James Cameron's Avatar: The High Ground Vol. 1

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  • #41
Indeed, the synopsis for the second one is the most interesting. It implies that Jake has some kind of plan to make it too costly for the humans to return, but it somehow also relies on human nature to keep it together (or not, since the plan unravels because of it). And seemingly it involves Jake and Neytiri going off planet as a part of this plan. I am really interested in seeing how this is going to turn out.

I always found it interesting to imagine what the most effective way would be for the humans to return to Pandora. Unless Jake has found a way to directly influence Eywa (which seems highly unlikely to me), I doubt that just his warriors can do much against the humans returning. How about high altitude bombing of the area around Hell's Gate, or other places? I think if the humans are serious about returning, they can pretty much do anything to get their foothold on Pandora back, but probably the most effective thing would be to have a weapon so devastating that its presence alone will act as a deterrence for any Na'vi attack.

Maybe that's actually also Jake's plan: some kind of bluff involving telling the humans that Pandora's biosphere will actively fight the humans this time. Then the bluff might be called when a human "ally" of Jake betrays him in order to be forgiven for being a traitor and be taken back into the fold. Jake and Neytiri going off planet might be related to an attempt to sabotage the star ships, but the whole idea seems a little far fetched to me, as it will be far easier for humans like Max and Norm to infiltrate instead. So I really cannot think of a reason why Jake and Neytiri would go off planet. Especially Neytiri; what could possibly motivate her to go into space to the most alien environment she has ever encountered? Or maybe their trip is accidental, like that they were looking for something in a landed shuttle, which then unexpectedly took off with them still aboard?

I do like to speculate :)

My thoughts on how to ensure the safety of Pandora were pretty brutal (human nature, and all) but ultimately, would be completely effective. I suspect only Jake and the loyal humans left on Pandora would be able to live with it - and they would have to be deliberately vague with the Na'vi when discussing it ("The threat is gone, that's all we need to think about")

Essentially, the RDA humans never make it home. Humans loyal to the Na'vi board the ISV before she can depart, kill anyone still awake and euthanise everyone in sleep. The laser sail is destroyed so there is no way to decelerate her. Ensure she is filled with fuel to absolute capacity. At this point, set an impact trajectory rendez-vous with Earth, and set her engines to a delayed burn (so there's time to escape the ship) that will run continuously until her fuel is completely spent, turning the ship into a relativistic kill vehicle. Impacting earth at her full interstellar cruise speed (210,000km/sec) would effectively turn the ISV into a civilization ending, extinction level impact. It's unlikely any sort human life would survive long term (isolated pockets might well survive the initial impact, but would likely quickly succumb to the environmental shifts), and it'd likely push Earth into a new, post-anthropocene geological epoch with completely new species, biosphere and atmosphere. Any humans on the moon and Mars would die off without any resupply from Earth.

Why such an idea failed? Betrayal by a supposedly loyal human, or more likely someone (maybe Jake himself) is inadvertently too specific about the full implications of the plan to the Na'vi, who despite not exactly being a big fans of the Sky People overall, aren't quite as coldly pragmatic to the concept of planetary scale genocide as the humans are, and stop it.
 
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  • #42
Me neither. Na'vi in zero G, I could maybe buy, but them actually wearing full suits in the vacuum of space and moving around without tethers or propulsion... That would just guarantee death, but I guess in this universe one can just swim through space... Then there is the statement that the suits itch (no liquid cooling garments?) and that they can't relieve themselves, as if half-heartedly trying to convince the audience to stretch their suspension of disbelief... Oh and apparently Jake and Neytiri are perfectly fine after being exposed to the vacuum of space without their helmets.

I don't know how much creative control Cameron had over this, but I would have expected something a bit more grounded in reality than what we got here. Honestly, it felt like I was watching some Saturday morning cartoon in comic format, like for example Centurions from the 80s. Maybe awesome when you are a kid...but not much else.


I agree here as well. Even more jarring was that volume 1 was the worst offender, while the art style changed in volume 2 and 3 to have the characters be a bit more recognizable. But it was still all over the place. Especially bizarre is that Tuk is drawn as a muscled young man in volume 1... I too had to reread pages like that multiple times to figure out what was going on.


The other comics were way better with their illustrations, I agree, especially Tsu'tey's Path and Adapt or Die. So indeed, it's not as if nobody knows how to draw good Avatar artwork.

