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The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion

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This article is about the first episode of the Invasion. For the second episode, see "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". For the event, see Day of Black Sun. For the battle, see Invasion of the Fire Nation.
Invasion
"The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion"
Information
Series

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book

Fire

Episode

50/61

Original air date

November 23, 2007
(US: November 30, 2007)

Written by

Michael Dante DiMartino

Directed by

Giancarlo Volpe

Animation

JM Animation

Guest stars

Greg Baldwin (Uncle), Andre Sogliuzzo (Hakoda), Richard McGonagle (Bato), Rene Auberjonois (mechanist), Daniel Samonas (Teo), Serena Williams (Ming), Wayne Duvall (Warden Poon), Michael Dow (Haru), Kevin Michael Richardson (Tyro), Carlos Alazraqui (Due/Tho), William H. Bassett (Huu), Mick Foley (The Boulder), Sterling Young (Pipsqueak), Nick Swoboda (The Duke)

Production number

310

Episode guide
Previous

"Nightmares and Daydreams"

Next

"The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse"

Transcript
"The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion" is the tenth episode of Book Three: Fire of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the 50th of the overall series. It debuted on November 30, 2007.

Overview

On the day of the solar eclipse, the invasion begins. Hakoda returns with a ragtag team of several allies whom the group has met during their adventures. They successfully infiltrate the Fire Nation capital as the invasion force breaks through many security barriers. Upon reaching the Fire Lord's palace, the eclipse begins, but Aang finds no one home.

Synopsis

Toph, Aang, and Momo

Toph dismisses Aang's warning about the loss of his access to the Avatar State as "spiritual mumbo jumbo".

On the morning of the invasion, Aang cheerfully greets everyone. Katara notes he seems well rested. Aang confidently believes he can face the Fire Lord. Toph asks Aang if he is going to use the Avatar State against him, but Aang explains that his seventh chakra was locked when Azula struck him with lightning, so he cannot use it.

A fleet of Southern Water Tribe ships appears on the horizon under the cover of a cloak of mist. Together with Toph, Aang creates some makeshift docks in the cove. Sokka and Katara greet their father, Hakoda, and Sokka asks whether he was able to bring the people he requested for the invasion. Hakoda replies he did, but he is unsure about some of them, in particular the Foggy Swamp Tribe waterbenders, whom Bato wishes would put some pants on. Emerging off one of the boats, Huu declares mystically that pants are an illusion, as is death. Due believes a rock he sees in the water is some sort of Fire Nation trap.

Off another ship, Haru greets Katara, sporting a newly grown mustache. She hugs him and Tyro thanks her for helping them find their courage when they were imprisoned by the Fire Nation. Toph senses The Hippo and The Boulder approaching and prepares to fight them. They instead tell her they are done with the earthbending tournament and want to help fight for the Earth Kingdom.

There is a small explosion on one of the ships, and everyone rushes to see what happened. The mechanist, Teo, Pipsqueak, and The Duke emerge. The mechanist was working on a new type of bomb using peanut sauce, but it proved to be a failure. Pipsqueak and The Duke remark the bombs are destructive and delicious. Teo presents Aang with a gift, a brand new glider staff that contains a secret snack compartment.

At the Fire Nation prison, Warden Poon continues to taunt the imprisoned Iroh. Ming, a young female guard, appears with his breakfast and sneaks in some white jade tea for him. After the other guard leaves, Iroh expresses his gratitude for her kindness.

Hakoda motivates the troops

Hakoda explains the plan to the invasion forces.

Everyone gathers to hear the invasion plan, Sokka attempts to brief the force about the invasion, but his nervousness gets the best of him; he gets more and more anxious until he loses track of his speech and begins to tell the entire story of how he met Aang. Hakoda takes over for him and confidently rallies the small army. He explains the plan to storm the beach and reach the palace before the eclipse. That way, when the eclipse begins, they can take on the firebenders that guard the palace, and Aang can defeat the Fire Lord while he is powerless. After that they will have control over the Fire Nation Capital, and the Hundred Year War will be over. Everyone cheers and prepares to depart; Appa wears armor and Aang shaves his head. Sokka, who is embarrassed of his behavior earlier, is reassured by Aang that he will have a chance to prove himself out on the battlefield. Meanwhile, Zuko begins writing a farewell note to Mai in his bedroom.

