Alex Bacon/The AS Review

Western’s AS Avatar Club is dedicated to all things having to do with “Avatar:  The Last Airbender,” which is an animated series that ran for three seasons on Nickelodeon. And, no, it has nothing to do with large, blue cats in space.
The show is set in a world where some people have powers over one of four elements: air, water, earth and fire.  These people are called “benders” and exert their power over the elements through Chinese martial art forms.

When the show takes place, all but one of the airbenders has disappeared.  This last airbender, named Aang, is a bald monk who also happens to be the avatar.  The avatar is the one person in this world who has power over all four elements.  The show follows Aang’s adventures as he tries to defeat the evil Firelord and the Fire Nation as they attempt to take over the world.

“I really, really liked the show and when it ended I missed it terribly,” Tyler Baxter, Avatar Club president, said.  Shortly after the series ended in October 2008, Baxter wanted to see if anyone else at Western felt the same way.  Spring quarter 2009, he posted on Viking Village to find others.  When he did, they started the Avatar Club.

The Avatar Club’s purpose is to discuss and enjoy “the best TV show ever,” Baxter said. “It’s just a club to celebrate Avatar.”

At meetings, the club might have a discussion about the development of the characters, play an Avatar-related game, have a presentation about Asian influences on the show or watch episodes. The activity varies from meeting to meeting.

The Avatar club watches episodes in order or by theme.  During winter quarter, one of the themes was winter episodes.

The current club project is making a YouTube video using handmade puppets of the characters.

Baxter also updates members of the club on the progress of the live-action film “The Last Airbender,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan.  The film is slated to debut in early July and will focus on the first season of the show.  Originally the film was going to be called “Avatar:  The Last Airbender,” but the name was changed to avoid confusion with the recently released film “Avatar,” directed by James Cameron.

The Avatar club usually meets on Tuesdays in the Humanities building, but due to members’ schedules, club meeting times may change spring quarter.  Anyone interested in attending a meeting or who wants additional information can contact Baxter at baxtert@students.wwu.edu.