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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Zaheer was entirely uninteresting to me. He's the third iteration of "some guy just really wants to take down the Avatar and is also absolutely in position to be a threat to the Avatar isn't that just nice and convenient?" I couldn't get behind his motivation at all - he's supposed to be philosophically inclined but has goals and ideals that would charitably be described as childish at best, and more likely wildly naive and hypocritical.

    Season 2 at least had mover-star-Bolin as a reason to keep watching. Season 3? Not so much.
    I mean, in season 1 the going after the Avatar stuff was coincidental, and I'm going to spoiler the rest of this.

    Spoiler
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    Amon went after Korra because she was a Bender, her being the Avatar only mattered for the spin he could get ('even the spirits beleve I'm more right than the freaking bridge between the worlds'). He lets Korra go several times because he needs to depower her at the right moment for maximum impact. He's also possibly the most interesting villain, as the series spends a lot of time supporting the idea that he believes his ideals, and noticeably only ever bends to either take away others' bending or to save his life.

    Unalaq wanted to kill Korra because he wanted to be the Avatar? Honestly I still don't quite get Season 2, but I'll agree Unalaq's goals made sense, become a Dark Avatar to try to bring the world back into balance, thinking that he deserves to be Avatar more than this unspiritual Korra, and all that stuff.

    Zaheer's the first who truly focused on getting rid of the Avatar, but to be honest I'm still not sure why. Honestly it would have been better if Amon or Dark Avatar Unalaq had been the villain.

    Kuvira was a good change of pace.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I mean, in season 1 the going after the Avatar stuff was coincidental, and I'm going to spoiler the rest of this.

    Spoiler
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    Amon went after Korra because she was a Bender, her being the Avatar only mattered for the spin he could get ('even the spirits beleve I'm more right than the freaking bridge between the worlds'). He lets Korra go several times because he needs to depower her at the right moment for maximum impact. He's also possibly the most interesting villain, as the series spends a lot of time supporting the idea that he believes his ideals, and noticeably only ever bends to either take away others' bending or to save his life.

    Unalaq wanted to kill Korra because he wanted to be the Avatar? Honestly I still don't quite get Season 2, but I'll agree Unalaq's goals made sense, become a Dark Avatar to try to bring the world back into balance, thinking that he deserves to be Avatar more than this unspiritual Korra, and all that stuff.

    Zaheer's the first who truly focused on getting rid of the Avatar, but to be honest I'm still not sure why. Honestly it would have been better if Amon or Dark Avatar Unalaq had been the villain.

    Kuvira was a good change of pace.
    Villians of Korra. Responding to Anonymouswizard.

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    S1) It is likely that amon is actually bending whenever he fights benders. We learn that he blood bends merely via his breath "his psychic blood bending" and thus it follows he can probably cause attacks to have a higher miss chance against him by subtletly blood bending the targets in the middle of the fight. Oh your lightning bending Mr. Mafia Zolt guy it missed me for it is aiming where I was half a breath ago. Likewise Zolt's fire was missing by at least a breath. Furthermore Amon had to use his own bloodbending to disrupt Tarrlock's hold on him.

    S2) We never fully get Unalaq's full philosophy, all the dozens of thesis of it, plus the reactionary part where he has an ideal vision and he is mad at X, Y, and Z for messing it up. But we do not need to know Unalaq's full vision. All we need to know is Unalaq wants to break this current world in order to restructure it in a way he feels more congruous with his "idea." Unalaq did have ideas, he did not just lust for power, but power is a means to some future end and we never learn what that future end was. Merely he was willing to break the world in order to save it.

    S3) Zaheer sees an imbalance of power relations leads the powerful to then dominate people and dominate people in an arbitrary fashion for might makes right. Only by getting rid of the various superpowers can you then have the liberty, and there are several definitions of liberty out there but I think Zaheer believes in the definition as "liberty as non-domination, and especially arbitrary non-domination."

    S4) Kuvira was in the right, she merely went too far and when given power she became a tyrant. She took the opportunity and not backing down when she had the power due to childhood trauma. (Sidenote I would argue Suyin's indifference to the suffering of others when there was a civil war, and criminals preyed on the weak is kind of unforgivable in a different way than Kuvira. Indifference and deficiency is the opposite extreme from excess.)

    Literally 2 of the 4 Villians Amon and Kuvira had childhood traumas which shaped their worldview and this worldview they kept while they were Villians.. We do not know Zaheer's backstory merely he was once a teenager and he freed his lover P'Li from abusive trauma. Lastly we have Unalaq, where we do not know if he had any trauma, yet we do know he had envy and thinks he is more "excellent" than everyone else such as his brother and nephew and it should have been him... "Scar Style."
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    I mean, in season 1 the going after the Avatar stuff was coincidental, and I'm going to spoiler the rest of this.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Amon went after Korra because she was a Bender, her being the Avatar only mattered for the spin he could get ('even the spirits beleve I'm more right than the freaking bridge between the worlds'). He lets Korra go several times because he needs to depower her at the right moment for maximum impact. He's also possibly the most interesting villain, as the series spends a lot of time supporting the idea that he believes his ideals, and noticeably only ever bends to either take away others' bending or to save his life.

