For many people, the movie Avatar is been viewed as racist in that it depicts how a white dude can come along and pretend to be a blue dude, get schooled in the way of the jungle, and then kick some ass on other white dudes, becoming a hero to the whole blue race. Obviously, there are comparisons here to real life. There were quite a few cowboy and indian type “western” stories of this flavor, if I recall correctly. Can’t remember the names quite right though. “Dances with Wolves” was one of them. But, of course, the people in that movie weren’t nine feet tall or blue. Racism in the US these days has become so PC and such a charged issue, that maybe we can only effectively talk about it in the context of aliens. You can imagine how the Greys will feel about this when they finally decide to communicate with us instead of just mutilating our cattle.
Anyway, I think, mainly, what some people don’t like is the message that the indigenous people of a given race can’t save themselves. And, in that respect, it could be told a different way. You could have the same story, but instead of the avatar being an alien, it could have been a human body for an alien to inhabit. Then, you could have one of the Nave walking among humans, learning our way, and saving their people by convincing a percentage of the humans that Pandora is worth saving. After the war starts, the “human” avatar would then generate a rebellion via his allies, and they would take over the human compound from within. Oh, and of course he’d have a human love interest. Or the human avatar could be female and play the “Pocahontas” role.
None of this stuff is new. I had a literature Prof once who insisted that everything out today boiled down to a rehash of Shakespeare. Sometimes I think he’s right – although that’s a simplification – I think his point was that there’s not a lot plot-wise that hasn’t been written, it’s only the environment and characters and circumstances that change. In the end, it’s still about people.
To those who would look at Avatar and think, “OMFG, their promoting the myth of a white messiah!” Perhaps you should chill out and grab a burger, because this is more about commercialism than anything else. The movie sells tickets, it makes money, and you’re only helping it do that by making a fuss. If you really hate the message of the movie, then just don’t go. Vote with your money. And if you REALLY hate it, then make your own movie and have the blue guys win on their own without the help of the humans.
Frankly, I just liked the special effects. Oh, and I do enjoy a good burger! Besides, I was rooting for the blue dudes, even if they were being led by a human. Does that make me a race traitor?
Reference: Racism in Avatar