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Old September 28 2013, 10:07 PM   #136
Christopher
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
How does this relate to my suggestion for Korra's journey? Korra can bend all four elements, something no one else can do. Then she lost her ability, then got it back. How did this happen? I don't know and she doesn't know either but her ability came back and all is good.
Yes, she does know, and so do we. Bending is based on a spiritual connection to one's national element, or in the Avatar's case, to all four elements. Korra's connection was severed by Amon's bloodbending, but when she was vulnerable enough to be open to connecting with Aang and the past Avatars and to enter the Avatar State. As Avatar Roku defined it in the second-season premiere of A:TLA, "The Avatar State is a defense mechanism, designed to empower you with the skills and knowledge of all the past Avatars. The glow is the combination of all your past lives, focusing their energy through your body." The knowledge of past Avatars included Aang's energybending knowledge, which Korra was able to use to restore the severed connections, both her own and those of everybody else Amon had victimized. Either that or her connection to the energies of past Avatars also let her bypass the block on her own water-, earth-, and firebending and reconnect to those elemental sources through her forebears' links to them.


I thought a good journey for her might have been to go through what I described above… First she (possibly with the help of a guide) reaches into herself, perhaps through the discapline of meditiation and finds the exact mechanism that allows bending to work, then having seen this mechanism, she truly develops an understanding of what it is and how it works and is able to recreate it.
But we already had a series about an Avatar learning how to bend. It would've been repetitive to do the same thing here. Even if you dress it up as finding a whole new way to bend, it's still too much of a rehash.

Besides, we already know the "mechanism" that allows bending to work: spirituality, the underlying spiritual basis of the elements within the show's Asian-inspired cosmology. So what you're describing is, in a way, what the season is about: Korra having to go on a journey to learn about her connection to the spirits. Not to restore her bending, because they didn't know they'd get a second season when they wrote the first and thus had to wrap it up, but instead to restore the larger cosmic balance which has been disrupted, and which I suspect her actions this week will throw further out of alignment. So she'll still need to go on a journey to learn and deepen her understanding of the basis of her power -- but it will be more about the pure spiritual side of things, the deeper underpinnings of the universe and the origins of the Avatar cycle itself, rather than just a rehash of "This is how you bend water and this is how you bend earth."


In this, bending becomes a real science that can be repeated instead of a spiritual thing that only special people can do.
But the show is set in a universe where spirituality is the underlying reality of things. I mean, come on, the Moon disappeared when General Zhao killed the Moon Spirit. The idea of a divide between the material/scientific and the spiritual is a Western worldview, and this show is grounded in the traditional Eastern worldview where the physical and spiritual are facets of the same thing.


Christopher wrote: View Post
Anyone can learn kung fu. They have it in them. If they don't have legs, they'd need to go a step further and get some. They'd need to learn something about genetics, cloning and a lot of other medical stuff in order to get those legs but they can learn kung fu.
Oh, come on! You don't get to make up whatever random fantasies you want to justify things happening the way you want them to. You don't get to reinvent someone else's fantasy universe at whim to force it to fit your imaginings of how you think it "should" work. You have to understand and accept the laws and limitations that are set down within that universe and recognize that some things are just not going to be possible within it.
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Old September 28 2013, 10:38 PM   #137
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Reverend wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
Really my only complaint about this political storyline is that they're making Korra kind of... dumb, if you ask me. She just dealt with a corrupt Water Tribe official misusing his authority last season, and now she's not even seriously protesting Unalaq here?
He's her uncle. Family changes things.
Plus he *was* right about the whole angry spirit thing.
True, true.


Excellent Part II. This storyline with the Water Tribes is great so far, and all the focus on families with the different subplots. It'll be great to see where this goes, and looking forward to meeting the Republic President. Hopefully we'll get to see Lin Beifong for at least a small bit? One note: unless I'm misremembering, Korra and company left Senna behind at the South Pole? Based on what we've seen so far, I wouldn't put it past Unalaq to use her against Tonraq. Varrick the Platypus Bear was great humor, and I enjoyed the stuff with Bolin and Eska this time too. Also really glad to see Asami back for this episode.

The stuff with Tenzin's family was wonderful, and after being unsure about Bumi and Kya's presence at the start of the season I'm really glad they've been here. I'd like to see more of what happened with Jinora in the Statue Room though, I feel like they set that up and just left it for a few episodes.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I suspect that, though Unalaq's actions are unethical and power-driven, he's going to turn out to be right about the spirits being angered and unbalanced by Korra's choice to provoke a war. Unalaq was hoping to play on the Avatar's need for neutrality to keep her out of his way, but he underestimated her assertiveness. Still, he's going to be right that it creates a spiritual imbalance, and she's going to be forced to connect with the spirits in order to correct the problems she caused.
Definitely agreed with this. Although now that they've gone ahead and embraced Unalaq as the villain, part of me wonders if there might be an actual twist later on about his motivations. Maybe it would make things too complicated, but what if Unalaq is being in some way manipulated/controlled by Dark Spirits, either outright corrupting him or taking advantage of his jealousy/desire for power?

