Avatar‘s Pandora is a beautiful world. But underneath the overly familiar story lay philosophies of environmentalism, spiritualism, and more. Be warned that this (late) initial reactions does contain spoilers.
We both now have press status to see movies prior to release. Hopefully, this will result in prompt initial reactions to future releases that we deem worth viewing and commenting on.
The next couple episodes in the feed will be repostings of a two-part interview with Jeff Roney from Roney Zone Radio. We hope you enjoy the interview!
All three of us are wowed over visual impact of Avatar. But is it too beautiful? Some are reporting “post-avatar depression.” But before you consider watching Avatar, we recommend reading PluggedIn Online’s review.
We both had doubts about the movie prior to seeing it. Daniel is rarely impressed with humans becoming something other than humans (like Hulk) and Eve because the trailer gave no sense to the story that the movie was going to tell.
The movie is a retelling of a very worn out story. Chris compares it to Pocahontas, Daniel considers it to be FernGully 2.0 (which would actually be 3.0, since there is a FernGully 2), and Eve was reminded of Dances with Wolves.
Religion, spiritualism, and environmentalism
Avatar presents a spiritual aspect to the world of Pandora. Harmony of the world and its occupants.
Environmentalism was a major undercurrent of the story.
While being anticorporation, Avatar was not necessarily antimilitary.
Where does the idea that man is a great evil that destroys come from?
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis [1:26]–28, NKJV)
Often, environmentalists elevate the environment’s importantance over people.
The goddess of Pandora can apparently be destroyed and thus must be defended. The people needed to protect their goddess. This is what happens when man raises something that is not God to the level of God.
… and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. … who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans [1:23] & 25; NKJV)
Christians are commanded to be ready to give an answer, not in defense of God—who requires no defense—but in defense of the faith.
… but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter [3:15])
God needs no protection; He protects us.
Culture of the Na’vi
There is a comment that the Na’vimust be born twice, the second time of the people. There appears to be some kind of allusion to the “born-again” doctrine of Christian.
People steal a lot of logic and truth from Scripture because the Bible is Truth.
The reality of the beliefs is commented on in the movie. Humans have explained the “spiritual” network of Pandora in a scientific way. There is a physical reality to the spiritual world.
“I’m a scientist. I don’t believe in fairy tales.”
Scientific background supposedly makes a belief in something “supernatural” difficult.
The spiritual parallel is that we are not just physical beings; we are not of this world.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians [6:12], KJV)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes [3:11], NKJV)
Mating is a bonding for life. In our culture, sex is presented as a casual thing between any couple seeking pleasure. But on Pandora, sex is presented as the consummation of a lifetime commitment.
Is man a body or a spirit? In Avatar, Jake switches bodies, so there seems to be some commentary on man as a spiritual being.
The goddess of Pandora heard Jake, so somehow, humans were enough of spiritual beings to “plug-in” to the spiritual network of Pandora.
The charm of indigenous peoples
Avatar presents the primitive lifestyle as charming and desirable. Like many movies that present the charm of primitive lifestyle, which is not realistic. Hand to mouth living is not charming.
Chris and Eve were impressed by the attention that was played to the indigenous peoples of Canada during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. With that in mind, there needs to be a balance in how indigenous peoples are dealt with. Not exalting them, but also not taking advantage of them.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews [12:14], NASB)
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Romans [12:18], NASB)
We should view all the peoples of the world as our relations.
… and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. (Acts [17:26], NASB)
Did you see Avatar? What did you think of it? Comment on this post, email feedback@AreYouJustWatching.com (audio feedback welcome), or call (903) 231-2221. You can also follow Are You Just Watching?™, Daniel, and Eve on Twitter. And please join our Facebook Page. And don’t forget to leave us some five-star reviews in iTunes!
Are You Just Watching?™ is produced and sponsored by D.Joseph Design. The opening vocal talent is thanks to Mariah. Our theme song is used courtesy of Answers in Genesis, from their exciting vacation Bible school curriculum, Operation Space.