During the last two episodes of Book 2 and the last episode of Book 3 (both from the first Avatar series), we can see Aang in some sort of space-like universe where he's basically walking to someone who looks alike him but bigger and sort-of looking angry. You can read about it and see images here: http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Aang#Avatar_Spirit
The whole thing with Raava and Vaatu wasn't explained, nor mentioned 'till the Korra series. I was hoping you guys could explain to me what we're actually looking at in those scenes I mentioned, and if there can be made any references to the Avatar Spirit stuff worked out and explained in the Korra series. For example, is that bigger self Aang is walking to actually Raava?
Well, Katara did mention that there was an "Avatar Spirit" inside Aang and that it was the source of the raw power of the Avatar State. Raava was later revealed to be the Avatar Spirit. During the production of book 2, Bryke actually came up with the idea that the Avatar came to be when the first Avatar merged with an all-powerful light spirit. Ehasz also apparently came up with a similar idea but involving the first Avatar having merged with the spirit of the earth.
It wasn't poorly done at all if you ask me. Their dynamic could not have been much clearer and their nature was well explained. Honestly, the Earth Spirit thing sounds pretty bland to me. The Avatar is supposed to maintain peace and balance. But an "earth spirit" sounds like the Avatar needs to allow chaos to ensue in order to keep the world evolving, regardless of how many people will die as a result.
Raava represents the light and peaceful aspect of the world (while Vaatu represents the dark and chaotic aspect) and it is the Avatar's duty to guide the people of the world to peace and enlightenment, teaching them to respect each other and respect nature, so that balance will be maintained. An Earth Spirit doesn't sound like it would value peace above chaos. I like the idea of having the world as the yin and the Avatar as the yang. After all, in Taoist philosophy, the yin represents the Earth and the yang represents the Heavens.
I dunno. To me, the Raava/Vaatu concept adds more personality to the Avatar mythology.
Avatar Beta wrote: I wish they had done the Earth Spirit concept instead of Raava. She was boring.
Way I look at it, it's two different ways of referring to the same thing - only there is not ONE, but TWO Spirits, one representing Order, the other representing Chaos. Given that the latter's been imprisoned for ten thousand years, it's not surprising that only the former would be remembered by most people, and only in the very vaguest terms at that.
Here's what I'm going to say: None of you really know that you'd like what they'd do with "The Spirit of the Planet" better, you just know what you didn't like about Raava. Also, I have my doubts it would be much different.