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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – Things You Need to Know About the RDA – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – Things You Need to Know About the RDA



In 2008, James Cameron unveiled his ambitious science fiction blockbuster, Avatar. This film was a tremendous success and had a significant impact on the use of 3D and Imax technology in subsequent Hollywood productions. Now, over a decade later, Cameron has finally released the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. In conjunction with this highly anticipated release, Ubisoft has announced their own addition to Cameron’s popular franchise, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. This upcoming video game offers players the chance to explore Cameron’s alien world, this time assuming the role of a Na’vi rather than an avatar.

While details about the game are still limited, it has been confirmed that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will reintroduce a major element from the original movie. The plot of Avatar revolves around the conflict between human colonizers and the indigenous species of Pandora, the Na’vi. The primary human presence in the film is represented by the RDA, a powerful institution with a vested interest in dominating Pandora at any cost. But who exactly is the RDA?

The RDA can be described as the ultimate megacorporation. Even before their arrival on Pandora, they held significant power, specializing in the exploitation of extraterrestrial resources and already controlling most of the Solar System. Their power surpasses that of Earth’s governments, both financially and militarily, effectively establishing themselves as a government entity. This immense control enabled them to gain a complete monopoly over Pandora and all of its products, according to Earth laws.

Like many real-life corporations, the RDA prioritizes profits over everything else, often disregarding the well-being of others. They were already causing extensive pollution on Earth with their lunar factories and had no qualms about destroying Pandora’s ecosystems for monetary gain.

The RDA’s interest in Pandora initially stemmed from their pursuit of unobtainium, an incredibly valuable mineral on Earth. To acquire this mineral in profitable quantities, they engaged in extensive mining operations. This led to intense conflict with the Na’vi, who strongly opposed the RDA’s claim on Pandora and the destruction of its ecosystem. The conflict escalated with the destruction of Hometree, a massive tree that served as the home for an entire Na’vi clan, which was demolished to access an unobtanium deposit below. The RDA also began exploiting another resource called amrita, a substance believed to halt the aging process.

The RDA possesses a wide array of tools and equipment to achieve their objectives. Their security division is essentially a formidable army that surpasses most nations in terms of capabilities. They have access to various weapons, excluding nuclear bombs, including assault rifles, flamethrowers, machine guns, and explosives. Their forces range from ground infantry to powerful mechsuits. The SA-2 Samson, a rotorwing aircraft armed with significant firepower, is one of their most dangerous weapons. In addition to military equipment, the RDA utilizes an extensive range of non-military machinery, which can be described as larger and more advanced versions of modern construction and mining equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks. Both automated and manually-operated vehicles are employed in their pursuit of unobtanium. Ubisoft has confirmed that many of the RDA’s military vehicles will be featured in Frontiers of Pandora, and the gameplay overview showcases the protagonist destroying several of them, including a mech suit and an SA-2 Samson. Whether players will be limited to destroying these vehicles or have the opportunity to operate them remains unclear.

Technically, nearly every human character in the Avatar franchise is or has been a member of the RDA. Even the protagonist, Jake Sully, initially works for the RDA. However, two key figures within the organization are Parker Selfridge, the official administrator, and Colonel Miles Quartich, the head of security responsible for numerous heinous acts committed by the RDA. Ubisoft’s gameplay video for Frontiers of Pandora introduces a new member named John Mercer, who appears to hold an executive position.

While the RDA initially serves as a vehicle for introducing the audience to the world of Pandora, they ultimately act as the primary antagonists. Several sympathetic members, including Jake, Grace Augustine, and Trudy Chacon, eventually renounce their affiliation with the RDA and side with the Na’vi. Throughout the first movie, the RDA becomes increasingly aggressive, transitioning from initial attempts at diplomacy with the Na’vi to outright violence. They are ultimately defeated in a climactic battle, forcing the remnants of the organization to leave Pandora.

In Frontiers of Pandora, despite the Na’vi’s initial victory, the RDA returns in full force, expanding their operations across Pandora. The game reveals another crime committed against the Na’vi, in addition to the attempted genocide they previously experienced. One of the RDA’s operations involved kidnapping Na’vi children and raising them as soldiers to fight against their own people, a despicable tactic commonly employed by colonizers. The player character assumes the role of one such Na’vi, tasked with exploring Pandora despite having no understanding of their cultural heritage. Interestingly, this places the player in a similar position to Jake Sully in the original film, beginning as an RDA member and eventually renouncing their association. The RDA appears to constitute a significant portion of the game’s enemies. It remains uncertain if there will be any human characters who renounce their affiliation with the RDA and side with the player, as seen in the original film. One known member of the RDA is John Mercer, responsible for the player character’s predicament. Although information about Mercer is scarce, it is known that he oversaw the Na’vi kidnapping operation and likely holds a high-level executive position. While the exact role he plays in the story is unclear, he is assumed to be a major antagonist.

To summarize, Ubisoft’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora offers players an immersive experience in James Cameron’s alien world, allowing them to explore Pandora as a Na’vi. The game delves into the conflict between the RDA, a powerful megacorporation seeking to exploit Pandora’s resources, and the Na’vi, the indigenous species defending their home. With its stunning visuals, captivating storyline, and gameplay that includes battles against the RDA and exploration of the vibrant world of Pandora, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora promises to be a thrilling addition to the Avatar franchise.

