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Sir Keksalot

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About Sir Keksalot

Year 03
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    Battling Makuta!
  • Birthday 07/04/1999

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  1. Barring its financial success and the formulaic implementation of the characters, there's not a lot of similarity. Bionicle was a constraction theme with lots of complex worldbuilding, mystery, and (in its later years) tryhard edginess. It was presented through relatively cheap means of delivering the story (the comics, novels, and a few B-movies) and was allowed to end in some capacity, if pathetically. When new ideas or gimmicks were introduced, they were progressions of existing storylines and arcs, and there wasn't a great deal of focus on those gimmicks over the general set design and story, perhaps with the exception of 2007 and maybe 2008. The sets and story were extensions of one another, and this is because the line was created for the explicit purpose of getting big so that Lego could balance out the royalties from SW. What's interesting is that Bionicle fostered more themes of its ilk in the form of KKII and Exo-Force. Lego found that story-based action-adventure lines were successful, so they tried some more; and ones with a constraction component, no less. While neither line took off as hard as Bionicle, Lego really went and did something interesting because of the success of a big IP. This pattern continued after the line's death, too, with Atlantis coming in just as it died out. What's more, without Bionicle, Hero Factory--which, for its pitfalls, kept constraction's seat warm and was fairly unique in any case--couldn't even have been conceivable. Ninjago, on the other hand, is a systeme them that puts the sets before the story in every way. The media focus is mostly in the cartoon, with books and comics receiving minimal focus by comparison. There's also that (incredibly inconsistent) movie that I have to actively try to remember because it's like my brain wants me to forget it. Ninjago was conceived to be another experimental, 3-year theme, but it was hauled out of the grave no sooner than it entered it and brought back to continue forever and ever without end. Right now, it seems to just be where new possible gimmicks for an action-adventure theme are dumped off. I mean, look at the new "video game" gimmick--that could and SHOULD have been its own theme; it has limitless potential. But no, Lego's cash cow needs more fuel because they're understandably running out of ideas. Ninjago began in 2011; 2 years later, we got Chima; 3 years after that, Nexo Knights. All 3 were experimental action-adventure lines that, while they all had lousy stories, were at least new and creative in some way. 4 years after NK, there haven't been any new themes of that nature. Hidden Side, maybe? But that's a different beast entirely and experiments in a radically different way, much as I have to commend it for truly thinking outside of the box. Elves, perhaps? But that aims for a wholly different audience and has less focus on action for the first year, and sorta evolved into another conflict-based theme; and it died alongside NK. Still, we're never gonna get another crazy, creative action-adventure theme so long as Ninjago is hogging the scene; at least if recent trends continue. There's no endgame for Ninjago where Bionicle at least had some long-term story goals. Character development and growth are fleeting and minimal, and major events have little in the way of permanent consequence. Where Bionicle's sins laid in trying too hard not to feel like it was just for kids, Ninjago's lie in its refusal to try and be anything more than that. Where Bionicle prompted new themes to be born, Ninjago stifles fledgling themes by competition and snuffs out potential new ideas. It'd be one thing if Ninjago had any of the real merits Bionicle had beyond just set design, but outside of the merch, it's a downgrade on every front. Oddly enough, the Toa-ninja comparison you mention exemplifies this. Bionicle revolved around 6 protagonists at any given time, while Ninjago only got 6 around halfway through its lifetime. Bionicle rotated out Toa teams regularly, going through 3 by 2009; at which point, it switched to a new type of main cast entirely. Ninjago has had the same 6 heroes since year 2. Bionicle also had something resembling character arcs and internal conflict. Jaller spent his whole career as a Toa going out of his way to avoid making the same mistakes as Vakama and Tahu, and this informed his behavior in the Ignition arc. Matoro, at the end of his arc, freakin' dies. There's permanent consequence for these characters and one another. Meanwhile, with one episode of Ninjago, I would like to point out just why the writing is as bad as it is: the one where we learn that Zane is a robot. Zane has had to deal with social ineptitude up to this point in the show, and it's been a defining part of his character, right? So he finally learns that he's not even human, and his shortcomings are a matter of programming he doesn't even fully understand. And what happens? He...comes to terms with it in a single afternoon! Of course! This HUGE chance for character growth, this thing that could have made Zane the most interesting character in the show...is just done away with! Instantly! No real arc, no meaningful growth, just...filler! There's more instances like this, like how Cole literally dies and becomes a ghost or how Lloyd has to give up being a kid and instantly become a man, but I won't go overboard here. It's the same deal. Which is the primary reason I've been ripping into Ninjago here, and why I maintain that it's not a worthy successor to Bionicle. There's never a real reason to care because the characters aren't written to be cared about. The story isn't written to pull you in and immerse you in a strange world. The story is just one long commercial, nothing more. Bionicle at least has SOMETHING going for it. There's a sense that the team behind it actually enjoyed it as a narrative, not just a financial asset.
  2. I don't think the Archduke was assassinated in Bionicle lore...
