Avatar Ethics

Topics: James Cameron, Sigourney Weaver, 82nd Academy Awards Pages: 1 (403 words) Published: March 24, 2011
Avatar Ethics

An avatar is a physical shell controlled by forces from the outside. In the film, paraplegic marine Jake Sully’s mind/soul is placed inside the body of a genetically modified alien creature. He can control the massive and beautiful body, and is sent to infiltrate the native people on the lush planet of Pandora. They control the precious metal unobtanium, worth billions to the humans. In this grim future, Earth has been destroyed and is uninhabitable. Jake embraces this new life on a foreign world where he can be physically mobile again, and can step into the shoes of his dead scientist brother. Jake is a soldier, and is a bit of an avatar to begin with; the government has privately employed marines like him and soldiers of fortune to invade Pandora and rob its riches. They are physical extensions of destructive military minds. They are all avatars, pawns, robotic dogs bodies of a cruel, unseen governmental agency. The ethics of a scientist can be measured by the degree to which they are willing to work with the government. A doctor has started a school on Pandora, a kind of benevolent colonial and diplomatic enterprise. The military/corporate leaders want the planet’s resources, including a rare, mysterious tree that is the native’s source of spiritual life. The tree is a kind of fiber-optic cable connecting the natives to the spirits of the jungle, and protecting the tree becomes their priority and Jake’s too. Both she and Jake turn on their human counterparts and try to join the natives. In his giant blue body, Jake is free. And he loves the people of Pandora. He has gone in to warm them about the coming invasion. And he goes on to unite indigenous tribes all over the region to fight back. The people of Pandora are more like the Aliens. They have their operation, and it is going along just fine. They are physically superior to us, and they have it all under control. Any attempts to mess with them will be avenged. The aliens and robots win in...
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