Avatar Fans Are In Disbelief at the Price of This Rare Pandora Commodity

The Fountain of Youth in the palm of my hand.

by J.R. Waugh
Image: 20th Century Studios

Avatar: The Way of Water is an engrossing, rich visual experience where James Cameron brings you back to the world of Pandora. It’s a wonderful cinema event that’s captivating millions even in its first days at the box office, and while it has hefty shoes to fill, it’s up to the challenge. However, as moviegoers have taken to the internet, particularly Reddit, it’s become clear people are happy to discuss the details, even the frustrating ones. Fans of Avatar have quickly noted this odd resource in the latest film, a fascinating yellow liquid called Amrita, and its vital properties, yet sold at a shockingly low price point.

What is Amrita, the Yellow Liquid In Avatar: The Way of Water?

Cheap is an enormously relative term here, but a vial of Amrita in Avatar is worth $80 million, and its main benefit is the ability to stop human aging. Read that closely: this is no anti-aging cream, but rather an answer to the ravages of time on the human body. It is found within the skulls of the whale-like tulkuns of Pandora, such as the one befriended by Lo’ak.

Amrita has become a focal point for RDA researchers and, more importantly, a greater fuel for their greed than ever. Their unique position as harvesters and distributors of this precious miracle substance has shifted their efforts away from gathering precious Unobtainium like in the first Avatar.

It doesn’t hurt that the name ‘Amrita’ is more thoughtful and less on the nose than Unobtainium, a term meant in real life to be a blanket expression for difficult materials to procure.

Why is Amrita so Cheap in Avatar? Avatar Fans Take Issue with Price Point

Image: 20th Century Studios

Amrita’s price point is relatively low as speculated by viewers, due to the difficulties of shipping the material and harvesting it. It could be extremely rare or even scarcely limited depending on whether there’s no other way to synthesize it other than from the naturally-occurring glands within the tulkuns. $80 million a vial just seems shockingly low when compared to $20 million a kilo of Unobtainium unrefined, and $40 million a kilo when refined.

Maybe it’s just the inflation talking through us, but seeing how this film takes place in 2169, finding a resource equivalent to the Fountain of Youth seems like it should be worth a greater bill. But perhaps we can thank Unobtainium for making this easier: it’s a superconductor material meant to make space travel less financially constraining. Perhaps the combo maybe reduces shipping costs?

But Avatar fans also saw this and it begs the question: why do the RNA even want Amrita when they can just make Recombinant bodies like for Quaritch and live forever that way? The answer likely lies within their desire to retain their human traits. There’s also the existential side of things, and how Recombinant status inherits memory and personality, but arguably not the original self, just a facsimile. So a solution that allows humans to stay as they are might be idealized and sought-after, justifying its value to an extent.

If James Cameron was wanting to be bold, there’s only one change he’d need to make in Avatar: The Way of Water for the fans. Adjust this price point for inflation to a cool $2 billion, so that the Amrita sales will be enough to make this profitable in the distributors’ eyes to make his sequels. That’ll send the message across.

Avatar: The Way of Water released in theaters worldwide on December 16, 2022.

- This article was updated on December 18th, 2022

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