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Premiere of James Cameron's Avatar

a movie variant by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" had never been made, and instead Avatar reprised the subtextual themes of imperialism and colonial violence explored in Joseph Conrad's 1902 novel "Heart of Darkness"? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

December 10: on this day in 2009 the movie "Avatar" premiered in cinema theatres across North America. Loosely based on the narrative of Joseph Conrad's novella "Heart of Darkness", the action/adventure of this blockbuster movie is relocated on the Earth-like planet of Pandora, set one hundred and fifty years in the future. Click to watch the trailer of Avatar.

And instead of genocidal Belgians murdering Africans for elephant tusks in the Congo, James Cameron's movie places "the haters" in conflict with the Na'vi, but these n-words are a blue-skinned species of sapient humanoids with feline characteristics.

"Killing the indigenous population looks bad, but if there's one thing the shareholders hate more than bad press, it's a bad quarterly statement" ~ Parker Selfridge

Much like Conrad's novel, the underlying drivers are unchanged, predicated upon the pursuit of "unobtanium", a precious metal worth $20 million per kilogram. In a dramatic scene, the "Home Tree" of the Na'vi is destroyed to the music of Wagner - because it is located directly on top of a huge location of unobtanium. Click to watch the scene from "Apocalype Now".

"Imagine all that chowder!" ~ Parker Selfridge"Imagine all that chowder!" justifies Parker Selfridge, the insane corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation and a character clearly based on Conrad's rogue trader, Kurtz.

Selfridge is not the only character suspected of "getting lost in the woods". Reprising the tragic role of Conrad's hero Marlow, Jake Sulley is a US marine sent to Pandora to locate his renegade brother, Tommy. Suspected of "going native", the climax reveals that Tommy (pictured) has actually mutated into a Na'vi by transmigrating his human soul into an Avatar.

Author says, considerable amounts of source material have been repurposed from the source article on Wikipedia.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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