A new Avatar: The Last Airbender animated film is on the way, and it could answer some major questions from the original series and The Legend of Korra. After years without new animated Avatar content, original creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino have returned to Nickelodeon to helm the new Avatar Studios – a team dedicated solely to expanding the Avatar universe through new series and films. The first project from Avatar Studios is a theatrical film set to begin production later in 2021.
Though Avatar: The Last Airbender has often been praised for its comprehensive, satisfying conclusion, a few outstanding questions remained when the original show ended. Details of most of the characters’ adult lives were revealed in The Legend of Korra, and some of the events immediately following the war have been covered in the comics, explaining what became of the Southern Water Tribe, how Republic City was founded, and what happened to Zuko’s mother.
For all those answers that have leaked out over the years, however, there remain a slew of hanging questions. Many of Avatar’s supporting characters go unmentioned and unseen in Korra, and the comics haven’t reached far enough beyond the end of the war to give them conclusive climaxes. If the new Avatar: The Last Airbender movie is truly intended for a theatrical release as announced, it seems likely that it will deal with the original characters as adults, potentially also featuring some of the adult Korra characters like Tenzin and Lin as kids. Here are some of the biggest unanswered questions such a film could answer.
The fates of most of Avatar’s main characters are revealed in pieces throughout The Legend of Korra. Toph became Republic City’s chief of police and had two daughters, but never married. Aang and Katara had three children together and split their time between the South Pole and the burgeoning Republic City. Zuko was succeeded as Fire Lord by his daughter Izumi, and Sokka served both as Chief of the Southern Water Tribe and as its representative on the Republic City Council. In all of that backstory, however, Suki isn’t mentioned once.
Though she doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as the rest of the Gaang, Suki becomes an equally major character by Avatar: The Last Airbender season 3. The comics give a little insight into her life immediately after the end of the war – still dating Sokka and serving as a personal bodyguard to Fire Lord Zuko – but those stories only show a couple of years, leaving Suki’s long-term fate unknown. If the new Avatar: The Last Airbender movie shows the old Team Avatar as adults, it can finally address what happened to Suki.
Fire Lord Izumi appears very briefly in The Legend of Korra, bringing with her few words and an imposing countenance. What she doesn’t bring is any information as to who her mother might be. Zuko plays a fairly significant role in Korra season 3, but he never mentions a wife either. In season 2, Zuko’s grandson, General Iroh of the United Forces, makes reference to his “mother and grandfather” and recommends Korra go and speak with them. Iroh’s apparent omission of his father and grandmother could mean one or both are dead, or at least out of the family picture.
It seems obvious at the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender that Zuko and Mai would eventually get married, but they actually break up in the comics and have yet to get back together in canon. There are even some hints at attraction between Zuko and Suki during this time, though nothing overt ever takes place. All that is to say that Izumi’s parentage is still unclear, and it’s something a new Avatar movie could reveal.
Similar to Izumi, Suyin Beifong’s father is never revealed in The Legend of Korra. Toph never married, and each of her two daughters were fathered by different men. She reveals the identity of Lin’s dad – a man named Kanto – when pressed about it in The Legend of Korra, but Su’s father remains a mystery. A new Avatar movie showing the old crew grown up could shed a bit of light onto the parentage of Toph’s younger daughter.
One popular fan theory is that Sokka is Suyin’s father, but there are a few reasons that seems unlikely. It seems highly out of character for Sokka to have been completely absent from Su’s life, which implies that if he was her father, he didn’t know. That means that Toph either also didn’t know the identity of Su’s father – unlikely but possible – or that she did know and never told anyone – another highly unlikely possibility. The new Avatar: The Last Airbender movie can answer the question once and for all.
In addition to his possible fathering of Suyin, some other major details about Sokka’s adult life have remained enshrouded in mystery. Perhaps most notably, the franchise has never addressed how Sokka died. It’s understood that Aang died relatively young as a result of the century he spent in the iceberg, and Katara, Zuko and Toph are all still kicking during the events of Korra, but Sokka only gets a throwaway line from his sister in season 1 confirming that he’s “gone.”
Sokka was alive when the Red Lotus tried to abduct Korra as a baby, and apparently, he was still spry enough to help in the group’s defeat and capture. That and the relative longevity of people in the Avatar universe make a natural death seem doubtful. Because Sokka is dead in Korra and has no known children, much less is shown of his life than those of Aang, Katara, Zuko and Toph. If the new Avatar: The Last Airbender film takes place closer to the events of Korra, it’s possible that Sokka’s fate could finally be revealed. Even if the movie is set earlier in the timeline, there’s plenty that fans would like to know about his life, including whether or not his relationship with Suki lasts.
Azula was captured at the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the comics reveal that she was placed in a mental institution where her bending was restrained. In the graphic novel The Search, Zuko takes her out of her imprisonment and brings her with him on a quest to find their mother. With the help of the rest of the Gaang, Zuko and Azula are eventually successful, but Azula eventually gives into her anger, attacks the group, and escapes. She reappears throughout the succeeding comics in various attempts to weaken and usurp Zuko’s rule, all of which are thwarted. When last seen in canon, Azula was still at large.
The new Avatar movie can finally give closure to Azula’s complicated arc. Though she stands as one of the series’ main villains through the finale, she’s always portrayed with a level of sympathy for the highly competitive and toxic environment she was raised in. Whether or not Azula gets redemption, she certainly deserves a proper conclusion to her story. In the new Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, that could finally happen.