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How Avatar: The Last Airbender Fans Helped Inspire the Live-Action


Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender series turned to some knowledgable sources for inspiration.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Elizabeth Yu as Azula in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Photo: Netflix

Fandom can be a thankless gig. You spend all this time thinking about your favorite shows, dreaming up theories, then sharing those interpretations to the world knowing you’ll likely never receive a response.

Sometimes, however, people are listening. And sometimes those people are the folks working on a live-action remake of the show you loved so much in the first place.

That is the situation that several super fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender are about to find themselves in. A Netflix live-action remake of Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series is set to release all eight of its episodes on Feb. 22. In advance of the premiere, EW just published a sprawling feature about Netflix’s efforts, including interviews with all of the show’s stars and many behind-the-camera figures. There is a lot of interesting information and insights to be had in those interviews, but the most notable tidbit is that the people behind the new Avatar: The Last Airbender have been watching all your Avatar YouTube content … and they love it.

In EW’s feature, Princess Azula actress Elizabeth Yu says that Avatar fan videos have helped her better understand her cunning Fire Nation character and the complicated dynamic she has with her father, Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim). She points to videos that analyze the psychology of Azula and her brother Zuko (Dallas Liu) as siblings in a powerful royal family.  

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