Like most movies, Avatar makes less sense the more you think about it. On my first viewing, I noticed its spectacular special effects, but also its shallow characters, wooden dialog, overly forced conflict, and its all too obvious message. My recent second viewing revealed to me whole new depths of confusion. Many spoilers about Avatar’s world:
- A special region destroys human navigation and search tech, but doesn’t interfere at all with very high bandwidth long-distance remote control of avatars.
- In this special region huge rocks float in the air, though animals and water fall normally. Far more water falls from the bottom of some rocks than seems to fall onto them from above.
- The large floating rocks are rough and worn, but no rubble of small rocks float in the air beside them.
- Huge human flying ships and local flying animals weigh far too much, relative to their surface area, to be able to fly.
- Certain local trees (and perhaps some human machines) are far too large to hold themselves up.
- The density of jungle plant and animal life, in terms of average rate of energy expended, seems far larger than could be supported by the sunlight falling in from above.
- Natives domesticate animals, use advanced tech for clothes and weapons, tech requiring specialization and trade, live in groups of hundreds at fixed locations, are a few days travel from thousands of others, are monogamous, and have hereditary and elevated leaders. On Earth, all of these appeared only a few millennia ago, and this behavior package is now mostly past. Our meeting aliens at such a similar brief stage of development is an incredible coincidence, as is their following such a similar path as ours.
- Animals on this planet evolved hardware for direct mind contact and control, though this serves no apparent function other than enabling natives to domesticate animals. Yet a few millennia is far too short a time for such detailed matched hardware to evolve.
- Huge animals live near natives, who should be eager to hunt them to gain their meat at a proportionally low cost. Such animals will be quickly exterminated, as humans did to most huge Earth animals. It is an even greater time coincidence to arrive while such animals remain common.
- A complex global system for exchanging signals between trees, natives, and animals has arisen, though it seems to perform no function except in the extreme circumstance of being warned of an alien invasion by advanced natives. How could unused abilities of a single undying organism ever evolve?
- In three months a human working an avatar body can outperform every native who has learned their bodies for decades.