani) who maintains a super capitalistic grip on the planet. In the end, it's all for the benefit of the company and it's shareholders. The field guide book even mentions that people who mine the unobtainium come home with massive medical issues from prolonged exposure to the huge magnetic fields+hostile environment, which gobbles up any hazard bonuses they were provided while still working.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    sentience again

    by grisp

    Oh, and I agree with you Zinc that sentience, whatever it is exactly, is most likely a simple result of increased connectivity in the brain. I certainly didn't mean to imply anything else. Happy Boy is correct above that a simple distributed network (EO Wilson's ant societies for instance) doesn't necessary lead to some sort of superorganism with consciousness (and that seems to be what Pandora was - a "vegetative" network of that sort, rather than a neural network). But the parsimonious explanation for "sentience" wouldn't invoke anything other than some sort of additional processing in the network.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I'm not a scientist...

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    ...and I won't be seeing Avitar. I'm no longer in the mood for just pretty pictures.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST


    by grisp

    A question for you Copernicus (I ask this of all I meet who study the possibility of life in the universe) - are we all Martians? Any credence to that idea?

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Maybe some of us are, but you're from URANUS!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST

    So Jake Sully basically quit

    by Rectal Blowout

    the Marines to join the Navi? LOL!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    And when it comes out on DVD, during the lovemaking scene they put in the Village People's...<P>IN THE NA'VI

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:20 p.m. CST

    And to all Spanish speaking people...

    by theKRELL


  • Dec. 23, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    16.1 million for Tuesday

    by screenplay3

    The movie is raking in the green now.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Robert Zemciks is eating his own eyes right now

    by saber12

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    RectalBlow and all that,for some blue pussy

    by ominus

    Quaritch in the movie said it best.haha.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    When do we find out the BO for China's Opening Day?

    by theKRELL

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 3:52 p.m. CST

    thekreel try

    by ominus

    on the left panel,where it has the international box office separated in every country.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST


    by theKRELL

    Tried but couldn't get Avatars #'s.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Rock Levitation can work...

    by hornig

    ... but the have to be filled with magnetizable metal and this "flux" has to be strong/dense enough. A fellow student and I build an electro-magnetic levitator and the em-coil pulls the object towards it. okay, the complete aparatus uses a control system. but it can work upside down, so that the magnet has to be under the object and pushes it away. this can also be stable without letting the object drift away, when there is a hollow area of the em-field. in this the object will drift in and can't go over the field lines with higher density around it. so there's no need of an active control system. so when this flux is magnetic or electromagnetic based, and the rocks are filled with unobtanium, this could work, BUT if it will work it would levitate ever metal, even the hover/helicopter thingies and not just disturbing their systems, because lifting a rock sized like a mountain need more energy than just these tiny vehicle. and the other thing is, that each rock would need its own hollow fluxarea, so that they can levitate separated from each other. okay, that's all for now ;). it's still movie magic :D

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Phantom Menace is on Spike

    by CatoTheCensor

    You know, this isn't as bad as I remembered. I think the cheeziness ages well.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Nukes and other nits

    by drfinkelstein

    Love the article and the discussion generated! I did wonder during the movie why they didn't nuke from orbit. But it's not a full army out there, it's some company mercs. As demonstrated by the attempted use of mining charges, they are doing their best with what they are allowed to have. Requesting and getting more equipment would take years, cost far too much, and have PR repercussions. And it would be illegal to have nukes, by the rules others have said companies are subject to in this reality. As tradeskilz summarized well earlier, the weapons tech and overall tactics are problematic. If Avatars can be steered remotely, why not remote combat vehicles? Why is there a land assault at all, if the plan is to drop explosives from the air? Why not drop rocks into the rotors of those pretty flyers? Why oh why does a combat suit come with a giant knife strapped to it? If you can accept the Gaia-concept of a huge unified life force the flora and fauna of the alien world are interesting, if too familiar. The Na'vi are very, very human and borrow too much from Earth tribal styles. But you need to connect with them as the audience, so that could be deliberate instead of a lack of imagination. All in all, my eyes were very happy with the movie, and my brain mostly went along for the ride. :)

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 6:36 p.m. CST


    by CatoTheCensor

    They have pod racing on Malaster. Very fast, verrrry dangerous.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Jake Lloyd is a bad actor

    by CatoTheCensor

    But this movie isn't that bad. I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST


    by CatoTheCensor

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Did you ever notice..

    by CatoTheCensor

    ...that one of the Battle Droids has a brooklyn accent? "These so cawld undah-watah villaguhs..."

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 7:37 p.m. CST

    My number one science question...

    by BurnHollywood

    Could those copter designs (like Trudy's) actually work in real life? If not, why?<p> Of all the elements in the movie, those stand out as looking 100% kosher...I'd love to hear an aerospace engineer comment on them...

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    300m worlwide gross so far

    by tradeskilz

    Smells like a hit to me.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 8:20 p.m. CST

    technological level

    by redkamel

    I disagree on the technological level. As far as I am concerned the Na'avi were far more advanced than the humans. Perhaps they controlled greed, and war, the two main drives for innovation, far better than us. <p> Hunter gatherers on earth were estimated to spend about 3 hours a day "working". Contrast that with least 8....just for the bare minimum. Why develop agriculture if you don't need to? I believe (and it is logical) that part of the reason agriculture was developed on earth was for larger, permanent settlements that would be more useful for trade, less subject to adverse weather, more defensible, and could field larger armies. This of course really led to our current level of technology. Perhaps on Pandora there is no need for large settlements based on protection from the elements and division of labor. Hometree was a large settlement, but it seemed less of a city and more of a permanent camp. Of course, the interaction of society and technological advancement on Pandora is a whole different topic. But I would say the Na'avi seemed to prize harmony and nature more than material comfort or material possessions, so their technology may not be advanced by out standards because there was no need for it. Much like some African or South American tribes still today <p> Technology reflects societal priorities. Look at the lifestyle of the Na'avi and those of the humans...many forced to work for the corporation. Would you rather be a human of Avatar's time or any of the Na'avi? Advanced culture/tech should not be measured by starships and robots. Many of the things the Na'avi had, I would argue, are better than what we have now, or even the future. Like the leaf beds, "personal airships", and ability to share information in a "biological internet". <p> Check out the book 1491 if you are interested. Supposedly, when the Europeans first came, the Indians laughed at the dirty, skinny/fat europeans who made others work for them...while the Indians were fit, strong, full of leisure time, bathed 3 times a day vs the Europeans once a week, and lived in a far more equal society; much like the Na'avi compared to the humans.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by BurnHollywood

    "Hunter gatherers on earth were estimated to spend about 3 hours a day "working". Contrast that with least 8....just for the bare minimum."<p> Actually, we'd all work considerably less if we built only what we needed, made those products more durable, and discarded pointless notions like "fashion" and "stylishness". In the name of profits, supply-side economics severely distorts the balance between what's actually needed and what's actually built...the tendency is to build way too much of a product, than discard the surplus, or make it so flimsy the consumer is obliged to discard it.<p> Lately, we have corporations trying to ram outdated distribution models down our throats in the face of superior example is Blu-Ray, the content of which could easily be distributed on the internet but is restricted to over-the-counter physical sales of a fragile discs.<p> As Neil Stephenson would say in his latest novel, ANATHEM...what bullshyyt!

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:42 p.m. CST

    best article yet

    by rajium32

    glad to see some science in science fiction.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    redkamel, I dig your style

    by Ponfarr

    I was just about to bring up 1491, and in general what people already know about Europeans vs. Native Americans.<P>People are questioning how the Na'vi can be so much less advanced than humans. All you have to do is look into our past, as I'm sure Cameron did, and you can see how cultures (even one's on the same planet) can develop differently.

  • Dec. 23, 2009, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Avatar is AvaAwesome

    by AvaStar

    And I'm an AvaIdiot. Time to sweep, sweet, sweet, liquory sweep. Man, I gotta stop drunk posting on AICN and using babytalk.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 12:32 a.m. CST


    by drfinkelstein

    > Contrast that with least 8....just for the bare minimum Only because the 'bare minimum' now includes a TV, braces, central heating, etc. If you were willing to feed your family on hot dogs and clothe them in burlap bags... hey, presto, you're back to 3 hours! I don't mean to dismiss the value of a less excessive society. I'll grant that a society can be happy and successful without technology, and you could call that 'advanced'. But not _technologically_ advanced. And the Na'vi are a modern idealized version of 'primitive' nature-respecting tribes. Here on Earth, it has often turned out that tribes first portrayed as peaceful and successful have a darker and more complex reality.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 2:18 a.m. CST

    if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes

    by Maniaq

    it is estimated somewhere around 70% of typical human brain function is dedicated to the vision system - it is even active in blind people, like when they use Braile for example... <p> sight is VERY important to intelligence and there is a direct relationship between the visual acuity and intelligence of predators - like humans <p> social animals use visual cues and "body language" in communication to a much larger degree than any other form of communication - even humans, with a spoken language, pay much closer attention to what is NOT said in a conversation <p> -which is why Cameron waited so long for motion capture (or whatever would work) technology to be able to put realistic facial expressions on his digital creatures and allow audiences to connect with characters like Neytiri - Zoe Saldana is receiving high praise for her "voice work" in this movie <p> Blonkamp insisted his design team emphasize very human looking eyes - to the point of making them oversize on the kids - for his digital creatures in District 9 <p> <br> and a shout out to Macfaux - again with the bold!

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Another reason they don't nuke

    by TheNorthlander

    The goal is not to wipe out the Na'vi, or even to kill them. It's to drive them off so they can mine the mineral that's in the ground where their village happens to be located.<p> <p> I admit to not knowing much about radiation fallout, minerals or mining, but wouldn't nuking the place risk damaging the unobtainium and the whole location of the mine?

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:16 a.m. CST

    No Avastar,

    by white_vader

    Not AvaIdiot, AvaTARD!!

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Hey Turd....hows it going dude? Good to see

    by southafricanguy

    you on this talkback. Like you I am damn sure there is going to be some serious Directors cut/extended edition of avatar. There was just way too much stuff cut out from the scriptment, and we know that a lot of it was in fact filmed. I for one really want it...

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Roger Dean...

    by BlueOysterCult

    Ok, a question for anyone who is familiar with this artists work (album covers for YES-amongst others). Is it just me-or do some of the many fantastical fauna, flora, creatures, landscapes look pretty damn near identical to some of his most iconic art? Google him (Or visit his and have a gander at some of his work. Then compare it to what you've seen in the movie. It may appear to be extremely similar... That aside, I do love all of Copernicus' ideas about the science of the movie. As others have stated, its actually nice to get intelligent discussions about a movie. Makes a change! For the record: I've seen it twice, once in IMAX, once in normal 3D. I'm going to see it again with my girlfriend. Maybe even more. It is now, my number one movie of this decade. Roll on pt's 2-and 3. Oh, and I just brought a copy of the game tonight. A 46 year geek. There is nothing finer...

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Now that we have seen it Turd, and it appears

    by southafricanguy

    to be making a killing at the box office (ash williams must be slitting his wrists right about now lol), and Cameron has made it clear it will be a trilogy. Where do you think the sequals will go Turd? Anyone got any good/interesting ideas?

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Its still a bad movie

    by Vision

    And need same DNA? Rubbish, why would you need same dna to download consciousness - you just need the right kind of data storage.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST

    @southafricanguy ..Avatar 2 & 3 - and Nipples.

    by MacFaux

    Interesting bit about possibilities of trilogy @ LAT:<br><br><br><br> ..mentions the fact that they are many moons around the Gas Giant and the story may not be confined to only Pandora.<br><br> to viewing options..Saw it first in Real 3D (dreamy, trippy and mindblowing..felt like the tree jellyfish seeds were landing on me) ..saw it again in 2D and must say. <br><br>It was more Ava-awesome.<br><br>.. to me. Noticed buckets more detail. Skin texture, sweat, shadow, expression..and yes Harry. Nipples. Oh yes they are there and lots of them. The digital detail is just..incredible. The rendering is spectacular. There were times in Real 3D that things seemed foggy even drab. Not to mention the effect of losing acuity when scanning the screen.<br><br> In plain old 2D there is none of that. There where times when I could not distinguish the CGI and I would swear it was the actors in prosthetics. The military hardware especially in flight is ominous and stunning as are the battles. The colors POP! I mean blam! Colors that just aren't there in R3D either because of the contrast settings or the shade of the glasses. See it in both. judge for yourself..but I don't think you will be disappointed.<br><br> I gotsta to say I have see a lot of movies. a lot of movies. Can't remem the last time I WANTED to see a movie again. Some have been so bold as to say it reminds them of when they first saw Star Wars..Have to say on 2nd viewing that is exactly the feeling I remember having as wee lad. And this will stand the test of time. This has legs and I think this Cameron fella might just have a career in the film bidness.<br><br> Ps. addendum Copernicus noticed the giant storm in 2D. And think on this ..Pandora is not just a gothy mythy earth mother tree huggy goddess Gaia tome writ blockbustery...<br><br> Rather the world itself is a living biological entity. Now conjure that entity as such is the norm and dominant form of life in the universe. Every organism on such worlds are connected and merely a sub-system of the whole that serve a specific function...the atmo as respiratory, the grass as skin, so on and so forth.. feature such that the Na'vi hunters might act as an immune system..Thus..would you expect your lymphatic system to independently develop technology?<br><br> For whatever reason.. maybe Earth is the exception in the grand design of universal evolution. Maybe it had something to do with a crazy chick eatin an apple. Maybe "humans are a disease ..a cancer of this world"...Somewhere along the way we Humans lost our connection and suddenly thought we were running the show. I make no judgment as to the good or bad of the thing..<br><br> Thinkin out loud..but interesting brain exercise. What if the universe is indeed teeming with billions of such living worlds not so terribly dissimilar in eco-biology. All these life-worlds 'live' in this universe as they are.. content in their place as we might understand it..Maybe Earth is the odd ball. the mutation.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    drfinkelstein my impression about the land assault

    by ominus

    was that Quaritch's intention was not to bomb their sacred place,as an example of their might,but also to create a situation chaos,horror and disorganization between the gathered Navi forces,and use it as an opportunity to annihilate it them with more ease.They knew there were a lot of Navi ground forces,so they sent their own to face them.Its a strategic plan.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 11:15 a.m. CST

    MacFaux i havent seen Avatar in 2D but

    by ominus

    my friend and i,the second time we saw it again in 3D,we both noticed that our eyes were more used to the 3D view of the picture,and we could see the picture more clearer,more focused,more sharp,than the first time we saw the movie.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    You don't want to mine a floating mountain

    by srmalloy

    If you look at it from a more practical standpoint, the floating mountains may be a good source for scientific samples of this 'unobtainium', but you don't want to mine them, because of all the additional nightmares associated with it. Consider an analogous situation -- mining ice from an iceberg floating in the ocean. At some point in the mining process, the mass of the removed ice and the movement of the mining machines is going to disturb the balance enough that it's going to roll over, dumping all your equipment over the side. You could mine from the bottom, but then you have the logistical problems associated with having to hang all of your mining equipment from the sides of the mountain, plus catching all of the material you mine (separation should be simpler, though, since you would be able to crush the raw ore, discard what falls, and keep the rising unobtainium chunks -- since they provide enough lift to raise the mountain, once mechanically separated from the matrix, they would rise to the top of a separator).

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    oxygen and relativity

    by punto

    there's oxygen in the atmosphere? that bugs me. why is it that nobody can think of life without oxygen? as I understand it, oxygen + carbon releases a burst of energy, and all life is based on that chemical reaction. but there has to be tons of other combinations of element that produce the same outcome. why is it always oxygen? (I'll say one thing for earth tho, all the elements that form life (oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc) are all at the beginning of the table.. maybe that's a factor). <p> Also, what causes the time difference in space travel is not the speed at witch you travel relative to the stationary point (earth vs. spaceship), so you can't just use the velocity formula, you have to integrate the acceleration and deceleration, that's which is what causes the clocks to drift apart.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    on the "Noble Savage" I think you're forgetting one thing

    by Chain

    I agree that normally one would not evolve in a normal path. but this race (and all the creatures there it seems) do have that direct connection to the planet. That common wisdom is also being directed with an agenda. The planet itself seems to be aware and capable of influencing the creatures. With that in mind I posit that the planet is responsible for their non-technological society. because the planet wants it that way. It's been around a long time and knows the danger technology poses to it. Therefore it impresses that sentiment upon the creatures to eschew technology.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    re: Chain

    by Alientoast

    Exactly. There's no abstract connection with mother earth like some of our cultures on Earth, they have an ACTUAL connection with a real "Mother Pandora". That's pretty huge. Just think about how human society would be different if you had actual gods walking around that everyone could actually listen to or interact with?

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Oh shit... here we go:

    by AsimovDiedOfAIDS The tea-baggers are starting to froth at the mouth again, obviously. Too bad no one on their own mind-control network, FOX "News" is going to have a thing to say about the flick. Where are they going to get their semi-literate talking points? Anyway, I wondered why the Repugs at work have all refused vehemently to see the flick. Now I know.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Air of pandora

    by psud

    The air on pandora must have had oxygen because there is photosynthesis going on with the plants. Also there is no other way the pandoran's could move as quickly as they do without oxygen, since you need the explosiveness of Oxy to be have enough energy for vigerous activity

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST



    ITS ..... A ..... MOVIE. Who gives a flying????!!!

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    other elements explode

    by punto

    as good as oxygen. and the only reason for photosynthesis is to get at the oxygen in the water. if you don't need oxygen, you don't need to split water (you might need to split some other liquid to get some other element that explodes from it tho). use your imagination people!

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by squeezmunky

    I actually assumed it was some magnetic phenomenon that kept the mountains afloat based on those rings around the tree & the messed up instruments. I agree that mining floating mountains would present a major practical dilemma. With funky readings and a shifting mass dependent on precarious magnetic balance, how would anyone remove the very substance keeping the rock in the air? Also, constant relativistic speeds still affect the time regardless of the acceleration; that would merely involve the Doppler effect, and I fail to see how the EXACT calculation of either (Doppler or constant speed) effect is germane to the discussion. After all, this is about plausibility, not recreating experimental results. This is all academic. Still.. fine article, nice discussion.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Noble Savages

    by Mono

    Good article. But I don't think it's safe to assume -- even on Earth, let alone with all possible societies -- that greater knowledge must necessarily lead to advances in technology. Many American Indian tribes, for example, had access to knowledge of agriculture and animal-life that far exceeded their European counter-parts, to the point where they were essentially practicing a form of terra-forming here on the North American continent. Yet they still fell short on a strictly technological scale; this was not because they were less advanced. It was because they had developed ways of thinking that were completely alien to European societies. The concept that greater knowledge must lead to advanced technology is only valid through the lens of Western thinking. :)

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Mono is correct

    by ominus

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 9:03 p.m. CST

    Love this nerdy stuff

    by Ms_Muffet

    One of the previews shown before the IMAX Avatar was about a documentory (?) filmed with an IMAX camera on the mission to repair the Hubble Telescope. The last scene of a view of the stars made tears come to my eyes. The image was incredible. Sigh...

