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This is the fourth installment of my 8-part short-story series. I am particularly excited to post this one, since I spent a lot more time on it than the previous three. So here, it is, Web of Karzahni! Web of Karzahni The wearer of the Olisi, the mighty Karzahni, stared around in horror. Dozens, no hundreds of Matoran were surrounding him. His Matoran; the ones he had made into his slaves.He turned his head back and forth, once again trying to raise his hand to strike them down, but to no avail. For some strange reason, his feet were riveted to the ground, and his hands were stuck to his sides, as if held there by glue. And the screaming, all around him, he heard shouts of pain, of anger, and of vengeance. There was one scream though, that towered over all the others, an earsplitting screech, one of distress and terror.Karzahni scanned the crowds of Matoran, searching for the source of this scream. After a while though, he realized that the scream was not coming from any of the Matoran, it was coming from him.Karzahni looked around as the Matoran converged on him, piling up over his body, beating him with their fists, and tearing his armored plates off. He screamed even louder as he was ravaged by them, why couldn’t he move?!One of the Matoran, one of stone, came into view, in his hand he held a hammer, and on his face he wore a Kanohi Komau. Karzahni stared at the Matoran, he recognized him from somewhere, and for some reason he was even more horrified by the Matoran’s presence. His eyes widened, and he let out one last scream that echoed around as the Matoran raised his tool, and brought it down on Karzahni’s heartlight… … Karzahni’s eyes snapped open. He looked around; he was sitting on his throne in his own realm. He tested his left arm, then the right; yes, he could move them both freely. Everything seemed normal once more, all except one thing; he was still screaming.Karzahni looked down at the ground, and immediately understood why any being would be screaming now. A Po-Matoran, who wore a Komau on his face sat at Karzahni’s feet, his eyes still closed. After a moment, the Matoran looked up and opened his eyes. Karzahni managed to say through his screams, “What … are … you?!”The Matoran replied, “You cannot explain sight to one who is blind.”Karzahni threw out a hand, sending the Matoran hurtling across the room. He pointed at the Matoran of stone and screeched, “Get him out! I never want to see him again!”Two Matoran clad in dull gray armor that may have once matched the colors of their elements grabbed the Po-Matoran and dragged him away, though the servant of stone put up no resistance.Karzahni watched him go, his screams finally dying down in his throat, whether this was because the Matoran was gone, or because he was growing hoarse he did not know.As the three Matoran disappeared from his line of sight, Karzahni remembered back to when this Matoran had first arrived. His name was Velika; he had come from a land he would not reveal, though his homeland was of no interest to Karzahni, so he hadn’t bothered to force the information out of him.The Matoran’s friends had sent him here because they believed him to be insane. Karzahni dismissed this notion almost immediately, and had attributed Velika’s problems to laziness. But whenever Velika had been told to work, he had replied with strange riddles, and showed no signs of complying. Karzahni had punished him physically, but when it showed no signs of changing the stubborn Po-Matoran, Karzahni had been forced to use a different approach.He had ordered Velika to be brought to him, and commanded him directly to work, giving the Matoran one last chance to comply, but the Matoran had simply said, “You cannot teach a Gukko to fly by striking it.”Karzahni had activated his mask power, but then something had changed. Karzahni’s Mask of Alternate Futures was supposed to create an alternate reality within a dream that Karzahni chose based off the target’s past, but instead, Karzahni himself had ended up within his own alternate reality, with Matoran surrounding him. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Velika was supposed to be the one experiencing the nightmares, not him. Karzahni shuddered, and tried to push the thoughts out of his head, but he would never truly be the same… … Velika hit the ground and slid several bios across the dusty ground. He glanced back behind him at the two Matoran who had thrown him. It made him so sad, thinking of how helpless and defeated they must feel.He turned and looked at what lay in front of him: a tunnel, with a worn out and barely visible inscription written at its entrance. Even if the words had been clear, nobody would have been able to read it; nobody, except Velika, for it had been he who had etched the letters into the stone so long ago. He walked up to the inscription, and fury built up inside him, for the inscription read, “The path of hope.”Velika walked into the tunnel, following its straight and narrow path, reflecting on the incident