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Banana Gunz

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About Banana Gunz

Year 05
  • Rank
    Emerging Mata Nuian Protector
  • Birthday 11/14/1998

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    A Banana living in the Big Apple!? Fruit-ception!
  • Interests
    Bionicle was a huge part of my life and is a big interest of mine (less so in recent times), but there's other stuff I really like. I love drawing in my sketch book. I also love writing/making stories as well as poetry. To go along with writing I also like reading (I'm a Literature major). I'm a real spacer and love science fiction with a burning passion (Star Trek, Dune, Hitchhiker's, etc.). I love building with LEGO but my collection is limited and I don't have much time for it. Besides, I'm not exactly the most talented builder.

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  • Flickr
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/76365814@N08/
  • Skype
    Ask me for my Discord if you ever wanna chat, Skype is death
  • LEGO.com Account
    taffy46
  1. I'd be really excited if this is a spiritual successor. As cool as the name 'Bionicle' is I think it would be so much more interesting to see what the imaginations of Faber and their team could come up with using the look and feel of the series as a jumping off point. I can see how some might feel that it's deceptive to make such a strong appeal to Bionicle fans if they can't offer something under that exact name but again I think it's the promise of them coming up with something similar to fulfill the role of a G3 that really matters. Given what they said about funding I imagine that as they continue to flesh out this idea that they'll make a Kick Starter to get it to become a real thing--though doubtfully with LEGO. I don't know how large their aspirations are but given that they're working on this now and seem to be setting 2020 as a checkpoint in development to begin getting actual funding I think this is pretty promising as an original project. I'm still curious as to what's going on with Rebel Nature since I've also been really looking forward to seeing where that would go but I'm wondering if it's possible that parts of that project are being integrated into whatever this is instead.
  2. I know a lot of fans would disagree but personally I think I'd really like to see a brand new toa team. I think there's a lot of opportunity to construct a new team dynamic and to see some new ideas. As great as the Mata/Nuva are I really feel that we've gotten enough of them and that at their core they are somewhat generic. Malleable, sure, but very privy to elemental stereotypes. Seeing the canister in the picture Faber posted recently gives me the impression that it absolutely will be the Mata. However, I still do trust Faber's imagination and there is plenty of interesting stuff to do with the Mata, however I think there needs to be some base line re conceptualization. Small things like the elements and their personalities could use some reworking, though even details like that can be overlooked if the overall concept is interesting.
  3. I am so on board with a Chronicler's Company spin-off. Frankly, it's a shame the Bionicle comics were more than anything just promotional material rather than a consistent story in itself. If it told the Bionicle story's in completeness then I think we could've gotten a lot more interesting stuff (than we already got; don't get me wrong there's some really raw stuff in those books). One of those is that I think it would've been really cool to continue to follow the story of Takua and the Chronicler's Company as a secondary group, reflective of the Toa Mata. We could watch both groups come into their own simultaneously, making a thematic parallel and an emphasis on the importance of coordinated effort and interest toward creating harmonious multiplicty. Then another layer could be added by creating some level of tension between the Turaga/matoran Koros and making the attempt to get along and unite properly a plot thread. Rule of threes baby. But even if we just take a Chronicler's Company spin off I think that could be really neat. I think there could be a greater emphasis on the comedic elements in order to balance out the inherent irony that we're following a group of powerless matoran when the "real" heroes are going on all these insane journeys in the background. The writer's would have to spice up the characters a little bit, make them more complex, but that's natural. I think the main premises are already there for most of them. Maybe just rework Kopeke a little bit, or really play into their anti-social elements. It really is a shame that in G1 the Chronicler's Company sort of just disbanded and never became important or present in the later years. On the one hand it makes sense given how much the story and its focus branched out and their inclusion would've been forced, but on the other I think if there is to be a G3 that one could do more with the concept. For other possible spin-offs I'd really like to see an Axxon and Brutaka buddy cop special. It was bizarre that we never got to see them really make up in the story but I remember really loving their dynamic afterwards and seeing how their friendship simultaneously transcended and was augmented by Brutaka's betrayal. Emphasizing the buddy cop elements I think would allow one to really explore Brutaka's betrayal and motivations and create a deeper, more complex friendship between the two. There are a great many themes to explore, and it really would be fun to see those two romp around the Mata-Nui universe as Order agents, kicking @$$ and taking names.
