When the Matoran Saga comic finished, with Makuta taking over the universe and banishing the Mask of Life/Mata Nui to space, the last page was a teaster image for next year's storyline. . . with a picture of Toa Inika Matoro standing in a desert, looking at a giant Bionicle piece, with a beetle in the foreground. Now, the beetle showed up in the storyline, and I suppose that the giant piece could have been part of the prototype robot, but Matoro being back from the dead? What? Why didn't that happen?
Greg Farshtey later revealed that his particular piece of promo-art was meant to be featuring Mata Nui, but they didn't have the set available, so they grabbed a Toa Inika set as a stand-in.
The revelation in Bionicle Legends ten that The Bohrok were once Av Matoran brings up a lot of unsettling Fridge Logic. for example nuparu built the boxor out of bohrok so that means its made out of Av Matoran. The toa killed the Bohrok Kal so they were killing Innocent Av Matoran! Poor little Av Matoran. Nuparu and the Toa Nuva are murderers!!!
But technically, the Av-Matoran are already dead when they become Bohrok. The Bohrok are just suits of armor for the Krana, which are by extension part of the Bahrag's hive mind and unrelated to the original Av-Matoran that their Bohrok were. Thus they aren't murderers, because all they did was dismantle/destroy the Av-Matoran's corpses. Which is still pretty Squicky when you think about it. And the Kal weren't Av-Matoran to begin with. They were original creations last I heard (it may have changed since then, things apparently got really convoluted after I left the fandom at the end of '08).
So my theory that the Bohrok are undead is true.
Um, no, because there's nothing organic there at all.
The Kal where slandered Bohrok at one point, but where exposed to some mutagen, it is never explained how the fully mechanical Kal were able to mutate.
Actually, Energized Protodermis has always been able to affect mechanical or inanimate objects.
in a similar case, in Karzahni, several Matoran were Taken for Granite. Later on, Gali destroys the statues in a wave. So Gali killed some Matoran.
Those were all lifeless by that time. Though since the ground itself began to come alive as the Matoran were turned to rock, you could "technically" say that Gali threatened some lives with her actions... if you want to sound silly.
Where did the Matoran's lives go? Did they die?
For that matter, what happens to them when they die? Do they have a heaven and hell equivalent, do they just disappear, or something else?
I heard somewhere that Karzahni is treated as some equivalent of Hell, with Artahka being the equivalent of Heaven.
Well, Karzahni was supposed to repair damaged Matoran, but since he had about the same repairing skill as your average toddler he instead turned his whole land into a nightmarish slave camp in order to prevent the residents from leaving and spread the word of his failure. In time his land came to be known as a Hell from which no one ever returned. Artahka, on the other hand, was such a peace-loving and skilled inventor that he isolated himself and all his workers from the rest of the world on the island they later named after him. Going to Artahka is a life of quiet peace and enjoyable work; Heaven compared to the rest of the war-ravaged Matoran universe.
With Matoran dying, Greg Farshtey has revealed that if Matoran Universe beings die, they get transported to the Red Star, which was designed to fix the "dead" beings, only that it malfunctioned a long time ago. This only works if there are any physical parts of the body left though, so characters like Matoro and the Makuta that were vaporised in Karda Nui wouldn't have been transported.
The Barraki already had perfectly usable Cordak Blasters. Why did they go through the trouble of making the Squid Launchers, not to mention all the problems inherent with using an angry, starving, abused squid as ammo?
How Tuma appeared in The Legend Reborn. Man, after his laughable death, I was wondering whether they'd have a capable enemy waiting somewhere for an awesome exciting climax. But no, he was apparently the Big Bad for the main hero to fight. The real Big Bad, of course, was the traitor Metus but, being a fragile Agori, he couldn't possibly have put up a fight. So there, Tuma was wasted. Wasted shamefully, while spouting the cheesiest of lines.
Okay, so he isn't dead... but you can't tell from the movie. Which bugs me too.
More ranting about the Legend Reborn. Where the heck is Malum? He's been pretty important in the source material. It's bad enough that he doesn't make an appearance, but then the bug monster looks like a GIANT PURPLE TUMA, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO EXPLANATION.
A quick glance at the scarabax monster shows a rounded helmet-shaped head and paired claws; it's supposed to resemble Malum.
Also, what happened to Strakk? Was he banished? If so, how did he do out in the wild?
Yeah, he was banished eventually; with everything going on the leaders didn't get to it until after the events of the movie.
A couple of things about the web serials bug me too. For example, the fact that Greg Farshtey writes them spontaneously, mostly without any planning. While I get it that this way, he doesn't have to "force" the characters into certain situations, and that it poses a bigger challenge for his writing skills, but some of the random stuff he comes up with don't seem to fit all that well into the ongoing story. These include, for example: the alternate Teridax, the shadow Takanuva army, Vezon's crazy adventures through time and space... all plotlines that, up to now, haven't been tied up, or even looked upon. Then there's the alliance between the Shadowed One and the Barraki, the Shadowed One's plans with the viruses he "found", the fate of the rogue Barraki Takadox, Toa Nuva, Toa Mahri, Toa Hagah, Lewa's body-switch... And with this year's web serials suffering from serious "handicaps" (new chapters come whenever Greg finds time to write them, which doesn't happen as often as in past years... lack of planning?), I fear these plotlines will find their way into future stories, and make them seem even more disorganized. I would have preferred cleaner, less convulsed serials. I'm not against the notion that these side-stories could in fact overshadow the main plot, but if you've got so many things going on at once, you ought to have at least a bit foresight.
Agreed entirely - I loved the web serials in 2007 and the first half of 2008, but since then they've degenerated into a complete mess. From week to week Greg comes up with various cool ideas so as to keep each chapter of the serials interesting and have them end on a cliffhanger, but the story is so complex anyway that most of this stuff never gets addressed and, with the recent changes to the story following the sets' cancellation, probably never will.
