When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions of driving off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "Avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand - and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.
"Avatar" is Sanskrit for "incarnation". It is used extensively in Hindu scriptures to refer to human incarnations of God.
Avatars have eyebrows and five fingers and toes on their hands and feet, whereas the Na'vi only have four fingers and no eyebrows. The Avatars are also broader in the chest and arms, appearing more 'muscular'. "Unobtainium" is a humorous term used mainly in the aerospace industry. It describes a material that is perfect for an application, but does not exist, is extremely expensive, or violates the laws of physics. Its chemical symbol is Uo.
Cameron said "every single science fiction book I read as a kid", and that he was particularly striving to update the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter series. Pandora's floating "Hallelujah Mountains" were inspired in part by the Chinese Huang Shan mountains.
Sam Worthington as Corporal Jake Sully ( a disabled former Marine who becomes part of the Avatar Program ), Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine ( an exobiologist and head of the Avatar Program ), Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy Chacon ( a combat pilot assigned to support the Avatar Program ), Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge ( the corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation and one of the film's primary antagonists ), Joel David Moore as Norm Spellman ( an anthropologist who studies plant and nature life as part of the Avatar Program ), Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch ( the head of the mining operation's security detail ), Dileep Rao as Dr. Max Patel ( a scientist who works in the Avatar Program ), Zoe Saldana as Neytiri ( the film's female Na'vi protagonist, princess of the Omaticaya ), C. C. H. Pounder as Mo'at ( the Omaticaya's spiritual leader, Neytiri's mother, and consort to clan leader Eytucan ), Laz Alonso as Tsu'tey ( is heir to the chieftainship of the tribe ), Wes Studi as Eytucan ( the Omaticaya's clan leader, Neytiri's father and Mo'at's mate).
Composer James Horner first created a score that reflected the Na'vi way of sound and then combined it with a separate "traditional" score to drive the film. British singer Leona Lewis was chosen to sing the theme song for the film, called I See You.
Avatar has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director and also picked up four nominations for the 67th Golden Globe Awards, winning for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director.
A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora, a 224-page book in the form of a field guide to the film's fictional setting of the planet of Pandora, was released by Harper Entertainment on November 24, 2009.
There are going to be four sequels with probable release dates: Avatar: The Way of Water (December 16, 2022) - what was once fresh, now feels recycled, reheated and regurgitated and which made me wonder if James Cameron is somehow senile, Avatar 3 (December 20, 2024), Avatar 4 (December 18, 2026), Avatar 5 (December 22, 2028).
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