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Having watched "The Last Airbender" recently, I noticed how badly organised the storyline was. I have been aware how many bad reviews people have given it and that dissuaded me from watching it. However since I am making this; I feel that I have to understand just how badly they messed up the film.
I can say that a lot of things were bad:
- The Plot: I acknowledge that they were trying to jam in 20 episodes into a single movie, and I believe that was the main problem. The story is just so rich that it needs a lot of those episodes. You simply cannot rush progression; you need to put the time and effort into building up these characters and the plot so that people care about it.
- The Dialogue: There was too much information given without using a lot of development. There are entire scenes just dedicated to stating things that are best served by building up to them instead of jamming them into any old place. If information is important, you need to set it up, allows the listener to ease into it, or even make an earlier hint that you can build up from later. Don't add it in just for the sake of it.
- The Casting:
- The Ethnicities: The Avatar Universe is largely based on Asian traditions and legends with a western twist to it. The problem that people complained about most was the fact that Caucasians where signed into the roles of Aang, Katara and Sokka; Aang didn't have to be Asian, but a lot of people expected him to be seeing as he is a monk, and I actually agree. Katara and Sokka were the only white people (plus their grandmother) in a completely Inuit community in the movie which makes zero sense. And in addition to that, Katara and Sokka were much darker skinned than characters like Zuko, casted as Indian, when the majority of Fire Nation is the lightest skinned. I understand the idea about seeing as Indians, Persians and Arabians represent the desert and the heat, it makes some sense, but now it looks like a less culturally diverse with white protagonists and ethnic antagonists.
- The Acting: Mostly of the acting was just emotionless. There was little to gain from listening to most of the conversations. This is a part of the condensed script, but it will need revisions to make it turn out better than it did.
- The SFX: The bending was a big disappointment. All the actions were so slow and it took too many moves to generate such a slow movement that it was unbearable. I understand trying to add fire having to be from a source rather than chi, but it doesn't make sense how the Fire Nation dominates so easily when they need fire from somewhere in order to bend. Though looking at how the earthbenders weren't so good with their bending it makes some sense.
As rightfully and already pointed out by user:Buttongoo in his own ideas. The franchise should be named "The Legend of Aang" to distinguish itself from "The Last Airbender" and to not cause confusion over the slang word 'bender'.
The films can only really be made into 7 to get all the right information and timing in without rushing too much into one film. It does seem much, but it is the only option without cutting proper character development and important information and scenes from the films.
- The Legend of Aang
- The Legend of Aang: The Siege of the North
- The Legend of Aang: The Blind Bandit
- The Legend of Aang: Crossroads of Destiny
- The Legend of Aang: The Day of Black Sun
- The Legend of Aang: The Firebending Master
- The Legend of Aang: Sozin's Comet
The Legend of Aang
The Focus of this story is establishing the characters, specifically the main ones. Aang, Katara and Sokka are the Protagonists. Zuko is the Main Antagonist in this film, followed by Commander Zhao as a supporting, but better capable antagonist. The Agni Kai is especially important to show the rivalry between Zuko and Zhao.
The storyline will be played out in the order of episodes but will have some stuff taken out of them in order to make them fit:
- The Boy in the Iceberg
- The Avatar Returns
- The Southern Air Temple
- Winter Solstice Part 1: The Spirit World
- Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku
There will also be included some brief scenes from "The Warriors of Kyoshi" and "Imprisoned", but won't be heavily expanded upon. They will appear in the middle just after "The Southern Air Temple" as in the order of the episodes. "The Waterbending Scroll" will make a brief earlier appearence to get some development into waterbending forward.
The Legend of Aang: The Siege of the North
This one will then be focusing more in the Northern Water Tribe and the siege that follows. Zhao will expand into the Main Antagonist, while Zuko is given a supporting antagonist role, but debating on more lenience towards ant-hero. It will develop into Sokka/Yue to give more emotion into the tragedy at the end to make people care more about the relationship (This explains the only briefing of "The Warriors of Kyoshi" in the last film, as not to show confliction between two possible love interests).
