Avatar: The Last Airbender

A greeting from our childhoods


Aya Kasim, Staff Writer

As of May 15, Avatar: The Last Airbender found itself, with full 3-season wisdom and grandeur, on Netflix. Finally! Personally, I like to believe our generation has me to thank for this gift, that the dozens of requests I put in for this show over the years have graciously been accepted; however, deep down I know that is not true. In actuality, this sudden offering from the Netflix corporate gods was strategically planned as ever. Later this year, production will begin on a live-action remake of Avatar. The show, by its original creators, will be made new with modern cinematography. But wait, that is many tomorrows from now. Today, we relive our childhoods. 

Avatar was special. Avatar was never done before. Avatar is still what it is today.  

Too often when rewatching a childhood favorite, we find the cracks in our past perception; we realize that the plot is predictable, the dialogue nothing too special, or the visuals unimpressive. However, none of that can be said about this show. Even 15 years after its premiere, it still does not disappoint. Rewatching it now, I feel like a small child again. The action scenes still excite, the plot intrigues, and the characters are just as lovable as before. I began episode one knowing the ending of episode 61, recalling all that will transpire, but the show still shocks me with its intricacy. 

Many notable and darn-right classic fantasy shows/movies find their beginnings in novels: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Hunger Games to name a few. However, Avatar was an idea so powerful that it paved the way in the opposite direction. Beginning as a show, a widely beloved one, it was made into a comic, then granted a movie, and a spin off series. 

With this show, an expectation was set. As mere toddlers and elementary kids, we were introduced to powerful themes such as war, oppression, and genocide through Avatar and taught kind and humane response to such. The show was about a world so different than ours, one of element bending and spirits, but we still adopted lessons from it easily. We learned the importance of all kinds of family, of trust in our being, and of acceptance and unity. Avatar did what art is meant to do; Avatar changed us for the better.  

As I watch the show today, my little sister by my side, unknowing to what is to come and just as immersed as I was years ago, I find I am grateful for the experience and oh so aware of the passing time. My childhood is found between the movement of these scenes just as these scenes are found between the pages of my being.