  3. >son of Lhii the surfer >son This implies that not only would love have been canon, but so would reproduction--Matoran could have families. Even if they just built each other manually like in the current canon, parental relationships (and, presumably, spousal ones) were still a thing. Also, given that the name "Tren Krom" was in the lore even before Bionicle as we know it started in earnest, I have to wonder what it was originally meant to signify. Was it always going to be used for a character, or did that only materialize when Greg realized he was a fish man and decided to pay homage to the Great Old One?
  4. That mentality is a load of bupkis. The medium a work happens to be presented in shouldn't be any excuse to lessen the value of that work, nor should the target audience--especially when that audience is impressionable and far smarter than companies give them credit for. Creative effort should always be implemented to the utmost, no exceptions. Why SHOULDN'T more effort be put into the writing? Why SHOULD kids just be spoonfed meaningless drivel that doesn't say anything as a work of art? Or was the effort put into Bionicle all for nothing with no real benefit for Lego or the consumers? To respond: no, that's not normally the case. My position is that entertainment should never be dumbed down for a young audience, regardless of what the corporate shills that run the entertainment industry think/care about.
  5. It's not an opinion that Ninjago's characters are inconsistent and shallow. "I like Ninjago" is an opinion. "Ninjago's story is vapid and conveys nothing of substance" is not. If we accept that art is 100% subjective, we have no real grounds on which to assess it in the hopes of moving art in a forward direction; and this is really important for kids' media like Ninjago, which we ought to demand to make our kids think critically and impart valuable lessons on them. Garmadon, as an antagonist, is terrible for this. Zane's pathetic excuse for an arc on discovering that he's a robot is terrible for this. The nonsense dynamic of Jay and Nya's relationship, especially with the Jole Incident in mind, is terrible for this.
  6. They wouldn't react because humans would never find the planet, nor should they because humans should stay out of Bionicle in every imaginable circumstance.
  7. I don't know why you feel the need to assume I'm here to rip into Ninjago's fans rather than just criticize the line as a work of fiction. If you feel personally attacked when I say something is bad, that's on you. You can like bad things; in fact, the sets are (as has been discussed) the one thing Ninjago really has going for it, so there's even grounds on which to like it. But the actual narrative component (that is, the important thing for those of us who can't afford/don't care about the merch) is still horrendous and saying as much isn't "spreading hatred." OP asked a question, I had a comment. Don't act like I'm the bad guy for speaking the truth.
  8. I didn't realize being critical of a terrible plot with terrible writing was "edgy." They really are, and therein lies the problem. A franchise should not be defined by its merch even if it's centered around that merch. I started with S1, and gave up right after the episode with "Jole." That one subplot convinced me that this entire storyline was garbage if the characters were actually that idiotic and inconsistent. There's no depth to the characters, no originality, and no real arcs. Bionicle, for all its shortcomings, had effort put into it. It's not 100% trash because there's actual thought behind the arcs characters go through, and the cast isn't comprised of unintelligent and unlikable twerps who aren't even consistent. Major events, for the most part, have lasting consequences; even when characters die and respawn on the Red Star, they're still stuck there and can't come back in any important way. Not sure what that last condescending remark's supposed to mean.
  9. Bold of you to assume I even had the sets in mind, or particularly care. Wake me when Ninjago's story and characters aren't garbage on every front instead of just a few like Bionicle's.
  10. I initially read this as "Lego Reveals ISIS Ideas Set" and I was momentarily confused and worried.
  11. Guess Mata Nui had a pretty bad cold, then, considering that the Mangai was always active...
  12. Sorry for the big image, but this basically confirms that Faber WANTS to bring Bionicle back. Now, is that what he's trying to do here? I don't think we can be sure. All we have is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
  13. The magic found in themes of the 2000s fell away and died off by the 2010s. Lego gave more support than ever to their storytelling, but this did no real good when the stories were all garbage. 2010 Lego storytelling peaked with the HF specials, and it all went downhill from there. I think part of it is doing away with any willingness for "dark" storytelling. That isn't to say that darker is better--G1 is proof that it's not--but with lines like EF and KKII, for their minimal support, their stories gave a sense for a capacity for darkness, a very real possibility that the world can and even presently does suck and that there's actual stakes. In Chima, nobody ever dies, and every time something bad happens, it's resolved with no caveats. The characters barely need to grow or change to get anything done, if at all. By contrast, EF features a potential AI takeover, with human beings already being captured by the robots and held as slaves; most notably, Takeshi's dad. That's not to say EF had revolutionary storytelling, but relative to how much media it got, it was far weightier than anything from the 2010s. And of course, you've got the HIGHLY elaborate storytelling of Bionicle. Lego hasn't attempted anything on that scale since. The sheer volume of detail and effort Bionicle got was admirable, even when the storytelling was lackluster. There was a lot of worldbuilding and side plots and a huge list of characters who actually got explored SOMEWHAT. It'd be nice if Lego would at least attempt that again. The closest we have is Ninjago, which has horrendous writing for a line with as many good sets as it has.
  14. I mean, pretty much nobody except for SOME of the Bionicle community gives a stone rat's behind about HF beyond its usefulness to keeping constraction alive. It's probably been mostly forgotten about except by the kids that grew up with it; and many of them might have forgotten entirely by now. HF never achieved the status Bionicle did, and in the wake of G2's stumble and fall, it doesn't even have a lot of historical prominence to its name, now.
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