To celebrate the fifth year anniversary of Toruk-The First Flight premiere I wanted to share some of my favorite images and characters from the production. Toruk was truly a spectacle, rivaling Avatar the movie in the emotions it conveyed, and the amazing visuals. There is nothing quite like seeing a mighty Toruk flying right in front of you, watching a viperwolf run by, or watching the Na’vi on Pandora with your own eyes. I can’t thank everyone who performed in, or worked on this enough for all of the wonderful memories. It really touched many of us deeply. Five short years later a lot has changed for the worst for the performers who brought us so much joy, many of their professional lives are currently a struggle due to COVID, here is to a better 2021 for them all.
Toruk was a prequel and took place thousands of years before the movie. We were introduced to new clans, characters, music, fauna, and the very first Toruk Makto. It is a story of Ralu and Entu as they grown and realize their destiny-
Ralu (originally played by Jeremiah Hughes & Gabriel Christo), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, is the son of a formidable hunter who taught him exceptional focus and discipline. Ralu is a sensitive and compassionate boy on the brink of adulthood. Although he is only 14 years old (in Earth years), there is a calm and quiet force about him that underscores his carefree attitude. Always on the lookout for his childhood friend and protégé Entu, Ralu is a natural born leader. Whenever the going gets tough, he channels all his energy and skills into the challenge at hand and invariably gets the job done. Just ask Entu, whom Ralu once saved from certain death by luring away a thanator during archery practice deep in the rainforest. No wonder everybody rallies behind Ralu – his is a doer and a thinker with a heart of gold!
Entu (Originally played by Daniel Crispin, Guillaume Paquin), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, lost both of his parents early in life in a freak attack by a thanator. He is the same age (14 years old in Earth years) as his lifelong friend Ralu – his mentor – with whom he has always engaged in a healthy competition that has definitely kept him on his toes. Spunky and intense, Entu is fully in touch with his emotions and knows to follow and trust his instincts. One day, when a member of his clan ventured too far out on a cliff edge and was left dangling on a limb, Entu instantly concocted an ingenious counterweight device using his pack, a sturdy branch and some vines to lower himself down the mountain face and save the boy, showing total disregard for his own safety. With his quick wit and dauntless spirit, Entu is eager – and ready – to dive headlong into the adventures that lie ahead.
Tsyal (originally played by Giulia Piolanti & Zoé Sabattié), Member of the Tawkami Clan, is the only child of a village chief who lost her mother at a tender age. She was raised by her grandmother with the help of other members of her clan, as is the custom among the Na’vi. Highly proficient in herbal lore, her grandmother was a chemist widely revered among the Tawkami for her unique remedies and concoctions. Tsyal’s clan is renowned throughout the land for their knowledge of chemistry and alchemy, and the abilities she inherited from her grandmother are transmitted every two generations through a special bond among clan members. Spurred by her grandmother’s legacy and wanting to live up to the expectations bestowed upon her, Tsyal has taken great pride in creating innovative mixtures and recipes of her own. True to her clan nestled deep inside the primeval forests of Pandora, this easygoing, sprightly girl with an indomitable spirit has a cheerful nature and loves to play tricks. With a mere seed, she can put the fiercest beast to sleep; with the frailest-looking flower, she can induce the most beautiful dreams or provoke the most terrifying nightmares. Such is the tremendous power of the natural elements that Tsyal and her clan have learned to understand and harness.
The Storyteller (originally played by Raymond O’Neil), an Anurai, is one of the last surviving members of this clan. He has been around humans – aka the Sky People – ever since he met a feisty xenobotanist with whom he forged a powerful friendship back in the 2140s. Several years later, the Storyteller witnessed firsthand the last time of Great Sorrow during which the Omaticaya Hometee was destroyed. Distressed by the discord among the clans on his home world, and learning how humans were tearing each other apart in the wake of the great climatic upheavals on Earth, the resilient Storyteller decided to reach out once more to the Sky People who saw him as a kind of translator and a wise go-between. By making humans aware of the bravery, valor and ingenuity of the Na’vi, he seeks above all to avoid history from repeating itself. He also aims to impress upon the Sky People the urgency of preserving their bonds with nature, and the necessity of pulling together to live in unity and peace.
*This was the original background of The Storyteller, however at the end of the show The Storyteller mentions he is telling his own story, because he is an older Entu. The reason behind the change per Jeremiah Hughes (Ralu) was that Raymond didn’t feel the connection to the character or story. So the characters background was changed to him being an older Entu and from the Omatikaya clan. So the very first Toruk Makto is the one telling his story, the story of the first Toruk Makto.
The Shaman (originally played by Cumie Dunio who was injured before the premiere and replaced by Priscilia le Foll), the Shaman has a vision seeing Vitrautral, the Tree of Souls, surrounded by a lake of liquid fire, Our most sacred place-our direct link to Eywa-is burning!
Anurai Clan Chief Stacey Magiera
Tipani Clan Chief Lisanna Ohm
Omatikaya Clan Chief Christian Sanchez
Kekunan Clan Chief Viktor Franyo