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Not so sure about an extended version.

    by KnightBorn

    Didn't I read that Cameron had to give WETA close to a year to work on the final rendering of the theatrical edit? If so, would they go ahead and have possible cut scenes sent on to WETA for rendering just for the DVD? I could see the DVD having cut scenes using previz material, similar to what you see on Pixar DVDs but full on rendered extras placed back into the movie? I dont know. I would love that but its a lot more involved than just "splicing" a scene back into the movie that may have been cut due to time constaints. I will be happy to be wrong though. As for detail, I have seen in in Real3D as well as 2D. Noticed more detail in 2D showing but that may have simply been due to not being able to take in everything the first time. My god there is so much on the screen to look at. I still need to see it in IMAX 3D. Someone, either in this talkback or another, mentioned an oversight of there not being any insects on this planet. Well, damn them for mentioning it because I then noticed every damn insect during my second viewing and they are everywhere. Never noticed them in the first viewing. Same with the rain that someone claimed was missing on this rainforest planet. Rain was shown at least twice, possibly 3 times in the movie. I didnt notice that the first time either. The visual details are stunning. No, a movie shouldnt be about visuals only. It needs a good story too. But to all those who complain about the story being simple and what? Simple and predictable DOES NOT necessarily equal bad. If its a good story, I dont care whether its simple or complicated. And I don't care if its predictable if its leading me somewhere I want to go. Make sense? I LOVED this movie. Read the 114pg scriptment over the last couple days. Its great too and has some cool imagery but I like the changes he made for the movie, much more dramatic. Still, its interesting to see how little really changed between the time he wrote it in 95 and now. Pretty cool. I now need some geek hardware from this movie but all that is out is cheapo mattel toys. I need some McFarlane Productions type sculpts, maybe some sweet diecast vehicles. Bring it on, I have my pennies ready to spend. I too am interested to see where sequels might go. Focus entirely on the Na'vi or will humans be involved in someway (my assumption). No idea but I cant wait. Great article, by the way. Fun to read others ideas on the science and the details of the movie. To those who go to the trouble of posting "nerds, its just a movie", well no shit, Captain Obvious. We are just having fun here. Feel free to NOT join the discussion. Okay, done babbling.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Where are my paragraphs?

    by KnightBorn

    Damn, sorry about that, I had paragraphs here in my comment box but it just looks like big giant block of text now. Roger Dean art? I agree, now that you mention it. Been a fan since 1982 and his Asia debut album cover. Interesting similarities. Might want to also check out out the book "Worlds: A Mission of Discovery" by Alec Gillis with an intro by James Cameron, talk about similar artwork to Pandora, VERY similar, not sure who was showing who there sketches but there are amazing similarities.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

    Paragraph Breaks here are made by using < P > with no spaces whatsoever.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    I wish I was a mad scientist

    by Ms_Muffet

    I would love to be in a lab disecting a Na'vi to see how their bodies are put together and how they work or be involved in the integration of Human and Na'vi DNA to creat the Avatars. Some would call it 'playing God' or 'opening Pandora's Box'. I call it facinating stuff. Perhaps we will learn more about this science in the next installment? Can't help to wonder about the choice of James Cameron's name for that moon.

  • Dec. 24, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius


  • Dec. 24, 2009, 11:34 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius


  • Dec. 24, 2009, 11:35 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius


  • Dec. 24, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Or Twin Moons...

    by DrMorbius


  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:32 a.m. CST

    come on - this is some pretty basic science here

    by Maniaq

    it's not that hard! <p> yes you can have explosions with gases other than oxygen - but they usually aren't bright orange - the colour of combustion usually tells you the chemical makeup of what is being combusted<p> Animal life on Earth does indeed breathe in oxygen - PLANT LIFE on the other hand breathes IN CO2 and EXPELS OXYGEN <p> let me just say that again- <p> PLANT LIFE EXPELS OXYGEN <p> oxygen is NOT the basis for "all life" and is NOT essential for photosynthesis - which uses SUNLIGHT to convert CARBON DIOXIDE into SUGAR and other organic compounds. <p> Photosynthesis btw is the REASON plants appear green - the Chlorophyll absorbs light in the red and blue spectrum much better than the green wavelengths... <p> this is, to coin a phrase, not rocket science

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Er there was oxygen in Pandora's atmosphere

    by ominus

    the problem was that the atmosphere was also toxic.Quaritch is clear about it,during his introduction speech.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Best talkback read in years.

    by gotilk

    Bravo, thanks and happy holidays.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Hey, freind, how are you? Long time no chat with you. And you have been strangely absented from the post-releast AVATAR talkbacks. Did the movie took that long to be released in South Korea? Me, i saw it the first saturday after release. The theater was packed, and it was a 00:20 hour showing (technically, it makes it a Sunday showing).<br><br>Like many, my opinion of the movie is mixed. Overall, i think it's a good movie, and still shows that Cameron is still a great storyteller. His skills in tellling a good ripping yarn have not been lost with his absense from mainstream cinema filmmaking.<br>Unlike many, i don't complain that the story is relatively simple. It is. But that doesn't necessarily means it's a bad one.<br>And yes, it's a story that has been told before. Many call it a Dances With Wolves story. i rather see it more like a Pocahontas mixed with The Jungle Book story with a dash of Gunga Din in reverse. Basically, AVATAR is a Rudyard Kipling story sety in space, with all the trappings associated with it. And that doesn't make me critical of it. Personally, i would had prefered it to be more Joseph Conrad like. I would rather it be more Heart Of Darkness then Jungle Book. More Jord Jim then Gunga Din. More Apocalypse Now then Sands Of Iwo Jima.<br>Visually, the movie is presented brillantly. Once again, Cameron provesd to be in the front run of the aplication of CGI for filmmaking. While not terribly original in itself, there's a quality leap in it's aplication and presentation for a non-animated movie.<br><br>My major problems with the movie is that i wished a but more complexity to all the characters, specially the vilalins, and a bit more of a sense of urgency and desperation from the human side to justify their actions against the planet and the Na'vi. Mere commercial motivations seems a rather simplistic reasong behind the corporation stooges. It's just that with other type of people besides religious fanatics, i can't buy people being super-destructive just for the sake of one single idea alone, in this case, commerce alone. At least for a drama. In real life, it's another matter.<br>But my major pointis one that had made some people in here look puzzled. and my major complain is that i don't find the aliens all that alien. Neither the flora, nor the fauna, nor the Na'vi themselves. All i see in Pandora is just Earth stuff extrapolated and mixed and shuffled and shaken and stirred into a cocktail of weird but strangely familiar creatures. And of all those, my major complain rests on the Na'vi themselves.<br>It's not just that the Na'vi look too much like cute cats. They look too much like cute cats. Cameron just makes it too easy to find empathy and sympathy for the aliens became he makes them resemble giant sized household pet cats. But if that was n't bad enough, the Na'vi think, feel, talk and act like humans. They are fully humans in their ways and thinking, and all that is "alien" to them is just cultural. I don't think the movie even explores satisfatorily the implications of an intelligence race that can LITERALLY connect with the all the other living creatures of the planet. The idea that the Na'vi would even have sex, either for recreation, romantic or sexual needs, is absurd in the view they can directly connect with all other creatures via their own natural USB apendices. Physicial sex for a creature which such a capacity for connection wouild look like a joke, a bad parody.<br>And now i came with my pet peeve about the movie: the fucking romance. It's doing nothing in the movie. Truly, it does nothing. trade romance with brotherly comradery and the story woud still be told exactly like it would. The romantic element of AVATAR is the single most misguided decision that Cameron ever did in his whole career. It's just absurd. It's this side of bestiality. And in the words of Christian Bale, it's fucking distracting. It feels like a cheap clutch for a story that really doesn't need it. You could had told the story of AVATAR without any romance, and it would still be the same story, point by point. Bit with less silliness.<br>And contrary to many, i didn't liked the Na'vi princess. But my dislike might go more agaisnt the performcer, the lovely Zoe Saldana. I only know Saldana from two movies only, this and that fuckign abortion that pretends to be Star Trek and fails miserably at that. And in both movies, she plays the same character in the same attitude. All this black princess with an attitude that's better then thou until she falls for the alpha male of the story. In an interview about SHIT TREK, Saldana said that she had nothing for her character from the script, so she basically build the whole character of Uhura by herself and with the help of her mother. So, this arrogante black princess attitude she gave to Uhura was ehr own creation. and is ee the same thing in her character of teh Na'vi princess. I wonder if she alsos was allowed to build her own character for AVATAR, is ee that Saldana is a one note actress, always playing the same character, and worst, seh seems to be playing an idealized version of ehrself, or what she would like to be. and really, i'm not liking it one bit. The Na'vi princess as a Space Beyoncé? No thank you.<br><br>And finally, i came to the thing i really fucking hated about AVATAR. No, what i said before is not stuff i hated, it's just stuff i'm critical about. but there is one thing about AVATAR that fills me with not only hate but disgust: the fucking James Horner fucking score. somebody please retire this fuck from scoring movies already! Somebody please show this fuck the exit door, and close it after he leaves. and while he leave,s he can shove the fucking song he wrote up his fucking ass! No, really, fuck him. Fuck this shit, man! This score, this" score", what the fuck is this shit supposed to be? Between hoenrer rippinghis own score for TROY (of all of his scores!!!) and the new-agery sugary stuff from ADIEMUS, what the fuck is this score supposed to intils to the audeinces? Disgust? Nausea? Disconfort? Laughter? Certainly any of those thing, but none that it's supposed to be fucking doing as a score. If ever there will be need for a cinema class slessons in how not to score a movie, they should show this movie. This score is not just a mistake, it's a cautionary tale. Better would had made Cameron to trust his sound design team and create the mood for Pandora through sound efects and sound design. If ever a movie was perfect to have it's story told without the use of a score track, it's AVATAR.<br><br>So, here's a bit of my mind about AVATAR. Overall, i did liked the movie. It's a good movie. Flawded but good. Might not make me in any hurry to buy the DVD, though. Time will tell if for me this will be another TTUE LIES, The Cameron movie which i liked watching but never made me wish to buy the DVD, or even remember it at the tip of my brain when thinking about Cameron's filmmography. So, what says you?

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    One thing about Pandora's atmosphere doesn't add up

    by AsimovLives

    And it's not about the gases mixture. No, it's a different matter. And it's related to atmosphere pressure.<br><br>Early on, in the movie, we are told, and infered, that the gravity in Pandora is inferior to Earth. To what degreee, we do not know. But it might be to a somewhat significant degree, given the movie's justification to present the gigantic monstruosities that roam the place, and the immensely huge treets that grow there.<br>But with their desire to justify the gargantual size of the creatures and flora in Pandora with lower gravity, Cameorn and his filmmaking crew overlooked something: the implication of atmosphere pressure caused by gravity.<br><br>If the Pandora's atmosphere is basically similiar in composition to our planet with the exception of the inclusion of more human-poisonous gases, then the atmosphere of Pandora should be generally thinner then Earth's. If, for argument's sake, Pandora's gravity is 75% of Earth, to justify the size of the largest pandorian creatures and flora, then the sea level of the atmosphere rpessure in Pandora would probably be equal if not even lesser then he atmosphere pressure found at the top of the Everest. Which, for us, is too thin be breadable without any aid. Worst, at that low pressure, water boils very fast, which means that it would be easy for the surfaces of the seas of Pandora to boil if given enough heat from sun as the Earth's seas get. Boiling water at local temperatures wouldn't be an uncommon sight in Pandora. Maybe i'm exagerating, i'm not sure, but this is soemthing that seem to have been overlooked in the movie's science<br><br>And another matter, as seen from planets with lesser gravity then Earth, like Mars, seems like low gravity planet will eventually lose their atmosphere with time. Like what it did with Mars. One of the most common explanation for the reason Mars has such a thin atmosphere is not just it's low gravity, but also because when in it's past there was big meteor impacts, the splash created in the atmosphere, it was easier for the molecules that made it to reach espace velocity, due to smaller gravitational pull. Thoughout millions of years, those impacts splashed out most of the atmosphere of Mars, to the point it's thin like it's today. another explantion is that because Mars has a negligeble magnetic field, the solar wind just blew away Mar's atmosphere throughout the millenia.<br>The problems that Mars had, however, might not be Pandora's. forst of all, since it's moon of a Gas Giant, maybe the parent planet's gravity has worked as a shield against the vast majority of meteors that would had gone Pandora's way. That way, maybe Pandora was spared the amount of impact that not only our moon and Mar,s but even Earth itself suffered through it's history. In that way, maybe Pandora's life evolution never suffered the mass extinction episodes that Earth has, and thus, one possible reason why life on Pandora mananged to evolve to a more simbiotic and connective strategy, instead of the more competitivive and agressive strategy mostly found on Earth.<br>And since Pandora seems to have a very strong natural magnetic field, the risk of having it's atmosphere blown off by solar inds would be fairly diminute. not just it's own magnetic field, but also from the parent's planet. If the parent planet, Poliphermus, magnetic field would be as Jupiter's then it's reach would far surpass the distance of Pandora's orbit. Thus, Pandora would be doubled shielded from the sun's solar winds.<br>Of cours,e this magnetic fields story just makes me wonder one thing: why the complete absense of lightnings between Poliphermus and Pandora? Two big magnetic fields in such close proximity like Poliphermus and Pandora would create constant electric flux between the two planets in he form of lightnings. It happens with Jupiter and it's moon Io, and Io's magnetic field would be a fraction of Pandora's. THe sight of a giant lighting crossing the space between Pandora and Poliphermus would be a daily occurence, i suspect.<br><br>Back to atmosphere pressure, i don't think that a lesser then Earth's gravity planet would had an atmoshere that would sustain so many big flying creatures at shown in the movie. To fly creatures exploit pressure differencial through their wings. Low gravity planets with Earth-like atmospheres would had a thinner pressure atmosphere. Thus making it harder for creatures to became airborn. More energy spenditure to fly, bigger wing spans for lesser mass to carry, which ironically would mean more mass to carry too. The real irony is that the lesser the gravity of a planet, the harder it gets for creatures to fly! In fac,t a perfect planet for creatures to fly and reach big sizes as flying creatures would be a planet with a greater gravity pull then Earth. It would mean the atmosphere would be thicker, due to the gravitational pull. Thicker atmosphere woudl make it easier to fly, and evne to float. Boyancy in such a thick atmoshere would be easier to achieve. It would be even closer to swim then to fly. Ironically, the greater the atmosphere pressure, the easier it is to fly.<br>And i think a greater gravity planet, with a thicker atmospher,e would help create larger creatures, better then a low gravity planet. And that's because of the hydrostactic equilibrium. All creatures live in a hydrostatic equilibrium with the atmosphere they live in, or they would be crushed by the pressure. A thicker atmosphere would necessitate a bigger hydrostatic equilibrum factor. But it would also helped teh creatures there to be boyiant in their own atmospheric pressure, and thus aleviate themselves from the gravitational pull. They would quasi-float on their own atmosphere. Thus, they could reach great sizes, much like the greater creatures on Earth are sea creatures because they are boyant in water and thus only marginly affacted by gravity. This would be true for both animals and plants of such a high gravity/thick atmosphere planet. And in fact, the best way to fly would be to adopt the baloon strategy. Big flying aerostat lving creatures, as big or bigger then the largest zepplins ever build by man.<br><br>Maybe i'm making a mistkae, her,e but i think that Cameron miscalculated the implications of low gravity to the life on Pandora.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    @Maniaq..Boom shaka laka..

    by MacFaux

    Well done. EOD. Well done. Color of combustion will tell you chemical components. <br><br>Awesome catch.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    @Ominus...Muffet is correct. You might not be wrong.

    by MacFaux

    but Quaritch said 'race'. Not species. However, can't speak to the international of the the subtitles in the ελληνικά? I don't know what was offered.<bR><br> In Englishy...he said 'race'<br><br> I'm so post/node confused..I blame the Xmas eve liquor..<br><br> Happy Chrismakwanzaka!

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Hey good dude, how about you?

    by southafricanguy

    I really liked Avatar and I think Saldana's performance was really good. I thought Netrei was awsome personally. My Korean girlfriend really flipped for Avatar actually, she loves it. She wants us to go see it again lol...

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Asimov....I must tell you that its clear a lot

    by southafricanguy

    cut out from the scriptment. I suggest you do yuorself a favour and get the scriptment and read it. The sheer cost of Avatar per minute obviously meant Cameron had to cut a lot. Some of the best stuff unfortunalty. However a lot was filmed that was cut too. A lot of future Earth stuff, a relationship between Trudy and Norm, and a hunt that Jake goes on. Personally I am really hoping Cameron releases a directors cut/extended edition dvd ala the LOTR dvds. I think all the extra footage would actualy make a fairly different film imho....

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    But Asimov, I must also say that its also

    by southafricanguy

    simply the sheer level of the "universe" building going on in Avatar that impressed me. The really interesting/exciting thing here imho is the potential places Cameron could take this universe or expand it....

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    and since Cameron makes killer sequals

    by southafricanguy

    that are truly very different films from the first ones, I find the possibilties inherent in an Avatar sequal quite mouthwatering....

