3 Responses to “Avatar Berated”

  1. Alex Patalenski 4 January 2010 at 4:26 am #

    1.Most of the vertebrate species on Pandora and the na’vi particularly have carbon-fiber skeleton – that’s why they are much stronger than humans (4 times, precisely). The “mech suit” is an exo-skeleton, NOT a robot – its agileness must match or exceed that of a human but its abilities are limited to the abilities of the human inside it. It is logical for it to have a full set of all the equipment that a warrior can hold and use – the knife being a standard and most basic of all weapons. The exo-skeleton is actually a mechanical/antagonist version of the avatars. It’s evident that in the future 2 series of the saga there will be more close-combat scenes of this kind.

    2.The gravity of Pandora, which is a moon, is substantially lower than the Earth’s. That’s why all the species have evolved much bigger/taller in size and that’s why it is possible to fall from high without much damage; moreover that it was far from free falling. The “corporal in his mech suit” jumps from the board of his disintegrating but still slowly descending transporter and falls from about 50-100 feet. Being able to amplify the muscle strength several times, and probably made from carbon-fiber or even carbon-nanotubes, the exo-skeleton takes the impact.

    3.According to http://www.Pandorapedia.com, the so-called Hometrees are 500 ft high and 100 ft wide. This makes them just a bit taller than the highest trees on Earth – 379.1 ft redwood – and is in no sense “the largest living organism in the galaxy”. In fact, Pandora itself IS ;)

    4.Contrary to your argument, “flux-vortex” IS a legitimate term in quantum and low-temperature physics (http://www.springerlink.com/content/n3304780w57142t3/fulltext.pdf). It’s a phenomenon occurring in the super-conductors, causing them to flow freely in the air when put in magnetic field (so called “magnetic levitation”). In fact, the ore that was shown in the movie (floating over a magnet) is the VERY REASON for the floating mountains phenomena on Pandora. These rocks contain enough amount of this super-conducting ore to flow freely in the air, the roots and lianas of the trees being the only their connection with the ground. Because they are so big, they have their own eco-systems, including caves and waterfalls. The ring-like rocks beneath them are evidence of the enormous magnetic forces which were present at the time of their solidification from a melted lava and which formed them in the shape of the magnetic flux at this moment – a vortex, ring-like shape.

    5.It’s obvious that for 3 months of training, Neytiri has been told the difference between a human and an avatar and what is the connection between them. She doesn’t know where Jake’s real body is; she just HAPPENS to be NEAR it! She HEARS his last breaths and rushes to help him. She sees the mask hanging and his arm pointing towards it. How many brain folds you think are needed to make the connection? She is NOT aware how to use the mask. She only puts it on him, knowing that he needs it for some reason. As a result, he begins to suffocate which, paradoxically, brings him in conscious and he HIMSELF switches on the mask.

    • brianmcculloh 4 January 2010 at 2:27 pm #

      The only ones I still have a problem with are the free-falling and the end where Neytiri puts on Jake's mask. Yes the gravity is less than Earth's, and yes the mechanical suit is far advanced in technology, but no the corporal wouldn't have survived that fall. In the film you clearly see his body decelerate to 0 mph when he hits the ground in a sudden impact. I don't know quite how fast he was going when he hit the ground, but it looks very fast on film – as fast as a serious car accident. In a car that doesn't have any crumple zones. That would definitely cause some internal organ damage, 1x gravity or .25x gravity – either way. Why don't the mech suits have rocket boosters? That would have explained it better.

      And the end is unbelievable for so many reasons. There's no way Neytiri would be able to deduce that Jake's actual body was in a trailer right next to the battle they just had, and that it was in need of oxygen, and how to give him the oxygen. That would require too much knowledge of human technology, and Neytiri does not have ANY knowledge of this sort. It was too far a plot stretch, and was sort of an easy way out at the end. In fact, the entire 10 minutes of film up until and including that part felt hastily done. Your defense of this part felt like a biased attempt of a fanboy stretching to connect some things in the spirit of defending a film. No matter how you slice it, it was unrealistic and a bit unbelievable, but more importantly, took away from the integrity of the film overall.

      Also, your rebuttal with the exact dimensions of the tree was confusing. What does this matter? This was not a scientific analysis of Avatar, it was a film review. When I spoke of the tree being ginormous, it was for effect, not to prove any sort of point. Interesting that you would choose to focus on that point…

      Your info about "flux vortex" was useful and interesting. Thanks.

      • Alex Patalenski 5 January 2010 at 4:38 am #

        Heh, it might be just a film review but that's not just a film! :-) The author had 12 years to tune-up and perfect the screenplay. Moreover that he is also the director and co-producer, making him the "dictator" of this production. I just strongly believe in his reasons to make something exactly that way and I'm trying to find his logic, as if this is a puzzle.

        I mentioned HomeTree and the floating mountains with this reason – to illustrate there might be common reason behind every unbelievable-ness or childish oversimplification.

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