  4. The more Faber posts about this the more curious I get. I say curious because I can feel myself getting kind of excited and I don't want to set myself up for disappointment so I'm trying to suppress that just a little. The latest picture really evokes Bionicle to me, more so than most of G2 (parts of G2's aesthetic were great but I feel that others are really generic and uninspired). Anyway, today is the 14th so I'm wondering it you all think we might see something new today or get a full announcement/clarification. I don't know what the significance of the 14 is #14B2020 is but like most other people I've been assuming it's a date. If not, what could it be? A countdown? It's puzzling, but strangely fitting of Bionicle. The hints, misdirects, ominousness... it feels very in-character.
  5. I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the new design--if this is a new Bionicle logo (which seems likely at this point). Personally I quite like this style and can't wait to see the rest. It reminds me of 2007/2008 Bionicle aesthetic which I really like. I don't know if this is controversial but I quite liked Bionicle's transition into a more sci-fi look and feel. It still captured that technology/nature contrast that the early years had but made both worlds feel even stranger and almost uncanny, like there was some greater force underlying everything. I'll admit I'm very nostalgic for Bionicle's old logo and was happy when G2 only made marginal changes to it, however this new design is quite exciting. Obviously if LEGO goes through with this the final design would almost surely be different but I'd like to see a bit of change. I think a really successful G3 wouldn't try to be a continuation of actual plot lines but simply recapture the look, feel, and tone of Bionicle. I've always said I don't care as much about getting sets as getting interesting world building and story and Faber excels at that. I'd caution against really ambitious conceptions of G3 though; if Faber is trying to bring it back it'll probably be a hard sell and needs to first start with a killer core premise and clear vision--and then things can be expanded from there. It seems like Hollywood just learned its lesson with jumping on the cinematic universe bandwagon and given that LEGO primarily focuses on building toys I'd be really hesitant to imagine them putting a lot of energy into something with no certainty that it will succeed. Look at the DCCU, something that seemed guaranteed to do well and now the whole shared universe thing has sort of been downsized, arguably for a better system producing more quality content. Right now I'm just hopeful. Where faith fails, and truth is uncertain, hope remains. But hey, I'll live either way. This is just cool after so much silence!
  6. Christian Faber is a brilliant artist and has an incredible imagination. For all of G2's flaws, I feel the biggest mistake was the noticeable absence of Faber. They have a visual style that conveys mystery and self-importance in a completely earnest but exciting way that I don't see often. They can make a bizarre concept work completely straight-faced and construct a visual mythology that's instantly captivating. Given that they were the one who came up with the initial inspiration for Bionicle I'm so excited to see that they're still interested in the IP and trust their vision for a G3 with a great deal of confidence. To be honest, what's more exciting to me about this is that Christian Faber has got ideas and is working to make them come to fruition. I love following Rebel Nature because of how promising and visually interesting everything that comes out of that project looks. I sometimes wonder how much of a Bionicle fan and how much of a Christian Faber fan I am, and just how big that overlap might be. I really just want to see them working and creating because their stuff is truly inspirational to me, both artistically and personally. Whether that means they're working on Bionicle or something else, I don't actually think I care that much. Nonetheless, this is promising and exciting, even if it doesn't really end up going anywhere!
