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Analysis: “The Legend of Korra” Book 3 Premiere Clip

Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

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Fans of The Legend of Korra need not wait much longer to see their Water Tribe gal pal bring balance to the world. “Book Three: Change” of Korra is set to premiere with, not one, not two, but three episodes on June 27th at 7 p.m. EST. We have an extended sneak peek of what is to come this season and descriptions for the first two episodes of the season, so let’s take a look.

First, let’s take a moment to talk about the release date: June 27th at 7 p.m. This is an abrupt announcement, especially given Nickelodeon’s track record for the release dates for Korra. This goes against many of the rumors that claimed that Nickelodeon was planning on having a big reveal for Korra fans at the San Diego Comic-Con this July. It’s possible that the accidental posting of four episodes from season 3 on MundoNick, Nickelodeon’s Mexican affiliate, has forced Nickelodeon to push up the release of this season in the U.S. Or, it’s possible that MundoNick’s leaking of the episodes was an indication that Nickelodeon was planning on releasing season 3 before Comic-Con. It’s difficult to say for certain, but it is rather abrupt; for the production team to release an official trailer sooner than they anticipated, and now seemingly releasing the new episodes earlier than they anticipated. It’s possible that Nickelodeon didn’t want the hype behind season 3 to die down, so they decided to cut their losses and release the season sooner rather than later.

The sneak peek seems to show the first five minutes or so of the first episode of the season. It starts with Bumi running after his dragonfly-bunny spirit pet named Bum-Ju (short for Bumi, Jr.), then Bumi falling off of a cliff and saving himself with Airbending, much to his astonishment.  We then see Korra, Tenzin, and Tenzin’s oldest child, Jinora, walking through a densely forested area, accompanied by a group of spirits. Korra, wielding what looks like her own staff (which takes cues from the design of Aang’s second staff), tries to clear away some of the vines, but it’s clear that the vines are spiritual in nature, as they grow right back. Jinora asks the obvious question of why Korra wants to clear away the vines, and Korra’s answer comes when she moves some vines to the side: the forest has sprung up right in the middle of a neighborhood in Republic City, obviously created as a result of the Dark Avatar’s attack on the city during the Harmonic Convergence, a few weeks prior to this scene. The spirits may like it there, but the people who were unexpectedly evicted may be a little less than thrilled.

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Korra flies off on her own glider to meet with the press, who are bombarding President Raiko with questions. Korra tries to appeal for more time, but Raiko and the press seem less than cooperative. Korra laments at her approval rate with the people she’s sworn to protect (8 percent), and wonders why she, as the Avatar, can’t figure out how to get rid of all the vines and vegetation that is restricting the normal activities of the city. We then cut back to Air Temple Island, where Bumi is trying to prove to everyone that he can airbend. We see that Bolin is living on the island, while Mako is staying at the police station, since their apartment is covered with vines. The clip ends with Meelo, at his uncle’s urging, throwing a plate at Bumi, who catches it with airbending.

This clip definitely shows that the people of Republic City are not happy with their new neighbors, the spirits, and they are even less happy with their Avatar. It also suggests that Mako isn’t so keen on seeing Korra, much less living on the same island as her, only a couple of weeks after breaking up with her. And then there’s Bumi, the only non-bending child of Aang and Katara, developing the power to airbend out of nowhere. It seems that Bumi is feeling the full effect of Harmonic Convergence’s shifting of the planet’s energy. Jinora’s questioning of Korra’s treatment of the vegetation, given the fact that the spirits call those areas home, shows that Korra may butt heads with spirits and maybe even Jinora over the course of this season.

This clip also raises an interesting point: are humans ready to interact directly with spirits again, without the Avatar to act as the bridge between the physical and Spirit Worlds? In the Book Two finale, Korra decided to leave the portals open, but she didn’t consult anyone except Tenzin, who basically said, “you do what you want and I’ll support you.” While it was clear at the end of Book Two, it’s now doubly clear that the transition from living without spirits to living alongside them is going to be difficult for the people of Republic City, and probably the rest of the world as well.

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Now let’s talk about those episode descriptions. The description for the first episode of the season, “A Breath of Fresh Air,” reads as follows: “After the events of Harmonic Convergence, Avatar Korra discovers that her decision to leave the spirit portals open has unexpected consequences. Wild spirit vines have overgrown Republic City and Airbenders are suddenly popping up across the four nations.” This description shows that the Harmonic Convergence has done something to the world besides just allowing spirits and humans to coexist. The shift in the planet’s energy that Korra mentioned at the end of Book Two appears to have started to correct the damage that the near-extinction of the Air Nomads caused to the world. Since the people of the Air Nomads are the most spiritual of all the nations, it would make sense that to restore spiritual balance, there should be more airbenders.

The description also implies that Bumi, Tenzin’s non-bending older brother, developed airbending powers because of this energy shift. For the episode “Rebirth of a Nation,” this is the description: “Korra, Tenzin and Team Avatar search for new Airbenders in an effort to recruit them and rebuild the Air Nation. Meanwhile, a band of sinister criminals are organizing to hunt down the Avatar themselves.” It seems that the various criminals that we saw in the Book Three trailer may be banding together to capture Korra. To refresh people’s memories, there are four potential villains seen in the trailer: an armless female waterbender who uses water whips as arms, a man who seems to be capable of bending magma, a woman with a near-identical tattoo to Avatar: The Last Airbender villain Combustion Man, and a man who appears to be a villainous Airbender. There are questions to ask about these criminals: why do they want to hunt down the Avatar? Why are they working together? What are their backstories? These questions and more will likely be answered as Book Three progresses.

“Book Three: Change” of The Legend of Korra premiered Friday June 27th at 7 PM EST with three episodes: “A Breath of Fresh Air, “Rebirth of a Nation,” and “The Earth Queen.” After this, the show will resume on Friday, July 11th at 8 PM, a timeslot the show has had before. Prepare for big changes for the Avatar as her world enters a new age.

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