Please Let F.C. Yee’s Kyoshi Sequence Be the Next Avatar: The Last Airbender Movie

When it rains, it pours! Waterbender or not, the deluge of current Avatar information is certain to please any fan of The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra. I began drafting this essay just a few weeks in the past, just for a giant announcement to derail my unique angle in the very best method: Three new Avatar motion pictures are on the best way, and it’s attainable that considered one of them is likely to be precisely what I pine for within the following paragraphs…

F.C. Yee’s Kyoshi duology expanded the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, giving the titular bender a much-deserved stint within the highlight. The books are wonderful fodder for an adaptation, bringing Kyoshi again to screens to earthbend her method into the bigger fandom (particularly for many who haven’t learn the books but).

 

The Story So Far

Lots to unpack right here. Let’s begin with the novels.

F.C. Yee and Avatar co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino authored The Rise of Kyoshi and The Shadow of Kyoshi, launched in July 2019 and July 2020, respectively. Best consumed as two halves of the identical story, the Kyoshi sequence gives an unprecedented look into the Earth Kingdom Avatar. Though she was identified for nice feats of bending and defeating Chin the Conqueror, Kyoshi’s private historical past remained murky and mysterious earlier than this level—which is truthful, contemplating the unique present needed to deal with Aang and Roku already. The books crammed many gaps in Avatar lore, and Kyoshi proved a compelling protagonist. (You can learn my full evaluate of every e-book on the two hyperlinks above for extra context.)

Now, let’s speak concerning the tumultuous journey to extra on-screen Avatar content material. It’s particularly related right here, as a result of sure rumors point out a Kyoshi film might quickly be a actuality.

Netflix picked up a live-action remake of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and in 2018 the unique collection creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino signed onto the undertaking as govt producers and showrunners. Barely a whisper concerning the undertaking was heard for just a few years. Then in 2020, DiMartino and Konietzko introduced their departure, citing inventive variations, with DiMartino stating:

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar has the potential to be good. It may grow to be a present lots of you find yourself having fun with. But what I could be sure about is that no matter model finally ends up on-screen, it is not going to be what Bryan and I had envisioned or supposed to make.

The Netflix remake continues to be on its method. Personally, as an ATLA fan, I’m hesitant (at finest) to really feel any pleasure for it contemplating the best way issues went down.

But then, a glimmer of hope. In 2021, Nickelodeon introduced the creation of Avatar Studios with Konietzko and DiMartino appointed as co-Chief Creative Officers. Avatar Studios is slated to provide content material for Paramount+, theatrical launch, and different platforms. This is what each Avatar fan deserves, and it’s considerably of a shock contemplating Nickelodeon’s poor therapy of The Legend of Korra in the course of the collection’ preliminary run. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

Fast-forward to the newest announcement: three new Avatar motion pictures are on the best way from Avatar Studios. Rumors abound, significantly in terms of who the protagonists of every movie might be. Take all of this hypothesis with a grain of salt—they’re nonetheless unconfirmed rumors, in any case—however it’s attainable that the films will deal with Kyoshi, Zuko, and Korra and launch in 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively.

(Quick apart: I desperately hope the Zuko movie adapts The Search, however that’s one other article completely).

And that’s the place we stand. A Kyoshi film seems seemingly (at the least, extra seemingly than it did after I began writing this text!), and I hope F.C. Yee’s wonderful Avatar tales make their method into the upcoming movie.

 

Rise: A Unique Avatar Yarn

The Kyoshi duology cleverly subverts different tales in The Last Airbender universe by providing an unprecedented premise. Kuruk, the earlier Avatar, handed away seven years in the past, and his Earth Kingdom successor has been misidentified. The kicker? Kyoshi is a servant to Yun, the incorrectly recognized Avatar.

Two of Kuruk’s companions are accountable for mistakenly misidentifying Yun because the avatar: Jianzhu, an Earth Kingdom sage, and Kelsang, an Air nomad. During a struggle with some pirates, Kyoshi unleashes a devastating show of bending worthy of an Avatar. Jianzhu seeks the counsel of a spirit named Father Glowworm to verify that Kyoshi is the Avatar. The spirit does so, then assaults Yun. Kelsang, studying that Jianzhu has taken Kyoshi and Yun to the spirit, follows and shortly learns of Kyoshi’s true nature. Kyoshi tells Kelsang that Jianzhu sacrificed Yun to the spirit. The two former companions of Kuruk trade blows, ending in Kelsang’s dying. Kyoshi enters the Avatar State, practically killing Jianzhu earlier than she regains management of herself. She flees to her house and runs away along with her Fire Nation companion (and Yun’s bodyguard), Rangi.

