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Timeline Observation


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#1 Offline Exitium

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 11:37 PM

I've noticed something about the Bionicle timeline that isn't particularly revolutionary, but I think it's worth discussing because it represents the massive shift Bionicle undertook around 2006 when the size of the story (and the timeline) expanded dramatically.  Although I'm presenting a thesis and the evidence in favor of it here, I'm not labeling it as a "theory" because a) it's not about the storyline per se, but rather the thinking process behind its design, and b) it might already be widely acknowledged and I just haven't noticed.  I've also added some analysis on why we should care about and discuss this.

 

Part I is the introduction, parts II-IV are the most interesting pieces of evidence (there's certainly more out there), parts V and VI are analysis, and part VII is the conclusion. 

 

Also bear with me, since I tend to be a bit long winded.

 

I. Introduction and Thesis

 

From 2001 to 2003, the idea of a timeline generally meant what had happened in the story so far, staring with just before the Toa Mata arrived on Mata Nui, since everything before that was just background.  The Matoran had been on the island for some indeterminate amount of time, Makuta had harassed them for years, and there was nothing else we really needed to know before that aside from a few legends.

 

Then came the Metru Nui arc, and events started to be nailed down with more certainty.  The events of the story up until now had lasted about a year.  The Matoran had been on Mata Nui for 1000 years.  Events that happened in the past before the events of 2004 (invention of Kanoka, chutes, etc.) were given approximate dates.  More material in the story started to happen well before the events of the actual story we were witnessing.  In 2005 even more information about the history of Metru Nui, the Rahaga, and various other characters came to light, and we had a thriving story about what happened before the main story arc.

 

For much of 2006 the story continued in the same way, although the story was darker, we were back in the present, and the stakes suddenly seemed a lot greater.  The timeline however, remained relatively unchanged, although the Piraka origin story told in Legacy of Evil went back 7000 years.  Then open up the next book, and the first words of the introduction are "100,000+ years ago."

 

That's a long time.  For comparison, 1000 years ago, we didn't even have a portable compass. 100,000 years is a long time.

 

Sometime around 2006, the story team (likely Greg) decided to dramatically expand the history of the Bionicle timeline, which included the first rough dating of the age of the Matoran Universe, which until then had been somewhere in the thousands of years, but had remained open for debate.  Somehow the paradigm of a Matoran Universe that was 10,000 years at the oldest somehow shifted to one that was over 100,000 years old.  By adding more than 90,000 years of material to the story, Greg not only led to a massive shift in our conception of the length of the timeline, but also opened the floodgates to create the incredibly complex story we have today.  What I intend to demonstrate is that the decision to expand the timeline so dramatically was made, at first hesitantly, sometime around  mid to late 2006.

 

II. The Most Important 10,000 Years

 

To reiterate a point that I made in the introduction, most of the material that happened in the story (or rather, the backstory and "expanded universe" so to speak) happened within the 10,000 years prior to current story.  This is the strongest evidence in favor of the idea that Greg simply didn't conceive of events happening before that time.  

 

The strongest rebuttal that I can think of is that this time period was simply the most appropriate time for these events to happen, or that it made sense to explore events nearer to the present story.  This makes sense when considering the Piraka's origins, Tuyet's betrayal, and the Toa Hagah, but it makes less sense when considering some of the historical facts about Metru Nui.  According to BS01, the Vahki, Kanoka, and chutes were all invented "sometime before 4000 years ago."  This leaves us with a 96,000 year time period when these inventions could have come into existence, but it's implied that they do so around 4000 years ago, not significantly before.  This means that for most of Metru Nui's history, you would not have recognized it, and one wonders what the Ta-Matoran were doing for tens of thousands of years without Kanoka to turn into Kanohi (or how anyone made new masks for that matter).

 

If one examines all of the events that occur before 7000 years, all of them were introduced as story elements around 2006-2007 or after.  The only item I'm not so clear about is the Dark Hunter backstory.  Although we now have a reasonable idea of when the Dark Hunters came into existence, due to BS01's decision not to cite any of its sources (grumble, grumble), I can't say for sure when we learned these dates.  Either way, the earliest it could have been was the summer of 2006 when the Dark Hunter guidebook came out.

 

III. Old Toa

 

By the time of the Great Cataclysm, Lhikan is old.  We're told that he's been fighting evil for a long time, there are numerous legends about him, and somewhere it even says that his many years of being a Toa have given him fine control of his powers.  He was a Toa for approximately 6005 years, which is a long time from our perspective but is relatively short in the Matoran Universe.  True, it's a lot longer than the Toa Metru were Toa or that Toa Mata/Nuva were awake, but it's nothing compared to Orde, Helryx (who is REALLY old), and Lesovikk.  Out of pretty much every other Toa, only Helryx is mentioned to have such fine control over her element, which is fitting, considering she's the oldest Toa.  (In contrast, Orde is almost as old, but we hear nothing about how good his skill is.)

 

The point here is not to pat ourselves on the back and say "Gotcha, Greg made a mistake!"  The inconsistency is interesting because it makes perfect sense given the thesis that the timeline dramatically expanded between the creation of these characters.