The following episodes will be adapted into the film:
- The Storm
- The Blue Spirit
- The Waterbending Master
- The Siege of the North Part 1
- The Siege of the North Part 2
The main storyline will be the "The Waterbending Master" and "The Siege of the North", while "The Storm" and "The Blue Spirit" are adapted into the other episodes. The Storm's backstories will be added under different circumstances, like Aang doubting he can stop an invasion and tells Katara of his life 100 years ago, and Iroh meets naval grew members, who are talking about Zuko's "Death" when his ship blows up. "The Blue Spirit" serves more of a flashback, which really shows explanation for why certain actions are taken place in the episode, such as why Zhao decides to kill Zuko on his ship, or why Aang decides to save Zuko from freezing by leaving him.
The Legend of Aang: The Blind Bandit
Kicking it off with the introduction of Toph and the Gaang learning about the Solar eclipse. It's much trickier as there is a lot that is more necessary than from Book 1. The whole Appa going missing might have to be let go due to it becoming a huge confliction in the main storyline with another problem being created to halt them.
The Main Antagonist become Azula, and showing how she overtakes Zuko's position as Zuko slides closer to being a protagonist rather than an antagonist will evolve.
- The Avatar State
- Return to Omashu
- The Blind Bandit
- The Chase
- The Serpent's Pass
"The Warriors of Kyoshi" will be expanded a little more to then give more reason to the relationship between Sokka/Suki. And the flashback of Young Bumi with Aang will be used from "The King of Omashu" as a reason to why Aang is going there first. Aangs vision of Toph could be used instead of the nightmare in "The Avatar State" to give more of a reason to why she became his teacher. Professor Zei from "The Library" will have a smaller role, and Wan Shi Tong's Library will become more of a public library to combat having to introduce another villain when it's not necessary.
The Legend of Aang: Crossroads of Destiny
The whole film will be based in Ba Sing Se, and introduces Long Feng as what you'd think of as the Main Antagonist, but then being completely toppled over by Azula as in the series. The debatability of starting at "The Drill" is basically starting from a possible cliff-hanger, but this might just be thrown out the window to allow more screen time for Zuko and Iroh's storyline as it becomes more towards protagonist
- The Drill
- City of Walls and Secrets
- Lake Laogai
- The Earth King
- The Guru
- Crossroads of Destiny
With Appa no longer missing, the ending scene of "Appa's Lost Days" could be used as a plot convenience to allow "Lake Laogai" to be availible. Jet will not appear, and will be completely cut from use as his first appearance was a filler and all scenes relating to him are unnecessary, and with the new reason to seek Lake Laogai, his entire need is unnecessary. Appa being captured also helps Zuko try to realise what he wants and his temporary change before his betrayal in the end.
Another scene taken from "Appa's Lost Days" will be explaining how Azula and her team got Kyoshi Warrior disguises, but removing Appa as a contributor, instead just showing a relative confrontation in the woods while they were on the trail for Aang, following Appa's shed fur.
Toph's development of Metalbending will not be done when captured by Xin Fu and Master Wei as they will not be included in this film. Their appearances in the previous film will be included except for when they are offered a reward to recapture Toph and their appearance after that. But Toph will develop it instead while in prison with Sokka and Earth King Kuei. The letter will be the trap that gets her caught by the Dai Li instead, in order to keep the team separated.
Sokka going to Hakoda will also be left out as it drags in another conflict between keepings to Aang's story. Instead, Sokka will stay in Ba Sing Se and will notice the capture of the Generals and then get caught by Azula, Ty Lee and Mai (without Toph as she's already being captured at a seperate time).
The Legend of Aang: The Day of Black Sun
Starting off with the rest of the series, Azula remains the Main Antagonist while Ozai is introduced in person for the first time. Ozai will stay back as he did in the series and not expand himself as a character.
- The Awakening
- The Headband
- Sokka's Master
- The Runaway
- The Day of Black Sun Part 1: The Invasion
- The Day of Black Sun Part 2: the Eclipse
The nightmares of "The Avatar State" will be moved over to the beginning of this film, showing Aang in the Avatar State, including the moment he got hit by lightning from Azula, before he wakes up.
"The Headband", "Sokka's Master" and "The Runaway" will be semi merged into a single plot; "The Headband" will only include them trying to blend in, and "Sokka's Master" will be merged in with some Katara/Toph development from "The Runaway".
Combustion Man will be introduced, but will only have a brief encounter during "The Runaway" which skips the whole jail scenes and has him trying to attack near the fountain.