    Unalaq wanted to kill Korra because he wanted to be the Avatar? Honestly I still don't quite get Season 2, but I'll agree Unalaq's goals made sense, become a Dark Avatar to try to bring the world back into balance, thinking that he deserves to be Avatar more than this unspiritual Korra, and all that stuff.

    Zaheer's the first who truly focused on getting rid of the Avatar, but to be honest I'm still not sure why. Honestly it would have been better if Amon or Dark Avatar Unalaq had been the villain.

    Kuvira was a good change of pace.
    Spoiler
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    Amon's entire movement relied on eventually taking on the Avatar. Yes, he waited until he could utilize the Avatar for maximum effect, but the Avatar was still a mandatory target at some point.

    Unalaq similarly would have to destroy the Avatar; his plan didn't rely on it, but once he took the Evil spirit in and became Evil Avatar, it would be a foregone conclusion that Evil Avatar would assault Good Avatar.

    Zaheer... didn't need to go after the Avatar at all. He was raging against governments and nations, which the Avatar is not a part of (well, Aang did found Republic City, but even then IIRC he wasn't involved in the government, even if his son was; regardless, Korra certainly wasn't).

    A Death Star is a great plot device. A second Death Star I could go without. A third Death Star, come up with something else already dammit. Zaheer stunk and it took me longer to get through Season 3 than the first two combined because of how disinterested in it I was. Season 4 is markedly better, and has the potential to be the best overall. Whether it can be better than S1 remains to be seen.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    Amon's entire movement relied on eventually taking on the Avatar. Yes, he waited until he could utilize the Avatar for maximum effect, but the Avatar was still a mandatory target at some point.

    Unalaq similarly would have to destroy the Avatar; his plan didn't rely on it, but once he took the Evil spirit in and became Evil Avatar, it would be a foregone conclusion that Evil Avatar would assault Good Avatar.

    Zaheer... didn't need to go after the Avatar at all. He was raging against governments and nations, which the Avatar is not a part of (well, Aang did found Republic City, but even then IIRC he wasn't involved in the government, even if his son was; regardless, Korra certainly wasn't).

    A Death Star is a great plot device. A second Death Star I could go without. A third Death Star, come up with something else already dammit. Zaheer stunk and it took me longer to get through Season 3 than the first two combined because of how disinterested in it I was. Season 4 is markedly better, and has the potential to be the best overall. Whether it can be better than S1 remains to be seen.
    Spoiler
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    Taking on the Avatar yes. Destroying them, no. While one of the key powers of the Avatar is bending all four elements, there are clearly other powers involved in being Avatar. And no real proof that 'The Avatar' would be destroyed by being de-bendered.

    Unalaq would have to fight the Avatar yes. Every villain in a show centered around a heroic avatar is going to have to fight the Avatar to achieve their plans. But his plan wasn't really about Korra at all.

    Zaheer, explains outright WHY he's trying to kill the Avatar. The Avatar is the incarnate guardian of the Status Quo. If he wants to destroy the bending nations so that the people can be free, he has to destroy the guardian devoted to keeping those nations in balance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
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    Taking on the Avatar yes. Destroying them, no. While one of the key powers of the Avatar is bending all four elements, there are clearly other powers involved in being Avatar. And no real proof that 'The Avatar' would be destroyed by being de-bendered.

    Unalaq would have to fight the Avatar yes. Every villain in a show centered around a heroic avatar is going to have to fight the Avatar to achieve their plans. But his plan wasn't really about Korra at all.

    Zaheer, explains outright WHY he's trying to kill the Avatar. The Avatar is the incarnate guardian of the Status Quo. If he wants to destroy the bending nations so that the people can be free, he has to destroy the guardian devoted to keeping those nations in balance.
    Spoiler
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    Avatar doesn't need to be destroyed to be defeated. The fact is that the Avatar was the biggest target for their stated goal.

    And anyway, I openly prefaced my original statement with "unpopular opinion." I don't expect many people, if any, to agree with me. For me, Zaheer's motivation was bad and he should feel bad. I am absolutely willing to explain why I hold that opinion, but it would be an uphill climb for me to change my opinion. And, even if I did encounter enough reasoning to change my opinion, it wouldn't alter the fact that while watching Season 3 I was bored out of my mind for most of it and did not enjoy it anywhere near as much as the rest of the show, including Season 2.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Spoiler: On Zaheer
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    See, Zaheer's goal is basically "I want people free from unequal power structures, and unfortunately all power structures are inherently unequal by their design and human nature" these are both reasonable points. and him wanting that makes sense, because wouldn't it be great if we could just be free and not have to deal with the nonsense of people having authority over others and people could just be good to one another?

    like its a very human thing to want. its a very Air thing thing to want as well: the Airbenders didn't have much in the way of authority figures or structure, they were just monks who wanted to be peaceful and others to be peaceful as well. to him there is proof of a society that made it work, 180 years ago that he was never apart of, that he can only recreate from the texts left over and whatever knowledge Tenzin got from Aang. That he can only touch upon by emulating their spiritual practices and meditations while the world around him only grows more materialistic, more greedy, more cheap and shallow and full of Varricks and Tarrloks and that Earth Queen who exploits her nation for her own pleasures and no one is doing anything about it, only able to watch as the peace Aang worked for, the work of one of the greatest airbenders to ever live becomes corrupted into this gilded age of robber barons, corrupt politicians and petty tyrants. All the while the air nomads never return and the world only drifts away from his ideals.

