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oldgringo2001
oldgringo2001
Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 27 2010, 10:26 PM EST | Post edited: Nov 27 2010, 10:26 PM EST
From the imagination of James Cameron. He made them look like humans, laugh like humans, etc, so we could relate to them and so human actors could portray them. But looking at them from inside the universe of Avatar, at least some humans would have noticed:

On a world where land vertebrates have six limbs and breath mostly through vents in their chests, the Na'vi have only four limbs and breath mostly through their noses.
The Na'vi smile. This is something unique to humans on Earth; none of the other living primates actually smile (Chimpanzees who look like they're smiling are probably showing their teeth in a threat display!)
The Avatar program succeeded, at least on a technical level. Why was it possible to make viable hybrids mixing human and alien DNA? FERTILE hybrids (made clear from one of the cut scenes.)

All this could lead up to, say, the discovery that the Na'vi themselves were genetically engineered a long time ago from Earth-humans to a form that could thrive on Pandora.
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Keyword tags: Avarar Ideas
TallLakota
TallLakota
1. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 28 2010, 6:09 AM EST | Post edited: Nov 28 2010, 6:09 AM EST
James Camoron had the actors wear small cameras focused on their faces. The facal expresions recorded by these cameras were then intergrated by the computers onto the Navi charactor faces. He knew the face expressions is what makes a charactor work well on screen 90% of the time. Of course, because the movie is ment for an Human audience.

From and evolutonary stand point, I suspect facal expresion communication in Primates species like ourselfs, is quite common. I am sure there are many Primate like species like ourselfs out there.
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AkGeff
2. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 28 2010, 8:34 AM EST | Post edited: Nov 28 2010, 8:34 AM EST
another "simpler" answer could be that the Na'vi are orginaly from a part of Pandora that favored quadrapeds over hexapeds? A different continent perhaps? There are examples of that here on earth, Australia for instance has a lot of marsupials as one of the predominate species. Random luck & location allowed them to thrive as there were no large predators to devour them on the "island continent" of australia. A lot of evolution is based on random luck, imagine what earth's evolutionary path would have been if an asteroid hadn't destroyed the dinosaurs....
Pandora is a big place, bigger than Earth isn't it? I think it's plenty big enough for evolution to have followed more than one path. I would find this to be a "pure-er" plot direction than the idea that the Na'vi were introduced to Pandora at some point in the past by "space aliens", wether they be us or someone else (sounds like something my crazy uncle Hal would say...) That to me just seems to be taking the plot off on a random distracting tangent, I don't see a compeling reason for the plot to "go there".
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oldgringo2001
oldgringo2001
3. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 30 2010, 5:30 AM EST | Post edited: Nov 30 2010, 5:40 AM EST
Facial expressions as communication, yes--but why exactly the same facial expressions? Remember, I'm looking at this from inside the Avatar universe, and I started out my last post by saying that Cameron made them look human to make them sympathetic--which he has also said.

As for this being a useless tangent, where the plot is obviously going is to when refugees from Earth start showing up on Pandora. Earth is supposed to be a dying planet, right? It could give another reason for the Na'vi and the Sky People to tolerate each other, after a whole lot of mayhem, of course.