Original "complainer" here, ready to express his annoyances with how the situation has changed since the original entry about the web serials. Most of the aforementioned plot threads have by now been forgotten, and have been replaced with new, much steadier ones. So what is the complaint? The way the most powerful of characters are being killed off in the serials, and in the most cheap way imaginable — off screen, and without any buildup. Major characters (at least major to the other characters within the story) with thousands and thousands of years worth of mythology and mysticism behind them are thrown out the window, just to show that there is a bigger fish out there. So much potential is wasted, since the story only just branched out into a whole planet-sized, bigger-than-before setting.
Well, after typing that, Word Of God promised us the radical offing of powerful characters is justified, and as the story unfolds, we will never again look at BIONICLE the same way. We'll see how it turns out.
Nope, and see closer to the bottom of the page for why you're dead wrong.
On a related note to the point above, the story's recent over-reliance on alternate universes and pocket dimensions. Admittedly they're only really in the serials, but that doesn't change the fact that they've quickly become very tired and boring plot devices, in my opinion. Dark Mirror was cool and showed us a very different, Darker and Edgier BIONICLE universe and The Kingdom was similarly interesting, but The Journey of Takanuva was just inane, even for a young readers' book. Did Takanuva really need to go through three alternate dimensions in a row? And things have just got worse since then - Vultraz and Mazeka's journey to alternate Spherus Magna, Vezon's dimensional journeys... not only is the plot device tired, but it takes precious time away from the countless other un-addressed plots, and the "gimmick" of the alternate dimensions was seeing "what if" scenarios, but this quickly became old. I wouldn't mind, but nothing from these plots is ever addressed again - what happened to the alternate Teridax, which could've justified the Brothers in Arms plot?
Most usages of alternate dimensions bug me in any story, especially if alternate characters keep popping up constantly and affecting the ongoing plot. If an Alternate Universe is used simply as a... say, a temporary "station" from where the heroes/bad guys would eventually advance and carry on with their mission, maybe learn a lesson or two or perhaps gain some power that would wear off eventually (like Takanuva's flight ability), but wouldn't have a great impact on the story, overall. The way it is now, seemingly every alternate universe and character is free game, meaning they can do whatever they want to the main plot. This opens up a nasty can of worms and creates potential plot-holes (Why doesn't everyone simply move to a universe where everything's fine and dandy? Why don't they bring in a gazillion superpowered Toa to defeat whatever has to be defeated? Why not have two Mata Nuis pull Spherus Magna back together so that Makuta wouldn't be needed?). Not to mention, the writer has clearly rejected the notion of time travel, since according to him, the moment time travel gets introduced into the story, it becomes stupid. Aren't these alternative universes essentially the same? I know TT and AU-s are different plot devices, but still both can have a pretty hard effect on the storyline.
Mis-(or lack of)-communication between the Bionicle team and other people, companies, artists they rely (or relied) on to create the books, movies, comics, etc., even if the two "parties" work as closely together as possible. I know this is a common issue everywhere and not exclusive to Bionicle, but it constantly keeps happening. What I mean by this exactly? All the bigger-smaller errors in Bionicle-related media that could have been avoided if someone told the media-guys or the mediators stuff like "This one-eyed yellow character who has nothing to do with this organization should never end up on the cover of the book about said organization, use the picture of the black and yellow dude with a huge tail instead" or "These robots are as big as continents, don't make 'em look only a couple of miles high" or even "These guys here are people in armor, not robots, so don't go out of your way to add nuts and bolts to their anatomy". It's justified in some cases, where artistic license adds to the finished product (we wouldn't have that neat flying scene if the Rahaga didn't have propellers on their backs), but most of the time these inaccuracies take away from the experience. A handful could be ignored, like the incorrect mask pictures in the first encyclopedia (this is understandable, there were a lot of masks and laymen can mix them up), but what about stuff like Nokama using Nuju's... um, whatever the name of that niche is to gain her powers instead of her own, or the entire first scene of TLR? These create storyline inconsistencies while being essential moments in their respective movies. With better communication, a couple of questions and answers, some clarification, none of these problems would have arose. Sounds like nitpicking, I know, but it is an issue for me and for other fans I know.
And this still bugs me. I mean, in the recently released, much awaited graphic novel, Legends of Bara Magna, we have the Great Spirit Mata Nui using the character model of his Glatorian body, a Zesk and Raanu randomly showing up in place of Rock Agori, Malum carrying a freakin' Cordak Blaster (I guess that's a mistake, at least) in the Bara Magna desert, etc!
This is more about the toys, but still: why the hell did it take LEGO so freakin' long (8 YEARS!) to come up with the molded fist piece?
Because the old piece they used worked (and fans liked it), and it was probably cheaper to produce. With Bionicle coming to an end soon, it's not like it'll cost as much now. Plus, I recall fans complaining about it when they were first unveiled, back when I bothered with BZP. Then again, Bionicle fans complained about everything.
Actually, it was mentioned somewhere that the piece was made with the yet to be revealed Hero Factory in mind, just like the Glatorian head.
It's said that Tahu was reverted to his Toa Mata self in order to use the Golden Armor. Though his Stars incarnation looks otherwise. Has there been an explanation for it? Maybe there was some alterations to further allow him to use the Armor? Or he doesn't reallylook like that? Then again, has anyone tried to put the Armor on the 2001 Tahu, save for the mask?
According to what Gregsaid, the new armor pieces he wears is what the adaptive armor looks like in its standard form. Afterwards, he was confronted with the question: "So, does Takanuva also have adaptive armor, since he uses the same pieces as Tahu?"... thus the adaptive armor theory may not hold water after all. As for his overall appearance, there is no explanation, other than sets > story. He is the same character, just looks like an updated/downscaled version. Much like, again, Takanuva, who has already had three wholly different forms, even though the story says the only difference between them was color and size (unless I missed something).
It would have been only color, but since Takanuva's orginal set from 2003 was the size of every other Toa and his new one from 2008/9 was much larger than the other Toa that year they had to come up with an explanation that he had grown due to absorbing light energy from the Core. At least this kinda works as a hand-wave because Takanuva is a Toa of Light and the Universe Core did have more atmospheric energy than the rest of the world. The sets of the Matoran living there were also larger than other Matoran sets, so it fit that too. And truly, Takanuva's new set from 2010 is smaller again. A bit too small, some might say, but at least they didn't have to come up with a new Hand Wave as they did say last year that he would shrink once he left the Core again.
