Spiritual State by Caleb Thomas
This is a love episode that takes a deep breath and revives the characters we know and love. Questions answered, new questions raised, and lots and lots of nuance along the way.
As a Tenzin fan, this episode made my day! And we’re all going to be talking about Mako, so leave thoughts on that too.
New podcast tomorrow — what do we absolutely need to cover? You tell us.
looking-for-fantasy asked: Did Nick change the Korra time again!? I saw a photo on Facebook (posted by the official LoK page) that said Fridays at 8. I thought it was only 8 for the Beginnings episodes. Help!
Just checked and confirmed with Nick — this week’s Korra is at 8pm!
philipehlke asked: Hey guys! I have to call you on your "prequel story" gripe, citing, of course, midichlorians. First, midichlorians are not the Force, just as Raava is not bending (however she technically is the Avatar spirit, or a component of it). Second, just because you found The Phantom Menace to be a disengaged slog (I happen to find it a brilliant work of science fiction), that doesn't mean that all origin stories should be feared, and that revealing details about a mythical universe should be discouraged
Fair enough. The Phantom Menace is a good movie with some brilliant design work, and really, that podrace is still a mesmerizing sensory experience (although Da7e makes fun of me for enjoying SW: TPM because I fell asleep for 20 minutes of the 3D re-release when we saw it at midnight — long story). I would like Phantom Menace more if it weren’t a Star Wars movie or one that didn’t tie back to the Anakin Skywalker mythology.
Origin stories/prequels make sense to us fans. We want more answers because we love the mythology. But what I think we actually want is more of what made the first films/shows brilliant — and lingering mysteries are part of that. Beginnings Part 1 & 2 works because we only get a few answers. We can sit here mulling over the intricacies of becoming an Avatar, where the spirits came from and went, and a 1,000 other conjurations we unearth while scrutinizing the episodes. For me, TPM goes too far. Where did Anakin come from? Here. Why is he bad? Here’s why. How does The Force work? Here’s how.
I fear origin stories and prequels because they often cater too much to the fandom, existing to answer rather than tell a story worth investing in. I think we all loved Wan’s story because it catapults the Avatar universe back in the same way Korra propelled it forward. Again, it’s about reverse and forward engineering and watching how time affects the universe. TPM doesn’t really do that. It makes callbacks. It tips its hat. It’s the wrong kind of prequelization and it’s a symbol for how fiction can be responsive to fan cries for explanations.
We should never be into Korra or any show for the details. This is not why we love things, although it often clouds our view. It’s fun to theorize and get pumped for big reveals. But less is always more in this case. Especially with prequels.
Here’s my question to everyone, using Star Wars as an example: They want to make a prequel film centered on Yoda, what his life was like before TPM. What would make you want to see that film? What is Yoda’s story about and why are his early years essential to that arc?
Even though Beginners was about Wan, I learned a lot about Korra during the episodes. In TPM, I don’t know if I learned anything more about the Star Wars U and Darth Vader, mythologically or emotionally.
Two fan theories of note from the weekend:
1) We see “Aang’s Lion Turtle” at the end of Beginnings Part 2
2) The tree holding Vaatu looks like Koh’s tree.
Overthinking or totally cannon?
REPUBLIC CITY DISPATCH #23: “The Beginning” Parts 1 and 2
BE FOREWARNED - Discussion includes Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book One: Air from The Legend of Korra and could expand to include Dark Horse Comic’s The Promise and The Search (Parts One and Two) at any time.
We have opened up the COMMENTS on all posts on RepublicCityDispatch.com for your cross-dialogue needs!
An epic prequel! Here’s my recap/review of Legend of Korra’s “Beginnings Part 1 & 2” at Vulture. Leave your thoughts/feelings/questions!!
New episode coming shortly. In the meantime, read Matt’s review over at Vulture.com!
Wan and Rava, Lion Turtles, the origin of Bending, a definition of Harmonic Convergence…
Where should we start?
OH, I KNOW! How about bringing Joanna Robinson onto the podcast?
See you (or you’ll hear us) tomorrow!
Read my recap of The Legend of Korra, “Civil Wars, Part 1” at Vulture.com!