Monica and I met Patrick Kuykendall at the movies this afternoon to watch the much-anticipated film, Avatar. The movie is still fresh on my mind so I wanted to journal my thoughts.
First of all, as has been pointed out hundreds of times, this movie is visually breathtaking. Watching it in 3D made it probably the best thing I have ever laid eyes on. This alone is enough to spellbind you and keep you entranced for the entire three hours.
There is so much I could say, but I don't want to spoil the movie for those who have yet to see it. I will say that the selling point of the movie for me was the Na'avi people. These are the indigenous people of the planet Pandora whom the story of Avatar centers around. The story itself has been told before; most people are making comparisons to Dances With Wolves. But the Na'avis were captivating. There was something primitively beautiful about their culture and their connection to the environs of Pandora. I sympathized with the main character in his desire to become one of them. Somehow, to become a Na'avi was to become more human, or at least more humane.
To be a Na'avi is not safe. The rites of passage in this culture demand the risking of your life. Once passed, however, these trials foster a deep appreciation and understanding of life, what the Na'avis called "seeing." This resonates because we are all born with an innate desire for adventure, to sense the heroic thrill of overcoming peril to accomplish some good. Even the most timid of us have this desire for swashbuckling bravery somewhere down deep. We were created to experience our world the way the Na'avis experience Pandora. We are to embrace the adventure that lies waiting on land, air, and sea. We are not to shy away from the dangers of creation, but to subdue it and care for it. We are not to simply look at the world, but to "see" creation. This is how I expect to experience the New Heaven and New Earth. There we will enjoy everything that we now only catch glimpses of. Endless beauty. Endless adventure. And that will be even better than 3D.