"The Beach" will be skipped over as it has little towards the Invasion, but some developments and revelations of the Fire Nation guys will be used to some extent, but not in the deep way the episode did. It's a good episode, but it can be skipped.
Bloodbending will not be introduced as "The Puppetmaster" will not be included due to adding too much into a single film already, and having less blending ability into other episodes.
The Legend of Aang: The Firebending Master
The main focus of this film is to show Zuko slowly merging into the group and show how the other protagonists slowly begin to trust him.
- The Western Air Temple
- The Firebending Masters
- The Boiling Rock Part 1
- The Boiling Rock Part 2
- The Southern Raiders
The Duke, Haru and Teo appear as the children who were evacuated, but do not have specific roles except adding more reality to the evacuation after the failed invasion. Since their developments from "Jet", "Imprisoned" and "The Northern Air Temple" are gone, there is no need to adapt these characters at all.
"The Southern Raiders" will come before "The Boiling Rock", but they will stay in the Western Air Temple with no attack from Azula until the next film in order to keep Hakoda from interfering in the Zuko and Katara friendship development.
"The Ember Island Players" will be left out completely. But the discussion between Aang and Katara will be used during a cutting point between "The Boiling Rock" scenes. This is important to add variety to the film instead of primarily focusing on Zuko, and commenting after the Aang/Katara kiss during the invasion.
Having thought about the controversy with introducing Jeong Jeong in the next film, with some inspiration from TackTheCobbler's own adaptation, but I will introduce him as Zuko's teacher and Zuko talks a bit about him when he loses his Firebending, using some scenes from "The Deserter" but placing a young Zuko in Aang's place.
The Legend of Aang: Sozin's Comet
The finale, and it will be a complete adaptation from the 2 hour long special, with the opening becoming a merging of the escape from the Air Temple in "The Southern Raiders" and the brief notification that they are on Ember Island from "The Ember Island Players".
- Sozin's Comet Part 1: The Phoenix King
- Sozin's Comet Part 2: The Old Masters
- Sozin's Comet Part 3: Into the Inferno
- Sozin's Comet Part 4: Avatar Aang
Aang is the Avatar, so he is a serious character, but you also have to remember that he is still a kid. Aang from Book 1 was a fun character who enjoyed goofing off doing various activities such as riding hybrid animals like otter seals to be used as sleds. He'd much prefer to go sightseeing than save the world, but he has accepted that he is the Avatar and thus cares much about the hostilities the Fire Nation have created, to both men and spirits and is committed to stopping them eventually.
For the first four films, Aang will show that he's a likeable character that the audience deeply cares about, from his near hyperactive nature to his emotional moments where he faces up to the fact that he is the last of his kind. This will eventually fade as the audience accepts him more and he also slightly matures and realise that the Fire Nation victory is not a joke. His fun side will have dropped by the fifth film after awakening from his near death at the end of the fourth film. He will feel that he cannot take this slowly anymore and the schedule finally breaks into him and he knows what has to be done.
Aang starts in the series as twelve years old. But to make the film series work, the films will be stretched to reflect longer periods of time in order to accompany the actor aging. So perhaps starting Aang at ten may be a good option to keep that childlike quality to him and use the original age put forward by the co-creators before aging him up.
Aang will defiantly need to be portrayed as Asian. For a film set in an Asian best world that was animated based on Asian styled cartoons, it seems only fitting. Because Aang isn't bound to a certain group that can easily be recognised, it wouldn't matter too much which Asian ethnicity would be best to portray him. But judging from his lighter completion, North Eastern Chinese seems a good option over the source origin Tibetan, though Korean and Japanese is also a good choice if needed.
Katara is a strong female character. Being the last waterbender in the Southern Tribe, and haunted by the loss of her mother, she sees much hope from Aang returning to the world and is determined to help him as much as she possibly can. She does show how tough she can be, but also retains a good amount of femininity to her character that is appealing. her progression of being unsure about decisions and being a motherly figure in the group and a really good friend grows into determination that is conflicted towards how much Aang means to her while he is clearly smitten towards her.
While she is sensible she can just as easily do something irrational if she thought that it would benefit them better or help other who were in need.
Katara is fourteen in the series, but she could just as easily be reduced to younger to maybe twelve while still showing she is still a strong character.
