Character Commentary-Jake. - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:06 PM
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Default Character Commentary-Jake.

This may be a one shot, it may be a series of character commentaries on my part. Perhaps someone else has done this somewhere else, but this is my take on it. No great work, but I had to write it down.
Submitted for your perusal:

Jake's Journey

It's a shame that the most we have seen of Jake's life on Earth (except for those lucky few) is a few cut scenes that didn't make it into the movie. Imagine the world that he left behind.
Polluted, dirty, mechanized and urbanized. Concrete and steel, dirty air that smells metallic and industrial. The human element is worn down to the dregs of humanity that still have to struggle for survival, prey on the weak and try to climb to the top of the industrial trash heap they call life on Earth.
Then, his life is changed irrevocably forever. In more ways than he can imagine. His mind jumps ahead in his dreams, showing him his future, though he doesn't know it yet. It keeps him going, those little moments of freedom, glimpses of trees and clouds. Flying. Free. But he always had to come back to reality.
He was no longer able to walk and participate in life the way every one else could. He was crippled and was told he couldn't do anything about it.
That was not in his nature. He was a fighter, 'One of the Few, The Proud' a Marine that had survived some 'rough bush'. He could handle himself, 'pass any test a man could take'. And yet here he was, confined to a wheelchair and out of the service that he had dedicated the last few years of his life.
Then, an opportunity to escape. He card for his brother, you could see it on his face and hear the contempt in his voice describing how Tom died. He has a chance now to escape the fetid and dirty world that has held him down. Deep down, he has always dreamed of going to Pandora, I can imagine him secretly flipping through pictures of Earth how it used to be and aching for a piece of that in his heart.
In space, no one cares if your legs don't work. Everyone is weightless, even if for a little while. He has a chance to inhabit a body with working legs, go to a world that is still green and blue. The world that he has heard about all his life and saw beautiful pictures of fantastic plants and colors that have long been gone from his home world.
Despite not having any training at all, he is in a mindset that says, 'I Can Do This!'.
The first opportunity that he has, of course he bolts to the outside world. He can walk, and run, and is taller than what he used to be. His first run and exhilaration is the first clue we get into how his former life had utterly crippled him.
"Maybe I was tired of doctors telling me what I couldn't do."
That must have hurt him more than just the injury. He was the kind of person that, despite being a Corporal, could take charge of a situation and deal with it.
Now he was in a new body, a new place and running. Jumping. Breathing real air. Green and living air. It smelled ALIVE. Like he was still, deep down. It was his first taste of a piece of his world that he had longed for and dreamed about.
And he was FREE. For a few hours.
The agony of coming back to his human body every time was evident. But it was part of the job. After all, he was human, not some tall blue native. That was just a dream body. Like in his previous dreams, it wasn't his in reality.
But then again.... it was real. He was here. On Pandora. Running and walking...and breathing jungle air.
Then...
It all changed again. He is taught to 'see' and 'walk' use new skills, become part of this new world. Learn the ways of the Na'vi, and ultimately learns to fly.
But he always has to wake up.

In the back of his mind, he knew there was a way to not wake up in his small, pasty, crippled body anymore. Pandora was alive, he saw how plants and the People interact, he's connected with the animals. There was a way, just out of his reach. But one day, he finally woke up and could see his future. This was the life he had dreamed about but never could imagine being real.
His old life was left behind when Hometree fell. When Grace died with a human made bullet in her. He had made his choice inside before. Now he would act on that choice as only he could.
That choice came in fire and destruction, bullets and blood. He would fight not only for the planet and people that were now an integral part of his life, but also for the one chance he had to finally be whole again spiritually and physically.
Pandora was his life now. His home. His people. His body and soul were now integrated, no longer separated by a world of indifference.
He was finally free.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:41 PM
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Amazing
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:53 PM
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Very nice commentary. It is good that someone has done an in depth analysis of Jake at last.