    If he was any less spiritual and devoted to the Air Nomad teachings, Zaheer would probably be furious at the state of things. So he breathes. he lets the anger go as his teachings demand, but his opinion on the world remains. he rationalizes it. he turns it into a plan, into apart of his philosophy, into something that he can calmly implement and carry out believing its for the good of all the world. That the world NEEDS him to destroy these corrupts power structures. that he will free them of their attachments to authority to enlighten them into a better world. a more peaceful world where everyone can just relax and be happy. where the air nomads won't just be reborn, but change the world for the better.

    And when he gets Airbending in his cell after so long? After all the years of devotion? there can only be one possible thing he is feeling at that moment: VINDICATION. Vindication that the element of air has accepted him, that he is spiritual enough to be an Airbender. Vindication that he is fully within the Air Nomad's philosophy. Vindication that he is right, in his mind. So he goes forth to try and make it happen.

    the problem, is that reality does not match his ideals. Air in Avatar is about nothing but philosophies and ideals, the high minded pie-in-the-sky dreams of man we all wish were true, but never will be: the dream of peace and happiness for everyone, a world without negative attachments, without realism or pragmatism. is it stupid? Yes. in the same way many philosophers are stupid in that they focus too much on how things should be to deal with how things are. They craft intricate well thought out ideas that are pretty to think about and play with in hypotheticals and theories, but at the end of the day they're nothing but thoughts and not action. reality is never as good as the dreams and philosophies we make in our heads. such it is with Zaheer, that his Air ideals would never work in reality, but being unattached to reality means that your less likely to acknowledge reality. look at how much Aang tries to ignore he is the Avatar, after all.

    if Zaheer was a bit more realistic, and had a plan for setting up a better government after he killed the Earth Queen like elections- he wouldn't even be a villain. most of the characters of the original Avatar were prepared to kill Ozai without much qualms or quibbles about it, not killing him was just Aang's personal issue. and Earth Queen honestly had it coming. if Zaheer wasn't going to do it, chances are Korra was going to do it but without the murder, or Kuvira was going to do it and become dictator anyways. you could hardly find a more evil person for him to off.

    he is not a villain because he killed the Earth Queen, he is villain because he turned around and let the Earth Kingdom fall into chaos because he put his philosophical beliefs before any realistic concerns about establishing a new better government because he hates the very idea of governments- a very Air thing to do, considering that Aang was more concerned about his own philosophical belief against killing than any practical need to end the war. now could he have been more realistic in what he wanted or how he went about doing it? Yes. But if he was realistic, he'd rapidly become so harmless that he wouldn't try to do anything, he'd just be one of those crazy guys respectfully asking everyone to stop having governments through social movements and no one listening to him because thats simply never happening. and then you wouldn't have a plot.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Spoiler: On Zaheer
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    See, Zaheer's goal is basically "I want people free from unequal power structures, and unfortunately all power structures are inherently unequal by their design and human nature" these are both reasonable points. and him wanting that makes sense, because wouldn't it be great if we could just be free and not have to deal with the nonsense of people having authority over others
    I'm gonna stop you right there.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    The problem that is immediately apparent is that Zaheer openly pursues this goal by being a member of the Red Lotus, an organization with radically powerful people, who themselves exemplify an unequal power structure over non-benders, let alone other benders. Further, at one point he holds the Air monks hostage by force, which is both exerting authority over others and showcasing an unequal power structure (he can do this because he is more powerful than they are). This is the very point of why his goal is nonsensical from the very beginning - his ideal world is one in which might will very rapidly make right, which still ends up in unequal power structures and some people having authority over others by definition. In order to achieve his goal, he has to act in direct opposition to his goal in the hopes that he can enact his goal which will immediately and inherently result in the exact opposite of his goal, but even worse.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-07-27 at 09:50 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm gonna stop you right there.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    The problem that is immediately apparent is that Zaheer openly pursues this goal by being a member of the Red Lotus, an organization with radically powerful people, who themselves exemplify an unequal power structure over non-benders, let alone other benders. Further, at one point he holds the Air monks hostage by force, which is both exerting authority over others and showcasing an unequal power structure (he can do this because he is more powerful than they are). This is the very point of why his goal is nonsensical from the very beginning - his ideal world is one in which might will very rapidly make right, which still ends up in unequal power structures and some people having authority over others by definition. In order to achieve his goal, he has to act in direct opposition to his goal in the hopes that he can enact his goal which will immediately and inherently result in the exact opposite of his goal, but even worse.
    Spoiler: Korra Season 3
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    Somehow I'm not surprised that the evil guy who takes a genuinely good ideology and pushes it to an evil conclusion due to his warped mentality is a hypocrite.


