After Nickelodeon has announced the creation of Avatar Studios, fans all over the world are excited for this new chapter in the world of Avatar. The studio’s first project is a full-length animated film. It is expected to go into production later this year. Even though there is no news yet regarding the timeline or whether there will be a new Avatar—we can’t help but speculate what this next story will be.
Avatar: The Last Airbender ran for three seasons from 2005 – 2008. The series is centered on Aang, the titular character who must master all the four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Air) to save the world. The success of the series led to a sequel, Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Set 70 years after Aang, a new threat emerges, bringing Korra to her Avatar journey to bring balance to the world.
Both series’ success was renewed when Netflix helped them extend its reach to a new audience and platform. According to Washington Post, last 2020, Avatar has consistently appeared in Netflix’s top 10 most-watched shows for months. Because of this, there has been a revived interest in the world of Avatar, and Netflix announced that they are going to release a live-action adaptation of the series. However, series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino left the project due to creative differences. Now, there is another development in the world of Avatar—but surely the creators are involved as they both helm the Avatar Studios, serving as co-chief creative officers.
The studio is set, and the fans are all in their seats—now what are we going to expect?
1. The Search
Many rumors circulate that the next story will be a direct continuation of Aang’s life. These are all told in the graphic novel released by Dark Horse, starting with The Promise released in 2012, to Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy in 2021—as the most recent as of this writing. However, among these stories, the most intriguing for me is The Search, released in 2013. It follows Team Avatar as they search for Zuko’s mother. For me, Zuko, the Price of the Fire Nation is arguably the greatest character redemption story in an animated series. He started as the antagonist, hunting the Avatar, and will not stop until he captures him. This is all because he wanted to restore his honor. During a war meeting, Zuko spoke out of turn against a general’s plan. Because of this, his father, Fire Lord Ozai, challenged Zuko to an Agni Kai, a traditional Fire Nation duel. When Zuko refused to fight, his father took his son’s action as disrespectful and as punishment; Zuko’s face was burned—which explains the scar on his face. Fire Lord Ozai stripped him of his honor and, he was banished from the Fire Nation.
Zuko’s story is one of the saddest stories ever told—making his redemption story even greater. We all know that he helped Aang restore balance at the end of the series and was later on crowned as the new Fire Lord. However, at the end of the last episode, we discovered that his mother was still alive. The series ended without explaining where she might be. This story arc is the greatest mystery in the series that they didn’t answer during its 3-year run. Knowing this feels like there is a missing piece in Zuko’s story. Of course—fans who have already read The Search know the answer to this question, but seeing this on the screen will wrap the unfinished business in the series.
2. New Avatar
Another interesting story that I want to see next is definitely—the new Avatar. Like Doctor Who, it’s fascinating to see The Doctor being regenerated to another person. It’s interesting because it adds suspense and excitement to the viewers to tune in and see who will take the titular role. At the same time, it is sad because we have to say goodbye to the actor who played the character for years—but we need to move on.
In Korra’s case, it’s intriguing because we don’t know if she will live a long life like her predecessors or suffer an untimely death. Hence, the birth of a new Avatar.
According to the cycle, the next Avatar will be reborn in the Earth Kingdom. It would be nice to see another earth bender—and maybe he or she would be as awesome as Toph! Maybe there could be additional bending that will emerge or explore more like lava or maybe gold bending?
We all know in the series that Korra lost his connection with the past life when battling Vaatu—making her the new first Avatar. It’s quite sad because we would not see Aang or Roku again—but who knows? Maybe the next Avatar will restore this connection.
In the Legend of Korra, the world is evolving towards the industrial age. It continues to evolve even in the last episode. Whether or not Korra died young, for sure, the next Avatar will have a more advanced setting that everyone would love to see.
3. Avatar Kyoshi
Among the possible stories that I’ve mentioned, this is my favorite. Hopefully, this will transpire soon as an animated film or series—either way, I want to see this.
Kyoshi is the Avatar before Roku and before the hundred-year war. This would be the perfect era to renew the show. During her period, the Air Nomads are still in their prime, and we will discover new character beginnings, ancestry, or a view of history in the world of Avatar. In the Legend of Korra, we were introduced to Wan, the first Avatar. The show featured a 2-part episode of Avatar Wan’s life and showed how he became the first Avatar. It’s interesting because there are so many “why’s” and “hows” answered in those episodes. It gave as a history lesson.
In the first season of the Last Airbender, we had a glimpse of Kyoshi’s life, but her backstory was revealed later on in the novels Rise of Kyoshi (2019) and followed by The Shadow of Kyoshi (2020). These books are definitely a page-turner—a prequel dedicated to all Avatar fans and anew. It was well-written, and most of all, it introduced new characters that are all very interesting to know.
In the novel Rise of Kyoshi, we discovered how Kyoshi started from a humble beginning to one of the awesome and fiercest Avatar we saw in the series. While The Shadow of Kyoshi continued her journey, it also revealed that she—like Aang and Korra, is not the perfect character we thought she was. We know her from the show, but we didn’t know her enough. How she trained, how she lived, her struggles, and goals in her life; thus the perfect choice as the first project of Avatar Studios—hopefully.
How about you? What stories would you like to see for the upcoming animated film or series from Avatar Studios? Share your thoughts down in the comment section. Keep safe!