Terry Cong Tam Tran
English Composition 3
1 March 2012
Officially Outlawed Hero
The movie directed by James Cameron, Avatar, is considered to be one of the biggest and most popular films ever. This film provides many insights about the social and cultural aspects of what heroes are imaged as in American’s 21st century society. The film heavily revolves around the different traits that are idolized in “official” and “outlaw” heroes. Avatar’s work of glamorizing the characters in the movie enables viewers identifies with the heroes and ultimately aspires to be them.
The film has long reflected common trends and contradictions in current society’s myths and ...view middle of the document...
Soon as he exits out of the transportation ship behind the armed workers in camouflaged uniforms, audiences are able to identify which side he works for. He participates in a military force also known as SecOps, short for Security Operations. The Chief of the security force is Colonel Miles Quaritch, an aggressive military oriented character who is serves as another important villain in the film. Their primary job is to provide security and protection to all the working personnel from all the dangers that the environment of Pandora presents. As mentioned, Jake sully is a disabled former Corporal in the Marines, and he initially connects with the strong values and motives of the traditional military back at home on Earth. However, his impression of the military established at the current base was far different from the military he had previously served in. He compares the traditional motives of the men military he had served with by being inspired by loyalty to their country and the desire to fight for freedom as oppose to those in the private military being simply motivated by financial means. Jake then mentions that the personnel of the Security Operations were, “hired arms” and “working for the company,” which only implicates that the Security Operations is run and controlled by a powerful rich corporation. In this case, the Security Operations team is hired by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) Company.
Just this scene alone sets the overall tone and image of the Security Operations in the movie. The security team personnel are almost labeled as mercenaries, which by definition are considered hired arms that take part in armed conflicts and do not associate themselves with a national or party group. In this sense, the members of SecOps including Jake Sully can be classified as mercenaries: they both are armed with weapons, trained for combat or direct conflicts, and do not associate with anyone else other than the private corporations that hire them. At this point, it is distinctive that Jake Sully may not even appear as a hero with any strong valiant values because he works with an organization that no longer emphasizes on these popular core values of honor, which is what America’s military capitalizes its proud work on. Instead their motive to do the dangerous work is purely driven by financial opportunities; Jake Sully risks his life for the employees at the Resources Development Administration only so he can receive new legs to overcome his disability. Sure this may seem to make the main character courageous for putting his life on the line, but ultimately he does not bear the heroic image just yet because he obviously is out there for his personal agendas.
Jake Sully begins to expose the characteristics of an official hero when he is tasked of an escort duty in the wilderness of Pandora. The head administrator of Pandora, Parker Selfridge, asks Colonel Quaritch to seek a capable individual to protect...