Also, having the Na'vi be created by technology beyond Earth capability suggests that maybe some of that technology might still be operating. It gives a wonderful excuse to give the Na'vi another secret weapon.
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AkGeff
4. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 1 2010, 10:31 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 1 2010, 10:31 AM EST
Sorry oldgringo I wasn't trying to dis your premise. In my defence I only ment it as IMHO & I reffered to it as a "distracting tangent" not a "useless"one. I have always valued your opinions on Avatar and have never considered them useless. I totaly agree with you about Cameron giving the Na'vi human characteristics to make them more sympathetic. Hmm there is a word for ascribing human traits to animals but it escapes me.... My son tried to get me to watch the movie "District 9" about a bunch of bugs in a refugee camp that came to earth aboard an alien spaceship. Besides the plot being just plain wierd I couldn't have carred less what happened to the oversized cockroaches in the film an turned it off about half way through. IF the Na'vi hadn't posessed traits that humans could relate to it wouldn't have been nearly as succesfull. An we wouldn't be here discussing it on this board. I guess the "plot issue" with the Na'vi possesing human DNA would be that the scientist's should have picked up on that while they were studying Pandoran/Na'vi biology. Seems like if the Na'vi were some kind of Pandoran / Human genetic engineering project there would have been evidence of that in their DNA. Who do you think is the party responsible for doing this & why did they do it? It certainly opens a "Pandora's box" of plot options... I'm thinkin Pandora's "secret weapon" is gonna have more to do with Grace being assimilated? by Ewa. Up till then I think Ewa's focus had been primrily "inward" on the planet Pandora & the "balance of life". I think of her as a concious if not cognizant entity. The assimilation of grace's memories & experiences could have sparked in Ewa an "existentialist" transformation, an awarness of the external universe outside of pandora. Do you find this valuable?    
Valdamar
Valdamar
5. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 6 2010, 5:11 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 6 2010, 5:11 PM EST
Dear AkGeff, it is good to see that you’re still with us. How’s your new flat screen going; any regrets?

Just a few bits of information that you may be interested in: according to the “Activist Survival Guide”, Pandora has a diameter that is slightly smaller than Earth, e.g. 1,145 Km as against 1,275 Km; and it has a surface gravity of 0.8 times that of Earth’s. The term you’re looking for to describe animal actions and traits in terms of human behavior is anthropomorphizing.

As you are probably aware I also share the view that the Na’vi and many of the major fauna on Pandora are probably genetically engineered. Refer my LOST ON PANDORA thread. One major reason for thinking this is their queues; which to our eyes appear to be unnatural, and serve no survival purpose other than to control, or be controlled by the dominate species. On a higher technological footing, the Na’vi queues also allow them to control technically advanced machinery by simple thoughts. This arrangement allows the Na’vi to take to space, which I understand J.C. has been itching to do ever since he became infatuated with the first Star Wars movie.
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oldgringo2001
oldgringo2001
6. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 8 2010, 1:48 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 8 2010, 1:48 AM EST
I think that Star Trek is closer to the original inspiration for a lot of Avatar than Star Wars. There were a lot of "Bimbos of the Death Sun"-type episodes, but Trek in all its incarnations has always had a more ecologically sound philosophy behind it than Star Wars, and has attracted a better class of writers. Now one of those writers is a guy named David Gerrold, and he created Tribbles. Later on he created a series of ecology-themed novels called "The War Against the Chtorr. It's a strange war; an invasion by an alien ecology which is not only munching up humans but beginning to make herds of them to use as food animals. Humans aren't even sure there is an intelligent Chtorr species.

Something like this could be the origin of the Na'vi: Maybe some lost human or non-human civilization brought humans to Pandora, and Eywa adopted and adapted them.

Here's another: Eywa may have been in contact with Earth for a long time, and created the Na'vi in order to communicate with the humans.
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okigrami
7. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 9 2010, 6:39 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 9 2010, 6:39 AM EST
"
Here's another: Eywa may have been in contact with Earth for a long time, and created the Na'vi in order to communicate with the humans. "
Interesting thought, oldgringo.
It's fun to speculate about the extent of Eywa's power.
Was the death of Jake's brother a coincidence?...Or did Ewya have the power to reach out across the universe and engineer the path by which she would obtain a useful champion for her defense?
Most sentient beings have survival intincts.
Gathering useful upgrades and incorporating them into one's survival, would be a plausible behavior....even in a life form that is composed of pure energy.
We also don't know what has gone on in the past.
Neytiri said that TorukMacto had been called forth 5 times in the past.
Has Ewya had to fend off other aggressive/predatory Alien life forms in the past?