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    There scenes shown in the trailer but not in the movie

    by ominus

    the most obvious one is when Jake walks with his wheelchair in that bar.i am pretty sure in that scene the corp suits come and tell him the bad news about his brother. <p>someone said that the final cut was 40m longer but Cameron had to trim it down to 2.5h because thats the movie length limit in he Imax cinemas. <p>patience,if there is indeed extra material,we are definitely going to get a DC version in the bluray/dvd releases.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    I want Quaritch in a Navi body in a sequel

    by ominus

    i dont know how,but do it.Because he is so bad-ass,the company made a clone of him,for future use.Just like Mega City-1 does with Judge Dredd.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by drturing

    The studiest fucking person on the planet. Especially since Zoe Saldana isn't a "black princess" at all but rather a mixed race Latina. Seriously dude, AsimovLives, there is no doubt in my mind your life is so fucking pathetic that you have wet dreams about your own hand. You are so isolated and virginal from the things you say you probably have to wear gloves all the time cause if you see your own naked palms you get a semi in public.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Oh for fucks's sakes, dude, you are just having an argument, is that it? Zoe Saldana is herself is a black girl descendent from domenican and puerto rican parents. And you know what, there's black people in the Domenican Republic and in Puerto Rico. Ever heard the expression carabbean blacks? They just don't resume to jamaicans and haitians, you know?<br><br>But what i was really comenting was on Saldana's acting in AVATAR, which it's not a big difference form her acting in SHIT TREK. and in both, she played a high minded too-hot-for-you scowling protesting black princess, Beyonce style. Is this the only style of acting this lovely actress can? Because if so, then she co go kiss my ass. She and Michelle Rodriguez, her macho-woman acting is also getting beyond tired as well.<br><br>And the pathetic fuck here is you. Is there anything you actually have to contribute to this talkback other then doing lame dumb coments on others? Have you? If not, kiss my ass.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Ms Muffet is correct.he said race not species.

    by ominus

    so i apologize for my mistake,and i declare myself an egoistic idiot for insisting on my error.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Well, i'm glad you liked the movie,a dn that it corresponded to your expectations. Me, i liked it, but as i said before, i just can't help see the flaws as well. some of them are minor, some of them are important, and one of them is beyond acceptance (yeah, the fucking score!).<br><br>I do think that if Cameron makes a sequel, he has enough elements to create a more complex and far reaching story. Bascially this movie created a big world but told a small, simple story. Yeah, the story is epic in the events it tells, but it's small in it's scope. a sequel, however, if it goes the empire Strikes Back route, as in, the Earthlings came back for revenge, then Cameron can really go David Lean on it. What i can't imagine is the budget a movie like that would need.<br><br>All this, of course, depends if the movie will make bank, whihc, i now believ,e will do that by a quite confrotable margin. On the principle of the thing, i would love to see AVATAR to make more bank then TRANsFORMERS 2, just for the satisfaction to see a good mvoie being the box offcie champion of the yea,r and not that exacrable piece of shit that is TRANSFORMERS 2, a movie so bad that makes Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK looks a tiny slightly little bit marginally less shitty.<br><br>But my point is, it would be good at, like last year, the biggest moneymaker would also be a good movie, so to help end all this realm of the top moneymakers being shitty dumb retard movies. It would be nice if it turned out that way.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    So that means that the evil coronel was making a coment on the actress that was playing the Na'vi princess? Racist bastard!! Good show she shot his ass full of arrows. You go, princess!

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:56 p.m. CST

    you are wrong asimov.Zoe's perfomance

    by ominus

    in Avatar was a lot superior than in ST.even oscar worthy i might add.unless in ST she had a lot of scenes where she was vulnerable... <p>but i do agree about Rodriguez,although thats not her fault since Hollywood keeps typecasting her.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 1:59 p.m. CST

    well the Navi are blue humanoids

    by ominus

    and the humans are multi-colored humanoids but not blue,so i guess Quaritch from a technical point of view,he was racist.ha.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives regarding your romance comment

    by Ms_Muffet

    I had to laugh when I imagined Avatar without the romance element, that the movie would have been the same point for point. That is so unrealistic in my opinion.<P>Imagine a wheelchair bound red-blooded macho ex-Marine in a FULLY functioning alien body not getting it on with the hot alien chick whom he worked so closely with for 3 MONTHS. My God, this is a senerio that I'm sure a lot of guys fantasize about. Could any of you guys be in Jake Sully's shoes and only have a platonic relationship? I would venture a guess that the word GAY would come up in the talkback if he didn't at least bang the chick.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    well said ms muffet

    by ominus

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Thank you Ominus

    by Ms_Muffet

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Col. Quaritch - Burke interspace telephone dialogue

    by ominus

    <p>Quaritch: The situation with the Na'vi is getting out of control.We failed to move them out of their Home Tree,and now they are preparing a big counter-attack against our base.As i see it,desperate conditions,require extreme measures. <p>Burke: What do you suggest Colonel? <p>Quaritch: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. <p>---voice in the background--- <p>Hudson: *beep* A... <p>Quaritch: SHUT UP HUDSON! <p>Burke: Who the hell was that? <p>Quaritch: Never mind him.What about my nukes? <p>Burke: Ho-ho-hold on, hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.The Home Tree is above the richest Unobtainium deposit,you cant just go in and nuke it.The shareholders wont be happy with that. <p>Quaritch: They can *bill* me. <p>Burke: Colonel,please listen to me.. <p>Quaritch: I want my goddamn nukes you piss-ant! <p>Burke: Listen Colonel, I hear you. I really do. But my hands are tied. We simply don't have the budget, at least not until the next fiscal year. Then we can discuss including a nuke or two - you know, small ones - one the next supply ship. <p>Quaritch: You little *beep* piss-ant! Don't you *beep* know what we're dealing with?!?! <p>Burke: Sorry Colonel, I've got another call coming in. Thanks! *beep* Hello? What do you mean they blew it up?! WHO'S THEY?!?! What the hell's an aluminum falcon? <p>---Phone hangs up.Angry Quaritch looks at his soldiers--- <p>Quaritch: They cant afford sending us nukes,not at this point of time. <p>Hudson: That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST

    From "Jam! ShowBiz" Via A.P.--James Cameron Talks

    by Media Messiah

    Cameron Talks Aliens<BR><BR> By David Germain, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS <BR><BR> James Cameron, center, speaks while film producer Jon Landau, right, and Jim Gianopulos, chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment, left, look on during a press conference of their new 3D movie "Avatar" in Beijing, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Andy Wong <BR><BR> LOS ANGELES - James Cameron offers what may be the most exotic planet full of aliens ever put on film in his sci-fi epic "Avatar." <BR><BR> Yet if and when humans do meet creatures from other worlds, they'll be unimaginably more far-out than anything Hollywood can dream up, Cameron said. <BR><BR> "It'll be much beyond what we can imagine," said Cameron, whose "Avatar" opened big this weekend with $232 million worldwide. "There are creatures right on Earth that are absolutely amazing, and all the aliens are already here, if you look at a small-enough scale or you look under the ocean." <BR><BR> "Avatar" tells the story of a human, Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), who takes on the form of the Na'vi, 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) blue creatures that are the dominant species on the distant moon Pandora. Jake goes native, becoming a warrior in a Na'vi clan and falling for Na'vi huntress Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). <BR><BR> With pointed ears, huge eyes and tails, the Na'vi are anything but human. Yet like most extraterrestrials created by Hollywood, they still have a general humanoid form - two eyes, ears, arms and legs, a nose and mouth, smiles, grimaces and facial expressions we all can recognize. <BR><BR> "We looked at designs for the Na'vi that initially were much more alien," Cameron said. "When we would draw Neytiri and she had fins on her back and gills and all kinds of weird protuberances and so on in odd places, the question was, well, would you want to do her? No? OK, let's back off from that. ... We just didn't want to take it so far that she had kind of a fish mouth or anything." <BR><BR> Along with blue skin and tails, the alienness of the Na'vi was conveyed largely through differences in scale. They tower over humans but have delicate proportions, thin frames and limbs, but eyes about twice as wide as ours. <BR><BR> Still, the Na'vi look human enough that audiences can relate to them the way they relate to other characters on screen. Cameron has an explanation for why the Pandora natives bear similarities to humans, which he plans to share down the road. <BR><BR> "We were doing a science fantasy, not true science fiction. We're not really predicting that there will be humanoids" on other planets, Cameron said. "When I write the novel of 'Avatar,' which I'm going to do as soon as the dust clears on the film release, I'm going to deal with the issue of why they look so much like us. Because there needs to be an overarching explanation of that, which I have." <BR><BR> "Avatar" presents a wild ecosystem in which the Na'vi commune with other animals and even plant life by tendrils that form a mental link. Pandora features giant plants that suck themselves into the ground when threatened, six-legged beasts of burden called direhorses, flying reptilian banshees and tiny jellyfish-like spores that float about the jungle landscape. <BR><BR> A seasoned diver with a passion for the life aquatic, Cameron explored the rich diversity of deep-ocean species in his documentary "Aliens of the Deep." <BR><BR> Cameron and his design team borrowed ideas from some of the most striking species on our world to augment the fantastic look of the lifeforms on Pandora - bioluminescent dot patterns on the skin of the Na'vi or elaborate designs inspired by tropical fish and frogs on the hides of the banshees. <BR><BR> "I wanted there to be a real exoticism. It was what I had sort of hoped they would do in 'Jurassic Park,' not make dinosaurs just kind of like we imagine dinosaurs, but make dinosaurs the way they might have been, which is like purple and gold. Because there are some lizards and amphibians and fish on this planet, granted on a smaller scale, that are absolutely stunning in their colour patterns. <BR><BR> "So maybe it's just an overall kind of reverence and sense of wonder for nature and its inventiveness, and that really imbued every decision we made in terms of the creature design." <BR><BR> What's alien also comes down to who's doing the talking. In Cameron's "Aliens," the story was told from the perspective of Sigourney Weaver as she joins human Marines in a death match with savage alien predators. <BR><BR> Weaver battled hostile otherworldly monsters in four "Alien" movies, but this time, the tables are turned. Cameron reunites with Weaver on "Avatar," casting her as a scientist whose fellow humans wage war on the Na'vi to obtain an energy-rich mineral found on Pandora. <BR><BR> The term alien is used only a few times in "Avatar," in each case among Jake and the Na'vi referring to the humans, including Weaver's character. <BR><BR> "To me," Cameron said, "the irony is that she's in another kind of high-tech, futuristic, humans-vs.-aliens story, and she's the alien this time."

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    nice interview you have the link

    by ominus

    from the site?

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    HEH??? What the fuck? Gay? What the fuck are you talking about? Is that how reduced your view of inter-relationships are? Soembody has to fuck soembody for a comradery to exists? Are you kidding me? Was your post done in jest? Are you pulling my leg? What the hell was that?<br><br>You know, maybe we should Avatared all other movies about when a human has compassion and understanding about another spieces and desides to protect it agaisnt fellow humans. Next time they remake FREE WILLY, they should made the kid FUCK the killer whale. Or the killer whale fuck the kid, depending on who will be the prodominant of the relationship. Heh, would that be great? Next time they decide to rmeake ENEMY MINE, lets have the human and the hermaphrodite should fuck each other, to cement their spiritual bounding and their friendship.<br><br>Is that what you like, is that it? Becasue god fuckign fdorbids if a story is about comradery and friendship. No, it has to be about ROMANCEEE!!!!<br>What a lack of imagination!! Jesus fucking christ!

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't need the Na'vi to look humanoid to relae to their pli

    by AsimovLives

    It's an incredible lack of imagination to think and feel that one could not relate to a creature, specially an intelligent creature, if they wouldn't look humanoid. That's silly. Even disturbing. You can only relate to human-like creatures? You have a serious problem with your sense of compassion, buddy.<br><br>And the romance is really not needed. Yes, you can tell the whole AVATAR story without the romance. All you would left is just the romance stuff, which pratifcally does nothing to the story. The Na'vi princess is not the only one who accepts Jake, and the rest of the tribe is not inlove with him. The romance just doesn't make any sense in the context of the story. It's even weird, in a bestiality kind of sense. It was already weird when Peter Jackson did it in his King Kong, to push a romance in that movie. Now it's Cameron time to push futher bestiality romance with his next movie? and people complain about gay romance movies but go for inter-spieces romance? What the fuck is wrong with this picture?? What is this, a comedy scene from Clerks 2?

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Let's remake 2001 and put a romance in it

    by AsimovLives

    this time the astronauts will be a guy and a girl, because of it's two guys like lat time, everybody will think they are gay!!!<br>And the guy and the girl will flal inlove and be a lovers, it's the only way to build a believable bound between the two. So when one of them gets killed by the evil computer, the other will have a believable motivation to feel sad and anguish and go kill the computer in revenge!!! and the computer killed the other because it fell inlove with he other and wanted to get rid of the competition. Yeah, let's do it that way, let's Avatared it?<br>Or do it my way and have the two astronauts be females and let them have hot lesbian sex every 5 minutes. and the computer will be a robot with a big fucking penis who kills one of the lesbo astronauts out of feeling his manhood betrayed. Why the fuck not, hem?? AVATARED IT!!!! ROMANCE EVERY FUCKING PLACE!!<br><br>Lets do it too for a remake of EMPIRE OF THE SUN. Put a little cute girl as a love interest for little Jim. You have to do it, or else people will think that little Jim if GAY!!!! Ohhh nooooooo!!!!<br><br>Let's remake PLANET OF THE APES again, but this time, the Charleton Heston character FUCKS ZIMA the chimp lady, and Cornelius can go get fucked! That's how you do it!! You have to have a romance between your leading man and your leading lady, EVEN IF THEY BELONG TO TWO DIFFERENT SPIECES! Man-moneky fucking love for PLANET OF THE APES, AVATAR STYLE!!!<br><br>Got the point already?

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:20 p.m. CST

    sorry but I'm with Asimov on the Romance angle

    by Maniaq

    in response to Cameron's question "would I do her?" - the answer is no <p> do they come in blonde? <p> I get that Cameron was not only willing but WANTED to go the cliche' route on a lot of this film, but the story didn't turn on Sully's romance with Neytiri - the Na'Vi didn't follow him into battle because he was banging their princess - they followed him because he tamed the Big Daddy of all Banshees - the only reason they accepted him in the FIRST place was that he was a Warrior... <p> I'm sure he would have been curious - especially with those USB things hanging off their heads - but it was just an angle and Cameron didn't craft the story, such as it was, to make it a particularly IMPORTANT angle... it was just there... <p> like internet porn

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    2001 was boring as fuck.i saw it in fast forward

    by ominus

    for the first and only time,and i am not joking. <p>i do love it,its an awesome movie with epic artistic scenes (no wonder the bone scene is iconic) ,its very stimulant in a intellectual level,but a bit emotionless in a human level (the irony is that HAL is the most emotional character in the movie),which unfortunately is the major flaw of Kubrick.most of his movies are too damn intellectual.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Asimov obviously you havent seen Avatar

    by ominus

    because you see,at the end,there is the most emotional,the most ground-breaking,the strongest scene in the whole movie: <p>when Neutiri takes in her big arms that fragile,crippled human being.i dont know about you,but i cried in that scene,it was that damn beautiful,the depiction of the love between two beings from two entirely different species,but their souls so close together. <p>btw its also the most obvious reason why the King waited 10 years to do this movie.if the CGI was not photo-realistic,the scene would have been a disaster. <p>ofc if you are not satisfied with the love aspect of the movie,between it was not in an interspecies level(which it was),there is still a lot of japanese tentacle porno to satisfy your needs.start with Uroji-something (i fucking forget its name),it even has blue demons.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 5:36 p.m. CST


    by ominus

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Asimovlives, I'm gonna open a can of worms here

    by Ms_Muffet're gay?<P>Just couldn't resist. :P

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST


    by Ms_Muffet

    Yes, a very strong scene that brings the "I see you" line's meaning home. I also love that Neytiri says,"Jake! My Jake!" when she gently shakes him.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Asimov....the love story part of it worked for

    by southafricanguy

    me in the sense that it helped form an emotional connection with whats being seen on screen. As the other dude said the end scene where she saves Jake and finally sees him as he really was is quite moving imho...

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    but again, asimov read the scriptment (I can

    by southafricanguy

    email it to you if you want). You really should see what was all left out. That dissapointed me to be honest as the scriptment had so much scope, but I guess it would have been just too expensive...

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:37 p.m. CST

    But, like you Asimov I want any Avatar se

    by southafricanguy

    quals to have a more complex story. I think the story here had to be simple because Cameron needed to pull people into the world he has created without it becoming confusing. Aterall, lets remember that the original Star W ars is in fact very simple too. It was with ESB that it got more complex....

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Though I think Avatar will be like the Abyss

    by southafricanguy

    where a much superior directors cut exists that feels more "complete" if you will imho Asimov...

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST

    sci-fi apartheid

    by DocPazuzu

    Not only do we get the awesome District 9 this year, but also the firm knowledge that if AssLives had lived in the world of Avatar's 2145 he'd criminalize love between members of differing intelligent species. <p> Perhaps if he had advanced beyond lusting for the mindless, agonized bleating of goats facing away from him he'd see the beauty of what ominus is trying to describe?

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:11 p.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    So it wasn't just me that LOVED that scene in the shack where she holds Jake in his human form and they say "I see you" with tears in her eyes. What a powerful scene. Somehow I dont think the effect would have been as powerful if it had just been two interspecies buddies saying "dude, you okay?" I understand if someone says the romance wasnt needed for them, but I wanted it and am glad its there. So what if the entire movie doesnt rotate on that romance, why do you think it has to? So many people seem to focus on what Avatar isnt rather than what it is. Missing the forest for the trees. <P>Hope we see an extended cut but the cost of final rendering those cut scenes may not allow that. We will see.<P>Also seems from the interview posted just above that Cameron is going to explain soon that the similarities of humans and Na'vi isnt cooincidence but rather a shared origin? I look forward to the Avatar novel he plans to write soon.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    The Cameron Alphabet therom

    by PeanutButterSlut

    If a Cameron film has a title in the beginnings of the alphabet, it will be misunderstood, 'so to speak'. (See Avatar and Abyss). <p> If it is towards the ned of the Alphabet, it is generally well received (see Titanic, Terminator, True Lies).

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:26 p.m. CST

    This equations shows

    by PeanutButterSlut

    That Battleangel Alita won't be well received. <p> But Tintin: Terminators on ice is BO gold though. Stick with the T's Cameron.

  • Dec. 25, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    AssLives needs to be an advisor...

    by DrMorbius

    ...for the Avatar sequel. Then we'll get Big Blue Goats, with Big Blue Balls (and he will want a Love Story in this one). His Caprine predilection knows no bounds! Baaaaaassssimov!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:27 a.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Yeah, you SAW 2001 in fast-forward, but you did not EXPERIENCE it. There is a difference IMHO. Try to catch it on the big screen if you can (there are some amazing 70mm prints floating around out there). And if you are the kind of guy who likes to partake of the reefer, by all means, do so before, during, or after your screening. It can definitely boost the experience (and any psychoactive chemicals will literally tear you from your frame and blow your mind to a good way that is). If not, no worries, just try again anyway. If you're in the right mood, it can still be absolutely mesmerizing.</p> <p>I do agree with you that KUBRICK was quite intellectual, but please don't let that stop you. Be thankful that this amazing man, as smart as he was, never spoke down to anyone. Can't say the same for many other directors like Bay or (insert name here) that have like 1/10th the intellect and absolutely none of the soul.</p> <p>Here's a quote from Stanley when he was asked about the meaning of the film: "They are the areas I prefer not to discuss, because they are highly subjective and will differ from viewer to viewer. In this sense, the film becomes anything the viewer sees in it. If the film stirs the emotions and penetrates the subconscious of the viewer, if it stimulates, however inchoately, his mythological and religious yearnings and impulses, then it has succeeded."

