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

Other Stuff

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.)


  • Enough has been speculated about the tatoos and how they are not in the novels, yet were in the movie. I actually liked them and thought the idea of the tatoo presence says something about the life experiences or events, alliances, etc for the red men of Barsoom. A possible complain is that there really was not an explanation for them, except in the novelization. Also if they denoted a family or House (relationship), then they should have developed some uniformity. Perhaps there is, I need to watch the film again. Still, on Dejah Thoris, I liked them and did not find them distracting.

  • 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

Leave a Reply