Home Anime Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Firebending Master Had a Disturbing Inspiration

Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Firebending Master Had a Disturbing Inspiration


Some of the charming components of Avatar: The Final Airbender is the broad scope of its sources of inspiration. Reaching throughout numerous cultures, religions, myths and tropes, there appear to be no limits from the place creators felt free to drag their concepts. Maybe one of the disturbing sources of inspiration the present ever entertained was Apocalypse Now. Keep in mind Jeong Jeong?

Launched in “The Deserter,” Jeong Jeong is clearly a determine impressed by Apocalypse Now‘s Colonel Kurtz. With so little recognized about Jeong Jeong, it is simple to take his hero standing with no consideration; nonetheless, his supply of inspiration could trace at a darker and extra sinister facet to the previous grasp that Avatar followers have but to see.

Jeong Jeong is actually an intimidating determine when the Gaang first comes throughout him. Hidden deep within the jungle, Jeong Jeong turned a legend when he deserted his high-ranking put up within the navy after realizing he didn’t agree with the struggle. Surrounded by devoted tribal followers, certainly one of whom is a fellow deserter who treats him with nearly spiritual reverence, Jeong Jeong ascends to an nearly mythic standing because the navy tries desperately to hunt him down. If that description sounds acquainted, it might be as a result of it applies completely to Colonel Kurtz of the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.

The film’s personal story relies on Joseph Conrad’s Coronary heart of Darkness, the place the character Kurtz crammed an identical function. Apocalypse Now tells of a soldier’s mission in the course of the Vietnam Warfare to seek out a former navy chief who deserted his put up. Similar to Jeong Jeong, Kurtz surrounds himself with a tribe of people that deal with him reverently. Whereas Kurtz is attended by a photojournalist, Jeong Jeong has Chey, who builds up Jeong Jeong’s mythic standing within the Gaang’s eyes earlier than they ever meet him.

The comparability ought to be disturbing, as Colonel Kurtz is much from a sage previous grasp prepared to assist the heroes out when it actually counts. Kurtz was a struggle legal who brutally murdered numerous individuals, photographed the atrocities with a view to destabilize help for america globally, decapitates a person in the midst of the movie, and finally has a suicidal psychotic break. Jeong Jeong is proven to be a agency pacifist against this, however what is probably most annoying is simply how little viewers study of Jeong Jeong all through the sequence.

The similarities appear to trace on the severity of Jeong Jeong’s violence in service of the Hearth Nation earlier than his defection, and probably at his personal psychological instability. This is able to recast his imaginative and prescient of Roku that evokes him to assist Aang as not a supernatural occasion, however quite a delusion Jeong Jeong suffers that serves the protagonist’s comfort. Beforehand in the identical season, an entire story arc revolved across the requirement of the solstice to ensure that Roku to own Aang’s physique, and Jeong Jeong is at the least unstable sufficient to occupy the place of what’s basically a cult chief amongst his followers.

Jeong Jeong firebending

Little is thought of the destiny of Jeong Jeong’s camp after they escape the Hearth Nation once more on the finish of “The Deserter,” though Jeong Jeong apparently returned so little of Chey’s affection that he left the loyal follower behind. By the tip of the finale, Jeong Jeong’s assist and devastating energy show invaluable in liberating Ba Sing Se, however the heroes by no means actually cease to query who precisely it’s they’re receiving assist from.

Jeong Jeong’s parallels to Kurtz may trace at a far darker facet to the firebending grasp we solely ever get hints of. With that sort of firepower, there is no telling the destruction he may carry if he have been to ever give in to his fears and lose management eventually.


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