 

IV. Axonn's Service

 

By the time the Piraka show up, Axonn has been guarding the Mask of Life for a long time, and has been facing evil "more than 100 centuries," which would be more than 10,000 years (Ignition Comic 2).  While we don't know exactly how long he guarded the Mask (it's implied to be a long time), we do know that he's been with the Order since around its inception, which was about 100,000 years ago.  This means that Axonn's "100 centuries" comment is not only a strange grammatical construction, but is also off by about an order of magnitude.  (This would be comparable to saying that the Great Pyramids were built more than a few decades ago.)  This is odd because Axonn is trying to stress how long this length of time is, but it's really a gross underestimate.  (Perhaps he's lost track of time?)  Given the paradigm that we had worked with until this time, 10,000 years would have been a long time, but now it's laughably short, especially for Axonn.  It's worth noting that Greg is fuzzy about the exact length of time here, probably because he hadn't officially made the decision yet to expand the timeline to the degree that he did.

 

This is perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence because it really cements when this change took place.  Clearly Greg wanted to expand the timeline but he didn't quite have the exact amount of time yet.  Axonn's statement gives him enough time to be old in the then-current paradigm and is vague enough to survive the paradigm shift intact yet is clearly a relic of the original paradigm.  That was in the Ignition Comic 2, which came out around May.  (In Dark Destiny, released around the same time, Karzahni suggests that he might be over 100,000 years old, but his credibly is poor here, and his statement is even more vague: "perhaps 100,000 years, perhaps more, I lose track." [p. 73])  By Inferno, the last book of the year, it is now canon that the universe is over 100,000 years old, which suggests that the decision was formed gradually over 2006 and cemented by the end of the year.

 

V. Why We Care

 

So who cares that the timeline suddenly got a lot bigger?  Greg changed his mind about some back story stuff.  He probably did this all the time, especially considering that he came up with a lot of the details of the story as he went along, leaving more than a few inconsistencies.  What makes this topic so important (in my opinion, anyway)?

 

Among the many changes that took place around 2006/2007, one of the ones that is least talked about is the dramatic increase in size in the Bionicle story.  Subplots that were unnecessary for the primary story and involved side characters in distant realms suddenly started to appear.  While you only needed to know what was going on with the current sets, you could be guaranteed that there was more out there if you wanted to take the plunge, and we as fans ate it up.

 

Suddenly there was ancient history to explore with the Barraki, Miserix, and Jovan.  There were multiple storylines proceeding at once, giving fans all that much more to be excited about.  The world became so big it needed an atlas, and we could follow our favorite characters to these new lands even though their sets were replaced by this year's.  This was a great time to be a Bionicle fan, and Bionicle got the massive expansive story that it deserved, yet few other toy lines get even close to replicating.

 

VI. The Downfall of Bionicle

 

Ironically, this expansive story was one of the structural problems behind Bionicle's eventual cancellation.  The story was simply so vast that even a 2009 reboot couldn't save it from all of the baggage that it carried dating back to before most of the toy's target audience was even born at this point.  It became too difficult for new comers to jump in, and Bionicle's replacement had a much simpler and straightforward story.  It's a shame, because many of us loved Bionicle for the story, but it it's not hard to see that it didn't quite fit with Lego's goal, especially when compared to its others IPs at the time (and now).  The story was hardly the only reason for Bionicle's ultimate decline, but it was certainly one of them.

 

I don't want anyone to walk away from this thinking that I'm claiming Greg's decision to expand the timeline ultimately caused the series's demise.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  What I'm trying to say is that the story writers made a conscious decision to significantly expand the story, with amazing results but completely unforeseen consequences.  The story did not expand because of the expanded timeline, but rather vice versa, and it would probably have happened regardless of the shift in timeline paradigm.  

 

VII. Conclusion

 

The change in the timeline paradigm is representative of a massive shift in the way the Bionicle story was presented and developed, and it may have even helped enable this change.  In and of itself, this change would hardly be worth such a detailed post, but its timing during a time of great change for Bionicle demonstrates that a lot of internal changes that definitely altered the tone and scope of the story were also happening around this time.  Whether or not these changes were for better or worse is a matter of debate, but I think it's fairly certain that things did indeed change.

 

So what do you think?  Am I getting all excited about something that doesn't really matter?  Is there evidence of some event from 2004 that happened tens of thousands of years ago that completely invalidates this theory?  Did you even read most of this unnecessarily long observation? :P  I'd appreciate any comments you may have. :)


Edited by bonesiii, Jun 26 2013 - 09:37 PM.

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#2 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Jun 24 2013 - 11:53 PM

Since you're not saying that this expansion of the timeline led to Bionicle's demise, I don't see much point in this lengthy analysis... I have to say that I agree with it, though, and heavily believe it was an important reason for the downfall of the series.

 

In general, I would say Greg doomed it, with a series of inconsistencies and too much freedom.


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#3 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 03:16 AM

Somehow the paradigm of a Matoran Universe that was 10,000 years at the oldest somehow shifted to one that was over 100,000 years old.  By adding more than 90,000 years of material to the story, Greg not only led to a massive shift in our conception of the length of the timeline, but also opened the floodgates to create the incredibly complex story we have today.  What I intend to demonstrate is that the decision to expand the timeline so dramatically was made, at first hesitantly, sometime around  mid to late 2006. II. The Most Important 10,000 Years To reiterate a point that I made in the introduction, most of the material that happened in the story (or rather, the backstory and "expanded universe" so to speak) happened within the 10,000 years prior to current story.  This is the strongest evidence in favor of the idea that Greg simply didn't conceive of events happening before that time.

