The Legend of Korra

This week I am trying something new – embedding the trailer I am reviewing in the post itself!  So check out the video below and then keep scrolling for my commentary and thoughts. Enjoy 🙂

My friend Ryan finished Avatar: The Last Airbender recently (the show not the bleep) and he suggested I do my Art of the Trailer review on the new Teaser for Nickelodeon’s upcoming spinoff show The Legend of Korra set to debut next summer.

I’m going to ask you to forgive me because I feel that this is going to turn out to be more of a fan’s analysis of the directions of the show rather than a detailed analysis of the trailer itself.  I think it is pretty obvious that this isn’t the best trailer ever made and I will touch on my thought on it for it’s own sake but I am going to speak a bit more about what I think they are going to be doing in the show.

First, I look at the trailer – though there is not much to do other than look at it.  There is absolutely no sound in the teaser other than a really kick-a score.  And I definitely do have to give it credit there – the score really gets your heart pumping and gets you excited for what this is going to be.  The animation is excellent as usual and we don’t really see much of anything that reveals too much of the plot but I think we get enough to satisfy us.

Now let me get to who “us” is.  Honestly this isn’t a trailer.  What it really is is an announcement for the fans and I want to talk about how that affects this.  Assume there are 3 groups of people in the levels of fandom of Avatar:

  1. The Never-heard-of-it’s
  2. The Sort-of familiar
  3. The Fans

Now for the first group, this honestly has little to no weight.  It would just seem like a well drawn anime that they might check out if they had time, but they wouldn’t be on fire to go see the original show or this new one (ie – trailer uneffective).  The second group is harder to pin because they might have seen some of the show or they might have seen that God-awful thing of Shyamalan’s which puts them in very different levels of interest.  However, this trailer doesn’t seem like it would appeal to either set of them as it lacks the punch to drive one into either finishing the show or to give it a second chance.  The trailer isn’t specific enough to be really interesting to anyone who hasn’t finished the story.

The final group is who this trailer is for.  People like me who love the original show really only needed the title card to get excited.  So the fact is that the rest is really just for us – the Fans.  And so, being a fan, I will spend some time looking at what the trailer does reveal about the continuation of the Avatar world.

Basics first, I think we all can assume that it follows the new Water Avatar, Korra, in the aftermath of Aang’s victory (don’t believe me? Check 1:16).  From the beginning we see that the settings will be vastly spread out.  One thing I am still trying to reconcile is that the Avatar is only reborn when the last Avatar dies.  So how is it that at the beginning of the teaser (0:07) we see Appa flying around, indicating to me that Aang is alive, and the very next shot is of a statue of him, indicating to me that he is dead and being commemorated.  It could be a statue placed while he is alive but I don’t know.  Still you can’t have a show about the new Avatar without the old one being dead, so how do they solve this one I wonder?

My real questions, however, begin at 0:31, when we see a rather large (and rather modern) city with floating blimps and everything.  The color scheme of the city indicates that it could be the new Earth Kingdom capital but the blimps really do throw me off and make me wonder if it is not the new Air Kingdom. However it seems a bit too…on the ground for the Air Society.  Wait….didn’t they all die off anyway?  Unless Aang and Katara got very busy in the 70 years between this and the previous show, and if the bending can be thus passed on, I don’t see how there could BE an Air Kingdom left anymore.  I am very excited to see what they say about this issue.

Two final thoughts.  First, we really only see Fire and Water bending in this trailer which feeds more to the fire of the above issue for me.  Did the Air bending die out with Aang?  Does he himself have to train her somehow in that art? Does he do that post-humously?  And what happened to the Earth stuff!?  They show a lot of what looks like Earth Kingdom towns but we see no rock bending.  Hmmm.  Second thought – it is interesting to me that they end on the bad guy.  He reminds me a lot of the Dai li in that he/she is hidden and thus mysterious – making them all the harder to find.  I expect it will be a very interesting antagonist in this new show.

So there you have it.  I know I am pumped for the Legend of Korra.  If you want to learn more about it, I recommend the Avatar Wiki – they have all sorts of info on the upcoming show if you want to find out.  It does seem a bit spoiler-ish so I will warn you that you might not want to look it all over yet, but they do have a lot of great info there like the lineage of the Avatars if you are interested.

Thanks for being patient with me!  I have been packing all week for my cross-country road trip back to College.  So it looks like…..again….my post might be late.  I am going to try to get it out on time – though I have NO idea what to review.  As usual I ask you to let me know what you want to see reviewed – old or new stuff – and I will certainly get to it ASAP.  Thanks again for sticking with me and I will see you next Friday…I hope 🙂

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About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

One response to “The Legend of Korra

  • Logstorm!

    Bending is one thing that they never fully explained in the show. I still don’t understand why some people can bend and some people can’t and how it’s passed down from generation to generation. However, I’m pretty sure that Aang is indeed dead, and the airbending tradition is passed down through his kids.

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