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The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra (originally titled Avatar: The Legend of Korra) is an upcoming American animated television series that is expected to air on Nickelodeon in mid-2012. The series is a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, which aired on the same network from 2005 to 2008, and may run for 26 episodes. It will take place in the same fictional universe as the original show. The world is influenced by a multitude of cultural and ethnic elements which are heavily influenced by Asian and Inuit cultures. In it people may have the supernatural ability, known as bending, to control and manipulate either water, earth, fire, or air. There is one person known as the Avatar, who maintains balance between the four nations and is the only person who can bend all four elements. Korra, the hotheaded independent protagonist of the series, is the next incarnation of the Avatar after Aang from the original series. Set at least seventy years after the defeat of Phoenix King Ozai and Princess Azula in the four-part series finale of the original show, creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko plan to follow Korra as she learns Airbending while facing an anti-bender revolution.
The series will focus on Korra, a teenage female protagonist from the Southern Water Tribe and the current incarnation of the Avatar, who, according to the president of Nickelodeon, will be “hotheaded, independent, and ready to take on the world.” She has already mastered the elements of Water, Earth, and Fire, but needs to master Air. The character was partly inspired by Avatar Kyoshi of the original series, who the creators say was very popular among fans. In order to avoid repetition of Aang’s adventures, the creators wanted to root the show in one place, called Republic City, a steam-punk style metropolis where people of all nations, benders and non-benders, live together, founded by Aang and Zuko and built after the 100 year war. The city’s police are metalbenders led by Toph’s daughter and taught by Toph herself. A group of anti-benders, called the Equalists, use chi blocking skills to subdue their enemies. A concept drawing of the city, released with the announcement of the series, shows the city’s design as inspired by Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s, Hong Kong, Manhattan, and Vancouver. There are Pro-Bending teams, but Airbending is not included. In the show, Korra will have to learn Airbending from master Tenzin, son and youngest child of Avatar Aang and Katara, and contend with an anti-bender revolution taking place in Republic city. The final design of Korra was revealed at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, along with her Animal Guide, who will be a Polar Bear Dog called Naga. Aang has found a new breed of flying bison after the war, and there will also be new flying lemurs called Ring-Tailed Winged Lemurs. They will not appear much until the second season.
It was announced at the annual Comic-Con in San Diego on July 22, 2010 that a series based on Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently in development at Nickelodeon and due for release sometime in November 2011. It will involve Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators and producers of the original series.Tentatively titled “Avatar: Legend of Korra”, it was intended to be a twelve-episode mini series that takes place in the same fictional universe as the original show, except seventy years later. Recently it has been announced that an additional 14 episodes have been ordered, bringing the total episode count to 26. The show’s premiere was announced at San Diego Comic Con that it will be delayed to 2012 due to the addition of 14 episodes. It has also been confirmed in the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 that the first twelve episodes will be in the first season and the other fourteen in the second season.
The show is expected to be darker and more mature than the original show; however, the creators are not attempting to target a new audience, intending to balance mature themes with a sense of fun and adventure. Furthermore, there will be some “cheesy teen romance” for the main character, Korra. The creators also confirmed that they will personally write all of the episodes, explaining that, as a mini-series, filler episodes will be omitted, allowing for a “really tight” and “cool” story. Joaquim Dos Santos and Ryuki Hung, who worked on the animation and design of the original series, will also be involved in this show, as well as storyboarder Ian Graham. Furthermore, Jeremy Zuckerman, who composed the soundtrack for the original series as part of “The Track Team”, will also be returning to score “Legend of Korra”.
Dante Basco, voice actor of Prince Zuko in the first series has confirmed his return to the series. He has confirmed via Twitter that he is voicing a different character than Zuko, but that character is related to Zuko in some way. Basco also confirmed that one of the episodes is currently titled “Skeleton in the Closet”. Similarly, Dee Bradley Baker has confirmed that he will also return to the series, voicing several animals and humans. He also called the series “The Journey of Korra”, though it is unknown if that will be a potential title. Rob Paulsen has confirmed that he and Eva Marie Saint will both voice characters in the series, although Paulsen’s role will be relatively minor. Richard Epcar is also confirmed to be portraying a character.
Korra (Janet Varney, Cora Baker in a flashback) is the main character of the series and the next Avatar, after Aang. She is a hot-headed and rebellious teenager from the Southern Water Tribe who is “ready to take on the world”. By the beginning of the series, she has learned waterbending, earthbending, and firebending and is learning airbending from Tenzin, Aang and Katara’s youngest son. Korra has a pet polar bear dog named Naga as her animal guide.
Bolin (P.J. Byrne) is one of Korra’s friends and an earthbender. In contrast to his older brother Mako, Bolin is often light-hearted and humorous. He participates in pro-bending, a sport in United Republic. Bolin has a pet Fire Ferret named Pabbo.
Mako (David Faustino) (mah koh) is a firebender, another of Korra’s friends, and Bolin’s older brother. He is described as being “dark and brooding”. He participates in the pro-bending sports with Bolin. He is named after the late voice actor who provided the voice of Iroh in the original series.
Tenzin (J. K. Simmons) is Korra’s airbending master. He is the youngest and only airbender of Aang and Katara’s three children. Tenzin had three children himself, all airbenders.
Jinora (Kiernan Shipka) is Tenzin’s eldest daughter. She is known to be a bookworm and an airbender.
Ikki is Tenzin’s youngest daughter, second child, and is described as “fun, crazy, and a fast talker.” Ikki is also an airbender.
Meelo is Tenzin’s only son and the youngest of his three children. Meelo looks a lot like Aang and is said to be wild, opposite his father’s zen personality. Like his sisters, Meelo is also an airbender.
Pema is Tenzin’s wife, a non-bender, and the mother of Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo. She is currently pregnant with her fourth child.
Amon is a mysterious masked man who leads “The Equalists”, an anti-bending organization which uses chi blocking skills to subdue their foes.
Chief Bei Fong is Toph’s daughter and head of the Republic City police. The police use metalbending to subdue criminals, taught to them by Toph herself.
Naga (Dee Bradley Baker) is Korra’s female Pet Polar Bear Dog and animal guide.
Pabbo (Dee Bradley Baker) is Bolin’s black footed red panda ferret (Fire Ferret).
Hiroshi Sato (Daniel Dae Kim)
Asami (Seychelle Gabriel)
Lieutenant (Lance Henriksen)
(Eva Marie Saint)