I assume what this is leading to (typing as I read here) is the difference in style or feel of the early story to later story and whether that's good or bad. It's definitely tricky to justify the huge times, as I ran into in my history retelling, but it's possible (I'll save the methods for those who read the story whenever I get it posting :P). But I just want to clarify that there was a story bible from the start that had a ton of detail, and it seems unlikely that they ever intended to give us the impression that MU history only went back 10,000 years or so.I don't recall any fans saying anything like that "back in the day." The general assumption was that the universe was very old, but how old exactly we just didn't know at all. So this looks to me (not sure if you mean it this way, but for sake of discussion) like the classic error of making a theory, then turning that theory into an assumption, which I always advise against because statistically speaking, our theories and guesses are never likely to turn out right. Usually when someone does this, and then inevitably finds out their theory is wrong, they will be tempted to assume the producers of the story actually changed something away from the "old style" that they liked, even though the storytellers may have planned that from the start.Also, kinda a pet peeve, but it really doesn't matter when something is established, as long as it's established by the time it becomes relevant in-story.Personally, I always took the idea that it was an incredibly old universe, with lifespans much longer than humans, from that old joke in some promo thing that had a fan asking Takua how old he was, and he responded "much older than you" (obviously this wasn't remotely canon, but the age part was). I'm probably remembering that wrong. But the point is, the impression I got was that it was correct that if a Matoran encountered beings (such as aliens Mata Nui was studying) who had lifespans as short as ours they would be astonished, and just as we might think 100,000 years is a very long time, they would have trouble imagining how you could squish the important events of life into only around 100 years or less.When the exact details were pinned down, I don't remember anyone expressing much surprise at how far back the timeline went. It was more the added exactness of when what happened, and the thrill of getting tantalizing glimpses into events like the Matoran Civil War that sparked the discussion as far as I recall. Now I'm sure there were exceptions and obviously you're saying you were one, but just wanted to make sure nobody thinks that this represents every or even most people's reactions per se.Anywho... reading on... 

According to BS01, the Vahki, Kanoka, and chutes were all invented "sometime before 4000 years ago."  This leaves us with a 96,000 year time period when these inventions could have come into existence, but it's implied that they do so around 4000 years ago, not significantly before.

Whether that's meant to be implied or not is just a guess, though (again, as far as I know). It's simply BS01 being cautious not to state things as fact that aren't confirmed. We know that these things were in place 4,000 years ago, but when they were invented was one of the things that never happened to be asked when Greg was still giving frequent answers (apparently). Most likely they were invented long before. (I solved this in my history retelling by having a chapter focusing on a period of invention without mentioning what the timescale for it was at all -- though I did imply it was more recent than early due to preceding events being pinned down to dates, and gave a reason for that, which is again spoilers so yeah.) 

This means that for most of Metru Nui's history, you would not have recognized it

In my story (The Destiny of Bionicle is the title by the way, coming soon! :P), I just carefully cropped out all parts of those inventions from the many images, and used robotic blimps (which have at least one image) in place of airships before this. You'd be surprised how much still works with those things cut out. It's actually still very recognizeable when you actually sit down and work through it all. Of course, I'm just assuming that all of those other things would also be in place that far back, but given that it had to be a functional city from early on that was intricately tied into the operations of the Great Spirit's brain, it's a pretty safe bet. 

and one wonders what the Ta-Matoran were doing for tens of thousands of years without Kanoka to turn into Kanohi

Major misconception here. Kanoka merely added an extra step in making masks, which nevertheless made the process a bit more efficient since it also produced something that had its own uses. The very same process was used to make masks directly prior to this. Instead of pouring molten protodermis into the mold for a Kanoka, and later melting that down to pour it again into another mold, they just poured it into the mask mold directly. Once Kanoka were around for use as projectiles, they provided an easy way to test mixed powers prior to using a mask mold, and were more handy for beginning the mask stage than direct pouring. But they were not at all necessary for making masks.Note that maskmakers did not always re-melt the Kanoka; some skilled one like Vakama tended to reshape them more artistically with firestaffs. But this was also possible prior to Kanoka by making a generic mold and carving the result. 

If one examines all of the events that occur before 7000 years, all of them were introduced as story elements around 2006-2007 or after.

This was obvious at the time they were introduced; Greg announced a "complete" (more or less) timeline of ancient history which was released sort of like its own little story in a very different format, largely quoted on BS01 to become the bulk of the framework of the actually complete (for now) timeline. Nobody needed to "examine" anything to find this out at the time. :P 

The point here is not to pat ourselves on the back and say "Gotcha, Greg made a mistake!"  The inconsistency is interesting because it makes perfect sense given the thesis that the timeline dramatically expanded between the creation of these characters.

