Avatar: The Last Airbender Will Feature a Big Timeline Change

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender will have no use for Sozin’s Comet.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Kiawentiio as Katara, Gordon Cormier as Aang, Ian Ousley as Sokka in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Photo: Robert Falconer | Netflix

One of the most impressive things about Nickelodeon’s classic Avatar: The Last Airbender is the immediacy of its storytelling. In fact, we’ve previously argued that Avatar is one of the few “structurally perfect” TV shows because of that immediacy.

Not one to overstay its welcome, the initial run of Avatar: The Last Airbender features three seasons (all with a different element as a subtitle) of 20-21 episodes each. Additionally, the show runs through its plot with admirable economy due to a built in running clock in its premise: Sozin’s Comet.

In the ATLA canon, Sozin’s Comet is a celestial object that passes by Earth every one hundred years. When it does, the Fire Nation’s many firebenders are able to harness its energy, increasing their power as much as a hundredfold. When Avatar: The Last Airbender opens, Sozin’s Comet is roughly a year away, meaning that that new Avatar Aang and his friends have a limited amount of time to defeat Fire Lord Ozai before he and his benders become too powerful to overcome and are able to finish their world-conquering mission.

Naturally, Netflix‘s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender wants to borrow everything that works from its animated predecessor. But given the timing constraints that live-action faces, is it even possible to incorporate the animation’s tight timeline? Based on a new interview feature from EW, it seems like the answer to that is unfortunately no.


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