- Echo’s connection to her ancestors in the finale parallels Aang’s connection to past Avatars in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Maya’s use of her powers to affect Wilson Fisk’s mind mirrors Aang’s use of energybending on Fire Lord Ozai.
- The themes of reconciling with one’s past and connecting with family are important in both Echo and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The following contains spoilers for the finale of EchoEcho and the beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender share interesting parallels that were spotted by one fan. Looking at the show’s themes, it makes a strange amount of sense.
The lead character in Marvel Studios’ Echo, Maya Lopez’s (Alaqua Cox) ability to copy any fighting style was replaced with a powerful connection to her ancestors who sported their own supernatural abilities. It looks like that new idea may be taking inspiration from someplace familiar, and the show’s creators could have paid homage to the aforementioned animated series. Avatar‘s story often focuses on a connection to past lives, a theme that carried through to its sequel series, The Legend of Korra. That idea seemed too good to pass up for the folks behind Echo.
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Reddit user Dominicsjr recently posted an interesting observation in the Marvel Studios subreddit. In the post, they offered a series of shots from both Echo and Avatar: The Last Airbender that seemingly indicate some familiar themes and possibly some intentional visual homages. This theory focuses on the final episode of Echo, where Maya fully embraces the connection to her ancestors, accepting the powers they offer her before she uses those powers to affect the mind of villain Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). Any Avatar fans out there are already likely taking note of some pretty striking similarities.
As noted in the pictures in the post, Maya’s connection with her ancestors mirrors that of Aang’s connection to past Avatars in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Just like they offer him guidance and power, those Maya is connected with also come together when she’s ready to help her protect her family. This moment on Echo came after several episodes of Maya slowly drawing on that power, though never able to fully embrace it due to her unwillingness to open herself up to her roots and those she cares about. Similarly, past Avatars would appear to Aang in his series to aid him when he was having his own doubts.
But perhaps an even more meaningful connection comes from what Maya does at the end of this particular battle. She uses her newfound powers to enter Fisk’s mind and essentially force him to contend with his own trauma, potentially changing him forever. This is remarkably similar to what happens to Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender. After Aang struggles with the idea that the oppressive leader likely must die for peace’s sake, he uses his new energybending techniques to remove Ozai’s own powers, effectively removing him as a threat. Even the physical method used in both instances is almost identical, with Maya and Aang pulling it off via the old “finger to the forehead” tactic.
It makes a lot of sense in hindsight. The ending of Echo drove home the importance of reconciling with one’s past and connecting with family. Meanwhile, Avatar: The Last Airbender has always carried some pretty heavy Native American coding, a significant part of Echo‘s identity. The change to Maya’s powers from the Echo comics may have been a boon from a storytelling perspective but also given Avatar fans that pleasant surprise.
Echo is available to stream on Disney Plus and Hulu.
Alaqua Cox returns as Maya Lopez in Echo, a first-of-its-kind Marvel Spotlight series. The show explores Maya’s past as she deals with the fallout of her confrontation with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) in Hawkeye. Unlike previous Marvel projects, Echo is rated TV-MA and explores a grittier, more violent side of the MCU.
- Alaqua Cox , Vincent D’Onofrio , Tantoo Cardinal , Chaske Spencer , Graham Greene
- Marvel Studios
- Number of Episodes
- Streaming Service(s)
- Disney Plus , Hulu
- Based On
- Echo by David Mack and Joe Quesada
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