Why The Legend of Korra was so Great: Mike DiMartino Explains that the Focal Point of Avatar is the Message

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We all knew there was something special about Avatar from the start. Forget the witty humor or the brilliantly choreographed action scenes. There was far more to The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra than that. Both series’ seemed super-charged with an ingredient that has been missing from most forms of entertainment these days.

That ingredient is simply and most commonly referred to as a message.

Ask yourself, what do you learn from entertainment these days? Money is awesome, right? Drugs can be cool? If we break up, it’s all your fault? These three ideas are the norm when it comes to delivering a “meaningful” message through certain forms of entertainment.

When it comes to today’s entertainment, music and television are more along the lines of meaning-less. So what if you enjoy listening to Taylor Swift or watching A.N.T Farm? It’s not a bad thing; the only issue is that neither do justice in conveying a plausible message. That’s the difference between a show like Avatar and a show like A.N.T Farm: Avatar conveys a meaningful message whereas A.N.T Farm does not.

The best part about it is that Mike and Bryan, Avatar’s creators, actually revolve their show around a message. Mike DiMartino recently opened up a WordPress blog of his own in which he blogs about Storytelling. His recent post, titled Story Brain, was quite intriguing and it motivated me to leave a comment asking how the message of each episode or season is formed. I asked whether the creators sat down to form a message or if the message just formed on its own due to the depth of the show.

Mike actually replied to my comment and gave a rather thoughtful response:

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Hear me Talk about The Legend of Korra on Avatar: The Last Airbender Online’s Podcast

Earlier this morning, 6 AM to be exact, I guest-stared on Avatar: The Last Airbender Online’s official Podcast. Morgan Bannon, also known as Airspeed Prime on their hugely popular fan site, interviewed me and asked some questions about my take on running an Avatar Fan Site or blog. We then went into some Book 1 discussion as well as Book 2 speculation. If you want to hear more about my thoughts on The Legend of Korra, be sure to check out the Podcast.

Download Podcast: (Click Link and Either Save or Open)

Avatar: The Last Airbender Online’s Official Podcast – Admin Talk (Download Link)

Here’s a brief rundown of the overall Podcast from start to finish:

  1. Introduction
  2. My thoughts on what it’s like to run this blog
  3. Thoughts on the Avatar Community
  4. Discussion of Book 1
  5. Speculation of Book 2, 3 & 4
  6. Discussion of Avatar Comics (I forgot the title of ‘The Promise’ in this segment)
  7. Closing

The Podcast is a little over an hour long, but I highly recommend that you listen to it in your spare time and be sure to let me know what you think. My voice was a little groggy since I had just woken up, but I think I pulled through OK for my first Podcast.

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Why The Legend of Korra Was Made into a More Mature Series than The Last Airbender

Mike and Bryan said from the start that The Legend of Korra would be a much more mature series than The Last Airbender. The Last Airbender had a lot of comical, and sometimes childish, moments that made the series charming and fun. There is no doubt that The Legend of Korra was humorous at times, mostly thanks to Bolin’s character, but the series definitely lacked the charm that The Last Airbender had.

The strange thing about that, however, is that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s a good thing because it shows that Mike and Bryan succeeded in making the show what they wanted it to be: more mature.

After browsing through some Avatar Forums, I noticed that a lot of fans actually missed the fun that The Last Airbender was so famous for. They missed the humor that the show as a whole provided. A lot of people even questioned why Mike and Bryan wanted to change the culture of Avatar by making The Legend of Korra so much more mature in the first place.

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Mae Whitman, Voice of Katara, Thinks She’ll Voice Act for The Legend of Korra

Mae Whitman, the voice actress of Katara from The Last Airbender, recently stated in an interview that she expects to eventually begin voice acting for another character involved in The Legend of Korra.

This answer was formed when Whitman was asked, “Is there any possibility that you might come back to record for The Legend of Korra at some point, too?

Mae’s exact answer is as followed:

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M. Night Shyamalan Could Start Working on The Last Airbender 2 in 2013

If you follow M. Night Shyamalan on Twitter (you probably don’t) you most likely saw him tweet about his potential upcoming movies. What you probably didn’t notice is that one of his potential upcoming movies is The Last Airbender 2.

Unless you have yet to see The Last Airbender (don’t see it), you’d know that Shyamalan’s vision of the Avatar World isn’t too far from delusional. The guy can make movies: 6th Sense and Unbreakable are two of my favorite movies. But currently, Shyamalan just can’t seem to work his magic in this decade. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that many believed that The Last Airbender would be the final tip-off most Studios would need to ensure that Shyamalan doesn’t direct another movie again.

Obviously the Studios still haven’t gotten the hint since Shyamalan has another movie, entitled After Earth, that’s due on June 7th 2013. And after that, well, we have reason to believe that he’ll start working on The Last Airbender 2.

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Will Korra Visit Wan Shi Tong’s Library in Book 2 of The Legend of Korra?

Credit for this idea goes exclusively to a site commentor by the  name of Jason. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Do you remember Wan Shi Tong’s Library from Book 2 of The Last Airbender? If you don’t, let me refresh your memory: Wan Shi Tong’s Library appeared in an episode called ‘The Library’ in which Aang and the gang traveled to a partially underground library in order to find information on how to defeat the Fire Nation. Ultimately, the Library helped Aang and the gang learn about ‘the day of black sun’ in which an eclipse made Fire Benders bending-less. With this knowledge, Team Avatar helped device a plan known as the Invasion. Even though the plan ultimately failed in the end, it still showed just how useful the Library was to knowledge-seekers.

Something worth noting is that the Library didn’t just contain information on the Fire Nation. It also contained information on a vast variety of topics, one of them being Spirits.

As we all should know, Book 2 of The Legend of Korra is titled Spirit: we will learn all about The Spirit World, the Avatar State and even Spirits in general. I’ve already speculated that Aang could have a major role in guiding Korra on her journeys to The Spirit World, but he probably won’t have all the answers she’s looking for.

Fortunately, Wan Shi Tong’s Library will.

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Will Koh Make an Appearance in Book 2 of The Legend of Korra? [Update]

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Who is Koh? Surely any true Avatar Fan remembers the notorious face-stealer who resides in The Spirit World. But if for some odd reason you don’t remember him, let me fill you in before I continue:

Koh is a centipede-like spirit who is well know for having a collection of faces in his arsenal. He has the ability to steal the face of any individual who shows emotion while in his presence.

Koh did not necessarily have a major role in The Last Airbender, but the justice he did the show in the short role he did have made me think: will he make his way back into Book 2 of The Legend of Korra? He certainly deserves it.

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