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  • Astrobending, the all-encompassing term for bending on other planets (not my own term, mind you) or in the void of space, was brought up in my metalbending thread: http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:1041259 Check out some of the comments further down for some of the debate.

    Lets just say, for the sake of argument, that the creators run out of ideas and turn Avatar into a Jules Verne/HG Wells esque space opera. Given the rather cultural and anthropological nature bending seems to have, how would the arts translate on other planets or in space?

    If the limits of bending prove to be mostly human-made concepts like "earth" tends to be in metalbending debates, would bending even function on a new planet with a different chemical makeup? Would a planet made of diamond (like the kind that was relatively recently discovered in our own universe) hamper an earthbender? How about a more metal heavy planet? Would a waterbender's power extend to the ice similar to that found on Mars? Would a waterbender loose their powers on a planet with no moon, or be unstoppable on a moon like Io or Europa?

    If bending proves to be more all encompassing chemically, could airbenders control frozen or liquid methane? Could a waterbender wade his or her way through a storm the likes of Jupiter's Red Spot? Could a firebender tame the wilds of a planet with out of control global warming like Venus?

    Remember, this isn't necessarily a call to change Avatar into a wierd Sci-Fi/Fantasy hybrid, I'm just interested in the hypotheticals. That said, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

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    • Well, as i said on the other thread, bending isn't based in chemistry. if a planet was made of heavy metal or diamond, then it would probably be earthbendable, because that is the substance that exists naturally there. i also don't think airbenders would be able to bend something like frozen methane (besides the fact that humans can't exist at such temperatues of course) because it wouldn't be part of the atmosphere. remember my "slot-bending" theory: benders don't manipulate a specific chemical substance (proven by the frustrating fact that earth doesn't have a chemical definition) but they manipulate any substance that fills their elemental slot - so airbenders always bend the atmosphere of the planet, regardless of chemical makeup; waterbenders always bend the fluid that serves the same importance as water here, regardless of chemical makeup (although i think we're pretty sure there isn't one besides h2o, so maybe waterbenders do have a universal chemical definition); earthbenders bend whatever makes up the ground (i still think they should be able to bend straight metal); and firebenders...well i guess fire is a pretty universal thing, so i don't think there is a subsitute for fire, although i think self-"created" flames would be the color of the most common fire color there, unless of course someone pulls an azula and enhances themselves.

      as far as balancing the elements, (like having three moons, or a huge sun give advantage to certain elements) i think it depends on the planet. here on earth, the elements are pretty balanced. but on other planets, for example where it is very hot, the elements aren't balanced (fire is more promanent), so firebenders would, i believe, be super powered. or if the planet was all water and had no landmass, waterbenders would be at an advanatage, and earthbenders would be powerless. or if there were very high mountain ranges or forests (really just high places) then airbenders would be at an advantage.

      as for moons giving waterbender extra power, i really think that's a bit of a flaw. a moon's gravity might "bend" a planet's oceans, but a moon really has nothing to do with water. like your healing argument, i truly believe the moon dependence is a flaw in the series. if anything, a giant rock in the sky would power earthbenders. but assuming that moons do power waterbenders, i guess waterbending on some other planet would depend not so much on how a moon 's influence works, but just objects in the sky in general, and on how much those objects affect said place's water bodies. so even if waterbenders lived on the moon instead of the planet, then it would be the planet's influence on the moon's water that affects waterbending there.

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    • I suppose, though some bending is material based. Waterbenders, for instance, would be next to useless on a planet closer to the sun, outside the fabled "Goldilocks zone". On a planet further out with a similar consistency to say Europa they could be useful, but even then the temperatures on the surface wouldn't be terribly condusive towards liquid bending. Metals, apparently, would also give earthbenders pause if the planet was more heavily laden with them.

      I agree that once off of Earth, benders would definitely prefer some planets over others, given that they had access to the technology to inhabit said planet (I don't think a planet like Mercury would be settled by firebenders anytime soon). Airbenders would probably prefer a nice gas giant a la Jupiter or the fictional Bespin. Something along one of Jupiter's more aqueous moons would be appealing towards waterbenders if they could actually get to the water underneath the flexing ice. Earthbenders would probably be a bit more flexible: as long as it has solid ground, they should be good, though I still think they would have some limitations when it comes to bendables. An icy planet like Pluto (50% ice, if Niel DeGrasse Tyson is to be believed) would likely cause some problems, for instance. Firebenders... idk. The only planets that would really be for them would be similar to Venus, one with a more constant hot temperature. Other planets with thinner atmospheres can get hot, but they also get very cold, since theres no insulating layer of air. Plus, they may be slightly hampered if the atmosphere doesn't support their combustion. Since oxygen generally is a must, they may have to settle for raw heat manipulation.