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:01 a.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    You definitely said it when it comes to a sequel for AVATAR. Just the thought of Cameron "Empire Strikes Back-ing" this film has got me giddy with anticipation.</p> <p>Yes folks, right here in this very thread, the HYPE for AVA2 has officially my own mind.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:59 a.m. CST



    I was going to mention it before - I was also a little heartbroken that the slingers and slinths were out of the film. I vaguely recall the attack scene on Hell's Gate, but I think the movie worked fine without it. The main difference between the scriptment and the film (I thought, and I think you may have mentioned it above - I can't recall,) was that in the written version it truly felt like every step you take in Pandora could indeed be your last. The sense of imminent danger or death was noticeably more present than in the film. In the movie, it felt like as long as you had a mask on and maybe a gun in your hand, you may get by just fine. Not originally. In the scriptment, with the additional animals and species Cameron included, it felt even more like the ecosystem worked together on a regular basis. There was more detail even in the plant life on Pandora, all working together to create more of a "oneness" among the inhabitants of the world, and I think it made the humans and the RDA even more unwelcome, not to mention Jake's (or Josh's, if you prefer,) inclusion into the Na'vi even more of an accomplishment because it's not just the tribe accepting him, but Pandora as well. <p> Of course, I loved the film. It wasn't everything I read in the scriptment 10 years ago, but there were elements in the final show that weren't in the original writing, either. I kind of liken it to reading the lyrics of a song your friend is writing, then hearing the final song and even though he changed some of the lyrics that you really liked, the melody and the arrangement of the song itself makes the song itself much more captivating than you had even expected.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Ms_Muffet i agree.i too love the 'jake,my jake' part

    by ominus

    very scene in the whole movie.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    BTW isnt the red blood of the Navi,another proof

    by ominus

    that they breath oxygen in Pandora?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 8:04 a.m. CST

    TheUmpireStrokesBach i experienced 2001

    by ominus

    dont worry.i already mentioned the bone scene,do you think i would agree that is iconic,just because the others say so,without having my personal experience with it? <p>but thats the problem with this movie,at least with me.standalone epic scenes connected with a plotless story.i used FF to go and watch these scenes,the rest of the movie was just a boring filler. <p>and since we brought up 2001,i will repeat the same question i did in another talkback: <p>using the content of the movie,and ONLY the content of the movie,why the fuck HAL suddenly started giving errors and eventually turned into a crazy killer,while his IDENTICAL brother on Earth didnt express not a bit of such behavior? wtf?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 8:09 a.m. CST

    oh and i love Kubrick.jesus the man is a genius

    by ominus

    a god of of my most favorite directors ever.anyway i have already downloaded (ahem) the bluray version of 2001,so i am going to watch again,this time on a big hdtv. <p>the first time i watched 2001 on vhs on a small tv,so i will definitely give it a new try.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:19 a.m. CST sir you were indeed not the

    by southafricanguy

    only one that loved that scene where she is holding the crippled body of Jake in her hands. A very emotional scene unless you are one seriously bitter/cynical motherfucker lol...And that is why I must disagree with you Asimov my friend, the love story may not be necessary, but it certainly adds to the emotional punch of the film as a whole....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    UMPIRESTRIKESBACK....exactly dude, you

    by southafricanguy

    and I are both starting that hype brother. And given Cameron's track record with sequals, we can only imagine what coolness an Avatar sequal could be. But I absolutely want it to be darker and more complex. I for one am very interested to see how Cameron will expand the Avatar universe....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    ominus and Ms_Muffet

    by AsimovLives

    omnius: You don't fuck with 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY. It is one of the top best movie ever made in the whole histyory of cinema. If you do not like it, fine, but it's your loss, pal.<br><br>Yeah, i saw the movie. And i tell you, that scebne with the Na'vi princess holding Sully's crippled body would had worked the same had it been the story of two comrads, when they would see each in their real shapes with their own eyes. Aparently, for some people, theonly bound that can exist is just the romantic one. No friendship, no comradry, no empathy, no solidarity, no, the only conextion is romantic. BULL-FUCKING-SHIT! Dude, i respect you a lot, you are one of the people i most like reading your posts, you are smart and well eduicated, but in this subject, you are being unexpectadly and suprisingly obtuse.<br><br>As a previous talkbacker said, the whole story is structured around Sully beiong accepted by the Na'vi by his taming of the Mother Of All Banshees. The romance even looks like an afterthough. But which is, of course, being pumped up for commerce sake, so they can put the asses on seats of the girly romance junkies.<br><br>And Ms_Muffet, if you want to play the stereotype, if i was gay i would be pumping the movie for MORE ROMANCE, wouldn't I? Heh? No, really, Ms_Muffet, what are you, a romance junkie or something? No movie works for you if there's no romance? You can't connect otherwise? That's a terrible lack of imagination you got there, buddy.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    LIGHSTORMER....yeah, you are damn right

    by southafricanguy

    dude, there was much more a feeling of all the life on Pandora working together, and a constant sense of danger from everything. Hopefully Cameron can work the Slinger, slinth, and medusa (was so looking forward to seeing those in the final battle, giant helium filled jellyfish that are used as bombs against the RDA aircraft) into the sequals...Like you lightstormer I still really like the film, and like some of the changes. But I do like some elements of the scriptment better. Still wish Cameron had stuck with the scriptments idea of all the vegetation on Pandora being purple and violet. I really am not sure why he changed any ideas guys?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST

    No motherfucker can accuse me of hating movie romance

    by AsimovLives

    You know what is one of my favotire movies? THE ENGLISH PATIENT. A movie which the very mention of it strikes the fear in the heart of most dumb action junkies in the whole of the world. And i love it. Great movie, deserved every oscar it got and then some. And i piss on the romance of AVATAR. There!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Ddue, what the hell? I complain about an interspieces silly romanc ein Avatar and you advise me to watch japanese tentacle porn animé?? What the hell? It's like saying to a druink that the cure to his problem is to drink more alchool!! Makes absolutly no sense, man! Man, i didn't took you for such an extreme romance junkie!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:34 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Again you prove you are a retarded fuck you took other people's words and distorts them to please your stupid shallow psychotic agenda. Fucking ass!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:37 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You hypothesis fails on account of ALIENS. Also, the full title of the movie is THE ABYSS. It starts with a T. Again, you have your hypothesis failing twice. Sorry.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    er asimov the exact scene between two comrades

    by ominus

    would have looked a bit gay...not that is wrong to be gay,but the audience wouldnt get the true impact,the scene intended to give.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    any link where we can get the original script?

    by ominus

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    I greatly respect Kubrick and I love

    by southafricanguy

    full metal jacket, barry lyndon, eyes wide shut (dont care what anyone says, it was as good as anything else he ever did), the shining. But I have never been able to get into 2001. I am sorry, but it just does nothing for me. I find it too intellectual for its own good, and frankly (i know im commiting heresy here) I find it boring. And I am no add, mtv edit, Bay lover. I greatly respect the technical achievement of it, and theres no denying its influence. But personally for me, give me Star Wars, ESB, Alien/Aliens, Blade runner, T2, the matrix any day over 2001...

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    OK, for the last time: the Jake crippled body scene

    by AsimovLives

    My point is that, if guys need a romance to exist in the story for the finding of the Jake's crippled body by the Na'vi princess to have an emotional impact? Because without the romance it wouldn't deliever an emotional impact to you? Is that it? You know, for me, it reads like an incredible lack of imagination. Even a lack of a capacity for empathy? Only a romance relationship could deliver an emotional impact for the scene? I'm sorr,y the the one not lacking in emotional response is not me. i don't need the clutches of a lame thoughout romance angle to get to the heart of the scene. In anything, the romance DISTRACTS ME AWAY from the scene. Far more powerful would had been if this princess warrior, who had fought side by side with Jake in his Avatar form, who used to saw him as this formidable comrad of arms, now see him for who he is, this small broken man. As a warrior, the sight of JJake's true form would be the real heartbreak. It should be a scene about warriors. Not a badly thoughout romantic nonsense trap for over-emotional teen girlies romance junkies!<br><br>Is this coming through? Is this coming through?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Ominus...I can email it to you if you want

    by southafricanguy

    it was mostly removed from the net by Lightstorm and Fox's lawyers...

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    A scene between two comrads would look gay???? What the fuck? Dude, you have issues! Sorry, to say this to you, friend, but you have issues! Good lord! Man, give up in any John Milius movies right now.<br><br>Jesus fucking christ, movies about comradery is now gay! Fucking shit, man! Hey, you mean, there can't be comradery between warriors of two diferent genres too? Between two different sieces too? It all has to be fucking romance?<br><br>You know what, you better give up on ALIENS. That movie has no romance. But it has comradery galore in it. ALIENS must be fucking gay!!<br><br>Today i learn a new thing: ALIENS is a gay movie.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    uhhh...Asimov, dude. Calm down my friend

    by southafricanguy

    I totally respect your personal taste if the "romance" did nt work for you, but it worked for me (and others). Plus, I think you need to keep in mind that its perfectly keeping in line with Camerons prior films. Think Sarah and Reese, Bud and Lindsy, Mace and Lenny (Strange Days), Riply and Hicks (at least in the directors cut) etc...Camerons film are all to some extent about relationships imho. Secondly keep in mind that Avatar and Cameron are heavily influenced by John Carter of Mars, and specifically the romance between John Carter and the alien princess Dejah Thoris....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST

    that type of romance has a very long standing t

    by southafricanguy

    radition in classic sci-fi pulp serials. And we all know that ultimatly Avatar is Cameron's blending of numerous said pulp sci-fi serials Asimov...

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I didn't love 2001 the first time i saw it. Like you, i admired it for the technical achievements, but that was it. but then one day i decided to give it another try, adn i became hooked for life. The thing is, 2001 is it's own movie. It's there to entertain and awe. Yes, entertain. But it doesn't spoonfed you. As Kubrick said, it was designed to be a personal experience for each and everyone who watched it. and realsie that, those who love it, REALLY LOVE IT WITH A PASSION. You ever wondered why? In many ways, 2001 is the perfect movie. It is the perfect cinematic experience. With 2001, it's you and the movie and nothing else. The movie achieves soemthingthat most movies even with 3D and tonnes of CGI have yet to replicate.<br><br>Gues which movie is James Cameron's personal favorite. You bet, it's 2001. And you know what, i see parts and influences of it in AVATAR. In fact, with that though in mind, and with AVATAR in mind, re-watch 2001 again, and always remember that Cameron is a major fan of the movie. Have fun.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Not all puulp fuctions had romances. and there are stories that don't need romances to tell it's tale. There's stories in which they are fundamental, and others which aren't. In some storie,s the romance angle not only detracts and makes no snese for the whole plot, it can even be seen as a cynical ploy to put a segment of the population's ass on seats. How many times you watch a movie where the romance was the weakest link of the story? TOO OFTEN is the answer. And the reason is, most times, the romance is just there not for the sake of story but for the sake of commerce. Like in many stories the romance exists only so that in the 3rd act the hero has something to do and go rescue the useless damsel in distress, or else the story would had finished long ago.<br><br>You might thing me cynic, but i see it differently: like any other element of a story, i don't like to see a romance to be used as a cheap clutch. I think romance deserves better. It has to be really well thoughout, and it has to really make a very important part of the story, and not just a justification for some plot advancement nonsense. Ifd you ask me, i actually attribute to romance far more importance then most romance junkies do. I would rather see none then a lame bad story clutch one in.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    As for AVATAR, it does fele like an origin story

    by AsimovLives

    I came out of the movie thinking "this is an origing story". It's so clear this movie is made and designed to be a possible first part of a major saga. I have no doubt in my mind about it. I bet it's only box office results which will tell if AVATAR will get sequels or not. But the way the movie was made, it is begging for sequels.<br><br>Well, the way it's doing business, i just might be there will be sequels.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST

    And i did liked AVATAR, ok?

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    in Aliens there is no scene where Hudson touches

    by ominus

    Hicks face,while tears start dropping from Hicks eyes.i think its pretty obvious why we dont have such scene. <p>BUT there is a meaningful scene between Vasquez and Drake,when she grabs with both her hands,Drake's hand which is holding the grenade,while with his other hand,he was holding her,right before they die.a very touching scene about two comrades before their final end,especially if you take into account that Vasquez was hating Drake. <p>so there you go,Aliens is not gay while we have strong scenes depicting the comrade relationship between two warriors.its about the how of the scenes,and not the what of scenes.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    "ALIENS is a gay movie."

    by DocPazuzu

    Except that the bud of a romance between Hicks and Ripley is hinted at in the film. <p> AssLives pretends to hide behind some kind of progressive idea of "comraderie" being enough in a film like Avatar, but fails to explain why Cameron, while making Avatar a salute to all the classic adolescent sci-fi stories he read as a kid, should have jettisoned the romance angle and nothing else. I think AssLives' protests say more about AssLives emotional life than about Cameron's movie. <p> Another hint is the movie AssLives chose as an example of a "good" romance movie--The English Patient. While technically impressive and very well-acted, it's a hollow film with nary a true emotion in sight. watching it is like watching a romantic movie made by a pod person, where all the relevant things seem to be accounted for but nothing rings true in the assemblage. <p> It figures a semi-autistic like AssLives would find such a clinical, specious display the epitome of romantic love on the silver screen while slamming the love story in Avatar.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Asimov btw i still dont get why the romance angle

    by ominus

    is unnecessary in Avatar? can you explain to me why the love story hurts the movie in its artistic level?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:15 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    He can't. It's just "icky" to him, that's all. <p> *cough*virgin*cough*

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST


    by ominus

    could you email it to ? thank you.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Done and done ominus, please let me know

    by southafricanguy

    if you got it alright...

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:35 a.m. CST always my friend you make good

    by southafricanguy

    points. I agree with you 100% that Avatar does indeed feel like an origin story. I also feel its all set-up for a bigger saga.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:38 a.m. CST

    In fact anyone that is interested should head

    by southafricanguy

    on over to where they have an article about a media screening of Avatar where Cameron was asked about sequals. He reveals very little, but does drop one very interesting nugget....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Asimov...from the sounds of what Cameron

    by southafricanguy

    hints at, he does intend to expand the Avatar universe to a much larger scope. But as you say, how in the hell will it ever be cost effective? Maybe the tech will become cheaper and faster? Or, maybe he will film more than one sequal back to back to save money?....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Jesus, we get it, you dont like the romance angle in Avatar. Go beat a different dead horse for Christ's sake! We disagree with you but you won't accept that so you go apeshit with 'fuck this and fuck that and you are all obtuse' or some shit. Quit pissing in the pool, man. We have had a pretty good thing going here in this thread and so far you are the only one spewing hatred (other than the hatred being spewed back at you in response to your anger). We have explained our thoughts on the romance and so have you. Enough already. Where is the "ignore" button?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Expanded Universe

    by KnightBorn

    I agree that Avatar really primes the pump for sequels but also for other expanded universe material. I read plenty of sci-fi and would love a line of Pandora books. Graphic novels too? Sounds great to me. Video games, webisodes, etc, bring it on. Just stop before you overmilk it like Star Wars and it's expanded universe. I love Star Wars but they have diluted that pool far too much.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST

    DocPazuzu loves to watch "inter-spieces" porn

    by AsimovLives

    That makes him less virgin.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Knightborn....I agree with you dude. I love

    by southafricanguy

    Star Wars, but I do think they have somewhat overmilked it. Though the biggest thing that bothers me is Lucasfilm's obsession with only filling in the blanks now (clone wars series, tv show set during PT and OT) while never moving the StarWars universe forward on film.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    but yeah Knightborn, lets have some Avatar

    by southafricanguy

    novels, comics etc...expand the universe. But I want it to have a very definitive middle and end, with no damn prequals. I want Cameron to always be moving the Avatar universe forward....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:33 a.m. CST

    I count as a certainty the expantion of the AVATAR universe

    by AsimovLives

    As for the pricetag for a sequel with an even bigger scope, i bet that Caemron might hope that with the progresses made with the first movie, that the technology might have pay itself witrh the first movie, and come the second things will get cheapper to achive, and thus, more big stuff can be made for the sequels.<br>And i do think that come the sequel, things will get more complex, and darker as well. The usual "things get worst befoe they get better". Indeed, a Empire Strikes Back type of deal.<br><br>Also, let us take in to consideration that since the world made for the first movie was created in a compure, and it's saved soemwhere, at least part of the "scenarios" are already made, and they don't need to be "re-build". In fact, a sequel would even futher justify Cameron's decision to use The Volume and the digital sets technology as a cost-effective way to produce movies in the future.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    hmmm..I think you are very right about that

    by southafricanguy

    Asimov. All that money spent on research and tech will really pay off then. Cameron can also use it to make Battle Angel Alita at this point. And as you say, since its already made and stored, maybe it wont cost anywhere as much....I guess we can be sure Cameron had it in mind how he may be able to do sequals long before he even began making Avatar....

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Not that there's anything wrong with it, AssLives...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...but if you didn't find Neytiri the slightest bit attractive or Grace's avatar in a Stanford tank top remotely hot, then you're gay. Gayer than nine guys trying to blow eight guys. Gay.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    When mankind was less desperate, less jadded, and when it first landed on the planet and meet the na'vi firt he first time. And when the idea of the Avatar was first brough up.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    DocPazuzu, i knew you wouldn't see nothing wrong...

    by AsimovLives

    .. with inter-spieces porn. That's why you can't get enough of man-horse porn, and man-dog porn. You are like a scene out of Clerk 2, about the inter-spieces romance guy and his donkey. You do love some donkey love, don't you?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    ET is about the gay love betwen a kid and an alien

    by AsimovLives

    No comradery or friendship in that movie. No, it has to be romance. Becasue without romance, there is no way for the emotional connection between the two can be believable and acceptable.<br><br>TURN E.T. INTO A GAY PAEDOPHILIC LOVE STORY BETWEEN A KID AND AN ALEIN, ONLY WAY TO MAKE PEOPLE ACCEPT THEIR RELATIONSHIP. AVATARED IT NOW!<br><br>You are getting the point now?

