Earlier this morning, I was browsing through several authoritive websites, such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, and reading up on whatever content they had published relating to The Legend of Korra. I mostly read through generic content, which highlighted key elements of The Legend of Korra as a whole. At one point during my browsing, I stumbled upon a two-part Wall Street Journal interview (conducted by Christopher John Farley) with co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino. After spending some time skimming the interview, I noticed that it was familiar content.
Back in November of last year, this two-part interview was the source that confirmed Book 3’s title to be Change. Along with that, we learned that the co-creators intend to put Korra’s love life in the backseat because “[fans] get completely angry when [they] have fun with the teen romance stuff.” What I noticed, however, is that I never reported on a crucial portion of the interview because I hadn’t noticed it until today.
Farley asked the co-creators about their decision to cut Korra off from her past lives. He elaborated by also asking whether or not this was something they plan on exploring more. Mike DiMartino answered the question, and his response was both disheartening and re-assuring:
“At the end of any season we try to come up with big dramatic sacrificial moments that are going to have a big effect on our characters. Especially Korra. We thought this would be a very powerful way to have her in a very dark place where she is really all alone now. She doesn’t have her past lives, she doesn’t have her Raava, she doesn’t have her Avatar spirit with her, and what is she gonna do when she’s faced with that? It also just seemed like Korra’s whole journey was on a spiritual path and finding out who she truly is and it seemed better that she can’t rely on the past Avatars because they’re not there anymore. It’s a chance for her to move forward and create her own future and destiny.”
We certainly saw the “big dramatic sacrificial moment” at the end of Book 1 when Korra lost her ability to bend three out of the four elements, but the drama was short-lived when Avatar Aang came in to set things right. However, Korra was not so lucky upon the conclusion of Book 2. As shown in the finale, Korra lost Raava which severed her connection to her past lives.
What does Mike think about this unfortunate scenario?
It certainly sounds like he’s excited for Korra to face challenges without her connection to her past lives. Mike explains that this challenge will give Korra a chance to move forward and create her own future and destiny. Essentially, Korra’s loss of Raava will allow her to grow as a character and continue her spiritual journey of finding out who she truly is.
That being said, I genuinely don’t think Korra will be re-connected with her past lives until the finale of Book 3. As unfortunate as this may be, this may just be what Korra needs. This challenge will give Korra the opportunity to grow on a new level. She will learn what she is truly made out of and be forced to face the world head-first, without the support (or crutch) of her past lives.
Over the years, I’ve stressed how important character development is for the success of this show. Severing Korra’s connection to her past lives was done completely from a developmental standpoint. Therefore, I’m happy that Korra will likely be without her past lives for a season. It will allow her to grow as a character and truly be an Avatar.
Throughout the course of Book 3, we will see what Korra is really made of. And when she falters, she will grow. The moment Korra realizes who she truly is and what she’s really made out of will be the moment her connection to her past lives will be restored.
I think that moment will be during the finale of Book 3, so we can see a fully-realized Avatar take on the world in Book 4.
Do you think Korra will ever regain her connection to her past lives? If so, when?