      As for the whole moon thing, I think its more based around gravity than the actual object. It is the moon's gravity that controls the tides and by proxy taught waterbenders their craft. Perhaps the more gravity exerted on a planets liquids, the stronger waterbenders would become. Even then though, the whole moon mechanic and "full moon = OP waterbenders" thing is kinda wierd; why should it matter if we are able to see all of one side of the moon for waterbenders to be powerful? The moon is still there!

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    • you said firebenders need o2 for their combustion, but you also need fuel....so what do you think is the fuel that a firebender burns (creates?) when creating fire? i believe that they don't require either when creating, but simply use their chi to excite the atmosphere's (or whatever the fireball is traveling through, like water (yes, fire is possible underwater)) electrons to the next energy level so the atoms emit light, and of course heat, resulting in a kind of synthetic fire. (that's the reason why lightning falls under firebending - they still use chi to excite electrons, but instead of making them move up an energy level, they just make them flow)

      waterbenders don't need liquid to bend, as seen when they bend ice here. based on the fact that we haven't found a water subsitute, i'm beginning to think that waterbenders do have a universal chemical definition, which explains why they can bend in all states of matter when nobody else can, and would also take care of bending on a planet without life. and even if a planet was made of ice, i don't think earthbenders could bend it. i don't think elements can overlap. also, i'm gonna stick to my opinion that the moon/waterbending connection is a flaw. it's like they can't bend, but use someone (moon spirit) else's bending. i don't like it. although i'm fine with the sun/fire connection because the sun doesn't give bending abilites like the moon supposedly does, but some thing to bend. and even if the moon/water connection was legit, then i would completely agree with your last point about how full the moon is. sorry for my runons haha.

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    • Runons are most welcome :)

      Combustion needs oxygen to funtion. O2 is an integral part of the chemical reaction, as can be seen in a reaction formula featuring combustion. Fuel can perpetuate it for a little bit, but an evironment such as vaccuum or water suffocates combustion reactions, reducing the effectiveness of open flames. The fuel in a firebenders case seems to be chi, transforming the metaphysical energy into a physical one.

      Waterbenders may not need liquid to bend, but they do need to have an environment condusive to liquid water if they want to bend, well, liquid water. Its not a problem on Earth as all three phases are possible on the fruitful planet. On a colder one though, if one wanted to bend liquid water on the surface, I think way too much energy would need to be invested to convert ice into a liquid for any extended period of time.

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    • so what are you saying the chemical rxn is when creating fire? chi + o2 = ...what? how does chi react with oxygen? normally, carbon (the fuel) is vaporized by the heat (the heat) of the flame, and it reacts with o2 (the oxidizer) (or some other oxidizer, although that is rare) which produces light and more heat which vaporizes more carbon from the fuel source. paranthesis=parts of the fire triangle.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame   check it out. so what happens when firebenders create fire? do you think they create carbon atoms? i don't - i like my theory from two replies ago. and so long as the fire triangle is met, fire can exist underwater.

      waterbenders don't really need a warm environment to bend liquid water. as seen in the polar regions, waterbenders can "melt" ice/snow and bend liquid water. they don't have to keep pouring energy into it, they just have to do a single phase change each time it re-freezes. (see my thread "waterbending vs firebending" http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:976770 (you don't have to read all the comments) it doesn't make sense to me that waterbenders create heat for a phase change, because that's a firebender's job. i guess i think of it as replacing the molecules...not really sure about that one)

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    • Honestly, I have no idea how the combustion conversion works. No one really does. All I know is that breath+chi+a combustion friendly environment = fire in the Avatar world. Firebending is actually one area where the Shamalan film makes more sense: in the movie, most firebenders need pre-created fire. Considering the magical nature of bending, I don't think we're going to get a scientific explination any time soon, though I doubt underwater firebending is going to become a feature: water has a tendency to absorb heat rather well, as well as having little in the way of dissolved oxygen, which I believe is still needed. That's why explosions in space or underwater (non cinematic explosions, anyway) don't have much in the way of flames.

      Liquid water can easily exist at the poles; we know this from our own world. The differences between our own world and, say, Pluto, is our world's coldest natural temperatures are fairly well below the freezing point, and elsewhere it gets close to absolute zero. Like any part of bending, waterbending phase shifting most likely requires a bit of physical effort and work. I like to think that changing water from one form or another (likely imparting more kinetic energy to the H2O molecules rather than indirect thermal energy) is easier at -30 F than 3 degrees Kelvin.