It bugs me how the Big Bad Makuta Teridax was finally killed. You'd think that a Magnificent Bastard like him would meet his end in a more honorable manner, rather than being simply banged on the head by a moon. Perhaps it's just the comic that makes it look so un-epic, since the gigantic moon (the water planet of Aqua Magna) was drawn to look like an everyday asteroid the size of his head. Seeing a whole planet bear down on him would have looked much better. Of course, that raises the question: How did he not see or sense it coming, given that he had been staring upward just seconds prior to that?
This Troper saw it as more of a case of Fridge Brilliance. It would only be fitting that Makuta, the one who wreaked havoc on the inhabitants of Aqua Magna, would end up meeting his demise at the hands of said planet.
And about the size issue, Greg clarified that he wasn't hit by the whole of Aqua Manga, only a fragment that broke off of it. Besides, keep in mind that if he got flattened completely, everyone inside him would die as well.
While that is true, the moons were shown in an earlier panel, and looked just as Off Model. Still, it is a lot easier to dismiss that particular panel, rather than the later ones.
It's still ridiculously lame, though.
Not to mention everyone should've died, considering that killing the Great Spirit robot should've cut off its artificial gravity, and seeing as the islands were right side up when he was on his back, but he didn't land on his back... Now that I think of it, how the hell was it built standing up, anyways? Artificial gravity definitely shouldn't have worked back then.
If you really wanted to see The Makuta get hit by a whole planet rather than the asteroid, there is such official artwork ion Bionicle.com's Mata Nui Saga
Am I the only one who thinks they kind of shot themselves in the foot with Takanuva? "Here's a character who is advertised as the seventh Toa! He has armour that looks exactly like the armour worn by the Toa Nuva! His name has the word nuva in it, also just like the Toa Nuva! But don't for one second think that he actually is a Toa Nuva!" I mean I know the movie was the what titled him the seventh Toa, and I know the whole thing about new Toa choosing their armour based on their own personal images of Toa, but why put nuva in his name? If they'd left it out, it could have saved some confusion.
"Nuva" evidently means "new" Taka-"nuva" is just the first part of his original name with "nuva" tacked on, and the toa "nuva" are new toa. It's a silly naming scheme, but it makes sense when you think about it
Not to mention that the fact that Takua was really the seventh Toa was the huge spoileriffic plot point of the year- if they'd just called the set "Toa Takua" it would have completely ruined the point of that big reveal. You can read it as being a "new Takua"- him embracing who he's meant to be and throwing off his role of slacker Chronicler to become a hero.
Also, "ka" is said to mean "spirit" or "embidiment" at some point. Ta, of course, is "fire". Therefore, "Ta Ka Nuva" means "New Spirit of Fire". The Toa are referred to as "Spirit of (Element)" at several points, and Takua thought he was a Ta-Matoran. In-story, "Takanuva" could be more of a title than a name.
What happens to all of the water when Mata Nui/Makuta stands up?
Since the Great Spirit Robot does control the universe inside it, it could just manipulate gravity.
A better question would be what happened to the water when he observed a planet by lying into its ocean and forming an island on his face? How did his protruding chest stay under the water? How did he not destroy the planets he observed? How come the people living on the planets didn't notice the arrival of such a giant? Or even his presence in space? This whole part of the backstory doesn't make any sense at all.
There were no other inhabitants before Mata Nui arrived; Aqua Magna has solid ground, but the uppermost portion is all water; no islands or anything. Just water, all the way around.
That is true with regards to Aqua Magna, but according to his official description (if it hasn't been Retconned yet), Mata Nui studied other societies by lying down on their planet. This is why his island generating mechanism was invented in the first place. Of course, "official" artwork disagrees with this notion (rightfully), but artwork frequently clashes with canon.
Not really an answer, but I always thought it would've made more sense that the Energized Protodermis blood piping was to help maintain the robot and just happened to create an island when they ruptured in the Great Cataclysm, and I do agree that observing planets from space would've been a more believable choice.
Why did the Ignika change from being large and silver in 2008 to being small and yellow in 2009?
It was silver and fading to black because of the damage to the Matoran Universe. Once outside it, it reverted to its default gold. As for the size, I imagine that's just the sets being a different size, because it didn't actually shrink in the canonical story.
Well, it's already been through a corrosive and mutagenic sea, a whole bunch of combat, and atmospheric re-entry. I doubt it would've gone through all that unscathed- in fact, according to 2007's story, it was already suffering by then.
Why didn't they make any movies for the 2006-8 story arcs? Why didn't the producers think it was kinda important to show how Mata Nui got his life saved and subsequently woken up?
The first three movies didn't really make a huge amount of money, so it's likely that the producers were reluctant to try again. By the time of The Legend Reborn, they were willing to give it another go with another studio. Plus TLR is sort of a mild reboot, so they probably figured they could draw in new fans without having to explain the backstory.
The general way the final year or so was handled. As much as I hate it, I understand WHY Lego dropped the Bionicle franchise: it wasn't making them enough money and it wasn't attracting nearly enough of the target audience. While I think it would have been better for them to just shift the demographic of their line, they didn't; that's still not what I'm complaining about. What bugs me is that the ending could have been so EPIC. We have years and years of plot culminating in a huge fight between the Big Bad and the Big Good! It could have been so AWESOME, and they could have given the old fans one last great big party. Instead, we get the final line of toys with one of the lowest pieces count and simplified designs, and the Lighter and Softer Legend Reborn. They pretty much did the opposite of what a large number of fans wanted. It just seems to me like one giant, final F-you to all the older fans.
