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5.0 out of 5 stars Storyline differences between Extended Collector's Edition and Theatrical Release, November 14, 2010
This review is from: Avatar (Three-Disc Extended Collector's Edition + BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I'm primarily interested in the storyline differences between special sets and their theatrical counterparts, so here are the differences between the two (NOTE: SPOILERS FOLLOW).

The extended collector's edition runs 16 minutes 28 seconds longer than the theatrical cut, and listed below are the major differences.

1) The opening scene is different, and starts with Jake in a wheelchair on Earth, in a Blade Runner-esque Earth city. The scene moves to scenes of Jake in his apartment, then taking liquid shots in a bar. Jake's narration of "I told myself I can pass any test a man can pass" and "They can fix the spinal if you got the money. But not on vet benefits, not in this economy" are inserted during this new opening scene.

Jake beats up a bar patron who is mistreating a woman, and then Jake and wheelchair are unceremoniously thrown outside by bouncers into an alley. While in the alley, Jake meets the two RDA representatives who bring him news of his brother's untimely death. Then the movie cuts back to the original theatrical cut where Jake sees his brother's body cremated, then awakes in space.

2) During Jake's initial flyover of Pandora in his avatar, they witness a herd of Sturmbeasts, buffalo-like creatures.

3) After seeing the Sturmbeasts, Grace, Jake, and Norm stop by Grace's old English school for the Na'vi. The school is now closed, abandoned, and some walls are riddled with bullet-holes. Norm finds a Dr. Seuss book, "The Lorax", on the ground. This scene explains how Neytiri knew English so well, and certainly gives some further backstory into Grace Augustine's character.

Interestingly, The Lorax can be seen as a metaphor for the Pandoran story. Recall that the seemingly simple Seussian book is actually a lesson on the plight of the environment and industrialization.

4) We see some other different Pandoran flora and fauna, particularly with scenes of the luminescent forest floor.

5) Jake's first dinner with Neytiri is longer and extended, and it's here that she tells him her full name.

6) When Jake, Grace, and Norm first visit the Hallelujah Mountains on the way to the remote uplink station, Grace explains (in a Jake voiceover) that the mountains are levitated [via the Meissner Effect], because Unobtanium is a superconductor. There's a pretty spectacular CGI shot as the characters look around in awe at the suspended mountains.

7) Pictures of Grace and Na'vi children at her previously functioning school. Dr. Augustine tells Jake that she previously taught Neytiri and her sister, Sylwanin. However, one day, Sylwanin and some hunters destroyed an RDA bulldozer, and RDA SecOps troopers killed them at the school, which explains why the school walls were previously seen pockmarked with bullet holes.

8) Sturmbeast hunting scene after Jake tames a Banshee. After Jake successfully kills a Sturmbeast with an arrow, he and Neytiri chortle a "Heck yeah!" and whoop.

9) Jake and Neytiri's love scene comprises them linking braids together. Some kissing, nothing explicit.

10) Tsu'tey leads a war party that destroys the RDA's autonomous bulldozers, as well as the RDA SecOps squad that was guarding them. Corporal Wainfleet leads the search party that uncovers the evidence, via real-time helmet cam footage. Not sure why they cut this scene from the theatrical cut, as it persuades Selfridge to attack the Home Tree.

11) Attack of Hammerhead Titanotheres on RDA forces has been extended slightly; additional scenes of AMP-Suits getting destroyed.

12) Fight between Colonel Quaritch in AMP Suit and Neytiri on Thanator slightly longer.

13) Tsu'tey's death scene; in the theatrical cut, he falls off the RDA shuttle's aft ramp to his death. In the Collector's Edition, he falls to the forest floor, mortally wounded. He passes on leadership to Jake, and asks Jake to ceremonially kill him e.g. hara-kiri, so that Jake will be the last shadow that Tsu-Tey sees. Jake does so.

I preferred the original Tsu'tey death scene, which was more dramatic. Jake, had afterall, already become the de facto clan leader by that point in the movie, so further formal transfer by Tsu'tey (a minor character) seemed unnecessary.
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Comments

Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2010 8:44:58 PM PST
Stephen Knox says:
Hey does the DVD have the special behind the scenes footage on it also? because I don't have blue ray & that's my main reason for even buying Movies on disc

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2010 9:31:12 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 17, 2010 12:31:33 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2010 11:50:17 PM PST
Stephen Knox says:
Awesome!! Thanks for that! Judging by your review I'm picking it up 2morro:)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2010 4:46:38 AM PST
Sorry I didn't get a chance to respond earlier Stephen Knox, but thanks Dr.Negative for answering the question.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2010 10:37:47 AM PST
Is the video for I see you included?...i've been checking but apparently it's not included on any edition...wonder why.

Posted on Nov 16, 2010 10:07:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2010 10:08:52 PM PST
So are the new scenes just deleted scenes or is it edited for a new longer version of the the movie. The reason is you said they had the same dialog about the not on vets benefits but inserted in the new beginning? So do they cut the original scene where he says that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 12:41:04 AM PST
Just for the record, the DVD does NOT have the same content as the Blu-Ray. They're both three discs, but the DVD has the movie on two of those discs and extra content on just one of them (the hour of unfinished deleted scenes and the main documentary, 'Capturing Avatar'). The Blu-Ray is the inverse of that, with the movie on one disc and then extra content on the second two discs.

The content featured on the Blu-Ray but not on the DVD includes many featurettes, still-frame sections with the artwork and scripts, and "scene deconstructions" that allow you to watch large chunks of the movie in the performance capture (human actors), then the low-res "template" CG stage, then the final stage.

I also don't have a Blu-Ray player (or even an HDTV), so I'm missing out on all that content on the third Blu-Ray disc. (Well, it's not hard to get it, though.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 6:25:48 AM PST
@Jason,

The collector's edition is edited for a longer version, although some dialogue has been rearranged. The part about the vets benefits in the theatrical cut, if I remember correctly, was spoken by Jake when he first arrived on Pandora, and was getting off the shuttle on his wheelchair. He says something else in that scene, but nothing significantly new.

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 4:47:41 PM PST
Honest Abe says:
I disagree Tsu'tey is not a minor character, I think that you dislike the character and it shows in your description, I dislike the character as well but I think that was largely the point of the character in the first place he was not meant to be liked. Great review thanks for all the detail.

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 1:09:22 AM PST
D. Cisneros says:
Nice review.
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