Here, you can find pictures, movie trivia, and everything there is to know about Pandora and all of it's inhabitants.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fabulous Fan Fictions

So I'm a huge fan of Fan Fiction. Especially when they're written WELL. I never have the proper time and dedication to actually write down any of my stories. Wish I did, but for now I'll just have to dream at night and appreciate others' works by day.

For kicks I wanted to post a list of links to some of my favorite stories and authors.

"Pandora's Hope"
Jake finally awakens from his paralyzed slumber to a fulfillment he never expected or felt deserving of. Fleeing into the stars, the Sky People leave for their ruined home. Behind, some choose to remain, mending bridges that were burned so terribly. (Good epilogue - answers a few interesting questions, like, how long do you think Jake Sully will live as an Avatar?)

"Shadow of a Giant"
Generations of Omaticaya live and die under the leadership of their Olo'eytkan, guided by the wisdom of the former dreamwalkers, merging together to become something greater than either. Series of one-shots following the movie and my earlier Avatar fic.

"Terra's Tears"
Years have passed since the exile of the Sky People. Communication with Earth has been lost and all dare to hope that mankind has abandoned any attempt at reconquest. The appearance of a heavily armed warship in orbit changes everything.

(the author of the three above stories is pretty good and makes good suppositions for the future of the characters and Pandora.  Very well written. I teared up a couple of times)

"Between Worlds"
Jake, Neytiri, and Norm's lives as they move on after the Great War. But Humans aren't gone from Pandora forever, and when they return, they'll have a secret weapon that could change everything.
(I like this one. It's got some really interesting plot twists and details into everyday Na'vi life that will make you smile. Also has some great scenes between Jake and Neytiri.)

"I See You"
I am a paralyzed marine, and yet I am Toruk Makto. Only she knows who I am now. JxN POST MOVIE. Character exploration.
(I like this because the first chapter has some really interesting interactions between characters - how Neytiri finds out about Jake's real legs - how she interacts with his human self....etc. It covers the gap between when Neytiri saves Jake from Quaritch and the end of the movie.) COMPLETE (Beautifully written. WONDERFUL Epilogue. I love it love it love it)

Post Avatar. Jake Sully has a new life with the Omaticaya, and his life mate Neytiri. Humans have left. But he knows they will come back, and he'll be ready when they do. (This is also a fun story. I'm really enjoying it. Has some great character interactions and details of Na'vi life. Lovely)

I am Olo'eytkan to my people. I am skxawng and Jake to Neytiri. And I’m starting to suspect I will soon be sempul to someone I’ve only ever met in my dreams - Father. Neytiri/Jake; One shot.

 "Hold Me Until Dawn"
short vingette portraying a romantic moment between Jake and Neytiri the night before they go to war.

"A Pale Blue Light"
Another story covering the gap between the battle with Quaritch and the end of the movie. Pretty decent so far.

"Spirits of the Sky" by Steven M. Booth
A well written and inventive continuation of Jake and Neytiri's story. The RDA is gone from Pandora, but when a sickness begins killing Na'vi, our intrepid couple have another life-threatening adventure ahead of them. (I'm on the edge of my seat!!)

The Na'vi Language

The language of the Na'vi is a hauntingly beautiful thing, constructed by master linguist Paul Frommer of USC.  He based it off of 30 or so character, place and creature names provided by Cameron and Co.  They had some Polynesian/Maori influence because of the time Cameron has spent in New Zealond and similar places. So Frommer used Polynesian roots, with some African, Native American and Latin influences, all mixed up with German sentence construction, where the verb comes last. Frommer's next step was to create a sound system, a palette of consonant and vowel sounds in various combinations that would be unique to the Na'vi. "It's not based on any particular human language," Frommer said, "as the Na'vi live light-years away from earth and are humanoids, not humans."

Klingon, the full-fledged language developed for the fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe, explains Frommer, is currently the gold standard by which all constructed alien languages are compared. There's a Klingon dictionary and even Hamlet has been translated into Klingonese.
But while Klingon is rough-sounding, Frommer intended his language, which is spoken by the Na'vi, the humanoid race who live on Pandora, where the action of Avatar takes place, to be "musical and mellifluous."

Frommer began working with Cameron on the language in the summer of 2005, after representatives from Cameron's production company Lightstorm Entertainment, emailed USC's linguistics department, where Frommer received his Ph.D., about developing an alien language.