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    • as for the waterbending thing...i can see your point, and suppose that it would be easier to convert warmer ice than colder ice to water. that brings up another thing, which i'll put in a new thread b/c it doesn't really fit here: the poles of avatar see to be much warmer than ours.

      as for firebending, zuko did firebend underwater in the season 1 finale: he melted the ice that was trapping him when he was swimming and escaped.  (althought there wasn't much flame, it was mostly just heat bending) and i think we do have an explaination that makes sense: my thing about electrons above.

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    • Thats just the thing: though it may be called firebending in the same vein as lighning generation, there was no fire involved, just thermal energy (as fire would have just been extinguished and its heat absorbed, rather inefficient), which I guess is harder to manipulate since almost we never see such subtlety in firebenders.

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    • I just saw Combustion as powering up Raw Chi and sending it to your enemy using the third Chakra.


      I also believed that they burned Chi to create Plasma for Lightning.

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    • I saw combustion more as sending chi-compacted packets of fire at the enemy. Oddly enough, probably more suited for offworld bending; you don't need to use limbs that are likely encumbered by a space suit, though the issue of the packet getting beyond the helmet might be an issue. Maybe a hatch by the forehead?

      If I remember right, the explination for lighning was being able to seperate the yin and yang energies in one's body and having them slam back together, with the resulting energy being converted into lightning.

      Lightning doesn't need plasma, its just electricity. That said, I think I remember either Intelligence4 or someone else make the argument that firebenders would be able to manipulate plasma in the same way they manipulate fire, though I don't remember the logic behind it.

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    • Lightning would generate plasma as a byproduct. Plasma is after all one of the 4 modern states of matter (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma).

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    • True, but my point was lightning doesn't require plasma to be called into existence.

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    • H-Man Havoc wrote:
      (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma).

      Earth. Water. Air. Fire.


      In that same exact way is how I see the elements. :/ Just wanted to add that.

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    • That is one of the ways I think astrobending will break down. Eventually, the cultural blocks of what makes up certain classical elements will break down, and all that will be left will be the four states of matter and energy.

      Or, alternatively, benders would either get overpowered or useless depending on their environments.

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    • I apologize for my belatedness and anonymousness (You may call me Legacy).

      So, I've read a lot of this, and I have developed my own separate take and theory upon this all. Thus far we have argued and assumed that they can only bend in accordance to what has been seen from the two series of The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. But as we have seen from bloodbenders is that rules can be broken. Even the 'modern' lightning bending is breaking rules we thought impossible from what was perceived in the original series demonstrated time and time again that Yin and Yang must be separated before lightning. This fanfare is not at all present in the current series.

      My theory is this: If bending was truly in the style of Liquid (Water), Solid (Earth), Energy (Fire), and Gas (Air), then what if it is all in their head? What if it was all psychological? What if an Earthbender can only bend earth because that is what he/she is used to from walking (and coming in contact with frequently from mining)? What if an Airbender can only bend air because that is what he/she is used to breathing (water vapor/steam being associated with water and thus a mental block due to as trying to breathe water is not usually a good idea)? What if a Waterbender can only bend water because that is what they are used to drinking (and simply force the molecules to act differently to change its state of matter)? What if a Firebender can only bend fire/lightning because it is easiest to perceive?

      In this respect then, the weaknesses and strengths normally associated with each culture is simply a ruse. It's all in their head. That means the Sun grants a firebender no more power than if it was not there. Which means a Firebender could be as powerful as seen from Sozin's comet if he/she could get passed the mental block. If this were real life, I would conduct an experiment in which a Bender is forced to bend all day and night in an enclosed room in which the rest of the world cannot be perceived, and they must keep bending until they have forgotten time. The Theory would be proven correct if eventually the flux of strength within the bending from a daily basis plateaued, and then never deviated afterwards. This would be best done with a firebender, as it would be more dramatically visualized for us in the effects of the experiment. Especially if it could be done long enough for a solar eclipse to be experienced, as if the firebender continued to bend, the experiment is a success, and Theory proven.

      It is unfortunate that it is all fantastical and unable to be reproduced or experiment with, but this is my Universal Theory to Elemental Manipulation. Every Waterbender can bend any liquid without the mental barrier (even lava), every Earth Bender can bend any solid (even ice), every Firebender can bend any energy (even Chi), and every Airbender can bend any Gas (even water vapor).