Soon, Kyoshi meets a ragtag gang of outlaws, the Flying Opera Company. She and Rangi fall into their ranks, following within the footsteps of Kyoshi’s late mother and father, who left the title of the corporate in a pocket book. Here, Kyoshi learns to harness her bending talents, studying from the members of the troupe as she vows to hunt revenge in opposition to Jianzhu.

The Rise of Kyoshi builds and shapes an interesting story on this dramatic premise, showcasing an Avatar coming into her energy by unconventional means others may discover questionable. Throughout the e-book, political unrest rises to a fever pitch whereas a strong and violent prison escapes imprisonment. I’ll spare you the spoiler-y particulars; the story steadily ups the stakes as Kyoshi learns extra of her talents, and it’s a pleasure to expertise. The ending locations lots of the characters on ready-made sequel arcs, which brings us to…

 

Shadow: Reigniting the Fire Nation

After a bending-filled climax, a yr passes and we choose up Kyoshi’s story within the sequel. One yr has handed, and Kyoshi spends a number of her time taking down small-fry criminals in and round Ba Sing Se.

Soon, she hears a rumor {that a} buddy, presumed lifeless till now, has resurfaced. Then Fire Lord Zoryu asks for Kyoshi to assist settle a political squabble within the Fire Nation.

Kyoshi travels to the Fire Nation, the place she discovers that Zoryu’s half-brother Chaejin is plotting to usurp the Fire Lord. Meanwhile, Kyoshi makes an attempt to decipher religious messages from her predecessor Kuruk, although she finds her connection to the spirit world wants strengthening earlier than she will use it to her benefit.

The Shadow of Kyoshi offers us the perfect glimpse into Fire Nation politics since Aang’s propaganda-laced stint as an impostor pupil in the course of the unique ATLA run. Kyoshi exists two lifetimes earlier than Aang, so we see a nation dominated by a somewhat-sensible Zoryu as an alternative of a genocidal maniac. Shadow is well worth the learn for this alone, as we get a peek into how the Fire Nation operates when it isn’t an aggressively invading, world-threatening pressure. The political battles really feel small-scale in comparison with what we all know of the Fire Nation of later years. While some may yearn for the world-spanning treks of earlier Avatar content material, I look again at Shadow and recognize the perception it offers us into the Fire Nation’s previous.

Plus, what would an Avatar story be and not using a deep dive into the protagonist’s connection to the spirit world? Shadow delivers this in spades as Kyoshi pines for a solution to search counsel from her previous life.

I’m staying tight-lipped on among the juicy story particulars right here as a result of a lot of Shadow spoils Rise. For what it’s value, I most well-liked the primary installment barely greater than the second, however collectively they make one hell of an Avatar story. Shadow gives loads of wonderful supply materials on which a film can draw, additional cementing Kyoshi’s legacy as a strong bender and a ruthless harbinger of justice.

 

Outlook: Very Likely

What’s the subsequent closest factor to a assure? Because that’s what I supply right here. The dominos are stacked, prepared for somewhat push that units off the chain response.

As talked about above, Avatar Studios is making three Avatar universe motion pictures, and considered one of them might probably deal with Kyoshi. F.C. Yee wrote two full-fledged Kyoshi novels with ATLA co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino. Kyoshi has a full backstory, ripe for the silver display. It actually looks as if a no brainer.

Of course, there’s at all times the chance that the rumored Kyoshi film might revise or reinterpret Yee’s works, cherry-pick sure parts, or select to inform a special story completely. That’s why I can’t fairly name this a positive factor. Kyoshi based Kyoshi Island and the Kyoshi Warriors, and we solely received a short glimpse into her battle with Chin the Conqueror within the unique collection—untapped Kyoshi tales do exist past these books, however F.C. Yee’s novels present such a deep, cohesive introduction to the character and her origins that they now appear important to our understanding of Kyoshi and her world.

The Earth Kingdom Avatar has a compelling story to inform, and if Avatar Studios does draw on this explicit properly for a possible Kyoshi film, followers can have each cause to have a good time.

Cole Rush writes phrases. Lots of them. For probably the most half, you’ll find these phrases at The Quill To Live or on Twitter @ColeRush1. He voraciously reads epic fantasy and science-fiction, in search of out tales of gargantuan proportions and devouring them with a bookwormish fervor. His favourite books are: The Divine Cities Series by Robert Jackson Bennett, The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, and The House within the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune.

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