WARNING: If you haven’t seen the movie, this discussion contains spoilers.
I heard the buzz and reviews; then saw the awards and accolades roll in like a flood, but I was completely against going to see Avatar in the movie theater. For starters, I saw blue people with pointed ears, and long tales swinging through trees in the previews. All of that weird action screamed sci-fi (and I do not like sci-fi). The movie was also pretty lengthy, and that did not work in its factor. This has been a very long and challenging year, and I did not want to commit $10 and three hours straining my eyes for a 3-D “experience.” So, I made an agreement with myself: “I’ll get around to watching it someday whenever it came out on DVD.”
The DVD hit the stores and I was hoodwinked into watching it almost immediately. As I sat down to a relaxing evening of writing, two friends arrived at the house with the temptation in hand. There was so much peer pressure that I resorted to popcorn in the microwave and reclining on the leather sofa as the word AVATAR appeared on the big screen.
So there we were, ten minutes into the movie and I discover that the lead character, Jack Sully, is a disabled Marine and former war veteran. I’m loving him already! Then I discover that he has a bit of a “don’t mess wit me” attitude; I like that too! He also has a gentle and humble way about him. Before the first hour, we see him struggle with loyalty and love, big decisions and small ones, mission accomplishment, and loving the earth that God has given us. He is a man of compassion, and I am cheering for him right away.
Then we meet the female warrior, Neytiri. If anything ever goes down, I want her in my corner. She was a strong warrior, wise, observant, confident, and very passionate. She reminded me of my days of service in the Marine Corps, where I was almost fearless. I mean, I wasn’t interested in jumping out of trees or airplanes or anything crazy like that. However, I loved to work-out. I could run fast, jump high, push and pull-up with the best of them. The Marine Corps values physical fitness, and as a woman, your physical abilities demand respect. So, I’m all in at this point in the movie.
Then we spend the next hour or so being reminded of the realities of life: to love and be loved, to be hurt and then forgive again, to be greedy and self-centered, to be prideful and righteous, to be humble and defeated, and to make hard decisions.
I have now watched it twice, and what I believe to be the turning point in the movie continues to stand out to me. Jack sees the great Toruk flying high and dominating the sky. Jack said, “Toruk is the ‘baddest’ bird in the sky, why would he ever look up?” As humans, we are just like that bird. We fly high on our ideals of money and fame and power and respect. Maybe we fly high on our mental capabilities, our advancements in science, medicine, and technology. We fly high on our intellect, our philosophy, our psychology. We are “bad” people, who have it going on! Why would we ever look up to our creator, God?
One answer to that question is because, like the movie, there is always an unexpected enemy, an obstacle, or a hardship waiting in the winds to attack! Eventually, we will all go through a storm, take a stand, or go to war! We all end up fighting something or someone anyway.
The true question is: What or whose side are you fighting on?