Hey, be considerate. LEGO's original plan was to scrap the line altogether, without giving the story a grand finale of any kind. The writers, and everyone that cared about the story, had to push until the powers that be finally granted them another half year to finish the story, and come up with a last line of toys. I know it sucks, because it's a lose-lose situation, but at least we got something out of it. And even what little we got is much, much more than what LEGO originally had in mind. So it wasn't a fully extended middle finger they gave us. I do fully agree with your other observation, though, that they may have been sitting on a potential Cash Cow Franchise, if they targeted the toys and story at a wider audience. But apparently LEGO's happy with how relatively low-profile Bionicle was. I think it has, or had a lot of potential to become a much bigger phenomenon — the story is rich in interesting and unique ideas and concepts. But I also see why LEGO and other companies (like the ones responsible for the books and graphic novels) thought it might be risky to let it branch out.
Did this room◊ always existed in the Bionicle storyline? Because they sure as hell never even once hinted that.
We have reason to believe that room is simply one of the many places of the Matoran Universe we never got to see. I know most of the places aren't as high-tech as in the image, but perhaps it's set somewhere on Artakha? That would seem like a logical answer, even knowing that the artist was most likely just told to draw Matoran working on some machinery, or that it's a very literal interpretation of the Matoran keeping the universe running.
So okay, in 2010, it was revealed that Mata Nui is actually a giant research satellite and a cleaning robot, with Matorans and other species being it's maintanence workers and life-force, living inside a ecosystem the Great Beings created.
There have been references. Subtle, but they exist. Remember in MNOG, when the Onu-Matoran miners reached a rock layer they couldn't bury through? They even said it had strange, organic qualities. That was Mata Nui's face. Also, if what I read is true, various places of the Mata Nui island were named after facial features. Even the fact that the Matoran Universe was located inside domes was a clear reference to the robot. They had it planned from the very beginning, and while it's true that the final effect seemed like an Ass Pull, it has been hinted at. No comment on your other inquiries, though. Those seem like legit plot holes to me, especially when we look at the pictures that detail the robot's construction — standing tall, so tall that it should dislodge the planet's rotation, bathing in the bright daylight, clearly looking like a humanoid mechanoid... and no one noticing what it is, or that it even exists. Of course it may have something to do with the Matoran's flawed programming, discussed below.
What I meant why didn't the characters in-universe who are established to be a maintanence crew of the giant robot don't seem to know they are a maintanence crew to begin with.
I suppose it may have something to do with how they were badly programmed, and over time, forgot what their original purpose was, and built up a "religion" of sorts about the robot. Though that still doesn't explain the point that I brought up earlier: that if they clearly saw what they were constructing, how come none realized it was a giant robot? With this in mind, I am afraid I cannot give a logical answer to your question. And I'm not sure whether there is one, unless they retcon it by saying the Matoran population went through another memory-wipe before inhabiting the robot.
Relatively easy to answer, they all had established jobs yes? well, those jobs were all tiny parts of maintaining the robot. They only knew what they needed to know for the task at hand.
Except that none of those established jobs have anything to do with running a giant robot.
All the matoran do very little things which build up to something big. Through destiny. Also, apparently the Great Beings didn't plan on the matoran being sentient. They thought of them as nanomachines. What bus me is that they planned ahead enough to build a failsage emergency kill-all-Toa machine in case they turned evil and attacked the Agori, but no plan for them to turn good. More importantly, why did the "Great" Beings build such horrible kill 'em all failsafes without working don't kill 'em all failsafe failsafes?
Except that without an explanation of how "those very little things" built up something big, it just becomes unbelievable and half-assed writing. And seeing how all the explanations given to everything are now handwaves thought out on the spot, it pretty much stays that way.
Second Question: If the Great Beings had the power to create a giant robot and a whole flippin' ecosystem, why didn't they instead just use all that resource to, you know, fix the planet? Instead, the obvious answer to this became ANOTHER What If? alternative universe, like a big F-you to the fans who think logically.
Perhaps they thought that Mata Nui was the best method. Or maybe they are just nuts.
... Why would it be the best method, when they showed us a far more effective and efficient way instead?
Key word: "thought". IMO, though, it was partially due to, as stated by Greg himself, the drive to create stuff (because let's face it, giant robot with a universe inside it? AWESOME), part because they didn't know if they had time or the ability to fix the planet right away (in the Melding universe they probably just went "screw it, why the hell not"), and part because they also wanted to redo their earlier failure with giant robots plus survey other worlds, and Mata Nui would fufill both purposes.
Third Question: Why does the giant robot even need a ecosystem? They clearly never planned to live there, so what's the point? To please all the species living there? Then why couldn't they just remove their emotions for example? That way, you can save time and resources.
Actually, they did try to keep their emotions to a minimum. They simply programmed them wrong. So instead of doing their intended jobs, all the creatures in the Matoran Universe gained more and more consciousness, which lead to the formation of a huge civilization. In the meantime, they gradually forgot their main purpose, and if they hadn't made up all those legends about Mata Nui, perhaps they would have stopped working altogether, causing the universe to "die". That of course still doesn't answer why they had to live on tropical islands and have wildlife.
Of course, turns out a Great Being was in hiding in the MU the whole time, so there you go.
Well they certainly are have done absolutely nothing useful in anyway in the slightest.
Its entirely likely that one of their backup plans was to live aboard Mata Nui if everything else goes to Karzahni in a handbasket
... But they didn't, so there.
Not sure what the above comment has to do with anything, but the Matoran were, if not planned as sentient, at least alive from the start, and would've needed suitable habitats to help them survive. And I doubt it was much of a waste of time and resources when you've got enough ecosystem-building Energized Protodermis to fill a Great Spirit, literally.
Fourth Question: Why did the Great Beings seemingly stopped to even give a crap after they finished the giant robot? Did they just forget that they ever created a giant robot containing an ecosystem and is their only hope of restoring their homeplanet Spherus Magna? Did they ever made safety checks? What the hell were they doing all this time?
They didn't forget, but there wasn't anything left for them to do. They sent Mata Nui on a 100,000 year-long mission to study other planets, and then went hiding, probably out of fear that the planet's surviving inhabitants would kill them for their previous errors. Then they simply waited for the robot to return. They were always very eccentric inventors, though. Safety checks for them were more like doomsday devices. In case anything went wrong, these devices would kill everything inside the robot... which means Spherus Magna could never be restored. But there are still lots of questions waiting for answers, and since the Great Beings are becoming important factors in the story, maybe we will get these answers finally? Even if half-assed ones.
