While watching the spectacle that is James Cameron's Avatar, you may have found yourself with a strange déjà vu feeling. That's because Avatar is littered with Cameron references and influences, from Aliens to Terminator. We've rounded them up for you.
Oh, and there are some spoilers for Avatar, as well as past Cameron films, in here.
Wrong Side of The Tracks Love
She's an alien and he's a paralyzed human. She's ten times his size, and he just wants to break all the rules. It's the tried-and-true odd-couple pairing that James Cameron took to its stereotypical heights in Titanic. It will never work out between these two and everyone is against them, but that's exactly while we'll root for them. It's cheesy, but it works. And it's all over Avatar.
The mecha power suit sure looks familiar. Maybe that's because you saw the first inklings of this idea in Cameron's mind during Aliens — sure, it's a much more stripped-down version, but if you look at the picture above you can see subtle resemblances between the two. I'd like to think that Cameron was clever enough to incorporate the yellow and black hazard tape on both as a subtle wink to his past, but then again who knows. Still in a film like this, there are very few things that sneak by Cameron unnoticed.
For The Abyss, Cameron has these masks made specially, so the audience could see the expression on the divers' faces underwater. It would make sense that he would incorporate the same decision with the Pandora breathing masks. Even if human skin could be exposed on Pandora, a half face mask would block just about all expressions. Plus, it's better than the Battlefield Earth nose plugs, that's for sure.
Save Her From Her Destiny
Boy does Cameron love a woman with a planned-out life. Sarah Connor's destiny is all planned out, Rose is to be married for money, and likewise, Neytiri's life plans are laid out in front of her. Why do Cameron's women always seem to have their lives planned out for them, for better or worse? Even Ripley — her destiny is forever entangled with that of the alien species, and by the time they bring her back as a half-alien and half-human, she's strangely accepted this fate.
The Samson Versus Hunter Killer
James Cameron did design spaceship models in his past. But it's pretty interesting to see how the Samson helicopters in Avatar are basically an upgraded version of the Hunter Killer from Terminator.
Military BAD! Scientists Good!
If you're in the military and not a defected member with a new lease on life, you are an evil killing machine with no respect for life, love, nature and especially aliens. In fact, you HATE aliens. KILL THEM ALL. If you are an everyday joe, driller or scientist who delights in wearing scrubby old clothes and band t-shirts, you are the hero of the story — congrats.