- This article is about the character. For the episode, see Jet (episode).
|"My name is Jet, and these are my Freedom Fighters."|
|— Jet to Team Avatar.|
When Jet was only eight years old, he witnessed his parents' deaths at the hands of the Fire Nation soldiers known as the Rough Rhinos. Jet grew up to become a hook sword-wielding vigilante, possessing a burning hatred for the Fire Nation and going to extreme lengths to exact his revenge, even to the point of endangering innocent lives in a raid of a small Fire Nation-occupied Earth Kingdom town.
Jet disbanded the Freedom Fighters after an encounter with Team Avatar and, together with Longshot and Smellerbee, decided to start a new life in Ba Sing Se. When he tried to expose Prince Zuko and Iroh as firebenders, the Dai Li arrested and brainwashed him into submission.
A second encounter with the Avatar and his friends revealed the truth of the Dai Li to Jet, and he helped them find Appa by leading them to Lake Laogai, the Dai Li headquarters. There, Jet was fatally wounded by Long Feng when he overcame the hypnosis placed upon him.
The young vigilante Jet, held a deep-seated grudge against the Fire Nation because of an attack by the Rough Rhinos, who killed his parents and burned his village to the ground. From that day on, he would despise the Fire Nation and he dedicated his life to stopping them in any way he could, even at the cost of innocent lives.
Over the years, Jet formed a ragtag group of young Earth Kingdom refugees who had been displaced by the Fire Nation and called them the Freedom Fighters. He and his group spent their days antagonizing Fire Nation soldiers and emigrants on the outskirts of Gaipan, living in forest tree houses. Wanting to liberate the forest of Fire Nation presence, he formulated a plan to destroy a dam, flooding the occupied town.
Encountering the Avatar
One day, while the Freedom Fighters were waiting for a distraction so they could ambush a camp of Fire Nation soldiers, Aang, Katara, and Sokka accidentally walked into the camp. Just as the soldiers were about to arrest them, Longshot knocked out the captain with a poisoned arrow, and the Freedom Fighters, led by Jet, began fighting the soldiers. The rest of his group followed suit, as did Team Avatar. At one point in the fight, Jet took out a soldier Sokka was fighting, and told him that he had to be quicker when Sokka protested. When the fight ended, the two groups introduced themselves to each other. Katara became infatuated with the charismatic rogue and Aang was happy to make new friends, but Sokka did not like him. The Duke found barrels full of blasting jelly and Pipsqueak found crates filled with jelly candy, both of which Jet called great scores and advised his group not to get the two mixed up. He invited Aang, Sokka, and Katara to dinner at his tree house. At dinner, Jet gave a humorous account of the battle to his followers. While Aang and Katara quickly grew to like the Freedom Fighter, Sokka's dislike and distrust of Jet worsened.
The following morning, Jet invited Team Avatar to stay with him a while and help liberate the valley. Katara and Aang wanted to accept, but Sokka insisted that they should continue to the North Pole. However, Jet invited Sokka to go with him on a scouting mission, to which Sokka reluctantly agreed. Sokka, Jet, Pipsqueak, and Smellerbee waited in trees alongside a road. Eventually, an old Fire Nation civilian came walking toward the village. Jet and the fighters ambushed the man while Sokka watched in shock. Jet cruelly interrogated the old man and was about to hurt him when Sokka stopped him. He objected to the poor treatment of harmless civilians, but Jet said that it must be done. The Freedom Fighters robbed the old man and left, Sokka reluctantly going with them.
Sokka told his friends of the incident and accused Jet of robbery. Jet pointed out to Aang and Katara that the old man was Fire Nation and revealed a poison knife that the old man supposedly had on him. While Sokka remained convinced that Jet was a thug, Katara and Aang were convinced by him and decided to stay.