      The only potential problem I see with this is Water bending, in that it apparently can change its state of matter fluidly in its form of bending. Here is my Theory to the Water Bending Dilemma: That the state of water is allowed to be changed because the liquid is being bent on a molecular level, and that the bender is accelerating or decelerating the water/liquid molecules to either freeze or evaporate. So then, would this mean that all benders of matter could do this? It is possible through this theory, and I don't think it unlikely.

      Wow, I made myself sound smarter than I am, lol. I feel better though now that it is out there for others to read. I hope this puts some of your beasts to rest concerning the conflicting nature in the creation of this amazing universe. I hope you appreciate these thoughts to chew on, and I again apologize for not having found this thread here sooner.

      Yours truly-

      Legacy...

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    • Actually, your own theory is pretty similar to my own. Most bending limitations, I feel, are psychological and cultural. Earthbenders aren't able to bend metal because it is not considered "earth" even though most of the Earth (I assume the Avatar Earth formed under similar circumstances to our own) contains metal. Airbenders likely cannot bend any atmospheric gas mixtures other than our own since it wouldn't be considered "air", even though it is all gas in the end. At the end of the day, once all barriers are broken, chances are the four bending disciplines will eventually break down to the three primary phases of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and energy.

      Thank you for the contribution, Legacy

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    • It's an interesting concept, but it's a fundamentally flawed one. The Avatar is supposed to be the human personification of the world. So it doesn't make sense for him or her to exist outside of the world. Anything that is not of this world is beyond the Avatar's reach. If that weren't the case, why wouldn't Aang just bend Sozin's Comet away from the Earth? Why not bend the moon so that it eclipses the sun every time he needed to face a firebender army? Both the moon and the comet are made of rock. Toph has already demonstrated that she can easily bend meteor rocks. Why can't an Avatar-State-powered Aang do the same thing on a much larger scale? Answer - because he can't. Toph's meteor WAS from space, but is now a part of our world, whereas the moon and Sozin's comet are still outside the Avatar's realm of influence.

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    • Not necessarily. The Avatar has been said to briefly be able to visit space, so it is not impossible. The only barrier would be access to oxygen and decompression, something easily remedied with some of the steampunk tech of Korra's time.

      Now, with bending those cosmic objects, there are more than a few issues. Bending the moon? The hindrance of distance alone would be staggering, let alone the sheer mass of the natural satellite. Similarly, Sozin's comet may have simply been too high in the atmosphere for Aang to reach: he only became a fully realized Avatar after the comet had passed, after all. It may have also have had far too much momentum and kintetic energy to overcome. It may have also been a metal-heavy comet, something that Aang may have not been able to bend, as he did not share Toph's metalbending talent.

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    • Didn't Yue become the moon?

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    • moon spirit. there's a difference between becoming a spirit and a giant rock in the sky. :)

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    • Sokka referred to it as "My first girlfriend became the moon." in the prison episode, iirc.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      Not necessarily. The Avatar has been said to briefly be able to visit space, so it is not impossible.

      When was this? If you're referring to Aang's vision of walking in space while opening his chakras with Guru Pathik, that was only a vision. He never actually left the ground. Is there another example I'm missing?

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    • It is on the Avatar page here on the wiki, though I think it may have come from the Avatar extras, and I don't know how canon those are.

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    • so...anyone remember this thread?

      wanted to bring it back to life b/c i had some thoughts about the spirit world, given the new info that we've seen in b2 of korra.

      so...it seems the spirit world is only on earth: when hc happened, the dark energy only encompassed earth, and it was affected by the planetary alignment of a single solar system. so the question becomes, what is the spirit world? an alternate dimension of space? if it was, then wouldn't you be able to get there from another place in the universe? maybe each planet has its own spirit world? and if you flew off into the sky in the spirit world, you'd go into spirit space? and you could land on other spirit worlds for other planets? thought?

      p.s. i can't believe it was only 6 months ago that the last reply was made on here...it seems so much longer ago haha.

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    • I remembered it. I was considering reviving it when the topic of a futuristic Avatar galaxy came up in the New Nations thread. Like how bending could be used to maintain and protect a spacecraft.

      I always figured material life and spirits had something of a parallel development. Like one cannot truly exist without the other. So it would probably depend on whether those other planets have life on them.

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    • lol, nice. i think the bionicle canon could help you out with that one...although there they can also create the elements.

      good point, i was thinking kinda along those same lines. either what you said, or the spirit world would just be completely devoid of any life at all. but that kinda contradicts the meaning of "spirit".

      so if you were in spirit space looking down on spirit earth...the portals would just be shooting out at some random spot, and right next to each other...wierd.

