What’s Next For The Last Airbender Universe After The Legend of Korra?

the legend of korra

The Legend of Korra is currently marching through its final season, or “book” as it’s known on the show. It’s had four, which is one more book than its predecessor series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, though I will say I am waiting to watch book four all at once, so I won’t be discussing what’s happened in it so far for this article.

Rather, I’m wondering what happens next once it wraps.

I remember being overjoyed that The Last Airbender was going to live on after its failed M. Night Shyamalan movie adaptation. A whole new series? It was almost too good to be true. And The Legend of Korra has delivered in every way. I’m not sure it’s exactly as good as the original series, but even if it’s 90% as good, that makes it better than most anything else on TV.

What’s becoming clear is that The Legend of Korra has demonstrated that the series may need a new home that isn’t Nickelodeon. The third book was yanked from the airwaves after falling ratings had Nick deem it unfit for broadcast. Now the entire fourth book is streaming online every week instead of on TV as well. The show is being treated like a webseries rather than arguably one of the best things on TV today, and one of the best animated shows ever.

the legend of korra2

My secret hope for the series is that it gets adopted by a streaming service like Netflix, which is a collection of every weird kind of genre show imaginable in a way that other networks aren’t. Like, I can’t even imagine what channel something like The Legend of Korra would have aired on other than Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network maybe. It’s not an “adult” cartoon like FX’s MA-rated Archer, rather it’s a “mature” cartoon for having actual mature themes that are too deep for many kids, hence the show being lower rated than most of Nickelodeon’s more mindless fare. To me, all of this adds up the Netflix being a good fit for the series to live on.

But how will it do that, exactly?

Obviously the future of The Last Airbender Universe will depend on how The Legend of Korra pans out in the end. At the end of book three, Korra was broken and book four appears to be about her journey back to the light. The time jump between Avatar and Korra was about oh, fifty or sixty years or so, and now I’m curious to see if a new series would jump forward even further in time, and what that would look like.

There are rumors that the show may want to do a full Avatar elemental cycle. The original Avatar (at least in the series) was Aang, an airbender. Next in the cycle is Korra, a waterbender. Then I believe Earth is next, followed by Fire. That’s two more potential series before the show starts repeating itself.

the legend of korra3

The Legend of Korra was a hit with fans because it brought back The Last Airbender’s characters in the form of either older versions of themselves, flashbacks, or their descendents. A major character in The Legend of Korra is Tenzen, Aang’s son, for instance.

If we jump forward another 60 years or so, who might we see then? The children of Korra and Mako (depending on if they end up together)? Bolin as an old man? Aang’s grandkids all grown up? It certainly seems possible.

But it’s not only the characters who age on the show, the entire society does as well. In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the world was more or less in the era of Feudal Japan. Then, it fast forwarded to something approaching a steampunk industrial revolution which included airships and cars. Would another jump forward take it practically do a parallel universe in a present day time period? The society evolves rather fast, it seems, so that doesn’t appear to be out of the question. Could Avatar work in practically a present day setting, or does it need to stay buried in the relative, fictional past a bit? I’m not sure.

I honestly don’t care what they do next after The Legend of Korra. I just hope it’s SOMETHING. I am not an anime person (debate if Korra is anime all you want), yet both series I count among my favorite shows as they convey complex plots and real emotion through animation in a way other shows don’t. I would hate to see that die because dumb kids on Nickelodeon would rather watch Spongebob reruns.

[Photos via Nickelodeon]

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  1. Please don’t even get me started on the Spongebob stuff.

    I’ve got all of the Legend of Korra ready to watch and waiting on my computer. I just need to do a binge like I did with Avatar. I watched the first 2 episodes and I loved the style and continuation of the story.

    I personally would love a “before” Avatar series – showing how all the Wind Benders got wiped out and the land before all of that. But I guess we got plenty of that back story already.

    Either way – I concur, we need more!

