'Avatar' Too Realistic for Some Fans

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to interview Avatar director James Cameron about the science and technology he developed to make his new 3-D sci-fi epic as realistic as possible.

Uh oh.

This article on CNN.com notes that fans of Cameron’s film may be experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the movie.

Why? Well, apparently because they have to leave the lush alien world of Pandora and return to the doldrums of Earth. Earth? Borrrrrrrrring. Where are the flying banshees, glowing trees, and super-fit aliens? Our mountains can’t even float! They just sit there all lazy and non-airborne!

According to CNN, on one fan forum site, a topic called “Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible” has led to thousands of posts that range from moviegoers feeling that life away from Pandora and the Na’vi is gray and meaningless, to some writing that the movie upsets them because of how we’re treating our own planet (actually, this I definitely understand).

I don’t want to make too much light of a situation where people are obviously upset and hurting. Yes, Avatar is a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And yes, it would be pretty cool to live on Pandora. Exhausting and scary, but cool. Nevertheless, life on Earth can be just as interesting. Just poke around this web site! We have underwater volcanos, strawberry crabs and unicorn deer – which is way cooler than a six-legged horse.

And hey, Pandora might NOT be so intangible after all. Discovery News producer Ian O’Neill blogged recently that astronomers think that “exomoons” like the one in Cameron’s vision might exist.

The article notes that within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression include playing the Avatar video game or listening to the soundtrack. Better suggestions include getting out of your house and interacting with people that aren’t 10-foot-tall aliens. And my suggestion: Grab a video camera and document a part of your own world that’s as interesting and mysterious as Pandora, and upload it to our Earth area in the comments section. Trust me, there’s a little alien world everywhere you look.

Click here to listen to James Cameron talking about the 3-D camera, motion capture technology and real-world science he used to make Pandora look and feel real.