Have I lowered myself to watch this amazingly stupid, inane, over-hyped piece of crap pandering to eco-zealots? Of course not. Yet I still feel I'm in a position to comment and offer insight on it based on the incredible amount of fanfiction I've read about it. I'm referring to two stories on FFNet Invasion of Pandora and Pandora's End.
And I say again, reading two stories about Pandora being incinerated is an incredible amount of devotion and benefit of the doubt I'm showing to this amazingly stupid movie. Though I'm willing to extend my show of devotion if someone will just write a story about Daleks showing up on Pandora screaming EXTERMINATE! and INCINERATE! Because let me tell you, that thought put a happy smile on my face last night as I went to sleep. It's definitely the kind of Happy Thought pure magic is made of.
What The Movie Is All About
Remember the civilians working on the Avatar project complaining about a fucking jarhead on their civilian, diplomatic project? And at the end of the day, instead of the jarhead negotiating a peace treaty with the aliens like he was supposed to do, what does he do? He betrays his entire species and dooms them to poverty and death.
Because battle and mass murder & death are "cool". Because humans ought to all die and only Amerindian anti-progress enviro-freaks ought to live. And treason is a-okay so long as it's for those causes. So yeah, I only realized yesterday the civilians were right: putting a fucking jarhead in charge doomed their species.
The real lesson of the movie isn't that eco-zealots are right. No, it's that jarheads are never to be trusted because they're all violent traitorous psychopaths concerned only with looking good. A statement that is definitely true of the air force by the way. But I wouldn't go so far as to say it characterizes the macho marines, the snobbish navy, or the ... well whatever the fuck the army is.
How To Improve The Movie
To improve Avatar, you first have to realize its most basic flaw. And that flaw isn't that it's pandering to eco-zealot gaia-fascist druid-fundamentalist nutbars. Nor is it that this stupid planet has an impossible biology. Nor is it even that it's blatantly anti-progress and anti-human. No, its most basic flaw is the whole ridiculous notion of a "war" between an interstellar civilization and a planet-bound species of no-tech primitives.
That's what the whole stupid movie is about, isn't it? The "war". And it is utterly fucking impossible because this is what a space-based civilization would actually do:
- mine the local asteroid belt (there is always one) to construct giant mirrors with a surface area totaling (1000 km)^2. ((1 micron) * ((1000 km)^2) * (7.85 tonnes)) per (cubic meter) in tonnes = 7 850 000 tonnes. It's basically a small solar sail and you won't need to mine more than a single asteroid.
- tow then set up the giant mirrors in orbit of the habitable planet.
- flash fry a square landing site, turning it into nice smooth glass by carefully redirecting a beam of sunlight of temperature 10^2 * 300 Kelvin = 30,000 kelvin onto a (100 km)^2 square area for 1 second.
- OR slow broil a square landing site by redirecting a beam of sunlight of temperature 1 * 300 kelvin onto a (1000 km)^2 square area for 1 day (so that at midnight the temperature consistently reaches above 100 celsius on the ground, all the water boils off, the jungle gets dessicated then it spontaneously ignites in a beautiful firestorm that sterilizes and breaks down all the biochemical poisons in the atmosphere).
- continue carving the landscape at will, pulverizing mountains and creating new riverbeds.
- wait a couple days for it all to cool off.
- land near the largest lake in the zone of death umm safety.
- start mining operations at the landing site.
- make contact with the natives and inform them of what you want by pointing to some mineral ores. (The advantage of the slow broil approach is now obvious, especially performed at night when it will be more spectacular. The disadvantage of slow broil is that it delivers thousands of times more energy to the landing site than flash fry.)
- incinerate whatever (100 km)^2 square on the grid that the natives attack from. One square for every casualty you incur.
You know, I think my plan might be overkill by about a factor of 100. Which just goes to show how fucking easy it is to kill primitive tribal morons when you're in space!!
So yeah, if you get rid of that entire amazingly stupid "war" and let the Navi be incinerated then that would improve the movie tremendously. Or you could make a sequel based on that. You know, Earth saying "alright you scum suckers, so you want to get SERIOUS?"
If you're going to create a movie lionizing the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder that is "nature" then it might as well be the collective murder of uncivilized backwards tribal primitives.
The Hand of God
Oh yeah, that massive shaft of sunlight could just as easily have been redirected to the polar regions, melting the ice sheets and turning a continent like Antarctica inhabitable. A square 1000 km on a side is a fair amount of living space you know.
And if it were directed to the oceans, well you know the scene in Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home where the space-whale probe starts boiling the oceans in order to sterilize the Earth? THAT is what it would look like.
I think there is a good reason why the hand of god in Populous 3 is represented by a shaft of sunlight.