I’ll see your Pocahontas and raise you Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead vs. Avatar

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  1. mkehrt says:

    Boriss, this is The Best.

  2. Brilliant. I hadn’t read this in a while. I guess they both bought their plot from the same source of stock plots.

  3. jason says:

    haha thats the greatest thing i have ever seen

    • jboriss says:

      Chris –

      Great link! A shame some of these changes didn’t make it – it would’ve been a richer story. But Avatar will still a great movie, and geez – a richer story would’ve meant a what, 5 or 6 hour movie? Aactually, I may be down with that. Just make a bathroom break halfway through.

  4. Kayla says:

    I forget the author but when I was a kid I read a novella that, to the T, was both these plots. It was released in the 1950’s and I’m pretty sure the name of the novella was “Just like Me” or “Just call me Joey,” something like that.

  5. Francis says:

    If you guys remember Fern Gully: The Last Rain Forest, you’ll realize the story is almost exactly like Avatar.

  6. Jake says:

    Loved the Ender series.

  7. Well played. The film is excellent and Orson is the best.

  8. Jim Galt says:


  9. starwed says:

    Also check out “The Word for World is Forest” by Ursula leGuin.

  10. Ender says:

    I made the Speaker for the Dead connection straight away when watching Avatar – the mother tree was was clinched it for me, there is certainly more than coincidence linking the stories. Is it perhaps homage from Cameron?

    • jboriss says:

      Ender –

      While I think Cameron was inspired by many sources, at the end of the day it’s also an old story that’s been done many times in many ways. In the west, our story has been one about great excitement for progressing in various ways, and then regret and shame about those ways. First was empire, and especially British empire, which sought to “civilize” what it judged as savage civilizations. Then was the industrial revolution, when we strove to produce and consume, but would later wonder if we lost our humanity and didn’t care about the environment or others. Especially lately, many stories express guilt for what the west has done and the attitudes that it’s espoused. This is sometimes called “liberal guilt,” but I think it’s more prevalent than one political ideology. In summary, Avatar is an old story about an old theme and an old attitude. Not groundbreaking storytelling, but a groundbreaking film in other respects.

  11. Ender says:

    Cameron and OSC collaborating previously on “The Abyss” shouldn’t be overlooked.

  12. Wow, this is great… Avatar looked good in 3D but the story is boooring

  13. Janson says:

    Nice work, Sherlock, but I hope you weren’t trying to smear Cameron with this. Avatar is a great movie in its own right.

    Haven’t read SFD, but Ender’s Game was cool.

  14. jbob says:

    @Janson “Nice work, Sherlock, but I hope you weren’t trying to smear Cameron with this. Avatar is a great movie in its own right.”

    Lol, are you Cameron’s PR person? Do you have posters of him on your ceiling? I have to be honest, the movie was fantastic… However, Cameron straight up ripped off OSC with some of the details in the movie. This story, in general, may have been told before: Fern Gully, Pocahontas, etc. But come on! Seeds of the mother tree being planted into bodies so that the dead can live on in the trees with the ancestors?!?! This is totally OSC’s Speaker for the Dead. You aren’t even qualified to give any type of opinion on the similarities between the two if you haven’t read Speaker for the Dead. I think the outline above does a great job of pointing those similarties out; furthermore, I believe the similarities are more than a coincidence. James Cameron read Speaker for the Dead and stole some of OSC’s ideas. I don’t recall seeing OSC’s name in the credits, so I disagree that Cameron was paying homage.

  15. Opine says:

    This was fantastic. I didn’t see Avatar, but now I don’t have to! I love SFTD, so really, it’s like I’ve seen it 😉

  16. Yueh_Fei says:

    Chris, the link to the original script is nice. But not only it does not diminish the links to OSC’s book, it enhances the connections — especially the last part of giving humanity a disease. That is a variation on a key theme in the novel. I would suggest that you read Speaker for the Dead.

  17. Coldie says:

    Well, in Avatar, the RDA corporation actually wanted to give the Na’avi technology, schools, etc, whereas the Starways Congress wanted to keep the Pequininos as isolated from current human technology as possible.

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