A nice perspective showing Jake's journey from life on Earth to life on Pandora. Well worth reading.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:55 AM
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Default Commentary after seeing SE

We have now seen a little more of Jake's personality come through with the extra footage.
The two key scenes for me were in the school house and then... with Tsu'tey.
The school house scene was kind of weird for me, knowing what happened through reading the original story and the plot for the game. We know what happened and Jake's reaction definitely showed he was already questioning his 'side'. Bullet holes do not belong in a school. That much he knows, and when Grace brushes him off, he knows that it is something big. Later when he sees the photos of Grace with the kids and Neytiri in front of the school, he starts realizing that something definitely went wrong which led to her banning from the village.
When he put his fingers on the bullet holes, knowing the way the pattern was that they came from the front door... it's the first chink in his Marine psyche that would slowly be eroded away by his direct contact with the Na'vi.

Okay, now to the more emotional scene.
I cried. Not for Tsu'tey, although it was very emotional on his part, but for Jake.
The two were now truly brothers, Tsu'tey had accepted him when he returned as Toruk Macto. There was no saving Tsu'tey, they were out in the middle of the forest, he had been gunned down and then fell through the forest... there was only one way out.
Last Shadow. It was so moving in many ways. Jake had to perform that ritual in order to truly become one of the tribe. It was a sad and hard think to do, he had tried to save Grace, but he knew that he couldn't save his brother.
'I'm not officer material' my foot. Once again the reluctant hero is chosen to lead, not realizing that he already was a leader. Heroes are like that, they are surprised by their own abilities and when it comes time for them to be recognized, it comes as a surprise.
At the end, (in the original version) when he and Neytiri are watching the humans march onto the shuttle, they are subdued and sober. It seemed out of place. But now, knowing that he had performed Last Shadow and then taken Tsu'tey's collar.. it makes much more sense that he just wants to see Selfridge and all the rest gone from the planet. They had caused too much pain both in human/Na'vi numbers and pain to the planet.
He was now truly Olo'eyktan and he now felt the burden of leadership more than he had in battle.
The battle was just fighting and making sure the bomber didn't reach the tree. He now knew that he was a leader, he had a responsibility to the planet and his people. The Na'vi.


(As a side note, the only sadder moment I have seen in a movie or tv show was the ending to Babylon 5. Sheridan and Delenn's last goodbye was heart wrenching for a very similar reason that emotions were kept in check until the last second. Very very powerful.)
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:21 AM
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Jake's reaction when he first tastes the fruit that Grace throws to him seems a bit odd at first.
But, once you realize that most of his life, fresh food is almost extinct. All they have left on Earth is synthetic and processed food. Due to the pollution and over crowded conditions, fresh meat, fresh produce, anything to do with a 'real' piece of food is a thing of the past. That fruit was likely the first time he had eaten anything that wasn't processed or synthetic.
So his experience of eating that fruit was like the first time you ate a fresh peach or slice of watermelon or whatever your favorite fruit is now. I remember my first taste of a ripe honey fig. It was about the same as Jake's reaction.
Once we get to see what Earth is like, Jake's experience on Pandora will take on a whole new depth.
I'm looking forward to finally getting the 'whole' picture.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrice Maire View Post
Jake's reaction when he first tastes the fruit that Grace throws to him seems a bit odd at first.
But, once you realize that most of his life, fresh food is almost extinct. All they have left on Earth is synthetic and processed food. Due to the pollution and over crowded conditions, fresh meat, fresh produce, anything to do with a 'real' piece of food is a thing of the past. That fruit was likely the first time he had eaten anything that wasn't processed or synthetic.
So his experience of eating that fruit was like the first time you ate a fresh peach or slice of watermelon or whatever your favorite fruit is now. I remember my first taste of a ripe honey fig. It was about the same as Jake's reaction.
Once we get to see what Earth is like, Jake's experience on Pandora will take on a whole new depth.
I'm looking forward to finally getting the 'whole' picture.

Very interesting. Before reading this, I felt that scene in the movie was a little overdone, but looking at it like this, the way the scene is presented makes a lot more sense now.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrice Maire View Post
'I'm not officer material' my foot. Once again the reluctant hero is chosen to lead, not realizing that he already was a leader. Heroes are like that, they are surprised by their own abilities and when it comes time for them to be recognized, it comes as a surprise.
It could also be that Jake is used to thinking in terms of Earth military, in which an officer is different from a non-commissioned officer. We know his former rank was corporal, which is an NCO rank - so, maybe that's what he was thinking. He's more of an NCO - more a corporal or a sergeant - rather than a lieutenant or a major or a general.

...which possibly I should expand on in an essay of my own, your own commentary just made me think of it.
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