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What Could Have Been / ThunderCats (2011)

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The 2011 Continuity Reboot of ThunderCats had a lot of ideas that never happened due to its cancellation after one season and these include on what the show would've been had it continued.

  • A panel discussion at the 2013 Power-Con revealed various tidbits on the planned second season and beyond, including its length (the series was intended to be 65 episodes long), certain character origins (Snarfs are actually impervious to damage, and were an early experiment at creating a genetically superior race that would ultimately result in the Cats, while Slithe joined Mumm-Ra because Lynx-O had destroyed the marsh where the wives and unborn children of Slithe's tribe were waiting), other character tidbits (Pumyra was ultimately going to be turned into an insectoid monster and try to kill Lion-O before Tygra kills her which would cause more tension between them, while Lynx-O is beheaded by Slithe in revenge for the aforementioned killing of his tribe's women and unborn children, and Slithe himself would pull a Heel–Face Turn to aid Lion-O that would get him killed by Mumm-Ra), and the identity of the last stone Lion-O and his allies were searching for (the Soul Stone).
  • Norton has revealed more details about the season in a 2017 interview to give closure to the series:
    • It would have started with a time skip with the power balance in Mumm-Ra's favor and he would tempt rebels to join his side or die if they stayed on Lion-O's side. Lion-O would've come up with the Code of Thundera from the 1985 series and along with the symbols on the red crests of the armor "to be earned". The rebuilt Thundera would've included all who opposed Mumm-Ra.
    • The second episode would have been about Berbils making the New Thundera technologically more advanced than the old one. Panthro plans to steal Mumm-Ra's technology to give them an advantage and the Berbils would follow him. This episode would've revealed Snarf's species' origins and show Flashbacks of when Panthro was trapped in the pyramid after Grune's betrayal. Ro-Bear Bill would have sacrificed himself to save Panthro and ensure the heroes would have the advantage Panthro planned.
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    • The third episode would have been about other details that were revealed at a convention, Slithe's motives for siding with Mumm-Ra, Lynx-O's spotlight appearance, Slithe's grudge against Lynx-O and Slithe killing Lynx-O. There would be hints of Pumyra wanting more power too.
    • The fourth episode would have given the spotlight to Cheetara and her status as the last Cleric along with introducing an old rival of Cheetara's from her Cleric training days (a fat snow leopard) and would have learned that Cheetara blames herself for her grandma's death because of her slowness to deliver medicine. It turns out that Cheetara was wearing weights and they would have been destroyed when she forgave herself. Like her 1985 Series Counterpart, Cheetara would gain the ability to see into the future in this episode.
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    • An episode would have focused on Jaga and confirmed that the Astral Plane is where Jaga's spirit resides. This episode also confirmed that Grune is still trapped in the Astral Plane and he has been transformed into a more monstrous version of himself (with Panthro's arms attached to him). Grune would also steal the Blue Power Stone (known as the "Soul Stone").
    • An episode would have shown some flashbacks to explain how the Kittens acquired their items (the Flink and the Flupe), they were in the maze of Baron Karnor (a nod to the Tower of Baron Karnor from the 1985 Series).
    • An episode would have involved islands and a nautical vibe. The TigerSharks would have made an appearance and the Bolkins from the 1985 Series would have appeared and been made into a community of fishermen. They would also have to deal with the Berserkers lead by Hammerhand (a group of cybernetic pirates that appeared in the 1985 Series). The ThunderCats would also have to ring an enchanted bell guarded by a blind troll to remove the fog surrounding these islands.
    • The following episodes would have shown Mumm-Ra uses the Power Stones to power up his pyramid and one of these episodes revealed one of these power-ups to be turning sand into a black mist and releasing it within a chamber that turns whoever breathes it into a more powerful but more monstrous form. This tied into something that was revealed at a convention, Pumyra would transform into a mutant-bug monstrosity. Pumyra would be in this form for a few episodes and Tygra would kill Pumyra when it became clear she was beyond the point of redemption.
    • The first batch of 13 episodes from this set of 26 episodes would end with Lion-O entering the Book of Omens to train some more.
    • Another major point from these episodes would be the Kittens splitting up on somewhat bitter terms during the time skip. Wilykit went to live with the Elephants at one point and became their queen while Wilykat still focused on finding El-Dara and becomes a King of Thieves.
      • Hachiman (the samurai from the 1985 Series) was planned to appear, learned how to fight from a group of roach people and have a sword created by the Drifter. The Conquedor would have been revealed to be Safari Joe from the 1985 Series. The Lunataks (a group of aliens that also became main villains alongside Mumm-Ra and the animal villains in Season 2 of the 1985 Series) were planned to appear too.
    • One of the concepts planned for the show was to have Lion-O going from boy to man, from man to king and from king to kingdom.
