So, by now, about every Avatar lover in the entirety of Avatar fandom has probably heard that The Legend of Korra, Book 3: Change, is on its way to be aired this coming Friday, June 27th, 2014. And prior to the fast-approaching release date, four episodes (episodes #3-6) were leaked in Spanish, and for some with the right connects, they were accompanied with helpful subtitles.
I will admit, I have actually watched these leaks (please don't arrest me, government!), as well as the released Book 3 trailers, and they presage some truly amazing events to come. New characters, new looks at old friends, new places, new discoveries, new secrets, and some great nods back to ATLA. Though, surely, fans other than me have wondered...what comes after this?
No, I'm not referring to Book 4. Or, perhaps I am, but I'm also (more importantly) wondering what might come after The Legend of Korra. The creators of ATLA and LOK, from what I've read, have said they have no intention of creating another Avatar series. And that's unfortunate, for those of us who love the work they've done so far, but let's take a moment to consider the possibilities, just in case.
Avatar: The Future
Of course, the Avatar is just one in a constantly renewing Avatar Cycle. So, if there was any sure-shot way to go, it would be to follow on with the life of the next Avatar in the Avatar Cycle. And since we've had series based around both an Air Nomad and a Water Tribe Avatar so far, it would only make sense to have a series for an Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation Avatar, respectively, as well.
For one thing, this would give us a look further into the future of Avatar world. How similar is this world to our own? How deeply has the past affected the future? What new villains will arise to challenge the Avatar's character and capabilities? These would all be amazing things to see, especially since we've got some former knowledge of the history leading up to it all.
Not to mention, can you just imagine Korra acting as the voice of reason and wisdom to a troubled young preteen/teen in need of spiritual guidance? I know I'm not the only one who would be sitting in the back like 'Oh, please, like you wouldn't have done the exact same thing in their shoes'. Seeing past Avatars in more candid times helps us really appreciate any future appearances.
Avatar: The Past
And with all this talk of past Avatars, who hasn't wanted to see some of the Avatars previous to Aang? Certainly, fans would love to see a series based on Fire Nation Avatar Roku, and they would go crazy over Earth Kingdom Avatar, Kyoshi. This big-stompin', ruler-killin', island-makin', butt-kickin' machine was amazing in what little bit of TV screen time we've seen her in.
And let's be real. A series based on Avatar Wan would drive the fans absolutely wild. With just a single episode dedicated to his story, he has become one of the most popular Avatars, right alongside those to whom entire series have been dedicated (namely Aang and Korra). To see what life was like back in his time (the Lion Turtles, common-practice Energybending, etc) would be amazing.
There's even potential for a different series set-up, where each Book (season) could feature a different Avatar. And this has potential to keep going on for many years, like a reality show, a soap opera or (more hopefully) Star Wars, Doctor Who or Pokémon. After all, there were over 10,000 Avatars, right? Sounds to me, like they've got TOO much potential material NOT to make something of it all.
Avatar: The Miniseries
And if you're going to explore the rest of the Avatar universe, there's no harm in returning to where you've started. A great way to do that would be to put out a few mini-series (ie single season of maybe 13 different episodes), with each episode showing part of a given Avatar story from the comics. I mean, the comics are nice, but seeing the motions in action? That'd be pure Avatar-fan gold.
Not to mention, you'd be able to give those stories even more depth than what they already possess. Aang's friendship with Zuko happened pretty quick in the series, and we didn't get to see much of it before time to kick Lord Ozai's butt. So, what's wrong with making a little more of the good times? And really, people, 'Kataang love' giving Sokka the oogies is really best seen in motion.
Not to mention, the funny mini-stories, and underlying subplots! Who wouldn't give an arm and a leg to see some background as to Aang's budding fan group of Air Acolytes? Or a vivid animated retelling of the Gaang's touching search for Zuko's mother, Ursa? Not to mention, Toph's search for Metalbending students, and an animated expansion on her epic sparring match with Earth King Bumi!
The Order of the White Lotus
Okay, admittedly, this is a long-shot. Though, to be honest, the fact that this show is a long-shot, is a crying shame. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that children, pre-teens and teens are vastly underrated for their ability to appreciate suspense, espionage and political intrigue. If this show was put forth, it would almost certainly be a hit, given the proper angle, and the proper writing.
Just imagine it: perhaps you peek into the life of a new recruit (or plural, new recruits), Xiaolin-Showdown style (butt-kickers in training). This secret society helps out with various aspects of life throughout civilization, like a good version of the Illuminati. And there's the option to have them based around the time of Korra, any time after Korra, around the time of Aang or any time before Aang.
And in between episodes for the main plot, you can get a look into the exploits of bigger White Lotus members (Bumi, Pakku, Iroh, Piandao, Jeong-Jeong, and others). See in person how Iroh became known as the Dragon of the West, and witness a time when Pakku wasn't a stuffy old man, and watch Bumi's undoubtedly whacky adventures, and plenty more stories besides.
In all, it should be said right off the bat: the two Avatar series (The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra) are such well-written kids' TV series, that a whole multitude of options has been opened up, to be explored within the course of more series or miniseries events. So many discoveries have been made, so many secrets still have yet to be unlocked, and plainly put, we the fans all really want more.
It would be a shame to see the series die off on the note of The Legend of Korra, as though Korra's generation will just set the world right, and then there will be nothing else interesting to be said of Avatar World. There seems to always be some part of this world that is yet-unexplored and yet-undiscovered territory, as old stories can always use resolution, and new stories could always use telling.
True enough, it is unlikely many of these ideas will come to the point of fruition. Though, we fans can still hope and dream, right? Either way, I felt the opinions here simply had to be expressed. So, what do you think? Am I waxing poetic about a series that has run its course, or have I got a valid point about expanding this into a unique and exciting universe? Let us know in the comments below!