That night, Jet and the Freedom Fighters went to the dam overlooking the village of Gaipan to discuss their plan to destroy it, ridding the valley of the Fire Nation. When The Duke initially objected to killing the innocent people in the town, Jet told him that it had to be done to get rid of the Fire Nation's forces. Smellerbee discovered Sokka eavesdropping on them. Sokka was horrified by Jet's plan, but Jet tried to convince him that it was the right thing to do. Sokka was adamant, and Jet reluctantly ordered Smellerbee and Pipsqueak to restrain him.
In the morning, Jet met Aang and Katara, who did not know about his plan to destroy the dam. They apologized for Sokka's behavior, but Jet told them that he already apologized and that he was on a mission to help the Freedom Fighters. Jet convinced the two of them that the Fire Nation was planning to burn the forest and he needed their help. He took Aang and Katara to the river and told them to use their waterbending on underground geysers to flood the river. He left to help the others set up the blasting jelly on the dam.
Aang and Katara finished their task earlier than expected and went to find Jet. When they got to a cliff, they discovered Jet's plan to destroy the dam. Aang was about to go to stop him, but Jet swooped out of a tree and stole Aang's glider. Jet tried to convince Aang and Katara that he was doing the right thing, but a heartbroken Katara attacked him with water. Aang tried to get his glider back, but Jet defended himself with his hook swords and jumped into the trees. A fight ensued across the treetops between Aang and Jet. Jet eventually got out of the trees and damaged Aang's glider, but Katara caught him off guard and froze him in ice. Jet whistled a signal to his group, while Aang and Katara watched helplessly as the dam was destroyed and Gaipan was flooded.
Katara angrily accused Jet of mass murder, but Jet defiantly told them that the sacrifices were necessary to ensure the safety of the valley. Suddenly, Sokka flew in and revealed that he had gotten away and warned the villagers of Jet's attack, and that they were all safe. Jet angrily called Sokka a traitor, but Sokka calmly replied that Jet was the traitor for not protecting innocent people. Jet made one last plea to Katara, but she coldly said goodbye. The group flew off, leaving Jet frozen and defeated.
A second chance
Remorseful of his actions, Jet and two of his Freedom Fighters, Longshot and Smellerbee, traveled to Ba Sing Se on a ferry for a new start in life. Among the many passengers were Zuko and Iroh. Shortly after the boat took off, he overheard Zuko complaining about the disgusting food; he offered to help Zuko steal better food from the captain, who ate like a "king". Zuko and the Freedom Fighters successfully stole the captain's food supply and gave it out to the passengers. Jet admitted to Zuko and Iroh that he did terrible things in his past that he was not proud of, but that was why he and his Freedom Fighters were going to Ba Sing Se to make amends, and get a second chance. Iroh contemplated his decision, believing that people deserve second chances and could change their lives if they wanted.
Jet later talked to Zuko alone, telling him that when he first saw his scar he realized that he was an outcast like himself. Jet stated that they should watch out for each other, because no one else would. Zuko replied that he realized that being alone was not the best path. Jet later offered Zuko a place in his team of Freedom Fighters, but Zuko turned him down. The former Freedom Fighter subsequently noticed that Iroh was served a cold cup of tea, but a few instances later, it was suddenly steaming hot. He deduced that Iroh was a firebender and became enraged. He became intent on confirming that Zuko and Iroh were from the Fire Nation, forgetting his promise to Longshot and Smellerbee to start over, although he later assured Smellerbee that he only intended to gather enough evidence that Iroh and Zuko were Fire Nation citizens to turn them in to the proper authorities.
Later, he made many surreptitious attempts to expose their firebending, such as stealing Iroh's spark rocks, but to no avail, allowing his anger to cloud his judgment once again. He focused his efforts on Iroh, as he had only seen evidence of Iroh's ability to firebend, but deduced Zuko was native to the Fire Nation by relation. Ignoring Smellerbee and Longshot's concerns, he openly challenged the two fugitives in public. As Jet was an extremely skilled swordsman, he believed that Zuko and Iroh would have no choice but to firebend in order to save themselves. Zuko gladly accepted Jet's challenge and fought Jet on even terms with broadswords he snatched from a nearby soldier, ignoring Jet's attempts to goad him into firebending. The fight dragged out until both fighters lost one of their blades (and Jet's trademark sprig of wheat was cut in half). As the fight went on, the Dai Li arrived to diffuse the situation, and Jet again accused Zuko and Iroh of being Fire Nation, but all the witnesses claimed Zuko and Iroh were assaulted without provocation. A struggling Jet was arrested by the Dai Li and taken to a secret location in Ba Sing Se, later revealed to be their secret headquarters under Lake Laogai. He was subjected to an Earth Kingdom brainwashing technique designed to make him forget about the War.
