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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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Live Action Avatar: The Last Airbender


After years of anticipation, the live action series of Avatar the Last Airbender has finally come out! It aired on Netflix February 22, gaining 21.2 million views in its first four days. You can find this new production among the top shows on Netflix, though it may be hard to watch anywhere else. Here’s all you need to know about this new hit series.


Plot Summary

This remake of Avatar the Last Airbender follows 12-year-old Aang, a child bestowed with the responsibility of saving the world as the Avatar, the person with the ability to bend all four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. With the help of his friends, Katara and Sokka, he must master all of the elements in order to defeat the tyrannical firelord, who is attempting to unite the world under the fire nation. He will have to defend nations, protect his friends, and come to terms with his past in order to succeed, but Aang is still just a kid at heart.



In this adaptation, the casting is accurate to the main characters’ ages. The producers also ensured that the actors would be as diverse as the original series, keeping all of the main characters as members of different Asian communities. The actor of Aang, 14-year-old Gordon Cormier, has already gained notable experience, such as his role in The Stand (2020). His level of professionalism is evident in how well he handles this difficult role. Cormier even shaved his head! He is joined by Kiwentiio Tarbell, a First Nations actress and singer songwriter, who plays Katara. She has already gained some fame from her role in another hit Netflix show, Anne With An E. Katara’s brother, Sokka, is played by Ian Ousley. Their enemies, Zuko and Iroh, are played by Dallas Liu and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee. 


Artistic Decisions

The creators of the series have chosen to make a few interesting changes, while still staying true to the original story. It’s difficult to do justice to the original while also creating something new, especially with such a passionate fanbase, so credit must be given to the phenomenal writing. Many of the changes involved the timeline of events. For example, in the adaptation, the audience is introduced to iconic characters such as Azula, gaining insight into the characters’ backgrounds very early on. It will be interesting to see how this affects their development later in the story. Additionally, as the people who watched the original cartoon have grown up, the live action has been targeted more towards teenagers. This altered the way the show displayed violence and romance. The creators have also given us more content with the past Avatars. After the original became popular during quarantine, fans have wanted to see more of Avatar Kyoshi and Avatar Kuruk, and the writers of the live action have listened. 


Season Two?

            Netflix has not officially renewed the show for a second season. Evidence highly suggests, however, that we can expect one within the next few years. The second season will likely follow book two of Avatar the Last Airbender, as season one closely follows book one. This means we can anticipate the introduction of Toph, Aang’s earthbending teacher. Season one set up the next chapter of the story nicely, confirming Aang’s plans to learn waterbending and continue on his journey. Make sure to go watch this new exciting series on Netflix!

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About the Contributor
Zoe Palmer
Zoe Palmer, Staff Writer
Zoe is a Harriton sophomore who is excited to write for Features and Arts and Entertainment during her second year in the Banner. She is also a member of the squash team, HTC, speech and debate, and Corinthian. When she is not busy, you can find her hanging out with friends, making music, traveling, or spending time outdoors.

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