Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris — what’s not to like about the tats?

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One of the issues that has been consuming a lot of keystrokes on the movie message boards is Andrew Stanton’s decision to back away from Edgar Rice Burroughs “red Martian” formulation for the main human race of Martians, and in stead to achieve a reddish tint through tattoos, for which there is also a story rationale.

My question of the day is — what’s not to like about these tats? I think they’re fine, and Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris wears them very well.

Works for me.

{Click to see a nice very large version of this shot — which by the way is my favorite to date of Lynn as Dejah.)


  • ERIC~
    You ask me for an explanation as to why I don’t think the tattoos belong, when I give you one you just dismiss it and call me a hater.I think the fact that they aren’t in the original story is a good reason. the purpose you yourself said they serve was already served by something Burroughs DID put in. Why not leave well enough alone and have at least something be more accurate?And you haven’t really answered MY question. Why do you you think they DO belong.
    You seem to be so blinded by either your excitement about the movie or your love of all things Stanton that you can’t have a reasonable discussion with anyone unless they agree with you.

    At least you gave me a well thought out response without lashing out. As for that well Stanton has said in an interview that he hates doing anything out of fear(Talking about the name change. Another mistake in my opinion.) If you reasoning is correct then that what he did here too and it’s just as big a mistake. I tend to dismiss people who either consider this movie to be a ripoff of or make comparisons to ‘Avatar’ as simply being ignorant so that shouldn’t even have been a consideration. As far as the Red Martians being a cliched Native American metaphor? I am personally really tired of all the Politically correct crap and If people perceive them as some kind of insult to Native Americans that’s just ignorance as well and just as dismissible because there are many very heroic and honorable red Martians as well as villainous ones. Burroughs specifically called them the Red warriors of Barsoom, not the tattooed warriors of Barsoom and as far as I’m concerned Burroughs is the final litmus test.

  • How about this for an explanation.

    If Stanton had just made them “red”, like in the books, he would have been accused of even great “cliche-mongering” because they would have come off like native Americans (perhaps Incas, Aztecs) and would have been blasted for that, and then he would have also been blasted for making them too much like the Na’vi. The complicated tattoos coupled with a very slight copperish skin hue avoid both those pitfalls and promote the impression of a culture with long recorded history and tradition — which is true of Burroughs’ Heliumites and differentiates them from either the Native Americans or the Na’vi of Pandora.

    That may not be what he was thinking …. but it’s the type of thinking that would have led me to such a decision if I were Stanton which, tragically for me, I’m not.

  • All of your Knowledge is “Because I say so”

    You say it takes away from the barbaric splendor? I say it adds to it!

    You are saying it cant fit simply because it wasnt there to begin with!

    You are just looking for something to hate, and you are picking on something with no real conseqences on the story!

  • They don’t belong because they are not a part of Burroughs story.

    QOUTE~and from my understanding, they basically provide the same function as the martian ornaments and the telepathy in the books, helping make up for the lack of both (ornaments not so much)~UNQUOTE

    I never got the impression that the telepathy had anything to do with rank or social positions. Why not simply use what Burroughs already had in place instead of changing it to something that is neither needed nor wanted(at least not be me and quite a lot of other fans)

    Why exactly DO they belong? Because Andrew Stanton and his scriptwriting team say so? In my opinion that’s not good enough. What possible reason could they have for making this change? You obviously think they make the story better. I don’t, in fact right off the top of my head they accomplish two things that I think diminish the story greatly.
    One; They are as you say used for the same purpose as Barsoomian ornamentation which is a part of the barbaric splendor that Burroughs tried to convey as a part of Barsoomian society. The tattoos take away from that splendor.
    Two; They will make it extremely difficult for carter to disguise himself as he did in the sequels if this movie gets sequels. Unless of course Stanton and his team just do away with that plot point in favor of something “better”.

    Stanton’s goal with this adaptation should have been to enhance and translate what Burroughs wrote. That can be very difficult. He took the easy way and simply changed what he didn’t like to make it more to his notion of how this story should be.

  • and from my understanding, they basically provide the same function as the martian ornaments and the telepathy in the books, helping make up for the lack of both (ornaments not so much)

  • Type in reddish copper into google, and look at lynn without the makeup

    and how do they not belong? you are saying they dont because they dont instead of providing any reasoning!

  • I honestly have not been able to see the reddish copper skin tone in any of the photos. All I see are the tattoos. Now I have nothing against tattoos or tattoos on women. My wife has two of them but they simply do not belong in this story. They are not necessary, they do not enhance anything that Burroughs put in this story and what they do add to the story is something that Stanton came up with.

    Sorry but I don’t like them.

  • its not the tattoes, the skintone that these martians have is in fact a reddish (not red REDDISH) copper, copper is the base skintone here though . . . which is exactly how Edgar Rice Burroughs described them

    its a convenient fact that is frequently swept under the table in favor of making them brick or blood red, a visual idea that I cant help but feel is motivated by the desire to not make them feel earthly!

    During the filming of the movie they gave hundreds of extras this skintone, it isnt just the tattoes they actually GAVE THEM THE SKIN TONE, you can see in some released images the marketing guys tried to correct the color because they thought the copperish skin tone here was a photographic error (you can see this on the official web pages)

    as for the tattoos, they are an apology to the fans for following the rules Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote, essentially saying “you know they arent really red in the book, but heres what we will do for you”

    which seems to have had a huuuuuuuge backlash

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