To keep in touch with the basis for the Water Tribes, any one of Eskimo origin would be best fitted for playing her. Though other options include Mongolian or Central Asian groups due to the consideration towards the skin tone they are portrayed with.
Sokka is the comic relief, relying on sarcastic comments and visual humour to win the audience over. But while he is the "meat and sarcasm guy", he is serious also. Left in charge as the eldest male remaining to defend their homeland, as well as his younger sister, he feels he is deeply involved with the responsibility to make sure no harm comes to anyone, even if he is sorely beaten in the process. While Katara is largely affected by their mother's death in sadness, this is Sokka's fuel of anger against the Fire Nation that also links to his father also leaving to go fight them shortly after.
Sokka is also the ladies’ man, being shipped with most female characters in the films. While this may seem farfetched due to his obvious misuse of words that his just waiting for the laughter, he is very deep and a really loving character, showing much concern to those he falls for, as much as he would for Katara, expanding his own role to protecting them as if they were his family.
Sokka is fifteen, but it could still work at thirteen, which adds to the humour of a boy trying to be a man, while still in the right age to get love sick over girls.
As with Katara, Eskimos are the best fit, with Mongolic/Central Asians being optional seconds.
The exiled prince of the Fire Nation, who is both angry and determined after being horribly marked by his own father for refusing to face him in an Agni Kai duel, Zuko presents himself as the perfect young antagonist to start, but to easily start crawling into the spot as the antihero. Willing to go to the ends of the earth to capture Aang, he will stop at nothing to bring him to his father to restore his honor.
He may be a ferocious fighter, but Zuko does have a deeper side, relating back to his mother's disappearance and his father favouritism towards his firebending protegy sister over him, and the scar that has pushed him over the edge into the angry boy he becomes. He will later learn to let that anger go while still showing some strong emotions towards events in his life, even conflicting with doing the right thing in the end.
Zuko is sixteen, but fifteen may be a better place to start at to help age down, but not too far that makes people wonder why he feels he can command such authority. Fifteen being the peak of teen hood on the verge of reaching adulthood, it makes sense that he could just as easily take measures into his own hands.
Seeing as the Fire Nation is based on Imperial japan, as well as a notoriety of having light complexions. Japanese and Korean are the best groups for him, with expansion going towards North Eastern Chinese to stay in that same group.
Toph is the only daughter of the prestigious Beifong family of Gaoling. Born blind and was put under fulltime surveillance and care by her parents who thought of her a weak and helpless by her disability. Toph ran away her fair share of times, but ultimately returning home in the end. However at a young age, she ran into a badgermole while hiding in a cave. While the badgermoles have been known as large and aggressive animals, their shared blindness allowed them to relate to each other, and Toph learned to eartbend not only as a martial art, but using seismic sense to interact with the world just as the badgermoles did.
While Sokka is funny for sarcasm and visual humours to his misfortune, Toph uses mockery as her source of laughs, as well as demonstrating her great ability to bend while appearing weak due to her blindness. Often taking on bigger enemies or multiple foes alone, she shows just how tough she can be. Purposely showing lack of manners and preferring to be one of the guys in terms of having fun and getting her hands (and her feet) dirty. But despite showing a hard exterior, she does show she is equally able to enjoy more 'girly' things.
Toph is the same biological age as Aang was, through it could work if she was a year younger than him at around eleven by the time he arrives in Gaoling at twelve.
North or Mid-Eastern Chinese would suit her best, relating closer to the most populous of cities of China and the lighter complexions also keep it closer to the source material.
A proud and easily capable warrior in the use of fans, katanas and even hand-to-hand combat, Suki is another strong and capable female character. Only part of a minor appearance in the first film that isn't expanded that well into, due to it showing later conflictions with Sokka's relationship to Yue in the second film. Suki's first part in the major cast is in the third film while aiding the group to Ba Sing Se, which helps further her character and her relation to Sokka, providing a new love while showing conflict over the loss of his previous love, showing turmoil as she gets caught in the middle of Sokka's confused feelings. Losing to Azula in a flashback in the fourth film, providing her and her gang with the means to infiltrate the city and the royal palace, as well as being mentioned again during the invasion as a thought of distraction, Suki later appears again in the sixth film, elevated back to a major character just in time to aid the cast in defeating the Fire Nation in the end.
Suki is fifteen, the same age as Sokka is, but could likewise be made a year younger as with other characters, so while Sokka could be fifteen in the third film, she could be fourteen/fifteen, and ages with the rest of the group.