They aren't all that responsible
That much is a given. As for the original question, I thought it was more along the lines of being busy working on other projects in general, in addition to the above explanation. Maybe even the second Mata Nui robot! Since their work has been shown so far to be nowhere near infallible, maybe they actually finished the other robot, and it just never got the message to go home.
To your last question: no, you aren't the only one. This shift is what's causing me to lose interest as well (besides personal, real-life issues). I find it hard to digest that all this mysticism and mythology was just the result of bad programming, and that it should be forgotten because of this. I always found it to be the most interesting aspect of the storyline. This leads to a number of problems... like Vakama's case, who was told to follow his visions and instincts instead of letting others talk down to him. And it worked, he saved his people. Now we learn that he really was a cross-wired freak, whose premonitions were nothing more than bugs in his AI. The same goes for his "this is the way of the BIONICLE" speeches, probably.
Good to hear I'm not the only one, though you probably made my feeling of betrayal that much worse by telling me about that Fridge Logic.
For Metru Nui at least (The brain) the matoran's various activities in the city could serve as a way to stimulate the brain. I'm actually personally fine with the Doing in the Wizard aspects of the series, because even if they weren't all handled well (some were mind you) they really came together. For Vakama at least, its entirely likely he was given those visions from Mata Nui himself or the Order of Mata Nui. He wasn't necessarily a cross wired freak. Also, his visions could be entirely mystic in origin; after all, not all aspects were made mundane.
First, how does the Matoran's activities stimulate "the brain"? Why does an AI need a something akin to that and how? Why did the Great Beings construct it like that? Also, if Vakama's vision come from Mata Nui, that contradicts the whole deal of Mata Nui not having any knowledge of what was going on prior of Makuta's takeover and also raises the obvious question of if he already knew Makuta was up to no good, why doesn't he stop him when the Toa Metru fails at their assigment? And even if it's Order of Mata Nui, I could ask the obvious question of how they are projecting telepathic visions and why make them as cryptic as possible, but if they found out about Makuta's hidden agenda, why didn't they attempt to do anything to stop him besides giving cryptic visions?
Well, when the Toa Metru were created Mata Nui was like a month from falling asleep due to the virus. How effective are you once seditives kick in? It's not like Mata Nui woke up and said "Huh? What happened?". He did know what Teridax was up to but it was to late to do anything about it.
That certainly wasn't how it was told in the story itself.
Check Time Trap. The Toa Metru were created because Mata Nui had been attacked and needed some help with getting the Matoran of Metru Nui to safety. Also, in response to the main question and the brain activity thing, first of all, although the genre shift did seem a bit drastic to me, I quite enjoyed learning all about the history and workings of the MU. As explained by Greg, being kept in the dark about everything may in theory preserve a sense of "mysticism", but after a while it really starts to get annoying. Keeping secrets isn't cool, y'know. I, at least, am quite satisfied with the story, even if the Mata Nui island setting always appealed to me the most. And just saying "it's magic, I don't have to explain it" is an even more surefire way to piss people off, something that the Spider-Man fandom should be able to explain quite well. And then there's the fact that from what I under stand, Highlander 2 wasn't trashed for explaining stuff, but for giving really stupid-ass explanations. Back on track, though- this is one thing I'm fine not having explained. I see it as kinda like how elemental powers and Kanohi and everything exist, and file it under willing suspension of disbelief- something that we should have in spades for a series like this. (BTW, sorry for sounding so bitchy, I've followed the series for a long time and tend to get kinda defensive about it.)
Going off everything said above, what has ALWAYS bugged, and what actually completely turned me off Bionicle (story-wise, I bought all the Piraka and Toa Inika cause they looked damn cool) was the complete and utter Doing in the Wizard post Mask of Light. What I loved most about Bionicle were the mystical aspects of it, how the all the people were not robots but sentient beings created by a deity instead of in some factory. I also really loved the whole Cain and Abel bit Mata-Nui and Makuta had. But no, Metru Nui comes in and suddenly the Matoran got everything wrong, and they're now just robots apparently running on faulty programming. And then there was the fact that Mata Nui was not God, just a really big robot (and DO NOT get me started on that!), and most of all that Makuta was not his "real" brother,and that there was more than one of him. Way to cheapen a villain by knowing that if he dies, oh well, there is an entire race of him! When did it seem like a good Idea to turn Makuta (I refuse to call him Teridax) from God's brother, and thus a god himself (or somethingjust as powerful), into just a very greedy energy being type thing? Its because of all this that I consider mask of light/Takanuva story to be the high point of Bionicle, and in my personal cannon the end of it. Everything after just cheapens the whole story. Oh well, I know I'll get flak for this, but at least it looks like Hero Factory won't have this problem.
The former. You can write Makuta as a super-genius who can solve every mystery in the known universe while playing chess and learning a foreign language at the same for all I care, but it still won't be impressive unless you present and execute it well. The former was executed and presented well and had they followed that, everything in the story would be so much better than it actually is.
The former for another reason as well, this troper highly doubts an intelligent mystical being would allow something like makuta to take be able to take him out no matter how cunning he is, in such a situation I would not look at makuta as a god slayer, I would think that Mata Nui was never a powerful god to begin with.
