|“||This is gonna ruin my whole day.
-Grace upon being shot
|Dr. Grace Augustine|
2154 (age 50)
Deceased (Currently with Eywa)
|Behind the Scenes|
Dr. Grace Augustine was a xenobotanist in charge of the Avatar Program. She was a legend to the scientific personnel as the author of a comprehensive book on Pandora's plants. She helped Jake Sully on the Avatar Program until she died due to a gunshot wound inflicted by Colonel Quaritch.
Arriving on Pandora several years before Jake Sully, Dr. Augustine was reluctant to accept him on her team due to his lack of training and qualifications for the program, but had no choice. When Jake was lost in the forest, she presumed his avatar dead but later found out that his avatar had been taken in by the Omaticaya clan. Due to Jake's presence, in successive months relations with the clan improved and Grace was allowed back into the village, until the Hometree was destroyed.
Grace, Jake, and Norm Spellman escaped Hell's Gate in an effort to help the Omaticaya, but not before Quaritch fatally wounded Grace while firing at the Samson that they were escaping in. Jake brought her human form to Neytiri and Mo'at at the Tree of Souls, in the hope that they could transfer her consciousness into her avatar form, but she was rendered too weak by her wounds and the transfer failed. Before she died at the foot of the Tree of Souls, she told Jake that she was with Eywa.
Arrival on Pandora
Grace arrived on Pandora in 2139, 15 years before Jake and Norm. She explored the plants of Pandora, and literally wrote the book on the unique botany that she discovered. She was considered a living legend in the Terran scientific community. Grace also created a school to teach the Na'vi English and human culture, until it was shut down after a massacre by the RDA where many children were killed, one of them being the clan leaders' daughter, Sylwanin. She continued to keep pictures of her students, one of them being Neytiri, on a cabinet fridge door in a camp (Site 26) stationed in the Hallelujah Mountains.
Arrival of the new avatar drivers
Several years later, in 2154, the ISV Venture Star deployed shuttles to Pandora, carrying soldiers, technicians and new additions to the avatar team. Among these were Norm Spellman (anthropologist) and Jake Sully (stand-in for his twin brother, Tom Sully, who was killed by a mugger on Earth).
Grace was sharp with the newcomers, particularly so with Jake, whom she saw as incompetent and an attempt by the military to hijack her program. She made it clear that she was displeased and that she considered Jake's brother, Tom Sully, to have had skills far more valuable than those Jake had. Bringing Jake up-to-speed required a tremendous amount of effort on her part and that of Dr. Max Patel, the technical support officer.
Grace also made her feelings about RDA administrator, Parker Selfridge, abundantly clear for the benefit of her team. She not only disagreed with Selfridge's principles and agenda, but also his impatience and methods regarding negotiation or pacification of the native Na'vi.
Grace and Jake's first avatar encounter took place in the outdoor recreation area, shortly after Jake took control of his avatar for the first time.
First Expedition with the avatar team
Grace took Norm and Jake out on a routine expedition to gather samples of Pandoran plant life. She expressed anxieties about Jake's twitchy and overzealous soldier mentality. It was whilst testing Norm's research and sampling abilities that Jake slipped away to examine the area further, which led to a freak encounter with a group of hammerhead titanothere followed by a prowling thanator. In the ensuing chaos, the thanator pursued Jake's avatar while Grace and Norm managed to escape back to their Samson. Jake was separated from the team when he jumped off a waterfall to escape the thanator.
The team - by Grace's insistence - remained for as long as possible attempting a search and rescue. Although bitterly determined, Grace and the others had to call off the search and leave him behind due to Quaritch's order that there would be no night-time flights, which forced them to abandon their search until morning. Grace was convinced that Jake's avatar wouldn't survive the night.
The three months and the Destruction of Hometree
When Jake woke up, much to the relief of the avatar team, Grace was astonished when Jake told her that he managed to infiltrate the Omaticaya clan, and that Neytiri would be personally mentoring him. From then on, her disposition towards Jake improved steadily, offering advice to him, and showing acts of kindness (being concerned over his eating habits and helping to move him into his bunk when he falls asleep while creating a new video log). She acted almost like a mother to him during the team's time at Site 26.
