In a 2007 interview with Time magazine, Cameron explained the relationship between the title and Hinduism, “which is the incarnation of the Hindu deity in the flesh.” In this movie, this means that the technology of the future of humanity can inject a human intelligence into a remote-controlled biological body. ”

1. Avatar and Hinduism

The name of the film is not an English word, but comes from the Indian Sanskrit word Avatar, where “ava” means “down” or “to leave” and “tar” means “to cross” and “to cross”. The word in Sanskrit means from heaven to earth, and the gods came to earth in mortal flesh.

Originally a religious term for the Vishnu sect of Hinduism, it was later absorbed into secular society and took on a broader meaning of “incarnation”. In the movie, Jack enters the Na’vi body through a soul transfer machine called “Avatar” and integrates into their society, and this process of entering the indigenous tribes of Pandora from human civilization can be said to be an act of “incarnation” based on the future high-tech level.

Of course, the relationship between the Sanskrit word Avatar and film is not only at the superficial level of “incarnation”, to understand its meaning, we must first return to Hinduism. Hinduism has three deities: Brahma, the creator of the world, Vishnu, the sustainer of the world, and Shiva, the destroyer of the world.

In Hindu history, “Avatar” is basically synonymous with Vishnu, and as the keeper of the world, he often incarnates different images in Indian epics, punishing evil, promoting good, and saving mankind from danger.

Rama, the protagonist of the famous Indian epic Ramayana, is the incarnation of the great god Vishnu on earth, and in another epic, Makobharata, Vishnu incarnates as Klicna.

In addition, he once transformed into a big fish to save the ancestor of mankind, Manu, and turned into a giant wild boar to rescue the golden-eyed demon to save the goddess of the earth; Transformed as a dwarf, also known as the three-step god, he asked the demon king Pali for a three-step place, and as a result, he crossed the three realms of heaven, earth and space in three steps and defeated the demon king Pali. A total of 22 different incarnations of Vishnu are recorded in the Bhagavan Pastoral Book.

In the movie, Jack’s “avatar” just came to Pandora’s primeval forest and was surrounded by the spores of the sacred tree, and it was based on this vision that Na’vi princess Natiri decided to bring him back to the tribe by prophecy and identified him as the “savior”.

Later, Jack successfully subdued the air overlord Manta Raysaurus, led the Na’vi people to rebel against the human colonial forces, and drove the human mercenaries back to Earth, which further proved that he was the savior of the Na’vi people chosen by God to shoulder a special mission. Therefore, the title Avatar not only echoes the “soul transfer” technique in the story, but also implies from the etymological cultural background that the protagonist has a natural mission to save the Na’vi people.

II. Avatar and Cameron

It can be said that any great work of art is the artist’s life autobiography or spiritual history, which must be implicitly or explicitly branded with the creator’s personal imprint.

In 1994, Kashen completed the 80-page script and background of “Avatar” in just two weeks. In August 1996, he announced that he would begin filming Avatar after completing Titanic. But I didn’t expect that this dream that had been cherished for two years would have to wait 13 years to come true on the big screen.

The image of the Na’vi in the movie actually comes from a dream that Kashin’s mother had a long time ago. In her dream, she saw a blue-skinned woman who was 12 feet tall. Therefore, he added this image to his first version of the script. During the interview, he also talked about why he chose blue as the main color of the Na’vi, “I have always liked blue… Moreover, it has a connection to the Hindu deity, and I like the concept of it. “Know that the true body of Vishnu, the great god of Hinduism, is blue skin.

Of course, the themes of civilization and barbarism, technology and nature, weapons and life in “Avatar” are also related to Kashin’s own cultural background and viewing and reading experience.

Many people may not know that James Cameron is actually a Canadian, and the history of the invasion and massacre of American Indians by white European colonists and the expulsion of indigenous peoples from the land they have worked and lived on for generations to reserved land is a compulsory course for every American and Canadian citizen.

From an early age, children are guided to objectively face this disgraceful history of their own country. Therefore, the regret, repentance, and antipathy towards war and violence for the indigenous people are naturally imprinted in the heart of Kashin.

In addition, Cameron also said in the interview that the script of “Avatar” was inspired by every science fiction novel he read as a child. He says he borrows from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter collection.

It tells the story of a traumatized former officer in the American Civil War who travels to Mars, and because Mars’ gravity is less than Earth’s, he becomes a powerful and jumpy “superman” and intervenes in local tribal conflicts. This series was also put on the big screen in 2012, called “Alien Battlefield”, but only one film was filmed and it ended without success.

