I have recently rewatched the epic science fiction film Avatar starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. The film was directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. It is is set in 2154, humans have depleted Earth’s natural resources, leading to a severe energy crisis. So The Resources Development Administration (RDA for short) mines for a valuable mineral – unobtanium – a room temperature superconducter on a densely forested habitable moon named Pandora which is orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system. whose atmosphere is poisonous to humans, is inhabited by the Na’vi, 10-foot tall (3.0 m), blue-skinned, sapient humanoids who live in harmony with nature and worship a mother goddess called Eywa.

To explore Pandora’s biosphere, scientists use Na’vi-human hybrids called “avatars”, genetically engineered Na’vi bodies with the mind of a remotely located and genetically matched human which are used to interact with the natives of Pandora. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former Marine, replaces his deceased identical twin brother as an operator of one of the Avatars. Colonel Miles Quaritch, head of RDA’s private security force, wants Jake to secretly gather information about the Na’vi and the clan’s gathering place, a giant tree called Hometree. So Jake joins Dr. Grace Augustine, head of the Avatar Program, and fellow scientist Dr. Norm Spellman as they collect biological data. However Jake becomes seperated when his avatar is attacked by a carnivorous predator called a thanator and flees into the forest. Luckily he is rescued by Neytiri, a female Na’vi. Who after Witnessing an auspicious sign, takes him to her clan, whereupon Neytiri’s mother Mo’at, the clan’s spiritual leader, orders her daughter to initiate Jake into their society. They discover that Hometree stands on grounds containing the richest deposit of unobtanium in the area. Over the following three months, Jake grows to sympathize with the natives. After Jake is initiated into the tribe, he and Neytiri choose each other as mates, and soon afterward, Jake changes is allegiance.

Sadly The expansion of the mining colony starts to threaten the continued existence of the Na’vi and things come to a head when they threaten to destroy a sacred Na’vi site. Then Selfridge orders Hometree destroyed. Despite Grace’s argument that destroying Hometree could damage the biological neural network native to Pandora, Selfridge gives Jake and Grace one hour to convince the Na’vi to evacuate before commencing the attack. While trying to warn the Na’vi, Jake confesses to being a spy and the Na’vi take him and Grace captive. Quaritch’s men destroy Hometree, killing Neytiri’s father (the clan chief) and many others. Mo’at frees Jake and Grace, but they are detached from their avatars and imprisoned by Quaritch’s forces. However Pilot Trudy Chacón, disgusted by Quaritch’s brutality rescues them both.

Jake tries to regain the Na’vi’s trust, By connecting his mind to a fierce dragon-like predator feared and honored by the Na’vi. Jake finds the refugees at the sacred Tree of Souls and pleads with Mo’at to heal Grace. Supported by the new chief Tsu’tey, who acts as Jake’s translator, Jake unites the clans and shows them how to battle against the Resources Development Association and fairly soon all hell breaks loose as the Na’avi try to regain control of Pandora and evict the human invaders who just want to strip-mine Pandora’s resources regardless of the Na’vi or the health of the planet.


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