- for the movie, please see/use Avatar/Movie
- for the game, please see/use Avatar/Game
- for the soundtrack, please see/use Avatar/Soundtrack
In the 2009 science fiction film Avatar, director James Cameron conceived a fictional universe in which humans seek to mine unobtanium on the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora. The Earth-like moon is inhabited by a sapient indigenous humanoid species called the Na'vi, and varied fauna and flora. Resources Development Administration (RDA) scientists, administrators, recruits, support, and security personnel travel to Pandora in the 22nd century to discover this lush world which is inhabited by many lifeforms including the human-like Na'vi. The clan with which the humans have contact in the film "[lives] in a giant tree that sits on a vast store of a mineral called unobtanium, which humans want as an energy supply".
The Pandoran biosphere teems with a biodiversity of bioluminescent species ranging from hexapodal animals to exotic fauna and flora. The Pandoran ecology forms a vast neural network spanning the entire planetary surface into which the Na'vi and other creatures can connect. The strength of this collective consciousness is powerfully illustrated when the human invaders are defeated in battle by the Pandoran ecology, after the resolute Na'vi were nearly defeated. Cameron utilized a team of expert advisors in order to make the various examples of fauna and flora as scientifically feasible as he intends.
According to Entertainment Weekly, "The Na'vi can commune with animals on their planet by literally plugging their braid into the creatures' nerve systems. To become a warrior, a Na'vi must tame and ride a flying creature known as Ikran." The Na'vi also use this neural bonding system, called "tsaheylu", to mate with a "life partner", a bond that when made, cannot be broken in the Na'vi's lifetime. This is akin to human marriage.
Conceived for the film was the Na'vi language, a constructed language often spoken by the actors when they played Na'vi characters. The Na'vi language was created by communications professor emeritus and linguistics consultant Paul Frommer of University of Southern California. He designed the language so it could be spoken by human actors, combining syntactic and grammatical rules from other existing languages. Frommer created over a thousand words for the Na'vi language and coached the actors who played Na'vi characters on speaking it for the film. When communicating to humans in the film, Na'vi characters – especially Neytiri – speak in accented and broken English.
On religion, the chief and possibly sole deity of the Na'vi is a benevolent goddess known as Eywa. The Na'vi are able to "connect" to Eywa when they use their braids to connect to the Tree of Souls and other similar flora. Eywa is said to have a connection to all things Pandoran.