Abdul Ahad: Just when I thought movies could not get any more creative than they already are, with super computer graphics having already been exploited in Star Wars and Star Trek amongst others, I was pleasantly surprised by Avatar. It proved to me that the power for us to imagine and picturize just about every cosmic wilderness that is out there is probably as infinite and limitless as the universe itself. As the noblest creation of all that thrives on our world, God has endowed us with these powers to share with one another all that we dream, and we were the first generation in all human history to be able to picturize our dreams digitally.
There are many, myself included, who believe that science and spirituality blend together into one and the same thing at infinity. That infinity would be the focal points of not only our journey’s ends to understand who we are, but also the conclusion to find out our origins.
In this picturization, James Cameron has achieved a masterpiece that takes us beyond the physical and technological limits of the foreseeable future. The vision of a planet-sized moon encircling a gas giant planet in the Alpha Centauri A system (of what is in total a three-star system) is every bit a plausible proposition from an astronomical standpoint.
On Pandora, we enter a surreal world that is somewhere between the ultimate dream of mankind and the reality of extrasolar planetary habitability, as stipulated by science. The Na’vi are such an enchanting species of cosmic beings who transcend the evolutionary realities of all that evolution has ever taught us here on Earth.
What I must particularly commend in this motion picture is its scientific accuracy. The story is founded on realistic projections of our current knowledge in areas like exobiology, planetary science, astronomy and extrasolar planetary geology, to name but a few disciplines.
So far as it is humanly possible, the animals and intelligence thriving on Pandora have been brought to life with dazzling plausibility to keep the creation meaningful within the ecosystem harmony that is at work on this world. The ability of all creatures, both great and small, to grace themselves with bioluminescence as a miracle of nature, is reminiscent of fireflies flickering in our own Earthly nights in the here and now.
One way to scientifically justify this ‘glow’ that emanates from the entire species range of Pandora is to look at similar worlds encircling gas giant planets within our own Solar System. In particular the large Galilean satellites of Jupiter, such as Io, Europa and Ganymede are all orbiting the planet in close proximity and within its huge, electrically charged magnetosphere.
This subjects these celestial bodies to vast dosages of electromagnetic radiation, causing their surfaces and cores to suffer from heating. It is not unthinkable, then, that similar magnetic flux energy would be at work on Pandora, and for its inhabitants to be perhaps glowing with this magnetic flux energy emanating from Pandora’s parent planet (given the name of Polyphemus).
What is also a remarkable parallel is the plot line of how we, as European settlers, originally colonised the New World of America where (metaphorically speaking) the indigenous native species of red Indians were not too dissimilar to the Na’vi. Avatar movie does project a sad and dangerous message, however, that we will probably always seek to conquer other peacefully evolving civilizations that may exist out there by destroying them in the process. Whilst this was predictable from the beginning of the movie, the outcome that the Na’vi would emerge from this battle as victorious, was not.
All in all, I found this a fantastic dream and a gripping story set on the nearest cosmic shores accessible to our future descendants. Something which is incidentally the ultimate theme of my own novels in the First Ark to Alpha Centauri sci-fi series!
Top marks, 5 stars for Avatar!