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
In this, bending becomes a real science that can be repeated instead of a spiritual thing that only special people can do.
I'm sorry, but I don't think the show's ever going to go in that direction - the Avatar-verse just doesn't work that way. As noted, the moon vanished from the sky when the Moon Spirit was killed, and was replaced when Yue decided to give her life back and become the new Moon Spirit.

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
I was thinking about when Amon was able to bloodbend without a full moon. He bent the rules.
Well, so far as we know. But note that Tarrlok and Yakone could do the same, and they're all related. It could simply be that they're insanely powerful waterbenders. If you remember back to the first appearance of bloodbending, Hama could only do it during a full moon because that's when waterbenders are at their most powerful (just as they lost their power entirely when the moon died, and 1st-season Katara could beat Zuko at night when the moon was up, but he easily overpowered her in the daylight). The same was true for Katara later, but Yakone and his sons might just be incredibly talented. Or, perhaps, their "character" is such that they have a natural affinity for bloodbending; remember how Zuko lost his firebending when his rage was gone?
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Old September 28 2013, 10:38 PM   #138
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Not that I agree that just anyone can learn bending, there is still a bit of a logic gap in the whole process. Specifically, how the first benders were "taught" by animals; badgermoles, flying bison, dragons and koi fish respectively. That last one make sense since they are incarnations of the moon and ocean spirits.

Perhaps those other animals were also really spirits that took physical form, but if such is the case it appears that particular detail has been forgotten over time. On the other hand, perhaps the ability to bend was latent within certain human bloodlines and it just took those animals to inspire the forms of the first bending masters. On the other-other hand, maybe those are all just myths and it didn't happen that way at all.

Either way it looks like this season will go into the history of the first avatar, so maybe we'll also learn more about the origins of bending too.

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Old September 28 2013, 10:52 PM   #139
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Reverend wrote: View Post
Not that I agree that just anyone can learn bending, there is still a bit of a logic gap in the whole process. Specifically, how the first benders were "taught" by animals; badgermoles, flying bison, dragons and koi fish respectively. That last one make sense since they are incarnations of the moon and ocean spirits.
The first element benders who learned from animals must have been energy benders, whether latent or active. The Giant Lion Turtle pretty much says that.
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Old September 28 2013, 10:57 PM   #140
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Ideally, it would have been nice if the events at the end of Book 1 weren't rushed but I understand the reasons behind that and what you're saying, Christopher, about not wanting a rehash is fair enough. I wouldn't have wanted that either. And I yes it does look like we'll be getting some good stuff on Korra's journey and the history of bending anyway and I look forward to that.

As for respecting the show's eastern view as well as that of the show's creators', I'd like to think that I've done both. I speculate on the nature of bending because I find the idea of power and personal potential fascinating. Also, I wasn't so much trying to apply a western view to a fantasy show based on eastern philosophy. I'm very much fascinated by eastern philosophy, I just thought I'd put things in a different perspective to better make my case.

Will the show ever deconstruct bending further or do something where others get the ability? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it's fun to talk about it. The show runners have created a show that's written well enough that one could do that. There's lots of good stuff about life and spirituality and it's nice to dig into it.
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Old September 28 2013, 10:57 PM   #141
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

I am really enjoying the Tenzin story, but I am definitely wondering how it's going to fit back in with Korra's main plot. Will Korra go find him at the Air Temple? Will he and his family return to Republic City and meet up with them there?

Too bad Hawky isn't still around. They could send each other messages.
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Old September 28 2013, 11:01 PM   #142
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Ideally, it would have been nice if the events at the end of Book 1 weren't rushed but I understand the reasons behind that and what you're saying, Christopher, about not wanting a rehash is fair enough. I wouldn't have wanted that either. And I yes it does look like we'll be getting some good stuff on Korra's journey and the history of bending anyway and I look forward to that.
I think a more appropriate story would have been for Korra to get her bending back by getting in touch with the spiritual aspects of her Avatar self. She wouldn't need to re-learn how to do it; she would just need to learn how to access it. Basically, it could have been a very extended story based on the last few scenes of Season 1. Instead of Aang just showing up and giving her bending back, Korra could have gone on a more spiritual journey in order to restore it herself.