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Maybe the reason people are oposed to the notion of...

    by AsimovLives

    ... comradery instead of romance in AVATAR is because they see the word comradery and they think it has anything to do with COMMUNISTS. Because comrads are communists, right? It has to be, communists called each others comrads. There's no fucking commies in Avatar, mister!!!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Like in all his most recetn movies, Cameron has made movies not only because they are stories he wants to tell, but also to develop and futher the technology of filmmaking. And about Avatar, adn his decision to go for virtual sets, i do think he is using Avatar as a testing ground to the possibility of serialized movies where sets made for the first can be reused with little to no expense for the sequels, and thus, the budget of the sequels to be used exclusively for the new stuff.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    "You are getting the point now?"

    by DocPazuzu

    It's you who has missed the point. E.T. isn't the slightest bit an homage to the classic adventure/sci-fi pulps. <p> Sorry, but that was a terrible analogy. <p> And who said anything about interspecies porn? It's you who is equating what I said with livestock pornography. I suppose it's your goat fetish rearing its hoary head.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 12:06 p.m. CST

    "they think it has anything to do with COMMUNISTS"

    by DocPazuzu

    Wow, you really have gone boi-oi-oi-oing now.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu loves animal porn

    by AsimovLives

    Makes him less virgin

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    AVATAR is an origin story

    by AsimovLives

    But come the sequel, will it be called Avatar still? Since, given the final scene, Sully's whole consciousness is now fully on his Avatar, which now is his real body. So, what will be the Avatar in the second movie? Sully's human body? Would be a nice reversal, this time, Sully's real human body would be the avatar and his real body would be his once avatar.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    You can see Alpha Centauri B in the film!

    by ar42

    Probably in several places, but the one I noticed was during the "gathering the other tribes" montage. There's two shots where there's a very very bright star prominantly in the sky-- I'm sure it's meant to be the companion star. Very cool!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    ...doesn't like hot female bodies if they're blue. <p> He's a racist. And gay.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu jerks off on human-animal porn

    by AsimovLives

    Makes him less virgin.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    yeah southafricanguy i got it

    by ominus

    thanks a lot man

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    I would like to see a lot more about Earth

    by ominus

    if they are going to expand the universe.And i really would like for them to make a graphic novel/book about Quaritch's origin and his adventures before the events of the movie.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 2:56 p.m. CST

    especially about how he got his scars.

    by ominus

    and i hope its epic,not like that shit with Connor's scars in T:S.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Dances with Wolves meets Pochahantas

    by mgillesp

    Wow. An amazingly positive response from Geekdom that demonstrates why you all needed to take some real literature courses in college (I admit they are hard to find). The story was more than trite, it was utterly implausible. This is a warrior culture and they are in love with all living things (in a greenish fashion), but they seem ready to kill in an instant and travel around armed to the teeth (check out those canines!). A strange behavior for a psychically linked population. When they channel the rest of life do they also channel everything and presumably everyone they killed? Ouch. And these creatures that seem to have the ability to link with the rest of life, never seem to link with one another. Do they need some great genius to figure out that one could learn a great deal from putting their tendrils together? You would think that over time, living in close proximity to one another, this would inevitably have occurred by accident. Has the advanced earth civilization that can travel to distant stars forgotten how to mine horizontally? Why does this whole situation seem to resemble a West Virginia strip mining operation? Can you say political correctness here? Why not make the need of earth for such materials as unobtainium clear to command such an incredible price, rather than attributing everything to the greed of a corporation? In fact, why not recognize that the fact that this was a corporate and not a governmental operation is an indication of the inability of government to do what is necessary for the public good. And isn’t it after all this very technology that makes the film possible? Isn’t the film itself a performative contradiction? Keep up with your demands for good science but don’t be satisfied with shallow thinking about everything else. And please don’t praise a movie full of special effects that all of you would have thrown down in disgust if it tried to pass itself off as a serious science fiction story.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:36 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You raised a good point (again, as usual), in that the mvie might had benefited with a bit more knoweldge about the Earth of AVATAR'S future. Yeah, i would had liked to see a bit more of it too. and, if memory seerves me, in the trailer, we did get to see Jake Sully exiting a bar and being approached by those two army guys who sell him the idea to replace his brother on the Avatar program. I can't imagine how much Cameron actually shot scenes for the future Earth, and of those how many he actually made or finished CGI effects for them. But it would be interesting to see a glimpse of Earth, if just for curiosity sake.<br><br>As for a sequel, i think it would be mandatory to have at the very least one Earth scene. Unless the sequel goes even more native then the first movie and if really only happens on Pandora's surface and no place else.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I think you are a bit too extreme with your notion of a warrior culture being adversed to nature worship. In fact, quite the contray, we see otherwise. Most wwarrior cultures take great inspirations from nature, this is why warriors they like to compare themselves with predator animals like the hawk, eagles, lions, bears, wolves, tigers, etc.<br>The western martial cultures migth have grew more dissociated with nature, but still, heck out any training camp for soldier,s and one of their first things they learn is to deal with nature and do field camp trips, adn spent entire weeks there, to get used to deal with extensive periods of time there.<br><br>But see other warrior cultures like the japonese samurai. Due to their zen traditions, samurai loved nature, and it was for them a cosntant inspiration. All their disciplines, they took inspiration from the natural world. They admired the natural world, they were inspired by it, they saw themselves as part of it.<br>Same phisolophy could be found in such warrior cultures as the ancient celts or the native american tribes from the Americas, where for them nature was not just something they admire, it was even sacred, and to which they pay tribute and devoted their prayers.<br>The arabian knights of the time of the crusades, they not onyl learned fighting, but also poetry, philisophy, mathetmatics and botanic. A true fighter also knew about gardenkeeping. For them, to study nature was of the same importance as fighting training,and they couldn't see one thing without the other.<br><br>Warriors being dissociated from an apreciation of nature? Only the jarheads of today would think like that. In fact, throughout history, the oposite is true, nature was an essencial part of the culture of a warrior. In that regard, and if the Na'vi of the movie AVATAR is a transpostion of the "native" cultures from Earth, then they got it quite accurate.<br><br>As for your other complains, unfortunatly the movie doesn't providde enough info for us to infer, for certain, how things are governed on arth, if there's still operational anmd indpendent national governements or if everything is just the fiefdom of corporations.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    arth = Earth

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I don't what to know how the coronel got his scars

    by AsimovLives

    His tale was enough for me. Beside,s the point is not how he got the scars, but that he decided to retain them. It's a bit of characterization, and frankly, showing it would remove part of the mystique about the character. Sometime,s and contrary to what the pseudo-pope of screenwriting Robert McKee says, sometimes things are better said then shown in movies.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 3:51 p.m. CST

    what = want

    by AsimovLives

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    asimov you are correct.check this article

    by ominus

    about the deleted Earth scenes from the movie: <p>

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Since you have been equating the human female form (which Neytiri has, no matter what you say) with that of farm animals of a porcine and equine persuasion, the only conclusion to be drawn is that you find them equally repellent. <p> Seriously, dude, if you can't see the difference between an attractive, humanoid female form and a horse or a pig, then you need some sort of therapy or medication. <p> However, you never mentioned goats in the same breath. Am I to assume then that what they say about you is true? That you enjoy being the cause of frantic bleating in your neck of the woods? <p> Baaaaaaah!!!

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Anyone who trots out the old 'Dances with Wolves/Pocahontas' parallels for the umpteenth time, as if that were some amazingly revelatory insight on their part, has no business pompously preaching to all and sundry about how stupid they are for embracing such a 'trite and implausible' story.<p> To take but one of your idiotic gripes - an apparent contradiction of the following: "a warrior culture and they are in love with all living things (in a greenish fashion), but they seem ready to kill in an instant and travel around armed to the teeth (check out those canines!)." This is truly one of the stupidest comments I have read. Did you even watch the movie? When exactly were the Na'vi ready to 'kill in an instant', except to eat or use animal hides for clothing, which was done respectfully (which the movie took great pains to show)? And you say there's a contradiction between respect for life and being a hunter and a warrior, too, or between this position and a creature being naturally omnivorous? Don't be a simple-minded fool. <p>You seem to have a great deal of trouble dealing with contradictions. Contradictions are what give a story dramatic weight. The irony of a tech heavy film championing the values of the natural world isn't lost on anyone, and certainly not James Cameron, but the story is not a luddite, anti-technological or anti-governmental one. Quite the contrary. <p> Pretentious assholes like you should examine the work more closely instead of espousing their right wing political ideals couched in the terms of talking down to others (yes, this was plainly obvious, and certainly your real beef with this movie), said others having studied the science, politics and thematics of this movie much more closely than you, as well as being far more aware of its literary and cinematic antecedents to a greater level than the lazy examples you shovelled out. Take some literary courses yourself (you know, not from the Mickey Mouse school of doctorates), and come back when you can intelligently apply the skills you have learned.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Thanks for the link, buddy. Quite enlightning.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    DocPazuzu fantasizes about men fucking pigs

    by AsimovLives

    Makes him less virgin.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 5:16 p.m. CST

    AssLives favorite movies...

    by DrMorbius

    Close Encounters of the Cabrine Kind, and The Goat Whisperer: Subjugation. ALINO

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    A message...for the twats

    by Briannicus

    After reading heaps and even more heaps of bullshit, I am inclined to offer my opinion. For starters let me hit you with some reality, Hometree does not exist, Na'Vi do not exist, Jake Sully, Quaritch, Selfridge, floating mountains, Thanators, Bansheesand even Eywa do not exist. It is a SCIENCE FICTION movie, quit trying to ANALyze everything that does not fit your perception of reality. You are the WORST type of geeks, How do the mountains float, blah, blah,'s a movie about alien stuff that really doesn't exist anyway. Sit back and enjoy the things that don't exist in the first place. btw, I thought the movie and Copernicus's articles were both excellent.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    I was going to bitch-slap Mgillesp

    by samsquanch

    but I see that task has already been adequately accomplished. hats off to you, fellas.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST


    by samsquanch

    my god... you're right! It was all made up! What a revelation! You are THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD. To take your opinion to it's next logical step though, I can imagine you arguing for not bothering to see the movie in the first place. It's made up after all, what possible worth can it have? Let me guess, you're one of those goons who thinks you're smarter than everyone else because you "prefer documentaries"

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Y'all have too much hate...

    by Jaka

    ...for each other. : ) <br><br> I got a tiiiickeeeet, I got a tiiiickeeeet... but it's for a 12:10 showing next Friday. Gah! IMAX 3D was sold out all day today and tomorrow and that's how I want to see it first. The people I'm going with can't go until next Friday. Razza frazza mumble mumble.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    For starters, your "attempt" at a sarcastic response is shall we say, less than stellar. The point you seem to have missed is I was merely saying it's sci-fi, not reality...enjoy it for what it is and quit trying to pick it apart. As far as arguing towards not seeing the movie, nah...I say go see it as long as you can accept it for what it is.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:44 p.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Actually, I thought Samsquanch's sarcastic remark was spot on. What is the point of you coming in and going to the trouble to post your useless comment? You felt that strongly that you should dictate what others talk about? Its a talkback where its obvious that most of us here are enjoying our discussion of the science that Cameron obviously spent time trying to get (at least sorta) right while also telling his story. How is that any skin off your back? And oh, its all made up? Wow, thanks Captain Obvious. You tell us to enjoy it for what it is? We are, and part of enjoying it (for us at least) is to discuss it. Call it pointless mental exercises if it make you feel better. Thanks for your wonderful addition to our dialog. Why don't you go somewhere else and enjoy the movie in your own way and we will stay here and enjoy it our way. Don't let the door slap you on the ass on your way out.

  • Dec. 26, 2009, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Avatar Novel

    by KnightBorn

    Cameron has stated just this past week that when the dust settles from the release, he plans to sit down and write the novel of Avatar. Interesting that he didnt want to have someone else write a novelization to be released at the same time as the movie, the way you more often see movie novelizations. I think he plans to really expand on the story but my fear is that we wont see it for a year. Even if he sat down today to start, can you really slap out a reasonable length novel, get it edited and published and shipped much quicker than that? We will see.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:02 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    My comments are aimed at the people who cannot enjoy the movie due to the real life restrictions they put into a "fictional alien environment" granted I'm all for discussing how things "could" theoretically work in that environment but most of those topics have been discussed ad nauseum. the horse is dead, leave it be. Final point, if you "can't" enjoy a sci-fi movie without picking it apart, then maybe you don't have any business watching it in the first place. yes, Cameron spent time trying to get the science right, I am merely stating give him credit for that, if some of it falls a bit short of the mark, cut him some slack and enjoy the movie. I'm not simply trolling here and I don't see how my comment is any more useless than anyone else's in this talkback.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:11 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    I called your comment useless because you came in, called us twats, and felt the need to dictate how others discuss a fictional movie. Get over yourself.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:16 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    And I think dissecting a movie is a sign that the movie has some real meat to it. I havent had the desire to discuss a movie in this much detail in oh......ever. I loved the movie and have enjoyed reading the opinions of others about the content (science or not) of the movie. If you dont want to join in the reindeer games, then dont.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

    The Reigndeer games are over

    by Briannicus

    I agree that the movie definitely has some meat to it, but by this time all the arguments have been recycled ad nauseum, things have degenerated into insults and stuff that has nothing to do with the film in the first place. The horse is dead, but people seem to have absolutely no qualms about flogging it.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Asimov.......there seems to have been a fair

    by southafricanguy

    amount of future Earth stuff that was filmed and left on the cutting room floor. I am positive Asimov that we will see a directors cut akin to the Abyss, and by that I mean a far superior cut...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:33 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    I used that term to those I felt it applied to, if you don't feel that it applied to you then just ignore it. Spare me your righteous indignation and get over "your"self.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Also, Asimov if you go to

    by southafricanguy

    m you will see there is an article where Cameron was asked about the other moons orbiting the gas giant (of which Pandora is just one) and he says they contain life and that they are looking at how to incororate the other moons into expanding the Avatar universe. So no matter what it seems that sequals wont be confined to Pandora...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:40 a.m. CST

    KNIGHTBORN/BRIANNICUS....come on guys

    by southafricanguy

    this talkback has been really cool so far. How about we just discuss the film instead of wasting time arguing when it seems like you are both on the same team so to speak?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:48 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    I agree, I just don't see how people can get SO worked up about "hard science" when they're discussing a sci-fi movie. Granted it does make sense to help ground it in reality but when dealing with alien races, flora/fauna and different worlds I'd say it's acceptable to have a little creative license. I mean, it never even entered into my mind to wonder why the floating mountains floated, they just did. Being analytical is a good thing, being TOO analytical maybe not so much....

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Knightborn....I think Cameron may be able to

    by southafricanguy

    do the novel faster because he has the scriptment which is so detailed and he himself said that its basically a first draft of a novel...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Then why are you here, for Christ's sake!? By all means, go away and put an end your agony from having to deal with us. Bye.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Briannicus..fair enough dude, but sometimes

    by southafricanguy

    its just fun for some people to explore the plausibility of the science, especially since Cameron is so well known for putting a lot of real scientific thought into his sci-fi films...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST

    I can't believe it

    by Briannicus

    I said reigndeer games, what is a reigndeer, are they Santa's ruling elite?? it's reindeer Briannicus, no g dammit!!!!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST

    but how Jake and Neytiri can travel to the other moons?

    by ominus

    Cameron said that the sequel movie will be about Jake and Neytiri again,not an entirely different story.and if he is going to explore the other moons with them,how on earth is he going to send them there?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:55 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    True, he wont have to waste much time outlining the story, now would he. I read the scriptment last week, it is pretty detailed. I actually fear he gets distracted and never actually writes the novel.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:57 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    And here I was attempting to be civil and you feel the need to continue being hostile, what's up with that dude??? I think I've come up with some rational points and even allowed for the option to analyze a movie, but hey...if it makes you feel better to continue attacking me then be my guest. I'm merely typing on a keyboard this little discussion we have really has no bearing in my every day life. I'm just being rational to a fault, sorry if that bothers you.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Maybe a small shuttle left at the base? I wouldnt mind seeing another exotic (but different) world. Bring it on. I do predict you will see humans again though. And I wouldnt mind seeing some footage from earth.<P>I was looking thru an Avatar guide at Barnes and Noble which had tons of art created during development of the movie and the cities on earth had a serious Blade Runner vibe. Which suits me fine, its one of my favorite movies. I dont want a full on copy of it but I am sure Cameron could find a nice balance.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    They still have human tech on Pandora, also there are a few select humans that were allowed to remain on Pandora (2 of them being scientists) it might be a stretch, but considering those factors, maybe they can find a way to travel to the other moons. Don't really have any hard science to back up my theory...sorry

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST

    and the world's coming to an end

    by Briannicus

    Knightborn and I seemed to have a similar idea.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:07 a.m. CST

    yeah i thought of that,but the Valkyrie spacecraft

    by ominus

    the one that left,is the only spacecraft which seems capable of traveling through space.and i dont think the company will leave it to the remaining humans in Pandora. <p>anyway i am sure the King will think of a sufficient solution to that.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Seriously now, anyone who calls us "twats" and "the worst kind of geeks" and then claims he is trying to be civil is hard to take seriously. I'm sorry, what exactly have you added to the discussion on the movie's science so far other than to criticize? I give up, its just not worth it.<P>I wonder if a sequel might not involve some of the other humans and avatars that were allowed to stay on Pandora. Remember from the beginning of the movie, there are a fair amount of other avatars there.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:10 a.m. CST

    and the world's coming to an end

    by KnightBorn

    We agree, Briannicus. Now I feel dirty. :-P

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:11 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    The remaining humans WERE forced to leave, I doubt they had time to collect every piece of hardware. You might be right however....maybe the Valkyrie was the only thing capable of space travel. I'm sure Cameron's got his bases covered.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    knight do you have the link to that guide?

    by ominus

    and yes it would be cool for the sequel,to see a blade runner inspired, Earth city in 3D. <p>and since we are talking about blade runner,how about replicas or synthetics in the sequel? the humans send a bigger army to conquer Pandora and one of the main army units are android soldiers like Bishop or Roy Batty.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    How many moons?

    by KnightBorn

    How many moons are there supposed to be anyway?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Avatar - An Activists Guide

    by KnightBorn

    Ominus, here you go...<P>

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:18 a.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    I liked the scene where Neytiri found Jake's crippled form and they shared an intimate moment. I agree with Knightorn about something "I" feel dirty.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Remove that space of course

    by KnightBorn

    Or just go to and search Avatar - An Activists Guide. Most of the art is in the form of paintings, sketches, computer design work. Pretty cool though and plenty of areas of Pandora not seen in the movie. The book was rather small in size though. Plenty of art but the presented in small shots. I would prefer an oversized "Art Of Avatar" type book.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:24 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    That scene is one of the best in the movie. Something so cool about her 10 foot frame, holding his human crippled body and him with his small hand on her face. "I see you". Man, that was a well done scene, might be my favorite one. "Jake, my Jake!"