What inconsistency? This follows a paragraph about the fact that many Toa are old. This may be a typo as in something left out, as nothing I saw in that showed any inconsistency. As far as I can tell, all of what you said there just highlights again how alien this all feels to us proverbial gnats, and that the story focused more on some characters than others so naturally we get more detail about some.Could you elaborate? :) 

By the time the Piraka show up, Axonn has been guarding the Mask of Life for a long time, and has been facing evil "more than 100 centuries," which would be more than 10,000 years (Ignition Comic 2).  While we don't know exactly how long he guarded the Mask (it's implied to be a long time), we do know that he's been with the Order since around its inception, which was about 100,000 years ago.  This means that Axonn's "100 centuries" comment is not only a strange grammatical construction, but is also off by about an order of magnitude.

Is that an exact quote? If something is more than a certain number, it cannot be literally "off", but I know what you mean. It certainly does imply that it would round down to that. And again, at the time the longer timeline came out it was clear to us that this had been pinned down recently, so this should not really be surprising. (But that's for us old fogies. :P I presume you're saying you weren't following BZP at the time, or not closely, so naturally you wouldn't remember what those of us who did remember, and that's normal.)Probably the best understanding here is that Greg knew that the exact time would have to be at least that old, and since the details hadn't been pinned down, had the character say that (but again I must give a standard caution that I'm not sure offhand what the context of that was, if exact quote, etc. so maybe you could clarify). This could be considered to be "translated into English and translated to the level of knowledge of the fans at the time", rather than meant to be literally what Axonn said. He may "actually" have said the exact time.Another possibility is that he used to keep track of the time, but after 100 centuries he got bored with that so stopped counting. This is probably the best theory in-story. So he might be literally saying, "I know it was at least that long, but probably much longer."Or Axonn might have been contrasting that time with another time that WAS about 100 centuries in length. (Not mutually exclusive with the above.) 

(This would be comparable to saying that the Great Pyramids were built more than a few decades ago.)

Yet in certain contexts this would be perfectly normal. If someone comments that a modern building is in far better condition than the pyramids, you might naturally give that reaction. Especially if you were aware of certain controversies surrounding just how old they are we can't discuss here. :P (And for that reason let's not get caught up in too much detail there.)A better analogy might be to the phrase "I wasn't born yesterday." Nobody would think of rounding down their age to one day! Yet nobody thinks this figure of speech strange.Axonn might have been using a saying that's normal in the language of his world; people might think of 10,000 years as "extremely young", so by saying "more than the 'young' age", he's saying "And so I obviously know what I'm doing" or the like.All kindsa possibilities, in other words.I agree that Greg had not yet decided to make the age of the MU 100,000+ years at the time, but I don't agree that this was really a change from earlier plans if that's what you mean to be implying here. :) 

This is perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence because it really cements when this change took place.

With the above cautions (that I'm not entirely sure what you're saying, and to some degree you -are- right), this is not necessarily so based on that one evidence. All that proves is that Greg was not yet sure when to have Axonn assigned to help guard the Ignika.I'm not sure if it was decided at the time that this would be shortly after GBs were still visiting (and the whole Spherus Magna thing probably wasn't established yet, if memory serves), but assuming not, then it would be possible for Axonn to be assigned to this at any point between 10,000 years and the hiding of the Ignika. A far more important date you would need to show was when the Ignika was hidden (not sure off the top of my head if the timing was given in the 2006 book that featured that scene, but anywho, now we do know when that was; 100,000 years ago).Later on, Greg may have decided that it was more efficient to have Axonn assigned there near the start rather than later for simplicity.Please note that there are many little things like this that were obviously wiggled around a little later. For example, in the Barraki flashbacks, they refer to Teridax as the Makuta of Metru Nui. This was because his actual name had not yet been revealed to the fans (and there was considerable debate over whether it should). But later it was decided that Miserix did not assign any Makuta to any particular area until shortly after the fall of the Barraki. Such little retcons are normal -- I think you understand that, don't get me wrong, but just for the record. 

What makes this topic so important (in my opinion, anyway)?

I'll hear you out, but just for sake of information, just wanted to note that it really isn't important to most fans as far as what they have expressed prior to this topic. Occasionally one or two would wonder about the long times, but it's simply part of the fictional world that Bionicle created that is obviously not meant to work like ours, since we have trouble reaching just 100. To most people that appears to have been a simple and rather obvious fact meant to make Bionicle feel more fantastical and thus more interesting rather than cliche.*proceeds to hear you out* 

Among the many changes that took place around 2006/2007, one of the ones that is least talked about is the dramatic increase in size in the Bionicle story.

Er, actually that is probably the single most talked-about thing, and often cited as a big part of the reason Bionicle ended, after all. I don't see how you figure here...Although, it really wasn't 2006 specifically. The story gradually increased in size with the books added in (I think it was) 2003 (or maybe 2002? I forget), then movies, then shrunk again for a while for 2006. With the serials in 2007 it got a bit larger again, and those expanded in later years, but then again, books lessened at the same time. Overall complexity of the many "constant updating threads" was the main problem (as so often cited), but actual story size definitely did not significantly grow at the time you put it at. Really the major change was 2003.Of course, since the story was -continuing- it naturally got bigger at those times but the same applies to every year. My point is that the rate of additions of new story actually slowed around then, rather than speeding up. It may be fair though that that point might be when for you personally and for others perhaps the total size may have reached what felt like bordering on too much or at least "clearly different". 