Due to Jake becoming a member of the clan, Grace was allowed to re-enter Hometree, much to the delight of some of her former Na'vi students. She witnessed Jake becoming a full member of the clan in her avatar form and was clearly proud of him. However, the three months that Quaritch had allocated to Jake went by quickly and she, along with Jake, tried to convince the Na'vi to flee Hometree, but without success. When the RDA gave them one last chance to convince the Omaticaya to relocate, they were bound by the clan after Jake revealed his true mission. Mo'at, witnessing the carnage the RDA wrought on Hometree, desperately pleaded with the two to save her people while setting them free. After the Hometree's destruction, Jake and Grace's link units were deactivated and their avatar forms tumbled lifelessly. Jake's avatar collapsed at the ashes of Hometree, but Grace's was brought to the Tree of Souls by the Omaticaya.
Escape from Hell's Gate and Death
After being incarcerated by the RDA, Trudy Chacon and Dr. Max Patel freed the avatar team and they headed to Trudy's Samson to escape. However, Quaritch was alerted of the break-out, and without grabbing an exopack he raced out to the hangar and fired an Assault Rifle at them before resorting to his Wasp sidearm. Although the team managed to escape the compound, Grace suffered a bullet wound to the torso and Jake attempted to help her live long enough to reach the Omaticaya clan at the Tree of Souls to seek Mo'at's help. After Jake entered his avatar form and managed to bond with and ride a toruk to the Tree of Souls (to the amazement of the Na'vi), he sought their help to save Grace from dying. In a trance-like state, the Na'vi and Mo'at prayed in the hope that Eywa would permanently transfer Grace's consciousness to her avatar body. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her wound, but before she passed away, Grace told Jake that she was with Eywa.
While Grace's consciousness did not successfully transfer to her avatar, the neural link created when the tendrils of the Tree of Souls interfaced with her human body allowed her full memories to be "downloaded" into the "organic computer" of Pandora's ecosystem. Later, Jake begged Eywa for help in the struggle against the RDA by asking Eywa to access Grace's memories, which would reveal how Earth's ecosystem had been destroyed by humans, a danger which Pandora now faced. Apparently this was successful, as Eywa heard Jake's plea and sent Pandora's wildlife to help the Na'vi in the final battle against the RDA.
Personality and traits
Grace Augustine appeared to be very fond of and close to her Na'vi students, who seemed to show the same feelings toward her; this was demonstrated when they dragged her unconscious avatar body to the Tree of Souls with them after the destruction of Hometree.
As a scientist, Grace's primary concern was with her work. She demonstrated her dedication to the study of Pandora and the Na'vi early and often; this dedication often manifested itself as hostility towards Colonel Quaritch and Parker Selfridge, who did not share her enthusiasm. As a result of this hostility, it was considered by many outside the Avatar Program that Grace was little more than a lonely scientist, and that she loved plants more than humans.
Grace was a smoker and a moderate drinker. She later showed her warmer side in her concern for Jake's well being. When in her avatar form, Grace seemed more enthusiastic about her work and more cheerful and kind instead of being irritable.
When Jake first arrived on Pandora, Grace was very hostile towards him as she needed Jake's twin brother Tom who was killed by a mugger and therefore replaced by Jake. When Jake was adopted by the Omaticaya clan, her attitude soon changed towards him as Jake learned the ways of the Na'vi from Neytiri. Through Jake, Grace was allowed back into Hometree by Mo'at. As time went on, Grace and Jake formed a close friendship, and Grace opened up to him. When Grace died during the consciousness transfer, Jake was distraught by her death.
Max Patel was one of Grace's original scientists of the Avatar Program and one of her few friends and allies on Pandora. When Grace, Jake and Norm were imprisoned by the RDA, Max, along with Trudy, helped them to escape with Max staying behind (on Jake's will) to be a spy inside Hell's Gate.
