Avatar versus Star Wars
After thinking about Avatar, it strikes me that there are many parallels with the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Both movies had phenomenal success and caught the imagination of many movie fans.
James Cameron's Avatar has definitely broken new ground and has moved 3D pictures ahead. Avatar is a brilliant visual delight and wonderful eye candy and with action to keep you engaged throughout the film.
However, Avatar cannot match the complexity of Star Wars. Star Wars kept you guessing and wondering what was going happen next. Also Star Wars changed the way we viewed movies and the use of special effects. People would return again and again to try to see ...view middle of the document...
We get a glimpse of what the world of the “good” side is like by seeing how the Na’vi live. This allows us to sympathise with the Na’vi and their way off life. We see the beauty of Pandora and gain a glimpse of what the Na’vi stand for and wish to protect. In Avatar, the Na’vi are presented in such a way that they are, in a spiritual, philosophical and physical sense, almost faultless. In Avatar we know what the Na’vi are fighting for and that the cause is justified.
The evil side is better defined in SW. In SW, we know that the Empire is evil from the actions and dialogue of Darth Vader and his underlings. In effect, they are evil, they know they are evil and they like it.
In Avatar, the evil is less obvious and potentially made more sinister by the fact that the RDA do not see themselves as evil. Unlike Darth Vader and his stormtroopers, the RDA soldiers are given human faces.
The way the good and evil sides are presented is one area where the two movies diverge. In Star Wars, the good side is effectively defined by what we see of the evil side. In other words the good side is defined as “We are not like the Empire”.
In Avatar, the good side defines itself. We know who the good guys are and exactly what they represent. The evil side is effectively defined by what we see of the Na’vi and Pandora. By immersing us in Pandora and the Na’vi, this is probably the best movie ever for defining the virtues of the good side, rather than simply opposing an abstract evil. We learn to love what is good in Avatar, rather than just oppose what is bad.
I also find parallels between the heros and villains. There are only two real heros of note in Avatar, Jake and Neytiri. Jake appears to be an merging of Han solo and Luke Skywalker, being well-meaning and naïve on one hand, while being a traitor on the other.
Neytiri seems to be an merging of Princess Leia, the courageous warrior Princess who is fighting for good, and Obi-Wan, the wise teacher who instructs the Hero in the ways of the world.
The villains, on the other hand, are not so well defined in Avatar as they are in SW. The villain in Avatar is split between Selfridge...