Because of a lot of Kyoshi Warrior styles of clothing and face makeup, Japanese seems a logical choice for Suki.
Zhao is the secondary antagonist of the first film and the main antagonist of the second. A military man through and through, he is determined to elevate himself from great to legendary, mythical, immortal. While he is a strong firebender, he lack self-control which is how own undoing when skill is matched by an equal or greater. Promotion is his main goal, but also to live long on after he meets his greatest moment in history, willing to go at any lengths to make the tale much more intriguing.
Lieutenant, to Captain, to Commander, to Admiral, he climbed his way up the ranks and is determined not to stop. Coming to conflict with the exiled Prince Zuko, who commands purely by birth despite being banished and stripped of his title, there is much resentment between them, especially with news of the Avatar's return and the determination not to allow the prince to be his superior again.
Zhao has no confirmed age, but as aged veteran still active, anywhere from late thirties to late forties is the recommended age group.
Keeping with all Fire Nation people, Japanese, Korean or North Eastern Chinese.
Azula is the main antagonist of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth film, and the secondary antagonist of the seventh. The firebending protegy and favourite child of the Firelord, Azula grew up believing that trust is for the weak and the only way to live without fear of betrayal is through fear and control. Demonstrating her regal right in commanding her loyalist, by being clever and clear that she would just as easily have them removed permanently if they dared.
While enjoying the privilege of being royalty of a nation that's winning a century long war, she is also not hesitant to take matters into her own hands. Skilled in the master levels of firebending, including the rare skill of lightning generation, and producing her signature blue coloured flames, but also demonstrates a confident liar that makes it difficult to distinguish the truth in her words from what is simply fiction.
Azula can easily remain in her original age of fourteen and doesn't need to be made younger as she stays the younger of Zuko either way. Fourteen also shows how easily she’s matured into an adult figure, while keeping her a child at the same time.
Like Zuko, Japanese, Korean or North Eastern China are the best groups of ethnicity.
Long Feng is the secondary antagonist of the fourth film. The Grand Secretariat of Ba Sing Se and Head of the Dai Li, the true holder of power in the Earth Kingdom and Ba Sing Se directly, while Earth King Kuei is a figure head since his assertion. Possessing a noble's mannerism and a professional enactment with the world, underneath he is scheming and deceitful, using the Dai Li to retain order and "fixing" any trouble that may occur as quietly as possible to maintain order.
With a vast network of spies and the use of post hypnotic suggestion placed in trouble makers and servants alike, he has the power to place full obedience by utter a certain phrase within their presence. Born without any power, he has clawed and plotted his steps forward into power and is not willingly to let anything take all that he had to work for and sustain.
Age is not much of a concern considering he has no known. But a preferred age is somewhere in his late forties to reflect how long he has held power in the state, with the possibility to go older but not to elderly.
Any range of Chinese will be sufficient to the role. The directional origin isn't a huge concern, but the quality of the actor and if they can deliver the role perfectly is far more important.
Firelord/Phoenix King Ozai
Ozai is the main antagonist of the seventh film, and the recurring antagonistic figure throughout the film series. The second son of the great war leader Firelord Azulon, considered the lesser compared to his tea loving brother General Iroh, the former crown prince. Seizing any and all opportunity to better his own power; wedding the granddaughter of Avatar Roku, siring children from both lines, taking the throne from his brother on the death of his nephew and father, and exchanged sparing the life of his son to ensure his wife's aid and banishment. He will not stop at peace, but only once all that is ruled by men is ruled by him.
A likewise powerful bender, much like his daughter who has a lot of him in her and adopting his way of thinking and overall authority to command, easily earning her as his favourite over his less desirable son, who was lucky enough to have been spared despite showing little sign that he would have been able to bend, and was vastly over taken on skills by his younger sister. Though if Zuko is to prove himself worthy enough to be deemed fitting the title of prince, he will have hi honour restored upon him. If the Earth Kingdom will not bow, he will break it and burn then into the ground with their land and any life that is caught in the crossfire.
Ozai is in his forties and should likewise stay in that general age.
Japanese is the best choice, but again can still go to Korean or North East Chinese.
