10 things we're most excited to see in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender

Netflix's adaption of Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming and fans of the animated show are hoping to see these 10 things for the series!

Netflix’s highly anticipated Avatar: The Last Airbender series has released its first trailer to set up its inaugural season! Fans of the classic animated show are hoping to see some great stuff for this new take!

Airing from 2004 to 2007, Avatar: The Last Airbender was a smash hit for Nickelodeon. It’s set in a world where people can control or “bend” the elements of air, fire, water and earth. However, the evil Fire Nation has launched a brutal attack to try and take over the rest of the world. 

Water Tribe siblings Katara and Sokka discover a figure frozen in ice, who is Aang, the legendary Avatar who can bend all four elements and is meant to bring harmony to the world. Aang tried to run from his destiny, which had him frozen for a century. Now, he’s on a quest to control his powers and lead a revolt against the Fire Nation. 

The last time the series was used in live-action was the 2010 movie written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, which was a box office flop derided by fans. Netflix is hoping to do better, and there are several elements fans are hoping to see. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Daniel Dae Kim as Ozai in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

1. The Fire Nation’s rise

In the animated series, the Fire Nation’s initial takeover was talked of a lot but taken as long-past history. The live-action series appears to open showing how it happened, and it would be terrific. It will emphasize what a threat the Fire Nation is, crushing all in their path, especially Aang’s temple and his mentor. Whether it’s used as the opening for the series or in flashbacks, showing how the Fire Nation took over fills in a major gap in the Avatar mythology.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

2. Capturing the show’s heart

The key to the series isn’t just replicating the look or feel. It’s capturing the same heart, humor and drama of the animated show. Netflix showed they could do that with the One Piece series, and this appears to be following the same path. The showrunners are huge fans of the original series, and the trailer showcases Sokka’s humor and the bond of the three leads. Mix that with the same warm drama of Aang trying to save the world while still a kid, and the series can do justice to the source material. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Elizabeth Yu as Azula in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

3. Azula’s backstory

A difference from the show is that while Zuko is a big presence, the first season introduces his sister Azula sooner. This is a great opportunity to explore her backstory of her, how she has far more drive and desire for power but is often ignored by her cold father. With Elizabeth Yu shown in much of the promotional artwork, it’s likely the first season showcases more of Azula to make her evolution across the series more striking for the live-action fans. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Gordon Cormier as Aang in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /

4. Some serious bending

A chief complaint of the 2010 movie was how it failed to showcase the wonders of bending. The trailers indicate that won’t be a problem for the Netflix version. The visual effects are fantastic, with fire, water, earth, air, and other elements used brilliantly. It’s going to showcase how a single bender can take out a pack of soldiers, and even better is how so much of it looks just like the animated show. That includes Aang’s “Avatar State” as the show uses its budget well to blow fans away on the bedding. 

Sebastian Amoruso as Jet
Avatar: The Last Airbender /

5. Introduce Season 2 elements earlier 

Yes, it’s only the first year, but it’s clear the series looks to adapt all three seasons of the show, albeit stretching them out a bit. So, a good idea is to introduce plot points that will pay off in later years. That can include freedom fighter Jet, who plays a major role in things later on, as well as other character bits. The big one can be Aang learning of a deadly threat that’s the climax of the entire saga. Laying the seeds for the later adventures can be fun easter eggs for the animated show fans while still entertaining the newbies. 

Maria Zheng as Suki, and her mother, Yukari, played by Tamlyn Tomita

6. Suki and the Kyoshi

The forest-based Kyoshi Warriors were supposed to be in the 2010 movie, but they were cut. The trailer shows them looking perfect in their costumes. So fans are naturally excited to see leader Suki, whose love/hate relationship with Sokka provided some great moments. Maria Zhang will play the role, and while Suki only popped up in one episode of the first season of the animated show, it’d be great if she gets more time here. This is the best way for fans to see the character grow more for the series. 

Naru (Amber Midthunder), shown. (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios.) /

7. Yue Gets Her Due 

The 2010 movie brushed over Yue, a critical character who plays a major role in the first season, from her relationship with Sokka to handling a massive threat. Amber Midthunder has been cast in the part and the series will hopefully take its time on her struggles and duty. It’ll be great to let the relationship between Yue and Sokka develop more to make her ultimate fate more meaningful and do justice to this popular character. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

8. Make the spirits special

Spirits play a major role in Avatar: The Last Airbender, from Aang meeting former Avatar Roku to the more otherworldly creatures that abound. The trailer showcases some of these creatures, capturing their bizarre appearances and making them astounding. The series should showcase how much of an impact they have on the people of these lands, emphasizing the fantasy elements of the show. Making them feel truly fantastic is what Avatar fans want for this series to shine. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Kiawentiio as Katara in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /

9. Don’t forget the smaller stuff

Sure, fans want to see big battles and great plot twists. Yet the show also needs the smaller touches and beats that made the animated series so loved. That includes Iroh’s tea jokes, Sokka’s wisecracks and the bond between the main trio. There’s also the plotline of Katara facing up to the sexism in women denied bending training and the politics of this world, including the bigotries between the different tribes. It’s these smaller touches that made Avatar so meaningful, so the live-action version shouldn’t be ignoring them. 

James Sie author photo, credit Ben Sie
James Sie, author of All Kinds of Other. Photo: Ben Sie /

10. The Cabbage Merchant

One of the most loved running gags in the show is the Cabbage Merchant. This guy pops up constantly, selling his cabbage or other wares and somehow, always in the path for Team Avatar to wreck his stall in one of their battles. The gang never recognizes him as they go on their way, with the Merchant moaning over his fate. Thankfully, James Sie, the voice actor, is confirmed to appear in the show, so fans are eager to see this guy once more undergoing some terrible bad luck trying to sell food to people. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender premieres Thursday, Feb. 22, on Netflix.