Blue or dark cyan with stripes
3 meters (10 feet)
Yellow or Green
The Avatar is a genetically engineered body of a human/Na'vi hybrid. Selected RDA humans psionically connect with their avatar bodies in order to explore Pandora without exopacks and to easily interact with the natives.
During the inception of the Avatar Program (when it wasn't called 'Avatar Program'), the RDA needed to collect and gather information about the Na'vi through human scientists who were on the ground of Pandora. The collection process was more than difficult as the Na'vi themselves would not even interact with the alien presences of their home world. Several phases were conducted in order to get the appriopriate amount of information.
During the data collection, the RDA secretly and without authorized permission by the Na'vi, went ahead and dugged up recently deceased Na'vi to be dissected and studied.
This led to Project Avatar - the information collected from the bodies, including bio-samples were sent back to Earth where it was studied. Having to decode the alien genetic genome proved to be the hardest obstacle that human scientist have encountered. In the end, the decoded Na'vi NVT genetic makeup were used to see if cloning was possible.
The first successful clone of a Na'vi was created in the labs of the RDA. However, knowing fully that clones did not have a conscious mind, the first clone was used to see if a human mind could be transferred. With Dr. Cordell Lovecraft's work on the transfer of mental thoughts, the RDA decided to bring the experimental project back online with connecting human thoughts with a vacant body.
The experiment proved unsuccessful, forcing many of the project's leads back to the drawing board. The main issue was that the extensive and complex nervous system could not be replicated by the human brain. Further investigation showed that the clone Na'vi body had less digits, toes and held different physical features than a human one.
This lead to the idea of combining Human DNA with Na'vi NVT.
The first successful cloned Human/Na'vi hybrid was created with further tests showing that mental thoughts could ultimately be transferred successfully to the vacant hybrid body.
The Avatar Program continously improve upon the Avatar's themselves. With each new generation, more improvements were made, including the physical features of the Avatar's themselves. Eventually, by the time Jake Sully and Norm Spellman arrive to Pandora. Their generation Avatar's came close to looking as Na'vi as possible.
The First generation of Avatar's resembled more human than Na'vi. However, all the physical attributes including strength and immunity to radiation were there. The first generation is also remarked as being close to the 'prototype' Avatar that was created several years earlier.
The major significance between the prototype and the first generation of Avatar's is that the prototype looked completely human with few Na'vi traits. Many of the feature's such as nose, mouth, eyebrows, even internal organs were far too close to a human.
The prototype even showed that they could not live as long. This lead to the design decision of introducing more Na'vi NVT than human DNA.
The creation of the first generation of Avatar's is a result to the work done on the prototype. Many of the human features were left in, excluding internal orgrans as those were incorporated with Na'vi.
The first generation was also decanted on Pandora. Many bio-engineer's believed that the Avatar's needed to be grown and decanted on Pandora, figuring that they could not be grown during the five year trip to Pandora aboard an ISV.
The Second generation of Avatar's looked exactly the same as the first generation. However, improvements were made to both health and body of the Avatar. Giving attributes such as strengthen immune system and improved eye sight, hearing, and sense of smell. The first generation had lacked this due to more human DNA being present than Na'vi NVT.
The second generation was also decanted on Pandora. Many bio-engineer's believed that the Avatar's needed to be grown and decanted on Pandora, figuring that they could not be grown during the five year trip to Pandora aboard an ISV.
The Third generation of Avatar's have now become to look more Na'vi than human. Improvements remained from the second generation. The other difference that was overseen was that this generation of Avatar's are in fact capable of reproducing. It is unclear why this generation was fertile while the other generations were sterile. Many within the program theorized that with the technology becoming better in creating Avatar's, and the Na'vi NVT becoming the dominate genes, this third generation became capable of reproduction.
The third generation is also the first generation in which Avatar's are grown during the five year trip to Pandora. Engineer's have configured for this generation of Avatar's to be grown, allowing them to have a longer life span than the early generation of Avatar's.
The Avatar Program scientists take DNA from a Na'vi and from a selected human volunteer. On Earth, in genetics labs, they create an in-vitro embryo, which is a genetic composite of the alien and human donor. The cost of each avatar is roughly five billion dollars ($5,000,000,000).
The recombinant embryo is grown in-vitro during the flight to Pandora, which takes 3 years ship-time (5 years Earth time due to relativistic effects). In that time it reaches near adult size, since avatars mature much more rapidly than humans. During the flight, the avatar progresses from coin-sized embryo to a near adult size of nine feet (2.75m).
Gentle blue light tailored to mimic the natural Pandoran daylight spectrum aids skin formation and guarantees amniotic fluid sterility. Nutrient-rich broth is circulated through an artificial placenta, a purpose-designed matrix of spongiform blood vessels and monitoring electrodes. Engineered hormones are used to stimulate rapid growth and ensure correct organ development and muscle tone during the interstellar journey. Avatars are normally grown 'en-route' to Pandora while their operators sleep in cryo-hibernation for the journey.
While the embryos in-vitro wince like dreaming babies, when "born" they are neither sentient nor animate, have no mind or free will of their own; their brains operate only through a psionic link with a human driver. The avatar body is simply an empty vessel intended for use as a surrogate body by the human operator. The avatars grown for Jake Sully and Norm Spellman were decanted from their tanks shortly after their arrival at the Hell's Gate BioLab complex.
After decantation, the artificial placental matrix and umbilical is removed. The wound heals naturally over the course of a few days.
Once all tests confirm maturation is completed and all wounds are healing, the avatar is ready for initial motor cortex testwork and neural interface link up.
The completed, fully grown Avatar is much closer to the long-limbed Na'vi than human in appearance; typical adult size ranges from eight to ten feet (2.5 - 3.0m) tall with blue skin, bioluminescent markings and large eyes with golden iris. Sensitive ears, a tail and the Na'vi queue, a unique set of nerve endings normally braided into a hair-like configuration protruding from the base of the skull, are faithfully reproduced to be near identical to the Na'vi.
Respiration, musculo-skeletal structure, internal organ function and arrangement are comparable to the Na'vi, enabling sustained precision operation in the hostile Pandoran atmosphere and jungle environment. All generation Avatar's have reproductive orgrans, however the Third generation of Avatar's are only capapble of reproduction itself.
Some argue the reason behind this is that the NVT have overwhelmed the DNA set, completely phasing out the process in which the reproduction itself was not capable for the First and Second generations.
It is currently unknown whether or not an Avatar is capable of producing offspring with another Avatar or Na'vi. Much speculation surrounds this phenomenon while the driver's themselves ignore the idea.
The Avatar body possesses greater strength and resistance than their human driver, owing this to carbon fibers in their bones. This quality greatly improves resistance to accidental damage, impact from falls etc especially while the operator acclimatises to his or her Avatar.
An Avatar cannot function independently of its operator - if the operator is not actively linked, an Avatar remains inactive in a state of restful sleep.