  7. I can't speak for the Uniters but in terms of the Masters I do think it's Gali. Kopaka and Lewa are probably a close tie for second. Kopaka's shield and shin armor deal (which doesn't actually bother me but does look a little funny from the side) takes him down a peg while Lewa's short-ish arms and awkward shoulder articulation make his proportions a little off (I also wish they had done a little more with his arm/leg design, just an extra piece or two to give it some extra personality). Gali might be the most simple of the Masters but I think that also means there are less bells and whistles for her design to juggle. She looks great from all angles and the only downside would probably be the way the shoulder armor moves with the function (if I'm remembering correctly) and the funny-ish trident (which doesn't really look bad and doubles up as a great pair of fins). Onua is a truly wonderful set but his limbs seem a little small and even though his articulation is perfectly fine the look ends up feeling a little imbalanced. Nonetheless, very solid set. It's so hard to compare all the Masters since most of them are just stellar. I adore Tahu's design and actually think it might be one of the most inspired redesigns and generally looks really good but the gaps at the back of the shin armor, the armpits, and upper legs/hips make his armor feel incomplete. He's also a little lanky looking but I can't even say if that's strictly a negative. Pohatu's Master set is unfortunately by far the worst of the team imo. I feel like most of the set's budget went toward those boomerangs which were never used again (to my knowledge) and the rest is just completely lacking. Even comparing piece count Pohatu falls short. In concept I like what the designers were going for and given more pieces I think the asymmetrical look could've been made to look really good but an unfortunate number of smaller issues compound to make what's generally an unsatisfying looking build.
  8. I got my first drawing tablet today so I took the afternoon to whip up this Shadow Toa merged with a Kraata in Gimp. Enjoy the hastily written backstory! “My name is Kraata, for whatever I was before was sucked away with the light. Once I could’ve been called Toa, I even made my image after The Great Toa of Fire. Make no mistake when you see me however, my body was changed. I was manipulated, twisted, and crafted by the mad darkness. Even beings of shadow saw me as a , a mindless monster possessing the mutated body of a toa. For a time I even was. “When the voice is cut and comes out as nothing more than a scream, the mind takes after. Time did not heal me, however it did reclaim me. Eventually my mind and my impulses divided. There are toa, and there are Rakhshi. I am the product of the slug and stoic forced together. The others like me never live long enough to negotiate an existence other than madness. The screeching in your head, the shadow in your veins, it makes you desperate. Not like Rahkshi; Rahkshi are complicit, obedient by design. I answered because the Makuta were something to hold onto. Maybe a promise, a semblance of order. When they pointed, I went, because suffering is irrational and picks no favorites. “Names are like moments in time, titles too. They don’t apply to me anymore, at least not the ones I used to have. If not by choice, then by reality. Now my name is something real, a concept, an object, a creature, because ideas are consistent. Individuals and being perish and transform with time. Sanity, like madness, is not something you can fight. It is a fact of your being, and few get the chance to go through the many turns of time’s wheel. The facts of my body hold true, but when the force of the calamity begins to pass, will can wash back over, and grit has become the essence of my being. “Why, like most questions is deceitful. I do not exist for revenge. Purpose and destiny were drained out of me long ago. When those are taken, one is presented with the only true choice in all of existence—the choice beyond all predjudice and preconception—the choice to continue to try and exist. I am alive because I was strong enough to be, and whatever truths may come from here are postulations to a theory so whole that its roundness cuts like a claw. “My name is Kraata, for I was submerged in darkness and learned truth. Do not mistake it for a revelation or a message from some higher power, for those betray the faithful like death betrays all bonds. I was a toa who died for nothing, a creature corrupted for Nothing, and a monster who killed for nothing. But now, I fight for life itself. …” C&C welcome and appreciated!