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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm gonna stop you right there.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    The problem that is immediately apparent is that Zaheer openly pursues this goal by being a member of the Red Lotus, an organization with radically powerful people, who themselves exemplify an unequal power structure over non-benders, let alone other benders. Further, at one point he holds the Air monks hostage by force, which is both exerting authority over others and showcasing an unequal power structure (he can do this because he is more powerful than they are). This is the very point of why his goal is nonsensical from the very beginning - his ideal world is one in which might will very rapidly make right, which still ends up in unequal power structures and some people having authority over others by definition. In order to achieve his goal, he has to act in direct opposition to his goal in the hopes that he can enact his goal which will immediately and inherently result in the exact opposite of his goal, but even worse.
    Spoiler: On Zaheer 2
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    Are you saying that an extremist villain with very strict standards of morality that cannot possibly exist in this world, is in fact.....GASP....a hypocrite!?

    I am shocked sir.

    So shocked. Its truly horrific. Surely this has never happened before and never will again. Surely all well-written villains are perfectly consistent with their goals in ways that make sense to good people with morals against what they are doing and an objective outside perspective to logically observe and analyze their actions down to the most minute detail. Surely. There cannot possibly be examples of other villains being hypocritical despite their strong moral beliefs. No, not all.


    Apologies for the sarcasm. But I don't see whats so special about this. human hypocrisy is nothing new, in fact its something thats a little hard to escape as Aang knows full well. But then I find the idea that a moral rule must be followed no matter the circumstances making it a bad idea a very silly and unrealistic one for both good and evil. and the idea that a moral extremist like Zaheer who is willing to resort to violence for his goals would even care about criticism or that he is a hypocrite, is silly. he is a criminal with an unrealistic philosophy killing anyone in his way and sacrificing his own friends and lover all to achieve something he'd probably constantly maintain by killing anyone who tries to put his chaos to order. if he cared, he would've stopped long ago when he first started expressing his philosophy to others and those people point out the problems with his philosophy. considering that he goes ahead with it anyways, he clearly has already considered those situations acceptable sacrifices/losses if he is doing them.

    like the real philosophy of all moral extremists is "whatever sacrifices I have to make to achieve my big dream is acceptable". because to them, the only ideal state of their philosophy or desire is it being everywhere, in everyone forever. Therefore any actions taken to achieve that state are meaningless compared to that achievement. The achievement outweighs all other concerns. thats why its extreme. are all the things you say true? Yes. would that stop Zaheer from trying and keep on killing, thinking the might makes right will cease? No. if he cared about his friends he wouldn't have sacrificed them, if he cared about your criticisms he wouldn't be a villain and if he cared or paid attention to about the impossibility of his goal, he wouldn't try to achieve it.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Spoiler: On Zaheer 2
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    Are you saying that an extremist villain with very strict standards of morality that cannot possibly exist in this world, is in fact.....GASP....a hypocrite!?

    I am shocked sir.

    So shocked. Its truly horrific. Surely this has never happened before and never will again. Surely all well-written villains are perfectly consistent with their goals in ways that make sense to good people with morals against what they are doing and an objective outside perspective to logically observe and analyze their actions down to the most minute detail. Surely. There cannot possibly be examples of other villains being hypocritical despite their strong moral beliefs. No, not all.


    Apologies for the sarcasm. But I don't see whats so special about this. human hypocrisy is nothing new, in fact its something thats a little hard to escape as Aang knows full well. But then I find the idea that a moral rule must be followed no matter the circumstances making it a bad idea a very silly and unrealistic one for both good and evil. and the idea that a moral extremist like Zaheer who is willing to resort to violence for his goals would even care about criticism or that he is a hypocrite, is silly. he is a criminal with an unrealistic philosophy killing anyone in his way and sacrificing his own friends and lover all to achieve something he'd probably constantly maintain by killing anyone who tries to put his chaos to order. if he cared, he would've stopped long ago when he first started expressing his philosophy to others and those people point out the problems with his philosophy. considering that he goes ahead with it anyways, he clearly has already considered those situations acceptable sacrifices/losses if he is doing them.

    like the real philosophy of all moral extremists is "whatever sacrifices I have to make to achieve my big dream is acceptable". because to them, the only ideal state of their philosophy or desire is it being everywhere, in everyone forever. Therefore any actions taken to achieve that state are meaningless compared to that achievement. The achievement outweighs all other concerns. thats why its extreme. are all the things you say true? Yes. would that stop Zaheer from trying and keep on killing, thinking the might makes right will cease? No. if he cared about his friends he wouldn't have sacrificed them, if he cared about your criticisms he wouldn't be a villain and if he cared or paid attention to about the impossibility of his goal, he wouldn't try to achieve it.
    Spoiler
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    My issue with him isn't his hypocrisy. My issue with him is how his his ideals and beliefs immediately fall apart under the most cursory glance despite the fact that he is presented as a highly educated and otherwise well-rounded philosopher. It's even more to the point in a world with elemental benders who are openly more powerful than other humans, and even moreso coming on the tails of a cult of personality that argued for equality among people which could not be achieved so long as benders existed.

