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84

It's not that they are trying to pretend that they are not 'sky people', it's that they are attempting to minimize the perceived differences. Think of it like an explorer coming to a foreign country. Ones who want to be accepted and trusted adopt local customs, dress like the locals, speak the local language, interact with the locals in their own way, even ...


43

Alien planet, alien plants. Just because they appear to be similar to Earth plants doesn't mean they necessarily behave identically to Earth plants. It would be entirely possible for an alien plant to do the opposite of our plants: take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. The plants on Pandora are specially suited to that planet's ecosystem, so while they ...


40

The Hallelujah mountains float because they're essentially large chunks of unobtainium, which is a room temperature superconductor, thus subject to the Meissner Effect. This causes superconductors to "levitate" in the presence of certain strong magnetic fields: Vehicles need engines to fly because gravity and the laws of thermodynamics still exist in the ...


40

Military vehicles are sealed from Pandora's atmosphere. This is evident in the fight between Quaritch and Jake. Before Jake breaks the windshield, Quaritch is not wearing a breathing mask. Once Jake breaks the windshield, however, Quaritch breathes in, holds his breath, discards the bayonet and the windshield, puts on a breathing mask, and resumes ...


36

This was addressed in an earlier version of the script (the "braid" is referred to as a "queue") It hurts. A lot. Cut off from their connection to Eywa and their fellow tribes-people, the Na'vi will invariably commit suicide. WAINFLEET cuts Tsu’tey's queue off near the base. TSU’TEY SCREAMS in agony, his nervous system exploding on overload. Grinning, ...


32

As I recall, Jake's brother died on Earth before he was scheduled to leave for Pandora. Jake was also on Earth, so the time it would take to move him from one place to another on Earth is all that would be required. Neither was Jake's group the first to arrive with avatars. There were already scientists with avatars on Pandora, who had been trying to work ...


31

Let's say you are a human with breathing apparatus. You will not climb those trees (lack of necessary athletic ability). You will be easy prey to the wildlife. (Easier even than your avatar.) Your face will be hidden behind a mask. You cannot eat or drink until you return to your base (which is several miles away), severely curtailing your stays with the Na'...


26

There is significant evidence that the two universes are not the same. Timelines. It's important to establish that the bulk of Avatar takes place approximately 30 years after Alien and that the Alien Universe covers this entire time period. Avatar opens in 2148 and takes place largely in 2154. By comparison, Alien opens in 2122 and finishes with Ripley ...


24

This was addressed in James Cameron's original scriptment. In short, the element received a 'joke name' (unobtanium being a name that scientists will often use to describe a desired element that doesn't actually exist) while it was still being investigated and the name simply stuck. Pandora is blessed with a naturally occurring substance a million times ...


21

I don't think that they're vegetarian. Remember when Neytiri teaches Jake how to hunt. She simply said that he hunts in a good way for a Na'vi. So, I think if the Na'vi hunt, they eat meat. If they don't eat, why kill animals? They suffer only when the animal is killed for a bad reason.


20

In the book Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide by Maria Wilhelm and Dirk Mathison, many topics about both the planet Pandora and the Na'vi culture are explained at more detail. In the section Astronomy and Geology, Unobtanium is described as a compound. Page 16: When the world's first high-temperature superconductor was created in the late twentieth ...


20

Yes, Avatar drivers do sleep. In one of his videologs, Jake talks to Grace saying: (Emphasis Mine) STEREO VIDEO-LOG IMAGE -- Jake has just switched on the camera. He looks tired. JAKE: Do I have to do this? I need some rack. GRACE, behind him, looks up from her MICROSCOPE, scowling. GRACE: No -- now, when it’s fresh. I'm certain this is ...


20

They're omnivorous. Hunting is an integral part of their culture, as is eating hunted meat. The movie script makes it abundantly clear that the Na'vi eat what they hunt and kill JAKE : I made a kill today. We ate it. I know where that meal came from. and this scene (mirroring the deleted scene below) appears in the film's official junior novelisation ...


19

In universe: tails are useful to aid balance when running or jumping, that's why Earth animals have them - just look at how a Cheetah uses its tail when hunting down a zig-zagging gazelle. The Na'vi do a lot of running and jumping in the jungle, and it probably also helps when they ride various creatures. So it's plausible that a tail would confer an ...


