So today, we’re offering up one of those theories—an academic reflection, shall we say—on how Nickelodeon’s brilliant animated show
Fans of both
From the outset, Kylo has shared similarities with Avatar’s conflicted antagonist. Just like Zuko, Kylo was born to royalty. His self-imposed familial exile after killing the students at his Uncle Luke’s Jedi Academy is a dark reflection of a vital moment in Prince Zuko’s life and ultimately his redemption arc. After speaking out during a war council with his father, the 13-year-old Prince was banished, setting him on a quest to capture the Avatar in an attempt to appease his father and regain his place in the monarchy of the Fire Kingdom.
It’s a mission similar to Kylo’s attempts to crush The Resistance and finish “what his grandfather [Darth Vader] started.” Both characters shoulder a heavy family legacy that they think they can be a part of if they just achieve one specific and brutal thing. Obviously, for both, the reality is far more complex than that, and as they attempt to take on that burden they come across people who make them question their motives and ultimately their dedication to darkness.
Just like Kylo and his quest for Rey, the newest Force user in the universe, it’s the very person that Zuko is hunting down who eventually changes his life. After pursuing Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph, Zuko eventually rejects the brutal and violent ways of the Fire Nation, battling to become the new leader and ending the devastating war that’s been ravaging the four nations for a century. This is, of course, where Zuko and Kylo’s paths seem to diverge, as when he was given the chance, Kylo refused to join Rey and the Resistance.
But that wasn’t the first time Zuko had a chance to turn over a new leaf and potentially join Team Avatar; just like Kylo, he initially refused. So what was it about his journey that led him to turn his back on the dark side and join the other young peacemakers that he’d come into contact with? Well, there’s one key figure that we have yet to speak about: Zuko’s Uncle Iroh. Just like Kylo, the young Prince’s life has a kind and compassionate elder who takes care of him during his banishment and manages to instill a sense of good, morality, and ultimately balance in the young and conflicted man.
We know that Luke apparently died at the end of
The potential for Luke to reappear—just like he warned his nephew he would when he stated “strike me down in anger and I’ll always be with you”—is huge. It could also mean a continuation of Kylo’s parallel journey to Zuko’s, as Luke could take on the sarcastic-yet-supportive role of mentor, just like Iroh, teaching him balance, forgiveness, and the power of friendship. That last part is key, as one of the major things that made Zuko switch sides was his bond with Katara, something that he shunned at first but came to value greatly later. Sounds like a certain Solo when he fought alongside Rey in Snoke’s throne room, only to shy away from her offer of redemption.
Though, after committing genocide and killing his own father, it’s far more realistic that it’ll be a last gasp in which Kylo sacrifices himself, rather than the happy ending and long life that Zuko was afforded. But there’s always a chance that in a very