Between the hard-to-buy plot, the lousy illustrations, the dozen delays, the premature release announcements, the failure to release before the movie despite being touted as a must-read prequel to TWOW, and the eventual release of volume 3 before volume 2, I do wonder now, what the hell were those people smoking out there?

Agree. Didn't bother buying as the whole Na'vi in space thing is absurd. It takes *months* to train to survive in space for someone with exceptional skill and experience, from a space faring civilization. The Na'vi have no concept of the fundamentals so it would be deeply unethical for humans to persuade a Na'vi to do something they could do much more simply themselves.... even brushing over the question of why are there even space suits that exist for Na'vi? There is no way a human suit could ever work for them - even if there happened to be a nearly 3m tall human on board, the rebreather would be supplying a low level toxic atmosphere to them, under conditions of extreme stress, claustrophobia (for a people who literally *never* have their head covered or have any kind of constrictive clothing whatsoever, let alone boots) and total disorientation. These are a people with no experience, or even concept of, a hard vacuum (why would they - there is nothing in their entire cultural history or environment that would give them anything even remotely relatable that they can use as a basis for intuition about "How to EVA in 5 simple steps")

Also I strongly suspect the very idea of leaving Pandora would be incredibly traumatic, and potentially even life threatening? Eywa is a colonial/hive of living, connected beings - cutting a pure Na'vi individual completely off from Eywa is unprecedented. It'll be interesting to see how/if Cameron addresses this in Avatar 5, as from what we know of symbiotic/colonial species on Earth, separating them is never good. My assumption would be that the Na'vi could initially survive it, but it can't be good for them long term, and would be degenerative, much as bleaching is for a coral reef system (which I feel works well as an analogue for how the shared life of Eywa works on Pandora)
 
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My thoughts on how to ensure the safety of Pandora were pretty brutal (human nature, and all) but ultimately, would be completely effective.
That indeed is a pretty brutal method, but I doubt it would work in the end. I just don't think it is as easy as pointing the ISV to Earth from several light years away and firing up the engines. Also as an electronics designer involved in industrial safety, I would realistically expect the ISV's controls to be hackproof and always result in a safe shutoff or course adjustment in case something goes wrong.

Agree. Didn't bother buying as the whole Na'vi in space thing is absurd.
All points you mentioned are basically what I was also thinking. The moment I saw that cover of volume 2 last year, I knew something fishy was going on. In a lot of science fiction franchises, I have never seen another alien race less likely to venture into space than the Na'vi and how they were presented in the first movie.
 
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That indeed is a pretty brutal method, but I doubt it would work in the end. I just don't think it is as easy as pointing the ISV to Earth from several light years away and firing up the engines. Also as an electronics designer involved in industrial safety, I would realistically expect the ISV's controls to be hackproof and always result in a safe shutoff or course adjustment in case something goes wrong.


All points you mentioned are basically what I was also thinking. The moment I saw that cover of volume 2 last year, I knew something fishy was going on. In a lot of science fiction franchises, I have never seen another alien race less likely to venture into space than the Na'vi and how they were presented in the first movie.
Up until I saw the second movie I wondered if the ISVs had safeguards in the nav system to prevent someone stupiding humanity to death by accident, though assumed it would be possible to over-ride as an emergency manoeuvre (much as most spacecraft today can fly fully automated but still can be fully over-ridden by humans if need be).

Having watched TWOW, I'm beginning to question how well ringfenced their systems are at all, as in TWOW the whaling ship/ekranoplan can be deliberately wrecked by being piloted at full speed into a reef, without the ships navigation system warning or interrupting the throttle commands, despite being a high value asset (and carrying the most valuable cargo the RDA has). Admittedly, the ISV is on another level, but it seems the RDA is either blase or very keen on crew being able to have over-ride authority when needed.

BUt yep, totally agree the Na'vi shouldn't be in space at all - and I'd love to see the conversation where Jake suggests it because I can just imagine Neytiris reply (and expression). Suffice to say Jake will be sleeping in the mud for a good long while.

"Sooo, hear me out.... how about leaving our home world that our souls and very existence are spiritually and literally bound to - that our culture values above absolutely anything and everything else, and going into a freezing vacuum that will instantly kill us, relying on nothing other than the artefacts of a alien species that wants to exterminate our people and destroy the collective liveforce of our world?"

"No."

"oh.... OK then.... Suit yourself."
 
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