Promotional lead-up to the third season of Nickelodeon’s Legend of Korra has been fast. It’s been three weeks since co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino announced on his Tumblr that the show had finished the season’s final sound mix, two weeks since the first trailer debuted online, and less than a week since the premiere date was announced -- along with the first three episode titles and the first two episode synopses.
Now, in the newest promotion for Book 3: Change (and only days away from the premiere), Nickelodeon has released an extended sneak peek.
Nickelodeon debuted the first five minutes of the Book 3 Change premiere episode, “A Breath of Fresh Air”. Within the clip, it’s revealed that the episode will pick up only a few weeks after the events of the Book 2 finale, but the consequences of Korra opening the doors to the spirit world are extensive even within Republic City - which has a major impact on Korra (and President Raiko’s poll numbers, no less).
The more important revelation in the sneak peak, though, is that the occurrence of airbenders - disclosed in the synopsis for “A Breath of Fresh Air - hits closer to home for Korra in the form of Tenzin’s brother, Bumi, who had previously been a non-bender. Additionally, the clip reintroduces Korra as a major political figure alongside the president of the United Republic of Nations, who must face a press conference to respond to criticism of her work as the Avatar.
For fans of Legend of Korra, and especially those that we're not pleased by Book 2's focus on the spirit world, the clip should be reinvigorating as Team Avatar returns to Republic City, as well as the politics and modernized world established in Book 1. Though hopefully this season will go deeper into the world outside of Republic City and the South Pole, "A Breath of Fresh Air" seems to stick to locales that fans have already seen.
While Legend of Korra is technically a children’s show, it delves into issues that may not always be considered kid-friendly, such as the proposed genocide of benders in Book 1. This follows in the vein of Avatar: the Last Airbender, which dealt with the serious subject of war and its effects on humanity.
The sneak peek at Book 3 veers more into silly side of these series (with Bumi chasing after his spirit friend, Bum-Ju), but it's only the first five minutes of the season. Legend of Korra and Avatar: the Last Airbender creators DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have proved that they’re able to balance silly characters and situations in a world full of more serious issues.
In Book 3 Change those problems will be connected to the sudden occurrence of airbenders - a nearly extinct group of people - and the cohabitation of humans and spirits in the world. Though there are, of course, aspects of fantasy in Legend of Korra, these themes are based in a realism that can ground the show in a believable world, while also providing an exciting trajectory for the Book 3.
The Legend of Korra Book 3: Change will premiere Friday, June 27th @7pm EST on Nickelodeon.