'Avatar' Officially Over, but Perhaps Not Quite So
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Avatar: The Last AirbenderNickelodeon's popular animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender may have ended, but obviously the fever isn't over yet.  Aside from the planned trilogy of live-action films that will be directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the first of which is currently in production, the press' attention has again given the cartoon glowing reviews.

Last Saturday's finale, “Sozin's Comet”—actually the series' last four episodes shown together—was praised for its balance of fun for children and adults, much like how its main character Aang attempts to keep balance in the world.  “This is complicated stuff, the reconciliation of religion and violence, and it's beautifully rendered,” The New York Times said.  “[It's] simple enough for Nickelodeon fans and subtle enough for their parents, with humor to puncture the pomposity inherent in the heroic genre.”

Also applauded is the sense of finality that the finale has conveyed to viewers.  “[It] provides a powerful sense of closure to Aang's story,” website Toon Zone thought.  “This tale is finished. Those dangling plot threads aren't an invitation to more direct follow-ups as much as they're just reminders that life is messy and we don't always get answers to the questions that we have.”

In an interview with Malaysian newspaper The Star, Avatar co-creator Mike DiMartino reasserted that the show's third season is its last.  “Since our initial pitch in 2002, Bryan and I have always envisioned Aang's story having a beginning, middle and an end,” DiMartino said.  “We wanted the characters to grow and mature along their journey and not do a series that goes on and on with no end in sight.  To make a satisfying epic story, you really need to have a definite end.”

But the two creators still hope to see future incarnations of Avatar, although perhaps having a different storyline than the original's.  With some questions still unresolved at the end of “Sozin's Comet,” there's still a lot of room for a spin-off, perhaps.  We might expect answers when DiMartino and fellow show creator Bryan Koneitzko appear in Avatar's own panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this Friday night, where they are expected to show the last half of the program's finale.

-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The New York Times, Toon Zone, The Star
(Image courtesy of Nickelodeon)

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