And maybe something like that would have happened if they had known there would be more episodes. As it was, though, I understand why the writers did what they did.
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Old September 29 2013, 12:15 AM   #143
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Christopher wrote: View Post
Anyone can learn kung fu. They have it in them. If they don't have legs, they'd need to go a step further and get some. They'd need to learn something about genetics, cloning and a lot of other medical stuff in order to get those legs but they can learn kung fu.
Oh, come on! You don't get to make up whatever random fantasies you want to justify things happening the way you want them to. You don't get to reinvent someone else's fantasy universe at whim to force it to fit your imaginings of how you think it "should" work. You have to understand and accept the laws and limitations that are set down within that universe and recognize that some things are just not going to be possible within it.
Of course not. You obviously reserve this privilege for yourself with your fantasies about how the 'avatar' universe should work, Christopher.
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Old September 29 2013, 12:42 AM   #144
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I think a more appropriate story would have been for Korra to get her bending back by getting in touch with the spiritual aspects of her Avatar self. She wouldn't need to re-learn how to do it; she would just need to learn how to access it. Basically, it could have been a very extended story based on the last few scenes of Season 1. Instead of Aang just showing up and giving her bending back, Korra could have gone on a more spiritual journey in order to restore it herself.
On the one hand, it would've been a smoother transition if Korra losing her spiritual connection at the end of Book 1 had led to her going on a spiritual quest in Book 2. But on the other hand, as I've been saying, we already got a "learning how to bend" storyline, so this way we get to have a different kind of story, one that's less about Korra learning skills and more about delving into larger, more global issues, politically, historically, and spiritually.

Besides, it plays into the differences in personality between Aang and Korra. Aang's story was about learning new abilities, but it's appropriate for Korra that her arc this season is about having too much power and too little control and judgment -- and about the consequences that result from that mix.
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Old September 29 2013, 01:18 AM   #145
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Christopher wrote: View Post
Anyone can learn kung fu. They have it in them. If they don't have legs, they'd need to go a step further and get some. They'd need to learn something about genetics, cloning and a lot of other medical stuff in order to get those legs but they can learn kung fu.
Oh, come on! You don't get to make up whatever random fantasies you want to justify things happening the way you want them to. You don't get to reinvent someone else's fantasy universe at whim to force it to fit your imaginings of how you think it "should" work. You have to understand and accept the laws and limitations that are set down within that universe and recognize that some things are just not going to be possible within it.
I would like to address that last point. Certain things would apply no matter which universe you're in. 2+2 sill equals 4 and a process can be duplicated if you can understand and recreate the conditions. So in that sense, I'm not applying my own ideas to the rules laid down in the show and stand by the notion that the secrets to bending could be unlocked and recreated. That said, I'm fine with the show not going there.

One thing though... Is there anything particularly offensive about the idea? I see that a number of you aren't too keen on it.
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Old September 29 2013, 01:30 AM   #146
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

It's not the idea that offends me, it's the methodology -- just make up whatever arbitrary justifications you want for the thing you want to be true and ignore any evidence-based counterarguments.
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Old September 29 2013, 01:41 AM   #147
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

I offered what I thought was a solid case based on good reasoning.
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Old September 29 2013, 06:17 AM   #148
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

I know they said that air bison, badgermoles, and dragons taught the first benders, but did they ever say koi fish on the show? I don't remember them saying that in "Siege of the North".
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Old September 29 2013, 06:59 AM   #149
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Christopher wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
I think a more appropriate story would have been for Korra to get her bending back by getting in touch with the spiritual aspects of her Avatar self. She wouldn't need to re-learn how to do it; she would just need to learn how to access it. Basically, it could have been a very extended story based on the last few scenes of Season 1. Instead of Aang just showing up and giving her bending back, Korra could have gone on a more spiritual journey in order to restore it herself.
On the one hand, it would've been a smoother transition if Korra losing her spiritual connection at the end of Book 1 had led to her going on a spiritual quest in Book 2. But on the other hand, as I've been saying, we already got a "learning how to bend" storyline, so this way we get to have a different kind of story, one that's less about Korra learning skills and more about delving into larger, more global issues, politically, historically, and spiritually.
I don't disagree with you, and I didn't want a full season of Korra "learning how to bend." Maybe just one or two episodes of her getting in touch with her spirituality in order to get her bending back. I was even thinking it could have been the Season 1 finale. She meditates...enters the spirit world...goes on a little adventure with Aang...and by the end of that episode she is a full-fledged Avatar, master of all the elements and the Avatar state.
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Old September 29 2013, 12:59 PM   #150
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

SG-17 wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Not that I agree that just anyone can learn bending, there is still a bit of a logic gap in the whole process. Specifically, how the first benders were "taught" by animals; badgermoles, flying bison, dragons and koi fish respectively. That last one make sense since they are incarnations of the moon and ocean spirits.
The first element benders who learned from animals must have been energy benders, whether latent or active. The Giant Lion Turtle pretty much says that.
I don't recall exactly what it said, but I think it was something along the lines of "in the time before the avatar we bent not the elements around us but the energy within." I'm pretty sure it's not specified who the "we" are in that statement. Other giant turtle lions? Animals in general? Or all forms of life? Was that turtlelion "normal" for it's kind; are they all sapient or is it another spirit in physical form like the koi fish and that giant owl in the library?

Mr Light wrote: View Post
I know they said that air bison, badgermoles, and dragons taught the first benders, but did they ever say koi fish on the show? I don't remember them saying that in "Siege of the North".
Now that you say that I think I was wrong. I now recall something about them watching the moon and the oceans's push/pull ying/yang interaction. Mind you, the physical incarnation of the moon and ocean spirits are *right there* in the palace. They must have had something to do with it.
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