It was another dramatic panel for the Korra crew, and the second in a year. At San Diego, the creators had to explain Nickelodeon's decision to put the show on the Internet only. And yesterday in New York, the cast and crew bid the show goodbye.
On hand for The Legend of Korra's last panel for its final book were co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, Janet Varney (Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P.J. Byrne (Bolin, and who walked out with a stuffed Pabu). The whole panel was a look back, a look forward at the rest of the season, and a goodbye.
Before showing the second episode of Book 4, the cast listened, for the first time, to the first audition the three of them did together. It was dialogue from what would become the second episode of the series. And when it was over, Varney commented with amazement that it sounded just like the show. She was expecting to say it sounded totally different, that she sounded different, but even then, it was exactly as it should be.
Each of the three actors were also asked to say a little bit about the show as it came to an end. Varney remembered being asked, right as the pilot was about to air, if she was ready for her life to change. She thought, "This isn't my first series." But the Nickelodeon executive just said "I'm not kidding."
"I have never worked on anything better than this show and not a day goes by that I don't feel gifted and blessed to be a part of this cast," she continued. Varney said that this wasn't the end for her, and that she learned that from the fans. "I know that this show is going to last forever because it's just that goddamned good."
Faustino said that he's gone from "Hey Bud Bundy" to "Hey Mako" and said he so appreciates all the love from the fans on social media. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you Bryan and Mike," he finished.
Byrne was last, and agreed that the show would stand the test of time and last. But he was the most forward looking, admitting sadness to his part being done but excitement that "we have two creators over there with some of the best creative minds in the world" and he "can't wait for the next project that's hiding deep in the dark crevices of their brains."
As is usual for the Korra panels, there was a lot of concept art shared, too. Korra panels have always brought a ton to the table: people on the stage, new episodes, and behind-the-scenes infor and art. And we got that all again, for the last time.
We saw the evolution of Kuvira from her original braid and dancer outfit to her final military uniform and bun, which Konietzko said changed because the animators refused to deal with a braid swinging everywhere. We saw the mech suits, which were originally envisioned as being just regular person-sized but "every artist" made them bigger. There was also the Airbender wing suits, which started baggier than they ended up, and Korra's new look.
But all of that, while great, was all preface to Konietzko and DiMartino's goodbye. Konietzko spoke for the creators, saying:
This is a really big deal for us. It's been 12 years since we came up with this whole Avatar universe together. Avatar means so many different things to so many different people. To me, when I think of the creation of it, I just think of me and Mike sitting at my computer in this little house in Burbank. And we would just share the keyboard and take turns. And just over the series of two weeks we cracked open this universe together. And 12 and half years later it's just blossomed into something so huge. And it's such a big part of our lives and people's all over the world. These characters are real to us. Not in a delusional way, in an emotional way. They really mean a lot to me and I know to Mike as well. And we just want to say thanks.
Top screencap from Avatar Spirit.net