    Well, my main issue. Secondary (but not far behind) issue is how upon gaining airbending, he immediately becomes a greater prodigy than anyone else, despite not having anyone able to teach him airbending, and having a cadre of massively overpowered benders who also specialize in rare abilities. Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't go back to the bloodbending well for the water bender, and even then I'm mostly convinced they didn't because of how a bloodbending villain was a large plot point in season 1 and that would have just been too on the nose.

    Like I said, it was pretty boring to me, and I wasn't eager to watch the next episode through the entire season.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-07-27 at 11:19 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    My issue with him isn't his hypocrisy. My issue with him is how his his ideals and beliefs immediately fall apart under the most cursory glance despite the fact that he is presented as a highly educated and otherwise well-rounded philosopher. It's even more to the point in a world with elemental benders who are openly more powerful than other humans, and even moreso coming on the tails of a cult of personality that argued for equality among people which could not be achieved so long as benders existed.

    Well, my main issue. Secondary (but not far behind) issue is how upon gaining airbending, he immediately becomes a greater prodigy than anyone else, despite not having anyone able to teach him airbending, and having a cadre of massively overpowered benders who also specialize in rare abilities. Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't go back to the bloodbending well for the water bender, and even then I'm mostly convinced they didn't because of how a bloodbending villain was a large plot point in season 1 and that would have just been too on the nose.

    Like I said, it was pretty boring to me, and I wasn't eager to watch the next episode through the entire season.


    Spoiler: Zaheer's Gang
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    They did consider making Ming-Hua a blood bender but decided not to for it was too similar to season 1 (roughly 2:30 of the video.)



    But yeah if it wasn't obvious the Red Lotus is supposed to be a counterpart of Avatar: The Last Airbender's "The Game" / "Team Avatar"

    -----

    As for is Zaheer philosophy is workable or not? Well I can't talk about that due to real world politics, philosophy, and history rules. People who are very smart and taught at Harvard honestly and earnestly believed similar things to Zaheer.

    *shrug* Delusions happen everywhere and all the time, being able to see the world as it is now but also how it was in the past and how it could be means you can always see what you want to see, for seeing is believing. *shrug*
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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    My issue with him isn't his hypocrisy. My issue with him is how his his ideals and beliefs immediately fall apart under the most cursory glance despite the fact that he is presented as a highly educated and otherwise well-rounded philosopher.
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    That's not an opinion shared by everybody. While generally not as radical in promoting it as Zaheer, his beliefs are based on ones people hold in the real world, and I'm not going any further than that. You can complain all you want, but to me Zaheer is a better Well Intentioned Extremist than Kuvira was, but just a villain the show did not need. Heck, I remember the Zaheer's parts being the most enjoyable moments of Season Three, but still wish Amon had returned instead in several ways.

    Although I'd have had a lot less problems with Zaheer if the previous seasons had just built him up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    My issue with him is how his his ideals and beliefs immediately fall apart under the most cursory glance despite the fact that he is presented as a highly educated and otherwise well-rounded philosopher.
    I think the same every time I see someone portrayed as an wise and reasoned who is never asked questions that I think are obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
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    Well, my main issue. Secondary (but not far behind) issue is how upon gaining airbending, he immediately becomes a greater prodigy than anyone else, despite not having anyone able to teach him airbending, and having a cadre of massively overpowered benders who also specialize in rare abilities. Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't go back to the bloodbending well for the water bender, and even then I'm mostly convinced they didn't because of how a bloodbending villain was a large plot point in season 1 and that would have just been too on the nose.

    Like I said, it was pretty boring to me, and I wasn't eager to watch the next episode through the entire season.
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    But he was a massive Air nation fanboy for whatever spirituality means.

    In addition besides flight, Tenzin floors him in their fight, and even Kya who grew up in a time of peace is able to do alot better then anyone else due to her familiarity with the style.


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    I've never understood why the spread of metalbending is such a problem for people. I mean once Calculus was a rare art, now it's taught in high school.

    Toph was able to discover it, due to being an exceptionally talented earthbender uniquely suited to discovering it.

    And even then, a line for Bolin suggests that it's still rare for earth benders to learn. "1 in 100" I believe he says, which even if it's an exaggeration is still many earthbenders not able to learn it.
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    I wonder what if Zaheer was a noted airbender who was one of Amon's earliest "victims"?
    If there are surviving Sky Bison why not surviving Air Benders ala Jedi survivors of the Dark Times?
    Amon's reputation can be traced back to defeating Zaheer the leader of a group of radicals whose attempt to seize power is curtailed when Zaheer lost his powers to an unknown bender.
    Given Unalaq was part of Zaheer's group his identity and others a secret for their planned takeover.