  9. Yup, that happens in America all the time. Corporations like to show a pretty face to customers meanwhile committing horrible atrocities against human kind in the name of profit (Seriously, I can't believe Coca Cola hired DEATH SQUADS. That's the work of Philip K. Dick.). That's not to say LEGO is trying to resurrect the anti-christ or whatever, just that they're participating in standard practices common with large corporations following the twisted ideology of American capitalism. In many ways they're probably one of the better companies that actually has ideals and cares, such as healthy play for children. However the standard company likes to butter up the customer to make them feel special and entitled. It's super common to see consumers complain about insignificant things and demand to see managers because they know that the company ethos is always "customers first." Though this mentality is designed to make the customer feel welcome and empowered, it really operates to mask greedy intentions--which is always maximum uninhibited profit. In US business schools economic/business morality is barely given any focus and is made secondary to teaching dehumaninizing methods of business for the sake of individual gain under the justification of "free enterprise." In stores appearance is everything, and an employee can easily get in trouble or fired for showing any sort of resistance to customers, even abusive ones who scream and act manipulative because the system has also taught them that they are entitled and important. Companies act desperate for the love of their customers because false empowerment is the easiest way to control people. Think about how every commercial you've ever seen for a product portrays people as smiling and joyous rather than the grim reality that most of the life of the consumer is mundane and empty. Appearances are everything because the human brain is easily susceptible to the faults of their own senses. Get me out of here...
  10. BZPower is slowly dying because Bionicle has died, which is pretty much the short of it. I get that BZP has tried to broaden itself as just a "LEGO News/Forum Site" but it didn't work because its foundation is just too fixed on Bionicle. I doubt almost any fans came here because they were fans of other themes--Eurobricks is the place for that. It doesn't make sense to me to blame fans for not being able to adapt. That's just not how fandom works. People came here because they liked Bionicle, and when there's no Bionicle to discuss there's just no realistic reason for them to stick around, even if the site tries to broaden its focus. If they're interested in Ninjago or any other franchise they're gonna go to where the majority (or at least where a hefty portion) of that fan base occupies.
  11. I don't know about the story but I'd definitely want to streamline a bunch of things within the world itself, especially with species. First off matoran, toa, and turaga are all the same species. Toa are just powered up matoran with all the appropriate powers and such, and turaga are matoran with some toa power. Next, a Titan species. There are many marginally different species in the MU created for individual characters. The presence of these species contributes little to nothing to the canon except to artificially inflate the world. For the story to make sense there needs to be a set amount of players involved, which also helps make the addition of new players meaningful. So I would group all those characters into a single Titan species that spread out across the MU and consists of independent states and titan cultures, but biologically they would all be the same (mutations and artificial changes/additions are on an individual basis). Skakdi, Vortixx, Makuta, Visorak, etc. are all distinct species and remain as-is (though ideally they'd have more of a prescence in the story). I still don't know how I feel about the whole Av matoran become Bohrok but that detail never really becomes relevant anyway so changing it wouldn't streamline anything either. We'll leave that one in limbo. And finally agori are just matoran. I always hated the name "agori" and think that the differences between them and matoran are so miniscule and unimportant that the distinction is unnecessary story-wise. Besides, it's cooler if Mata-Nui found ancient matoran on an alien planet with their own distinct culture than just some biologically unrelated species. Story wise there's a lot that could've been fixed and streamlined to work better but if I'm at the point where I get to write the next reincarnation of Bionicle then I'd just try a new story rather than a retelling. There are just too many deeply rooted problems in G1 that trying to fix them all would result in something completely different and unrecognizable, which would ultimately be a good thing imo but technically a poor retelling.
  12. None of us are forgetting about the red star. The writers forgot about the red star, hence Takanuva reviving Jaller at the end of MoL with his mask is cause for some measure of confusion as it flies in the face of how the red star, and death in the MU, works. To be fair I don't think the writers forgot about the Red Star. I think the Red Star was intended to be a space station from the beginning, but its development into a reincarnation machine probably wasn't. I think that creative decision was made by Farshtey way after the fact. I'd say it's probably the other way around; the writer(s) forgot about Jaller's body since it was part of MoL--which already contains plenty of other inconsistencies and creative decisions that don't agree with canon. Also, does anyone know if Jaller's death and reincarnation was something reflected in his character in the books? I don't think I ever got to read up to 2006/07 and it would be really interesting if that were touched upon. Reincarnation is often used symbolically in stories but in reality going through a near death experience leaves you psychologically and emotionally unstable, as well as philosophically displaced. I remember his bio in Makuta's Guide to the Galaxy touching on it and it would be really cool if that was played into his character
  13. So... does this mean there might be two Jallers? One in the MU and one in the Red Star? The Red Star really makes Bionicle canon... interesting. I so wish Farshtey would have gotten the chance to finish the serials. A Hydraxon on Hydraxon fight is super interesting. Lots of cool implications and discussions to be had on the nature of individuality. Though that sort of breaks apart for me with Jaller since he's a pretty straight laced character and wouldn't fight with a copy of himself if he can help it... unless they're a zombie. It really would help discussions like these to have gotten some conclusions. I don't fully remember how the Red Star handles resurrection, as in if it only needs the body or if the character can be revived just with their spirit (which is so, so nebulous). Also,I don't know exactly how closely we should follow the movies as a source of canon since at the end of MoL it's sort of implied that Mata-Nui is awakened (I think, it has been a long time). I'm guessing this is cause Bionicle was meant to end in 2003? Still, it would be pretty dope to see Jaller playing with his old corpse like a puppet. Could start a funny comedy routine, his ex-corpse serving as a dummy. Pull some funny pranks on Hahli. Oh, the possibilities.