  2. I love AtLA. It’s not only the best “kids” show ever, it’s one of the best shows ever, period. And unlike a lot of Avatar fans I really liked the first season of Korra. The animation was beautiful, Korra herself was an interesting but flawed Avatar, Amon was an intriguing and sympathetic villain, and Asami was every bit as likable and nuanced as the members of the original Team Avatar. Sure, the pro-bending segments and pointless love subplot kinda dragged the pacing a bit, but it was a solid follow-up to Aang’s saga.

    After S1, however, the show rapidly became underwhelming. The animation became bland and lazy. Korra’s intelligence and competence varied depending on the needs of the plot. The villains became cliched and one-dimensional. Mako and Bolin continued to be mind-numbingly boring and useless while Asami basically stopped being in the show altogether. And don’t even get me started on Meelo.

    I realize you haven’t watched any of the fourth season, but I’m sorry to report that Korra’s “return to the light” arc is abrupt and unimpressive.

    I hate to disagree with you, but all signs point to the writers being out of ideas and/or tired. I think the best thing for the show is to end before it can do any more damage to itself.

  3. They can’t advance the timeline too much since the age of the benders will be over once someone figures out how to make a gun. Even from the start of Korra the spirits seemed irrelevant compared to all the new technology.

  4. The Last Airbender saga was meant to continue in a series of films after the first season of Korra, but Nickelodeon told them no and insisted on more Korra. You know what happened next with that show, obviously. They ended up having to release the new TLA stories in comic form, but there’s still hope that they will be animated if the property can be wrenched from Nickelodeon’s ownership. This is a job for the Avatar.

  5. I just don’t want it to be like Star Wars where every story links back to the main plot or main characters in some way. There are plenty of other stories in this world that can be told

  6. I think one of the biggest problems of Korra is that its advancing way too fast and not developing neither the heroes nor the villains at all, the first villain (mask guy whose name i can´t remember, but whose identity i was sure was going to blow my mind) started as a great villain, trying to wage a war that apparently no one wanted to fight by taking advantage of a corrupted government and misleading the public opinion, then (SPOILER ALERT…sort of) it turns out it´s some random guy nobody cares about and then something something robots, bending and he’s defeated, what about the other nations getting involved and getting infiltrated and stuff??? It had so much potential.

    1. I really wanted it to be a central villain (villains) or at least a single plot for the 4 books, similar to TLA. That is the main weakness of TLoK. This also affects character development. BUT korra was green lit as a mini series, so they had to make each season separately. I think if they could have used any plot for any season (maybe modifications with season 2), it would had been a great series.

  7. For whatever reason I feel that any expansion on the Korra/Mako fling in a future rendition of Avatar a bit insulting to the fanbase. #Reasons. No blatant spoilers here, at least. Now my Korra/Asami ship could stand to set sail any time now. Find me better character chemistry in the series. You cannot.

  8. Not trying to sound rude, but if you had looked into this topic, you’d know that The Avatar Universe will have no more television series after Korra. There will be a continuation of the Comic books, but the animation is done.

    The creators WILL however be making 3 completely new series, so look forward to some great Nickelodeon/Dreamworks animations in the future.

  9. “And The Legend of Korra has delivered in every way. I’m not sure it’s
    exactly as good as the original series, but even if it’s 90% as good,
    that makes it better than most anything else on TV.” This. Is. So. Accurate.

    I love Korra, I think it’s a great show, but like many tvshows the threat of cancellation made it hard to have a storyline spanning more than a season. With ATLA, the books were more like chapters of the same novel, with Korra they’re definitely more split up.

    I want more Avatar! Either past or future incarnation, i’m game for anything at this point.

