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What Will the Avatar: The Last Airbender Movie Be About?

Avatar: The Last Airbender has grown in popularity since its original airing. What started out as a show on the Nickelodeon channel that faced numerous setbacks – including an erratic schedule – has transformed into a full-fledged franchise of its own. Comics, books, video games, even RPGs – the series has found its niche and has come back in force after The Legend of Korra finished its run back in 2014.

Despite all of this, new animated projects have yet to be released. There have been some animated projects announced, consisting of a trilogy of films coming to theaters. Paramount has announced the first Avatar: The Last Airbender film will be released on October 10, 2025. For a series known for its fantastic animation, this is an exciting prospect.

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With its release so far away, however, fans are in the dark about what the film could be about. All that’s known about the film is that, on Paramount’s release slate, it’s listed as an “Aang Avatar” film, and rumor has it that the film will be about a now-adult Team Avatar. And now that the release date has been confirmed, it’s time for the speculation to begin: what exactly will the film be about?

Parenthood
The Legend of Korra Kya Bumi Tenzin
Given that Avatar is a wuxia-inspired, heavily action based series, it’s likely that this won’t necessarily be the main plot (though it could be a very poignant one). However, this could be one of the central subplots of the film. Parenthood has been a recurring motif throughout both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. The latter series does go into a little bit of detail about what the original Team Avatar was like as parents, but didn’t explore it in depth and it’s not a major part of the lore.

The film could give some deeper insight into what the characters were like as parents. Only six of their children are known: Zuko has a daughter named Izumi, whom he’s yet to interact with on-screen, while Toph has two daughters named Lin and Suyin (both of whom she is estranged from for various reasons). Meanwhile, Katara and Aang have Bumi, Kya, and Tenzin; the latter two reflect on feeling left out on Aang’s education on Air Nomad history because they were not Airbenders. A deeper look into their relationship may reveal some more nuance. And maybe audiences will finally get a look at Sokka’s children, who are never mentioned in The Legend of Korra.

Early Equalist Sentiments
The Legend of Korra Amon
This is something that has been touched on in the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics. In Imbalance, Aang and the gang travel to Cranefish Town, the early version of Republic City. There, they find a group of bending supremacists led by an Earthbending woman named Liling, who views non-benders as beneath her. Aang nearly takes her bending away as punishment, but Katara persuades him not to, reasoning that bending is a part of her, and that that punishment should be reserved for only the worst criminals. To compensate and allow for an equal playing field for benders, Suki teaches the police department of Cranefish Town chi-blocking, which later becomes the signature weapon of the Equalists.

How Equalist teachings become so wide-spread by the time of The Legend of Korra is a story that has yet to be told. Having it be the central theme of the film may just be one way to bridge the gap between the two eras. It may also allow for some interesting action pieces and removes one of Aang’s greatest abilities off the board: he can’t simply remove his enemy’s bending, and as a pacifist, he would have trouble facing an army of non-benders. Their attacks are very similar to an Airbender’s evasive abilities, meaning Aang would need to use finesse in order to defeat them. And while Aang did have an adversary who could chi-block, Ty Lee, he never faced off against her in the course of the Avatar: The Last Airbender storyline.

An Azula Redemption
Avatar The Last Airbender Azula in the Throne Room
Azula is absolutely a fan favorite character and one of the best villains in the Avatar franchise. Her deviousness and perfectionism resulted in an antagonist that was resourceful, deadly, and nearly always two steps ahead. But this culminated in a break-down for Azula: unable to cope with the realization that she was flawed and that, while she thought being feared and respected could replace it, love was what she desperately needed, Azula ended up defeated by Katara at the end of the original series.

In the comics, Zuko eventually releases Azula so that she can help him find their long-lost mother, Ursa. The two succeed, but years of feeling neglected and unloved by her mother keeps Azula on her path of villainy. She runs off, and is next seen trying to mould Zuko into the Fire Lord she thinks he should be, before once again being defeated. She hasn’t been seen since.

A redemption for Azula is something that many fans have been speculating about since the original series ended – and Avatar: The Last Airbender is famed for having one of the best redemption arcs of all time – though fan opinion is split on whether it should happen or not. Some want Azula to stay the devious character she’s always been. Others, however, think that Azula is much more like Zuko than she cares to admit: she’s an abused child who was indoctrinated to believe wholeheartedly in the Fire Nation’s imperialistic policy. A popular fan theory holds that Azula did get redeemed eventually, and ended up as the shaman who helped Korra regain her memories in The Legend of Korra Book 2. Could Zuko finally pull her back from the brink?

Red Lotus Formation
The Legend of Korra Red Lotus
The Red Lotus are the major antagonists of The Legend of Korra Book 3. They’re a terrorist splinter cell of the Order of the White Lotus, which they felt strayed from its original intention as a secret society in order to become glorified body guards for the Avatar. Little is known about what happened in this schism, except for the fact that it was founded by a member known as Xai Bau.

While Korra didn’t know about their existence, the Red Lotus was not a secret to the Order of the White Lotus, and existed at least since Korra was a little girl. It’s possible their roots trace back to Aang’s time, and that he had to deal with them on more than one occasion. Seeing the origins of this particular schism could provide additional context for the fan-favorite villains from The Legend of Korra.

Fire Nation Civil War
Avatar The Last Airbender End of the War
The Fire Nation was defeated at the end of the original series, but the comics show that the transition towards peace wasn’t an easy process. Zuko faced numerous assassination attempts, and a group known as the New Ozai Society wanted to overthrow him and reinstate his father, Fire Lord Ozai, as the head of the country.

While the Fire Nation is still on its peaceful path in The Legend of Korra, there’s nothing that says the Fire Nation didn’t undergo another period of turmoil. If the film does bring back Azula, and she’s still on the wrong path, then perhaps she can serve as a figurehead for Fire Nation imperialists to rally around.

Or perhaps a new character could be riling up the nobles around the Fire Nation, trying to incite another war. It’s clear that the Hundred Year War left a deep scar on the planet, and it would be well within the themes of the series (and very timely) for a demagogue to rise, promising renewed prosperity (i.e. war) for the Fire Nation.

The Legend of Korra Avatar Korra
It’s almost a certainty that the film will bridge the gap between Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Seventy years separate the two series, and very little of that time period has actually been filled in. The industrialization process has only just begun in Aang’s time, and has resulted in widespread urbanization by Korra’s time.

Many characters from the original series have unknown fates. Sokka is probably the least developed character post-original series; it’s not even known who or if he married. Suki has yet to be seen in any content post-comics (which are, at most, three years past the end of the original show). Ty Lee and Mai’s fates are unknown (it’s generally assumed Mai is Izumi’s mother, but she and Zuko are not currently together in the comics). The film might finally touch on what happened to these characters.

Regardless of what the film will be about, it’s an exciting prospect to be able to see Team Avatar all-grown-up in a feature-length project. The world of Avatar has many more stories to come, but for the sake of nostalgia (the film will drop the same year the franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary), it’s comforting to be able to return to familiar characters. Hopefully, it makes enough money for sequels to follow.

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