Subplots that were unnecessary for the primary story and involved side characters in distant realms suddenly started to appear.

This is true, but if you notice, the total size of the [new] story actually did shrink nevertheless [compared to total size of previous year-long totals, that is]. Also, again, many people have pointed this out and quite often. If anything, we harp on it even now, maybe more than we should. :P But if you're saying that this was inherently connected to the timeline being released, I don't think so.That is, it was in the sense that there was a big push for so long to learn many more details, and 2004-05 had filled in the major gaps in knowledge, so naturally after that point we started to want more of the corners filled in, and Greg complied, both in present details and in the past. But the decision to pin down the approximate age to 100,000 years did not cause the other things, is my point (though again, not sure you meant to imply that... just for sake of discussion and just in case :)).Also, it's technically fallacious, as I've often pointed out through the years, to speak of such things as "unnecessary." The point of this is to entertain, so it's really about "wants." And Greg felt that there was desire to learn these things. Whether Greg's execution of it was satisfying in the way he intended is more debatable. I think the serial format was not his best mode of writing; comics and books were usually more satisfying from what I've heard and personal reaction. The serial style tended to put a lot of people off more, even though objectively the content was really about the same if you think about it. Point is, if the main story is "needed" because it was felt that fans wanted it, then the same applies to the subplots. (In other words, nobody needed to know even the main story; and many who just bought the sets and roleplayed did not, in fact; it's all about wants from top to bottom.)Aaaand I'm probably nitpicking now. :lol: 

Suddenly there was ancient history to explore with the Barraki, Miserix, and Jovan.

I don't see how it was sudden. The concept of ancient history to explore alongside the main plot has been a feature of Bionicle since the very first comic and MNOG, where we were told that long ago the Great Spirit was cast into slumber, etc. 2004-2005 were all about learning more of that ancient history (including brief flashbacks to the older histories of the Rahaga, Roodaka, etc.Naturally, these things worked "out from the center" (as the characters went through struggles farther in the future they ran into aspects of the present that invoked memories and uncovered knowledge of the more distant past, which is pretty universal to this genre of story and statistically virtually demanded to be realistic). The scale of what was "unexplored therefore mysterious history" got ever larger, but it was all a smooth, expected and even long hoped-for progression through ancient history, not some switch that was flipped on randomly at one point. 

I don't want anyone to walk away from this thinking that I'm claiming Greg's decision to expand the timeline ultimately caused the series's demise.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  What I'm trying to say is that the story writers made a conscious decision to significantly expand the story, with amazing results but completely unforeseen consequences.

The problem with this is that it's simply stating what is true of all continuing story -- naturally as you add more story, you are by definition expanding it, and this is true no matter how you do it -- and especially true of this genre which was, I would say, easily foreseen, that as they learned more about the present they'd learn secrets deeper into the past. Compare it to reading The Hobbit, then The Lord of the Rings, then the Silmarillion. I don't think anyone was surprised that this made it hard to follow, but it's true that LEGO did then have to try to deal with that problem.And this is why I think those who think of the end of Bionicle as a "demise" are looking at it wrong. ANY continuation adds to the complexity, by definition, and I really feel like it reached a critical mass at 2010 so that it was best ended there, other than little updates now and then. (I would, as is often said, prefer to see the current serials finished, but really it's a small distinction.) The plot was always designed to have a climax, and this was always going to solve the (normal) problem of increasing complexity.I do think LEGO did not anticipate how early that would have to be, but on the other hand Greg had been warning for years that it could really end at ANY time, so really it's more accurate to say that LEGO DID anticipate that it could end very early (for a short time it was thought it would just last one year, after all); they just didn't happen to plan 2010 as definitely the end until shortly before it arrived.My point is, I do object to the portrayal of this as a "downfall." It's a story that has an end, and that's good.Frankly, I think most people would be unable to remain engaged if the story were to include all the HF heroes and villains (for example, or different ones) as new heroes and villains within Bionicle, regardless of execution of story from that point on. It's just too many names to remember, etc. At least personally, I don't try to keep track of the HF characters per se due to this (other than the main group of heroes and some of the key villains), and I would be a little disappointed if that extra mass were to be added to Bionicle. I would actually think of that as going down in quality a bit (not at all due to the style of HF, don't get me wrong, but purely due to adding more characters beyond ten years' worth -- yanno, a decade is enough).Again, I hope I'm not nitpicking, but yeah. :PAnywho, hope at least I've been able to clear up a few misconceptions and the like. ^_^

 

 

 

 

In general, I would say Greg doomed it, with a series of inconsistencies and too much freedom.

I hope you realize Greg was not in charge of the sets and sets are primarily why it ended (plus just being old). Not sure what you mean about freedom, but any story that goes on that long is bound to have a few inconsistencies and I highly doubt the average set buyer was thinking of any of them when they decided whether to buy. :P Or even the oddest of the odd set buyers for that matter. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that with a new label on the line, LEGO could get more attention and 'buzz' than anything done in continuations of the same line.

