The question of whether the movie ‘Avatar’ is a metaphor for Earth or not is really a simple question to answer. I wouldn’t even say it is a metaphor. It is more of a prediction of where we are heading with the Earth. The story of the movie makes several references to Earth and how it’s dying. In the opening scenes of the movie, you see how overpopulated the Earth has become. They don’t specifically say it, but the battles the main character, Jake Sully, had been in and received his crippling injury when in the Marines are most likely due to that overpopulation. At this point in the overpopulation of Earth, one can deduce that all the fighting would be over resources, rather than political, religious, or ideological reasons. The only metaphor I picked up from the movie, was the Na’vi and how the company treated them. The Na’vi seem to have strikingly similar ideals in regards to the Earth and the relationship they have with it as Native Americans do. How the company acted towards the Na’vi was also very similar to how the early United States acted towards Native Americans.
The company that Jake’s brother, Tom, was working for had set up a mining operation on the planet Pandora. This planet was rich in a substance called Unobtanium. This Unobtanium is an energy rich substance, very expensive, and the main reason why the company is on Pandora. A large source of the Unobtanium is located underneath the Na’vi’s home, so the company tries many ways to get the Na’vi to move so they can mine the resource. I believe this to be a metaphor for how the U.S. government is viewed in its pursuit of oil and how it treats others in that pursuit.
I believe this is a question that should be asked, so people can reflect on the current state of the Earth after viewing this movie. Humans are generally destroying much of the Earth and there are not many actions being taken to counter our destructive nature. Rather than live in unison with nature like the Na’vi, or more realistically, the indigenous people of our Earth, most people want to live in convenience and not put in the work required to live within their means.