18

The oxygen concentration and pressure are suitable for humans. It's the high concentration of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulfide that cause problems. See Exopack Carbon Dioxide binds to human red blood cells as part of normal metabolism here on Earth. However, given the low concentration in our atmosphere (<.04%) it poses no problem especially in ...


16

Per the film's viral (and canon) Pandorapedia website, the SA-2 Samson troop transport gunship has a sealed cockpit. The cockpit seats four and is sealed from the outside atmosphere. It maintains a slight positive pressure of 0.3 psi, to prevent leak-back of toxic gases. In the event of a hull breach, such as a small hole in the canopy, an accumulator tank ...


13

The Avatar: The Game included significant detail about Pandora and the Alpha Centauri system that wasn't included in the film, notably that the 'day-night cycle' is highly variable and that nighttime on Pandora can be almost (10%) as bright as daytime depending on its orbital position. The absence of discussion of Pandora's actual day/night length tends to ...


12

The Na'vi have tails for three primary reasons; For balance (and grip). The Official Film Companion book states that the Na'vi's tails are used to help them balance their tall forms as well as gripping branches; "For balancing their long torso and legs, the Na'vi have a long, prehensile lemur-like tail. They can traverse the landscape on the ...


12

Regarding the question of how long the message took to go out to Jake - according to the Avatar sourcebook (which they were literally giving away at Borders, and which I seem to have misplaced, so no specific citations, unfortunately), the Avatar universe has (stupendously expensive*) instantaneous communication across interstellar distances. It seems ...


12

The operator needs to sleep. The issue is that because of the pressures of research, video-blogging and the additional tutoring he's getting on Na'vi society (as well as the time he's spending awake in the avatar body), Jake isn't being allowed to sleep in either body. Simply put, when the operator is controlling one of the bodies, either their own or the ...


12

The same way they do in real life: inosculation Inosculation is a natural phenomenon in which trunks, branches or roots of two trees grow together. It is biologically similar to grafting and such trees are referred to in forestry terms as Gemels from the Latin word meaning 'A pair'. The wikipedia page goes on to note that they don't even have to be the ...


10

The Avatar Wiki's timeline — a coherent history of the Avatar universe compiled from the film and various published sources — tells us that: Pandora was discovered by human astronomers some time between 2050 and 2077 The first remotely-controlled rovers landed on Pandora in 2084 Dr. Grace Augustine arrived on Pandora in 2139 (possibly the first ...


8

Bottom-line: Inconvenience. The Hallelujah mountains was a very difficult location to mine. Reasons: Flux Vortex: The entire area was full of magnetic interference, which would cause any electronic instrumentation to mess up. There was no way to mine accurately with no electronic instruments to find where to mine. Terrain: The Hallelujah mountains float ...


8

This article points out multiple Heinlein correspondences in Avatar, including Time for the Stars. Cameron has said Alien was based on the bugs in Starship Troopers, so it's plausible that the twin brother idea was also borrowed from Heinlein. But as @Ward mentions, it's just one point of similarity. Avatar has a wide range of correspondences to many ...


8

According to Cameron, the oceans of Pandora are just as rich and diverse as the land masses. “We created a broad canvas for the environment of film. That’s not just on Pandora, but throughout the Aplha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story – not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third ...


8

The original point of the avatars was to study the Na'vi in their natural every-day lives by living as them and integrating with them. Think Dian Fossey/Gorillas in the Mist, but with the added wrinkle of Dian being able to inhabit the body of a Gorilla. This was another fun little tongue-in-cheek reference out-of-universe, since Dian Fossey was played by ...


7

On the face of it, the objective of the ground assault was to: Kill as many of the enemy as possible Demonstrate the human's manifest superiority over the natives and To create a climate of terror among the Na'vi tribes Taken together, these would dissuade the Na'vi from any future attempts to zerg-rush the base. Quoting from the original script: ...


7

I understand about the air toxicity due to other chemicals found in the atmosphere, but if the plants are performing photosynthesis, shouldn't it be enough to keep the atmosphere relatively free of carbon dioxide? What about the effect of non-plant life? Pandora seems to be a rich ecosystem with many hexapodal lifeforms. Couldn't the different carbon ...


7

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 ...


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