When Star Wars came out it made an undeniable cultural impact. Not just in terms of the box office but in terms of becoming a part of the national conversation, something that wove its way into life inextricably. Star Wars spoke to our culture as something more than a movie.

I’ve seen Avatar compared to Star Wars a lot. But I’ve yet to see the cultural impact. Maybe I’m missing it out there, but besides a couple of weirdos on YouTube and a whole ton of parodies (like the one below), I haven’t seen Avatar slip into the popular consciousness. Weren’t we all supposed to be saying ‘I See You’ to each other by now? The biggest influence I’ve seen the film have is that a group of Palestinian protesters dressed up like Na’vi. Not only did they look silly, I imagine this made many of the people involved with the film very uncomfortable.

Most disappointing: the film’s ham-handed enviro message seems to have had no impact on people at all. I’m hoping that upcoming quarterly reports from environmental groups prove me wrong; love or hate the movie it would be great if Cameron created something more than pretty pictures and managed to make people pay attention to the growing global climate crisis.

In the video below you’ll get to know the folks who are part of the Wisconsin Hometree. Thanks to William Gibson’s Twitter for this.

Expect obnoxious comments to disappear quickly, by the way. Feel free to disagree, and feel free to do it like a decent human being.