The Legend of Korra is all about change and embracing the future, and this theme was especially clear in Season 3, which was aptly named Book Three: Change. It's a new era, and Avatar Aang's time is now over. Avatar Korra is now the world's mighty guardian, but this is a brave new world where technology is rapidly catching up.
In Aang's time, non-benders could only use swords, zeppelins, bows and arrows, and other primitive means to do battle. 70 years later, the world is rapidly industrializing and many prominent characters can influence the world or fight without needing any bending at all. Here are five particular charters that are ready to prove non-benders can be just as useful.
The Lieutenant, Amon's Top Enforcer
Compared to the rest of these characters, the nameless Lieutenant is a mere footnote, but he is a symbol of the power of non-benders. The Lieutenant had total faith in Amon's vision and fought well against benders with his stun-batons, and he likely had some serious leadership possibilities, too. The Lieutenant stood for all frustrated non-benders who felt ignored and unwanted in a world dominated by bending, and that makes him a significant character, despite all his pratfalls.
Hiroshi Sato, Future Industries' Bitter Founder
Hiroshi Sato was a shoe-shiner when he decided he wanted something different for his life. As a young man, he swore to use his brilliant mind to make his mark and change the world, and he did exactly that. Hiroshi soon became his world's Henry Ford, envisioning and then mass-producing Satomobiles, or early cars. These vehicles quickly replaced animal-drawn carriages and rickshaws, and now, Satomobiles are a common sight in the sprawling Republic City.
Hiroshi became vastly wealthy and influential, and more controversially, he became a major supporter of Amon's Equalist movement, using many technological innovations to take the fight to benders and win. Years later, he helped Team Avatar build some prototype "hummingbird" flying mechas to break into the armored leg of Kuvira's platinum colossus.
Asami Sato, Who Continued Her Father's Work - And Then Some
Asami Sato is not at all fond of violence or weapons, but she is smart enough to prepare for trouble when she has no choice. Her protective father, Hiroshi, made sure to train Asami in self-defense -- making her quite skilled at close-quarters combat. She may not be a chi blocker like Ty Lee or the Equalists, but she did acquire an Equalist shock glove and used it to great effect.
Asami can operate vehicles such as jeeps and motorcycles in the middle of intense combat, and like her father, she has a real flair for business. Asami worked hard to get Future Industries back into the game after suffering some losses, and she even lent a huge, fancy airship to Team Avatar while Korra and her mentor Tenzin sought out the new Airbenders around the world in Season 3. Asami worked with her father to develop, build and use various mechas.
Varrick, The Southern Water Tribe's Top Thinker
Varrick was born in the Southern Water Tribe, the son of a fisherman. He didn't exactly hate his life, but like Hiroshi, he was confident that there had to be more to the world than this. Varrick is brilliant, eccentric and ambitious, and even in his youth, he was determined to make his mark and seek glory. He launched his business enterprises to make his dreams a reality, inventing and building countless items for the civilian sector. He pioneered silent films and used them as propaganda against the Northern Water Tribe. He also engineered some powerful mecha suits that were later used by Kuvira's Earth Empire army.
For a time, Varrick was a chaotic natural party who looked out for himself. However, after Kuvira ordered him to develop a spirit vine cannon, Varrick realized that if he didn't start using his talents for good, then the world would be doomed.
Zhu Li, Varrick's #1 Assistant & Friend
Zhu Li was Varrick's closest associate, doing anything from serving tea to guests to tidying up Varrick's lab or even acting as a sounding board for Varrick's newest, wildest ideas. She melted into the background easily, but Zhu Li proved herself as a powerhouse upon closer scrutiny. Not just anyone can keep up with the fast-moving Varrick, but Zhu Li did. Varrick relied heavily on her, and Zhu Li practically read his mind to intuitively know what he needed and when. Bolin briefly took over Zhu Li's duties and quickly found himself overwhelmed, wondering exactly how she could make this job look so easy.
Zhu Li is clever and principled, fooling Kuvira and attempting to sabotage the latest spirit cannon model. She showed incredible bravery in the face of the Earth Empire's most dangerous bender, and she also dared to stand up to Varrick and urged him to start appreciating her more. Varrick had long since taken her for granted, but Zhu Li had enough, and she made her case well. Varrick soon recognized Zhu Li as an equal and a good friend, and soon, as his spouse. Thanks to Zhu Li, both of them got a happy ending.