Iroh is undoubtably the most importatnt character in the development of Zuko's storyline. Once a great war leader like his father, he was eternaly wounded by the death of his son Lu Ten. Rather than continue the seige, he gives up when the realisation of war finally hit him, and no longer wished to continue. This led to his younger brother Ozai taking his place as the new Firelord upon the unexpected death of their father. Instead he focused on being the father figure to his nephew zuko when his caring mother disappeared, and even considered Zuko like his own son, choosing to accompany him in exile.
Bearing the title of "The Dragon of the West", he is considerably one of the most powerful firebenders in the world, but chooses however not to rely so much on it, preferring to avoid conflict whenever possible. Also part of the unique few who can generate lightning, and even developed the skill to redirect the fatal cold blooded fire after studying waterbending moves. A lovable characters with good motives, an over the top love for tea, and a caring figure to Zuko, he has demonstarted times that he can be a serious person and will only tolerate so much.
Iroh is older than Ozai, so having late forties to early fifties in relation to his grey hair is more relatable, but it's not a big thing to focus too much on.
Like all in the Fire Nation: J, K, or N-EC.
The predessesor to Aang, the Avatar who lived before the war, but was partialy the cause of it. The best friend to Firelord Sozin, whom both are the great grandfathers of Zuko and Azula, their friendship was torn apart after Sozin desired to "share" the Fire Nation's prosperity with the world by conquering it. Though roku attempted to stop him, sparing him on account to their friendship, he was eventully betrayed and left to die during a volcanic eruption that claimed both him and his dragon, Fang, to then be reincarnated as Aang shortly after.
Acting as the mentor to his sucessor whenever possible to contact Aang, he does his best to help him to end the war that began after his death. Wise and knowledgable of past events and the spirit world, he is helpful to Aang by being the only person who could possible teach him to be the Avatar. Like all his previous lives, he is a master of all the elements and over the Avatar state itself.
Having died in his eighties, prematurely from most avatars save for Kuruk who died in his thrities having spent his remainder tracking his wife after Koh took her. But considering Avatar's can live for an average of roughly 170, with Kyoshi reaching 230 years. Eighty is a good rough area to use, but seventy wouldn't be bad either.
J, K, or N-EC.
Tribal Princess of the Northern (and Southern) Water Tribes.
Earth King Kuei
Kuei is the King of Ba Sing Se and thus the King of the entire Earth Kingdom.
Appa and Momo (and all other CGI animals)
I put both of them together because they were both equally disappointing representations, Appa more.
Appa's whole body looked just so unrealistic. I know he's a white bison with six legs that can fly, but the only really time I was convinced that he looked real was during the flight sequences, when we could no see most him, like just his back or when he was flying away, far far away.
Momo also looked like he clearly wasn't real, even when Actor Aang acknowledge he was there, in his first scene before being left to fly around with no interaction what so ever.
What really should have been done with both of the creatures was take the inspiration not from the cartoon depictions, but actually look at the real animals they were based on;
- Appa could have easily been copied from a real American bison, then CGI adding in a large tail, some thicker legs and a third pair of them, then adding the white with blue arrow in later to make it closer to it's cartoon design.
- Momo could have likewise been a real lemur (more specifically a Sifaka, which is what Momo's design according round his face is based from), which could be used in real shots when its clinging or climbing on the actors, and certain features like its large bat ears could be added later, and a whole CGI interpretation when it's flying around.
It was really just simple physics; The bending was done too horribly slow and unbearable long to build up to anything. The bending was suppose to be quick and represented by each strike, rather than flapping your arms in all different direction until you move something.
The designs needed to look more real. I could easily deduce whenever the water was clearly not there. The small droplets were not hard to believe real, but when it came to larger ones that showed too much inner movement like someone was using a giant set of fans to keep them suspended, or the unrealistic way they dropped a lot of water while retaining the same size. The water used should have been more quick to move, and that goes the same with all the bending. The movements of the elements should reflect how quick they were pulled or moved or thrown.
Earth was too focused on showing every piece of gravel being dropped from walls being raised that it looked like it was trying to cover up a bad effect, which it clearly was by design. Again the smaller pieces have less apparent lack of detail then the larger ones.
Fire needed to be quicker, less like a hurtling cloud of smoke and more like a fire caught on a flaming projectile.
Air could have also blown people back more, other than that it was perfectly acceptable use of dust and tiny particles to represent the air being bent.