Author Topic: Na'vi/Avatar biology  (Read 3364 times)

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Offline Coda

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Na'vi/Avatar biology
« on: December 30, 2009, 02:29:11 am »
Some lingering questions I have from the movie, as well as some that have come up in discussion.  Feel free to answer or post your own.

How did the avatars' hair get braided around their neural queues while they were still in the tank?  Do they just grow that way?  Or did someone go in there and do their hair while they were floating around in there?

What is the nature of the queue?  Is it just raw nerves/tendrils that are protected solely by hair, or is it an actual structure like on the ikran and pa'li?  Why do the Na'vi have only one?  Or do they have two that are simply pulled back into a single braid?

Exactly how much human had to get mixed into the Na'vi biology to enable a human mind to link with them?  There's the discrepancy in facial structure, fingers and toes, the lack of a modified breastbone (most notable on Na'vi men)...anything else?  What about color perception and visual acuteness?  Why the increased number of digits in the first place, if you have enough fine control over the genetics to manipulate brain structures?  Is it a concession to the avatar pilots' existing proprioceptive maps?

Na'vi are the only animals we've seen that lack six limbs and operculums for breathing.  The six-to-four issue is partially explained by the prolemuris, but there's still the question of what kind of evolutionary pressure would drive such a drastic morphological change.  Similarly, did the operculums migrate upward to the face to serve as nostrils (and why), or do the Na'vi simply come from a branch of the tree of life that never used them?

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2009, 02:37:36 am »
The Na'vi do seem an awful lot like the odd ones out.
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Offline Taronyu

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2009, 02:46:06 am »
How did the avatars' hair get braided around their neural queues while they were still in the tank?  Do they just grow that way?  Or did someone go in there and do their hair while they were floating around in there?
I agree, this is weird. I can't think of a way for this to happen, unless it occurs naturally. No idea how that would work.

What is the nature of the queue?  Is it just raw nerves/tendrils that are protected solely by hair, or is it an actual structure like on the ikran and pa'li?  Why do the Na'vi have only one?  Or do they have two that are simply pulled back into a single braid?
Have you read the survival guide? That might have stuff in it.

Exactly how much human had to get mixed into the Na'vi biology to enable a human mind to link with them?  There's the discrepancy in facial structure, fingers and toes, the lack of a modified breastbone (most notable on Na'vi men)...anything else?  What about color perception and visual acuteness?  Why the increased number of digits in the first place, if you have enough fine control over the genetics to manipulate brain structures?  Is it a concession to the avatar pilots' existing proprioceptive maps?
We can assume that colour perception is similar, because Jake and the drivers would have had mental issues if they weren't. I want to know about reflexes...

Na'vi are the only animals we've seen that lack six limbs and operculums for breathing.  The six-to-four issue is partially explained by the prolemuris, but there's still the question of what kind of evolutionary pressure would drive such a drastic morphological change.  Similarly, did the operculums migrate upward to the face to serve as nostrils (and why), or do the Na'vi simply come from a branch of the tree of life that never used them?
It's possible that they simply never used them. A lot of stuff is like this.

I want to know why the direhorses were so massive. Less gravity = more mass? why?

Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2009, 02:54:52 am »
Oh yeah, and how do the drivers deal with their extra appendages?  Obviously there's the queue which is wired up in a way they'd never experienced before presumably...  But then they also have a tail and ears to worry about which they didn't before.  But when you look at the pictures with Jake's avatar, aside from the scene where his butt's hanging out of the gown, his reactions with them are quite natural...  What especially comes to mind is the scene where he's learning to say "nari" and the big inspirational to arms speech.

I also wonder, have two drivers ever tried Tsahaylu between their avatars?  I mean, surely they had SOME idea what the queue was used for, and even if they didn't someone would accidently link up at some point...  Then again, maybe it takes some training to be able to actually do anything meaningful.
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Offline Makxtalayä'ite

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2009, 03:42:05 am »
Well these are exactly the same questions I had after I watched the movie several times, but as mean as this might seem, it IS only a movie after all (and I do NOT like this:-)
but it has to sell, so if they had given them four arms, or two split ones like those Molemures, and holes in the breast for breathing they just would have looked weird, too alien for human tastes, and nobody would have watched the movie twice. Or maybe the human fantasy is just too little (I have a better word in my language but can't think of an translation right now) to think of anything really different. I mean look at everything, the resemblence to earth are huge: there is water, the very thing we need for living, then there are plants, many of them look like something you can find in a rainforest here, too, I suppose they live because of photosynthesis, like our plants. then there is an atmosphere and whatever that is made of (my guess is, that the air is just too thin for humans to breathe it and the masks just get more pressure into it) is needed by people and animals for surviving, like oxygen is for us. the body structure of the Na'vi is just so similar to ours, A nose, two nice handsome eyes, a mouth in the face, two arms, fingers, two legs, they even have a six-pack!! i admit there are some extrabits, like the more cat-like nose and tail, or the bioluminescence of everything, but the basics just had to be similar enough for us to be able to identify with the planet and its people, that we are going to watch this movie many times. and that worked very well. or james cameron and his crew just don't have enough fantasy to create something really new (don't get me wrong i love the movie and I am glad mr cameron did it the way he did it)
so that does explain why it is made the way it is, but not how it works, I know
and there are some other intersting aspects: obviously the na'vi are divided into male and female, like we are, but how do they get children? I mean it must have to do with mating, but what is mating exactly??  sex with tsahaylu or only tshaylu and the female hatches eggs, because I didn't see a single pregnant women in the movie. once there was a very small child, but otherwise...

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 03:43:50 am »
Mating is sex, not tsahaylu. The guide actually describes a lot of this. There aren't that many issues.