There are so many ways that Cameron could develop the storyline from here.
He has laid down a lot of clues, both subtle and profound.
It will be interesting to see how he takes it forward.
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oldgringo2001
oldgringo2001
8. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 16 2010, 11:10 AM EST | Post edited: Dec 16 2010, 11:10 AM EST
"Was the death of Jake's brother a coincidence?"
I started a thread about this called "A Convenient Death." The premise of that is that RDA killed Tommy because it wanted to send Jake in his place.

I've been mulling over a further twist: What if Tommy was *not* Jake's identical twin? Just look at the Olsen twins to see how much fraternal twins can resemble one another. Jake might not realize the difference is important until one of the scientists learns this fact. It would mean that his Avatar was *not* made from Tommy's DNA but from his own.

Anyway, Eywa might be able to see into the future. A little precognition in some of the beings linking into Eywa could add up to a lot of precognition in the groupmind. In the deleted Dreamquest scene, Jake meets Toruk and sees the burnt landscape he will wake up in after the destruction of Hometree. How much foreshadowing do you need?

Having Eywa kill Tommy would make Eywa the villain, wouldn't it? Not exactly Cameron's style.
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Valdamar
Valdamar
9. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 18 2010, 3:51 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2010, 3:51 PM EST
When portable and mobile phones became common pieces of hardware in our everyday lives, my wife took to them with a passion. However, she always seemed to be on the phone. As a result I have often threatened to get her a tube of super glue for her birthday, or for Christmas. It’s now a common ritual in our household for me to bring this topic up.

“That’s nice dear, why do I need super glue.” She would say with a role of her eyes and an expectant but disappointed smile. “So that you can glue your phone to you ear and free up your hands for wifely duties,” I would say with a sheepish grin.

In this regard I think that things have gotten to the point where some people just simply cannot live without their mobile or portable phones. I suspect they would feel socially deprived without them.

So where to next with the technological development of mobile phones do you ask? As with AVATAR, I think it is the role of sci-fi to speculate on such issues. One such speculation may lead to mobile phones and other such technology being surgically implanted into our heads; however a better solution would be to genetically alter our brains to have Na’vi type queues so that we could plug our brains directly into all types of technologically advanced hardware. Such genetic alterations would undoubtedly give the recipient a competitive advantage in the world market place over non recipients. It would also open up a whole new market for enhanced prosthetic sensors (e.g. hearing, sight, etc.) pleasure and sexual satisfaction.
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Valdamar
Valdamar
10. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 18 2010, 3:52 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 18 2010, 3:55 PM EST
I suspect/speculate that the ancestors of the Na’vi have already undergone such a transformation, and such an event, along with how the Na’vi’s ancestors arrived on Pandora in the first place would make a terrific AVATAR prequel story. Also lurking in the back ground in AVATAR is the fact that humans are not alone in this universe. Consequently there is a good chance that Earth has been visited in the past and seeded with life in a similar fashion to that on Pandora. After all, the Na’vi have many similar features to humans. I think it would be an interesting twist in the AVATAR sequel stories if this apparent connection was revealed and brought into play to save the day, or set the scene for future sequels. Also at the end of the 3rd sequel we see Eywa just beginning to take root on Earth. Now wouldn’t that be interesting? Do you find this valuable?    
Valdamar
Valdamar
11. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Dec 30 2010, 12:24 PM EST | Post edited: Dec 30 2010, 12:24 PM EST
One scene that seemed out of place in the movie occurs when Neytiri touches her sleeping hammock and it automatically enfolds around her like a Venus fly trap. In this scene we also notice that the sleeping hammock appears to be organically coupled to the home tree. I may be paranoid over the issue of the potential use of the Na’vi queue’s as a neural jack, however the Na’vi’s sleeping hammock does provide the potential for Eywa to tap into the Na’vi’s conscious thoughts while they are sleeping. This tapping process also allows Eywa to upload thoughts and ideas. Throughout the movie there are a number of potential clues to Eywa’s influence over the Na’vi thoughts and behavior in this regard. These include:

