My ‘main event’ at Comic-Con was definitely the Legend of Korra panel which I waited four hours for. It seems Nickelodeon finally decided to throw us Last Airbender fans a bone this year at the San Diego Comic-Con. Not only did we get to see an amazing trailer, but detailed concept art and a lot of information regarding the upcoming series. First, well start with the key-points they unloaded on us:
- The new time period takes place 70 years after Aang and his allies restored peace to the world.
- A core theme in the show is airbender spirituality.
- The art direction and animation has been vastly improved [the trailer we saw looked phenomenal] with sophisticated style to character design and changes in proportions [they even made a comment about how the heads of the characters in the original show were pretty large].
- They really wanted Korra to be different from Aang in personality such that “Aang never would have said this” and “never would have done this”.
- Korra is from the water tribe, and they wanted her to look somewhat like a tomboy, a tough, rugged, snowboarder look [and she does, they even had their own live cosplayer for Korra at the beginning of the panel].
- Korra already knows water, fire, and earth bending, and will be training to learn airbending from Tenzin, Aang and Katara’s son [who actually looks pretty old].
- Korra is 17, and most of the new characters are older than the characters from the original show’s main cast.
- Republic City [the main setting of the show] is a modern metropolis sort of city. There are benders of all elements living with non benders in a sort of “melting pot of different cultures”. Aang and Zuko founded the city after the war.
- Part of Team Avatar are two brothers from a multicultural family where one brother is a fire bender, and the other is an earth bender. Mako is the older, brooding (but not as much as Zuko) firebending brother while Bolin is the younger earthbending and goofier brother [I would imagine he’s probably going to be something like the new Sokka].
- The show has a sort of 1920s jazz age, Shanghai concept. Kind of as if China had invented the jazz age.
- There is a sleuth of new creatures, such as a bipedal polar bear dog [Korra’s has one of these as a companion, her name is Naga]. Naga is “awesome and kicks a lot of butt”.
- Another creature is a tiny red panda headed, black footed ferret hybrid. Bolin has one of these fire-ferrets named Paboo.
- There is a different species of flying bison similar to Appa. The horns, tail, and patterns differ from Appa. Apparently Aang “found a herd of them on an island after the war”.
- A new species of flying lemurs also appear in the new series however you “don’t see too much of them in the first 12 [episodes”.
- They may have accidentally revealed that there is going to be another 14 episodes after the originally announced 12, totaling 26!!
- As Korra is the new Avatar, she is Aang’s reincarnation; therefore she is not related to Aang.
- Aang and Katara had three kids, one being Tenzin.
- Tenzin is a serious guy but can be funny with his kids. He tries to be a zen master but sometimes loses his patience [personally, I think he might have a personality similar to The great swordsmaster Piando, who trained Sokka, but don’t quote me on that, its just my own speculation].
- Pema, a non-bender and Tenzin’s wife, is currently pregnant with her fourth child. Her two girls and one boy are all airbenders and can be a handful.
- Genora is Tenzin and Pema’s oldest bookworm daughter. Ikki is another daughter who “talks a mile a minute” and is “super funny and crazy”.
- The Equalists are a group anti-benders. Their revolutionary leader, Oman, is a creepy masked guy who is dark and super sinister with a slight steampunk influence.
- His henchmen are expert “chi-blockers” from an ancient order cloaked in secret. They are combating the forces of Republic City [they look really badass with a steampunk looking gas-mask-type headgear].
- They introduced the police force of Republic City to be “metalbender cops”. They are an ELITE SWAT-type group of earthbenders upholding peace in the city. Toph, being the first ever metalbender, traveled the world after the war teaching earth benders how to harness this ultimate ability. [They also showed us this amazing concept art of Korra fighting three metalbender cops. The art was spectacular].
- Toph’s daughter [!!!!!] Bei Fong is the chief of police of Republic City [they refused to name the father at the panel…].
- There is a crazy sport in the city known as “pro bending” [seems like a UFC meets Avatar kind of sport]. There are teams of three benders in an elemental arena battling wherein the entire city comes to watch. [They made a note during the panel that they spent hours writing rules for the sport].
- The fighting style of the show is going to be similar to the original, but they added “tricking” which they described to be similar to parkour. [In the video they showed, they had martial artists and mixed martial artists performing the various fighting styles, they look pretty awesome].
That’s basically the main points that were revealed. Here is the amazing trailer they showed us:
And here is a gallery of photos I was able to take at the panel. They include both early concept art and final models of characters:
I hope you are as excited for The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra as much as I am, as well as the thousands of fans at Comic-Con this year!