Once upon a time there was a magical and beautifully written story called The Last Airbender. It featured mythical lands, powerful beings, awesome creatures and decent weather. Critically acclaimed and loved by everyone and their dog, this tale became so popular that a man with an almighty reputation came to distribute it wide and far.
But this being was haunted by past success. He believed everything must have a big twist. And so this beloved story was transformed into a very white, monotone and awkward affair. Fans weeped, critics heaved and creators were noticeably absent.
All seemed lost. But Avatar is a sandwich cloud. The creators bit the silver filling and prophesised a series with an almighty female and an inspiration tale. Hope flooded back and people raised their hands in praise and anticipation. The legend continued. But unfortunately some of the characters were as spectacular as a wet piece of cardboard. Hope seemed to be fading away…. the dark clouds gathered closer. But against no odds whatsoever the hero of the past returned and worked his magic.
The End. Go to sleep.
i’m a satellite heart, lost in the dark
Fairy Godavatar — here to return your bending and help you score with your boyfriend.
Love advice from of Pema.
now all i have to do is sit here and wait for concept art of bumi and kya.
These are the links that I am stalking for updates!
The probability of non-bender oppression as an issue being dealt with next season is high. However, the fact the issue was not even really explored, let alone satisfactorily resolved is one of the biggest failings of the Legend of Korra, if not the biggest.
One of things I loved about Avatar: TLA was the fact that even the “villains” were multi-dimensional and their motivations clearly explained. The Fire Nation, while shown to be oppressive and arrogant, was also explored to the extent the audience realized many of its citizens were perfectly good human beings and they had a lot of honourable individuals (Jeong Jeong, Iroh and countless other innocent individuals). The bad guys were shown to be sympathetic; their motives and reasoning were explored in TLA and ultimately the narrative was more rich and identifiable because of how nuanced this part of the tale was.
The Legend of Korra totally dropped the ball in this respect. We are shown glimpses of why The Equalist movement might be valid, up until around episode 6 where the tone changes and they end up being the total bad guys. By the end of the series Amon is portrayed as a total hypocrite, the followers of his movement completely abandon him and Korra is shown to exhibit serious internalized privilege in the sense that she views bending as the essence of her existence and without it she’s worthless.
The Legend of Korra had the opportunity to really explore what it meant to be a non-bender in the Avatar world, how they felt, were they afraid, what problems and oppression did they encounter? I thought Asami would exemplify this point of view, she would help give Korra guidance and information on how to relate to non-benders. Instead the series totally glosses over these issues and frankly it becomes offensive how much the narrative propagates bending as being essential to an individuals worth.
Overall I’m just disappointed. Avatar: TLA gave us issues and villains that were incredibly nuanced and managed to address them satisfactorily. The Legend of Korra set up the problem of non-bender oppression only to totally ignore it and eventually sell us the message that Amon was a hypocrite and that the Avatar is completely worthless without her bending.
I’ve gotten lots of questions about what I think should have been different in the Legend of Korra finale and while I have a lot of concerns of individual character development, I’ll stick to two main issues. The Equalist movement and Korra’s actions on the clifface.
The key difference with this ending is that it ties in the Equalist movement and their concerns over the abuse of power and Korra’s personal development as the Avatar. It brings in what Tenzin said in 1x02 about the Avatar’s role not always being about fighting. But the most crucial difference is Korra actually does something to deserve getting her bending back and being able to access the Avatar State. Instead of just crying off a cliff face, she reflects on all that’s she learnt in the last few months and actually picks herself up. When she hit her lowest point that’s when she was able to change, but on her own terms.
Brothers at heart.