 

I'm not saying the execution of the story was by any means perfect, but it's unlikely it caused the end of the sets. Also, again pet peeve on the "doomed" thing. Good stories in this genre should have ends; and coming to an end for a story is not "doom" IMO.

 

Most likely, though, Greg was getting tired to having to worry about avoiding inconsistencies while having to pump out new stories on a scheduled basis. Let's face it, very few of us could even begin to handle that kind of stress so well for so long as Greg did. :) When a story reaches a certain critical mass, avoiding them requires a lot more time reviewing and thinking carefully over longer times (I speak from experience), plus after ten years you're bound to be forgetting tons of things. Anyone would. (Which yet again yall might be perfectly aware of but yeah. :P)

 

In other words, both for set and story, what made it need to end was simply that it was old enough that it was time. :) (At least for this genre; a more episodic genre like the many shows in Star Trek is very different, or HF. This was more comparable to LOST, where every plot needed revelations of secrets and they had to be tied closely in with other secrets by virtue of the style established in 2001.)

 

Food fer da thunksurzorz.


Edited by bonesiii, Jun 25 2013 - 04:18 PM.

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#4 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 12:39 PM

I'm sorry, but this is just how my mind works. *sees huge block of text, formatted like a school essay* *proceeds to list major points from that essay* A. Some fans might have assumed that the the MU wasn't 100,000 years old. In fact, they thought it was 10,000 years old.  B. Greg didn't know how old the MU was until the end of 2006.  C. The storyline expanded around 2006.  D. Bionicle's End was a result of that storyline expansion.  E. The timeline expansion reflected the storyline expansion. How off am I? I think that was what you were trying to convey... *proceeds to respond to each point in turn* A. Some fans might have assumed that the the MU wasn't 100,000 years old. In fact, they thought it was 10,000 years old.  I'm not that old, but I haven't seen a theory in the archives or anywhere else that names the MU as 10,000 years old. Granted, the archives are down and all, but I would like to see the evidence. Other than that, bones' points here stand; I honestly didn't think about how old the place was, as it didn't seem relevant.  

[color=rgb(40,40,40);][font="helvetica;"]That's a long time.  For comparison, 1000 years ago, we didn't even have a portable compass. 100,000 years is a long time.[/color][/font]

  I don't think that comparison is valid. Human development of technology isn't comparable to development of technology in a universe controlled by robot AI. Further, the Agori outside have remained in the same primitive conditions for 100,000 years, so it's clear that the idea that technology develops and different rates and in different directions for different beings is definitely present in Bionicle. B. Greg didn't know how old the MU was until the end of 2006.  You have good evidence for this point, and it probably affected the writing of Legacy of Evil. But we still don't know exactly when the Matoran attained sapience. It could be later along then we think, which would largely explain the technology quandry. Also, there was ancient history that did affect present plot. See Mutran Chronicles and the flashbacks in Swamp of Secrets. I think it's largely the way secrets are revealed - the further you go back, the closer you get to a truth about the fundamentals about a world. The Codrex was constructed when the world was, and the characters are working toward saving the world. The closer you get to saving the world, the more you learn about how to save it, and that knowledge has to do with why the world exists in the first place, which is further back in time.  C. The storyline expanded around 2006.  Subjective point, but I agree. We didn't expand in terms of storyline medium, but we did have more plot threads, more characters, and more locations - the most in a single year, if you count Karzanhi and Metru Nui. Not to mention Odina. The medium expansion occurred in 2007, though, but I don't think making the universe older caused either. I think that both expansions convinced the story team to make the universe older. They could have decided not to, but they did. I don't really have an opinion on whether or not that was a good idea, but it worked out okay. Has pluses and minuses.  D. Bionicle's End was a result of that storyline expansion.  Urg, not this debate again. I've heard all sorts of stuff on this, including that the medium the story was conveyed in - that it wasn't accessible enough - was the problem rather than storyline complexity. To an extent, some truth is there - people watched LOST even though it was complex. But then again, these are kids you are talking about, who may struggle to understand and give up. I can't really judge that, since I got into Bionicle much later than the average kid and eagerly followed it through the end and beyond without trouble. :shrugs: E. The timeline expansion reflected the storyline expansion. Okay, to an extent you're right. But I think the storyline expansion happened first, and the timeline did NOT have to expand into the past as a result. The story would have to tell about past events to reveal secrets as explained above, but they could have said: "This place is 10,000 years old, now on and forevermore." That might have affected those past events we now know about, but I don't think it would have reduced the complexity that much. A lot of the present secrets and events as told in the story up to 2006 necessitated that certain events happen in the past to make all the storyline logic consistent. Having 100,000 years to "sprawl out" might have tempted the writers to expand the story beyond what was needed for us to understand the present, but they were doing that in Legacy of Evil anyway before this was even on the scene. Did we really need to know about the orgins of the Piraka and the Toa/Dark Hunter War to understand Voya Nui? No.  I think that if you hand a writer a universe like that, it's pretty tempting to play around with it and expand the logic even more. So these writers did a little bit of that, and expanded the timeline so they could do it. I think we got a better story for all that, but I'm biased. :P (I also remember a very big topic where members said that the story motivated them to buy sets, so I don't think cutting off the story and not expanding it would have helped.) And for the record, some of "expanded timeline" events were important to 2009 story. Anyway... With all that said, from what I understand of essay formatting the main point was letter B, and you rambled off topic into the other points, because you were paranoid that no one would care about your main point. You also seem to indicate that I should care about point B because it affected Bionicle's ten-year run and ending. While this is indeed a factual statement, the evidence you have used to support that point is lacking and somewhat invalid. (I hope you consider this for all future essays you may write. :P) (Urg, that public school mindset is awful. Never start a post with "Introduction and Thesis" - yeesh.)