  14. Nope, nope, nope. Don't even kid yourself with this. I have stated multiple times on this site how excited I was for G2. I went to Comic Con where the Bionicle panel was held. When I first saw the trailer they played there I was ecstatic. I liked the direction they were going in, I was interested and excited by the changes they were making and in the designs of the toa. When the animations came out I was lapping that stuff up. I bought all the first wave toa because I was so happy Bionicle was back. I was super on board for the tv show when it was announced. I don't care about things being the same, I don't nor have I ever wanted the exact same thing as G1. If you want I can get super critical of G1 because it did a LOT of things poorly. In fact, within my OP I briefly touched on how G1's initial premise is a little dicey considering how it appropriates culture (which isn't inherently a bad thing but can easily and almost always is handled poorly). If anything, G2 started at an advantage for me. I was excited for a reboot. I was excited that we got to start off in a new direction and get something new. I left Comic Con so excited because after five years of waiting I was gonna finally get Bionicle, whatever it may be. Having criticisms and not liking something doesn't automatically mean you never gave it a chance. For example I really did not care for Star Trek Discovery because a lot of its episodes felt poorly paced, overly dramatic, and made heavy logical leaps without taking time to explain them because it needed to get to the next action sequence. I did not hate it because it was trying to make Star Trek dark. We've even seen Star Trek be dark with Deep Space Nine, and I ADORE that show because it's well made and has great characters. I do not buy your argument that I blindly hate anything that doesn't suit my personal expectations. That's an unfair way to paint me for having legitimate criticisms of G2. I do have biases and expectations that cause me to like and dislike things, for example I gravitate heavily toward Science Fiction and lean away from Fantasy, but that doesn't mean I cannot give something a chance that isn't inherently to my liking. Why would I even be writing stupidly long posts on the internet about something if I didn't at least care a little? Your statement here is really unfair. If I wasn't willing to give something a chance I wouldn't bother talking about it because I wouldn't have anything to say. The discussion comes from my desire to like something and being faced with disappointment. I gave G2 more of a chance than it deserved. I shouldn't have to try hard to like something. Yes, but that decision does nothing and never goes anywhere. How do the toa defeat Makuta? They use their elemental powers to destroy/imprison him. They aren't creators, they are fighters. The only point masks serve in G2 is to give powers for more exciting fights. Heck, this is arguably a part of G1 I wish were done a little differently. I agree that exploring the nature of creators and destroyers is a really interesting concept, but it never goes anywhere. Makuta has to be stopped by the toa because he's evil and they're good. People that create and destroy is a fact of life, not a truly profound statement. Frankenstein is not a great book because Frankenstein's hubris leads him to create a Monster that kills--that's just the setup. The true substance of the novel is exploring the humanity of the Monster and how it was really society and apathy that turned the creation. The idea of masks is an interesting concept but just putting a mask in everything isn't meaningful. What the mask's presence implies is what really matters: what is it hiding? What cultural stigmas or traditions exist within Okoto that caused them to become standard wear? There's no point in examining any work in a vacuum, it exists on the terms of a real world with real problems and deserves to be criticized as such. And again with the Turaga, the Villagers passing down the title of Protector is a basic fact, what exists beyond that it what's important. If G2 were better, a lineage of Protector's would be more interesting. It would imply a society very heavily attatched to tradition and the story/aesthetic could explore what that tradition means. Heck, the addition of masks adds onto the theme of culture versus identity. But again, that's not a theme explored in the actual story. G2's story is a series of glorified fetch quests and fights. Okay, but what is elemental energy? What does elemental energy actually mean or do in the story other than being used as a tool to further the toa's agenda? Both the villains and toa have a crystalline aesthetic, so what does that tell me about either one of those factions? It ends up just being a call sign that "things are more powerful," but making the stakes bigger isn't what's important. Bigger isn't better, it's just bigger. If crystalline structures are a sign of greater elemental power, but both factions have greater elemental power, what's the statement/purpose? That the beasts are twisted manifestations of elemental power? But again, elemental power is never given a purpose or reason in the story. The toa's personalities are changed by their elemental powers, but not their greater character. Pohatu's treatment of Ketar isn't inherently tied to stone. We've seen Pohatu have a different personality, him being gruff is more of a stereotype than anything. There is no elemental power in the real world and it doesn't stand for anything. It doesn't really matter if you possess it unless it helps the characters achieve their next conquest, again, fascistic media and alternative narrative. Power for power's sake is dangerous. G2 doesn't ask if there's a moral difference between who has it and who doesn't. Elemental power just stands for "magic spirit energy," and personally I don't find that relatable to anything at all. It could be, but what? Patriarchal power? Emotional maturity? Mental enlightenment? Moral dominance? The difference is that the stock figure picture has composition and purpose. Looking up, aspiration or perhaps loathing. Giant piece, dominant power or possibility? It implies the greater presence of titans, as well as evokes a sense of loneliness. It takes the familiar and casts it in an uncertain position, which after the 2008 story line is very appropriate. And I never meant to say that G2 had nothing going for it at all, heck I took a sweet moment to go through a character where it actually nearly made something really interesting. The problem with the city, the labyrinth, the mask carvings, and the temple, is that they have nothing to do with each other or the greater narrative. The heroes don't care about any of these details except when they serve as obstacles to their next goal. The Temple of Time was an opportunity to explore legacy, history, purpose, or any number of things but it doesn't present itself as being anything other than a setting for the plot to intersect with. Nearly, if not all plots have been told; when you break a plot down there is basic mathematics. But that's not what makes a story. A story is how you do it, but it can't just be one layer deep with all the pieces operating separate from one another. So I ask, what is G2 about? Friendship, teamwork, unity, are not meanings or statements about anything. Friendship exists. G2 doesn't ask any questions that aren't answered by the toa's un-doubtful victory. A story is made exceptional through paradox, and through understanding and then challenging established feelings and assumptions. G2 doesn't do that. And I am not asking for Bionicle to be Shakespeare. G1 wasn't, and there needs to be a level of fairness when analyzing media aimed at younger audiences. Look at the Legend of Korra and The Lightning Thief series'. The Percy Jackson series is a wonderful work of Fantasy as much as it is a children's series because it questions the status quo and ends with the acknowledgement and assurance that chance is necessary to their world. It asks about intention versus actuality and how progress can be achieved in a world literally dominated by ancient forces of time's past. Can one escape the pattern? Or simply fall back into a self-sustaining system of inequality that only ever changes face to make members of said society more complicit to their domination. This very sentence alone tells me that you either didn't fully read what I wrote, or didn't care. The TL;DR was a joke, but in reality I was more focused on analyzing the strengths of G1 rather than the weaknesses of G2. And I wouldn't call anything about G2 intense. The creator's might've cared a lot about it, in fact a lot of what we've seen from G2 shows that there were people involved who had plenty of care, but I didn't come here to deny that, I came here to analyze why things work or don't work. I've seen this again and again and I don't understand why any criticisms of G2 have to be stifled because it makes those who liked it upset. Why can't I analyze the dangers of Fantasy and disingenuous media, especially in the case of children's stories, a very real concern of mine. You're not even really disagreeing with any point I made, but just trying to negate the conversation entirely by discrediting my view point as being blind, nostalgically driven hatred. Heck I don't think I ever even said people weren't allowed to like G2, I don't care, everyone has a reason for liking the stuff they do. I like plenty of stuff that's not technically good. It doesn't mean people shouldn't be critical of said stuff.