Norm Spellman viewed Grace as a legend and impressed her with his knowledge of the Na'vi language. Grace and Norm got along well during their expeditions. When Grace was fatally wounded by gunfire from Quaritch during the avatar team's escape from Hell's Gate, Norm brought Grace's avatar to the Tree of Souls for the Omaticaya to transfer her consciousness permanently into the avatar. Norm was saddened when the consciousness transfer failed to save Grace due to her wound being too great.
Parker is the head of the RDA. His views are the complete opposite of Grace's, which causes many clashes between the two. When Jake first comes to Pandora, she takes it as an insult from him. She is upset when Parker uses Jake as resource for getting Na'vi information as well when he refers to the Omaticaya clan as "fly-bitten savages that live in a tree."
Grace has similar feelings towards Colonel Quaritch as she does towards Parker. Unlike most people, she isn't afraid to stand up to the Colonel as proven when she talks back to him. Quaritch eventually shoots Grace during the avatar team's escape from Hell's Gate, which eventually leads to her death.
Neytiri was one of Grace's many Na'vi students and Grace said that she was, along with her sister Sylwanin, the best student she had taught. Grace also referred to her as an amazing girl. After Sylwanin's death, Grace lost contact with Neytiri but after Jake persuaded Mo'at to allow her into Hometree, she and Neytiri bonded once more. Neytiri was concerned for Grace when she learned that she was dying and was saddened when the consciousness transfer to save Grace failed.
Sylwanin was another of Grace's best students and Grace claimed that she and her younger sister, Neytiri, were both amazing girls. She and several Na'vi hunters went to Grace's school hoping that she could protect them from RDA soldiers. Unfortunately, Sylwanin and the others were killed and none of Grace's students returned to the school. Grace was deeply affected by the death of Sylwanin and the other young Na'vi, and felt a great sense of sadness when none of her pupils returned to the school.
In the Games
PC, X-Box 360 & PS3
Grace also makes appearances in Avatar: The Game for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. She is shown at the very beginning of the game greeting Able Ryder, the game's protagonist, as he arrives in a Valkyrie shuttle en route to Hell's Gate, warning him about Pandora's many hazards.
If the player allies with the RDA, she is shown at the very end, congratulating Ryder on his victory against the Na'vi through the RDA's seizure of the Tree of Souls. There is also a hidden scene in the game where Grace will talk to Ryder one more time. In the Command Tower where Dr. Monroe and Commander Falco are located, there is a large screen showing Earth. The OPS Halo Stations in front of the screen has the option to inspect, and Grace will appear on the screen. This begins a dialogue between Grace and Ryder. She will criticize Ryder for his fight with René Harper. She will tell him the things may look black and white, but that once he starts to get used to it and focus, he will see things for what they really are. This can hint towards the option for Ryder to side with Na'vi for a last chance towards the end of the game. This will only work if Ryder sides with RDA, because joining the Na'vi will forever stop Ryder from entering Hell's Gate.
Wii & PSP
In the Wii edition of Avatar: The Game, Grace also makes an appearance. In the time before Jake Sully arrived on Pandora, the player's character is Rai'uk of the Anurai clan, a Na'vi warrior who seeks revenge on humans for destroying his village. In level 8, Rai'uk meets a young girl named Silwanin (possibly Neytiri's sister Sylwanin) from the Omaticaya clan who seeks his help because a "Metal Village" (RDA) is destroying her village. She tells him about the humans in Na'vi bodies called avatars who teach the Na'vi their ways, and Rai'uk agrees to meet her at one of the schools. At the school, Sylwanin introduces him to Grace Augustine in avatar form. Rai'uk criticizes Grace, calling her a 'false demon' who is trying to make his world into hers, but she calmly tells him that not all humans are the same and that she feels his pain. Rai'uk leaves, still vengeful, but pondering what Grace said and wondering if she is right. Rai'uk respects her after his visit.
iOS & Android
Grace made an appearance in these game almost at the end. After Ryan Lorenz had saved Sylwanin, Grace and Moran arrived with the Samson. They told him that he is in trouble and that they need to go to the Tree of Souls. This was also the moment where Grace and Sylwanin met. Sylwanin was even impressed of Grace's knowledge of their customs.