Linguistics professor Edward Finegan, with whom Frommer wrote Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics, passed the request on to Frommer, who ended up meeting with Cameron and landing the job. "It's probably the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me," Frommer said.

"From an acting standpoint, the hard part was speaking English with a Na'vi accent," says Cameron, "Zoe Saldana had the most lines, so we let her create the accent, and then everybody had to match her."

Well, I give Zoe major props, because Na'vi is not exactly an easy language to learn. But if you're interested, like I am, you definatley want to go to Learnnavi.org. There's all sorts of great downloads there that can help you. For kicks, I'm going to show a few sample phrases I got from the Na'vi pocketguide.

Hello, how are you?
Kaltxi  ngaru lu fpom srak?
(Greetings. You be well.being)

I apologize for this moron.
Fi-skxawng-iri tsapxalute si oe
(this moron. apology. make I)

My nose is full of his alien smell!
Oe-ri ta peya fahew a-kewong ontu teya lu
(Me. from his smell. alien nose. full be.)

Fun Trivia: Did you know, the Na'vi do not have a word for "lie." It is a completely alien concept to them. 

And here are some great pick up lines in Na'vi:

Oel ngati kameie. (I see you.)

Nga yawne lu oer. (I love you.)

Ke lu kawtu a nulnivew oe pohu tireapivängkxo äo Vitrautral.
(There's nobody I'd rather commune with under the Tree of Souls.)

If you want a swear word, though, you could say "Pxasìk." It means, "Screw it! No way!"

Nga za'u fìtseng pxìm srak? (Do you come here often?)
Well, OK, that's a little lame.
Better, maybe: Oeyä ikran slivu nga, tsakrr oeng 'awsiteng mivakto.
(Be my ikran and let's ride together.)
[Ed. note: Only if it's the third date. Ikran are giant beasts the Na'vi like to, um, ride.]

more after the Jump....

Behind the Scenes

If you're as big a fan of Avatar as I am, you want to know all the tiny, itsy-bitsy, teensy-weensy details - both on screen and off.  So I've been doing my research, and I've found some really great stuff. Where to start? Well, how about some fun facts? I got these from the latest Entertainment Weekly interview with James Cameron.

Q: Do the Na'vi need Unobtainium, or is it just another rock to them?
A: "It's just a rock to them," explains producer Jon Landau. "But it's also sort of what enables the floating mountains. They don't know that, though - well, maybe spiritually, they know it."

Q: How did they make Sam Worthington's legs look so atrophied? Is it all CG?
A: John Rosengrant at Stan Winston's studio took a mold from the legs of a paraplegic who had about Sam's skeletal size, and then they created rubber legs. Sam's actual legs are tucked down through the wheel chair.

more PICTURES, VIDEOS, AND INFO after the jump!

Documentary on Pandora

Ever wish that the Science channel would do a special on Pandora? Well, this is the closest thing to it. This little snippet narrated by Sigorney Weaver gives a 5 minute documentary style run-down of the nature and environment of Pandora. James Cameron calls Pandora a "garden of Eden with teeth and claws." It's a MUST-WATCH. Wish it were an hour long....


Alpha Centauri System


Distance from earth: Approximately 4.37 light years
Alpha Centauri, the brightest "star" in the constellation of centaurus, when seen through a telescope, is, in fact, three stars orbiting around one another. This triple star system consists of two Sun-like stars, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, and a red dwarf, Alpha Centauri C, or Proxima Centauri.

The three gas giant planets orbiting Alpha Centauri B were discovered by terrestrial observatories. The five rocky planets were found two decades later. Since the arrangement of the planets resembled our own solar system, they were named for their counterparts: Vulcan (inside Mercury's orbit), Hermes (Mercury), Aphrodite (Venus), Gaea (Earth), Ares (Mars), Zeus (Jupiter), Cronus (Saturn), and Poseidon (chosen instead of another name for Uranus, because it occupies the equivalent of Neptune's orbit).