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:29 a.m. CST

    knightborn....there are 13 other moons accord

    by southafricanguy

    ing to the scriptment. All in orbit around the gas giant...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST

    There are 14 moons together with Pandora

    by ominus

    more info about Avatar's universe is this well-made wikia: <p>

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Neytiri's 10 foot frame, hmmm.....

    by KnightBorn

    Oh god, maybe I have a tall woman fetish! But I married a 5'2" woman, what does this all mean!? Neytiri!<P>Shit, now I wish I had bought that Avatar guide. It was pretty cool. Presented as if its for an underground group of humans on Pandora or something. "Fight the power and here's what you need to know while you are on Pandora" sort of thing. At least thats the impression I got. I was mostly soaking in the art and didnt have but a few minutes to spend in the store so I didnt get a chance to read much from the book.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:32 a.m. CST

    there are total 20 avatars in Pandora

    by ominus

    according to the wikia.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Neytiri's 10 foot frame

    by Briannicus

    Well, you gotta admit, Neytiri is a nice looking 10 foot female cat/alien type creature

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:35 a.m. CST

    personally I dont think the ability to travel

    by southafricanguy

    between them is that difficult a problem. Maybe one of those Moons has an advanced alien race on it? Maybe they are hostile and a threat to the existence of the human race, and the RDA has to team up with the Na'vi? And they provide the spacecraft? Shit man, there are so many possiblities for this universe imho...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:37 a.m. CST


    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    here's a version of the activists guide you can look through.</p> <p>And the Pandorapedia just for fun.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:39 a.m. CST

    thanx for the links guys

    by ominus

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Have you been able to read any of the script

    by southafricanguy

    ment yet ominus?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Neytiri riding Thanator and fighting Quaritch with his mech

    by ominus

    was also very cool.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Oh..and ominus, I have the old Crusade script

    by southafricanguy

    laying around somewhere. I am actually in the process of moving. So doing a shit lot of packing. If I can locate it I will send it to you.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:45 a.m. CST

    The entire aerial battle was just damn cool imho

    by southafricanguy

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    Shit, with that link, you can pretty much look thru the entire book. Sweet. Thanks. Crazy amount of detail in this book. Now I need to buy it, dammit. And did you notice the English-Na'vi Dictionary in the back. How geeky cool is that?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:49 a.m. CST

    hey southafricanguy

    by ominus

    i havent started reading them yet,but i will do it later at noon.i will start with Spidys,because i have heard a lot of negativity about Cameron's spdier-man script,and i am curious to see whats wrong with it. <p>again many thanks for sending them.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Art of Avatar

    by KnightBorn

    I was hoping for a nice big Art of Avatar and lo and behold, there is one.<P>Looks nice, I will have to check it out.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:26 a.m. CST

    DrMorbius dreams of being fucked by a pig...

    by AsimovLives

    ... while DocPazuzu watches. So that he gets to be less virgin.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I think your problem is that you have a limited definition of SF. Like most people, you must think that Star Wars is the ephytome and the superior example of what is SF. and you couldn't be more wrong.<br><br>If AVATAR is making us talk "ad nauseum" about it and make us pick and nick every detail of it, then the movie and it's filmmakers did it's job admirably. What we are doing, this nick and pick, this is the greatest compliment anybody could make to a movie. You cna bet filmmakers feel far more satisfied with people discussing a movie like we are doing, then the more passive attitude you have. In fact, by discussing it so fervoursly, you are showing a far greater respect for the finished product then your "sensible" attitude. That's how it is.<br><br>And really, put yourself in Cameron's shoes, and tell me what you would prefer? To have a movie where people watch it and shut up about it because they don't have much to say or think about it? Or a movie which sparkles the imagination and invites debate? Tell me what you would prefer? You see the point now, friend?<br><br>Science Fiction as a genre starrted out as genre about speculation. This is why one of it's earlier names was Speculative Fiction. Contrary to the idea that such movies as Star Wars and their ilk gave to the genre, Science Fiction is indeed a genre which was first designed to sparkle ideas and speculation on it's public, to stir the imaginationand to provide a sense of wonder. In that regard, adn despiste it's flaws, Cameron suceeded admirably with the creation of his latest movie. In this regard, AVATAR is a pure Sf movie of the type that's sadly too few today. Though fortunatly, this year we got 3 of those kind, with MOON, DISTRICT 9 and the aforementionend AVATAR. And hoplefully, next year we will get another with Christopher Nolan's INCEPTION.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:41 a.m. CST

    There is no such thing as a "just SF"

    by AsimovLives

    This type of pedantic attitude toward SF only shows ignorance about the genre and a terrible lack of curiosity and imagination.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:51 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    How can Jake and the Na'vi princess can go to another moon of Polyphermus? Well, they could hitch a ride on some ballon type creature we haven't seen before. and no, don't laught, there's precedent of that in science fiction in a James Blish novel called "Midsummer Century", set 3 billions years into Earth's future, where the Sun is now a giant red, and there's so much easy acess to sun's heat that it spured life on Earth to spread everywhere, there are trees which are miles high, and some creatures became this big ballons which can reach out of the atmosphere and travel to the poon by crawling on this spiderweb-like tethers which link the Earth to the Moon, because this far in the future the Earth's rotationis now in synch to the Moon's revolution around us. Life is so spreaded out, that there's even life on the Moon too, enough to have created a thin atmosphere on it. And the space between Earth and the Moon is teemign with life, going for and back to each. A really great novel about the possibilities of the future life on Earth. You should heck it out. I bet Cameron read it once, and it migth had inspired him for AVATAR, because i see parts of the novel in it.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:58 a.m. CST

    The Valkyrie was just a shuttle

    by AsimovLives

    For orbital transport only. The thingthat did the space traveling was the larger vehicle which we first see at the begining of the movie. Even going from moon to moon would need a different space-ready vehicle specifically designed for space travel then the Valkyrie itself. Even if the travel would be "just" going from one of Polyphermus moon to the other,it's still a space travel, and one which would be larger and futher then the distance from the Earth to the Moon. It's still big distances to be considered, which a shuttlecraft designed for orbital transport can't perform.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:04 a.m. CST

    I read Cameron's Spider-Man's treatment

    by AsimovLives

    and thank goodness it was never made. It was embaracing. His version of Peter Parker would had been an anoying punk ass unlikable fuck. complain as you might about Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker you like, whatever complains you have of him would pale in comparison to what Cameron wanted Parker to be like. I would had rooted for the villains to kill Spider-Man. And he's my favorire marvel comic hero, for christ's sakes!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:06 a.m. CST

    "travel to the poon"

    by DocPazuzu

    You wish.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Hey Asimov..thanks for the interesting info

    by southafricanguy

    about that novel. Sounds like a good read.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Asimov...thats what I like about the way

    by southafricanguy

    Cameron has set up the Avatar universe with all the moons around the gas giant. It allows the universe to be expanded and for travel to other planets to take place in a plausible manner without useing "magic science" like faster than light travel imho...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Have you guys ever watched a TV shjow called ALIEN WORLDS?

    by AsimovLives

    It was a two episode TV show aired in 2005 which speculated and tried to create believable living creatures in two alien worlds different from Earth, which they called Aurelia and Blue Moon.<br>Aurelia was a planet that orbited a red dawrf, and was inspired by the real exoplanet Gliese 581 d. Blue Moon was a planet which was itself a moon that orbited a gas giant planet which itself is in a binary stellar system. It was quite fun. The show was a bit of a mixture between science fact and science fiction. And yeah, Blue Moon does kinda resemble, superficially, the Pandora of Cameron's AVATAR in that it's a moon which orbits a parent gas giant, but which suports realy big creatures like a giant type-tree organism and big flying creatures, but the similiarities end there, in that with Blue Moon they really made an effort to make the creatures really alien, and they did a plausuble scientific solutiion for why a larger creature could fly, and that's tahnsk to a thicker desner atmosphere caused by Blue Moon's higher gravity then Earth's.<br>You should check out that show, quite fun.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST

    I actualy liked Cameron's spiderman

    by southafricanguy

    scriptment. I always felt it had a more adult tone to it. Which fair enough may not have been approprite, and was nt really true to the source material. But the action was killer Asimov, and I think the way he updated/adapted things like the organic webshooters, and the changes made to Electro and Sandman were quite cool imho...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:40 a.m. CST

    asimov thax for your suggestions

    by ominus

    and i was not going to laugh with the living balloon idea.Carl Sagan in his Cosmos documentaries,he had one episode dedicated on alien life,where he described how alien lifeforms would have evolve in gas planets,and how they could be able to travel to is a youtube video from that episode: <p>

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Thanks Asimov, I will have to look that up on

    by southafricanguy

    youtube. Sounds pretty cool...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:44 a.m. CST

    And thanks Ominus...great link too..

    by southafricanguy

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:01 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I know about Carl Sagan and his biologist friend's hypothesis about ballon creatures. I saw that episode of Cosmos. When i was an early teen, i was completly hooked on Cosmos. The closest thing to going to church in my life was to watch that show, every sunday morning, back in the day. Suffice to day, i bought the DVD, and yes, it's still as good and thrilling as it was watching it back then. Pure awesomeness, delievered by only science and a scientist can.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:08 a.m. CST

    I watched Star Trek again and loved it!

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Yeah, the logic holes are still big, but you know what? So, what? It was fast paced and entertaining. I have no attachment to the original series so much, and they did take pains to say it was an alternative reality. So enjoy the movie for what it was, pure entertainment nor trying to be a well written (which it aint) intellectual exercise.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    One thing about human contact with aliens...

    by AsimovLives

    ... that i have though about is that aliens for us, and us for them, we might be inherently toxic to each other.<br><br>Some people have posit the possibility of alien deseases from outerspace, but i think that's unlikable. All our deseases are from organisms which chare one trait with us: they are also DNA/RNA based creatures. That creates a compatibility which allows a desease to recognize their host and thus infect and propagate. Deseases are host specific. An alien bacteria or virus-like creature,e ven onw which would cause deseaes in their natural world, i suspect would do nothing to us because sicne there would be absolutly no genetic compability, it wouldn't even recognize us as a compatible host, maybe not even as a living being. Even if they infected us, they wouldn't hold on, and we would sweat them out with no harm.<br>But aleins could cause us danger from another angle.<br><br>All the atoms in the universe are the same everywhere. Everything in the universe is mad eof the same atoms there is in here, on our Earth, our solar system. But the local differences would be about isotopes. Same atoms, different isotopes, due to the particularity of the local star, the birthplace of the isotopes differnciations.<br>Thus, aliens which a whole chemistry based on different isotopes would create a biology that would, in contact to us, proved poisonous. The alien creatures themselves could not be deliberatly poisonous, could had never in it's spieces history developed poison as a survival stragety, but to us, their inherent nature could be poisonous and even lethal to us even on mere contact. And we vice-versa to them.<br>I have soemtimes speculated that if we ever contacted with aliens, we could get poisoned by the mere contact. They could be poisoned by th mere contact with us. We could even get sick and die com enviromental shock if we visited their world, and the same could happen to then if they visited our world.<br>I guess that evne if in the future we encoutnered and visited a planet very much like Earth, same gravity, same atmosphere conposition and pressure, same breathable atmosphere, same general weather condictions, same clima, and the same general condictions to sutain life, we would still need to walk on it with the spacesuit on. Robs the romanticism of it, doesn't it? But it could be very well a truthful scenario.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tast es

    by AsimovLives

    They didn't take any pains to point out it's an alternative universe. They just have one single line said by Spock and that's it. and they don't even give any indication what kind of alternative universe it is, is it a paralel universe or a branch off universe? They say zip shit about it. As for the fast paced and entertaining aspects of it, i diasagree. The fuckignmovie is a bore because there is not ons single motherfucker that's likable in that shit, and i never found retardness like that shitty movie entertaining. So there! How easy it is to not like Jar Jar Abrams's SHIT TREK? VERY FUCKING EASY! TOO FUCKING EASY! All thanks to the fucking movie! There!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Asimov - I liked it, you didn't. I can live with that

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    As for no likable characters, the Green Girl is damn likable!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    No, she was sexy

    by AsimovLives

    But that's the thing about Orion Slaves Girls, right? But we never got to know her, sadly. Thanks a lot for that, Jar Jar Abrams, you fucking ass-for-sale pussy cocksucking penis-nosed motherfucker!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Well, she was not a slave girl, she was a cadet

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Who liked to fuck! I think JJ showed us a helluva lot of her!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Asimov....I must admit that upon watching

    by southafricanguy

    trek again on dvd recently, I noticed the flaws more, and I would downgrade my opnion of it. Somehow it played better on the big screen. Though I do still ultimatly like it, despite its obvious flaws...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:50 a.m. CST

    I think there is a lot of room for improvement

    by southafricanguy

    and really hope that trek xii is better. They really need a much better script imho...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Anyway.....Asimov dont you find it amazing

    by southafricanguy

    how much was "borrowed" from Cameron's spiderman scriptment? There are whole scenes that were used.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:02 a.m. CST

    southafrican -you will feel same about Avatar on DVD

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    It's flaws will be more easily seen, but so what, it will still be entertaining. <p> You can't downgrade a theatrical experience because you saw it at home. They are two different settings.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    hmm...fair enough dude, but Camerons films

    by southafricanguy

    hold up as far as Im concerned, for years imho. While the jury is still out on JJ. And if I am right about a much longer/better cut of Avatar coming our way in the future then I wont feel that way about Avatar as well....

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:27 a.m. CST

    i just read the spidy script.its cooler than i thought

    by ominus

    a lot more adult than raimi's version.i dont know how it would translate in the big screen,but i dont think it would be the crapfest as some people believe.anyway we will never find out.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:29 a.m. CST extended version of avatar is the most

    by ominus

    possible thing to the movie will look better than in the theatrical release.time will tell.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:47 a.m. CST

    That is what was said about Watchmen

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    And the extended LOTR did not improve it one bit, just made the damn thing longer.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:51 a.m. CST

    The DC of the Abyss improved it alot.the same can be

    by ominus

    said about Aliens,which gave the maternity side of Ripley (the scene where she finds out that her daughter is dead,was ommited in the theatrical version) thus the relationship with Newt had a deeper meaning.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 10 a.m. CST

    This is Camerons movie, do you really think he did not get a DC?

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    I mean come on, a DC is just a way to get suckers to buy more DVD's (after the bought the theatrical version first). <p> Yeah, maybe some DC's are better, but this is Cameron's $300,000,000 movie, Do you really think anyone told him what to leave out? <p> The DC will only be xtras he didn't like at first. <p> If you did not like the movie the first time (I liked it btw) then the DC will not change your mind.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Abyss DC became a cult favourite in the VHS market

    by ominus

    although it had flopped in the theaters. <p>and the King didnt cut things he didnt like.he cut things in order to trim the movie down to 2h40m which is the maximum length for movies played in IMAX theaters,while maintaining a concrete story. <p>in fact since we are talking about an expensive,heavily cgi made movie,i find it a bit weird to sit down and use time and money,in order to render scenes,which you are not going to like.thats one of the main reasons he created the real-time motion capture camera,in order to see how the scenes translates in cgi in real time.if he didnt like the scene while filming it with the camera,why he should render it and then omit it from the final cut? <p>btw some mentioned that the final cut was 40M longer than the theatrical,and if thats true,then its obvious that he didnt just cut small scenes of no interest,but parts which seem to complete the movie more.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Ok, fine you can believe that

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    But I watched the LOTR DC and it was boring as fuck - cgi renders and all. Sometimes a fish is just a fish. <p> And as for wasting money on scenes not to be shown, uh this is Cameron, that is what he does. So did Chaplin.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:16 a.m. CST

    i dont care about the LOTR DC since it doesnt

    by ominus

    have the last part of the book,which was the whole point of the whole three books ffs.and give me examples where the King filmed big scale scenes which he didnt use,not because of external factors,but simply because he didnt like them. <p>btw now that we are discussing it,is there any DC release of Titanic?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Quartich couldnt give a fuck about your problems

    by ominus <p>haha

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    LOTR Extended Cut

    by KnightBorn

    Boring as fuck? To me the extended versions are the only real versions from here on out. If you love the material, sometimes you just cant get enough. Did you like the theatrical versions but not the extended or did you just not like them regardless? <P>While I love action I also like slower sections of film if it adds to the story. Something has to be a complete side tract to the main storyline to really bore me (I am looking at you Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Avatar Extended Cut

    by KnightBorn

    You are correct, obviously Cameron had the final say on the theatrical cut but, as has been mention before, he still understands there are time constraints you have to deal with for theatrical cuts (IMAX or otherwise) that you dont with a DVD. At home, we can create our own intermissions and usualy dont mind the extra time involved because you are now at home, sitting in your comfy chair, drinking your favorite tasty drink. <P>Regardless of time constraints, an extended cut DVD inherently has a more forgiving audience, don't you think? It is being purchased by viewers who want more and will likely be pleased to see it. Sure there are some who buy an extended cut not realizing what they have and will find said movie too long and drawn out but aren't most extended cut DVDs getting into the hands of those who have likely already seen the theatrical cut, liked it and now want even more?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    AssLives........Home Run

    by DrMorbius

    First Base: He FINDS the 'just right' Goat<P>Second Base: He FELLATES said Goat with a vengeance<P>Third Base: The Goat FUCKING, his especiality!<P>Home Plate: Let the FELCHING begin.<P>Way to hit it out of the park ALINO!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:22 p.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    I liked the theatrical version of LOTR just fine. What I did not like or need about the DC was endless shots of Cate Blanchetts forehead.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    I can't prove Cameron shot action sequences and left them out. But you can't prove he did unless you have access that most of us do not.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST

    why should i prove that he did????

    by ominus

    whats the point? whenever there were scenes he didnt include in the movie,we get them in the DC versions or the dvd extras.thats why i asked about Titanic,we should get a DC version if he had filmed extra big scale scenes,but he seems he didnt.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Cause you said

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    "give me examples where the King filmed big scale scenes which he didnt use," <p> Neither of us can prove it one way or other

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    jesus. i repeat thats why i asked about Titanic

    by ominus

    dont you get it? if there were indeed deleted ,big and important scenes in his films,wouldnt have already got them in his DC versions,which he released? <p>he added to his DC versions (T2,Abyss,True Lies) mall scenes,but not bigger ones although he supposedly had filmed them? think about it. there is nothing to prove on that part,only the opposite one,the one you claim to be.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Balloon creatures, cut scene?

    by Ms_Muffet

    Did you all notice what the Na'vi used as lights in their Hometree village?<P>The scene where Jake is newly dressed as a Na'vi and he is uncomfortable with the 'wedgie' you will see the air(?) sacs of the ballon like creatures that were not included in the film positioned here and there to be sources of light.<P>I only noticed them after seeing an artistic rendering of them in some Avatar Art from the movie.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Wow, Avatar is now 615 million World Wide?

    by Ganymede3001

    Holy fuck. That's impressive.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:52 p.m. CST

    by Anything But Tangerines

    that's 2 weeks. that's scary as hell. that's a 2-billion picture.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Ominus, are you just dense or stupid?

