AVATAR: What We Know About Pandora

Imagine This featurette is a good intro to Pandora, but where's more on this tiny moon and its parent gas giant? Astronomers say there are certainly no gas-giant worlds around Alpha Centauri A, although we could find a Pandora-like world around another star within a decade. But hey, that's why it's called science fiction, so both Wikia and Pandorapedia have extensive entries on Pandora. Check them out to learn about this moon's gravity and atmosphere, creatures and plants, and how humans attempt to stay alive in its hostile environment.

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What's your favorite thing about Pandora?

Comments

Darryl Browne

I'm kind of curious on what I guess I can only describe as the evolutionary path of the Na'vi compared to all the other life shown in the film. Every creature shown is 6+ legged yet the Na'vi are a 4 limbed species. Compared with Earth and our vast array of 4-limbed creatures and then a select few species that are capable of walking on 2 limbs, I find the whole concept very interesting.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Sam Ingbar

I loved this movie. I have been on numerous trips up north both in northern minnesota/southern canada and hope to go into the arctic circle in the near future. WE bring nothing uneeded and carry everything with us. The nature there is almost entirely untouched by humans. Traveling mostly by canoe/portage in a group of about 4 there is so much work and so much fun in it somehow. We once lost spoons and had to eat off of a stick for a week. The magic of the nature there reminds me of pandora. When people say "pandora is so much more colorful than earth" i have to think no it actually isn't. But the Na'vi and the movie remind me of these trips and i wish more people would do trips like these because you feel so much more at ease and better off out there. I would choose pandora over earth, but I felt a strange connection to the Na'vi that i had experienced a tiny fraction of what it might be like to be one. Anyways, all of this connection with nature and stuff is very much existant on earth (although trees do not communicate and stuff) but to everyone on this page who reads this, go plan a camping trip with a few friends. Rent a canoe and bring some food sleeping bags and a tent and head out for a couple of months or even a just few weeks to a relatively deserted area of wilderness and discover just how magical even the earth can be. It shouldn't too hard to do i'm in high school and i manage to pull it off each summer.

Chris

To Steve,
I starting to feel a great tension between our points of view. Now, how would you know that Pandora's atmosphere is rich in mehtane and potassium cyanide? Are a chemist? Astronomer? Or do you have that Avatar book, A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora? Huh?

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Darryl,
I am catching on to what you are seeing - the whole progression of more complex creatures on Pandora compared to planet Earth. If we look at the geological history of the Earth and the flora and fauna, life has become more complex. Perhaps there is another planetary system with more complex life? Regardless, I think there are many messages wrapped in this movie for humans to absorb and implement in our own lives!

We can see the somewhat symbolism of the Native American war long ago, but we can also focus on many other more prominent things - like the spiritual connection the Na'vi feel with Pandora. It's great to hear that people want to experience what Pandora is like, but let's be realistic and focus on our own planetary system. As mentioned, the Earth is a beautiful biosphere that we are able to enjoy if we are able to open our eyes to her beauty. I am not saying that there is not pollution and destruction on Earth, but would it not be more sensible to start caring about our own Earth and enjoying the beauty that we do find here? It's harder said that done, but it can be done. Many people are doing it now (perhaps even this very moment)! (It would not make much sense either to go to a new moon/planetary system and pollute it either. We must first learn to care for our own Earth.)

Furthermore, I think the message of Avatar is arriving at other messages tied heavily with simplicity and spirituality themes. The Earth is more powerful than we are -she is able to heal herself with all time considered...even amidst our own destruction we have created (i.e. visible after volcano erupts). With that said, I do not think it's preposterous to suggest that the Earth can heal us - our own wounds; perhaps, she knows what we deeply need (Example in Avatar: When Ewya attempted to heal the Scientist). This creates a huge spiritual connection. While Avatar depicts this spiritual connection with vivacious color, music, and intensity, I think it is important to remember that one's spirit will (or currently) feel this while living among or near nature. Since you are watching a movie, you are experiencing the increased sensitivity of spirituality. By following a path of less complexity (i.e. less technology, less objects), you are essentially deepening or enriching your life. I think it is important to stress that simplicity does not necessarily mean that one's life becomes meaningless; simplicity can give life to not fleeting happiness but genuine happiness- happiness that lasts because you have created your life around principles and a renewable energy source both physically and metaphysically.