The ability of the Na’vi children to learn quicker than Grace could teach them. Moat’s ability to speak English and her knowledge of the method to reviving Grace by “passing her through the eye of Eywa.” These events may have perfectly normal explanations which we did not learn about in the movie however they do start to support the notion that Eywa, the Na’vi and all the other flora and fauna on Pandora are symbiotically entwined. If there is an ulterior purpose to this, then I speculate that JC will introduce this as surprise twist in the plot, probably towards the end of the next sequel.
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Valdamar
Valdamar
12. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Jan 9 2011, 9:04 PM EST | Post edited: Jan 9 2011, 9:04 PM EST
I cannot help thinking about the use of the name Pandora for the moon that this movie is set on. Has JC deliberately chosen this name knowing that in myth, the act of ‘opening Pandora’s box’ means to create evil that cannot be undone; and this is basically what the whole AVATAR story is all about.

So in future sequels, does Earth’s uncaring meddling presence on Pandora mean that is about to release something evil and the events that ensue indicated that there is no apparent hope of survival. If nothing else this type of plot line certainly has all the ingredients that will put bums on seats.
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TxonAtan
TxonAtan
13. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Feb 4 2011, 8:47 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 4 2011, 8:47 AM EST
I don't agree with the technical way you all are going about this--you all have very good ideas, but there is another way of explaining why the Na'vi resemble humans.

First of all, either in the Survival Guide or another Avatar book, i read that the Na'vi are related to the Prolemurs, just like humans are related to chimps and other primates. The prolemurs actually have four limbs, but the top limbs split into two "arms" at the elbow. Basically, the prolemurs are sort of in-between being quadrupeds and hexapeds. When the Na'vi's evolutionary timeline split with the prolemurs, they lost the extra arm coming from the upper limbs because they no longer needed it to swing in trees. Hence, they are quadrupeds.

