The Irony of Avatar
November 22nd, 2009
Published on November 22nd, 2009 @ 09:18:32 pm , using 515 words, 1627 views
Just came back from 2012 and saw the latest trailer for Avatar. I had seen it online weeks ago, of course, but it reminded me of a featurette I had seen hours earlier on the official movie page, which talked about the technology used by mankind in the film. I have been an apologist for the film as most of my friends have discounted Avatar was a tired retread of a plot seen a dozen times prior, from Pocahontas and The Last Samurai, to Lawrence of Arabia and the recent animated Battle for Terra. I have some faith that it will rise above its cliché and be entertaining. I am bringing this up because of this featurette. Now Avatar does pit the high technology of man against the primitive ways of the alien Navi. Mankind flaunts fanjet attack vehicles and powered armor. On the surface, there is an element of Amethyst to all of it. Of course, we pit technology against magic, a far more even conflict. Specifically, this featurette refers to a concept often ignored in these films. Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke said it best (and no, this was not dealt with the featurette, only suggested) that an race capable of interstellar travel arriving at a new world incapable of interstellar travel would appear so technologically advanced that not only would they appear as gods, but the level of technology would be so vast superior that a conflict would be hopeless for the lesser advanced species. If you can travel faster than light, then no race of bows and beasts can measure up, no matter what regional advantage they may boast. Avatar apparently acknowledges this point and tries to propose that the world of Pandora as one with magnetic fields so strong that it not only allows the suspension of massive rocks disobeying gravity, but it...ahem...disrupts the high technology mankind used to traverse the vastness of space to arrive here. As a result, instead of plasma weapons and gravity tanks, there are fanjets and chemical propelled projectiles. So...as technology increases, the greater the chance it won't function. This includes a scene of the pilot of a fanjet complaining about the lack of proper radar. Annoyed? Not particularly. Beyond the fact that I hope this will finally dismiss the accusations comparing Amethyst to Shadowrun, Avatar doesn't deal with the philosophical points proposed by Amethyst...that and the entire "magic is cool" idea. This is not to say that I don't think Avatar and Amethyst share several points. I think visually Avatar could very well share moments where it blurs the line with Amethyst.
Biohazard is finishing layout and several websites will be receiving previews of this adventure this week, before it gets posted. Meanwhile, NeuroSpasta continues its drive for detail. I just made South Africa fall to a Military Junta and the land from the Congo to Rwanda just got turned into a no-man's land called Hetgwauge, the African myth of Hell. Oh, and I wiped out The Netherlands...sorry guys. That's what you get for being below the water line.