My opinion: I like the messages this movie carries through its special effects and manifested spiritual connection, but did the ending really bring anyone down? I think it would be neat to see an alternative ending where the fertility of Pandora is restored and humans reach an understanding of another race similar but unlike themselves; would it not give us a vision to draw energy and inspiration from - and to eventually create a vision from? The human race needs complete optimism! And perhaps if you are interested in living on Pandora, you could try meditating or at the very least, read a book about meditation. :)

Spiritual Literature that relates to some of Avatar's concepts: Teilhard de Chardin - the Omega Point, collective consciousness (Hindu spirituality)

Deimes

Yes, I do agree with people that a planet having a mind and soul is a beautifull concept. That for one. But frankly, I find glowing creatures and plants an amazingly original concept. It's been done before in fantasy that some creatures glow, but all of them(not counting viperwolves, and the likely other rare exceptions)?

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I like Pandora ...

Aratava

I, along with the majority, is in awe of Avatar the movie & Mr Cameron's imagination. Showing us how there is connection not only of the trees, animals and spirits, but how within becoming a Na'vi the connection of touch was also unique - something that is being lost in our fear and greed.
This movie has visually affected many of us, of all ages, the appreciation & gratitude & beauty in everything all with out fear.

Na'viDelphia

I like how at least every other living thing has evolved bioluminescense. This has to be because Polyphemus can come between Pandora and its sun for extended periods of time(hunting season for warmer clothing?). This was interesting work of exobiological extrapolation.

You have to look at how much this planet has been built over and used and wonder what our place in the ecosystem was intended to be. It couldn't have possibly been this and Cameron sees the situation becoming much worse as the population continues to grow. That's why you no longer see progressive attitudes toward the handicapped/challenged in society as the movie opens up. Too many people to deal with as it is. I thought Jake might regret his decision later, but I no longer do. He's free of his wheelchair and wearing a mask on both worlds.

Richard Hasey

My favorite thing about Pandora is that it's a work of fiction. As such, it is interesting in it's many contradictions, virtually all of which have been forced upon it by its creator. The peace which the Na'vi experience must have been created by an outside force as it could not possibly have been created internally by the people themselves. The things which the movie deliberately ignores or failes to educate us about are extensive, and argue for us having a very incomplete, artificial, and idealistic "understanding" of Pandora.

Take, for example, the matter of dealing with waste. With thousands of beings living in and around "Hometree", why is it that there is no refuse? Is there some sort of plant that naturally processes all of the Na'vi waste products? What about the bones of all of the animals that they have killed for food?

Then there's the whole life cycle of the Na'vi themselves. We saw one Na'vi being buried, and we saw a few "Elders" who were in charge, but of the thousands of Na'vi that appeared on screen, there were very few who were old. What happens to old Na'vi?

Aggressive behavior is clearly part of the Na'vi culture (even to other Na'vi, under the "right" conditions), and yet we are led to believe that they are a people who are only at peace with each other, and only at war with the "invading" humans. But it's not out fault for thinking that, since the 3-D glasses they handed out to watch the movie were all rose-colored.

So, a work of fiction. Wonderfully vivid, detailed, breath-taking and artfully conceived fiction to be sure. but fiction nonetheless. As to the external force that could have been applied to create the "Eden" we thought we were seeing, could it be possible that Eywa is not a god, but instead is a global plant-mind that actually controls all that happens on Pandora, and that the Na'vi only appear to be "free"?

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