I have had this thought in my head since I first saw Avatar in the theater in 2009. So I watched the film and I realized that what I thought was there wasn’t just in small bits it was completely there. James Cameron took DUNE and flipped it completely on its head to create AVATAR. He created BizarroDune and everyone came to watch.
I don’t have a way to write this out in any kind of post so I am just going to do categorical bullet points.
- The spice turns the eyes of the natives of Arrakis blue, the Na’vi are blue everywhere except their eyes.
- Desert planet / lush jungle planet.
- Spice / Rock
- Both plots are about an outside force coming to a planet and harvesting a resource that is located and protected by a native race. Dune does it through Business / Avatar through warfare.
- The test to enter manhood in both native races is the conquering of the local dangerous animal as fast travel. In Avatar it is a bird / in Dune it is a Worm
- In the final conflict both forces are aided by natural forces that overpower the technological might of the oppressors.
- Both main characters abuse prophecies that the natives hold dear to win them to their cause.
- Dune is more about the workings of the planet and the balances in place than the action / Avatar touches on the balance every so often but just enough before another action scene.
- Both main characters are responsible for an increase in hostilities. In Dune Paul organized the forces / in Avatar Jake gave the information over to the marines.
- In Avatar the Marines take the conflict to the Na’vi / In Dune the Fremen bring the conflict to the Harkonnen
- Both stories end in a climatic knife fight, however in Avatar Jake has to be bailed out by his girlfriend.
- Dune tells a lot of its story in the minds of the characters, Avatar tells none of its story their.
I saw all the same comparisons everyone did when Avatar was coming out that it was Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas or Fern Gully. However all those were missing pieces but Dune has nearly everything that happens in this movie. It is probably all coincidence but who knows.
Will be interesting to see if we get Avatar Messiah in a couple of years.