Answers and death
Some time after being brainwashed, he found Katara putting up posters when the group was looking for information on Appa, and offered to help. Katara did not believe him at first and preemptively attacked. He briefly defended himself before throwing down his swords and claiming that he simply wanted to help. He said that he overheard talk of Appa being kept in a city storeroom and led the gang there. His story was seemingly confirmed when the gang found a clump of Appa's fur on the premises, and an old janitor claimed that the bison had been moved just the day before to a distant island. However, when the group went outside, they ran into Longshot and Smellerbee, who were relieved to see Jet. However, when they questioned him about his capture by the Dai Li he claimed that it never happened and was confused when Smellerbee insisted on it. Toph's seismic sense told her that Jet and Smellerbee were telling the truth.
Sokka realized the only explanation was that Jet had been brainwashed and used as a plot by the Dai Li to quietly draw the divisive Avatar and his friends away from Ba Sing Se. With his conditioning broken and true memory returning, Jet was able to lead the group to the secret building in Lake Laogai where he had been brainwashed, and where Appa was being kept. They were discovered and fought against a large group of Dai Li agents and Long Feng, the leader of the Dai Li, who proclaimed that Aang and his friends were now enemies of the state. The group managed to fight off the Dai Li, and Jet and Aang chased a fleeing Long Feng into another room. However, there the cunning Long Feng used a new trap against Aang; he spoke a verbal trigger worked into Jet's brainwashing that made Jet fight and attempt to kill Aang.
After a few minutes of frantically dodging Jet's attacks, Aang managed to remind Jet of his past as a Freedom Fighter and bring him back to his senses. Jet regained his senses and attacked Long Feng, who dodged and retaliated with a fatal blow. When the rest of the gang as well as Smellerbee and Longshot showed up, Katara checked his injuries and said that it did not look too good. Smellerbee told them to leave to find Appa. They refused to leave them, but Longshot spoke up, saying that they would stay with him since he was their leader. Jet insisted to Katara that he would be all right, but Toph sensed that he was lying. Smellerbee remained by Jet's side, crying, while Longshot notched an arrow and aimed it at the entrance of the room, ready to prevent any more attacks. Jet subsequently died from his serious internal injuries, with the Dai Li disposing of his remains at a later point.
Months after his death, in the summer of 100 AG, Zuko and Katara went on a mission to find the man who killed Katara's mother, with Katara clearly intent on getting revenge. Aang recognized her rage and remarked that she was acting like Jet. Katara vehemently denied this, claiming that it was different because she was out to get a monster, while Jet was out to kill innocents. She evidently had not forgotten his crimes despite his heroic "death", suggesting there may have been a part of her that was still angry with Jet for his past actions.
Jet was later a featured character in a play that Team Avatar attended, entitled The Boy in the Iceberg. Zuko, more than anyone else, was shocked when he saw the scene in which Jet died by a prop boulder falling on him, asking if Jet had actually died. Sokka replied that it was "really unclear".
Ever since the Fire Nation destroyed his village and killed his parents, Jet was marked by his almost pathological hatred of the Fire Nation. To him, all citizens of the Fire Nation were guilty, regardless of whether they were involved with the War or not.
Jet seemed to possess a high opinion of his Freedom Fighters' effect on the War, convinced that they were a serious threat and the Fire Nation were sending assassins after him. This seemed to blind him to the fact that, when compared to the scope of the War, his group's acts of guerrilla warfare and terrorism were relatively small.
