Legend of Korra: What Happened to Korra and Who Is Kuvira?

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The Madman:
Jeez, so much cynicism both in the article and in this topic. It's the first episode, give it time. It established a time frame, it established the current whereabouts of the main cast, and it began to lay the groundwork for a season-wide story arch. It did it's job just fine.

I think it's a bit early to be arguing whether Kuvira is too cliche of a villain for example considering we don't even know if she is the villain yet, nevermind fully understanding her goals and motivations even if she is the main villain.

Absolutely. I should have stressed that this episode and its representations of the characters was perfectly fine, but for my tastes it was nothing more than fine. Kuvira could go either way and I guess I would have liked for a stronger showing for her first reveal as antagonist. By the way, I'm guessing "antagonist" will be a much better title for her than "villain", but we'll see.

I'm sure the rest of the season will be something less divisive. I expect his was just the exposition before stuff gets rolling and the excitement of seeing the characters after what might have been a year between seasons would have been more fulfilling. Since it was only six weeks, it had a little less of an impact.

The part that disappointed me the most was perhaps that it was just a single episode. I was expecting a 2-parter. It kinda felt like it was going to be a 2-parter.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Kuvira is the villain, not exactly anyway.

From how things are going in the Earth Kingdom (extreme discontent, poverty, corrupt monarchies), how the rest of the world is reacting (it looks like no nation knows what to do with the EK), and the way Kuvira is presenting herself (as the Great Uniter or whatever), I'm getting huge FASCISM vibes.

I don't know if they'd actually go with a WWII analogy in LoK, but I think the true villain this season will be not just one person but a whole movement. Considering how the Earth Kingdom has always been a mess (at least since the times of Kyoshi), Korra or one of the world's leaders would have to do something about the EK to really improve it.

Also, what better way to end the franchise than having Korra, the latest Avatar, stopping another world war in the avatar-verse?

Just so everyone knows, the creators have said in an interview that they are dedicating an entire episode to just Korra struggling after Book 3. It is going to be similar to the ATLA episode Zuko Alone. This episode is entirely setup.

Happiness Assassin:
Just so everyone knows, the creators have said in an interview that they are dedicating an entire episode to just Korra struggling after Book 3. It is going to be similar to the ATLA episode Zuko Alone. This episode is entirely setup.

That could be good. That was certainly one of the better ATLA episodes.

Happiness Assassin:
Just so everyone knows, the creators have said in an interview that they are dedicating an entire episode to just Korra struggling after Book 3. It is going to be similar to the ATLA episode Zuko Alone. This episode is entirely setup.

... wish I could be excited for this. An episode like this is a fine line between great and cringe, especially because Korra already has the tendency to complain too much (I'm not a hater, I actually like her character, but even I think she should just suck it up sometimes).

giles:

jamail77:

snip

If the new Air Nation wants to be taken seriously, their first act shouldn't be meddling with the frail, anarchistic Earth Kingdom (they still haven't established a ruler, their actions could easily be viewed as an attempt to gain political power). Their vigilante acts is not so different from Kuvira's actions, albeit Kuvira is more organised to actually get shit done. She wouldn't send 2 young airbenders in training to fight a horde of bandits. I doubt the other nations would just buy into them being good natured.
I dunno maybe it will turn out that the Air Nation act as part of some kind of officially assigned UN task force or something, but right now it just looks like Tenzin making kids play Batman.

What? First off, while they were occasionally referred to as the Air Nation in the old show and here as well, they're not really a nation. They're monks/nomads/whatever. Tenzin evolved their role from that, of course. They clearly have been given a license to do what they're doing. They have been given acknowledgement regardless whether or not it's official. I don't see how they can be viewed as trying to gain political power considering not only how new they are, but also how FEW of them are. There's like what? Dozens of them, maybe? Yeah, that's a great force to seize political control with.

Yes, they're similar to Kuvira, but Kuvira is clearly aggressive about how she goes about things and if you're going to compare them to Kuvira then you can't call them vigilantes. She has sanction to do what she is doing as well.

To call them Batman is ingenuous; even with all the acknowledgement he gets he's got no license to do what he does. Tenzin was REQUESTED for help. It's not like there was an Avatar version of the bat signal that they turned on. The only reason he sent airbenders in training is because the Air Nation is spread so thin or at least that was my interpretation.

giles:

Opal didn't actually talk with her boyfriend regarding her problems with Kuvira (at least not more than a few sentences) and it's not like they acted like they had that talk in the past either. She bitches at Bolin for "abandoning" the people, who retorts with the good point that they can't do anything because the governor didn't want them there. She LITERALLY pushes him away and turns around, crosses her arms and sulks. What is she, 6? Got no fucking response to that? Oh noes, Kuvira doesn't just randomly hand out help, leave and let everything to go to shit again but instead wants to unite her broken nation, what a monster. After Kuvira makes the contract with the governor and Bolin looks happy, she turns her back on him. How is that not passive aggressive and childish? At this point Kuvira has done nothing wrong (despite the show trying pretty hard to paint the contract as evil) and her method seems more reasonable than the Air Nation's literally failing attempt to help them. Opal just looks like an idiot for being mad at Bolin over this.

