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Avatar’s Decades-old Concept Design Shows Glowing Na’vi Character

Artist Joseph C. Pepe revealed an unused Avatar character design where the Na'vi appears to have bio-luminescence.

Hollywood News
| Written By
Nitish Vashishtha
Avatar 2


James Cameron’s Avatar artist Joseph C. Pepe recently took to social media and shared an obscure piece of concept art. In the concept art, there is a design of a glowing “Na’vi Elder Male.” This character design remains unused in the two Avatar entries released thus far. 

Artist Joseph C. Pepe took to Instagram, where he shared the image of the ‘Na’vi Elder Male’ and gave an in-depth detailing of his work on creating the concept art for the Avatar characters. 

The digital character portrait was designed back in 2004 and could be found in Lisa Fitzpatrick’s book Avatar: James Cameron’s Epic Adventure. The Na’vi Elder Male has signature blue skin and yellow eyes as shown in the films. However, his nose has two added feathers while his head has a glowing pattern, beginning from his forehead and seemingly heading all the way back. 

Joseph said in the caption that James Cameron recognised the inspiration behind the Na’vi male’s bioluminescence. The artist added that upon seeing the sea slug-inspired design, Cameron said the exact scientific name of the creature. 

“At the time Cameron did not express any emotion during the review, only that he recognized the Sea Slug bioluminescence that I used on the forehead, said Joseph in the caption. “Cameron said, “That is a Pelagic Nudibranch, Phylliroe bucephala,” he added. 


A post shared by Joseph C. Pepe (@pepejcart)


Joseph praised Cameron for not only his artistic vision but his prowess in science and engineering. 

Avatar 3 features a dark side of Na’vi

Avatar 2 featured Na’vi who adapted to life in water. The director told French media outlet “20 Minutes” that Avatar 3 will feature a brand new clan of Na’vi. The clan will be that of ‘Ash People’, who will become the vessels for exploring the darker side of the Pandora population. 

James Cameron further said that while humans played a negative role in earlier films, the ‘Fire Na’vi’ will eventually inherit that role. The production of Avatar 3 is already wrapped up. The film is set to release on December 20, 2024. 

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