The invasion force heads to the Great Gates of Azulon. Although under the cover of mist, as they approach the gates, an alarm goes off and a large net rises from both sides of the gate, blocking the path. As the net catches fire, groups of firebenders infiltrate the ships and are shocked to discover that they are all empty. The invasion force pass the gate in submarine-like ships propelled by waterbending. The subs have a limited air supply so they have to resurface before they reach the beach.

Ming once again visits Iroh with his supper, sneaking in extra rice. Iroh reveals to Ming that her gestures of kindness have made his imprisonment bearable. He also comments that she looks ill and insists that she should go home. When she insists that she is fine, Iroh starkly explains that it would be better if she were not present that afternoon, at which Ming appears to understand.

Aang kisses Katara

Aang kisses Katara, fearing he might not see her again.

After resurfacing, the gang gets together one final time to wish each other good luck before parting ways. Aang and Katara say goodbye in private. Katara reveals she is proud of how much Aang has grown since they first met. Aang, realizing how big this day is and that there's a chance that he may not survive, decides that now was the time to make his move. He kisses Katara, confidently snaps out his glider, and flies away to face the Fire Lord, leaving her blushing and looking sadly toward the horizon. Katara subsequently hops on Appa and creates a bubble around his head so that they can breathe underwater; Appa dives into the water as they commence their attack.

In the meantime, after mentally apologizing to Mai and leaving her the note in her bedroom, Zuko is shown sitting in front of a painting of his mother. He confesses his earlier mistakes and promises aloud that he will do what is right and gets ready to leave.

After the subs evade capture at a gate armed with harpoon gun-type weapons, they finally arrive at the beach near the capital. Storming the plaza, new caterpillar-like tanks powered by earthbenders are released from the subs and face off against tundra tanks, as ground fighting ensues, followed by other warriors, benders, and eight supply trucks. The earthbender tanks are highly resilient and easily defeat the Fire Nation guards.

Domestic forces

The first wave of the battle takes place in the Royal Plaza.

After noticing a threat from towers shooting missiles, Katara, Sokka, and Hakoda attack them with Appa. While Katara and Sokka take out one tower, Hakoda destroys another one, but is injured in the process. Katara and Sokka take their father a short distance from the battle. Katara attempts to heal Hakoda, but he is still unable to join the battle anytime soon. Sokka pledges to his father and sister that he will lead the battle in his father's place and flies off on Appa. He lands among the troops, which have been split up in mild disarray. He reorganizes them into wedge formation and orders them to charge up to the palace.

As the invasion breaches the wall of the capital city, things are looking well. However, when Aang enters the capital city, he finds it completely deserted of people. When he reaches the Fire Lord's throne room in the palace, Ozai is nowhere to be found. In anguish, Aang falls to his knees and yells, "Fire Lord Ozai, where are you?"

Credits

  • Additional voices:
    • Carlos Alazraqui
    • Dee Bradley Baker
    • Barbara Goodson
    • Kevin Michael Richardson

Production notes

Transcript

Main article: Transcript:The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion

Translations

Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar

Series continuity

  • In "The Runaway", Sokka tells Toph that he was planning to make armor for Appa, which he completes for the invasion.
  • Toph gave Sokka money in "The Runaway" to buy expensive atlases, which are used to explain the invasion plan.
  • Sokka's recollection of Team Avatar's journey recalls the storyline from several episodes featured in Book One: Water.
  • This is the third time that Appa took off with another command instead of yip yip, the first and second being in "Appa's Lost Days".

