Avatar: The Last Airbender star Dante Basco observes in a podcast that Team Avatar was made up of kids who came from rich and privileged backgrounds.
Avatar: The Last Airbender star, Dante Basco, argues that Team Avatar were all rich and privileged kids. Basco was the voice of Prince Zuko, the exiled Fire Nation prince. Avatar: The Last Airbender continues to be a beloved Nickelodeon animated series even thirteen years after the show ended its three-season run back in 2008. The popular series told the story of Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen), the Avatar and last Airbender, the only person in the world who could bend earth, fire, air, and water and also restore balance to the world after the Fire Nation attacked.
Team Avatar was comprised of Aang, Toph Beifong (Jessie Flower) of the Earth Nation, and Sokka (Jack De Sena) and Katara (Mae Whitman) of the Water Tribe. Prince Zuko would later join Team Avatar in an excellent act of redemption after realizing that his father, Fire Lord Ozai (Mark Hamill), was on the wrong side of history. Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph and Zuko all came from enormously different backgrounds and lifestyles, but together they made a formidable team that ultimately saved the world.
Basco noted in a recent episode of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: Braving The Elements podcast that the members of Team Avatar did come from privileged backgrounds. The actor’s statement was making that a negative aspect of Team Avatar, but Basco’s observation adds interesting ATLA insight. Read Basco’s quote, via comicbook.com, below:
“If you think about it… the OGs, they’re actually all rich kids…I mean, Prince Zuko is the prince of the Fire Nation, Toph is Toph Beifong, she’s like from the richest family. And then even the Water [Tribe] — Katara and Sokka… their dad is the chief… they’re all refined characters… that they all came together. And then, of course, the Avatar is the Avatar.”
Basco’s statement is technically correct, although what constitutes privilege in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender is debatable. As Basco notes, Aang technically had the most privilege out of Team Avatar due to his status as the Avatar. However, Aang was still constantly in danger the entire series, with Zuko himself hunting him down in order to restore his honor with his father. Toph’s family was extremely wealthy in the Earth Kingdom, but her parents automatically discredited her due to her blindness, failing to realize how powerful she was as an Earth bender.
While Sokka and Katara were the children of the Southern Water Tribe chief, their lives were arguably the most challenging. Zuko was a Fire Nation prince, but his father was abusive and exiled him as a young teenager. So while Basco’s statement is accurate and could definitely be debated by Avatar: The Last Airbender fans endlessly, what matters the most (and what Basco noted in the statement above) is that Team Avatar made the decision to help Aang save the world.
Nobody could argue that the life Team Avatar chose for the three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender was easy. However, Aang, Sokka, Katara, Toph and Zuko decided to keep fighting and moving forward. The world certainly was better off not because of the lives they were born into, but the choices they made to make life better for others.
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