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Arcadia (also known as Arcadia: The Last Fortress) is a 2012 epic fantasy science fiction film directed by J. J. Abrams based on the first volume of Douglas Curry's The Source (1980-1986). It is the first instalment in the The Source film series, and was followed by Walls of Shadows (2014) and Return of Genesis (2017), based on the second and third volumes of The Source. It features an ensemble cast consisting of Chadwick Boseman, Scarlet Johansson, Liam Neeson, Idris Elba, and Andy Serkis.

Set in an alternative yet-technological fantasy world, the story tells of the war between the Fellowship and the Kingdom of Terigan, in the perspective of Lavin, a human who alongside his associate and also member of the fellowship, the fairy Hunan, discovers an ancient city hidden in a immense island on the ocean.

Released on 13 November 2012, the film was highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike who considered it to be a landmark in film-making and an achievement in the fantasy film genre after the Lord of the Rings film series and Harry Potter film series. It has continued to be featured on critics' lists of the greatest fantasy films ever made as of 2018. The film was a massive box office success, earning over $888 million worldwide, and becoming the second highest-grossing film of 2017 in the U.S. and worldwide.

As of August 2018, it is the 36th highest-grossing film of all time worldwide. It was nominated for eight Oscars at the 74th Academy Awards ceremony, winning five for Best Leading Actor (Chadwick Boseman), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. It won also four British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film and Best Director BAFTA awards. The Special Extended Edition was released to Blu-Ray on 12 November 2015. In 2014, Arcadia was voted 43 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest American films. The AFI also voted it the second greatest fantasy film of all time during their 10 Top 10 special.

Plot

The film begins with the Fellowship warboat Condor emerging out of the darkness after the Fall of Kandor, only to find a huge spiral city—"Arcadia"—floating in the air. Private Lavin (Chadwick Boseman), is aboard the Condor when the ship comes under attack by the Kingdom of Tera, a religious alliance of species across the planet and the archenemy of the Fellowship.

With the navy about to be overrun, King Doran Emon (Liam Neeson) and also the commander of the Condor, orders Lavin to protect the ship's oracle, Arin (Scareltt Johansson). She carries the answer of how to win the war, which would prove disastrous if captured by the Kingdom. Lavin evacuates the doomed ship for the surface of Arcadia to protect Arin. With the Fellowship sentries by his side, Arin providing direction, and his energy sword ready and charged, Lavin sets out to uncover the mysteries of Arcadia and fight the Kingdom.

After meeting up with surviving Fellowship forces under Commander Arno (Idris Elba), Lavin participates in a mission to rescue King Emon from the Fellowship cruiser Dorian. After rescuing the king, Arin learns that Arcadia appears to be a weapon that holds great religious significance to the Kingdom. Realizing that the Kingdom of Tera cannot be allowed to control Arcadia, Emon dispatches Lavin to secure Arcadia's core while he leaves with Arnon to secure a Tera weapons cache.

With Fellowship sentries as support, Lavin leads an assault on the Diviner, a map room which holds information on every location on the city, including the core. Heading to the city's core, Arin breaches into the city's energy system and learns that Arcadia was made by the Precursors, an ancient race that the Kingdom worship as gods. However, Arin soon learns that there is something else on Arcadia, something that terrifies the Kingdom. Frightened, she says that Lavin has to stop Emon from accessing the "artifacts hideout" before it is too late. Lavin leaves for the last spot where King Emon and Commander Arno's sentries were seen, an underground sanctuary in a swamp. He finds evidence of battle all over the location, and soon finds the scripture of one of the sentries, which details Emon' soldiers encountering a new threat: the Ancient Ones.

The Ancient Ones are a hive parasitic species which received their name due to their old roots since the ancient stories and the beginning of time. Free for the first time in a hundred thousand years, the Ancient Ones sweeps across Arcadia, devastating Fellowship and Tera's forces alike. The release of the Ancient Ones prompts Chakas (Andy Serkis), a eccentric goblin and self-proclaimed defender the city, to activate Arcadia's defense traps and mechanical guardians. The goblin instructs the human to activate Arcadia by obtaining the Diviner from the city's Informatum. Lavin does so, battling hordes of Ancient Ones along the way, and returns to the core. Before Arcadia initiates its systems, Arin intervenes and tells Lavin the truth about the Precursor structure and its purpose- Arcadia was designed to eliminate the Ancient One threat by starving the Ancient Ones of any life source large enough to sustain them; when fired, it would essentially wipe out all sentient life in the known world. Realizing the threat of Arcadia, Arin instructs Lavin to detonate the Condor's core energy. This detonation would result in the destruction of Arcadia, which was against Chakas' mission.

Before doing so, the two sabotage three energy stones needed to power Arcadia, which buys them enough time to locate King Emon, now succumbed to the Ancient Ones, and steal his neural implants to operate the Condor. After battling his way through scattered and disorganized Tera's forces, the spreading Ancient Ones, and the Mechanical Guardians under direct command of Chakas, Lavin successfully overloads the ship's engine, and he and Arin evacuate from Arcadia in a Aori (a species of giant eagle) before the Condor's core explodes and destroys Arcadia. The pair appear to be the only survivors, and Lavin realizes that they are simply beginning a harrowing battle.

In a post-credit scene, Chakas is shown to be still alive and heads toward an habitated island. There, he is greeted by Dwarves and Trolls. As a troll is about to kill him, an elf named Malek uses his knife and cuts the Troll's hand. Malek questions who Chakas is, to which he reveals his origins and the truth about Arcadia. Malek then falls into oblivion, saying to Malek guide them through darkness.

Cast

  • Chadwick Boseman as Lavin Skee: A private sentry aboard the Condor and the partner with the oracle Arin.
  • Scarlett Johansson as Arin: A Oracle (beings of immense wise and seemingly magical powers), who accompanies Lavin on his mission through Arcadia.
  • Liam Neeson as King Doran Emon: King of the destroyed Nine Kingdom who is both the commander of the Condor and the only public hope for the Fellowship.
  • Idris Elba as Commander Arno: Commander of the Sentries.
  • Andy Serkis as Chakas: A mysterious Goblin whom calls himself the "Guardian of Arcadia" and protector of the Diviner.
  • Christopher Eccleston as Malek (uncredited): An Elf and leader of a Kingdom of Tera mining facility beneath the ocean. After the events in the film, Chakas contacts him and reveals the truth about Arcadia, making Malek found the Anti-Terans.
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