The Resource Development Administration (or RDA) is the main antagonistic faction in the 2009 science fiction Avatar. It is one of 2154 Earth's largest and most powerful corporations during the events of the film.
The RDA is a quasi-governmental organisation which possesses a monopoly over all resources on Pandora and any other non-Earth location, a monopoly granted to the RDA by the Interplanetary Commerce Administration under the condition that the use of weapons of mass destruction of any kind be prohibited.
Activities on Pandora
Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri system, was being mined by the RDA for a mineral called Unobtanium, a valuable super-conductor. The mining methods employed caused serious environmental damage, which angered the Pandora's native sentient race, the Na'vi, whose beliefs hold nature sacred. To protect RDA personnel and mining operations, the RDA possesses a large security force on Pandora, led by Colonel Miles Quaritch. The RDA also operates a scientific division on Pandora, including the renowned Avatar Program, led by Dr. Grace Augustine. The Avatar Program creates an "Avatar" out of a mix of both Na'vi and Human DNA. Avatar's are often used for field work, due to the fact that they can breath Pandora's air.
The RDA makes their move
When scientist Tom Sully was killed in a robbery, the RDA recruited his twin brother Jake Sully, a paraplegic and former marine, to take his brother's place in the Avatar Program, because of the fact that they were genetically identical. Colonel Quaritch offered to cure Jake of his paralysis in exchange for him gathering information on the Na'vi and their home, but when Jake was discovered trying to prevent an RDA bulldozer from destroying a Na'vi sacred site, he forcibly terminated Jake and Grace's link to their Avatars. Parker Selfridge, RDA's chief administrator on Pandora, only allowed them to relink in an attempt to get the Omaticaya to evacuate Hometree. Following Jake and Grace's failure to get them to evacuate, the RDA destroyed Hometree, killing many Na'vi.
Final Battle and Defeat
After the destruction of Hometree, Jake and his allies escaped, and using his Avatar body, Jake tamed the great flying creature Toruk (one of the most sacred animals in Na'vi culture) and united many Na'vi tribes to drive the RDA off of the moon. Quaritch discovered this, and reinforced by new battalions of mercenaries, he ordered a full scale attack on the Tree of Souls, the most sacred Na'vi site in all of Pandora and the heart of its biological neural network. Destroying it would wreak great unrepairable damage to the moon's ecosystem. The intial battle went well for the corporation, with their advanced weapons and superior numbers, but the tide turned when Pandora's wildlife reinforced the Na'vi and drove the RDA back to their base. Quaritch was killed in a showdown against Jake, and Selfridge along with the rest of the RDA military and staff were banished from Pandora.