he had had with Karzahni as he went.Inside this body, Velika still possessed the ability to negate mask powers, and even had the ability to use them against a target if he concentrated enough. But alas, that was all he was capable of.Being inside a Matoran body had its limits, but when the time was right, Karzahni would pay for what he had done. Velika hated to kill one of his own creations, but the tyrant would be too much of a danger to the plan if he wasn’t disposed of at some point.He considered Artakha, Karzahni’s ‘brother,’ though he had not had a chance yet to see him in his new form, Velika figured that he too would be a problem, and would have to be removed as well.Velika turned his mind from his plans for correction, and decided to think about what had gone well. He had managed to leave the land of Karzahni without being forced to hurt any Matoran or the Manas that guarded the entrances, and was now on his way to the island of Voya Nui, an island that would become a very important ground in the future.This was not by accident either; it was because the island housed one of the most powerful objects in the universe, The Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life. It would be Velika’s mission, if possible, to protect the mask from those would wish to use it for evil, and guide the rightful heir to the mask.Velika smiled a little as he thought of the herald, a Ko-Matoran named Matoro. Unlike any other being in the universe, Matoro’s mind was designed and based off of a Great Being, one named Angonce. Matoro would, if the plan succeeded, bring the mask to the core of the universe and enter the Codrex. There he would reawaken Mata Nui. Velika stared ahead, pushing all these thoughts away, and focusing on the long journey that lay before him…
Earlier today, while watching the second and third Bionicle films, I've noticed that some of the ambient sound effects in the background were borrowed from the Carnivores games. It seems that whoever was in charge of sound effects in these movies was really fond of the games, because quite a few of these sounds were used.In the scene depicted above, in the beginning of Web of Shadows, as the Toa Metru looked in terror at their ruined, Rahi-infested city, a lot of animal noises were heard, among which were the Moschops croak and distant T-Rex call from the first Carnivores game, and the distant Parasaurolophus trumpet from Carnivores 2. I could not help but associate these sounds with these animals, so I went ahead and added them to the picture.I guess Whenua wasn't joking when he said they had "everything" in the Archives...
Bionicle Web of ShadowsTheme: There are four themes to this movie:1. Pride goes before a fall; it doesn't pay to be overconfident2. It is best to consult with others to avoid walking into a trap (Matau)3. “I only lead those who choose to follow me. That’s the difference between being a leader, and a tyrant like you.”(Vakama)4. “Unity, Duty, Destiny. It starts with unity.” –Rahaga NorikThe directors tried to create a movie with multiple themes and universal application, much like Shakespeare or Crime and Punishment. What they got was a mess, completely incomprehensible. There is also what the characters interpret theme #1 to be, side themes that only apply to certain characters, and themes that are expressed that don’t even apply. One example of that is Rahaga Norik’s conversation with Vakama: “That is something you can’t change.” “Watch me.” And then Vakama does exactly what he says he would, except not quite in the way he imagined when he was talking to Norik. The key to defeating all the Visorak was having Vakama in charge of them and setting them free, which tatters a lot of the other themes stated above. If Vakama hadn’t done what he did, the whole story would fall apart, leaving any themes to the contrary with a giant hole in them.Main Character: MatauSurprised? Who is the first person who we see after the Toa land? Matau. Who is the guy who shows up after the transformation? That would be Matau. Who saves the day at the end, and practically hogs the camera the entire movie? Three guesses. This movie, unlike the other two, is told in third-person limited, with the camera jumping between Vakama and Matau. This nicely explains all of the other film’s peculiarities, like the other Toa practically not existing for most of the film, because in Matau’s mind, they don’t. We have just logged on to the All Matau, All the Time channel for most of the film – and now a word from our sponsor, Sidorak…which is portrayed precisely as Matau views him. That’s probably where the credit music came from, and the whole thing was a nightmare in Matau’s head. The best way to interpret this film as that, and consider the novel Web of Shadows (which was vastly better than the movie) as what really happened. * * * While I am on the subject of novels, I have to admit that this movie deviates the most from its movie novelization. This is just an opinion, not really an insight, but I think they should have told this story like they told