Offline Makxtalayä'ite

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 04:03:00 am »
oh good to know.
I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive, so I'm left to guessing...
irayo for the info

Offline Coda

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2009, 03:29:43 pm »
Oh yeah, and how do the drivers deal with their extra appendages?  Obviously there's the queue which is wired up in a way they'd never experienced before presumably...  But then they also have a tail and ears to worry about which they didn't before.  But when you look at the pictures with Jake's avatar, aside from the scene where his butt's hanging out of the gown, his reactions with them are quite natural...  What especially comes to mind is the scene where he's learning to say "nari" and the big inspirational to arms speech.

I also wonder, have two drivers ever tried Tsahaylu between their avatars?  I mean, surely they had SOME idea what the queue was used for, and even if they didn't someone would accidently link up at some point...  Then again, maybe it takes some training to be able to actually do anything meaningful.

I imagine control of their ears was mostly reflexive - you'll notice the doctors snap their fingers by Jake's ears to test his reflexes when he wakes up.  The tail, however, is probably a mixture of reflexive and conscious control.  Note how Jake's tail thrashes around and wraps around his arm when he first stands up - he probably had no idea whatsoever what was going on back there.

As for tsahaylu si muntxa...you know those had to be some of the first things the avatar drivers tried when they had some time alone.  I mean, seriously, who wouldn't?  Interestingly, in the Project 880 scriptment (predecessor to the Avatar script), Grace had a Na'vi boyfriend of her own, N'Deh (not legal under current linguistic rules, I know), and there's another character, Hegner, who had actually married a Na'vi woman, only to kill himself (or at least his avatar) when she's killed by the RDA.  Kind of a pity that those characters didn't make it onto the screen.  I think exploring this a little more would have been a net positive for the movie.

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2009, 10:57:52 pm »
Oh yeah, and how do the drivers deal with their extra appendages?  Obviously there's the queue which is wired up in a way they'd never experienced before presumably...  But then they also have a tail and ears to worry about which they didn't before.  But when you look at the pictures with Jake's avatar, aside from the scene where his butt's hanging out of the gown, his reactions with them are quite natural...  What especially comes to mind is the scene where he's learning to say "nari" and the big inspirational to arms speech.

I also wonder, have two drivers ever tried Tsahaylu between their avatars?  I mean, surely they had SOME idea what the queue was used for, and even if they didn't someone would accidently link up at some point...  Then again, maybe it takes some training to be able to actually do anything meaningful.

I imagine control of their ears was mostly reflexive - you'll notice the doctors snap their fingers by Jake's ears to test his reflexes when he wakes up.  The tail, however, is probably a mixture of reflexive and conscious control.  Note how Jake's tail thrashes around and wraps around his arm when he first stands up - he probably had no idea whatsoever what was going on back there.

As for tsahaylu si muntxa...you know those had to be some of the first things the avatar drivers tried when they had some time alone.  I mean, seriously, who wouldn't?  Interestingly, in the Project 880 scriptment (predecessor to the Avatar script), Grace had a Na'vi boyfriend of her own, N'Deh (not legal under current linguistic rules, I know), and there's another character, Hegner, who had actually married a Na'vi woman, only to kill himself (or at least his avatar) when she's killed by the RDA.  Kind of a pity that those characters didn't make it onto the screen.  I think exploring this a little more would have been a net positive for the movie.

I read the summary of the scriptment.

Interesting that N'Deh is a name though, in Tagolog if you say it out loud, it is the word for NO. It would follow that Frommer's Malay influences could have derived some rules for that structure to exist in the Na'vi language, maybe as a different regional dialect. 

The Hegner character would have been an interesting spice for the flick, maybe his story construct will be a plot component of the next film.
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Offline bagget00

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 02:41:09 am »
here is another something they should have talked more about in the movie. The condition of Earth. At one point at near the end of the movie, they make a passive reference to a non-green planet. Thats it. I would have liked to learn more about it. Also The ears are definatly a reflex. The Tsahaylu was probably tested because Grace at one point says "Don't play with those too much, you'll go blind." They had to have had somebody actually go blind fpr that to happen. In my thinking anyways. The story of a love lost due to the RDA would have been good but it may have even been better if they made it more along the lines of he went rogue, transfered into his avatar like jake at the end and helped to end the war once and for all between Na'vi and Human. He could have helped in the teaching of jake but that would have pulled away from the growing relationship between Jake and Neytiri. Maybe he could have been there just to prove a point how evil the RDA really is. We all know from sci-fi movies that all mercs are evil except the one main character. :) As for the pre braided hair. I would lik to believe that they have some vine plant DNA in them that makes their hair curl around a stalk that might be their tendril nerve things. May explain it.

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Offline Coda

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2009, 02:59:53 am »
The Tsahaylu was probably tested because Grace at one point says "Don't play with those too much, you'll go blind." They had to have had somebody actually go blind fpr that to happen. In my thinking anyways.

It was a masturbation joke, implying that it was used for sex.  Which puts a kinky cant on tsahaylu if that's all of what was involved in Na'vi mating.

Offline Eywayä Nantang

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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2009, 09:55:00 pm »
well, tsahaylu is a permenant bond, just like the ikrans. It lets the mated pair share thoughts and emotions
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Re: Na'vi/Avatar biology
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2010, 10:32:13 pm »
I would like to think that the Tsahaylu is just an extension of the spinal cord and needs to keep a loop like an electrical circut. so when Grace says "don't play with that, you'll go blind" its like being handicapped and you loose the neural connection between the brain and the eyes. why its just limited to the eyes i can only guess that the Tsahaylu is most connected to the area of the brain that controls sight. i would guess that you would also loose partial control of other motor controls

 

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