In Avatar, why didn't Jake ask for his legs to be fixed before deploying?

He brother was considered a considerable investment: Which is why they were after Jake. And they obviously wanted him for the program, I am sure he could have asked for anything at that point, why did he not?

1 Answer 1


Jake only had a short time before he shipped out, during which time he received a crash course in Avatar operation and was prepped for his departure.

So Tom was going to be one of these controller guys? That's right, they tell him. His embryo has been growing in vitro at the lab for several months. This is significant since only one in a hundred volunteers actually produces a viable composite. Each viable embryo represents an investment of over 20 million dollars. So they are offering Josh the same contract they gave his brother. Since he is genetically identical, he can step into his brother's shoes, and become a controller. The next mission leaves in three weeks, so he will have to go through a crash training course, but it's still better than wasting a good avatar.

Avatar: Original Treatment

One assumes that there simply wasn't time for him to be operated on to fix his legs, let alone the months of physiotherapy that would be needed to get him back to full fitness.

As to why he didn't extort a leg treatment out of the project people, the answer is that they'd already made him an offer that he liked; a well-funded tour of duty, the use of the legs of an avatar and a return ticket. Presumably he was simply intending to use his own money to pay for the treatment when he got back. What Quaritch is offering him is an additional cash bonus for playing on both teams.

  • And he probably did ask, and they probably did agree to do it, but only after he had finished doing the avatar stuff. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 14:28
  • @DJClayworth - My instinct is that the just offered to pay him well
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 15:19
  • It's been several years, but I vaguely remember some conversations about Jake getting his legs fixed around when he's starting to doubt the morality of the human's treatment of the Na'vi. I was left with the impression that Jake would receive his surgery as part of his compensation as opposed to funding it himself. But, that distinction could easily have been blurred in either direction.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 19:56
  • 1
    @Ellesedil - Yeah, I think you've got that mixed up. He's offered leg treatment by Quaritch in return for gathering intel on the Na'vi. When he comes up with the goods, they then offer to send him back to Earth early.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 20:15

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