Of course, the theme of the wounded soldier in the film being attracted to the culture of the originally hostile camp was also influenced by the film “Dances with Wolves”.

In addition, the story of “Avatar” also has a more realistic direction. The United States bombed major Iraqi cities with highly sophisticated weapons in the 2003 Iraq war, achieving its stated military objectives but also causing great harm to the lives of local civilians.

Cameron said in the interview: “We know what it’s like to launch a missile, but we don’t know how people abroad feel, we don’t know what it’s like to have a missile land in our own country.” Therefore, he arranged for human mercenaries to wreak havoc on the planet Pandora by choosing rotorcraft and land combat mechs in “Avatar” to show the ruthlessness of mechanized warfare.

He said, “If you take it out and talk about something, people will definitely say that you are not patriotic; But I think it is very patriotic to question a system that should be monitored, otherwise it risks becoming another Roman Empire. Therefore, “Avatar” is also the embodiment of Kashin’s sense of civic responsibility to accuse and criticize world hegemony.

3. Avatar and the Avatar Universe

After achieving the great success of “Avatar”, which has been sharpened for twelve years, Kashen once again fell into a period of twelve years of concentrated creation. However, his exit this time brings a larger “Avatar Universe” huge creation plan for the majority of fans: the second part will be released in 2022, the third part will be released in 2024, the fourth part will be released in 2026, and the fifth part will be released in 2028.

Starting in 2022, Kashen will gradually reveal more secrets of the planet Pandora for the audience at a steady rate of one every two years. But he also said that if the box office of the two is dismal, “Avatar 4” and “Avatar 5” will not be released.

In 2009, through the 3D camera developed by his team that simulates the vision mode of human binocular vision and the exquisite production that takes an average of 60,000 man-hours per frame, Kashen showed the audience the wonderful and exotic planet Pandora, and thus won a large number of fans around the world.

Looking back at “Avatar” 12 years later, compared with other sci-fi and fantasy works that were born after inheriting the mantle of card god special effects, the ecosystem of Pandora Planet has been slightly simplified, and the biological species are not rich. Some of the creatures shown in the movie can only form a very simple food chain and biological circulation system:

The Na’vi, the only known intelligent species on the planet Pandora, can use cold weapons and fire, and the form of social organization is primitive tribes.

The Pandora Monkey, a small lemur-like creature, can climb and glide between trees with the help of flexible arms and wing membranes.

Pandora Liema, with six legs and armor on its head, covers the back of the head along its neck. Its respiratory organs grow in the chest, so it cannot cross the waters of the chest. Can be tamed by the Na’vi and connected to the owner through nerve fibers.

Manta rays, flying carnivores similar to pterosaurs, can also be tamed by the Na’vi, but one will only be with one owner for life.

Manta raysaurs, an enhanced variant of manta rays, are more majestic, and their bodies are covered with yellow, red and black stripes. Feeding on manta rays and Na’vi, only a very few Na’vi with extremely strong spiritual power can tame it and become tribal leaders.

The hammerhead thunder beast, a herbivore similar to a rhinoceros, is the size of two elephants, with a large protruding transverse bone on its head, resembling a hammerhead shark, and its skin is extremely hard, even resistant to gun attacks.

The spotted cow, a giant land beast on Pandora, is five meters tall and weighs ten tons. He is docile and gregarious, moving along rivers.

These ideas were stunning at the time, and they are not without their best today.

For example, “King Kong: Skull Island” in Legendary Pictures’ ambitious “Monster Universe”, as a closed ecological space, the island is full of special evolutionary mutant beasts that shock the audience as “Avatar”.

Of course, as an independent planet, Pandora still has a lot of excavable space. In the first part, we only see the ecology of the tropical region of Pandora. We don’t know anything about its oceans, plateaus, mountains, plains, Gobi, deserts and more.

According to the currently known information on the filming site of “Avatar 2”, there are a large number of underwater scenes, I believe that in the sequel, Kashen will lead us to dive into the mysterious bottom of the sea, showing the other side of the mysterious Pandora.

We can also look forward to “Avatar 2” with more questions. For example, how is the Na’vi civilization by the sea different from that in the jungle? What is the ship of the Na’vi like? What are the wonderful creatures in the ocean? Did the human colonists discover a new Pandora treasure in the ocean this time? Re-watch Ka Shen’s masterpiece “Avatar”, maybe there will be new discoveries.

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