The three gas giants around ACA were not found until after the co-orbiting synchronized telescopic interferometer network (COSTIN) went into full operation. Upon their discovery they were named Oceanus, Coeus, and Crius. Coeus was later renamed, or perhaps nicknamed, Polyphemus .
Alpha Centauri is a trinary star system, and Earth's closest stellar neighbor outside the solar system.
Its largest member, Alpha Centauri A (or "ACA" to astronomers), is about twenty-percent larger than our Sun, but otherwise very similar. ACA would be unremarkable were it not for the fact that it serves as the Sun for Pandora, a large moon that orbits Polyphemus. It was on Pandora that explorers encountered the Na'vi, the only intelligent species yet discovered in outer space. Pandora is also the only known source for Unobtanium, a high temperature superconductor essential for many of Earth's technologies.

more after the jump

AVATAR Sequel and Details Confirmed

(article taken from the official Avatar Blog)

After muttering about how an AVATAR franchise would make sense and hinting that there could be a trilogy of AVATAR films, James Cameron has confirmed that there will be an AVATAR sequel, fueling speculation about how it might top the original.

Things we do know: There are two planned sequels but they won't be one continuous story, they'll be self-contained. They'll also follow Jake and Neytiri. It could take place around a different moon of Polyphemus this time, although producer Jon Landau has already hinted about exploring Pandora's interior. Some bloggers guess that James Cameron, famously obsessed with water, has an amazing underwater environment mapped out for Pandora. There are also different Na'vi tribes that call the planet their home and we never really got a sense of how intra-species politics work between the different tribes. Cameron confirmed he’s mapped out what will happen in the sequels, although he hasn’t written any scripts yet.

The good news? The sequels won't take four years to make. Cameron has said he can get them out faster than the first AVATAR.

Also, when Jake's avatar and Neytiri have sex, you see only a small amount of alien petting. After all, it's a movie about blue creatures, not a blue movie. But there was a larger sex scene that was filmed but then cut, and Zoe Saldana hints that it had something to do with syncing the two participants' ponytails. Of course, if the Na'vi use hair-syncing both for sex and to communicate with everything else on Pandora, you get some pretty squicky issues. Still, Zoe Saldana says, "We had a lot of giggles there" during filming.

You'll be able to see it on the DVD, and when you finally get your mind out of the gutter, there'll be another 10-minute scene of Jake going through a trial to gain membership in the tribe: the hunt for a rhino-like sturmbeest. 

If you want to see a complete run-down of ALL the deleted topics, go to this website here. They do a really good job.


And if you absolutely can't wait to see all of the deleted scenes, you can download the full screenplay for free. Straight from Cameron himself! Check it out!


Why Are AVATAR Aliens Blue?

Why are the Na'vi blue? James Cameron answered the question in a recent interview saying he wanted there be an "otherness" to the love story between Sully's avatar and the native alien, Neytiri. Since skin color is "such a big issue on our planet," Cameron decided to use that issue as a thematic driving point. Other skin tones were already taken by humans, while green was already a cliché in other alien movies. "We had big blue women, not little green men," Cameron said. No word on why the Na'vi's skin sparkles, but you have to admit it is a cool effect. In the film, the Na'vi still have red blood. So they still have high-oxygen carrying rates in their hemoglobin-filled blood cells. It's just a pigment in their tissue that makes them blue. Also, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cameron mentioned another reason he chose blue, was that it is reminiscent of certain Hindu deities, which he likes conceptually.

Other interesting facts of about Na'vi and Avatar bodies are the noticeable differences. Avatars have smaller eyes and generally thinner lips than the Na'vi, and their necks aren't quite as long.
Na'vi have very large eyes and very full lips, and their necks are proportionately twice as long as humans.
The Na'vi can also rotate their heads at an astonishing 180 degrees, like an owl can. Also, the Na'vi have a very distinct body shape. Aside from standing 10 feet tall, their bodies are long, and streamlined. They all have very narrow waists and hips (even the females), with broad shoulders and chests. The Na'vi have very high cheekbones and more rounded faces. Avatars tend to keep their human facial structure with slightly higher cheekbones. Also, the Avatars retain a small amount of facial hair - their eyebrows - whereas the Na'vi have none!  One more very important difference that everyone should take not of is the number of digits the Avatars and the Na'vi have. The Na'vi have four fingers and toes, but eh Avatars, with their human DNA have five.... Another interesting fact; ever notice those sparkly markings on their faces, like bio luminescent freckles? Well, these markings are unique to each individual. No two are alike. Hmmm, I wonder if the Na'vi can have identical twins?