Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avatar - The Movie He Would Have Loved

It was two years ago that Leif bought his Xbox 360 precisely so he could play the game Mass Effect. He was completely mesmerized by it and talked to us at great length about how good it was, in every way, story, graphics, music. He played it for many hours at a time, creating more than one character and playing different choices to see how the game would play out. He was fascinated that he could create a character much in his own likeness, and he did. Leif also liked to play role-playing games from the viewpoint of different characters, and always created female as well as male characters to play, whether in his CyberPunk games, Mass Effect, or others. He took many screen shots of his Mass Effect games and characters and some movie clips of his games, all of which I found on his computer. These are a few of the character shots. I don't know which game he used her in, but one of his female characters was named Arielle.

Leif loved science fiction, from Star Wars and Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica, and it was sad that he didn't stay alive to see the end of the Battlestar Galactica series, one he had watched, purchased through iTunes, watched again, and extolled in many ways.

Leif loved James Cameron's movies and watched them over and over. He had a lot of analytical things to say about them, as he did all the others above.

Yesterday afternoon we went to see "Avatar." Part of the way through it, I turned to Peter W. and said, "This is Leif's movie." It was the quintessential "Leif's movie." How he would have loved it! He would have seen it over and over. He would have purchased it. He would have memorized it. He would have analyzed it.

There were so many themes in this movie that were Leif's, from the injured and crippled marine who found a new life plugged into an avatar link ( which reminded me of the novel he began, the extant chapters of which I posted here), to the blue-skinned and wide-golden-eyed women of the Pandora planet. When he was working with the ZAON designers, one of the things he liked to do was experiment with the "look" of "other species" invented for the game, and change skin color, eye color and mix ethnic characteristics to get startling and striking new combinations. He would have loved the willowy blue beings in Avatar.

He would have loved the individualistic, defiant and courageous Jake Sully, and reveled in the battle scenes, the visual richness of the Pandora world, the incredible technology used to make this film. He would have thrilled to the mission Jake took on to save the Na'vi people and their planet from destruction at the hands of greedy humans from earth.

How I wish I could have shared this experience with him! How I wish he had seen it! The film made me cry, but I cried as much for Leif and the fact he could not see it with me as for the story itself. This was HIS movie.

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