Everyone is raving about the film, Avatar,
and rightly so, as the 3D special effects are amazing. However
just as important for the disabled community, at least, is
the positive portrayal of the main character, Jake Sully.
Sully is a paralyzed Marine who volunteers to exist as an
Avatar on Pandora. As everyone knows by now Pandora is a small
moon a couple of blocks away from our universe, which is inhabited
by blue skinned, ten foot tall “Smurfs “called
Apparently in the 22nd century, we humans, have the ability
to manufacturer Human/Na'vi hybrids known as Avatars that
can be controlled via the consciousness of the volunteer,
back on earth.
At first Sully is rejected for the task but not because of
his disability. The scientists have an innate distrust of
marines as they think they are too gung-ho. Anyway Sully soon
convinces the “brains” of the project that he
has the ability and from then on his disability is accepted.
He passes all tests by hopping in and out of his wheelchair
as if it was a natural part of the daily routine.
Granted he goes nuts when he is first zapped to Pandora and
finds his lower limbs are working once again, as he runs through
the grasslands like an incredibly tall two year old, on steroids.
However not even the tempting words of his commander who promised
the rebirth of functional earthly legs on completion of the
project could persuade him to betray his new Na’vi friends.