LoMN, and included scenes from that epic Challege of Hordika Battle. The deviation on the chronology between book and movie is so bad that different reasons are cited for Vakama going out and betraying the others.Secondary Major Character: Vakama (duh!)While Vakama exhibits some of the characteristics of taking the lead again, and having to have the theme explained by Matau, which is usually the secondary character’s role, but because nothing is as it should be in this film, I’m just going to throw it out. Web of Shadows is vastly different from the other ones in almost every other respect, so why not this one? And I’ve already explain the whole Matau-as-main-character thing. The story is so sad, demented and messed up, that it even tears up any whiffs of theme and narrative structure. At least, any that make sense. Oh, and also we must establish that Vakama owns the world, even though he is chewed at the expense of the theme, but not really. We have gone back to the Fire-bashing of MoL, because it is easier.All that above nicely explains why nobody liked this movie: Vakama is beat up, nobody can get what the theme is, and nobody likes Matau. The End. Oh, wait, we still have to do the film.The Very First Scene · So we start off with a giant silver fingernail slicing into Makuta’s now red prison. Red, and thus fire, is on the Dark Side now, kiddies. This is supposed to tell us that Roodaka is our Makuta rep in this film, and unlike the previous two films, His Dark Lordness fails to put in an appearance. Also, it is a symbol of Roodaka’s damage to Vakama, harkening back to the Red Toa Rock in the last film, and basically saying that there is a Makuta trapped inside Vakama, which is a theme from 2005 that otherwise didn’t make it in this film – the darkness inside yourself, remember that? · Web of Shadows is a really strange title. It could refer to the actual physical web, or the web of deceit Roodaka spins around Vakama. The Visorak aren’t much more than Roodaka’s third arm. The name Visorak goes back to the sun-sheilding “visor”. They are a shield from the light, particularly the light of truth. That’s part of the reason we don’t see any visions in here, and it is their Hordika poison that keeps all those wonderful AI glitches from happening. Also, it might be important to note that Visorak and Vahki are enemies of Vakama, and it is kind of a giveaway that the Visorak end up being Vakama’s instruments. When you see a V, look for a connection: Vakama, Vahi, Voporak all have to do with time; Velika is a foil of Vezok and Vezon, (the guy who gives unexpected wisdom vs. the two crazy cool dudes, and the centrality of Voya Nui is likely the fulfillment of the prophecy given to Vakama in Time Trap, and it goes back to the “daggers of death” = enemies (like the enemies of Vakama). Not all beginning consonants are significant; M and T are overused so much that they worthless. But that is another topic altogether, and it is probably a list of funny coincidences. The Storm to the Fall · In case you haven’t interviewed Kongu lately, you know that all Toa of Air love water, especially wild, turbulent water. So, the perfect way to start off the Toa of Air’s worst nightmare is: a rainstorm, a crash, and having to be bailed out by Whenua. Keep in mind Matau is driving; that is important later. · Matau really doesn’t like wild animals either. Remember that the Toa’s base of operations in this whole sequence was Le-Metru: he probably doesn’t like his neighborhood being run over by it. · “We faced the Makuta and won. I doubt a bunch of crusty relics are going to give us much trouble, right?” The ultimate statement of pride, but it is pretty stupid since the Visorak aren’t “crusty relics”. And Matau’s comment about walking into a trap doesn’t really make sense, since they walked about two hundred feet onto the island, only to get nailed. Our Main Character is already espousing themes that don’t make since, and we are only a few minutes in. As Nokama would say later, “This is not Vakama’s fault.” Well, it wasn’t. · Introducing the picture of overconfidence who conveniently gets killed at the end: Sidorak. The pride-goes-before-a-fall theme is rather pervasive – this movie attacks self-reliance and independent action. Lego failed to consider its audience, a lot of people who believe in independent creativity. This movie is almost anti-Lego. · You’ll notice that the Champion Complainer Onewa’s mouth is muffled by the web, a slight against his personality. · Also, if you go by the books, Nokama is a foil of Roodaka. Her dialogue in this movie is a lot like she has lost Vakama to Roodaka. (there is a lot of bad romantic connotations in this film, too) Roodaka is a little friendly towards Makuta; and we know how Matau feels about Nokama, so the movie is a complete shipper’s paradise. · The fall scene: Like the two movies that repeat stuff at the beginning and the end, this repeats the fall itself. · “I can’t just change” says Vakama, and then he does, turning into Hordika. · Most of Matau being the Main character comes from