Avatar, the film by James Cameron, is already the highest grossing film of all times. It is a beautiful film, a visual delight and a morally uplifting story about the triumph of good people. Every viewer could identify with how the Na’vi under the leadership of their Avatar protected the Tree of Souls and defeated the cruel, destructive invaders who only wanted the precious metals of Pandora. The final scene of the film shows the defeated invaders walking back in a line to their spacecraft for return to earth.
But is that really the final scene? Unfortunately, History teaches us otherwise. In fact, the final scene of the Film shows us exactly why good, peaceful civilizations that coexisted with nature were eventually massacred and the precious treasures of their lands seized by invaders.
Put yourselves in the shoes of the Parker Selfridge, the bad guy from RDA. Yes, he was defeated and his quest for Pandora’s treasures proved futile. But, he gained incredible knowledge about the Na’vi, their Avatar and Pandora. If you were Parker, as you flew back to earth, you would analyze why you lost and think of countermeasures to foil the tactics of the Na’vi Avatar. After all, the battle had been a close one. With a small turn or two, RDA forces could have won.
So upon return to earth, Selfridge and RDA would begin planning for the next invasion of Pandora. This time, they would come armed with better weapons, more sophisticated tactics and with economic incentives to bring over a couple of tribes of Pandora to their side. The first time, they were guessing. This time, they would know everything there is to know about the Na’vi and Pandora.
This second campaign would succeed and the Na’vi would be defeated and subjugated. This time, RDA & Selfridge would not give the Na’vi an hour to vacate the Tree of Souls. They would launch a preemptive carpet bombing without warning and kill the Na’vi before they had a chance to unite and fight. The battle would be one-sided and totally destructive. The Na’vi would go the way of the many tribes that were destroyed in the past with their people massacred or enslaved and their civilizations extinguished.
That is the lesson of History. This lesson is not restricted to any one continent, land or culture. This is how human history has evolved. The pattern is intrinsic to the dark side of human nature.
So what should the Na’vi have done?
- First, they should have prevented any news of the battle or the actions of the RDA from ever reaching earth. They should have killed every single human that set foot on their planet except the few good people that moved over to their side. They should converted these few good people to Na’vi bodies and souls and made them live permanently on Pandora. If the Na’vi had done so, the mission to Pandora would have been a mission into never-never land for RDA HQ on earth, a futile lost quest into the vast unknown of the Universe.
But that might not have been enough. We know that discovery is one of the most enduring pursuits of the human mind. Sooner or later, another executive at RDA would have persuaded his bosses to send out a second mission to Pandora. After all, the riches of Pandora were too great to ignore.
- So the second necessary step for the Na’vi should have been to build defenses for Pandora. These should have included reconnaissance of space around Pandora to warn them of incoming spacecraft and weapons that could destroy any incoming spacecraft. They should have built defenses on all landing sites and capabilities to kill any invaders that succeed in landing on Pandora.
The Na’vi had to convince RDA that the financial rewards of colonizing Pandora were simply not worth the economic and human cost. After all, there are many planets in the Universe and RDA could have been persuaded to conclude that easier prey were found elsewhere.
But, history teaches us that defensive tactics are not always enough.
- So the final and ultimate step for the Na’vi should have been to reengineer the RDA spacecraft that had flown humans to Pandora, build better weapons and then launch an invasion of RDA’s home planet, the earth. Whether successful or not, this would have brought destruction to RDA’s home just like RDA brought destruction to Pandora.
Without such capability and the mental strength to threaten damage on earth, the end of the Na’vi is a foregone conclusion. The first victory, however moral and uplifting, would end up merely as a happy interlude before the cruel final act.
The irony is that the Na’vi would not remain the good and noble Na’vi if they took the steps we describe above. Their great values are probably incompatible with the above steps and the mindset that is necessary to implement such steps. This is the moral dilemma that all good civilizations and people face. Those who solved this dilemma, those who developed the “bad” qualities necessary for the above steps without damaging their inner good core survived in history. Those who could not died.
The final step above is the true lesson of human history. Societies have tolerated wars that are fought on someone else’s lands. Such wars send the aggressive young elements of society to win in foreign lands or to die in pursuit of wealth. But such wars do not damage the Societies themselves or their own homelands. But wars on one’s own homeland are totally different events. This is why peace has been maintained through out history by assuring either mutual destruction or at least mutual damage on an intolerable scale.
The Avatar of the Na’vi was a cinematic concept and not the real thing. When you study the real historical Avatars, you find out that the real Avatar always annihilated the Evil. Because, the Good cannot survive without the destruction of Evil.
The concept of Avatar originated in Indian culture and every major Indian festival celebrates the destruction of Evil by an Avatar and the restoration of the Good. As Shri Krishna, the last Avatar on earth, said in the Bhagwat Geeta:
For the Protection of the Good,
For the Destruction of Evil,
For the Restoration of Dharma,
I Manifest Myself (as an Avatar) in every Yug (epoch).
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