  10. If you’re still on the Hypetrain and don’t feel like getting off just yet, tell me what you think:
    At the rate Society has developed in the Avatar series, It makes sense that 70+ years in the Future, they would be super advanced. They already have giant Mecha suits and spirit lasers in the fictional 1940’s., So I think it would be cool if the Next Avatar in the Cycle would be one from the future, where bending is used to finally reach space, the last frontier. I think that the next avatar should be a Sand/Metal bender from a sand bender colony resembling a kind of Tatooine from Star Wars. who works in the mines there, digging or repairing digging machinery looking for rare Spirit Ore to mine. Advanced society has pushed out the Spirits, and the Avatar. And because big business and progress has taken control, their could be a bounty out on the next Avatar, while the white lotus has been captured and disbanded. What I had in mind would be very similar to the Future in Samurai Jack but of course with the Avatar Twist, and a maybe no Aliens (though the show could totally go that route),
    The first bad guy could be someone who has controlled the town, and the mines since he was a boy, and this Avatars Motivation, is to free himself, and his people. He must have cool Desert Goggles, and maybe even be a descendant of Asami?
    Execs have been killing off my favorite series for a long time now, with Firefly, Young Justice, and now the Avatar series. It’s depressing. But, if it got picked up by another Network (or Netflix) it could be reborn with new creative freedoms! I want to see the Avatar series at least finish the Cycle, or give us an Earth bending Avatar. I hate to see potential go to waste, and it has such a rich story to it, it deserves to continue.. I think if Fans create their own stories, and post them, maybe some would Leak up to Mike and Bryan, and dedicated Fans could take the initiative and push it further. I’m not saying soon, but maybe in 2-5 years after things have cooled off, and they find some new inspiration?

    1. What would be the discovery from the second series that could push toward
      space travel?

      Aliens could be one. Spirits living on the moon could have told humans of other planets.
      Or, a character (good or bad) who use to look up at the stars at night and
      wonder, built up a company like cabbage corp with the goal of reaching
      space. Or maybe Future industries came up with the idea for mining on the moon after Asami and Korra went on their Romantic vacation into the spirit world and met the moon spirit

  11. The Korra story to me has been extremely underwhelming. In my opinion, the writers just did not know what to do with Korra, and at times seemed to lose touch with their creation. In almost every episode, Korra has her but handed to her many times. At this point in her life she would have been more experienced than Aang and more powerful. Yet if we look back on TLA, we see Aang as a young boy holding his own against all who tried to kill him. YEs, he was captured a few times, even struck down by Azula, but those times were few. Korra has her but whipped by less experienced benders on a constant basis. She always found it tough to deal with decent benders. I mean, she is the Avatar, she should be kicking but. Look at how the writers portrayed Roku and Kyoshi. Very powerful Avatars who no one could defeat. For crying out loud Aang as a young boy defeats the firelord. Korra has trouble with one skilled airbender in season 3, yet Tenzin owns him.

    Korra in my opinion never delivered. Aang always seemed able to handle anything. Korra never seemed ready to handle anything. ALways unsure, whiny, and to me very un avatar like. One of the most exciting elements of TLA was that Aang could speak with his former past selves. What do the writers do for Korra? Remove this from the storyline. What could have been great elements of story telling with Korra speaking with Aang and Roku, was removed. Horrible choice in my opinion.

    The series needs a break until better story lines can be developed. One with multiple seasons in mind rather than each season being mini series.

      1. Too late to reply,but…. Aang was a kid trying to discover about himself and the world.Korra was a teenager.Come on,guys. The teenage years are full of bad stuff.Korra lacked Aang´s wits and knowledge.She was powerful,yes,but reckless.What aang lacked in power he had in wisdom. I think that korra is destroyed every time to portray the teenage years.Many times she did not know what to do. And relying only on power she was defeated many times. The series shows her evolution as a Woman.

  12. Personally, I would like the next series to be a continuation of the original show with Aang. There are a lot of questions that go unanswered in the first series. (i.e. What happened to Zuko’s mom?) I would love to see these questions answered and then see how they panned out into Korra’s generation. I would also love to see how Aang and Katara’s romance played out as well. There’s just so many topics that a series like this could touch base on and do so well with.

  13. at this point I want to see a continuation of the Korra series or the last air bender series, you know to see all the untold stuff like zukos mum and what happens with katara and Aang. Or stuff like what happens to Korra and mako ( if they get together…….again). Anyway, I JUST WANT MORE AVITAR!!! Plz! Pretty plz?????

