The 7 biggest takeaways from the Avatar: The Last Airbender trailer

Netflix has released the first trailer for the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender series and these are the biggest takeaways for this hugely anticipated series!

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. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023
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. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /

The first trailer for Netflix’s highly anticipated Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series has hit and offered fans an amazing look at the new show! Here are some big takeaways from it!

Premiering in 2005, Avatar: The Last Airbender was a Nickelodeon animated series set in a world where people can “bend” or control the elements of earth, fire, air and water. The Avatar is a being who can use all four elements and is meant to bring balance and harmony to the world.

However, it’s been a century since an Avatar was around, and in that time, the dark Fire Nation has grown to dominate the other lands. Siblings Katara and Sokka find the Avatar, 12-year-old Aang, who was accidentally frozen in ice for the last century. Freed, Aang has to learn to master his powers to take on the Fire Nation. 

The series ran for three seasons to great critical acclaim and inspired a huge following. It was adapted into a 2010 movie written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. However, not only was the movie a box office flop, but it was also ravaged by fans for everything from bad casting to writing to oddly changing the pronunciation of the characters’ names. 

Now, Netflix is trying with a new live-action series that looks to adapt each season of the show. So far, the trailer has given some great takeaways for the audience. 

1. We’re going to see more of the backstory

In the animated series, the Fire Nation’s takeover was talked of as long in the past. The live-action show looks to open by actually showing those brutal attacks on the Air Temple. That includes the sacrifice of Aang’s teacher, Monk Gyatso. It may be a darker opening, but it will establish the stakes in how dangerous the Fire Nation is and set up the series nicely for new viewers. 

2. The characters are dead on

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 /

Among the many issues fans had with the 2010 movie was how few of the characters resembled their animated counterparts, from Uncle Iroh being too skinny to accusations of “whitewashing” some characters. The trailer shows the actors being wonderfully cast and looking like their animated characters stepped off the screen. It also looks to capture bits from Sokka’s quirky humor to Zuko’s intensity, making it a closer adaptation to the original already. Even the CGI for Appa looks glorious, showing the creators live-action are true fans. 

3. There’s going to be some serious bending

Among the more derided elements of the 2010 film was how unimaginative Shyamalan was in showcasing the bending powers (see the laughable bit where it takes four Earth benders to move a small rock). The series looks to make up for that with showcases of everything from fire benders tossing around infernos to Aang showcasing his own powers in his “Avatar state”. There’s even a shot of Aang on his “air scooter” from the animated opening, as the show won’t shy away from how powerful benders are. 

4. A bigger role for Azula

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

In the series, Zuko is set up as a prime villain for the first season, only to become more sympathetic. Season 2 introduced his sister, Azula, who’s far worse than him. The trailer indicates that the live-action show will introduce Azula earlier and delve into the royal family's background with flashbacks of her and Zuko growing up. It will show what hardened Azula into the near-crazed figure she becomes and flesh out her character better in live action. 

5. The scale is epic

The budget for this series was a reported $15 million per episode. One look at the trailer, and it’s clear where the money went. The show is going full-in, making each one of the Nations look spectacular with stunning vistas from the Earth Nation's capital, Omashu, to floating temples and more. Many settings within the series look just like the animated locations, and the detail is impressive. This show is putting its budget to great use to make it more fantastic than a typical fantasy series. 

6. The FX are glorious

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

Tying in to the locations, the special effects are amazing. The bending for the elements looks better than imagined with the fire, water and air effects being spectacular and it looks like they'll be boosted in unique ways. That includes the various creatures who look appropriately unearthly and shows the FX team is earning every penny. 

7. It’s going to be far more faithful than the movie

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Appa takes flight through couldy skies with passengers Aang (Gordon Cormier), Katara (Kiawentiio) and Sokka (Ousley) on his back. /

The series looks to stick to the original series more in the story beats and plotlines while still making a few shifts here and there. However, it won’t just be on the journey as it’s hinted one episode will adapt the acclaimed “The Forest” storyline of Aang trying to heal a wounded spirit. More importantly, it will capture the balance of action, drama and humor that made the show loved by kids as well as adults and ensure the live-action version of The Last Airbender is as magical as its animated predecessor. 


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