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  • If Cameron wanted realism, I suppose he could have instead depicted interminable sabotage, terrorism, and guerrilla warfare as the humans slowly but inevitably ate their way across the planet's surface, justifying the devastation by pointing out the brutality of their opponents while the Na'vi justified their brutality by pointing out the humans 'rapine use of resources and destruction of sacred sites.

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  • Why don't the Na'vi feel the natural need to propitiate their gods -- on whose whims their lives constantly depend -- so nature doesn't get out of control?

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  • Pandora is inhabited by the Na'vi, an alien race with one of those apostrophes in its name that sf writers are so fond of.

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  • The film covers the poor world-building with plenty of lavish visuals illustrating both the jungle and the Na'vi way of life, so the only flaw that really becomes glaring before the fridge logic is the Na'vi talk about religion: it doesn't sound real; these people live in a harsh, deadly environment made up of wall-to-wall CGI monsters, but they can only think of their pantheistic mother-nature-deity as utterly benevolent.

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  • The Na'vi and their dragons are depicted as being on a more-or-less equal footing with their high-tech opponents, but it's not at all believable.

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  • The deus ex machina ending (spoiler warning for the rest of this paragraph) where the Na'vi send the humans packing and Sully sheds his human body to take up permanent residence in his avatar gives the impression that the movie simply wants to leave us with the idea that nature is good and humans are scum.

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  • Anyway, t3H 3v1L humans have two conflicting ways of keeping the Na'vi at bay.

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  • The second means the humans have of dealing with the Na'vi is the "avatar aystem," where a human pilot gets in something that looks like a cross between a tanning booth and an MRI and remotely operates a genetically engineered Na'vi body.

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  • The Na'vi are basically ten-foot gracile blue furries, equipped, we are assured, with naturally-occurring carbon-fiber bones so they can do their wire-fu.

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  • Impatient with the situation, Quaritch decides to drink coffee and launch an airstrike against Neytiri's tree-dwelling tribe, at which point Sully, Augustine, and a few other characters who may or may not have names, side with the Na'vi and round up tribal warriors from all over (no inter-tribal warfare, remember?) to duke it out with the humans in a big helicopter-vs. -dragon battle amongst a maze of giant floating mountains.

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  • USC professor creates an entire alien language for 'Avatar' (LA Times, November 20, 2009)

    Between the scripts for the film and the video game, Frommer has a bit more than 1,000 words in the Na'vi language, as well as all the rules and structure of the language itself. "I'm adding to that all the time," said Frommer, who says he would like to see the new tongue catch on in the way that Klingon has become a studied language among especially, um, engaged fans of "Star Trek."

    November 24, 2009