In color correction suites they have these cool scopes and mini monitors that look like something you’d find in a vintage submarine. Usually the patterns that appear on them are indiscernible, but if an image of a face is particularly clear and contrasty a ghostly visage will emerge. Here is such an image appearing in the RGB parade on the waveform monitor of the Book 3 villain.
In response to that last post debating whether or not Aang should have listened to his past lives and killed Ozai—
I think that Aang killing Ozai would have been extremely out of character and would have made for a deeply unsatisfying conclusion to the story.
Some people think that nonviolence, as a philosophy, is for people who are too weak to fight. But in reality, nonviolence is demanding both physically and mentally. As Cesar Chavez said, “Nonviolence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.”
It could be argued that the ending with the Lion Turtle was a deus ex machina, and I think there’s some truth to that. But I also think that Aang killing Ozai would have been a much bigger cop-out than the Energybending ending.
The Lion Turtle may have come out of nowhere, but Aang’s resolution to the problem of how to deal with Ozai without sacrificing his morals was the culmination to one of the show’s biggest themes and to a story arc that started in the beginning of the show (literally the second episode).
mellifluousmagnate asked: I disagree about his flaws being well written for the end conflict: his not killing Ozai wasn't upholding his pacifist beliefs, it was running from a problem - which is a consistent character flaw. Except that in Ozai's case, if not for the deus ex lionturtle (that Aang didn't know existed until an hour prior), he would have been defeated because of his inability to condone killing. His past lives (Yangchen) made good arguments for death, and I feel this issue wasn't resolved convincingly.
100% totally 100% disagree nope. the whole damn point is that aang refused to compromise on his beliefs and values, to uphold the values of his culture that was destroyed by genocide and death on a mass scale. avatar yangchen did not have the same experience and perspective that aang did about death, and ending a war of mass death with one more death would have been symbolically a really shitty ending. aang did not “run from his problem,” he faced ozai head on, determined to end the conflict on his own terms and in his own way. running away would have been choosing the easy route of killing him, which would have been ridiculously easy while in the avatar state. aang didn’t know how he was going to defeat the fire lord, even after the lion turtle helped him. the ENTIRE POINT was that he trusted in himself and the teachings of his dead culture and that is one of the most inspiring things ever to me??
compromising what you see as the moral choice for “the greater good” is shit that dumbledore does. not aang.[snip]
I respect Aang’s decision but I do think that him not wanting to kill Ozai came from a selfish place, at least initially. I’m sure that further down the line it had to do with it being the wrong thing for the world and his culture but it was initially a selfish choice (he’s thirteen so it’s not like I blame him for him not wanting to murder anyone). I watched this episode when I was thirteen and I disagreed with his decision to not kill Ozai, but I understood that he was a kid and that murder was a pretty bad thing to do, even though ending the life of one person would save the life of many. Though this was definitely his choice to make and I don’t fault him for that, the reasons Aang had for not killing Ozai may not have been selfish in the end but they were in the beginning.
I used to make this argument myself, but I’ve started to realize that Aang’s apparent selfishness was likely a narrative accident.
What I think Bryke were going for with Aang was something a lot like what they did with Korra — a finale that was self-affirming for the protagonist.
One of the core concepts of the series is that the Avatar may be a different person in every lifetime, but they don’t need to change who they are for the world, because a self-realized Avatar is always better for the world than a compromised one. Bryke knocked that out of the park in LoK Book 2, and I think that serves to reinterpret the A:tLA finale better than just about anything else.
Basically, Aang’s value lies in his ability to be Aang, and so being true to himself is the only way he can do what he needs to do for the world. The problem is, the show never directly engages with this, because it’s busy showing why Aang doesn’t want to kill Ozai and would be unhappy if he killed Ozai.
When compared to the fate of the world, “I don’t want to…” and “I would be unhappy if…” seem like selfish motivations. The framing, unfortunately, backs that up due to a lack of evidence to the contrary.
But, what it comes down to is that Aang wouldn’t be able to carry out his duty as Avatar properly if he was forced to give up who he was, and the world as a whole would be worse off for it. I’m not sure whether Aang understood that or not — I don’t think canon offers much support due to the severe lack of dialogue in Aang’s story after he speaks with the lion-turtle — but I think that’s what Bryke meant him to understand at the end, and what allowed him to seize control of the Avatar State and energybend Ozai. After all, as LoK showed us, the alternative to giving up attachments to individuals when opening the seventh chakra is giving up who you think you are to access your true self, which would match pretty well with Aang giving up his idea of himself as someone who reluctantly goes along with his duties to assert himself as a principled actor who can make his own destiny.
I think canon could have done a better job with showing it (as you can see in that long response that you posted) but I think this sort of explanation is way more thematically satisfying than Aang acting out of selfishness.
And, on a tangent… murdering Ozai was never on the table. I’m a bit anal about the difference between murder and justified killing, and if Ozai died in that fight, it’d definitely be an example of the latter. ;)
This part: “After all, as LoK showed us, the alternative to giving up attachments to individuals when opening the seventh chakra is giving up who you think you are to access your true self, which would match pretty well with Aang giving up his idea of himself as someone who reluctantly goes along with his duties to assert himself as a principled actor who can make his own destiny.”
I firmly believe that Aang’s access of the cataclysmic power of Energybending in the eleventh hour of the only conclusion that was ever meant to close his tale is an example of this kind of “tapping of the true self.” Think about how he very nearly wavered, lost himself in the surge of impurity he encountered in Ozai’s very soul. Think about how this was, at long last, the moment of truth! The moment of reclamation of his own autonomy and authority as the singly most powerful spiritual agent in his universe!
I do agree to a T with this notion of successful character writing in Book Two: Spirits for Korra. Especially with respect to Korra’s initial complicity with Unalaq, her unwitting support of his grand, ulterior plans for change, and finally her outright opposition of him on strict principle. She was wronged, her people oppressed, her family threatened. Her biased actions to end a war were, easily enough, unorthodox for an Avatar. This did not stop her from seizing her destiny by the throat and crushing it against the Tree of Time with her titanic fists of justice and enlightenment!
Nonetheless, as I’ve seen so aptly iterated in other posts, I’ll close by saying that Avatar and Korra share the notion of destiny as inevitable, while compromising this with the complexity of human agency. Our roles as autonomous, free-thinking, and powerfully acting individuals are enough to hamper the fatalism of…well, fate hehe. Aang was able to shape his own destiny by dint of his innocence, his purity, his amenability to creative and world-shaking newness. His own will and truth were reflected in the beauty and complexity of the universe. In the form of the last living Lion Turtle, he was granted the power to realize his own designs of destiny. Korra was able to shape her own destiny by seeing herself as the generator of this change, by looking inside and bearing witness to the immensity of her own potential! Sure, Aang’s tale is not so obviously this self-empowering, but it’s there in abundance!
I will say, to close, how imbecilic I find it to discuss the “selfishness” of Aang’s actions. It matters not if he were 17 or 18, let alone a prepubescent boy! His decisions cannot be judged on such a simple scale. Whether his original designs for world peace were of selfish origin within his own subjectivity, they served as a means to an end by which an ancient progenitor of spiritual power and enlightenment once again bestowed upon his human brother the ability to purely and peaceably enact change in the world.
This is why the origin story of Humankind, The Spirits, and The Lionturtles is so integral. The end.
if you’re talking to a cute boy and he starts to leave scream “NO. IF YOU LEAVE NOW, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GO INTO THE AVATAR STATE AT ALL!” i have used this several times and i can confirm that it works 100% of the time.
Oh my gosh if a girl did this to me I would be so happy and give them a big hug
Too bad I’m not cute