the fact that Greg wanted Matau to betray the others, not Vakama. In that situation, Vakama would probably fight Matau to get him back using his zen persuasive skills which he doesn’t have. (that’s Nokama’s and Roodaka’s domain) Switch the roles, and you get WoS, with Matau pushing Vakama over the edge, Matau relizing his awful mistake, learning some hard lessons and trying to convince Vakama that he’s changed. That’s why that keeps getting brought up. · The fall is a representation of the Toa’s fall from glory into ugliness. Roodaka and Sidorak, our examples of pride and conniving disunity, observe. Nokama is the last to fall, indicating that there is still some good left in her. (one of the best music sequences ever). Vakama’s leaving, the Great Temple, and Roodaka. · Before you dis the Rahaga’s propellers, it’s a symbol. The Toa are the lead weight, indicating that darkness within theme again. The Rahaga have not been weighted down or have fallen from glory, and they can move up and down the range from nobility to foolishness with ease. Height is a prime symbol…overcoming darkness moves you up in height, which is why all the protagonists fly or climb up at the end. The Rahaga can already go up there, but they have come down to the Toa’s level to help them. · Roodaka magically gets a huge Makuta Rock in her private chambers. Even though the tiny heartstone had to be painfully cut from the Makuta prison, a giant Makuta communication stone can easily be bought in Vortixx Mart. · The next thing is Matau complaining about Vakama, and everyone trying to calm him or stop him. Then the Rahaga appear and explain their condition. This is important: What splits up the team is not Matau’s earlier comments, but the idea that the Matoran’s Rescue should be postponed in order to cure the Toa’s affliction. All the other Toa want to find Keetongu first; Vakama does not. All Vakama cares about is the Matoran; he is completely selfless when he leaves. His “I’ll show them all” comment is his expression of wanting to prove that his position is right. It is Roodaka’s influence that warps his better-than-Matau’s intentions. This is misunderstood by everyone in the film, especially Rahaga Norik. · All that explains Rahaga Norik’s comment about the Matoran being in the most capable hands: the fact that Vakama was willing to sacrifice everything for them, even his own sanity, shows that he will be the paramount person to keep them safe. Even Rahaga Norik’s comment about the Toa needing Vakama to lead them is factual; Vakama doesn’t care about the others as long as the Matoran get saved. In fact, Vakama would probably love to leave them behind, especially Matau. The whole thing is exacerbated by Hordika venom and misunderstandings. · Remember that scene when the Toa were trying to get to the Great Temple and were stopped by Vahki? That’s usually the Toa trying to return to their value system, to try to do what is right. This time, it is the venom that won’t let them in; only the Rahaga, who transcend the levels of good and bad, can get in. · According the novel WoS, Vakama is trying to two-time Roodaka into giving him command of the horde, than use it against Roodaka. This isn’t evident here, giving the audience the impression that Vakama is crazy. He does succeed, however. Remember, Vakama owns the world, even when crazy. · Vakama destroying the Great Temple is pretty much his statement of saying that his values don’t matter to him anymore. · Then, in a complete failure to get the point, the other Toa decide to expedite their search for Keetongu in order to save Vakama, who left them over that very thing. And then we slide over and show something out of Disney. · And in a complete contrast to Disney, Vakama bangs on Sidorak’s door, with a few imprisoned Rahaga to add to the picture. · “To save Vakama, you must use your new skills and ablities, not be rid of them.” No duh. Can’t listen to your leader who has been telling you that for the last 30 minutes. The End[*]Vakama is sick and tired of recalcitrant Toa who won’t listen to him, so what comes out of his mouth is “Bow down and pledge your allegiance…to me!” If he hadn’t added the addendum, “And…to Sidorak”, I’m almost certain that the other Toa would have done exactly as he said. Still running, Toa?[*]“Put me down.” Don’t pull me up to the level of truth. I don’t want to see what is. And I definitely don’t want you to either, you traitor.[*]In the final piece of irony, the first time Sidorak says something not prideful, he gets destroyed.[*]Then we have the second fall, which is stopped by Vakama, not by the Rahaga.[*]And then there is that famous Vakama quote: “For some reason, he doesn’t scare me anymore.” Makuta fought against his destiny; but Roodaka twisted and corrupted it. Roodaka is worse than Makuta; where Makuta failed to get Vakama to switch sides and become evil, Roodaka succeeded.[*]And then the magically appearing airships, which provide that round linkage of Matau driving something, which is exactly how we started.[*]End Matau’s Dream and Movie Three