    Kuvira's trauma can be linked to Zaheer's first attempt to seize power and Toph eventually becoming a recluse for the same reason?
    Could have made the Earthbender a prized student of hers could even be related one of her husband's making his betrayal that much more painful
    Would the Korra work better if there was some kind of link between them that furthers the plot?

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    Ironically I missed the episode that revealed Unalaq was involved!
    Last edited by Hopeless; 2020-07-28 at 03:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    I wonder what if Zaheer was a noted airbender who was one of Amon's earliest "victims"?
    If there are surviving Sky Bison why not surviving Air Benders ala Jedi survivors of the Dark Times?
    While there's a decent chance that Zaheer has Air Nomad ancestry (not hard, it's likely at least some Air Nomads weren't in the temples during the massacres), it's unlikely he was an actual Bender. At the very least he wasn't trained as one due to the widespread brief that Aang was literally the last. Any surviving Nomads would have done their best to hide their status and integrate into the Earth Kingdom, which would have included not telling their descendents about it until after the war ended.

    Notably if there were other Airbenders than Tenzin sprogging wouldn't be such a big deal.

    However that doesn't mean that Zaheer wasn't an Air Acolyte or a student of Air Nomad culture, and he picks up Airbending fast enough that he's certainly a trained marital artist and might have some familiarity with Airbending forms. But if he was a bender before then there's probably be more effort going into identifying other survivors or explaining why Zaheer is the only other person who recieved training.


    As a side note,I want to share my biggest disappointment with The Legend of Korra:
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    I was really looking forward to seeing the return of Agni-Kai and the Earthbending wrestling as mainstream sports equivalent to boxing and wrestling. Mainly because the two Agni-Kai duels in TLA were my favourite scenes, fast paced but ready to file combats with a clear win condition. Not the the Pro Bending thing was bad, but it was just not as fun to watch as Agni-Kai had been.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
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    Amon went after Korra because she was a Bender, her being the Avatar only mattered for the spin he could get ('even the spirits beleve I'm more right than the freaking bridge between the worlds'). He lets Korra go several times because he needs to depower her at the right moment for maximum impact. He's also possibly the most interesting villain, as the series spends a lot of time supporting the idea that he believes his ideals, and noticeably only ever bends to either take away others' bending or to save his life.
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    Does it? The only words out of Amon's mouth that we can trust to any degree at all come after Korra declares him as a bloodbender. His plans boil down to "I'm going to depower you, but not yet, because reasons". The only real hint we have for his motivation is a guess by someone who hadn't seen him in 20 years.

    Amon is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I appreciate Zaheer because he's just a dangerous, clever man who assembles a team of other dangerous people to hunt down the Avatar. There's no traaaaagic backstory or deep motivation necessary. He provides a dangerous challenge to Korra and reverts the usual "heroes as underdogs" dynamic, because it's mostly just four people.
    Last edited by Morty; 2020-07-28 at 11:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
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    Does it? The only words out of Amon's mouth that we can trust to any degree at all come after Korra declares him as a bloodbender. His plans boil down to "I'm going to depower you, but not yet, because reasons". The only real hint we have for his motivation is a guess by someone who hadn't seen him in 20 years.

    Amon is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I appreciate Zaheer because he's just a dangerous, clever man who assembles a team of other dangerous people to hunt down the Avatar. There's no traaaaagic backstory or deep motivation necessary. He provides a dangerous challenge to Korra and reverts the usual "heroes as underdogs" dynamic, because it's mostly just four people.
    That's another reason Im disinterested in Zaheer - there's nothing really there to him. He's just an *******.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
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    I was really looking forward to seeing the return of Agni-Kai and the Earthbending wrestling as mainstream sports equivalent to boxing and wrestling. Mainly because the two Agni-Kai duels in TLA were my favourite scenes, fast paced but ready to file combats with a clear win condition. Not the the Pro Bending thing was bad, but it was just not as fun to watch as Agni-Kai had been.
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    Eh, it makes sense that Agni Kai went away, though: it wasn't really a sport, it was dueling.

    The Agni Kai represented everything that had gone wrong with Fire Nation culture and leadership: power justifies itself, so violence is just the ultimate form of rhetoric.

    When the audience is introduced to the idea, it's exciting but also a shorthand demonstration of who the Fire Nation are: issues of personal etiquette amongst the elite are conflated with issues of policy that are then escalated to a physical struggle. It's exciting to watch Zuko and Zhao fight, but...what you're being shown is that the people in the Fire Nation with power have created a system where advancement of personal gain trumps putative ideals that define their nationalism and imperialism.

    The running theme of the Agni Kai is the bad faith engagement of Fire Nation elite. Zhao keeps fighting after he formally loses; Sozin doesn't just defeat his child, but maims Zuko as assertion of his absolute power ; Azula firsts calls for a fair match then cheats. It also demonstrates in that first Agni Kai why Zuko is an exile--he practices honor in good faith and sees power as a duty--while Zhao turns out to be a synedoche for the whole Fire Nation--the rules and ideals exist until they're inconvenient.

