What does this 2012 film based on the science fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, show us about his ability extrapolate from scientific and historical fact to features of Carter’s experiences on Mars, and the races with which he interacts? How do the psychological and moral characteristics of the Thark civilization reflect reptilian life on Earth? How do the Therns, an immortal race, resemble the gods of Greek mythology in their treatment of the other races and civilizations on Mars? Why does the film choose to underplay the complex political motivations of the different Martian races as they try to cope severally and collectively with the scarcity of resources on their dying planet? This feature of the source material, (Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series), is left undeveloped in favor of creating a straightforward adventure film. How does the film parallel Carter’s experiences with Apache, and the initial challenges of interacting with an alien culture, the Thark, and his eventual adoption of that culture as his own? How does the film modernize princess Dejah Thoris and Carter himself? Does this work? Why or why not?

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