  15. Bionicle was distinct in a lot of ways, but one of the most interesting parts of it for me is G1's aesthetic. In this case I'm talking a bit about both the sets and otherwise. I think that Bionicle was very clever in its presentation because it relied heavily on the power of implication. Implication is really enticing because it gives the mind just enough to work on but also presents questions and unknowns that can be explored and involved for the audience/viewer. There is some danger of orientalism considering Bionicle's history as being inspired by Maori people/culture but for the most part I think LEGO amended this by moving towards a more sci-fi focus (appropriation and culture tourism are really complicated, especially in Bionicle's case and could go for having its own post). Bionicle implied a history to its world as well. I remember before I had any sets as a kid I would see them in magazines and wonder what was behind the masks. What were they hiding and why? What kind of events happened to create a culture/race of beings for whom it is customary to wear masks? In this case we eventually learn that matoran/toa become weakened/comatose when not wearing masks, which is a little less interesting to me then if there had been a societal reason rather than a biological one, but that's not really the point. The point I'd like to make is that Bionicle was simultaneously vague and specific; certain details would be included in sets, backgrounds, designs, etc with little to no context. Our minds then create context around said details, or just revel in the possibilities when we don't get a complete or satisfying answer with the story (not entirely a bad thing though). Why does Vakama have a disk launcher rather than a normal melee weapon? Why does Kongu have two Kordak blasters? Why does Karzahnii have chains? More than that though we get visual cues in things like box art that suggest greater metaphysical mysteries, such as the infected hau being in the background of 2001 promotional art. I think the greatest work of art made in Bionicle is the image of Matoro/Mata-Nui looking up at a giant Bionicle piece in a desert at the end of the Ignition series (issue 15). I remember staring at the image wondering why these details were being presented to me this way and what they could mean. I didn't know most of Bionicle canon/lore at that point but after reading that issue I was enamored and in awe. Even the title "Ignition" can qualify partly as aesthetic (I firmly believe that the line between text and aesthetic in any work is imaginary and that spectacle/image can equal or support meaning, as seen through like literally all of visual art). The title not only sounds cool, but is broad and could imply any number of things depending on its context. At first we thought Ignition meant the toa were re-igniting Mata-Nui's life, bringing him back from the dead and then awakening him, but then it takes on a new meaning when we realize Makuta tricked everyone and took over the Great Spirit Robot. Suddenly "Ignition" means the ignition of a new order, the ignition of a bomb nobody even knew was hiding right under there noses, the ignition of rebellion. We were led to believe ignition meant something good for the heroes, but little did we realize that ignition could mean things could blow up in their faces too. That's not to say Bionicle's aesthetic was misdirection. The writers and designers gave us pieces and hints that could be misleading, but more than not fed into the intended narrative. This is part of why I dislike G2 so much; G2 has no implied narrative. Yes, there is technically a narrative/reading that is correct, but only because it is obviously so. G2 has a story but there's no experience or exploration when engaging with it. It takes on the general aesthetic of fantasy, but never makes it its own. How does the Mask of Creation work? Magic. What can this magic do? Whatever the plot demands. In fact, magic never really complicates the plot or situation. The toa either win or lose out of circumstance. There's no weight to anything that happens since the aesthetic is expected; bright blue fantasy lights and translucent pieces imply energy and magic, but nothing more. I look at Bionicle's box art and it has a level of cohesion/specificity that is unprecedented. Compare the box arts to each of the years of G1; each one has a unique spirit that is appropriate to the setting and themes of that year. Having a repeating hexagon pattern contrasting with strange, natural terrain in the backgrounds of 2008 sets/art is at first glance superficial, but to me it's interesting because it doesn't have to be there for the story to make sense. Their inclusion however creates