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The Na’Vi Are a Rip-Off?

January 14, 2010

Well, the evidence that Avatar is just a really bad movie keeps rolling in:

…the film director James Cameron was facing claims today that his 3D blockbuster Avatar owes an unacknowledged debt to the popular Soviet fantasy writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

Cinema audiences in Russia have been quick to point out that Avatar has elements in common with The World of Noon, or Noon Universe, a cycle of 10 bestselling science fiction novels written by the Strugatskys in the mid-1960s.

It was the Strugatskys who came up with the planet Pandora – the same name chosen by Cameron for the similarly green and lushly forested planet used as the spectacular backdrop to Avatar. The Noon Universe takes place in the 22nd century. So does Avatar, critics have noticed.

And while there are clear differences between the two Pandoras, both are home to a similarly named bunch of humanoids – the Na’vi in Cameron’s epic, and the Nave in Strugatskys’ novels, read by generations of Soviet teenagers and space-loving scientists and intellectuals.

So, not only is the script less original than the one from the The Lost World: Jurassic Park, it’s even less original than we thought it was.  I had suspected that Cameron had written the script on the back of a napkin, but it turns he didn’t even do that.  And as for that “why conservatives hate Avatar” question, we may have an answer:

Today one film critic said there would inevitably be similarities between Avatar and the Strugatskys’ intellectually demanding novels as both were anti-utopian fantasies. The brothers’ work sold millions of copies, with many reading their intricate fantasies as a thinly disguised satire on the KGB communist system.

(Pardon me while I roll around on the floor laughing.)

That’s like Oliver Stone stealing the script from Animal Farm and using it to make a movie about how great the Bolsheviks were.  What a masterpiece.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jar3D226 permalink
    July 28, 2012 2:20 AM

    rip off of HEY, LISTEN!!!

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