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What the hell have you people been smoking out there? They're just goddamn trees!
Parker unconvinced by Grace's claims about the Tree of Souls

Parker Selfridge was the passive-aggressive head administrator of the RDA on Pandora. He had authority over the Avatar Program, much to the chagrin of Dr. Grace Augustine. He was profit-oriented and was incredibly motivated to mine unobtanium at whatever costs.

Parker, along with Colonel Quaritch, became the secondary antagonist during the course of Avatar. Until 2154, Parker served as the RDA's head of operations at Hell's Gate.

He was eventually sent back to Earth when the Na'vi won the Pandoran War. Parker left his position as the head administrator and was replaced by Charles Stringer. According to Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Parker was punished by the RDA for his actions during the war.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

Parker's past, both his life on Earth and his beginnings on Pandora, are unknown. At some point he became interested in golf.

Avatar: Adapt or Die[]

Parker comic

Parker explaining how the Na'vi dying would be convenient.

Around 2140, Grace Augustine made an offer to the Omatikaya clan to establish a school for the Na'vi children and to help them make a decision, she invited them to visit Hell's Gate. Parker was upset with the idea, saying the company would lose valuable time on base personnel. Later, when a mysterious illness broke out among the Omatikaya's children and Grace struggled to find a cure, Parker declared that her efforts were unnecessary and that the deaths of the children could prove to be in the interests of the RDA. His point of view infuriated Grace. Parker then repeatedly questions his actions and decisions, regarding Omatikaya's help as unnecessary and unprofitable efforts.

Avatar[]

Parkerhalostation

Parker fixated on trying to get the unobtanium under Hometree.

Parker was prepared to condone the killing of the native Na'vi, but, unlike Colonel Quaritch, hesitated to invoke bad press and trespass his personal morality. Unfortunately, both were unremittingly subservient to the RDA's profit margin. Parker was unable, or unwilling, to consider the Na'vi in human terms, dismissing the Omatikaya clan as "fly-bitten savages that live in a tree".

Though he supported the long-planned destruction of the Omatikaya Hometree by Quaritch, he appeared to feel remorse upon witnessing the aftermath of the RDA fleet's assault on Hometree, and seemed very reluctant to see the SecOps airfleet leave to attack the Tree of Souls.

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Parker warned Jake that it's not over.

Parker was evicted from Pandora along with his employees after Quaritch's disastrous attempt to destroy the Tree of Souls. As he left Pandora, however, he was confronted by Neytiri and warned Jake Sully that the RDA would return.

Avatar: The Way of Water[]

Fifteen years after the battle, Parker makes a brief appearance in Quaritch's video recording for his Recombinant. Parker shows a Soul Drive to the camera, mentioning it contains one's memories and personality. It is unclear if Parker returned to Pandora since he is not seen at Bridgehead.

Personality and traits[]

Avatar-0075

Parker explaining how profitable unobtanium is

One of his biographies claims he is "not a particularly evil man" but simply a product of "corporate hubris and entitlement."[1] Another biography mentions ethical and moral objections rarely weigh on him, only the bottom line.[2] He appeared to be a greedy and selfish man who would do anything to get his hands on the very valuable unobtanium, including destroying the homes of the Na'vi.

He had very little respect for the Na'vi, referring to them as "blue monkeys" and "savages", especially after six RDA men were killed by them in protest for the RDA bulldozing the Tree of Voices. He was annoyed the Na'vi did not condone the idea of roads, highways and cities built everywhere on Pandora.

However, by granting Jake one more hour to persuade the Omatikaya clan to leave their Hometree, he showed that, despite his limited respect for the Na'vi, he was willing to use diplomacy if he could and had a sense of morality. However, he was still willing to use force if negotiations failed.

Parker weep

Parker visibly distraught for Hometree.

After the destruction of the Hometree, though, he looks to realize what the events have come to, and is thereafter more reluctant to use violence against the Na'vi, seen in a deleted scene where he prohibits any more explosives to be used. In that same scene, his sense of morality is illustrated further when he is depicted as genuinely horrified when he realized Quaritch was bloodthirsty enough to endanger all members of RDA Mining Operations by turning the workers into his own personal militia and then rightfully threatens to fire Quaritch for going down such a warpath, to say nothing of Quaritch defying orders and unilaterally escalating the conflict with the Na'vi by destroying the Hometree, instead of the nonviolent, humane relocation of the indigenous population that Quaritch had previously promised him. Unfortunately, he is, as Quaritch points out, "a long way from Earth." rendering his jurisdiction meaningless and himself powerless to stop the SecOps leader and his men and women from trying to genocide the Na'vi both physically and culturally.

When the RDA were on their way to leave Pandora, Parker warned Jake that things would not be over between the Na'vi and the RDA. Although this may be interpreted as Parker being vengeful, there is a chance he also said it as a genuine warning to prepare Jake and the Na'vi, and a possible sign of empathy.

Relationships[]

In the Games[]

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (Wii/PSP)[]

Parker has a small cameo in the Wii/PSP version of The Game, which could be considered his debut in the Avatar series. He is heard on a voice chat talking to Conrad Olson near the beginning about the Earth Syndrome virus. This is an easy-to-miss cameo because his name is not mentioned during this scene, with only Giovanni Ribisi's name being mentioned in the voice acting credits.

