For followers who maintain the supply materials close to and pricey to their hearts, The Legend of Korra repeatedly attracts criticism for seeming inconsistencies with Avatar: The Final Airbender. The sequel collection made a lot of its freedom to push the boundaries of the franchise into daring new horizons; nevertheless, such criticisms typically gloss over the faults of its predecessor. Living proof: the Avatar State. The highly effective capacity to amplify bending and commune with previous lives had little or no consistency within the authentic collection, and on this respect, Korra significantly improved on the lore.
The Avatar State seems early on within the authentic collection, and even in its first few incarnations, it appears to function underneath an inconsistent ruleset. In “The Avatar Returns,” it triggers a protection mechanism that permits Aang to comb away the Hearth Nation forces threatening him. In “The Southern Air Temple,” it is triggered by Aang’s emotional misery in grieving the lack of the Air Nomads, whereas in “The Storm,” it is depicted because the pressure that first froze him within the iceberg after he and Appa had been caught in a torrential storm. It additionally saves Appa and the Gaang from one other storm within the current time throughout that very same episode, pulling them safely from the ocean.
The fixed recurrence of the Avatar State throughout instances of disaster raises the next query: the place was this highly effective capacity throughout all the opposite instances? Such crises happen invariably all through the collection with out a peep from the Avatar State — as an illustration, when Aang is helplessly imprisoned in “The Blue Spirit” or distraught over burning Katara in “The Deserter.” Even the perform of the Avatar State appears to alter in line with what the plot calls for, with “The Storm” offering a stark distinction between freezing him for 100 years and helpfully saving him and Appa from drowning at sea. There’s even much less consistency relating to communing with Aang’s previous lives.
An early plot level calls for that Aang wants to succeed in a selected Hearth Nation temple by the point of the solstice with a purpose to talk together with his previous life, Roku. Eight episodes later, Roku possesses Aang in the midst of a dialog with Jeong Jeong to persuade the firebending grasp to take Aang on as a scholar. In “Avatar Day,” Aang is ready to summon Kyoshi to testify at his trial by carrying her results, but he summons her simply whereas meditating on the Lion Turtle for counsel within the finale. That very same finale ends with Aang unlocking and mastering the Avatar State — after Guru Pathik advised him he would by no means have the ability to enter it once more.
By comparability, Korra units up a far better-defined utilization of the highly effective capacity. Its first utilization on the finish of Guide One attracts consideration from many who noticed it as a deus ex machina as if the power had been something apart from that within the earlier collection, however thereafter, she employs it in a restrained method throughout transient moments that amplify her energy.
Guide Two’s “Beginnings” episodes flesh out the origin of the Avatar and clarify how the spirit of Raava imbues the Avatar with an outstanding reserve of power that fuels the state, separate from the expertise collected all through the Avatar’s lives. Even when Korra’s connection to her previous lives is severed, her utilization of the Avatar State thereafter is available in constant pulses that enhance her energy in dependable methods. Whereas the collection made additions to the lore of Avatar, it a minimum of arrange guidelines it reliably adopted all through the collection.
Avatar by no means adopted a wonderfully designed schematic from the beginning, and the franchise regularly discovered itself increasingly more because the years progressed. The Avatar State looks as if a transparent space the place the creators weren’t at first sure of the mechanics of the way it functioned, and it was not till Korra that they actually hit their stride in weaving it organically into the story.
There’s little doubt that each reveals are masterclasses in worldbuilding, however as with all media, they aren’t freed from fault. In criticizing one, it is solely honest to use those self same criticisms to the opposite — and a minimum of on this regard, it is extraordinarily troublesome to carry Korra at better fault.