Goofs

  • When Toph asks Aang what his plan is to take the Fire Lord down, she mimics a punching attack. However, when she holds up her fists, she has six fingers on her left hand.
  • When Katara worriedly looks at the incoming fog, the part of her hair that is supposed to fill in the space between her left arm and her body is missing.
  • Ming brings white jade tea to Iroh's cell as an act of kindness, but in "The Cave of Two Lovers", it is established that white jade is poisonous and if ingested fatal without treatment. In that episode, Iroh confuses the white jade bush with white dragon bush and develops rashes for which he must be treated.
  • When Hakoda is reassuring a nervous Sokka about speaking in front of everyone, Sokka has his sword on his back, but when Sokka is picking up his dropped scrolls after tripping, his sword is missing.
  • During Sokka's speech when he says, "Let me start at the beginning," his sword and sheath are on his back. When the camera zooms out, however, they are both gone. However, when Hakoda asks Sokka to take a break, his sword reappears.
  • Near the beginning of the episode, when it cuts to Zuko removing his shoulder-plates and Fire Nation hair clip, he pulls open a blank sheet of paper; when the shot closes in on the sheet, it has ink on it.
  • During the invasion, after Hakoda disarms a Fire Nation soldier, he is holding the two spears with the blades facing in toward his body, but in the next frame the blades are facing out.
  • Near the end of the episode, when Sokka is seen mounting Appa to lead the mission after his father is wounded, Appa is missing his reins. In the next scene, Sokka is holding them like he should.

Trivia

  • Nickelodeon, as it had done for the Fury of Aang ("The Library" and "The Desert") and Secret of the Fire Nation ("The Serpent's Pass" and "The Drill") specials, rallied greatly to promote this two-parter, creating a completely new website with links to a tournament, the Turbonick site, and wallpaper downloads, even including the publishing of a new online game the day before the special's United States premiere.[1]
  • During this episode, Aang was not shown to have any problems with killing the Fire Lord, but in the finale, he was shown to be severely conflicted about it. However, it is probable that he did not think he would have to kill Ozai, given the fact that Ozai would be powerless at the time, merely defeat him and force him to end the war. It is also possible after they heard of Ozai's plan to burn the Earth Kingdom, the group felt Ozai was too dangerous to be left alive, whereas prior to that they thought they would just have to overthrow him.
  • It is interesting that the mechanist was attempting to make peanut-sauce bombs, as peanuts are actually an ingredient in dynamite.
    • It could also be a reference to George Washington Carver, an American inventor known for his work with peanuts.
  • Katara's hair was redesigned for this episode. This would be her hairstyle onward.
  • With the arrival of numerous old acquaintances of the group, many previous episodes are referenced.
  • The invasion force fighting on the beach and moving inland could be a reference to the Allied landings in Normandy in World War II. However, the Allied landings were much more successful.
  • All of the members of Team Avatar and Zuko have new clothing in this episode. Aang: A combination of Fire Nation school clothing and his old Air Nomad child scraps; Katara: Mostly the same, but she carried three water skins now, and she has arm guards and leg guards; Sokka: Wearing Water Tribe wolf armor from the Southern Water Tribe's Army; Toph: Wearing the round typical Earth Kingdom soldier headgear, top wear, and earthbender sleeves; Zuko: Wearing the clothing that goes under his Royal armor.
  • This is the last episode in the series where Aang is seen with hair, as he shaves it off as everyone prepares for the invasion.
  • The submarines in this episode were revealed by the mechanist to have limited air, which shows comparison to pre-Cold War and World War II submarines.
  • The Day of Black Sun, both parts, is the only episode of the series to show modern day equipment and vehicles like submarines, trucks and missile turrets on the cliffs.
  • It is also the first time we see female Foggy Swamp Tribe members.
  • When Zuko walks out of his room in the Fire Nation Royal Palace to confront his father, the shot is reminiscent of the last time Zuko saw his mother.
  • This episode includes a second appearance of Mai's house, in which we see her bedroom and that she has a painting of herself and Zuko hanging on the wall.

References

  1. "Aang Is Ready to Strike Down the Fire Nation on the Darkest Day of the Year in Avatar's 'Day of Black Sun' Premiering Friday, Nov. 30 on Nickelodeon". Viacom International (November 14, 2007). Retrieved on November 16, 2013. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008.

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