    • Lion-O would emerge from the Book of Omens 10 years later (looking like the ThunderCat equivalent of Conan The Barbarian) and Wilykit would eventually become romantically attached to Lion-O, later becoming the Queen of Thundera after marrying him. Bengali would appear as Tygra & Cheetara's son in this series (an example of Related in the Adaptation).
    • After Lion-O returns from the Book of Omens, Mumm-Ra's pyramid would have enough power to float again and he plans to use it to attack the ThunderCats but it takes over the course of this next batch of 13 episodes to reach the Cat's Lair. The ThunderCats would face off against Grune again to reclaim the Soul Stone and Panthro would reclaim his arms from Grune, which now have an ability known as an "Astral Punch".
    • After this last confrontation with Grune, Mumm-Ra would steal the Soul Stone but Slithe would betray him and give the stone to Lion-O and be killed by Mumm-Ra in retaliation. Tygra would also die before the final battle when he takes a hit from the Sword of Plun-Darr intended for Lion-O.
    • The final battle would show all of the ThunderCats' allies answering Lion-O's battle cry/battle call, the Drifter would return with all the Swordsmen who regained their swords taken by the Duelist and Ponzi would return with Lucy. When Lion-O defeats Mumm-Ra a bandage would fly off into the wind.
    • The epilogue would show peace has returned to Third Earth but the final scene would show the bandage from the final battle landing on the face of an innocent animal herder in the desert, forcibly mummifying him and burying him under ground in the desert.
    • There were two different ideas for whether Tygra could be brought back to life or if he stayed dead; the gauntlet combined with all the Power Stones would have the power to restore things (the debate was whether it could restore life or not). If they went with the Tygra stays dead route, there would have been a scene where Lion-O shows Bengali statues of previous kings and there would be a statue dedicated to Tygra.
    • Some ideas for new abilities and weapons the ThunderCats would obtain were also brought up and a few other episode ideas were brought up. There were some toy designs for some of these characters and forms from these episodes and Norton has mentioned the possibility of showing some concept art relating to these episodes to the public to help give fans closure.
  • A revised version of the interview revealed more details:
    • Dan Norton went into even greater detail regarding Snarf's origins. His choice of words seemed to suggest that Snarf is as old as Mumm-Ra as opposed to Snarf having ancestors on Mumm-Ra's pyramid. Mumm-Ra wanted to harness Snarf's "indestructible durability" (referenced by how Snarf can handle any injury during the show's run) and the ThunderCats were created from Mumm-Ra mixing his own blood and Snarf's blood.
    • When Leo (Lion-O reenacting Leo's actions in "Legacy") pushed some buttons on Mumm-Ra's pyramid, he ended up opening up Snarf's cage and Snarf crawling through the wiring of the pyramid was part of the reason for why it crashed on Third Earth.
    • Like in the original , Third Earth would be revealed as Earth from the distant future. The "Third" part of the name comes from the times Mumm-Ra visited Earth; "First Earth" was when Mumm-Ra visited Earth during the time of the dinosaurs and "Second Earth" was when Mumm-Ra spent a significant amount of time on Earth in Egypt. The sun becoming unstable caused Earth to be knocked out of its orbit and it eventually became a "moon" for Jupiter, explaining some of the changes compared to Earth as we know it.
    • The blood of Humans was also part of Mumm-Ra's experiments. To be specific, human blood was the "base" for Mumm-Ra's experiments, which explains why the animal characters are anthropomorphic.
    • Norton went into greater detail regarding the SilverHawks and the TigerSharks crossing over. The SilverHawks were from the time of "Second Earth" and would have met the ThunderCats through a hole in time. The SilverHawks and the TigerSharks were also allies that would join in during the final battle. There were "backup plans" in case they were unable to have said teams appearing.
    • El-Dara was revealed to be a dimensional plane/limbo and the Kittens' parents would have ended up there at some point in time. This reveal would have happened around the time when the ThunderCats had their last battle against Grune.
    • As in previous interviews, Norton did mention that while they had a plan for 52 episodes, they had ideas in mind if they were able to make Episode 53-Episode 65. The Lunataks seem to be part of these episodes based on the choice of words and there was talk about an idea of Mumm-Ra rebelling against the Ancient Spirits of Evil to control his own fate.
  • The show actually did get renewed for season 2, which explains how they were able to start rough drafts for the scripts of the first 5 or 6 episodes of the season but Norton explained in greater detail during the interview that the renewal was later revoked.
  • The show was actually planned to be aimed at older audiences (12-14 and older, given the tone), probably on [adult swim]'s Toonami block in order to aim it at fans who grew up with the original series (which happened in the 2017 revival of Samurai Jack), but Executive Meddling disagreed and marketed it to younger audiences, which explains why the show didn't do well despite being popular with older audiences.
  • When the reboot was in preproduction in 2009, Ryu Kihyun (who would later become the supervising producer of The Legend of Korra and Voltron: Legendary Defender, the latter of which is a Spiritual Successor to both Korra and this reboot) did concept art designs for the titular team that were influenced by the original. Elements of this did make it into the final version, most notably Wilykit's ponytail and Panthro's sideburns.


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