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    You posted THIS "and give me examples where the King filmed big scale scenes which he didn't use,not because of external factors,but simply because he didn't like them. <p> btw now that we are discussing it,is there any DC release of Titanic? " <p> Hello? We were talking about DC cuts and scenes and you came out of the blue and asked me to show you an example of where he didn't use a certain type of scene in a DC, and I said I could not show that (because i do not have access to Camerons thinking or film) but I also said that you couldn't show me an example where he did. Because neither of us know what is left on the fucking cutting room floor. <p>Neither of us know what the director filmed and decided for reasons known only to him, not to show.<p> Every fucking director leaves scenes on the cutting room floor.<p> Every fucking director shoots scenes he later decides he does not like or need.<p> Learn how to fucking read what you wrote your damn self, before you question what I am saying.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Ms Muffet

    by KnightBorn

    Nice catch, I saw that too and thought of the hydrogen filled balloon creatures from the scriptment.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    yeah Ms Muffet you are right

    by ominus

    i am watching the scene in the cam version right now,and indeed there are these luminous balloon-like creatures.nice catch ms muffet. <p>Hey_Kobe_: whatever man.peace.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tast es

    by ominus

    whatever man.peace.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    It is as Ominus says. Cameron cut the scenes for two reasons - one to meet the requirements of IMAX (something I hope IMAX theaters rectify in future) and two, because he wasn't sure how long an audience could be comfortable seeing a movie in 3D (which has proved to be an unfounded worry). He mentions the longer cut specifically in his interview with Charlie Rose, and it's mentioned in many other articles and interviews. <p>The existing cut is already a great movie, but as with The Abyss a DC could turn it from great into a near masterpiece. And yes, the LOTR extended cuts were superior, especially TTT and ROTK.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Regarding action scenes cut

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    There is already evidence of this -Cameron specifically mentions the sturmbeest stampede (which was supposed to be Jake's final test in his initiation into the Na'vi culture) in an interview with MTV, and again in the Charlie Rose interview he states something that I already suspected - that the final battle had a lot of stuff trimmed therein, making a decision to focus on only the main participants. The raid on Hell's Gate from the scriptment - no idea if this was filmed; could have been.<p>That's in addition to the expanded earth beginning, possible creature eliminations, character subplots (Norm and Trudy relationship, etc.), and a lot of scientific and political backstory.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    I think the extended cuts of LOTR were garbage for the most part. I have no problem with backstory or dialogue, I do have a problem with unnecessary filler. <p> How much you want to bet that the theatrical Avatar gets released before the DC? I see nothing but a cynical attempt to get even more money. <p> I doubt the DC improves the movie because the story is still highly derivative and unoriginal. He can add more whiz bang action, but he can't do squat to improve the story itself. <p> I aint a hater, I liked it, but it was not the end all be all as some breathless TB'ers on here can't help themselves but to fap to.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Would love to see the medusae

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    especially in the aerial battle at the end. As well as the slingers, slinths, stingbats, hellfire wasps, and other creatures that were left out.<p>Also, that Spider-man scriptment would have been far better than Raimi's version, in my opinion. To be honest, I think Cameron wrote many versions of Spider-man that we don't even know about, not just the leaked rough draft (there is also another leaked script that bears his name along with that of other writers; apparently it's a fake, and it certainly doesn't read like a Cameron script in tone or style) - of course, Arnold was even mooted as Dock Ock in one of his possible versions. Cameron's version was dark, and had a lot of freudian stuff in it that was more influenced by Salvador Dali and Franz Kafka than a colorful comic book film. Vis a vis strange nightmare sequences before Peter turns into Spider-man, and a lot more playing up of the idea of the spider powers being a metaphor for a geek having a late puberty and coming into his physical and even sexual prowess. But crucially, I remember him also being more true to the material in having Spider-man have a sense of humor and crack jokes - something that's almost totally absent in Raimi's earnest depiction of Parker.<p>BTW, has anyone read Cameron's Bright Angel Falling script (co-written with Peter Hyams)? Pretty good, and you will see that Armageddon and Deep Impact were the bastard offspring off this script - quite literally so. When Fox refused to pony up the budget, the script was sold to Disney, and both they and Dreamworks cannibalized it into the two shitfests that were released. Michael Bay is even more the idiot polar negative of Cameron than we thought. Bright Angel reads like the best parts of both movies with none of the cheese, stupid humor, stereotypes of non-US characters, and illogical, mindless action that weighed down the others.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    all the stories are unoriginal

    by ominus

    thats my opinion

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:52 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

    Double Dipping is pretty much the norm now when it comes to DVD marketing. The only ways to fight it are: Wait till all versions are available, then purchase the one you like best, or don't buy any of them.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Of course the theatrical cut will get released

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    on DVD/Blu Ray before the director's cut - it will take a while to get all that extra footage completed up to the same standards of effects as the rest of the movie, though Avatar's box office grosses will serve as a nice source of finance to do so.<p>I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the 'derivative' or so-called 'unoriginal' nature of Avatar doesn't mean squat as to the quality of the actual storytelling and characterization itself. A DC WILL strengthen some of the character arcs, and flesh out some of the supporting chracters that were given short shrift, as well as improving the pacing, focus, emotional weight and thematics of the story.<p>And the LOTR cuts were far from filler - the stuff that was cut was, in some cases, absolutely essential, and PJ erred badly in dumping a lot of it.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    Kobe, here's a thought

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    If you think it's all just a cynical cash-in, then how about you hold out until the DC is eventually released? Or just buy the initial theatrical DVD, and then not bother about the DC? With LOTR, I simply didn't bother to purchase the theatrical DVD's since I knew the extended editions would be coming anyway. No one is forcing you at gunpoint to do anything. <p>I'll repeat - I am more than happy with the cut of Avatar as is - if that's all we were to get, I would be fine with that. But I DO want a DC for the above reasons, and I'm more than happy to shell out twice (or even thrice when the polarized 3D blu-ray version comes a-courting). Jim Cameron isn't holding my dog to ransom or anything.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Asimovlives, regarding sci-fi

    by Briannicus

    I actually have a very broad view of the subject, my point is that the same things have been argued time and again with absolutely "zero" resolution. One of the biggest points of contention were the Hallelujah Mountains and how they were able to float. Well the first Youtube clip from this site seems to wrap up the issue quite nicely Really the biggest problem for me are the people who can't enjoy the movie because they absolutely NEED to understand the science behind everything presented within. I don't recall the same kind of things happening in the District 9 talkbacks (D9 is just one example) No one thought to ask what kept the Spaceship aloft over Johannesburg, nor did anyone begin to speculate about The Prawn or how their "fuel" effected the human anatomy. More often then not people just went along for the ride and enjoyed the movie.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    2 scientific questions please:

    by ominus

    <p> exactly the world is viewed through the Navi eyes? do they perceive the physical world like our cats do or humans do? or in an entirely different way? <p>2.If the Navi eyes perceive the physical world in a different,non-human,way,shouldnt that be a major problem for Jake? apart from the first scene where he had trouble getting up with his navi body,there was no indication that he had any kind of problem while using his alien eyes. <p>i ask just from curiosity,not that i have a problem with the above things.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    LOTR Extended Cut / Deep Impact

    by KnightBorn

    That "filler" you speak of came from Tolkien's books. If it was good enough for him to include in the story, its good enough for me.<P> Armageddon was an insult to my brain but I kind of liked Deep Impact. No award winner certainly but I liked it enough to buy the DVD.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Assimov, a class 2 or 3 civilization would be non-biological.

    by Ganymede3001

    Why would a highly advance life form retain it's delicate biological structure when it possesses the technological prowess to create more durable and efficient body parts? I've read futurists like Ray Kurzweil postulate that our M.R.I technology would advance to the point where we'll be able to successfully map all 5 regions of the human brian, and duplicate it neuron for neuron and store on a mainframe computer. The probability of us encountering an Alien life-form who retains their original evolutionary biochemistry is extremely low. So I don't think alien diseases or pathogens would factor in the equation. Cameron was dead on with the idea of Avatar. If we were ever visited by an Alien being, it would be in the form of a Human avatar with the consciousness of the Alien being. This will be done for psychological reasons since Humans wouldn't be able to tolerate the fact that we're not at the top of the evolutionary food chain(besides the scientifically inclined).

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Tolkein wrote about long closeups of Cate Blanchetts Forehead?

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Nah, I think you are confusing that forehead with Tom Bombadil.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    This is merely conjecture on my part, but I believe that the Na'Vi would have a similar visual process, Considering the planet is infused with bioluminescent (flora/fauna etc) There might be a slight difference. I think that it's close enough for the people piloting the Avatars to be able to adapt quickly to the change.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Cate Blanchetts Forehead

    by KnightBorn

    Yeah, you're right, the extra 50 minutes of material WAS entirely made up of long closeups of Cate Blanchetts forehead, my bad.<P>Regardless of whether the dvd is an extended cut or not, I cant wait to have the ability to pause the movie contstantly just to appreciate the imagery. Almost every frame of Avatar, at least the Pandora environment stuff, is a piece of art. The depth of detail is astounding and I am sure there is TONS of cool geeky stuff there we havent even noticed yet.<P> And if that detail oriented, nit picky style of appreciation for this movie annoys anyone, you can suck it. Stop complaining about how someone else appreciates or discusses a movie. I can respect different opinions on the movie, I dont care if you like the movie or hate the movie. But I have little tolerance to those that simply hate the fact we are actually debating this stuff. If it annoys you, why are you still reading this talkback?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Na'vi Sunglasses

    by KnightBorn

    I loved the little touch that when flying, Neyteri had sunglasses/goggles made from the semitransparent wings of some insect. I didn't notice it the first time but did on the second viewing. Nifty.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Ganymed now that you mentioned it

    by ominus

    all myths and religions have some degree of truth in them.Avatar is an idea conceived by the Hindu people.i wonder if those incarnations of the their gods,was in reality the physical incarnations of a more advanced alien-forms who visited earth thousands of years ago.yeah i know,way too far-fetched but i like the idea of our ancestors meeting aliens in the past.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Avatar $617M so far

    by jsscript2007

    Number one at the box office this weekend.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    The world as the Na'vi see it

    by Ms_Muffet

    Ominus, very interesting thought. I have wondered the same thing and I think back to when I had my eyes 'lasered' to correct my astigmatism. Maybe it's not a good example, but aside from everything being sharply in focus (I see better than I did with my glasses) the COLORS just popped and I will never forget that. Too bad something like that was not showcased when Jake goes outside in his avatar form that first time.<P>Now I do remember some talkbacker's have said that there was a scene that was filmed/cut with Jake looking around at the forest from his point of view. Hopefully it will be included in a DC and contain some eyeporn goodness.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You should see the movie with the audio comentary on. You would like it even less, and the filmmakers who made it.<br><br>As for improvement, only if you call adding more dumb stupid shit an improvement. Which the hack team of Orci, Kurtzman and Jar Jar, things can't get better.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tast es

    by AsimovLives

    All LOTR movies improved a lot with the extended versions. Even the one i liked the least, THE RETURN OF THE KING, became a much better movie in my eyes. No, in this you are wrong, the LOTR movies ARE the extented cuts, far supeior to the theatrical cuts. Once seen, you will not want substitutes. In fact, i found the Extended Cuts of all the LOTR movies to be LESS BORING, to flow more quickly, to be more immersive expreiences. Becasue for me, it's not the lenght of a movie that counts, but the story it tells. And some stories DEMANDS to have greater lenghts. Like ALL of the LOTR movies. Sorry, but on this you missed oput, friend. You really don't know what you are losing. And really, you should look into it, because the way i see it, you get bored too easily. You shouldn't blame the movies for that. You know what was the latestest most boring movie i saw? Transformers 2, despiste all that super-fast over-edited hysterical editing. You know why? Becasue the story was shit, the characters were shit, everything was shit from start to end. That is what truly makes a movie boring.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    DC of Titanic will never exist

    by AsimovLives

    Cameron says so in the DVD of Titanic. He says he once toyed with the idea, but in the end he felt it would be a diservice to all the fans of the movie, and really, the movie is now whow it was when it went to the theaters. He feels there's really no important things to add with the delected scenes, and he only included them in the DVd merely as curiosities and for people to understand his though process when he first came up with the story and how later he reassembled the movie.<br><br>A DC of Titanic will never happen. Said so by the man himself.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    No friend it is you who are wrong in this. LOTR extended was boring. I don't have a short attention span, I love long involved movies that re paced well and tell a great story. Say what you will about Avatar, but I was never bored even as long as it was. But the LOTR extended bored me because it included totally unnecessary shit. Fellowship was an awesome movie in the theater. But all that crap in the woods with Cate Blanchetts forehead in the extended version, just killed all the momentum. Yes, I like some action scenes being fluffed out. I like character development being enhanced, but how the hell did more Cate Blanchett in Fellowship equal a better movie? And yes, that is only one instance that I keep harping on, because Fellowship was damn near a perfect movie in the theater, but it was fucked with the extended version.<p> Just blows me away, that fans who screamed when Lucas altered Star Wars and Speilberg altered E.T that they would meekly accept LOTR being altered. And a DC is an alterartion. <p> Some might like it better. I'll bet some liked Star War's alteration better as well, does not make it right. <p> You keep your opinion, and that is all that it is your opinion, and I'll keep mine.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Hydrogen ballon creatures

    by AsimovLives

    Seems everybody loves them, Cameron included. One of the earlier examples of such creatures in a fictional story i can remember reading was in Frederik Polh's story JEM. That novel is also about the negative of human colonization of an alien world, and how it drives it to a global war once unheard of in that alien planet. Something says that Caemron also read it, since he's a m,ajor geek of classic SF, he certainly knows quite well who Frederik Pohl is. In fact, is ee much of Cameron's anti-corporation attitude pretty in tune and most certainly inspired by Pohl's books like "The Space Merchants" (a great classic, anybody who cals himself a SF fan should check it out).

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    KnightBorn, flight goggles

    by Ms_Muffet

    Now that you mention it, I was wondering what the hell that visor thing was and then I'd get distracted by the amazing flight scenes. Thanks for that excellent observation!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    If the LOTR mvoies have a problem is that...

    by AsimovLives

    ... they don't have enough Cate Blanchett. There's no such thing as too much Cate Blanchett.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    goggles? i though they were forhead pieces

    by AsimovLives

    you know, like the japanese samurai once used in battle. Many times they didn't had full helmets, they had this forehead piece which served as a head shield. That's where i took those head pices for that you call goggles. I mean, the influence is obvious, like, The Seven Samurai, since Cameron if a fan of that movie.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    There is a scene when we see the forest though Jake's subjective point of view with him in his Avatar form, and it's right before he encounters the hammerhead rhino. And from what we see in the movie, his vision as an Na'vi Avatar is exactly the same as a human, he sees the same spectrum of light as a human.<br><br>A possible explination for why it's so is conversion. I explain:<br><br>If Polyphermus, Pandora's parent planet, orbits Alpha Centuari B, it makes sense the Na'vi would see the same as us, because that star emits light of the same bandwave as our sun, it is a star of the same colour. As such, it means it emits it's most light in the bandwave lenght of the visible spectrum of life. Since that is where most light is produce, that's the reason we see in that bandwave lenght, our eyes explore the most abudant type of light there to use for vision. Probably the same thing would happen for the intelligent race of Pandora. THe exploring of the same strategies in different settings and enviroments by two unrelated living beings is called convergence, and is seen in nature very often. This is also one of the reasons that suport some people to think that if life exists outside Earth and in similiar enviroments to our own, then life wouldn't be too different nor would find too different strategies to evolve and thrive.<br<br>Now, IF Polyphermus actually orbits Alpha Centuri A, then things could had been differently, because that star emits light more on the white coulour band. And things get even more complicated if Polyphermus orbits BOTH Alpha Centuari A and B, as in, it would orbit the twin star system of Alpha Centuri AB. As a trivia note, so far no llanets have been detected orbiting any or both the stars of the Alpha Centauri AB system.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    If Polyphermus orbits Alpha Centuri A, things became complicated, since that star produces more light on the white colour band. How eyes evolved to explore that star's light would evolve and what kind of vision would produce, i don't know. And things get even more complicated if Polyphermus orbited both Alpha Centauri A and B, or better said, the twin star system Alpha Centauri AB.<br><br>As trivia, so far no planet has been found orbiting any or both the stars of the star system Alpha Centauri AB.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Avatar box offcie sucess

    by AsimovLives

    The more pressing question is: has it surpassed Transformers 2 box office?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Kobe... FOTR extended

    by Ms_Muffet

    Do you mean the extended gift giving scene? In the Fellowship, it is an iconic part of that book, especially given the significance of Galadriel's gift to Gimli and his bold request of it. If you understood that particular part of the extended scene then I believe you would cease to harp on its inclusion. And by harping on it tells me you don't know the importance of it which is fine if you are not a fan of Tolkien's works. Yes, it slowed down the momentum of the film but it was a welcome addition to the fans of the books.<P>Being that there is the theatrical version that you said is "...damn near perfect", you should be happy with that and let the fans of the book have theirs 'perfect' version.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:47 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You are taking all that Civilization Class system as if it's some big verified truth. Thing is, we do not know of any civilization other then our own, and we can't even predict what will the direction we will take in the future. so, frankly, for am, all that talk about Civilizations class one, two and three is a bit nonsense, really. And who's to say that civilizations wouldn't grow MORE BIOLOGICAL? Turn machines into organic entities? Even right now, many advanced technological machiens liek compures,a dn even the desgin of cars and ships and airplanes are taking inspiration form the natural world and copying it's strategies, computers are being designed to imitate the neurological structures of our brains, and robots are made to learn and evolve in similiar process that animal cubs are, try trial and error instead of full programming. If anything, civilizations might progress to become MORE BIOLOGICAL.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    i dont think so it will manage to surpass TF2

    by ominus

    after all Avatar is a new,original franchise.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives - Jake's POV

    by Ms_Muffet

    Yeah great scene, but I was hoping for more, more, more!<P>Your analysis of how the Na'vi visually perceive their environment seems reasonable. Besides, the visuals of this film as it is is eyepoppingly stunning.<P>After some thought, I think a different view of the forest through the Na'vi eyeball would have been over the top for us humans.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives -goggles

    by Ms_Muffet

    If you look closely at the 'goggles', they have insect wings for the eyepieces.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I didn't noticed that detail. Insect wings? Icky!!!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Ms Muffet

