I may post this in S&T later once I’ve re-worked it into more a concrete theory and less of jumble of words my brain has spat out onto the blog post.
As a further development of my theory outlined in my previous blog post about the functions of different types of Matoran in the Matoran Universe, I outlined what I believed to be the function of the Bo-Matoran as a method of maintenance of the various flora made from organic Protodermis throughout the Mata-Nui robot.
The primary point of this theory is a look into the question: Why only flora?
We've been told by Greg and several references in the universe that the entirety of the matoran universe is comprised of various forms of Protodermis.
"Protodermis is the material which makes up the Matoran Universe and all living things and objects inside it." [BS01]
Now Matoran, like all other sapient species in the matoran universe are made up of a combination of mechanical and organic components. The mechanical components are comprised of pure solid protodermis whilst the organic components are comprised of what is reffered to as organic protodermis.
"Organic Protodermis is a type of Protodermis that makes up all the organic tissue in the Matoran Universe." [BS01]
"The plants of the Matoran universe are made entirely of Protodermis, distinguishing themselves from plants of other worlds."[BS01]
Toa of the Green are able to manipulate this Flora, tapping into the Protodermis which comprises the plant-life, manipulating and also creating it. Some of the Flora in the MU (such as Karzahni and Morbuzakh) even had varying degree's of sentience, making the only real difference between flora and fauna the presence of solid protodermis and shape of being. This creates an interesting question, if a plant entirely made up of organic protodermis can be sentient, then that form of organic protodermis must be capable of forming at least some variety of brain equivalent capable of higher thought and function, similar at least in composition to the organic parts of the brain that lies within a Toa.
With the above knowledge I see it as a reasonable thought process that if the Toa of the Green are able to control the organic protodermis that comprises the various forms of flora throughout the matoran universe including those that are sentient; they should be also control and manipulate the organic protodermis that lies within matoran or any of the other humanoid inhabitants of the MU.
As far as I know I don't believe we've had direct confirmation from Greg that a Toa of the Green can't do this. I believe that there are a few reasons which could plausibly explain why we have not seen such usage of the Green in the story-line thus-far whilst allowing for it's inclusion.
- Unethical behavior / Breaking the Toa Code. Toa are upright paragons of right and justice, manipulation someone's internal organs can quite easily be seen a fighting dirty or as unethical. This is the same reason why there were no elemental Toa of Acid, despite there being Bohrok of this element. Despite this being seen as unethical to use on enemies, I still believe this can work as a part of the range of powers that the Toa could utilize.
- No significant Toa of Green in the Lore. In the entirety of the BIONICLE storyline, we only ever encountered one Toa of the Green: A Toa from Lhikan's past team who died to an attack by the Frostelus. Also due to the Frostelus nature of being sentient Rahi, point 1 would aid in why we never saw him use this power.
- Experience required / Hard to control Power. The internal organics of a living humanoid integrated with machinery and programming would be incredibly complicated, it would take a lot of practice and finesse to do so and it may be something everyday Toa of the Green may not be able to accomplish.
- Too complicated to explain to children. This is fairly self-explanatory, in the same way that psionics did not have large story presence, the green is easier to explain as being simply plant life to children, they can easily understand a plant Toa, but explaining that the plant guy can also manipulated organic components of the Matoran? Not so much. Luckily the ending of the official story line removes this restriction.
- Possibly confusion with Life Powers. Toa of the Green were introduced during the 2006-2008 story line surrounding the Mask of Life, while the Mask of life doesn't explicitly manipulate organics in any way. It's manipulation of the "Life force" inside every living thing in the Matoran Universe could potentially cause some confusion with an element which could manipulated Flora and to a limited extent Fauna. However, Life is a very different "element" In that all of it's powers are in relation to "Life-Force" while the organic protodermis is simply another form of protodermis. A Toa of Iron, Psionics and the Green could create a being with organic, biomechanical and programmed components but the being would not have the "Life-Force" component analogous to a soul if you will. It would simply be a robot or a golem-like creation.
- Interesting and more in depth power usage. Self explanatory really, it could have a lot of interesting applications and could be used both in and out of combat and give Teams a reason for taking a Toa of the Green to environments which do not have plants.
- Introducing a 'Healer' element. Aside from Gali Nuva in the 2003 Mask of Light movie, we have never really had the healer trope in a group of Toa, with the ability to create and manipulate the organic protodermis inside their allies. Toa of the Green could become healers for the group, repairing their damaged organics in the same way a Toa of Iron would mend armor. Gali's healing scene can be explained that the exposure to water was helping the organics that had been damaged in Tahu heal slowly with exposure to water. A Toa of the Green would have been able to heal him at a much greater rate. The Toa of Green's knowledge of poisons and toxins from various plants could aid in this role greatly.
- Making the most of an ambiguous name. Has Greg decided to name the element "Plant-life" or "Jungle" we wouldn't have this opportunity. The fact that's it's called "the Green" allows us to associate it not with just plants but all organic protodermis. This can easily be explained by having the raw form of organic protodermis take on a green color when channeled for creation of plants or healing.
- Possible explanation for lack of Toa of Green. The Makuta actively wiped out Toa of the most powerful elements that they saw as a threat to themselves. Magnetism, Iron, and Plasma were all hunted down. If the Makuta wished to hide their new lack of organic components from Toa in their continued masquerade, Toa of the Green would pose a problem.
- Completion of a Self-Maintaining MU. It's been stated before that the Matoran working is what keeps the Matoran universe working. In my previous blog post from 2010, I outlined the various matoran and the purposes that they fulfill in the robot. However there was one missing maintenance job as there was nothing responsible for organic protodermis in sapient beings.
If the Toa of the Green gain the ability to manipulate and repair the organics within humanoid lifeforms in the Matoran Universe, all aspects of lifeforms inside the MU are now self-relying and maintaining.
Toa of Iron can maintain and repair armor and solid protodermis in the mechanical components of beings.
Toa of Psionics can maintain and fix mental errors and programming malfunctions in the minds of beings.
Toa of The Green can maintain, and heal injuries and organic protodermis in the bodies of beings.
We were told in 2001 that the original Toa Mata had all of their organic components decayed due to their prolonged inactivity and hibernation and possibly the environmental factors associated with being floating in a tube for 1000 years. The Toa also lost their memories as an effect of this, leading me to conclude that the majority of their memories must have been stored in their organic protodermis components or the majority of their 'brain'.
The Mechanical components, made of solid protodermis must have included at least some form of rudimentary secondary brain for survival reactions such as putting themselves back together and basic motion and lower brain function.This would be a core part of Matoran/Toa base programming installed into their machinery.
I'd imagine this would be a similar to how the human body can react to pain before passing on a pain signal to the brain itself, allowing the body to operate on its own in a limited capacity. Similarly the matoran/Toa can operate on it's own until the organics are repaired as seen by the Toa Mata and Matoran hibernated in the spheres . I'd imagine that the Matoran in Karzahni in disrepair were also in a similar state but kept this way as it was stated that Karzahni "stripped them of their identities". This would have been achieved by removing the organics and thus memories and a little bit of reprogramming.
The Toa Mata not only lost all of their memories but also their training and skills, this shows that the organic components are vital for continuing functionality of Toa. The organic components healed on their own slowly, but it was years before any of them regained their memories.
The Metru-nui refugee's also lost their memories and required the pure Toa energy of six Toa simply to awaken them. Potentially, we could still have six Toa Metru running around if there had been a Toa of the Green amongst them.
As I said at the start, this theory is still a work in progress and I'd appreciate any feedback and criticism that you may have to offer.
Thanks for reading.