They’re making a whole studio just produce Avatar: The Last Airbender content – starting with, a thankfully animated movie. Which is honestly pretty cool. But I feel conflicted.
On one side – I’m glad the franchise is getting the respect and attention it deserves. I’m looking forward to stories about new Avatars and the Gaang’s later adventures. Mostly new Avatars. I mean there are thousands of stories they could tell – and that’s amazing. Maybe they’ll adapt the Avatar comics. Or the Kyoshi novels.
But on the other hand, I hate the idea of cinematic universes and mega-franchises. They milk the stories and characters dry, and prevent original content from being made. And there’s just so much content that it gets exhausting trying to keep up.
I’m also nervous they’ll focus too much on the characters they’ve already introduced – rather than creating new characters and telling new stories. I love them the way they are – they’ve had their arcs and stories told.
On the other hand, I’d love to see an animated adaptation of Zuko finding out what happened to his mother (which I bet will be one of the first things to be adapted), a look into how Iroh became the man he did, and even a bit of Suki’s childhood and her adventures during Avatar: The Last Airbender
All of that would be really cool.
But I also love all the room there is to wonder. Making all these stories and fitting them into the canon ruins that. People want answers, canon answers and that leaves so little room for imagination and thought. That’s half the fun of fandom. Now, with the extended universe, it just becomes more of a gate-keeping, encyclopedic nerd-boy version of how to interact with the canon.
All that being said – am I going to watch what Avatar Studios put out? Yeah.
I won’t touch the Netflix live-action series with a 30-foot pole. But the stuff by Konietzko and DiMartino? I’m going to at least give it a shot.