IMO, I thought Teridax's magnificent bastard persona was handled quite well. Original Makuta was just a generic eldritch abomination with a badass introduction in the MNOLG. The whole eldrich angle even kinda suffered a bit in 2003-2004; he went from writhing mass of shadow and hate to generic armored titan dude who got beaten by losing a game of Kolhii, hired mercenaries, had trouble controlling his own powers, and couldn't even win against a single Toa of Fire (which kinda kills the whole "weak god, not powerful godslayer" angle presented above- besides, far weaker mortals have been shown killing far stronger gods in plenty of other stories). After Web of Shadows, though, Teridax went from always-failing ancient Satanic god to a ridiculously powerful and smart former admin of the universe, one that took any and all failures in his stride, played all sides to his advantage alone, and actually managed to replace the god he took down, while his failures in turn became somewhat more believable- despite his wicked planning skillz, he's still mortal, and can make mistakes. The series as a whole proved he was not infallible; getting crushed by the door, getting mauled by the League and Hydraxon, the Metru imprisoning him in protodermis- all that was him actually being defeated. He just ended up getting better eventually. As for the bit about doing in the wizard, well, check my answer to the question before this one (it's the one mentioning Spider-Man and One More Day). Ooh, and before I forget- sorry for being so bitchy. I get kinda touchy when it comes to BIONICLE. :(
I think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say it turned completely upside down at '04. The story still had a balance between the mystical and sci-fi elements. Things like destiny, prophecies... um, some other things?... were still stressed for several years, and the concept of artificial intelligence and robots never came up, save for some smaller cases, like the Vahki or the Nektann cannons (some of which were non-canon anyway). The three virtues still remained important plot points, even in the final book, but by that time, the story really did lose most of its "magic". So I tend to agree with you in this regard. It has become too generic for my tastes, and although all the mysticism or whatever you may call it never made sense in the first place, to me, that was exactly what attracted me to the story. Besides the sets and promotional material.
Something that I have been thinking about: why does the Toa's code against killing only apply to sapient creatures? They seem to have no qualms about killing animals, which in some cases is justified (like when the Toa Hordika and later the Mahri killed countless evil Visorak spiders), but what about that new Toa (whose name escapes me) casually frying a lizard and burning down trees? Back in the '01 story, harming wildlife was treated as a serious issue. Of course, those were other, more naive Toa back then, but still.
The general opinion in the fandom is that that scene was just badly handled. Greg needed a quick way for Chiara to subvert the gender stereotypes that Orde was talking about, so he made her sizzle the lizard. Which, of course, the fans interpreted as a blatant Kick the Dog moment, since it's eerily similar to some of the things the Piraka were doing back in '06. She could have just as easily given Orde a harmless 20 volts, and it would probably have a more positive influence on her characterization, since Greg has said she's not a Psycho Electro . Interestingly, Greg hasn't updated TYQ in almost half a year... I expect the backlash may have had something to do with it.
A related reason The Yesterday Quest has taken so long to update may have to do with another backlash. The characters for this serial were determined by the fans through a poll. They were given 8 options for what powers the characters would have (and as many fans know the powers carry certain character defining characteristics, such as gender, coloration, and cookie cutter personalities (YMMV on the last one)) and were told to pick their favorite 6. Not only were fans enamored with the chance to finally subvert The Smurfette Principle by choosing both of the female options given, but also the fact that the female options were Lightning AND Psionics made them favorites among Iron, Magnetism, Plasma, etc. so clearly fans were voting for them more than most of the others. However, for whatever reason (The common theory being that Greg prefers writing for males than females) Greg decided to change one of the females into a male to fit the standard 5 males and 1 female team that many fans had been decrying as formulaic. This in turn completely tossed out the rule made years before that "People of Element X are ONLY Gender Y" where he had constantly been telling people that there were NO EXCEPTIONS (except for the Av-Matoran which got enough backlash for subverting the rule to begin with). Needless to say, the fans weren't amused, especially since he didn't announce it before the serial was released resulting in it feeling underhanded. He quickly responded to the issue with the second chapter which had a conversation between two characters on why Orde was male (In a series where gender is strictly cosmetic and a device to allow us to connect to the characters (don't ask why there are genders to begin with, you won't get anywhere)) which resulted in an explanation that he was the first Toa of Psionics and his destructive male tendencies caused the Great Beings to make the Matoran and Toa of Psionics female as they would be gentle. After offending both side of the gender fence with stereotypical gender roles in a series that usually avoids genderization and romancelike the plague, it's understandable that he's taking a bit of a break. Fans would probably be happier if he did a few Ret Cons while he's at it (or at least agreed to never touch upon the issue ever again).
It's also important to note that while Greg did seem to try to subvert the Gender Stereotype by having Chiara fry the lizard, it leads to all of the problems that occur because of authors trying to avoid seeming stereotypical (the same principle that works behind the "It's okay, I have friends that are X."), which wouldn't be a problem if this series didn't use females as a way to round out the group. Instead, you not have a character (or arguably, Greg) trying to prove that she's the polar opposite of the stereotype... which does nothing to resolve the fact that she's still the Smurfette of the group and her actions still reflect on her gender more than her male counterparts. Then there's the fact that Greg has handwaved the issue by stating that the Great Beings are the ones who are sexist, which only raises the question of why sexism needs to be addressed in such a non-black and white way when the series doesn't allow romance and other "complex adult themes" because "this is a series directed at 9 year olds".
I see Greg as being quite aware of Bionicle's glaring gender issues, but he sees himself as being unable to do much about it. It wasn't his decision to have genders assigned to the elements, and he has stated that it probably would have been better if they hadn't. The backstory about the Great Beings making the genders the way they did seems to be Greg's way of acknowledging that the story team didn't think things through, and that their decisions were informed by outdated gender stereotypes. As for Orde... I don't think I will ever understand why Greg did it. He has been known to forget certain story details, so I suppose we can give him the benefit of the doubt. But if that is the case, I honestly wish he'd just admitted it and gone back and edited the chapter. Another problem Greg seems to have with female characters is that he avoids stereotypes, but he uses the averted stereotypes as a substitute for complex characterisation, meaning that a female character's gender is still one of the most important things about her.
Actually, the reason for Greg's lack of updating is to do with him busy with a child.
While we're on the subject; why does Greg avoid writing about "complex adult themes" using the justification of "this is a series directed at 9 year olds". Look at Pixar for example, it's marketed to children, but at heart meant to both young and old audience. It doesn't dumb itself down and actually tells a good story that both children and adults can enjoy. Using the justification of "it's directed at children" is very disrespectful to the audience, especially considering that atleast one third of the fanbase consists many teenagers and young adults. A good writer should break the age bounds and write a story for everyone. And for another example, let's look at Transformers. Transformers, while at it's very core a toyline and nothing else, still to this day make decent stories for both adults and children. Children who don't care about story can have their toys, while more older, pre-teens to young adults can have their story, and even now Transformers is one of the most succesful toy brands of all time. Now, I'm not arguing that Bionicle is dumbing itself down (even though it does explain the gaping plothole that is the story of 2009-2010), but that arguement is clearly very much moot at this point.
