Avatar: Why Aang Can Now Fly In Live-Action Netflix Last Airbender Show, Explained

By Jennifer McDonough Posted:
Avatar: Last Airbender Aang flying, Netflix logo

Aang seemingly gained the power of flight in Netflix’s take on the iconic Last Airbender series, going against long-established canon.

Netflix’s brand-new Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action adaptation has officially landed. Reviews and reactions have been somewhat mixed, but the series definitely has its fans, and most agree that it is leagues ahead of the disastrous M. Night Shyamalan movie version from 2009.

Aang's New Flying Abilities in Live-Action Netflix Show Explained

Gordon Cormier as Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender

The introduction of Gordon Cormier’s live-action Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender is significant because it showcases the character flying. 

Audiences first see him standing atop a large tower before swooping back down to the ground using his airbending abilities.

Aang flying through the air in Avatar: The Last Airbender

In the animated Avatar show, Aang was never seen flying like this without using his trademark glider, leaving fans baffled about why the change was made.

Aang on his glider in Avatar: The Last Airbender

He could also levitate when entering the Avatar state, but that was far from an everyday occurrence.

Aang in the Avatar state in Avatar: The Last Airbender

There is the possibility that, in the Netflix series, he wasn’t flying but rather, as a certain space ranger would put it, falling with style, using airbending to aid his descent.

This new ability becomes more conspicuous when one watches the live-action scene in which Aang, on his glider, is shot out of the sky by a firebending blast from Prince Zuko. 

As he plummets to his apparent death, he displays none of his previously shown flying powers, and Sokka ends up catching him as he rides by on Appa.

Aang flies through the air in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Some Airbenders in Avatar Canon Can Fly, but Not Aang

There has been a character in The Last Airbender who achieved the capability to fly.

The character in question didn’t originate from the original animation but from its sequel series, The Legend of Korra. The villainous anarchist Zaheer could fly, but that was only before he relinquished his earthly attachments.

Zaheer was the first airbender in 4,000 years to unlock this power, meaning that Aang never did, likely because it would go against the kind-hearted Aang’s character to give up his attachments.

Aang’s newfound ability is far from the only alteration the Netflix live-action show committed. Some audience members have gone with the flow, while others are understandably peeved that the series didn’t follow established canon more stringently.

[ Avatar: The Last Airbender: Suki & Sokka's Relationship Explained - Differences Between Live-Action & Animation ]

Avatar: The Last Airbender is now streaming on Netflix. Season 2 is reportedly in early development.

- In This Article: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Release Date
February 22, 2024
Dallas Liu
Gordon Cormier
Ian Ousley
- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.