View it at IMDB– Oh wait, there’s an annoying long ad you have to view before the trailer. Try viewing it at Apple– Oh wait it requires QuickTime. Well, let’s try viewing it at YouTube– Hey look, it just starts playing without any bullshit. Attention Internet company big-wigs: this is why people like Google!
So anyway, according to the trailer, a bunch of space marines with headless robots land on this planet. They volunteer one of their guys to transfer his brain into the body of one of the natives, who are blue elf creatures named the “Na’vi” which is obviously a Native American analogue. They have little tails. He’s released to live among the blue elf dudes, possibly to spy on them, and over a period of time he comes to appreciate their culture more than his own. He also meets some blue elf chick with a bow. When the space marines start to attack the blue elfs, he joins the elf side and leads them in battle with the marines.
So it’s Dances with Wolves.
Separated at birth?
Oh, but also the blue elfs train giant cats and ride dragons, apparently. That would be cool, if they didn’t look like blue elfs.
One of my buddies brought up that having the aliens in your movie be, basically, Native American elfs is pretty goddamned uncreative. Especially since this movie has a budget of over $300 million. Obviously none of that money went into hiring somebody who can come up with a creative and original alien race– hell the guys working for Lucas came up with like a dozen more creative and original alien races in the cantina scene alone! Seriously.
My original theory was that, due to the dragon riding and giant cat taming, the aliens in this movie were just way to obviously bad ass compared to the space marines, and so the space marines lost any sense of threat. So Cameron redesigned them to be elfs, and added cute little tails, to offset the bad ass-ness. (Note: this is also probably why he would add headless robots to the marines, so they kick more ass.) Good theory, but probably not true.
My second theory is that someone involved with this movie thought to themselves, “we need the audience to make an emotional connection with the Na’vi… I don’t think people will make a connection to something that doesn’t look or act human.” To that, a brief rebuttal:
Think about it.
Oh, and when we have guys in a movie riding dragons? Please make the dragons bigger than that. It just doesn’t satisfy the “wait a minute, this looks totally wrong” test if you have a human-sized guy riding a dragon with a wingspan of maybe 15 feet. Let’s see some dragons on film that are actually big enough to carry people around, not these wimpy ones.