  14. I like avatar a lot but what happend in avatar the last airbender the search it’s only comics can’t they make a movie avatar the search part1 is all about zuko trying to find his mom but it’s only comics

  15. i think the problem of this cartoon is that they started with a very powerful villain…. aaman is the name i think.. then the next ones are boring…. lol… but not so boring.. i just think that aaman si very powerful that nobody can stand against him… korra just got lucky.. . . . . i guess.. LOL…

  16. The largest problem I’ve
    had with Korra is that it kind of lost its charm. It abandoned many of the core
    foundations of Avatar: The Last Airbender, they took sword fighting, and
    replaced it with mec-suits, they took the spirtuality and turned it into extreme
    sports. They had also taken the architect, and the time period in with gave
    charm to the Avatar universe to the extremes. For Example, in the final season,
    they had a literal 50 meter robot, seriously, that is literally more advanced
    than real life is.

    to really emphasize the major downfall of the series, in my personal opinion is
    the timeframe in with they advanced to they had cars, radios, and beginning to
    have movies. When time beforehand had moved extremely slowly, for example
    during avatar Yangchen’s time, technology was nearly the same, as Avatar Aang’s
    childhood. Also, the retire concept of “Republic City” was absolutely
    ridiculous. Which reminds me of another point, they shrunk the entire avatar
    universe to Republic City, and Zaofu. There was absolutely no sense of
    exploration, and free-spiritness, I felt almost trapped watching the series, continuously
    showing the same things over and over. It is a shame really that the Avatar:
    The Last Airbender, which I should remind everyone was targeted as an even
    younger age group, had a deeper plot, and liveliness in it than Korra did, at
    most times.

    Korra never had explored
    the avatar universe, to the extents of Avatar: The Last Airbender. They had the
    full potential to expand on it, as they had massive amounts of base material to
    work from, from comic books, video archives, and writings. It completely
    ignored the world; for example, the fire nation had the chance to protect the
    republic city, and maybe deepen the plot a little, but then they just make a
    spill about we had enough war, and we will only fight in defense. I honestly,
    saw that as an excuse to just lessen the plot more. It would have been much
    better for the entire Legend of Korra series to have a single focus, like
    Avatar: The Last Airbender. It would have had four seasons to develop the characters,
    and world without distractions like “making an entire scenario every season
    with little to no depth”.

    Also, what is with this
    Meelo character he is seriously the most annoying little kid character I’ve
    ever seen in any movie, animation, whatever. He little air bended farts, when I
    first saw that I had a near overwhelming feeling to just stop watching the
    series entirely, but out of respect of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I gave it a
    shot. Also, they had developed Meelo into a deeper character, they focused that
    he was a “Natural Leader” and “Artist”. While they developed his character they
    could have focused more on something more productive, such as, the story.

    Well, I’m going to end
    this little rant shortly with some recapping on what I meant. I found the abandonment
    of the core principles of Avatar: The Last Airbender a large reason for the
    series low ratings, and viewings. For Example, the Technology was too advanced,
    it didn’t explore the Avatar Universe, It didn’t develop a continuous story
    throughout the series, it had little context, and it had characters who passed
    the threshold of annoying, such as Meelo. Well, I hope people can respond to my
    little rant and give me some feedback.

  17. You should make an Avatar after Korra because all the world watches it and they love it, i love it too, i almost cried when you said you will shut down Korra.

  18. A genius firebender who forced to modify his brain in order to master the art of MICROCIRCUIT BENDING fighting against opression of multinational corporations and corrupt government. Whether he will stand proxy army of heavily armed cyborgs and save benders and spiritual mediums from aimed destruction?

  19. Im so late to this conversation but ill try my best to say something ideally smart, I do agree that the avatar series was awesome and all and it still is, things do change fast and all so i do agree on that,and yes there is a 50 50 chance that korra would go back with mako so i still have some bad feelings about that happening i mean he did break up with her, it would be hilarious if she goes with bolin since he and she share the same interest but we must let them think of some kind of plot point, anyways we all know that its an earth-bender avatar so we can’t go and say not earth bender, Or in my mind id think that it would be a water bender and be like, “Korra dies from birth and pops a new avatar out” XD i even made that feel weird but that is what i think but look at how many options we have, so many different once but anyways there is so many different solutions that can lead to the next series of avatar, i just hope that this helps clear the idea’s of everyone. Ps: im hoping for a female earth bender avatar XP.

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