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English II- Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay- FNBE 0814 Page 1
Name: Lee Ning
Student ID: 0320125
Title: English II - Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay
Lecturer: Ms. Cassandra Wijesuria
English II- Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay- FNBE 0814 Page 2
Compare or Contrast Essay between Two Science Fiction Movies
From The Fifth Edition of Oxford English dictionary, the word science fiction
can be defined as fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological
advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or
time travel and life on other planets. Science fiction emerged in the late 19th century
in the works of writers such as Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, although there are
earlier precedents, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). James Cameron is
also one of the directors known by his science fiction movie. The movies that I have
chosen to compare are Aliens (1986) and Avatar both by James Cameron. In Aliens,
the film follows the main character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where
her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature accompanied by a unit of space
marine. In Avatar, the film follows the main character Jake Sully who is a paraplegic
former marine replaces his deceased twin brother as an operator of one to explore
Pandora’s biosphere. There are few similarities found in these two movies which are
the background scene, the themes of the movie, characteristics of main characters
and the ending of the movies.
Firstly, the background scenes of the two movies are on other planets. In
Aliens, the story occurred on LV- 426, a planet where Ripley’s ship, Nostromo
encountered the Alien eggs. Ripley was forced to detonate the ship by an Alien who
killed the ship’s crew. Nostromo was then become a home to a human terraforming
colony called Hadley’s Hope. In Avatar, the story developed on Pandora, a planet
with a lush valuable mineral called unobtanium which is a room-temperature
superconductor. Pandora is a densely forested habitable moon orbiting the gas giant
Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system. Pandora, whose atmosphere is
poisonous to humans, is inhabited by the Na'vi, 10-foot tall, blue-skinned, sapient
humanoids that live in harmony with nature and worship a mother goddess called
English II- Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay- FNBE 0814 Page 3
Secondly, the themes of both movies are life’s challenges. In Aliens, Ripley’s
life is full of challenges especially when she decided to take the task to investigate
the cause of the disturbance of Hadley’s Hope. In this journey to LV-426, she took
the challenge to find the location of the colony deserted, save the traumatized young
girl, Newt and other marines. Besides that, she also had a fight with the Alien queen
to save the survived marines, Newt and herself. In Avatar, Jake’s life is also full of
challenge. For examples, as an outsider, Jake was required to gain the Navi’s trust
and initiate into the tribe to gather the information about the Hometree, a giant
arboreal. Moreover, he had to regain the trust and gather the natives to have a war
with Resources Development Administration (RDA) to protect the planet, Pandora.
Thirdly, the same characteristics shared by the main characters in the movies.
In the two movies, both main characters have shown their braveness and righteous.
In Aliens, Ripley decided to return to LV-426 to investigate the cause of the
disturbance of Hadley’s Hope (named Nostromo previously) after drifting through
space in stasis for 57 years although she has been traumatized by her previous
encounter with Aliens. Besides that, she refused to leave Newt behind when she
reached Bishop and the second dropship. During the rescue of Newt from the hive in
the processing station, Ripley encountered the Alien queen in her egg chamber. She
did not run away yet enraged the queen by destroyed the eggs from her ovipositor.
Ripley was brave to battle the Alien queen using an exosuit cargo-loader and finally
expelled it through an airlock. In Avatar, Jake was brave to initiate in the Na’vi ’s tribe
to gather the information about the Hometree for RDA. After initiated to the tribes,
Jake grew sympathize with the natives, he revealed his change of allegiance when
he attempted to disable a bulldozer that threatens to a sacred Na’vi site although he
knew that he will be punished for that action. Moreover, Jake connected his mind to a
Toruk, a dragon-like predator feared and honoured by the Na’vi to regain their trust
and unite the clans to battle against the RDA.
English II- Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay- FNBE 0814 Page 4
Lastly, the ending of the stories are humans back to Earth. In Aliens, after
expelled the Alien queen through an airlock, Ripley, Newt, Hicks and the badly
damaged Bishop entered the hyper sleep and finished their journey to LV-426.
Meanwhile, in Avatar, as humans act as the antagonists, all humans are expelled
from Pandora and sent back to Earth with the exceptions of Jake, Norm, Max and a
select few others were allowed to live in Pandora. Jack was even transferred
permanently into his Avatar with the aid of the Tree of Souls.
In the conclusion, the similarities of these two science fiction movies, Aliens
and Avatar are the background scene of the stories developed, the themes of the
movies, the characteristics of the two main characters and the ending of the movies.
These two movies are quite similar not just because they were directed by the same
director, James Cameron but also influenced by the same genre which categorized
the movies. Besides that, as the Irish playwright Denis Johnston once claimed that all
stories are based on the same eight plots. So, there is certain flow of plots followed
by filmmakers to create dramatically different films out of similar plots. These factors
result the two movies shared the similarities.
English II- Project 1- Compare or Contrast Essay- FNBE 0814 Page 5
Cast study from movies Avatar (2009) and Aliens (1986) directed by James Cameron.
Afi.com,. (2015). Detail view of Movies Page. Retrieved 12 March 2015, from
Education - Seattle PI,. (2015). How to Write an Essay Comparing Two Movies.
Retrieved 12 March 2015, from http://education.seattlepi.com/write-essay-comparing-
Filmsite.org,. (2015). Aliens (1986). Retrieved 12 March 2015, from
IMDb,. (2015). Aliens (1986). Retrieved 12 March 2015, from
IMDb,. (2015). Aliens (1986) - Synopsis. Retrieved 12 March 2015, from
IMDb,. (2015). Avatar (2009). Retrieved 12 March 2015, from
IMDb,. (2015). Avatar (2009) - Synopsis. Retrieved 12 March 2015, from