    We don't see the new Fire Nation much, but it would makes sense that Agni Kai would be downplayed, or outright banned, as part of a reformist regime. A political systems in which advancement and policy are tied to direct power contests is inherently unstable and rewards people with the most antisocial instincts. With time it might take on the kind of formal rules that differentiate sport fencing from swordfighting,

    Earth bending wrestling on the other hand is pure winning and probably still exists in the LoK timeline...but the region where it's practiced is politically unstable and desperately poor, so it doesn't have the profile of a sports practiced in a giant metropolis.


    Last edited by Yanagi; 2020-07-28 at 02:24 PM.

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    Finished!

    Absolutely fantastic! No complaints. Well done!
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Finished!

    Absolutely fantastic! No complaints. Well done!
    In the case I recommend you go back through the thread reading all the spoilers (well, except the Korra ones, if you're interested in watching that) to see the discussion you were missing.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Finished!

    Absolutely fantastic! No complaints. Well done!
    glad you like it. Its well-regarded for a reason.
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  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    What I feel like Legend of Korra highlighted most about the original Avatar show is how minimalistic it was, in a sense. Anything that could be left out, was. The world of Avatar is above all a fantasy world, and most of the details of that fantasy are left to the imagination. This would never occur to me while watching Avatar though. The world feels super alive, there are weird animals here, and a cool festival there, and this Earth Kingdom machinery and... Only comparing the show with the busy streets of Legend shows what's missing. Avatar pretty much only has details when and where they matter.

    And I think this also shows what Legend of Korra was never trying to be: another Avatar. It's a sequel, but not more of the same. And I can respect that. They didn't want to try and emulate greatness that wasn't their own and risk becoming a mediocre ripoff. If Legend was going to be mediocre, it would be so on its own terms.

    In another sense, because Avatar is a masterclass in leaving out, the world also felt very complete. When Aang masters bending and restores balance to the world (that's not a spoiler, that's the goal of the series since the intro to episode 1) it feels like bending has pretty much been explored completely. Here too Legend takes an approach of more detail. More different approaches to bending, different ways of looking at it emotionally, different new subtypes where and when they could come up with them. The whole family dynamics build around the siblings of the mentor figure, the whole drawn out picking between two boys plot, new people developing air bending. It's filling the world with chaos, with details and plot lines that are designed to not be cleanly resolved in a way the story was clearly headed for since day one. I don't even properly remember what logical series of events happened at the ending of the series, and I certainly couldn't summarize it in one spoiler free sentence like I did with Avatar's conclusion at the start of this paragraph. Legend of Korra deliberately takes perhaps the most central stylistic attribute of Avatar and takes a completely opposite approach to it.

    And all in all, I think it managed to be a pretty cool show. It certainly wasn't Avatar, but that's because it very much made sure it wasn't. It also wasn't quite as brilliant as Avatar, but it probably wouldn't have been that either way.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2020-08-04 at 03:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    I'd say that whether someone likes Korra, depends on the way you like ATLA.

    if you like ATLA because of the minimalist complete reasons lvl 2 expert just listed....probably not for you. which is valid, ATLA works as a complete self-contained story where everything is wrapped up, and for a while it was a self-contained story with little to no additions beyond that, there are side materials sure but you don't really need to read them to appreciate it, I sure haven't read those comics.

    if you like ATLA however because its a world you want to explore more well, then Korra is probably for you, because its basically an answer to questions such as "what is the origin of the Avatar?" "what do major villains of the other three elements look like?" "how does the progress of tech affect the Avatar World?" "what does a conflict between benders and non-benders look like?" "what is the story of an Avatar who isn't Aang?" "how far can the alternate bending styles go?" "what stories can we make out of all the stuff ATLA ignored?" things like that.

    whatever you think it, its certainly a different beast and intentionally so, I like and respect that, because why tell the same story again? you want to experience ATLA again, you already have it, you can rewatch it and it'll probably be a better experience than trying to replicate it. ATLA's lightning in a bottle you can't catch it twice. I like Korra because its different and while in some ways its not as good, I don't think you could fix it by just making it more like ATLA because the story structures are entirely different. if I could fix it, it'd be in ways to further emphasize differences and strength Korra has that ATLA doesn't so as to try and explore all the stuff ATLA didn't, better.
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    Default Re: Avatar The Last Air Bender

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    ATLA's lightning in a bottle you can't catch it twice.
    Tangentially related, but...

    When I first watched Community a couple of years ago, very quickly I was able to figure out that I had found something very special, and by the time of the paintball episode I knew that it was downright magical. Then, when there was a second paintball episode, I thought to myself, "no guys, don't do it, the paintball episode was a once-in-a-series occurrence, a high that should not be attempted again because when the climb falls short it is that much more apparent and disappointing." It was lightning in a bottle. And then I watched the second season paintball episode.

    They caught lightning twice.

    It can be done. It is just very, very difficult. But oh so wonderful when it happens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Tangentially related, but...