Note: The story of this game conflicts with that of the film
Grace Augustine is in radio contact with Jake Sully, as he goes in his first mission. She also encouraged him to make contact with the natives, especially with Neytiri. Grace informed Jake of the explosives in Na'vi villages near the mining complex. Later when Jake searched for the captured Ni'awve clan leader Tse'huk, he asked Grace to search where the Na'vi prisoners are held. Grace found out that Neytiri also was captured and was held along with Tse'Huk in an unobtanium mine. After Jake had reached the Sacred Soul of Pandora, Grace moved Jake's body to safe location, because Quaritch wanted to shoot Jake. Jake told Grace to keep his body safe and broke contact.
- There are some foreshadowing lines on the film, for example:
- Grace, looking at a display showing the Tree of Souls: "I would die to get samples there." - She does, in fact, die there.
- Grace to Quaritch: "Or what, Ranger Rick? You gonna shoot me?" Quaritch: "I can do that." - Quaritch ends up mortally wounding her with his sidearm during the Avatar team's escape from Hell's Gate.
- Grace's smoking and drinking have been one of the criticisms thrown at Avatar by some anti-smoking organizations, who say that she is setting a bad example for young children who might see the film.
- Grace's avatar bears far more resemblance to her human form than other avatars. Her avatar form lacks a typical, flat Na'vi nose and has facial structure and traits very similar to her human form.
- In James Cameron's original concept, Grace was named "Grace Shipley," (a possible reference to Sigourney Weaver's character named Ripley in the Alien films) while her role as head of the Avatar program was originally assumed by Dr. Brantley Giese, a character omitted from the final film. Also in the original scriptment, she survives the consciousness transfer to be reborn as a Na'vi.
- Jodie Foster was considered for the role before Sigourney Weaver signed on.
- Sigourney Weaver reprised her role in a Saturday Night Live skit.
- Strangely, in the RDA route for Avatar: The Game, she congratulates Able Ryder on defeating the Na'vi rather than despising him/her for it.
- It was originally announced that Sigourney Weaver had signed on to reprise her role as Grace in the second film. The character, having died in the first film, was said to be making a comeback, however, Weaver later confirmed that she would be portraying a new character in the sequels, including the third and fourth films.
- Grace's favorite Pandoran animal is the fan lizard.
"Who's got my goddamned cigarette? Guys! What's wrong with this picture?"
- - Dr. Augustine coming out of her link unit.
"I mean, they're just pissing on us without even the courtesy of calling it rain."
- - Grace to Jake upon first meeting
"Parker, you know, I used to think it was benign neglect, but now I see that you're intentionally screwing me."
- Grace arguing with Parker Selfridge.
"So you just figured you come out here, to the most hostile environment known to man, with no training of any kind, and see how it went?"
- - Grace talking to Jake.
"Just relax and let your mind go blank. It shouldn't be hard for you."
- - Grace giving Jake instructions.
"Norm, you've contaminated the sample with your saliva..."
- - Grace cautioning Norm Spellman while taking samples in Pandora's forests.
"Run, definitely run!"
- - Grace shouting to Jake when he sees the thanator.
- - Grace when the Omaticaya discover that Jake and Neytiri mated.
" Or what, Ranger Rick? You gonna shoot me?"
- - Grace to Quaritch at meeting with Selfridge about Jake's attack on a bulldozer.
"The wealth of this world isn't in the ground, it's all around us."
- - Dr. Augustine explaining to Selfridge the importance of Pandora.
"I need to take some samples."
- - Grace at the Tree of Souls, shortly before her death.
"I'm with her, Jake... she's real."
- - Grace moments before her passing.
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
- Avatar: The Mobile Game
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (Wii/PSP)
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (iOS/Android) (brief appearance)
- James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide (mentioned only)