Unlike the last point, this is just a matter of difference of opinion. I actually know people classified as inherently passive aggressive. I don't consider Opal passive aggressive in this regard because of my past dealings with passive aggressive people. They hadn't talked in the past because they're separated a lot, I'm guessing. Bolin made a good retort. The problem here is that Bolin knows that Opal just wants him to leave Kuvira. He's not THAT thick. That's why she turns around: She doesn't approve of what he's doing anymore. It's also been made clear that Kuvira's method of uniting while noble is not looked fondly upon. She has been called a conqueror, a person of destruction, and a few other nasty things, all by people who experience the side effects of what she does firsthand or who have witnessed the actual problems she addresses more consistently than she does (She comes in, does what she does, leaves, doesn't stay to get a bigger picture, or at least that is how it comes off to me). As for that scene of Bolin looking happy, she looks at him sadly then walks away. Again, I don't call that passive aggressive. She has made her beefs clear enough. The only reason she isn't more specific is because of how frustrated she is over the whole thing. For me to call her passive aggressive, she would have to be doing NOTHING but the things you are highlighting. At least, she somewhat describes her beefs. That's not true passive aggressiveness to me. Like I said, we're just going to have to agree to disagree here.

giles:

Kai didn't need to be in that scene. I understand that Opal has the useful side function of establishing that Bolin is no longer attracted to Korra (no more love triangles plz). Kai, however, could easily be replaced by Jinora or another of Tenzin's kids or maybe Bumi. Why do they all need to hang around their family? Kai can't be much older than the kids and he's doing his share. This is what I mean, Kai offers nothing that we didn't already have in abundance thanks to Tenzin having a shitton of kids, except for being Jinora's love interest.

Eh. Fair enough, I guess. I definitely agree with the "no more love triangles" sentiment. Dear god, NO. Just keep the creators away from the serious writing room. They're good world builders and visionaries, but their writing can get very iffy around certain topics, mostly political strawman and romantic stuff. They only wrote 2 of the fan favorite episodes of the old show and 1 of those was written with help from a colleague.

giles:

Mako was bitching multiple times about his detective job. The problem is that this is ALL I remember him doing. Did he do anything else? Yea, some stuff was tied to the plot about him being a detective, but that seemed more like an attempt to give him something to do. Bolin mentions Mako is sleeping under his desk (when Mako was once again bitching how important working for the police is to him) so I thought it was kinda implied that the job was shitty. Did we ever learn why his police work is relevant to him? He was a criminal first and then he was kind of a professional athelte and now suddenly being in the police is the most important thing ever. I don't get him at all and I don't even care anymore.

Again, difference of opinion is all we have on this point. I don't interpret Mako as constantly bitching. That's more what Zuko does. In Zuko's case, it was central to his character though and written well enough to usually not be annoying. He definitely is the character to give stuff to do, to the point that in Book 2 Lin and the police force had to be dumbed down, so he could have his big detective moment. And, he wasn't even a detective yet! I always got the impression that the job was important because 1) he wants to redeem his criminal past (personal interpretation), 2) wanted to provide for himself and his brother (somewhat implied, mostly personal interpretation), and 3) enjoys it/has more talent for it than other things (actually stated, we see him genuinely happy and figuring out stuff on his own as early as Book 1 with Amon).

Frankly, Mako is the one character to never fully grow on me. Every other character I had problems with has grown on me eventually, which includes Korra, Asami, Bolin, Jinora, Meelo, Lin, everyone really. So, I don't blame you for not caring.

jamail77:
What? First off, while they were occasionally referred to as the Air Nation in the old show and here as well, they're not really a nation. They're monks/nomads/whatever. Tenzin evolved their role from that, of course. They clearly have been given a license to do what they're doing. They have been given acknowledgement regardless whether or not it's official. I don't see how they can be viewed as trying to gain political power considering not only how new they are, but also how FEW of them are. There's like what? Dozens of them, maybe? Yeah, that's a great force to seize political control with.

Yes, they're similar to Kuvira, but Kuvira is clearly aggressive about how she goes about things and if you're going to compare them to Kuvira then you can't call them vigilantes. She has sanction to do what she is doing as well.

To call them Batman is ingenuous; even with all the acknowledgement he gets he's got no license to do what he does. Tenzin was REQUESTED for help. It's not like there was an Avatar version of the bat signal that they turned on. The only reason he sent airbenders in training is because the Air Nation is spread so thin or at least that was my interpretation.

Fair enough, I guess you could interpret it that way.
It just feels like it all goes against everything that Tenzin was trying to do in Book 3 - you know, rebuilding the Air Nation. Passing on the culture. Felt like they should be living more like the Air Nomads if that's what Tenzin was trying to do.
Guess the main the reason it annoyed me so much were those goddamn totally-not-a-superhero-custome-wingsuits. They all wore Air Nomad clothing and had gliders in the last Book. Is that out of fashion? Is this the new dress code for Air Nomads? What happened to passing on the culture? I could get behind it if it was some functional "uniform" for Tenzin's Airbender Task Force (TATF), but why are Tenzin's kids wearing it at the dinner table?

