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April 15, 2024

Avatar: the Last Airbender Rises Again

“It’s time for you to look inward, and start asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what do you want?” – Uncle Iroh
Avatar%3A+the+Last+Airbender+Rises+Again
Netflix

Water, Earth, Fire, Air… Long ago, Avatar Aang brought peace to televisions around the world through an animated series. Aang now returns to the big screen in 2024 in a live adaptation, many doubt him, but as Katara says, “I believe Aang can save the world”… again.



Netflix

“Avatar: the Last Airbender” revolves around a 12-year-old boy named Aang, who needs to master all 4 elements (Water, Earth, Fire, & Air) by the end of summer to restore balance to the world. 

While having already mastered Air, Aang travels the world with his friends, Katara and Sokka, to find ‘bending masters’ who will be able to help Aang stop the 100-year war that the fire nation started.

“Bender masters” are those who have mastered a specific bending style and all the things that go along with it. For example, Aang turned to a master water bender named Master Pakku to help train him in the art of water. Master Pakku, not only masters fighting techniques, but also how to manipulate snow and ice. 

The Avatar is capable of becoming the most powerful bender of their time, being able to master all four elements as well as go into the ‘Avatar State’, which makes the Avatar’s powers 10 times stronger. However, if the Avatar were to die while in the ‘Avatar State’, the ‘Avatar Cycle’ would end.

The Avatar reincarnates into a different bender every time the previous Avatar dies.  It follows the cycle of water, earth, fire, air, water, earth, fire, air. For example, once Aang dies, the Avatar’s powers will reincarnate into a water bender girl named Korra, a show surrounding her can also be viewed called “Legend of Korra”.

After finding out he was the Avatar, Aang ran away, scared of his destiny and what he would have to overcome being the Avatar. He and his flying bison, Appa, were caught in a storm and crash-landed in the sea. 

To save them, Aang went into the ‘Avatar State’ and froze him and Appa in a giant ice block that they would remain in for a long time. 100 years later, Katara, a water bender, breaks Aang out of a frozen block of ice while she and her brother, Sokka, a non-bender, are hunting for fish. 

From there, the group faces many challenges in their journey and picks up a few friends along the way. Some of these friends include Momo, a winged lemur from the Air Kingdom; Toph, a blind earth bender, and Zuko, a fire bender and son of the Fire Lord, who is also the main antagonist of the first and second seasons.

Many people wait in anticipation for the new show, as the first attempt at live-action viewing wasn’t received well. On the Rotten Tomatoes website, “The Last Airbender” received a 5% on the TomatoMeter, and received comments such as, “Visually catastrophic,” says  Rene Jordan. Another viewer, John J. Puccio says, “It’s a nice movie to look at, as long as you ignore the characters, plot, and action”.

Many people believe that the movie was white-washed.  The bending was too slow, and none of the characters stayed true to the original animated series. Where one of these remains of concern for the future live-action show, the directors have done a much better job at casting racially accurate actors.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kiawentiio, who plays Katara, said, “I feel like we also took out the element of how sexist [Sokka] was. I feel like there were a lot of moments in the original show that were iffy”.

While some fans appreciate the newfound respect Sokka will have for women, a lot of fans are upset because it detriments a lot of Sokka’s character development.

In an IGN article that talks about this change, people comment things such as, “Sokka’s arc is easily the most relatable story in the entirety of the show.”  They proceed to provide evidence as to why Sokka’s arc is so important.

Another commenter by the name of Obrusnine says, “This isn’t progressiveness though, Sokka’s sexism is not portrayed as a good thing, removing it makes the show less progressive.”

Regardless of the creator’s and viewer’s differences, the fanbase is excited and nervous about this new adaptation. Excited to have another series to enjoy and talk about, and nervous to see if the live-action series is at all like the live-action movie.

 

Hudspeth, C. (2024, February 8). Avatar: The Last Airbender Trailer: Can Aang

     Save the World? https://www.netflix.com/tudum/articles/

     avatar-the-last-airbender-release-date-photos-news

 

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About the Contributor
Nic Trybus
Nic Trybus, Staff Editor
Nic Trybus (He/They) is a Senior at BBH High School, they have been writing for The Hybreeze for two years.  He also participates in: Drama Club and the Musicals and Plays the high school produces.  Music In Motion, along with Chamber Choir, both being audition ensembles.  Tri-M the Music Honors Society at the high school, and video production or Bee TV, which films, creates, edits, and produces the announcements for the high school.  Nic is excited to write about newsworthy and essential topics to inform and excite the community of BBH and beyond.  Beyond highschool, Nic plans to attend Cleveland State University to study Music Therapy.  

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