[FoRK] A comment on Avatar

Simon Wistow simon at thegestalt.org
Wed Dec 23 19:53:55 PST 2009


On Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 10:16:44AM +1100, Jeremy Apthorp said:
> James Cameron clearly wasn't trying to construct a deep, plot-heavy
> film. Have any other James Cameron plots been anything but tissue
> paper and cellophane? I mean, seriously, 'unobtainium'? 'Flux vortex'?

Just to be clear 'unobtanium' is a sort of inside sci-fi joke to mean 
some sort of McGuffin or just as short hand for materials that have very 
strong properties. 

It's even spilled over into real life - for example Skunkworks engineers 
used the term instead of Titanium in documents whilst building the 
SR-71.

That said, I'm not necessarily arguing that inside jokes belong in 
movies, especially when they have a potential to come across as just 
plain dumb. See, sort of, the use of "Sabotage" in the last Star Trek.





More information about the FoRK mailing list