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes

    Owing to the fact that I do not have the power to remove the 'fans' version, I think you are quite safe to enjoy whatever you damn well please, just as I am.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Hey Kobe...

    by Ms_Muffet

    I am very thankful that you have no such power. :)

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:47 p.m. CST

    yeah she wears goggles made of insect wings

    by ominus

    here is a pic with that: <p>

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Ms Muffet

    by Hey_Kobe_Tell_Me_How_My_Ass_Tastes


  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Science is only theory

    by strosmer

    Just sayin'

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:16 p.m. CST

    strosmer, yes, science is theory, in that...

    by AsimovLives

    ... it's based on proved, verified fact. And it's not based on invented dogmatic bulslhit. So, yeah, science is just theory, as in, only what's proved to be true. So, you got that right, but not in the way you intented.<br><br>I fucking love the ignorance of the anti-science morons. Always good for a laught.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Sigh, Asimov, we're not getting more biological..

    by Ganymede3001

    <p>I agree that from an engineering standpoint inventors have always drew their inspiration from the natural world. However, to say that we're becoming more biological is tom-foolery. Humans have become exponentially more intimate with their machines... Communication, transportation, entertainment, and manufacturing has largely become non-biological. As for human intelligence, within 100 years a large segment of it will primarily be non-biological, due to the advances in nano-technology, bio-tech, and artificial intelligence. As for class 1,2,3 civilizations. That's a term that's widely used by some of the best minds in Science and Astrophysics. And please don't give me the "we haven't verified that there's Alien civilizations bullshit".</p> As you stated, the building blocks of life is abundant throughout the universe. Also, Scientists have also discovered earth like planets that can support liquid water. And we all know where's there's water there's life.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    the insect wing goggles

    by Maniaq

    I thought they were to keep bugs and dirt particles from smashing into your eyes at high speed - try riding a motorbike at speed without some kind of protection for your eyes - even if nothing gets in them, the wind factor alone dries them up to the point where it becomes hard to actually see well...<p> Brianicus, I think your forgetting something - KILLING IS PERFECTLY NATURAL - happens all the time IN NATURE - there's nothing contradictory about being in touch with the natural world and knowing your place in the food chain. Besides, don't you remember the scene when Neytiri first meets Jake and scolds him because they had to kill those wolf creatures for no good reason? <p> Also, hate to single you out here, dude, but you mentioned the floating mountains. Someone above said Cameron had consulted an expert who told him the level of magnetism required to make the mountains float would tear you apart because of the iron in your blood - but he decided to put them in, anyway... <p> Discussion about the mountains pretty much stopped at that point. <p> Somenody asked how the Romance angle hurts the movie - I would say it hurts the movie by inviting inevitable comparisons to movies like Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves - ultimately these comparisons reduce the impact of the film on audiences who prefer to keep a shallow perspective of the film (I have no problem with such audiences btw). <p> HOWEVER it was pointed out part of Cameron's inspiration for the film was John Carter of Mars and I will concede the Princess of Mars was an important feature in that story. To make another unfounded Star Wars comparison, you can't be inspired by Hidden Fortress and leave out the princess... <p> DNA - you don't need it to hurt us biologically. If memory serves, the alien spores in Andromeda Strain didn't have DNA and they were pretty deadly? Heavy particles like Gamma radiation smash right through your cells and corrupt your DNA in the process, thus causing Cancer and Mutation... <p> someone asked if the ducted tiltrotor design of the ornithopters was theoretically possible - now bear in mind Pandora has a reduced gravity (and arguably reduced atmospheric pressure) - but the X-22 flew until the project was cancelled in the 1960's - <p> <p> there are plenty of non-ducted tiltrotor VTOL aircraft, like the V-22 Osprey - and even tiltWING aircraft, which have better vertical lift, due to less wind resistance from the wings - <p> <p> arguably, less like the design of the ornithopters, tho... the ducts MAY HAVE been a modification specifically for Pandora's flying conditions, or I could just be getting too technical about a fictional world, now ;)

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Oh My Science!

    by strosmer

    Anti-science? Not so, good sir. Not so at all. But I merely question its authority.

  • in science and mathematics a "theory" is something that has been PROVEN - otherwise it is merely a "hypothesis" until it can be proved (or disproved) <p> HAVING SAID THAT (wink to Larry David) Kurt Gödel has shown that there are infinitely many statements in the language of the theory that share the property of being true but unprovable - just to fuck with your head a little...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    Better Pic of the insect goggles / Pressure

    by KnightBorn<P>As for atmospheric pressure, there is more to it than simply gravity. I think I recall that Avatar - An Activist Guide book that we were talking about last night said gravity on Pandora was .8 Earth gravity and atmospheric pressure was 1.2. Together that would make for some good flying conditions, by animal or machine.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by Ms_Muffet

    My brain just exploded ;P

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:56 p.m. CST

    shit, Avatar has had an only 2.6% drop from

    by southafricanguy

    its first week. Thats fucking incredible. Where is Ash williams, fass tass etc.. now? Where are these arrogant cunts now who went on for months how this would bomb, and have a major second week drop? Now I can say, suck it! And fuck you ash williams, fuck you and your completely wrong, arrogant "predictions".....And sorry dannydickblood, but you were W..R..O..N..G!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Asimov, here's a great read you'll thoroughly enjoy.

    by Ganymede3001

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Atmospheric Pressure

    by KnightBorn

    From the book here it claims Pandoras mass as .72 of earth, gravity at .8, atmospheric density as being 1.2 of earths and surface atmospheric pressure as 1.1. Thicker atmosphere as the cause of the increased pressure regardless of the lighter gravity. Fine by me, I dont claim to know if thats possible or not. Less gravity could mean loss of atmosphere into space, yes? Heavier elements in Pandoras atmosphere maybe? Curious about research Cameron did in this aspect.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    oH, if anyone wants to know, over at market

    by southafricanguy, it appears Cameron has confirmed to the LA times that Avatar sequals will be taking place off Pandora, and that the other Moons will be explored....

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    With all due respect, Maniaq,

    by strosmer

    the word means what I meant, as well as what you described. It has several definitions, and for the context I intended, I did use it correctly. I'm reiterating something I once read. But I'm also questioning that authority too. I'll look up Kurt Godel. Sounds like good stuff. Thanks for the lead.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST


    by KnightBorn

    great news, another chance for Cameron and crew to create exotic locales. Sweet. Think we will still be following the Na'vi? Jake and Neyteri?

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    the huge box office for Avatar is a very good thing

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Both for Cameron - who now has the freedom to make the sequels in the fashion he desires and take even more risks - and for blockbuster movies in general. Maybe studios will be apt to take a gamble on original properties more often now.<p>And I concur - fuck Ash_Williams, Refutethehype, fat ass cunt, mr dck (head), spazatronik, joshua valance, reportabuse, spunk munk, and other shit talkers. I hope they've all slit their wrists by now. What lame cunts they are.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST


    by Briannicus

    I never said anything about killing so I think you may have targeted the wrong talkbacker. Ok, in real life maybe the hallelujah mountains aren't the most plausible idea, but I did provide a link that has the science explained from the "movie's" point of view.)

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Hey turd, whats up dude? Exactly, where

    by southafricanguy

    are these arrogant, full of shit lame cunts now? Funny how silent they are. I guess they are all too busy finger banging their mothers at the trailer park...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    southafricanguy, they were all mouth and nothing to back it up

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    You should see that wookie1972 idiot over in the Harry thread. Sounds like he's practically ready to hang himself because Cameron wasn't humbled. Really pathetic.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Yeah Turd, its just hilarious at this point. You

    by southafricanguy

    really just can only laugh at how pathetic some of these people are. All the arrogant predictors have been proven so damn wrong, and are all now nowhere to be seen (hopefully nerdrage, mr dick and ash williams have all slit their wrists or hanged themselves). And the best thing is that we will now get more Avatar films, so it will just piss them all off even more lol...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Link to a preview of Avatar book

    by Teddy Artery

    Just take out the spaces that are always added automatically to links posted here:

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Well, Nerd Rage and Ash Williams were one and the same

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    He even admitted it to me in one of the other threads. As for the others, yep, I doubt we'll see them again, or maybe that's just wishful thinking. Just wait till Cameron's next movie is announced, and the whole charade will start all over again. <p>What do you think that movie will be - Battle Angel, Avatar 2, The Dive, or something else? I expect it be announced in a month or two. Personally, I'd like to see BA before Avatar 2 just to get both series of the ground, though I don't want to wait another 5 years for an Avatar sequel either!

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Teddy Artery

    by KnightBorn

    Thats a guide to Pandora that we were talking about in this thread earlier. Saw it at Barnes and Noble, pretty cool. Mostly the same info that is available online on the Pandorapedia site, though.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Asimov Lives, about that book you mentioned...

    by kisskissbangbang

    ...I'm afraid you've confused it with another. Midsummer Century by Blish is set in the far future, but there's no spiderwebs to the moon in it, or the other things you mentioned. Those are in a series of short stories by Brian Aldiss that appeared in F&SF in the early Sixties, and were collected as The Long Afternoon of Earth the first time, then republished much later as Hothouse. They won a Hugo (1962, I think)after their first appearance. They also were ripped to shreds for lousy science by...James Blish, oddly enough, in one of his critical essays in The Issue At Hand. No animosity, by the way; just a friendly correction. We all mix stuff up sometimes, and I appreciate your wide reading in the field.

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Turd...yeah that makes sense. They were both

    by southafricanguy

    retarded, so it must have been the same idiot. AS you say cant wait for all the arrogant loser cunts to crawl out the woodwork for his next film making the same pathetic predictions...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST not sure to be honest, but

    by southafricanguy

    personaLLY i dont give a shit about the dive. I want Cameron to stick with sci-fi for now as he has been away from it for so long. So im cool with either BAA or Avatar 2. Objectively, I beleive that given the huge Aavatar is proving to be, I think its very possible that Cameron may just get nagged/pressured by Fox to jump straight into making the next Avatar....

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Ominus....Im right there with you pal, I really

    by southafricanguy

    dont know why Cameron's spiderman scriptment get s a bad rap, its quite cool imho, and would have made a very different, and more adult Spidey film thats for sure....

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Saw it yesterday....Fucking wow!

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    This is now my favorite sci-fi of the decade, just pipping Sunshine and District 9. Thankyou James Cameron...

  • Dec. 27, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST

    KIGHTBORN....we will absolutely follow

    by southafricanguy

    jake and neteryi because Cameron has said so, and Worthington and Saldana are both signed for sequals. I think Cameron clearly intends to create an expanded universe where he will introduce new characters, planets, locations etc....For me the big question is who, or what, will become the main villain in these films? I cant see it being only the RDA. Personally I hope there is a hostile/aggressive and advanced alien race on one of those other moons.....

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 12:09 a.m. CST


    by Maniaq

    sorry dude, did indeed mix you up with another talkbacker - mgillesp <p> my bad

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Re: Turd

    by Arbifax

    "There is already evidence of this -Cameron specifically mentions the sturmbeest stampede (which was supposed to be Jake's final test in his initiation into the Na'vi culture) in an interview with MTV, and again in the Charlie Rose interview he states something that I already suspected - that the final battle had a lot of stuff trimmed therein, making a decision to focus on only the main participants. The raid on Hell's Gate from the scriptment - no idea if this was filmed; could have been." Attack on Hells Gate was filmed (or at least partially filmed) See this B-Roll footage for filming of what can only be an attack on Hell's Gate later in the film: Supposedly the film was as long as 4 hours at some point, and 3 hours prior to the final cut. There was definitely A LOT cut out.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 5:33 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    "And we all know where's there's water there's life."<br><br>Let's really hope so. I'm one of the supporters of the notion that life is actually abundant in the universe, and all it needs is just the smallest chances, it will emerge. Yet, sometimes, i fear that the pessimists might be into something.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    And there must be a problem with the link you provided, since it doesn't open.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 5:37 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Science is not about authority. anybody who would know a mimimum about it shouls know that. Science is about knowldedge, and about putting the harshest litmus tests to seperate the falsehoods from legit knowledge. If you are atempting to try to equate science with any type of faith, give up dude, that would be stupid. Very fucking ignorant and very fucking stupid.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 5:50 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You are absolutly right,I did mistake the two books, Midsummer Century with The Long Afternoon of Earth. And for some reason, i keep mistaking Brian Aldriss with James Blish, for absolutly unforgivable reasons. And i read both books, by the way. Thanks for calling my attention to my mistake.<br><br>But still, i can't recoment both books enough. and for all the Avatar fans, specially "The Long Afternoon of Earth", they would really like it. One ofthe greatest visions of a wild future Earth ever comited in SF.<br><br>And i really like to see another fellow talkbacker well versed in classic SF and knows his important classics. Certauinly you make a difference in this den of villainrly where for most of the people here, SF starts and ends with Star Wars. Which, as a SF fan, i find it pretty depressing.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 5:54 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    You and your fellow Avatar fans must feel so vindicated. Well, i can't help side with you guys, eeven despiste some of my misguivings about the movie, because in the end i think it's a good movie, and completly superior to all over SF blockbusters made this year, including you know what that even you liked, for reasons that science will yet to figure it out. but still, it's great to see that a truly good SF movie is so popular and well received. You know that box office means next to nothing for me, but i would really like it that Avatar would surpass Trasnformers 2 box office. If for nothing else, to prove that a good movie can be more commercial viable then a stupid dumb one. And also to see Michael Bay eat humble pie, because that guy lives and dies to compete against James Cameron.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Speaking of joshuavalance, where is that retard, anyway?

    by AsimovLives

    That idiot was the strongest fanatical supporter of Jar Jar Abrams' SHIT TREK. He kept on harping on how in it's complete theatrical run, it made 260 million dollars WORLDWIDE at the box office, it should be considered an unprecedent MEGA-SUCESS. I'd like to see his reaction to the news that Avatar has made, by now, almost 3 times that number, and in a far lesser time. This is revelevant because that retard detests Avatar and thinks that the Jar Jar Abrams' abomination is a far superior movie.<br><br>That guy is one of the most fucked up loonies i ever meet in AICN. His ass must be terribly sore by now, considering that for him box office was always such an important "argument" for him. The idiot bet on a mule as his racing horse.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:12 a.m. CST

    here is a clearer pic with Neytiri and her goggles

    by ominus

    although she has not put them on her eyes,you can see their 'glasses':

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:13 a.m. CST

    One possible explanation for Pandora's atmosphere:

    by AsimovLives

    A planet with low gravity, and with a atmosphere composed of the same elements as of Eath, would necessarily had a thinnenr, less pressured atmosphere. For it to be thicker, some factor needs to be present to protect the atmosphere from espacing and being blown out by the solar winds.<br><br>Scioentists suspect that mybae in the past our atmopshere was a little bit thicker, or at least had more presence of oxygen. More oxygen in the atmosphere would allow animals to be stronger, to perform better physically. It would also make fires propagate faster, by the way.<br><br>Well, let's supose that when Pandora inicially emerged, there was a lot of vulcanism going on. From that vulcanism, water and oxygen emerged in more quantieries then on the young Earth, thus causing a thicker atmosphere, despiste the lower gravity.<br>Pandora having a lot of vulcanism in it's early days is not unconcenivable, because it orbits a gas gian. The gravity tides caused by Polyphermus would had caused additional vulcanism activity on Pandora, much like how it happens with Jupiter and it's moon Io. On io it's more dramatic because the moon is itself relatively smaller, which means the gravitational tides would be more dramatic, i believe.<br><br>If Pandiora's vulcanism then subsided to a very low degree, then the remains would be a planet with a considerable atmopshere. And sicne we know that Pandora has a very strong magnetic field, stronger then Earth, it's fair to assume that it created it's own Van Halen belt, but stronger and more efficient then Earth's in repeling and avoiding the effects of the solar wind, specially in it's action of blowing off the atmosphere.<br>And if Polyphermus is like jupiter, it means it also has a very strong magnetic field as well, which would far outreach beyond Pandora's orbit. This means that Pandora has a double magnetic field protection, from it's own and from Polyphermus. In this regard, Pandora would be extremely protected form all type of solar winds. So much so, that i would even venture to guess the planet wouldn't even be bothered by solar eruptions and cosmic rays. Talk about a shield protecting life, Pandora would be armoured!

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Thicker atmospheres also protects a planet from

    by AsimovLives


  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:28 a.m. CST

    One thing i'm doubtful about Pandora, though...

    by AsimovLives

    ... is the fearcability of a body that big so close to Polyphermus. I have my doubts that Pandora could ever be that big so close. When in it's inicial phase of accretion, i suspect most of the materials would had been pulled into Polyuphermus, or at least deviated enough by Polyphermus' gravity to never congolmurate around Pandora's inicial accretion enough to make it the big planetoid it became. I think that, for Pandora to have the size and mass it has, it would need to have been originated a bit father from Polyphermus.<br>Unless, of course, Pandora is a captured body, as in, it was originated elsewhere but was captured by Polyphermus' gravity and became it's moon.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:49 a.m. CST

    asimov you know your physics

    by ominus

    i like reading your scientific posts,very interesting material.

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 6:58 a.m. CST

    ARBIFAX....that link does nt work dude

    by southafricanguy

    are you sure about some of the hellsgate raid being filmed? What did you see exactly? Wow, if thats true then we may get one hardcore directors cut/extended edition...

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 7 a.m. CST

    Asimov...yeah I sure do feel vindicated.

    by southafricanguy

    especially after being told for months by all the arrogant fucktards that went on ad naseum about what a massive failure this was going to be....

  • Dec. 28, 2009, 7:05 a.m. CST