It looks like prequel sequence are a dime a dozen as of late, with barely a franchise that hasn’t dipped its hand into the origin story nicely. We all know how Han Solo acquired his final title, how Poirot acquired his mustache, and shortly sufficient, we’re in all probability going to learn the way Gandalf acquired his hat.
It’s not simply the frequency of makes an attempt that makes them a straightforward goal for derision, it’s the sweaty mania of creating up origin tales for issues no one has ever questioned in regards to the origin of. Nevertheless it’s good to recollect there are nonetheless good causes to do prequels. There are franchises that may sketch out a setting vividly and flippantly, leaving snug room for a toothsome and gripping story despite the fact that everyone knows the way it ends.
So for me, there’ll all the time be room for no less than another prequel sequence — that’s, till the creators of Avatar: The Final Airbender lastly log out on a gosh dang Younger Iroh sequence.
When you like Avatar: The Final Airbender, you want Uncle Iroh, who begins the sequence as a long-suffering voice of motive to the exiled Prince Zuko and step by step pulls again the curtain on his calculated, oafish facade to disclose the Most Fascinating Man within the World.
Iroh is a person of contrasts: an advisor of real knowledge and a person who can’t inform tea from a toxic plant besides by consuming it. Chief of a secret society of pacifism and a army genius. One of many biggest dwelling firebenders and a traitor to his nation. Iroh was as soon as the inheritor obvious to the Hearth Lord who tried the genocide of the Southern waterbenders, and but he spent sufficient time with waterbenders to include their fashion into a brand new firebending approach. He’s nonetheless often known as “the Dragon of the West” for exterminating the final dragons on this planet — however that was only a smokescreen to avoid wasting the final dragons.
It could be straightforward for Iroh to have been extra of a plot machine than a personality — he’s all the time on the fitting facet of an argument, he has an infinite nicely of persistence for a number of the sequence’ most prickly characters, and even in his paunchy 50s he’s leaping round respiratory hearth like warriors a long time his junior. Nevertheless it’s an invulnerability tempered by the continuous reveal of his previous.
Iroh led a ruthless two-year-long army siege of Ba Sing Se, and his view of the Hearth Nation solely modified after the deaths of his son and father, and the lack of his birthright to his brother’s machinations. Iroh spent a lot time within the spirit realm he can see spirits even after they’re touring invisibly by way of the fabric world. And someplace in there he had the time to secretly grow to be a pacesetter of the Order of the White Lotus.
The juicy information of Iroh’s previous are solely eclipsed by what we don’t know, and what we’ve by no means seen realized in any episode of Avatar. What was the connection between the ruthless Azulon, who sentenced a baby to loss of life due to his father’s disrespect, and his inheritor obvious, the cheerful Iroh? When did Iroh grow to be disillusioned with the Hearth Nation? Did it begin after his son’s loss of life or had been there inklings of it earlier, as when he spared the final dragons?
To not point out: Who was his spouse? Who managed to bag the hand of the Most Fascinating Man within the Avatar World? No, significantly, who — we don’t even know her title. For all the data that exists in canon, Lu Ten, the tragically fallen crown prince of the Hearth Nation, simply budded off from Iroh like coral.
It’s not arduous to think about the solutions to those questions. It’s straightforward to say that Iroh in all probability broke with the Hearth Nation’s imperialism after the siege of Ba Sing Se, in any other case he wouldn’t have been capable of spend two years trying to beat the town. Iroh’s time within the spirit realm was spent on the lookout for his useless son, in accordance with tie-in “scrapbook” Avatar: The Final Airbender: Legacy of the Hearth Nation. And Iroh in the end returned to the Hearth Nation to behave because the position mannequin and ally he knew Zuko wouldn’t get from the remainder of his household, treating him as his adopted son, no less than in accordance with Avatar creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko in a 2012 fan interview.
However what units Iroh’s previous other than, say, a film that reveals that Cruella de Vil’s mom was murdered by Dalmatians shouldn’t be that the solutions to the questions of his previous are fully identified. It’s that what we all know would make an extremely cinematic story if fleshed out — and never simply dropped as tidbits in an interview, DVD particular options, or a word in a tie-in ebook.
Themes of generational legacy and battle, and the concept all of the outdated of us was cool younger folks identical to our heroes, are so central to Avatar: The Final Airbender and The Legend of Korra that the official role-playing recreation simply introduced a complete module based mostly round permitting heroes to develop outdated as play strikes to the following era. And whereas there have been canonical Avatar graphic novels which have solved mysteries just like the disappearance of Zuko’s mom and prolonged the tales of Hearth Nation villains like Ozai and Azula, none of them have reached backward to offer us extra of Iroh’s youth. (He did invent boba tea in one in all them, although. Actually, we owe him a lot.)
However I maintain out no less than a little bit hope. At Paramount’s Avatar Studios, Konietzko and DiMartino are apparently already on contract for 3 Avatar animated movies, one about Aang and his buddies as younger adults, and two that stay unannounced. That’s two complete films with the potential to be a Younger Iroh function. Two complete films with the potential to be a franchise prequel that truly is sensible.