Avatar: Pandora Rising[]

APR

Parker in Avatar: Pandora Rising

With only one thing on his mind - money - Parker Selfridge is the epitome of the corporate executive who values profits over morals or people. As the managing administrator of the Hell's Gate operation, Selfridge is looking out for the best interests of not the native Pandoran Na'vi, not the Hell's Gate miners and workers and definitely NOT the Avatar research program - but for the bottom line of the shareholders who know how much Unobtanium is worth. With dollar signs in his eyes, Selfridge uses all the tools at his disposal - whether that's a diplomatic voice like Grace Augustine's or a blunt weapon of force like Quaritch to achieve his goals.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora[]

Parker was mentioned by John Mercer, a leader of the RDA. Mercer talks obsessively about him, seeing him as an obstacle and cowardly leader, but still expected admiration from Parker. 15 years later, Mercer returns and seems satisfied that Parker has been punished by the RDA and left his position, because Parker was indifferent to him.

He is also mentioned in the memo Return to Hell's Gate, where Hajir Beshara mentioned he sat in Parker's chair for a while.

Trivia[]

Selfridge_Profile

Selfridge Profile

  • Parker's warning of "You know this isn't over?" after being confronted by Jake and Neytiri was added in the 2022 remaster and theatrical rerelease of Avatar and was not present in any prior versions of the film. Apparently, the phrase is a reference to the possible return of RDA to Pandora in the sequel.
  • Parker is the only antagonist who didn't die in the end in Avatar like Miles Quaritch, Lyle Wainfleet and Sean Fike.
  • According to The World of Avatar: A Visual Exploration Parker is not an adventurer. He stays within the confines of the RDA colony, viewing Pandora's landscape only through holograms.
  • In Project 880, Parker was known as Carter Selfridge. It was much harder than the final version; in part, his final role was divided between Selfridge proper and Rob Perrish, the bioethics officer, although unlike Perrish, Selfridge never goes against his principles and loyalty to the corporation.
  • Parker kept several Na'vi trophies in a display case behind his desk, including a Na'vi hunter's bow, a set of arrows, and a necklace.
  • One deleted scene has Grace and Jake approach Parker and tell him they need more time, but Parker instead tells her they are out of time.
  • Another deleted scene shows Parker horrified by the humans killed by the Na'vi after the RDA's bulldozing. Upon being told by Quaritch that he's the vision guy and the evacuation of Hometree would be "humane" using gas, Parker authorizes it.
  • Parker blasting agent

    Parker trying to stop the RDA from using powerful explosives

    In the original script, Parker didn't agree with Quaritch's pre-emptive strike on the Na'vi whereupon Quaritch usurped his authority. This scene is among the deleted scenes (You're a long way from Earth) included in the Extended Collector's Edition.
  • In another deleted scene, he was captured by avatars after members of the Avatar Program started a riot.
  • Quaritch threatens Parker

    Selfridge being grappled by Quaritch in a deleted scene

    In a deleted scene, Parker is seen being grappled and threatened by Quaritch, with his hands on his neck, illustrating their ambivalent relationship.
  • Parker's surname may be a reference to Harry Selfridge, founder of the British department store of the same name and author of the phrase "the customer is always right". The phrase is particularly appropriate to Ribisi's character, a pawn to his shareholders.
  • According to Stephen Lang. Selfridge is the one who asked Quaritch to participate in the Recombinant program.[3]
  • Selfridge will be a part of all film in Avatar saga.[4]

Memorable Quotes[]

Avatar[]

  • Those savages are threatening our whole operation, we're on the brink of war and you're supposed to be finding a diplomatic solution. - Parker frustrated with Grace's progress
  • This is why we're here; unobtanium, because this little gray rock sells for 20 million a kilo. That's the only reason. It's what pays for the whole party. It's what pays for your science. - Parker arguing with Grace
  • Their damn village happens to be resting on the richest unobtanium deposit within 200 klicks in any direction. I mean, look at all that cheddar! - Parker explaining to Jake why there is conflict with the Na'vi
  • Look, Sully -- find out what these blue monkeys want. We try to give them medicine and education. Roads! But no -- they like mud. I wouldn't care except -- Their damn village is sitting right over the richest unobtanium deposit for a hundred klicks in any direction. Which sucks -- for them -- because they need to relocate.
  • Killing the indigenous looks bad, but there's one thing shareholders hate more than bad press -- and that's a bad quarterly statement.
  • Find me a carrot that'll get them to move, otherwise it's gonna have to be all stick. - Parker briefing Jake on his mission
  • Son of a bitch... Unbelievable. - Parker after learning that it was Jake who damaged the bulldozer's cameras
  • You know what? You throw a stick in the air around here, it's gonna land on some sacred... fern, for Christ's sake! - Parker to Grace while she is explaining the biology of the forests and its importance to the Na'vi
  • No! They're fly-bitten savages that live in a tree. Alright, look around. I don't know about you, but I see a lot of trees. They can move! - Parker yelling at Grace and Jake
  • You've got one hour. Unless you want your girlfriend in there when the axe comes down, you get them to evacuate. One hour. - Parker giving Jake one more chance to get the Omatikaya to abandon the Hometree
  • Pull the plug. - Parker to his crew after Hometree is destroyed
  • You know this isn't over? - Parker warning Jake while being exiled along with the rest of the RDA personnel

Avatar: The Way of Water[]

  • So see this? This is all your memories and your personality. - Parker showing Quaritch the Soul Drive
  • Hurry it up. Hurry it up. - Parker pats Quaritch back before walking off

Appearances[]

(2 films)

(2 games)

(1 comic)

References[]

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