Many ways to address this point — but I am not sure which is the best answer:
Lets ask ourselves first: Do the fans really want such a story, in Greg's mind? Take a look at the BZP forums, where I believe he gets most, if not all of his feedback — the constant cries of "Awesome!", "Best serial ever!" and "I wonder what this stunning new revelation will lead to!" reveal that the majority of fans like his stories the way they are. They like the action, the constant addition of mysteries, the new direction the stories take. And I haven't seen many commenters objecting to the new serials (at least on BZP). So what could lead Greg to believe that more mature stories would be more appreciated than his current work?
Secondly, would he want to write such stories? He obviously has to stay within the tight boundaries that LEGO built around him, which means he has to be very cautious not to touch on certain subjects. We have seen that even the slightest mention of sexism can lead to a huge uproar, and who is to say the fans would react more calmly to other "deep" subjects? But then, you have to ask:
What kinds of complex adult themes would you like to see? (I am honestly curious.) Because, even though they are only mildly touched upon and are never the main focus, the story does offer many examples of what can be seen as mature themes: Like Sahmad's inability to cope with the loss of his tribe and lover, seeking revenge, and at the same time trying to save others from going through a similar tragedy. Organics and artificial beings living together in harmony, proving how wrong the Great Beings were when they thought they created nothing more than mere machines. Their negligence toward their people has also been depicted as being down-right sinful (although the result may have been a bit Anvilicious). Raid on Vulcanus even very briefly mentioned the delicate relationship between the species on Bara Magna, with the Agori regarding the Glatorian as protectors they can hire, but are ready to throw them out once the menace has passed. There are a handful of deeper themes, even if their depths are more often than not looked overshadowed by other story aspects. Should these be touched upon and explored better? I would definitely like to read such a story, a preferably slow-paced, engaging and thought-provoking story, so deep down, I agree with you.
And one last thought that I couldn't mix into the above paragraphs: Does Greg even have the time to write such stuff? His strategy is to come up with a general idea of what to write, then sit down and finish a chapter with some random Cliffhanger, and hope that he will be able to wrap up the cliffhanger in the next chapter. Rinse and repeat. His writing method is very spontaneous. Writing deep, more adult-oriented stories requires much more thinking and planning, and if the sparseness of the new chapters is anything to go by, he simply doesn't have enough time for these. And it goes without saying that books and comics are by now far out of question.
Did LEGO ever realize how easy it is to interpret some of the stuff in this series as racist? I mean, I've loved the line ever since its inception, but you can almost sympathize with the Maori after you realize that the characters who hijacked their language are a bunch of tropical islanders who wear tiki masks, use ridiculously primitive technology, and have an undying belief in bizarre, exotic quasi-religious myths. Then take into account that the series was almost called "Bone-Heads of Voodoo Island," and you can't help but think that someone at LEGO was a little xenophobic. Worst of all, though, are the Le-Matoran - they're pretty isolated from the rest of Mata Nui (Taipu basically had to "discover" them in the Mata Nui Online Game, remember?), they live in little huts in the jungle (and they're not half bad at swinging from tree to tree Tarzan-style), they use their unnatural connection to Le-Wahi's birds for transportation and warfare, and, worst of all, they speak in broken English. Even as a kid, it wasn't hard for me to tell that these guys were somewhere between Native American and African stereotypes.
You know, those last few lines sound like you're describing Avatar. I can see where you're coming from, but I wouldn't say the Le-Matoran are necessarily portrayed in a negative light. Yes, the way they speak is different, but it's never implied that there's anything wrong with that. One thing they definitely have over Avatar is that they don't need a Mighty Whitey figure to come and lead them. They are the way they are, and that's okay. On the "Boneheads" thing- I actually made a topic on BZP about that a while ago, speculating what may have happened with the Maoris if they kept the name. Greg came in and said that the Working Title was a decoy used in order to maintain secrecy in the toy industry. I'm not sure if I believe him 100%, but it makes sense. Anyway, I think BIONICLE's implications for race are nowhere near as explicit and offensive as the implications for gender...
Obviously whoever designed the Mata Nui robot's, well, everything, made some very lucky guesses, since in the end, mostly everything worked out fine for the characters, even when some of the robot's features backfired. That is what I don't get: some of the mechanisms seem to have been designed with one single purpose in mind that would only work in certain situations. Case in point: the Codrex and the Toa Mata's original mission to re-awaken Mata Nui. If their canisters hadn't malfunctioned, they would have brought them to the robot's face, from where they could have journeyed down into the universe inside him. But how did the designers know that if Mata Nui would require someone to awaken him, he would be lying on his back on some planet? What if he deactivated in space and stayed there, floating? Then the Codrex would have shot the Toa right out into space. Or what if he landed face-first on Aqua Magna? Then would the canisters have been shot into the ocean planet's sea floor? If not, then how would the Toa have gone back to the Matoran Universe? Via a door conveniently placed on Mata Nui's behind? Seems like so many things could have gone wrong with this plan, since it all depended on a bunch of "what if"s that the Great Beings couldn't have foreseen.
In the case of him failing in space, it's entirely possible that Mata Nui's own gravity would have pulled the Toa onto his body.
I usually go with willing suspension of disbelief, but now that I think of it, yeah, that's pretty serious fridge logic to consider. I know for sure that there were plenty of hatches for entering the MU besides the mouth. As for the other stuff, well, the G Bs have never been known for their foresight.
