The White Messiah Fable
Lots of interesting thoughts exploring modern day myths to be found here. Particular now that Avatar (which I thought was extremely well made in spite of its problems) is the latest film to employ such mythology.
The Messiah Complex
My own thought: Do the people who make these films playing out this white messiah fable ever realize how racist they are? Basically it is saying these "innocent" and "pristine" natives are stupid and unable to take care of themselves UNTIL the white outsider comes in and takes over. I guess in a manner of speaking it is your typical liberal fantasy. The enlightened outsider coming in to a disadvantaged, but wondrous society, who learns from them as he teaches them new things. Of course, there is a severe inconsistency: He usually teaches them how to use guns, stand up for themselves, and kill intruders. That's not very liberal minded.