While certain network decisions have overshadowed its quality in recent months, there’s no denying Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra is one of the finest pieces of television to come out of the medium since the series’ predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Now in the home stretch of its tale with the final season currently streaming a new episode every Friday on Nick.com, there’s little else to do by way of promotion. Knowing this, instead of doing the typical marketing thing, franchise creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, along with voice cast Janet Varney, David Faustino and P. J. Byrne, took to the Empire Stage at New York Comic-Con one final time this week to bid their fans a farewell they would never forget.
Before the water works really kicked into high gear, attendees at the panel were first treated to an early screening of the second episode of the final season’s run– an episode that’s now available for all to view on Nick.com and via the Nick app. Following the screening, Bryan and Michael reminisced about how at first they were upset they couldn’t have shared the season premiere in the room before it premiered, but having seen how well the second episode turned out from a drama perspective, they’re happy it ended up being the one fans got to watch with them in the room.
However, while the episode was a massive hit (particularly in its final moments featuring a surprise appearance by an old-school fan favorite), the cast had something they needed to say, or rather, show. To the surprise of their bosses, Varney; Faustino and Byrne took over the panel for a moment and played a video of their “process” before recording. In actuality, the clip consisted of fake gags that, in the room, served as a fun reminder of how well the cast gets along around one another, and it was that video that lead to the eventual heartfelt goodbyes.
One by one, each of the three voice actors took a moment to express their gratitude for having worked on Korra for the last four seasons. Varney in particular got very chocked up as she recalled the day of the series premiere where a Nickelodeon executive told her, her life was about to change forever. At the time, she didn’t believe the hype. But now, sitting amongst a sea of her highly excitable supporters years later, she realized just how integral the show has been not only in her career, but in her life.
Following the cast’s statements, Bryan and Michael showed off a little artwork of their own and played an early recording of the cast from their first audition together, before getting into their own words about Avatar. As the room began to clear (the panel was the last of the day), Bryan and Michael expressed the joy they’ve felt over the last twelve years– Bryan in particular, telling the story of when he and Michael first crafted their world of people that could control the elements. It was in that moment everyone in the room cheered for the joy they’d been brought by the dynamic duo, and in the end, all that mattered was everyone from the stage to the exit knew that while its ending didn’t come the way it should have thanks to an executive decision, nothing will ever change the fact that The Legend of Korra will live on for generations to come.