He could be obsessive and paranoid about the Fire Nation. As mentioned before, he was convinced that the Fire Nation was trying to assassinate and silence him. He became obsessed with exposing Zuko and Iroh as firebenders, eventually attacking them when he was unable to come across concrete evidence.
Despite these traits, Jet was recognized for his charisma, and he had a roguishly charming, magnetic and friendly personality. He was sympathetic to people who were desperate, or who had suffered at the hand of the Fire Nation. This drew many people into his group of Freedom Fighters, and secured their loyalty to him. In return, he showed his loyalty to them.
Though Jet used knives and throwing darts on occasion, his primary weapons of choice were a set of twin tiger hook swords. He possessed masterful skill with his hook swords, able to defeat a master bender, duel evenly with a master swordsman of Zuko's caliber, and hold his own against and overwhelm multiple opponents. Jet was just as capable of fighting with a single hook sword as he was using two, as well as using them separately or while linked.
To communicate with his Freedom Fighters without being overt, Jet was able to mimic a variety of bird calls and mere whistles for different meanings. He used this to give Longshot the signal to destroy the dam and prepare the Freedom Fighters for battle.
A skilled strategist and a charismatic leader, Jet was able to draw a somewhat large amount of followers. He was capable of producing inspirational speeches as part of rallies for the Freedom Fighters, and would call his group together to initiate action against the Fire Nation.
Aside from his swordsmanship skills, he was also a capable unarmed fighter, as on two occasions he was able to defeat two Fire Nation soldiers simultaneously by kicking them in the back, knocking them out. He was also agile, able to leap from tree to tree as a way to get around and to ambush his foes. The warrior was also a capable liar, as he could formulate convincing stories with almost no effort.
- Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Tim Hedrick indicated in the commentary for "Lake Laogai" that Jet's death scene went through several iterations and storyboard revisions, likely due to the implications of showing a character being fatally wounded or outright killed in a children's show, especially by a violent attack. Konietzko and Hedrick further implied that Toph sensing Jet's lie about how he would be okay was how they chose to confirm it for the viewers. Also, in the Avatar Extras for "The Ember Island Players", a commentary bubble stated, "For the record: Jet is dead".
- Gene Luen Yang originally included Jet as a protester alongside Smellerbee, Longshot, and Sneers in The Promise Part One, having believed the character's supposed death to have been ambiguous enough for him to still be alive. However, this draft idea was scrapped when Yang was informed that Jet was, in fact, deceased.
- Jet's original character design was created by Ki Hyun Ryu.
- Katara seemed to have a crush on Jet the first time she met him; later, Toph sensed that Katara was lying when she denied Jet as her boyfriend.
- Jet was the first person Katara was known to have a crush on.
- According to Avatar Extras, Jet was the first boy Katara kissed. This, however, was never actually shown on-screen.
- In the book How to Draw Avatar: The Last Airbender Jet was depicted with green and orange clothing instead of the blue and red theme of his show counterpart.
- In the Legends of the Arena online game, Jet's torso armor is an item and has been renamed as "ragtag armor."
- Several aspects of Jet's character and the episode he was introduced appear to be tributes to the works of Shinichiro Watanabe, specifically Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, both of which were influential to the series. Jet's charisma, skill in combat, and physical appearance bear resemblance to Spike Spiegal, the primary protagonist of Cowboy Bebop. Jet's hairstyle particularly reckons to Spike, and he shares the name of Spike's partner, Bebop's secondary protagonist. Additionally, both Jet and Spike have difficulty forgetting the past. Jet also seems to share some of his appearance and mannerisms with Samurai Champloo character Mugen, especially in his habit of chewing a blade of wheat grass, and Jet's fight with Aang in Book One mirrors the strongly detailed fight choreography of the Champloo series.
- Jet's hook swords are known as Fu Tao or Shuang Gou, an exotic Chinese weapon.
|Leader of the Freedom Fighters
Unknown - 100 AG