Edited by fishers64, Jun 25 2013 - 04:41 PM.

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#5 Offline Mehul

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 02:13 PM

My, my, what big blocks of text we have, time for some serious speed reading!

 

I feel most of what could be said is covered by bonseiii and fisher64 but I'd like to add something you assume is that "bionicle time" is measured in fashion similar how we measure it, when in reality I dont think we have much information about how long hours, days, years, etc are measured and what their equivalance would be in "earth time".

 

Also I to would like it if you expand on "the inconsistency" as I'm not sure what you were refering to. 


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#6 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 04:38 PM

^We do have a confirmation that the MUians oparate on a thirty-six hour day. So their years could even be longer. I would think that the years would be similiar to the unit of time we know as a year though. Otherwise, little point in using years as a refrence for time spent.
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#7 Offline Mehul

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 05:29 PM

Hmm interesting did not know about the 36 hour days, obviously need to brush up my knowledge.

 

In any case references to how developed we were in comparison to development in the MU is moot. As you (fisher64) mentioned their technology developed in a completely different manner to ours in a universe where elemental and several other mystical powers exist.


Edited by Mehul, Jun 25 2013 - 05:31 PM.

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#8 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 10:47 PM

^We do have a confirmation that the MUians oparate on a thirty-six hour day. So their years could even be longer.I would think that the years would be similiar to the unit of time we know as a year though. Otherwise, little point in using years as a refrence for time spent.

 

And we don't know how many days are in their year, do we?

 

Either way, I've always thought the blocks of time in BIONICLE were a bit on the insane side. But that's why we love it!


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#9 Offline Exitium

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Posted Jun 25 2013 - 11:30 PM

I can't say I didn't anticipate these responses.  Some of you seem to be reading into what I've said a little too much here, so I'm going to try to clarify exactly what I'm saying.  

 

In essence: 1) I find it interesting that dates before 7,000 years ago didn't pop up until around late 2006, 2) The change appears to have been very deliberate, seeing as the writers had no trouble with dramatically earlier dates in later years, 3) The timing of this change coincides with what I see as a change in Bionicle's tone and scope, and 4) The same change may have contributed to Lego's decision to cancel the Bionicle line (key word there is "contributed").

 

Now that we have out of the way, I'll try to address everyone individually.

 

@Toatapio Nuva: Fair enough, I know not everyone finds this as interesting as I do.  The idea here was to "peek behind the curtain" if you will to see if I could try to understand how what I believe was an important change in the canon was made.  

 

@ bonesiii: One day, bonesiii, you and I will agree on something.  I look forward to that day, but until then, here we go.  :)

 

Having not really been around before 2006, I never intended to assert that people believed the universe was only 10,000 years old (and I admit I was a little misleading in my original post).  Don't get hung up on that exact date.  We had no idea how old the universe was at the time (the writers may not have even really known), but given the then-current timeline, 10,000 years was probably a better guess than 100,000.  There was no reason to assume that it was any older than about 10,000 years.  From what I understand, the story bible was mostly focused on the broad outlines of the story, especially what would happen in the main plot, and less about the backstory.  From what Greg has said in the past, things certainly changed pretty dramatically as time went on, especially if you look at some of the concept art from Christian Faber.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I don't recall any fans saying anything like that "back in the day." The general assumption was that the universe was very old, but how old exactly we just didn't know at all. So this looks to me (not sure if you mean it this way, but for sake of discussion) like the classic error of making a theory, then turning that theory into an assumption, which I always advise against because statistically speaking, our theories and guesses are never likely to turn out right. Usually when someone does this, and then inevitably finds out their theory is wrong, they will be tempted to assume the producers of the story actually changed something away from the "old style" that they liked, even though the storytellers may have planned that from the start.[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Also, kinda a pet peeve, but it really doesn't matter when something is established, as long as it's established by the time it becomes relevant in-story.[/color]

I agree that this is certainly a problem with many theories here in this forum, which is why I was careful to scrutinize the timeline to see if it fits my "theory" (which I was also careful to avoid calling this, mostly because I knew you would object if I used this word incorrectly).  The dates fit this theory remarkably well actually, which is what convinced me that this idea had merit.  None of the replies have had any direct evidence against this line of reasoning.  I would also say it does matter when these things are established because despite the plans and story bibles, Bionicle is a story that was written by multiple people over a ten year period, and things were bound to change and have noticeable impacts on the story.  I believe this is one of the more significant examples, for reasons I've already outlined.

