The Courage to Fight for What Is Right

Miles Quaritch (antagonist) coercing Jake Sully (protagonist) to play by his rules.
The Official Trailer of Avatar (2009)

Soundtrack: Pacing and Emotions

In order to convey the main message of Avatar in mere 210 seconds, the trailer utilized the soundtrack as the predominant strategy for pacing. The short movie trailer has three clear stages designated by three different background music. The first one, My Name Is Lincoln (0:00–1:05), is awe-striking, spacious, and uplifting, with quick tempos indicating a new beginning for our protagonist Jake Sully to embark on a new mission on Pandora. Accompanying the song, the camera explores the various wildlife and landscape of Pandora to further intensify the cheerful, exciting aura. The second soundtrack, Akkadian Empire (1:06–1:45), is deeper in pitch. With fast paced cello playing the melody, this song gives the trailer a more serious tone while the commander Miles Quaritch informs Jake about his mission to infiltrate the native Na’vi and persuade them to relocate so humans can acquire the rare energy ore underneath their tree. The heaviness induced by the song symbolizes the weight of responsibility and the invisible pressure upon Jake as he accepts his quest. The last soundtrack, Guardians at the Gate (1:47–3:31), consists mostly of chorus, gongs, and drumbeats — instruments widely used in ancient warfare. In combination with the battle scene and the echoing of Jake’s declaration of independence, it is made clear that Jake has determined to fight for the Na’vi and rebel against the ruthlessness of humans.

Dialogue: Characteristics and Tone

It is important to identify the “Good vs. Evil” element in every movie, and normally, they are made apparent through the choices of dialogue. A character’s tone and diction have significant reflection on his or her personality. Let’s take a little inspection on the words the commander in chief, Miles Quaritch, uses for an example. Upon the arrival of a new group of soldiers, he introduces the Na’vi in such fashion:

Parker Selfridge, the administrator of the ore mining project, explaining the value of the ore with obsession.

Color Scheme: Theme and Message

The vividness of color on Pandora illustrated in the trailer also contributes to the overall theme in a similar aspect. While the soundtrack and dialogue advocate for the protection of the innocent Na’vi population, the color scheme emphasizes the protection of mother nature. Under the same scope against materialistic benefits, neither the beauty of nature nor its people should be sacrificed. By decorating the trailer with bright-colored plants and wildlife, the visuals appeal to the audience and evoke reluctance against deforestation.

The captivating and rich colors on Pandora

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