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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

March letter from the Editors

Avatar the Last Airbender
%F0%9F%8F%86+Seras+Top+Photo%3A+March%F0%9F%8F%86+Junior+Brody+Rees+plays+guitar+in+the+band+Surprise+Sandwich+as+part+of+the+annual+Terrace+Got+Talent+competition.+
©HAWKEYE image credit: Seras Bryner

🏆 Seras’ Top Photo: March🏆

Junior Brody Rees plays guitar in the band Surprise Sandwich as part of the annual Terrace Got Talent competition.

In 2005, Nickelodeon released one of the most beautifully crafted shows to ever exist. What show, you may ask? Avatar the Last Airbender. I don’t say this only as a superfan of the show who owns an ATLA blanket – which I can proudly say I got for 20 dollars at Hot Topic. But the show is so well written where almost every movement written has a purpose and a lesson behind it.
I could go through and analyze every episode for what different symbols mean and why the animators chose to make a character act one way or another, but that would fill up this entire issue, and I am humble enough to let my dear friends contribute their articles. (Jokes, obviously).
But what am I gonna talk about instead since I’m not going into the details of the original show? Gosh… if only there was a new live-action version of the show that made tweaks to the original plot that I could talk about. Oh wait there is!
See, I don’t want to instantly go in and read the new live-action show and say that it was horrible – because it was a lovely adaptation but there were only a few plot points that I feel should’ve been added to convey different character traits of the main three (Aang, Katara and Sokka). I’m a fan of the show, the combat and some of the new changes did help modernize the show, but there’s a lot of aspects they [the directors of the adaptation] could’ve kept the same.
To begin, the adaptation portrayed Aang as someone more responsible than he actually was. In the animated show, Aang discovers that he’s the Avatar and runs away because he’s just a kid. He didn’t want the responsibility, and acted out of impulse and being nervous. He doesn’t have a plan and gets caught in the storm. But in the live-action, Aang – played by Gordon Cormier – was written as just having a hard time focusing, and taking a ride on his sky bison, Appa, to clear his head. His running away was showing how he wasn’t emotionally ready to take on this huge responsibility. The big difference between these two is that throughout the show Aang is learning, maturing and growing into being the Avatar. Part of maturing was realizing his mistake of running away. Although his running away wasn’t necessarily crucial to his character development, it sets up for the audience to believe that he’s really being thrown into a position he has no idea how to do.
The next part is something in Sokka’s character. In the series, Sokka is known to be very protective of his sister as a result of feeling like he needs to protect her after Sokka and his father failed to protect his mother in a previous Fire Nation raid. But along with this, his character is based around how he follows the water tribe customs and belief system. Part of this is him being misogynistic towards his sister and Suki, a warrior the group meets on Kyoshi Island. While I didn’t want Sokka to be outright sexist, part of his own character development is learning how to be a better warrior since he didn’t have the ability to bend. But to be able to become a better warrior, he needed to learn to be more open-minded to ideas and less stuck on the water tribe’s stereotypical beliefs.
Lastly, I have one more opinion that some people might disagree with – mainly people on the internet, though. The casting for the adaptation was absolutely lovely. Some people are criticizing Ian Ousley, Sokka’s actor, for seemingly no reason and I don’t think Ousley deserves the disrespect he’s given. He portrays Sokka in a lovely way, he’s the perfect mix of sarcastic and protective. Along with Sokka, the actress for Azula, Elizabeth Yu, people are saying that she is “not intimidating enough to be Azula.” I disagree with this, but it might just be my personal opinion.
Azula is a teenage girl in the series, and from my experience as a teen girl (crazy, I know) there aren’t many ways to make a girl simply look intimidating. She’s two years younger than Zuko, which makes her 14 years old. I don’t think we should be expecting an actress playing a fourteen year old girl to look like she’s already been to hell and back. I can admit that having to live with her father and be trained for combat is a huge part of making her more mature and intimidating in the show, but she is still just starting out her teenage years.
I’d also like to clarify that I am in no way a movie/show critique, I’m just a girl who’s been in love with Zuko since she was nine years old. But, since I’ve rewatched the animated show at least 5 times throughout the past 3 years, I’d like to think I have some kind of credibility when it comes to the masterpiece that is Avatar.
Overall I think the live-action show has done the animation some justice – more than the movie, at least.
Stay safe this spring Hawks, see you next issue!

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