July 21, 2010

Some Thoughts on AVATAR [Spoilers]

Through the magic of NetFlix, the home-bound Kerns finally saw AVATAR (James Cameron's 3D Epic, NOT Shymalan's "the Last Airbender").

Franky, I thought it was a great movie. Good to see that Cameron isn't all about the geeky technical details, he can still write and direct a decent action flick.  Yes, it was riddled with minor plot holes and common "Tropes" used by many movies, but it was overall a solid movie and not the "Pocohontas with Smurfs" that people were claiming.

Like many people, I was moved by the story. Some came away with a renewed interest in living in harmony with the natural world and the rejection of America's evil Military/Industrial Complex. But, me being me, I had another line of thought after seeing the movie: [SPOILER WARNING!!!]
Avatar Banshee

According to the movie, the Na'vi and their flying Banshees apparently "Bonded for life", and Jake's (let's call him "Patches") was faithful to him. Patches even stayed behind when the Hometree was destroyed, awaiting his master when all other Na'vi had abandoned him. So when Jake returned to his Navi body, Patches was there, forgiving, accepting, showing him that even though Jake was a traitor to the Navi, Jake was HIS traitor, and Patches would always stand by him.

And in return, Jake took flight with patches once more. Everything was just like old times, until Jake told Patches that he wanted a BIGGER, meaner Banshee to ride.

Avatar Banshee 'Big Red'
Adding insult to injury, Patches even had to help Jake CAPTURE "Big Red" here. As the final battle sequence went on, I can imagine Patches huddled in the corner of the burned-out HomeTree, sniffling, wondering what was wrong with him? If maybe he had flown faster or been stronger, would Jake have stayed faithful to him and not needed to stray? The Banshees are not used to such emotions, so the tears sting Patches' eyes, and since they have claws used for gripping onto rocks for hands, his attempts at wiping them away leave him cut up like Edward Scissorhands trying to put in a contact lens.

And as a post-credits sequence, you can imagine Jake coming back to Patches, perhaps holding a bouquet of small rodents as an apology.
"Patches! How wonderful to see you again!"
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" [How dare you come back here, after what you did]

(Of course, the Banshees don't have an exact language, so Jake can only guess at what is being said. And even that badly.)

"Whoa, easy boy! It's me, I'm really a Na'vi now, this is my real body! Neytiri's Mom fixed me up real good."
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" [Sure, you look great. What about me, huh? How do I show my face on the cliffs anymore? Every SINGLE Banshee on the CONTINENT was in that battle but me! And every single one of them saw you riding... that... THING. You bonded with it didn't you? DIDN'T YOU?!?!?]
"We saved the Tree of Souls! We sent those 'Sky People' packing back to my... er.. THEIR world! We won't see any of them again, and I'm back for good.
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" [So, you had your little fling. Is that what you needed to prove that you were a REAL Na'vi Man, some big conquest? And now you've let him go and got that out of your system, and we're supposed to go on like nothing happened? Do you Realize what you have done?]

So Jake Sulley may be the savior of Pandora, but he also corrupted it by introducing infidelity to what was once a pristine, monogamous relationship.


  1. There are so many problems that I had with this movie. And many of them relate to this banshee/ bigger meaner banshee dynamic.

    1. Heavy-handed foreshadowing: When Blue Jake and his girlfriend Neytiri are at the tribal council, they walk past the skull of of a Great Leonopteryx (the bigger-badder banshee) and Neytiri informs him that her ancestor (grand-father?) rode it and united the tribes. She points out that only a great leader would do that. And then she looked right into the camera and said to the audience, "DO YOUR HEAR ME, IT WOULD TAKE SOMEONE REALLY SPECIAL TO UNITE THE CLANS AND SAVE THIS PLANET FROM, LIKE SAY, EVIL INDUSTRIALIST SPACE MARINES. AND IF THEY WANTED TO DO THAT, A GOOD WAY WOULD BE TO RIDE ONE OF THESE BIG RED BIRD CREATURES. WHOEVER DID THAT WOULD BE DEFINITELY BE THE CHOSEN ONE, BUT IT WOULD BE REALLY DANGEROUS, AND PROBABLY SOMETHING THAT PERSON (WHOEVER THAT MAY BE) SHOULDN'T TRY UNLESS THERE WERE NO OTHER WAY TO SAVE THIS PLANET. SO JUST KEEP THAT IN MIND AS YOU WATCH THE MOVIE."

    2. On the same subject - We learned from this scenario that some things are universal. - Chicks love a guy with a bad-ass car. - You can lie to them, betray their clan, get their great tree of life destroyed and most of their family killed... BUT if you pull up in a sweet red powerful ride, all is forgiven.