Netflix’s highly-anticipated adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming in February 2024! In anticipation for the upcoming series, we share 5 moments from the animated series that we can’t wait to witness in live-action.
After years of waiting, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender appear to finally be getting the live-action adaptation they deserve. With a huge budget, a fantastic cast, and millions of eager viewers — Netflix’s remake has everything in place to be a resounding success.
Regarded as one of the greatest animated shows of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender has an enormous legion of dedicated followers, and the pressure is on for Netflix to deliver. Thanks to Netflix’s smash-hit adaptation of One Piece, there’s a lot of optimism about how Avatar will translate into live-action. Especially after Netflix caught the attention of the fandom by debuting an epic trailer during Geeked Week 2023:
In anticipation of season 1, let’s discuss some of the moments from the animated show we can’t wait to see in live-action. Of course, beware of spoilers!
Aang Vs. Zuko
In the show’s second episode, “The Avatar Returns,” Avatar gives us our first taste of bending battles. After Aang and Katara accidentally set off a trap that notifies the Fire Nation of their location, Zuko — the young and determined prince of the Fire Nation — sets out to capture the Avatar and prove himself. Zuko initially succeeds in his quest, but not before Aang manages to break free of his captor. The resulting battle sets the tempo for the entire series, from airbending to firebending. It’s fast-paced, action packed and a whole lot of fun.
We also see Sokka and Katara ride Appa into battle to save Aang. This is the first time they work together, and the beginning of a friendship that’s core to the show.
Aang Vs. King Bumi
Outside of being the first appearance of everyone’s favourite cabbage merchant, “The King of Omashu” is one of the most fun episodes of season one. Not only does it feature plenty of action and laughs, but it goes a long way in developing the beautifully crafted Avatar lore.
King Bumi is the old, eccentric King of Omashu; the second largest city in the Earth Kingdom. In the episode, Aang meets the King, who puts his abilities to the test. Bumi traps both Sokka and Katara, and will only free them should Aang pass the ultimate assignment: to defeat Bumi himself.
What Aang later learns, however, is that Bumi is actually an old friend… a really old friend indeed. In fact, Bumi and Aang were actually childhood friends, and he is the only one still surviving. Seeing Aang hug Bumi is always a heartwarming moment. What began as a brutal, challenging test, ended up being a wholesome revelation.
Aang riding the Unagi
In “The Warriors of Kyoshi,” Aang leads Katara and Sokka to Kyoshi Island. While there, they encounter the warriors of Kyoshi, led by fan-favourite formidable fighter, Suki. After they learn that he’s the Avatar, he gets the VIP treatment.
My favorite part of this episode is how Aang continually tries to impress and woo Katara by showing off in increasingly dangerous ways. Look no further than when he rides a deadly sea creature, the Unagi, and uses it to defeat an attack from Zuko and the Fire Nation. Upon his first encounter with the Unagi, Aang embarrasses himself, but when the time comes when he needs to ride it to save a burning village, he rides in style! If done correctly, this scene could look spectacular in the show.
The Blue Spirit
After Aang is captured by the Fire Nation’s Commander Zhao, his only hope comes from the most unlikely of allies: The Blue Spirit. A masked, master swordsman, the Blue Spirit is a mystery to Aang at first, but they work together to fight their way out of the Fire Nation. The battle is breathtaking; their teamwork, the bending, the dark and gloomy atmosphere. It couldn’t be more perfect.
Eventually, Aang and a wounded Blue Spirit succeed in their escape Aang suddenly learns that the masked warrior is, indeed, Prince Zuko. This is one of the most surprising revelations in season 1, and one that I can’t wait to see play out in live-action.
The Siege of the North
Helmed by acclaimed Star Wars director Dave Filoni, The Siege of the North is glorious. Action, emotion, breathtaking visuals, shocks — it’s all there and more. It’s the ultimate season finale.
The siege occurs when Commander Zhao splits away from Zuko and kills the Tui (the Moon Spirit). As a result, Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Princess Yue’s hands are forced to make the biggest sacrifice yet. Princess Yue ultimately sacrifices herself and becomes the Moon Spirit, much to the heartbreak of Sokka, who she’d formed a close bond with.
The visuals are magnificent, specifically the darkened color grading in contrast with the water and fire bending. And when La — the Ocean Spirit — connects with Aang in the Avatar state to create the utterly destructive ‘Koizilla’, the episode reaches its climax. Seeing Koizilla cause such chaos to the Fire Nation is immensely satisfying and a fitting payoff to an extraordinary debut season.
Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender premieres February 22, 2024 on Netflix. Read our full preview here.