Many fans claim it all went downhill around 2004/2006, depending on who you ask, because the story was becoming far too complicated. However, I think the franchise's problem is not the story, but the excecution. Back in '01, they had MNOG, a web series, and a fantastic, interactive website that provided tonnes of information and entertainment. This was a relatively new thing for toy companies to be doing; it was unique, and it worked really well. All the story information was readily accessible to fans, and so they had no trouble following it. But then in '04, the site was given a revamp. All the games and animations were taken down, along with most of the character bios. The site sure looked flashier, but it was lacking in substance. Fans were expected to have to go and buy the books and DVDs in order to access the story, which most kids wouldn't do unless they already had some interest in the storyline. Other Merchandise-Driven series, such as Transformers, had TV shows, which, again are fairly accessible- all the kids have to do is turn on the TV to follow the story. But, for some reason, Lego wasn't willing to invest the time or resources in maintaining the site or putting together a series, and the franchise suffered as a result.
Hero Factory has the right idea in making a TV series, but, once again, it is so horribly let down in the execution. The first series was bland, sterile, and didn't contain one scrap of originality. Since Lego is so concerned with producing quality products, why didn't they pick a well-known animation studio that consistently produces quality work?
Quality animation is expensive!
And good writing is not.
According to a book I read about the toy industry, Lego made $175 million off Bionicle in the first three years. Imagine how much they must have made by now. Yes, it's a risk, but when you have that much money, I think it's more risky to put your faith- and the future of one of your most successful lines- in the hands of people who may or may not do a good job. Greg has said that they actually recieved a pitch for a feature film relatively recently, but they couldn't take it because the deal with Tinseltown Toons prevented them from releasing anything on DVD with another studio. (So, while they could have made the film and released it in cinemas, they would have to wait until the contract expired before they could release it on DVD. When the studio in question heard about that, they lost interest.)
Hydraxon has explosive boomerangs. How is this practical in any way? Boomerangs always come back, but these explode when they hit something. Surely this comes with some risk of having your boomerang explode in your face?
Boomerangs don't always return, and in fact were originally used to weapons. That kind didn't return. Even the ones that do have to be thrown in a certain way.
Mata Nui's size. It goes beyond Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale, because they keep contradicting themselves. By careful calculation, given the size of Mata Nui the island and the various images of Mata Nui, it's pretty obvious that the stated figure of 40 million feet (!) is far too big. I estimate him to be about 2700 kilometers tall, which, conveniently enough, is close to being 2 mio. Why, exactly, Matoran would have a measurement for half the length of their universe is beyond me... Wait. The two southern island chains are considered uninhabited - the same island chains which make up Mata Nui's legs. Assuming that the southern point of Mata Nui's lowermost inhabited cavity is halfway down, then a mio is the length of the inhabited Matoran Universe.
Mata Nui is roughly as tall as the diameter of the Earth IIRC. He was intended to be planet sized
What was all the talk about engagement and marriage between Roodaka and Sidorak? Knowing that romance isn't something that exists within the Matoran Universe, was this just a clunky way of the writers to explain their forthcoming alliance (but then why the need for an engagement gift?), or does "marriage" really occur in the MU? And if it does, what is it exactly? Just some sort of "stronger alliance" between two figures or is there more to it? I know that it would have given Sidorak rights to govern his "wife's" homeland (and possibly the reverse was true for Roodaka, I'm guessing). But does this mean that only figures of power can marry, or could any two characters do it?
It was a case of They Just Didn't Care/ research failure on the movie writers' part. Greg refers to it as a political alliance, so I presume it's only people in power who do it. It's pretty unlikely that we'll see any other "marriages", though. Greg would probably prefer to pretend it didn't happen.
What about the hole that appeared in the Mata Nui robot's chest when Voya Nui shot through it? I presume it got sealed when they activated the Staff of Artakha. But was it ever specified how long after Voya Nui had returned to the main continent that happened? I only ask because I kept thinking of all the seawater that continued flowing in through the hole. Wouldn't that water have created a little problem for the inhabitants of the main continent (seeing as it fell straight on top of them) if the hole above them wasn't prepared instantly?
Lets suppose a Kanohi Mohtrek wearer summons his past self into the future. We know that the memory of that past-self would be wiped as soon as he's put back into his original timeline, but the wounds and damage inflicted to him would miraculously remain. So what's stopping the future user from etching a message into his past-self's armor and sending it back in time, thereby sharing future knowledge with the past? Or am I remembering the mechanics of the mask wrong?
You Are Not. That could logically happen. There is only one problem with that idea. Only Bitil wore the mask.
I don't know if this has already been answered in universe or not, but how exactly do the rahi get their regular masks put on them? The first ones probably had theirs put on by Makuta when they were created, but what about the more feral ones? Or are the mask-wearing rahi only ever created by Bo M?
Every Rahi, every specinen was created by the Makuta, so it'd be reasonable to think they all received their masks then. However, though my memory could be faulty on this, didn't only the infected Rahi wear masks?
How do suvas work? If Toa wants to teleport their masks onto a suva shrine, do they first need to "imprint" the shrine with their "energy signature" or whatever? Because otherwise, I have no idea how any given shrine would "know" which Toa it should receive masks from or send to. And if certain Toa have no shrines, where do their masks go... how the hell do suvas work?!
After the first shown Tahtorak was defeated on Metru Nui, Vakama mused about about how it kept demanding the answer "to a question we don't know". But if I remember correctly, its first words upon breaking out where "Who dares disturb the slumber of the Tahtorak?" Then isn't that its question? Granted, they wouldn't have been able to answer it, but still.
This bothered me when I first saw the film, and it's ten years later and it still bothers me when I rewatch the scene. How in Mata Nui's name was Takanuva resurrected at the end of Mask of Light? Vakama just positions Hahli, Jaller, and the Kanohi Avohkii on a conveniently-placed BIONICLE logo on the floor while naming the three virtues, and this somehow revives Takanuva. What... how... why...? There's no foreshadowing or leading up to it at all (not even a "Legend has foretold that blah blah blah"), and nobody refers to it again afterward. It's also worth noting that, in the novelization by Cathy Hapka, Takanuva never died; he split from Makuta when the door crushed Takutanuva, and simply walked out in one piece. As far as I know, Greg Farshtey never offered an explanation, and he certainly never used this element again in his writing.