    When I first watched Community a couple of years ago, very quickly I was able to figure out that I had found something very special, and by the time of the paintball episode I knew that it was downright magical. Then, when there was a second paintball episode, I thought to myself, "no guys, don't do it, the paintball episode was a once-in-a-series occurrence, a high that should not be attempted again because when the climb falls short it is that much more apparent and disappointing." It was lightning in a bottle. And then I watched the second season paintball episode.

    They caught lightning twice.

    It can be done. It is just very, very difficult. But oh so wonderful when it happens.
    Part of that was how they used the paintball episodes though. It was never really about paintball. The first one was where they explored -essentially- a dystopian end of the world/roving gangs story that was used as a means of developing the relationship of Britta and Jeff. While the second two were a pastiche on first Westerns then Star Wars and focused first on dealing with Chevy Chase's growing villainy and then on saving Greendale (while also finishing up the last details of the evil Pierce story).

    What made them so good was what makes most genre fiction good really. An interesting setting/challenge used as a vehicle to explore the human condition.

    I'd argue that the Death Star in Star Wars served a very similar role. The first time it was the set piece used to showcase how unprepared and desperate the heroes were, while also providing the greatest challenge for Han to face up against to determine if he's willing to just let his new friends die or rescue them, and the unbeatable objective that requires Luke to truly lose himself to the Force. It worked great.

    In Return of the Jedi, I think it still worked quite well. It retains it's initial set piece showcase of the power of the emperor. But it also serves as the bastion of the Empire, unassailable and evil where Luke must go to defeat the Emperor in his own home and face against his father. Now while I think it works good, I don't think it worked as well as the original because it didn't really provide much more than just a challenge for our other protagonists Han and Leia.

    But like Community, where the setting worked damn well twice and it could have been used again in a different context in theory. Each subsequent Community paintball episode was not as good as they retread old ground. While by the end of Star Wars we get "here's a fleet of Death Stars! See how generically dangerous that is?" While it doesn't really do anything but add a time-limit to the other things the protagonist Rey was doing. And while it could have been a great challenge for Finn, Finn wasn't really anything of importance in the movie so it didn't quite work, for me anyway.

    Tangent aside. Part of what worked so well with ATLA was the awesome setting, of course. But what it was really about was -well many things- but I'm going to focus on war, genocide, forgiveness, and the role of violence in society.

    For me what made ATLA so great was that it took the points of war with it's basic view of good and evil, and challenged it. We saw why the villains were as they were, and even saw some honor and development in the initially uniformly evil Fire Nation. It took a simple premise used for the setting and plot and really ground down and developed it beautifully to the point that picking just one of the themes that ATLA is about you could write papers on what it is trying to say about the subject.

    Where LOK fell flat for me, for the first two seasons anyway, is that it seemed to do the exact opposite. It took this amazing complicated situation discussing topics of equality, means of power, the fairness of political structures and instead of developing them into interesting ideas, we keep getting excuses to simplify the situation so Korra can just punch it away.

    Which still left me thinking the show was fine. Smarter than a lot of other kids shows. But I still ended up dropping it. Because of that issue and because the characters just did not click with me.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2020-08-04 at 05:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I'd say that whether someone likes Korra, depends on the way you like ATLA.

    if you like ATLA because of the minimalist complete reasons lvl 2 expert just listed....probably not for you. which is valid, ATLA works as a complete self-contained story where everything is wrapped up, and for a while it was a self-contained story with little to no additions beyond that, there are side materials sure but you don't really need to read them to appreciate it, I sure haven't read those comics.

    if you like ATLA however because its a world you want to explore more well, then Korra is probably for you, because its basically an answer to questions such as "what is the origin of the Avatar?" "what do major villains of the other three elements look like?" "how does the progress of tech affect the Avatar World?" "what does a conflict between benders and non-benders look like?" "what is the story of an Avatar who isn't Aang?" "how far can the alternate bending styles go?" "what stories can we make out of all the stuff ATLA ignored?" things like that.

    whatever you think it, its certainly a different beast and intentionally so, I like and respect that, because why tell the same story again? you want to experience ATLA again, you already have it, you can rewatch it and it'll probably be a better experience than trying to replicate it. ATLA's lightning in a bottle you can't catch it twice. I like Korra because its different and while in some ways its not as good, I don't think you could fix it by just making it more like ATLA because the story structures are entirely different. if I could fix it, it'd be in ways to further emphasize differences and strength Korra has that ATLA doesn't so as to try and explore all the stuff ATLA didn't, better.
    The thing is, I liked ATLA for both reasons - as a "tight" story (which I personally think better characterizes it than "minimal"), and as a world to explore. A lot of why I liked ATLA was an "organizing principle", as Lethologica termed it last page, that there is (quoting myself) "a deep connection between movement, action, instinct, thought, and philosophy"

    And part of the reason I don't especially like LoK is that I would like to see more of that world according to that principle, and instead, the canon continuation broke that principle, and did so poorly. I'm doubtful that there will be the exploration of the kind of world I got from ATLA.
    Last edited by uncool; 2020-08-04 at 07:52 PM.

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