Also, there is an explanation for why many creatures on Pandora resemble Earth creatures--not just the Na'vi, but the Direhorse and the prolemurs as well. Scientists have actually found--in real life, not the movie--DNA from Earth on asteroids in space. I don't know the specifics of it, but basically I think when ateroids collided with Earth millions of years ago then flew back into space, they took microorganisms and DNA with them. Who's to say that these asteroids didn't go to another planet or moon-such as Pandora--where life similar to that of Earth develooped. Plants, animals, and sentient beigns eventually evolved with the same root DNA--which is why the Avatar program works.
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Allrock
Allrock
14. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Sep 29 2011, 7:38 AM EDT | Post edited: Nov 6 2011, 3:34 AM EST
When James Cameron created the Na'Vi he wanted realy push the bounderys in charter creation, the E-motion capture system they developed let him create human "driven" computer generated charters with very advanced facial expression, He speaks about a term called the uncanny valley where the human viewer looking at an animated charter will find the charter "beleable" there is a video on youtube that explains this process at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wK1Ixr-UmM because the Navi to us are alien yet human like we can relate too them in a very unique way , we cant give then a "label" as we have never seen then before "Yet" we can relate then to indigous peoples on earth and our knowlage of our dealings with those people from past history , place a human in the shoes of the "other" and let us look at ourselves and you have an powerful creative story telling tool that realy makes people think and question our actions . the fact that some experenced depression after seeing avatar confirms this conection. Do you find this valuable?    
oldgringo2001
oldgringo2001
15. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Oct 5 2011, 2:30 PM EDT | Post edited: Oct 5 2011, 2:30 PM EDT
There's a further clue in the myth of Pandora: Along with all the bad things, Pandora releases hope into the world. Maybe. Cameron may have chosen "Polyphemus" first, the name of one of the Cyclops, in reference to the Eye. Pandora is the daughter of Polyphemus in at least one of the Greek myths. She's also the Greek "Eve" in others, the first human woman and, hence, the mother of us all. Do you find this valuable?    
Valdamar
Valdamar
16. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 5 2011, 5:50 PM EDT | Post edited: Nov 5 2011, 5:50 PM EDT
I have fond memories of reading the Greek Classics when I first started to read. Since then I have come to realise that these early fairy tale like stories have certainly have left an indelible mark on our modern day culture.
I can remember a story of Odysseus landing on the island of the Cyclops on his way home from the Trojan wars. In this story Odysseus and his men are trapped in Polyphemus’s cave. Most of Odysseus’s men are eaten by the giant Polyphemus before they eventually escape by poking out his eye and bypassing him by clinging to the underbelly of his sheep.
In AVATAR I can recall in one of the jungle scenes seeing a picture of the giant planet Polyphemus with its Jupiter like red spot: come all seeing solitary eye. In this case, in the best tradition of naming extra-terrestrial systems in accordance with the Greek Classics, Polyphemus is an apt name for this planetary system. In accordance with legend, Pandora is also an apt name for one of Polyphemus’s moons. Odysseus could also be another apt moon name. Perhaps we are reading more into this than “meets the eye” (no pun intended).
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Allrock
Allrock
17. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 6 2011, 3:25 AM EST | Post edited: Nov 6 2011, 3:25 AM EST
James Cameron drew from deep inspiration when he created Avatar and it realy is quite astouning how much hidden symbolism he put behind the scenes , his underlying understanding of how we see conections and relate to the world through thoughts and memorys is one thing that makes Avatars story resound so strongly with so many people even 3 + years after its release people still remark (if they relate) on how inspiring a film it was for them. Do you find this valuable?    
TallLakota
TallLakota
18. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 6 2011, 5:53 AM EST | Post edited: Nov 6 2011, 5:53 AM EST
"James Cameron drew from deep inspiration when he created Avatar and it realy is quite astouning how much hidden symbolism he put behind the scenes , his underlying understanding of how we see conections and relate to the world through thoughts and memorys is one thing that makes Avatars story resound so strongly with so many people even 3 + years after its release people still remark (if they relate) on how inspiring a film it was for them."
I relate to Avatar on a more personal level. Not just becase of my native heritage, but also how I live my life and my life experiences. I can relate t Avatar n a physical level, because I am in shape and slender like the Navi. Also I am active, still doing much activity outdors. Much of Avatar is Athletic an nature.

On an emotanal and spiritual level, I can connect with the Avatar story. Jakes intergation int his Avatar body I can connect with. The joy he had when he could run again and be alive! Much of Avatar speeks of the joy of just being alive!
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Allrock
Allrock
19. RE: Where Are the Na'vi From?
Nov 6 2011, 12:57 PM EST | Post edited: Nov 6 2011, 12:57 PM EST
yes how true, why I allways understand that the film is a fantasy creation, I must also ask Why did James Cameron Create it in the first place ? In hearing him speak I must also assume he was "sincere" in what he did, He genuinely cares about the issues he sees in the real world and felt moved to action on this issue I do get upset when I see the media use words like Avatard to label people who feel deep sadness after seeing the film while it is true some get caught in the films fantasy and see our real world as Dull and unintresting" compared to James wonderous fantasy land the vast majority see the conection to "real" issues here on earth and this opens there eyes in a way they have never experened and yes suprisingly they feel true sadness for what they now "see" in our real world, the fact that many act on this and make positive world change realy makes me beleve in the power of humanity in a very deep way (of course not everyone has this experence but giving the "label" Avatard to those that relate deaply to real world issues is simply wrong and a true fault in our sociaty. take a look at this example on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ojdTLhWsRA
(please be aware I wish these people could simply "ask" for our help and not need an aid agency like survival international)
Thank you
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