The distant utopia

Every time I watch the David Cameron masterpiece from 2009, it is a reminder to just how far the human race has come from nature. ‘Avatar’ is something we all enjoyed when it was released in 3D with its incredible graphics and an equally compelling storyline. It was a big deal back then, and 10 years later, it still is a big deal and hits different considering the kind of growth we’ve had in environmental conscience. At least for me, this movie is predominantly a reminder of how disconnected we are from our surroundings. The very idea of the human race setting up a sophisticated (underplayed word) camp within the ‘most hostile environment known to man’ is ecstatic for someone who loves mad ideas. However, it goes accompanied with the reflective fact that man could accomplish something as distantly excruciating as that, but not get in terms with the idea of conservation of what we already have.

Pandora, or Omaticaya in specific, is the distant utopia of a land which has everything that a human world can possibly desire. It has strong, large people who are apparently, according to the analysis of a military Colonel, ‘hard to kill’. It has a closely knit social connection of which each one is a part. It has a world that is as enchanting as anything our eyes might ever behold. And most importantly, it has a network, which runs through the entire system and can be accessed by every being on the planet. If the analysis of Dr. Grace in the movie is in fact true, every person or animal born in Omaticaya lives on forever through the network, and each one has access to the endless database of time and space. Spiritual Gurus teaching us about the intangible laws of the Universe might as well have orgasms here.

The distant utopia, however, draws man to it but does not manage to convince him to not set it on fire. The incredible animals, responsive flora, the endless network – nothing manages to appeal to him as much as Unobtainium – the unattractive piece of stone which would sell for 20 million a kilo back on earth. This, practically, is evidence to just how far man has gotten from nature. Not even the uncommonly incredible flora and fauna of the distant utopia could sway his financial intents.

Of course, there was a handful – five members to be precise – who could see that the new world did not deserve what was coming to it. Naturally, they couldn’t prevent all of it but the initial failure that led to the destruction of the Hometree was just a mirror to the kind of destruction man has done on earth. “If Grace is there with you – look in her memories – she can show you the world we come from. There’s no green there. They killed their mother, and they’re gonna do the same here.” The desperate words of Jake Sully to Eywa before he prepares to go to war against the ‘Sky people’ is pretty much the summary of human race on earth. It might as well be true that the human race aces the skill of destruction than anything else. As Yuval Harrari writes in ‘Sapiens’, the ecological diversity of almost every continent vanished mysteriously around the same time that man set foot on it. With or without intention, man tends to cause destruction all around.

Omaticaya is perhaps just the image of earth before man that was realized through the minds of the writers of Avatar. If the things symbolized by Unobtanium hadn’t managed to sway us so far away from nature, we were perhaps the Na’vi who are nothing but fragments of the universe. If we had known to keep ourselves connected to our surroundings, there wouldn’t be a need for Avatars.

Every time I watch Avatar, the world of Pandora amazes me more and more. The portrayal of the level of oneness the Na’vi feel with their surroundings make me yearn. Their Goddess speaks to them, and gets them to cooperate in order to grant them a major desire. And they do, without feeling of it as a burden. The myths of their world are tangible, and real. Unlike ours, which sustain on alterable beliefs that can falter and thrust a man into mental imbalance at any moment. I watch Avatar multiple times not for the human aspects of it, but for the world of Pandora. And each time, I cannot help but imagine how our world would have been if we had managed to not kill our mother.


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