Sometime in the show, in an extreme act of rebellion and defience of the benders, the Equalists will destroy Aang's statue. It's just too big of a symbolic target to show the benders that their time is over. It will be extremely sad to see it happen, but it seems like such an obvious target for someone like Amon.
What do you guy's think? Does this seem likely?
It wouldn't surprise me, especially considering how much disaster movies love to destroy the Statue of Liberty for that exact same reason.
And whether or not it's the statue that gets hit, I suspect that we might start to see bombings at some point. Not only are explosives the ultimate expression of how science can rival or exceed the destructive power of bending, but it's also just such an easy and effective way for an outnumbered group like this to spread random suffering that will destabilize society and create an opportunity to seize power for themselves. Somehow I suspect Amon won't be too ethical to use such a tactic.
I figured it was a visual representation of Korra's frustration, rather than being a default style. Firebending was also her most recent training (and test) focus, so that skillset might be easiest for her to draw on at this time. I see your point though that Korra doesn't yet know how best to bend for the urban setting.
I think it might be a bit of all three. It's the one she learned most recently, so it's freshest in her mind. It's also the only one that gets to cheat and produce its element instead of finding it nearby, so it's quickest on the trigger: no having to decide what to use, just punch and go. (Although, in a densely-packed urban environment built with 1920s lack-of-safety-standards, starting a fire could get really bad, really fast.) And on a personal level, I could see it suiting her because Korra has an aggressive personality and firebending is the style of all-out aggressive attack. (Firebenders even defend
by attacking, blasting the other person's attack with flames and trying to destroy it before it reaches them.)
Yeah, Aang had trouble with earthbending, but Katara's theory that it was because Earth was the opposite element to his native Air was just that: a theory. Aang also had serious difficulties learning firebending. One might even say worse difficulties, since he overcomes his inability to earthbend in the course of that single episode but it takes nearly two seasons for him to overcome his fear of firebending. (In fact, Water's the only element other than Air that came easily to him.)
While by the rules of classical Western elementalism, Water would oppose Fire and Air would oppose Earth (I seem to recall that Eastern elementalism has more of a rock-paper-scissors thing: earth beats water, fire beats earth, etc.), I sort of feel like in terms of the fighting style and personality types most closely associated with each element, it's actually Earth (rigid) opposing Water (fluid) and Fire (aggressive) opposing Air (defensive). (Not that one couldn't also make a good case for Earth's "stand your ground" style being the opposite of Air's "evade and flee" philosophy. Honestly, the relationships between the elements are probably too complicated to organize simply.)
Aang's trouble with Earth, I think, came down to both the instincts he has from his training in the airbender's fighting style and to his own personality: both are geared towards avoiding and escaping danger and difficulty, while Toph's earthbending test required him to stay put and face what's coming head on. It was something of a running theme in the series that Aang tended to run from his problems, whether physical threats or emotional difficulties. He ran away from home a hundred years ago to escape his destiny and a life without his surrogate father rather than face it or try to fight to keep him. He ran from the fisherman's accusations in "The Storm
" and (under the guise of playing) he ran from the consequences of the failed invasion in "The Western Air Temple
". He spent the first part of Book 1 trying to escape (somewhat less literally) his responsiblities and the truth of the loss of his people whenever he could. Tactically speaking, when Aang would fight the various bad guys that caught up to the Gaang, he almost always just fought to try to get away, not to win anything more than a brief respite. (And I'm not knocking the accomplishment of getting away. Retreating is one of the most dangerous combat maneuvers of all, and doing without losing anyone is always impressive. But it meant that he'd just be facing them again a few weeks later.) It's the airbender way to escape the fight rather than participate in the violence, and that's fine if you're an Air Nomad who only has to defend themselves by getting away. But earthbenders need to protect their homes and their land, so they have to be able to hold their ground. They can't get out of the way of the oncoming danger, because then there will be nothing between it and what they're defending. They have to make their stand here
Similarly, Fire gave Aang trouble (besides the issues he had with having burned Katara and with it being the element of the enemy) because its aggression was so antithetical to both Aang's personal nature and to Air Nomad philosophy. From what we can determine, Air Nomads didn't really believe in attacking, and barely even bothered to counterattack. But firebending is all about
the attack. And Aang was a very peaceable person, lacking aggression. He didn't like confrontation. He was a light touch. But Fire was, as Iroh put it, "the element of power" and "the will to do anything." Fire was not the element of the light touch. Fire was the element of punching through, straight up the middle. If Air is the element of the fighting retreat and Earth is the element of holding the line, then Fire is the element of the advance to take new ground. And Air Nomads don't go on the offensive.
I mentioned this once before in the old thread, but a war was the perfect choice of challenge for Aang: it played to his greatest weaknesses, forcing him to grow and learn to deal with it. Aang was too peaceful for war, so he had to learn to fight... really
fight, not just get away. He always tried to make peace with words, but he had to learn the importance of projecting force to make war too costly to pursue. He'd live his live largely shielded from serious hardships and consequences and responsibilities, and the horrors and high stakes of war forced him to grow up and face them. It forced him to grow into someone who could balance his native idealism with pragmatism, and in turn balance the nations.
Now Korra is the Avatar, and she actually enjoys a good scrap. She's aggressive and blunt and straightforward and brave. A war would have played to her strengths. So instead, she faces an insurgency, which is a problem that can't be solved with brute force. It's as much about good P.R. as it is about fighting, and hitting back too hard could alienate the apathetic majority. It needs a light touch. Precision. And what's the last element that she has left to learn, the one she has the most trouble with? Air. The element of peace and gentle handling. To face this, Korra will have to grow into a role she's unaccustomed to, transcend her limitations.
And that's what will make it a great story.
Edited by TheNarrator, Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:03 AM.