As a sci-fi and fantasy reader, and potential writer, I decided to succumb to the hype and go see the movie “Avatar” last weekend. I went to a matinee that didn’t offer the 3-D glasses, but I was still struck by the artistic work done on this flick. I’ll have to go back and watch it in 3-D some day, or hope that high definition does the trick on DVD or Blu-Ray.
The storyline is incarnational. Jake Sully is a former Marine that has lost the use of his legs. However, on a new planet his mind lives vicariously through a half-human, half alien body while his own body lives in something that resembles the device that measures body fat — the Bod Pod. The indigenous aliens, the Na’vi, call these humans “dreamwalkers”, which is in fact what Jake is since his real body lives in the pod. While he is comatose, he controls the alien/human body in its real time living.
SPOILER ALERT (I RECOMMEND WATCHING THE MOVIE BEFORE YOU READ MY CONCLUSION)
An “avatar” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined in many ways. For most of the movie, Jake is an avatar in the sense that he is a version or variant of the real thing. He also is similar to an electronic avatar which is manipulated by a computer.
At the end of the movie, though, through some hocus pocus he becomes the real Jake in the real alien body. His old body is discarded. He no longer is Jake the earthling, but Jake the Na’vi. He undergoes this transformation out of love for the Na’vi and love for a female. He protects them from the Earthlings seeking to destroy them.
This sci-fi story bears a large similarity to a non fiction event we celebrate every Christmas. Jesus Christ is an avatar in the sense that he is the incarnation of God in human form. The Bible says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God”. He lives today and holds all things together. (Refer to Colossians Chapter 1 in the Bible for further study).
Like Jake, God became incarnate because he loves the world and the people in it. He came to save us from a spiritual race of demons, led by one called Satan, who seek to destroy us.
While “Avatar” is entertaining and worth going to see, it is fiction. A more amazing story is told in the Bible and is even more worth checking out.