a unique mood/feeling which makes the world/story seem more interesting. In this specific example the contrast within the 2008 box art implies a dichotomy: order versus chaos. This theme is echoed in storyline where the toa fight mutated Makuta over the orderly Codrex in a corrupting swamp. Symbolism is created through implication, and G2 rarely implies anything beyond itself, and when it does it fails to amount to anything or even create a mood. I will admit there is one instance of implication in the sets that I quite enjoy; Skull Slicer. I've said it before but despite Skull Slicer being an allegedly poor set, it is interesting because of small details that make it stand out. Skull Slicer doesn't have one of the mask pieces introduced for the skull villains that wave, but instead wears a Skull Spider body piece as a mask. On top of that, we only see one of them, and online bios imply that they are a unique individual rather than a class of skull enemy. Their four arms then tell us that they are a different species from the other skull villains, and their placement within a Colosseum tells us they could've been a fighter/gladiator. The fact that these specific details were made available to the audience is puzzling but enticing since it sets up a world where there were once (and perhaps are?) other humanoid species on Okoto, and a culture where fighting was considered a sport. Then come more questions: did the city actually belong to the Villagers/Matoran, or is the intended narrative actually misdirecting us? If it does belong to them, did they enslave other species for things like sport and labour? If they did, then perhaps the toa aren't truly the heroes of this story. The subtext flips the narrative to a people resurrected to fight for their city in the afterlife from a group of self-righteous Gods sent to enforce the authority of their once oppressors once again. I don't know about you, but I think that's wicked. G2 does nothing with this, nor does it do much of this anywhere else in its story/sets, but you can see the missed opportunities for a complex and interesting story. And this isn't even getting into how I think Skull Slicer is actually a rebooted Nocturn! G2 neither implied a greater narrative nor subverted the one it has. It falls into the worst Fantasy trope of unquestioningly enforcing the status quo. G1 subverted this by implying more complex and intricate narratives (that it often actually followed up on) and by subverting traditional Fantasy elements by doubling down on its preface and sci-fi elements (Sci-fi and fantasy, despite being so closely associated are practically opposites. Fantasy enforces the status quo, sci-fi seeks to destroy/question/subvert it. I'll admit to my bias a strong sci-fi fan, but I do believe that Bionicle manages to magically combine fantasy and sci-fi in a way that doesn't betray itself and feels qualified and complex.). Bionicle's aesthetic at first glance appears to be superficial, but as I briefly mentioned earlier aesthetic and implication working together actually creates meaning and an engaging story. G2 didn't just suck because it ended poorly, it sucked because it never felt genuine. It fell into the great mass of children's media that sees its classification as such as being a limitation on the amount of depth it can have. G2 is a traditional fantasy good versus evil story, and frankly that's the type of narrative I think we need to abolish; it teaches children that the world is simple and that morality is never complex. Without getting too nuts, I would classify these narratives as fascistic media; like Nazi works these simplified fantasy stories have a structure where the power of will/strength and willingness to fight is exclusively emphasized over discussion of intent and context. G2 doesn't ask us to question the institutions and players involved. Like fascism, it seeks to decontextualize their world and create a clear and distinct enemy that must be destroyed at all costs, because even if they started out with good intentions they are the embodiment of evil and should be destroyed without mercy. Bionicle G1 nearly fell into this trap at many points in its run, however managed to narrowly avoid it through Mata-Nui's empathy and the way it complicated its scenarios. I don't mean to claim that Bionicle G2 and simple children's media are actively insidious, but I do think Fantasy is a complicated and dangerous genre that needs to be handled with specific care. By utilizing aesthetics and implication incorrectly (or not at all), works can become disingenuous and give false expectations to youth. TL;DR G2 sucks bum bum and G1 is pretty alright
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