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    • Pretty much. One must wonder what alien spirits look like...

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    • What kind of benders and powers would there be on other planets? How would advanced technology affect such things?

      Maybe some alien beings could bend more than one element at once (and energy of course)?

      Would it even be bending or some other form of energy manipulation? Maybe telekinesis would be possible (perhaps that is a form of energy bending).

      As for alien spirits, what about alien spirits similar to Raava and Vaatu?

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    • I'm just going to skip over the past posts & you can tell me if I've missed anything:

      Waterbending: The most chemically limited of the bending arts, as far as we know. It works on water & solutions made with water. If things like nitrogen were bendable, then they would do it, as frozen nitrogen would be so much more damaging than frozen water. If liquids in general were bendable, then they would be able to bend lava. So, yes, waterbending will only work with H2O. There is the problem with the moon, & this raises the question of whether you need to have TIDAL FORCES to bend, or SPECIFICALLY THE EARTH'S MOON. If it's the former, then waterbenders should be fine as long as the body they are on is significantly close to another to be affected by its gravity. If it's the latter, an interesting situation arises. Waterbending could either work everywhere OR only on earth, depending on whether it's the spatial location in relationship to the moon or the moon's sheer existence that enables waterbending. If they can bend off of Earth but cannot take advantage of any other tidal forces, then the max limit of their power is equivalent to if they were bending during a new moon.

      Earthbending: Toph could indeed bend the meteorite, so "space earth," though "not technically earth," can be bent. The requirement seems to be that the thing being bent has enough metallic character to be classified as a metal (or maybe a metaloid) on the periodic table, but not too much metallic character. So, the more "pure metal" there is, the harder it will be to bend. Everything else should be okay. The jury is still out on whether or not rock can be bent in non-solid states, but if you're in a position where that's really a viable option, I think you have bigger problems.

      Firebending: Heat (& therefore fire) & electric discharge are universal forms of energy, so Firebenders should only be limited by what extent the environment can support these things. Firebending "rises with the sun," but as far as we know this is not related to Spirit World shenanigans, so any star should probably do the trick. In fact, many should have a greater effect on Firebending than that of their equivalent of Sol. Objects like Sozin's comet should only have an effect if they pass very, very close to the Firebender. Recall that Sozin's Comet actually skims the atmosphere, essentially lighting the sky on fire.

      Airbending: Airbending is unable to control steam, which means that it can't just control any gas. It could be that it controls elements that are gasses in their natural states. If they control a specific element, then that element is likely oxygen. While nitrogen makes up more of the Earth's atmosphere, airbenders can breathe the air that they bend, which would eliminate anything other than oxygen. Since we don't know what exactly they bend, it's difficult to say if they could bend it in another state of matter. Even if we did know, we already don't know how to answer that question for Earthbending, which does have relatively known rules for what chemical substances it can bend.

      So, Firebending & Earthbending are pretty cut-&-dry, Waterbending is physically simple but the spirit-related rules are unknown variables, & almost no conclusions can be drawn on Airbending.

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    • @ Shivastarra

      I suppose the elements they bend would probably depend on their planet as a whole. What they percieve as the building blocks of their world might end up being their "elements" potentially being way different than Earth's traditional four.

      As four bending more than one element, I suppose it would depend on the biological and spiritual qualities of said alien species.

      If anything, yea, alien spirits would probably seem more like Raava and Vaatu than the other spirits we see: not remotely evoking natural forms that we know of, as the natural forms from their own planet (imitating flora and fauna) would most likely look very different from what the Avatar world has, as the flora and fauna themselves would look very different from what the Avatar world has.

      @ Neo

      You didn't miss anything, and yea, that pretty much seems to be the consensus. A lot of it depends on factors that will probably never be revealed, like if other natural satellites would allow for waterbending.

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    • They definitely weren't expecting to take this show off of Earth. But, when you think of it that way, it's fairly impressive that the cosmology is as tight as it is. Most stories just don't tell you about details that aren't really relevant to the narrative. In Fullmetal Alchemist, for instance, it's not even explained if animal souls can be used for a Philosophers Stone.

      I'm not entirely sure what the current conversation is, but I think that:

      1. More than 4 elements are hypothetically possible. There are a great many things that the 4 elements do not cover. But it has apparently not evolved on Avatar Earth yet.

      2. The Spirit World is linked to Earth. Other planets may or may not have their own Spirit Worlds.

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