I honestly don’t know. It’s feels like a big middle finger to ATLA and the whole mythology of the series. It’s a writing decision to make LOK stand out more and really define the series. By why choose to go down a route that undermines everything you’ve built up?
There’s this weird conflict in that it feels like they are trying to distance LOK from ATLA, but at the same time they flaunt characters that are deeply connected to original show. The Cloudbabies, Katara and Iroh all play really significant roles in this series. So it’s not like the writers want to move away completely from ATLA, but then they go and wipe out all the previous Avatars. And it doesn’t even get that much attention. It’s one line after Korra beats Vaatu. I didn’t even notice the first time round really. The Makorra break up (?) scene gets more attention and care.
Sure, they might come back in S3/4. But I’m not sure I care. I’ve always been clear in my mind that if LOK really starts messing around with the enjoyment of ATLA I’m gonna stop watching. I think ATLA is about as close as a TV series can get to narrative perfection and I don’t want it to be ruined by ~dramatic~ writing choices in LOK.
"why choose to go down a route that undermines everything you’ve built up?"
The way Book 1’s finale played out did this — it undermined everything Book 1 spent so long building up.
The way Book 2 ended, while delivering resolution and character development within its self-contained season’s story, sort of undermines so much of what the entire 80+ episodes before it built up.
I especially agree about the weird-ass treatment of legacy — they’ll flaunt cameos and references to the original series when its convenient for some easy fanservice (see: Iroh) but then in the same story arc completely push AWAY the very same legacy? It’s confusing. And weird. And Legend of Korra is now officially in “identity crisis” territory in my mind, which is made even more strange when you realize that the creators and writers are all people who worked on the original series (if I’m not mistaken).
Sounds like the Legend of Korra as a TV series should be asking itself those big questions Iroh once presented:
Who are you? And what do you want?