Comments for Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1: 06/05/14
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang opens with Aang hoping to share with his friends and the new air nomad devotees the festival of Yangchen. At the sacred valley, though, a factory town has arisen it's getting in the way of Aang's spirit abilities.
There are three big things going on here all of which will hopefully be addressed in books two and three. First there is the defilement of sacred land. Then there is the refinery which has automated things to the point that bending powers are no longer needed and the environmental disaster from all the pollution the factory is generating. Finally there is Aang's disconnect from the spirit world even though Yangchen appears to be trying ton contact him.
The Air Nomads (except for Aang who was trapped in the spirit world for 100 years) were systematically wiped out (genocide) but most of their land that Aang has visited has been left to return to nature. Yes, there was the village of the air gliders but they were living in harmony with what the Air Nomads had built centuries before.
The factory and the disconnect (or disharmony if you will) that Aang feels with the spirit world on these once sacred and now defiled grounds rings painfully true. This story has been experienced countless times across the Americas. Native populations have been wiped out through disease, war, forced relocations and their lands taken as a cheep source of natural resources or a place to put the factories or other necessary but undesirable parts of modern living. Those people who do manage to stay on their ancestral lands often face health issues from pollution, poverty, and a disruption of spiritual traditions, language, culture, and so forth.