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In 2008, James Cameron released his ambitious sci-fi blockbuster Avatar. The film was a huge hit and would have a big impact on how 3D and Imax technology was used in later Hollywood films. Over a decade later, Cameron finally released the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Now Ubisoft has revealed their own entry to James Cameron’s popular franchise, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. This upcoming game promises players the opportunity to explore Cameron’s alien world, this time as a Na’vi rather than one of the titular avatars.

While information about the game is limited, it has been confirmed that it will be bringing back a major part of the original movie. The plot of Avatar centered around the conflict between human colonizers to Pandora and its indigenous species, a race of giant blue humanoids called Na’vi. Most of the film’s human presence comes through a major faction known as the RDA, a powerful institution with a vested interest in taking control of Pandora, whatever it takes. But what exactly is the RDA?

6 They Are The Ultimate Megacorporation

Avatar Spaceship Venture Star Cropped

Even before it got anywhere near Pandora, the RDA held significant power. The simplest way to describe them is as a corporation that specializes in exploiting resources from outer space. They already held most of the Solar Sytem under their control. They are powerful enough to dwarf most of Earth’s existing governments and even outmatch them in terms of financial or military resources, effectively becoming a government in their own right. Such an iron grip allowed them to gain, so far as Earth laws were concerned, a total monopoly of Pandora and all products produced from it.

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As far as the RDA is concerned, Pandora is rightfully theirs to do with as they see fit and the Na’vi are overstepping boundaries, a lot like historical colonialism. Like many real-life corporations, the RDA has a history of over-valuing profits at the expense of others. They were already causing mass pollution on Earth with their lunar factories, and they aren’t opposed to destroying Pandora’s ecosystems for the sake of money.

5 Operations on Pandora

Scorsby mining Amrita

Interest in Pandora was initially motivated by the RDA’s interest in unobtainium, a mineral that was extremely valuable on Earth. Acquiring unobtainium in sufficient quantities to profit required extensive mining operations. This drove a lot of their conflict with the Na’vi, who were not particularly fond of the RDA claiming Pandora as their own and ruining its ecosystem.

The conflict really escalated with the destruction of Hometree, a massive tree big enough to house an entire Na’vi clan, which was motivated by a desire to mine an unobtanium deposit underneath. The company would later begin exploiting another resource called amrita, a substance thought to be capable of halting the aging process.

4 Equipment

Avatar Bucket Wheel Excavator Cropped

The RDA has a variety of tools at their disposal to accomplish their goals. Their entire security division is practically an army capable of outmatching most countries. In terms of weapons, they can access just about anything short of nuclear bombs (the one thing they’re prohibited from using off of Earth). Assault rifles, flamethrowers, machine guns, and explosives are all fair game. Their forces range from ground infantry to mechsuits. One of their most dangerous weapons is the SA-2 Samson, a rotorwing aircraft with concerning amounts of firepower.

The RDA also has an extensive range of non-military equipment, a lot of which could be described as bigger, more advanced versions of machines used in modern construction and mining such as excavators, bulldozers, and dumptrucks. Both automated and manually-operated vehicles are used in the goal of mining unobtanium.

Ubisoft has confirmed that a lot RDA’s military vehicles to be appearing in Frontiers of Pandora. The gameplay overview showed the protagonist destroying several of them, including a mech suit and an SA-2 Samson. Whether the player will be limited to destroying them, or if they can in fact operate the RDA’s vehicles, is not yet clear.

3 Known Members

Avatar Colonel Miles Quaritch

Technically, just about every human character is or has been a member of the RDA. Even Jake Sully begins the original movie in their employ. But the two major players one really has to know are Parker Selfridgethe official administrator; and Colonel Miles Quartichthe head of security responsible for many of the RDA’s worst atrocities.

RELATED: Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Looks A Lot Like Far Cry

Additionally, Ubisoft’s gameplay video for Frontiers of Pandora introduces a new member, John Mercerwho appears to be filling an executive position.

2 Role in Avatar

Avatar RDA Cropped

Although they are used as a vehicle through which Jake Sully (and, by extension, the audience) are introduced to the world of Pandora, the RDA ultimately act as the primary antagonist. Most of its more sympathetic members like Jake, Grace Augustine, and Trudy Chacon end up renouncing it sooner or later and siding with the Na’vi.

Over the course of the first movie, the RDA becomes increasingly aggressive, initially attempting diplomacy with the Na’vi before becoming increasingly violent. They are finally defeated in the climactic battle, with their remants being forced off-world.

1 Role in Frontiers of Pandora

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora Player character gameplay Cropped

Despite the Na’vi’s initial victory, the RDA has returned in full force and expanded their operations across Pandora. Gamers also learn about another crime committed against the Na’vi, as if attempted genocide wasn’t enough. One operation the RDA attempted involved kidnapping Na’vi children and then raising them to become soldiers who fight against their own people – sadly not an unusual tactic for colonizers.

This is where the player character enters, as one such Na’vi who has to explore Pandora with zero understanding of her cultural roots. Interestingly, this does put the player in a similar position to Jake sully in the original film: beginning as a member of the RDA only to end up renouncing them. The RDA appear to make up a lot of the game’s enemies. It is currently unclear if, like the original film, there will be any human characters who also renounce their association with the RDA and side with the player.

One member of the RDA has been identified thanks to Ubisoft’s gameplay reveal: John Mercer, the man responsible for the player character’s predicament. Information about Mercer is currently scarce, but it is known that he oversaw the Na’vi kidnapping operation. He seems to be a high-level executive, possibly taking over from Selfridge. Although his exact role in the story is hard to ascertain, it is a fair assumption that he will be a major antagonist.

MORE: The Clans of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Explained

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