So, throughout all of its depictions, the Earth Kingdom has been basically portrayed as China. A (very) rough history of China shows that following the end of the Qing dynasty, there was a period of lawlessness and, thanks to the Yellow River changing course, widespread hunger and displaced peoples. Then came two men who both sought to unite China, Mao Zedong (who came from the people, was well loved, but extremely authoritarian), and Chiang Kai-Shek (who favored Democracy, was the favorite of more Capitalist nations *cough* Republic City *cough*).

Following this line of metaphor, I await Kuvira's Cultural Revolution. If they don't deliver, I will be very sad.

giles:

Fair enough, I guess you could interpret it that way.
It just feels like it all goes against everything that Tenzin was trying to do in Book 3 - you know, rebuilding the Air Nation. Passing on the culture. Felt like they should be living more like the Air Nomads if that's what Tenzin was trying to do.
Guess the main the reason it annoyed me so much were those goddamn totally-not-a-superhero-custome-wingsuits. They all wore Air Nomad clothing and had gliders in the last Book. Is that out of fashion? Is this the new dress code for Air Nomads? What happened to passing on the culture? I could get behind it if it was some functional "uniform" for Tenzin's Airbender Task Force (TATF), but why are Tenzin's kids wearing it at the dinner table?

I PERSONALLY don't feel like it goes against anything. He's trying to reestablish the Air Nation for the modern world. That requires trial and error. Hopefully, he is still doing some of what he was doing in Book 3 because I do hope they go back to the old culture and things like that. Like I said, in one of my earlier replies, I saw most of the Air Nation as secretly very selfish (Not to say that the real life peoples they're influenced from are, but the way they practiced? Most definitely). I want them to take all the culture and not apply it in the close-minded way their predecessors did. If the Air Nation has really changed into superhero costume wingsuit taskforce I'll be disappointed, but the fact Tenzin still wears his traditional robes does give me some hope, they'll addresses this the right way. Because there is a right way to address this. Then again, as you said, even his kids are wearing the getup.

On a side note, I get the feeling the wingsuits are influenced from Zaheer. His flying ability, without the use of a staff, made him OP. They can't gain the ability because of what it takes to obtain it, so wingsuits are the next best thing.

silverhawk100:

Following this line of metaphor, I await Kuvira's Cultural Revolution. If they don't deliver, I will be very sad.

That would be nice to see in the Avatar world. Let's hope the creators have only the minimum necessary writing control. They have a tendency to strawman more complex political matters.

Is it just me, or does Kuvira's army look like a fascist organization. the uncomfortable way they prey on people's fears to get supporters, the military dress that the pie-throwers were wearing in Republic City, and, for the love of shit, we get a quick shot of her soldiers wearing what amount to stormtrooper helmets. I'm calling it right now, definitely fascism

Mike Hoffman:

Absolutely. I should have stressed that this episode and its representations of the characters was perfectly fine, but for my tastes it was nothing more than fine. Kuvira could go either way and I guess I would have liked for a stronger showing for her first reveal as antagonist. By the way, I'm guessing "antagonist" will be a much better title for her than "villain", but we'll see.

I'm sure the rest of the season will be something less divisive. I expect his was just the exposition before stuff gets rolling and the excitement of seeing the characters after what might have been a year between seasons would have been more fulfilling. Since it was only six weeks, it had a little less of an impact.

In my defense, you do call Kuvira a villain yourself in the article, or at least refer to her in that context:

"It's still too early to really judge the character, but the villains from ATLA and Legend of Korra have often been more intriguing and better motivated than what we are seeing in Kuvira. This is the end of the series and the final antagonist should hopefully be more than someone craving power, especially after Zaheer and the Red Lotus, villains that were legitimately anarchists."

In season 3 we didn't actually learn anything about the antagonists till half way through the season, and Amon's motivations didn't come into light till the last few episodes. I do think it's far too early to be criticizing and comparing Kuvira to fully fleshed out antagonists with only one episode for herself to go on.

Heck so far the most simple villain in the entire franchise has been The Last Airbender's Firelord Ozai (Bwahaha, I shall conquer the world WITH FIRE), and people seem to love him just fine once he was given some screentime and built into a legitimate threat. Who's to say Kuvira couldn't do the same, even if it turns out she does just have simplistic goals of conquest?

In any case complaints of villainous cynicism aside, fair enough. Just going to have to wait and see where the show goes with all this and whether it builds up to something or falls flat.

The episode was good, I hope Kuvira will at least be a well intentioned extremist rather than an outright villain (or even a good guy), she seems pretty cool, a more throwback to the original series normal villains rather than super-special bender every season in Korra had until now. I bet that she was responisble for the plane stealing the food supply.

For the article, the problem with Korra was that she's written pretty badly with a lot of flip-flopping on her character and taking a step back every couple of episodes (especially in the 2nd season).

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