Avatar 3’s new story details quickly spark Avatar: The Last Airbender comparisons from fans due to the tease of a Na’vi culture centered around fire.
Avatar 3‘s recently teased story details have quickly sparked new comparisons between James Cameron’s blockbuster film franchise and Nickelodeon’s hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender among fans. Cameron’s sci-fi film series began in 2009 with Avatar, introducing audiences to the distant world of Pandora and the native Na’vi, who face humanity’s attempts to colonize the planet and claim its resources. Its 2022 sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, further expanded the series’ scope by leaving the jungles and floating mountains and taking place among the vast oceans of Pandora, exploring the fauna and cultures that can be found there amid further human interference.
Across Twitter, audiences have been quick to point out curious similarities between the Avatar franchise and Avatar: The Last Airbender following Cameron’s recently revealed Avatar 3 story details, where the director stated the third film would introduce a more aggressive Na’vi culture centered around fire known as the “Ash people.” Some users stated that they felt the director’s establishment of Na’vi cultures centered on different elements of nature was similar to the animated show’s society of nations that were able to manipulate a single elemental force. Check out a handful of fan’s observations and reactions below:
Is James Cameron’s Avatar Really Copying Last Airbender?
While Avatar‘s futuristic sci-fi setting and the more fantasy-heavy world of Avatar: The Last Airbender help keep each franchise distinct from one another, there are various details that each franchise shares beyond similar titles that once forced The Last Airbender‘s title to change. As previously discussed, each franchise has featured civilizations focused on the elements, with Avatar featuring Na’vi’s tribes centered closely around an element of Pandora’s natural world, while the world of The Last Airbender was composed of four nations who each could manipulate a single elemental force, Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. Furthermore, the film franchise’s introduction of a new Na’vi culture per installment is similar to how each of The Last Airbender‘s three seasons would be centered around the main group’s journey across a specific nation, giving further insight into their respective cultures and history.
Avatar and The Last Airbender‘s core themes both depict conflicts between nature and the oncoming threats of colonialization and industrialization. Avatar‘s battle over unobtainium and The Way of Water‘s RDA whaling efforts to harvest the miracle drug Amrita from the Tulkun are prime examples. The Fire Nation’s Hundred-Year War in The Last Airbender also tackled similar themes, as the far-more advanced and industrialized nation attempted to expand with their war machines, throwing the world into imbalance through their subjugation of other nations. Throughout the series, the Fire Nation also attempted to directly destroy natural elements such as the dragons and the Moon Spirit to assert their dominance, actions that could have far-reaching effects on the world beyond their imperialistic goals.
With both Avatar 3 and beyond being thoroughly planned and further Avatar: The Last Airbender continuations in development, both franchises are sure to attract much discussion and comparison in the coming years. As such, with their shared history, it is hard to ignore the growing similarities between both franchises. And while both series’ are distinct from one another through their explorations of family and genre, fans may still be curious to see how similar certain elements of their worldbuilding and thematics may ultimately be.
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