 

Believe it or not, I actually noticed the evidence first and then came up with the theory, not the other way around.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Personally, I always took the idea that it was an incredibly old universe, with lifespans much longer than humans, from that old joke in some promo thing that had a fan asking Takua how old he was, and he responded "much older than you" (obviously this wasn't remotely canon, but the age part was). I'm probably remembering that wrong. But the point is, the impression I got was that it was correct that if a Matoran encountered beings (such as aliens Mata Nui was studying) who had lifespans as short as ours they would be astonished, and just as we might think 100,000 years is a very long time, they would have trouble imagining how you could squish the important events of life into only around 100 years or less.[/color]

That's a valid interpretation, but I don't see what makes it any more valid than mine, given that neither of us has any direct evidence in favor our views.  The writers were indeed vague about the universe's age, but my point here is that all of the clues from 2001-2005 suggested a universe that was on the order of thousands of years old, not 100,000.  And even if Takua were only 10,000 years old, that would certainly be a lot older than I am  :)

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Whether that's meant to be implied or not is just a guess, though (again, as far as I know). It's simply BS01 being cautious not to state things as fact that aren't confirmed. We know that these things were in place 4,000 years ago, but when they were invented was one of the things that never happened to be asked when Greg was still giving frequent answers (apparently). Most likely they were invented long before.[/color]

I'm willing to concede this point to you, although it's just an aspect of the general trend that I was laying out in that section, and it doesn't invalidate the rest of my argument.

 

I was always under the impression that mask making required Konaka, but I guess I was wrong about that.  Good to know, but doesn't really matter much to the theory, given as it was merely an offhand observation.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]This was obvious at the time they were introduced; Greg announced a "complete" (more or less) timeline of ancient history which was released sort of like its own little story in a very different format, largely quoted on BS01 to become the bulk of the framework of the actually complete (for now) timeline. Nobody needed to "examine" anything to find this out at the time. [/color] :P

I wouldn't say that everything there was revealed all at once, although this was a few years ago, so my memory is shaky.  The outline certainly was, but in order to ensure that my theory had some basis in evidence, I did indeed "examine" the evidence again because I wanted my observation to be as factually sound as I could make it.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]What inconsistency? This follows a paragraph about the fact that many Toa are old. This may be a typo as in something left out, as nothing I saw in that showed any inconsistency. As far as I can tell, all of what you said there just highlights again how alien this all feels to us proverbial gnats, and that the story focused more on some characters than others so naturally we get more detail about some.[/color]

Upon rereading this paragraph, I've noticed that it's a bit unclear, so I'll try to elaborate.  Essentially what I was saying is, Lhikan was portrayed as a legendary hero, highly skilled in his element, and borderline elderly, most likely for the sake of contrast with the novice Toa Metru.  Other Toa who had been Toa for a much longer time were spared this same treatment, most notably Lesovikk, who seems no more skilled than any other average Toa, even though he's one of the older ones (more than ten times longer than Lhikan, in fact).  This is the inconsistency I was referring to, and one way to solve this inconsistency is assuming a paradigm shift in how the story team thought of time.  They probably hadn't yet conceived of Toa being around as long as Lesovikk.  Obviously this does not prove (or confirm/support, since I know you don't like the p-word in theories) my theory, as no one piece of evidence does, but together, we have these little inconsistencies, puzzles, and oddities that can all be explained by this theory.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Is that an exact quote?[/color]

Here's the exact quote: "For more than 100 centuries, I have looked into the face of evil again and again. It sickens me." 

 

Axonn's not establishing how long he's guarded the Mask of Life in this quote, he's actually being more broad than that.  Since Axonn was essentially a warlord before his time in the Order of Mata Nui, I'm assuming this refers to his length of service there.  BS01 seems to imply that Axonn joined when the Order was relatively recent, which was certainly more than 10,000 years ago. (For reference, their quote is, "Hydraxon, a fellow member of the Hand of Artakha, later approached him and offered him a membership in the newly formed Order of Mata Nui.")  Yes, he's technically not wrong, but that's nitpicking.  If I told you I had been alive for more than 1000 days now (roughly three and a third years), I'd be telling the truth, but it's absurd both as a measurement of time and as an accurate estimate.  Axonn's comment is similar.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Probably the best understanding here is that Greg knew that the exact time would have to be at least that old, and since the details hadn't been pinned down, had the character say that (but again I must give a standard caution that I'm not sure offhand what the context of that was, if exact quote, etc. so maybe you could clarify). This could be considered to be "translated into English and translated to the level of knowledge of the fans at the time", rather than meant to be literally what Axonn said. He may "actually" have said the exact time.[/color]

What's more convoluted, that Axonn actually said the exact amount of time (or something close) and it was translated and Greg just expected us to know this even though he picked what he knew would be a serious underestimate, or perhaps he changed his mind?  When judging theories I look for parsimony (simplicity), and I think my explanation for this quote is simpler, and therefore more likely to be true.  The context was when Axonn first battled with the Piraka (Thok and Vezok to be specific) and he was introducing himself as he beat them up.  Here's a link to the comic in question.  

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I'll hear you out, but just for sake of information, just wanted to note that it really isn't important to most fans as far as what they have expressed prior to this topic. Occasionally one or two would wonder about the long times, but it's simply part of the fictional world that Bionicle created that is obviously not meant to work like ours, since we have trouble reaching just 100. To most people that appears to have been a simple and rather obvious fact meant to make Bionicle feel more fantastical and thus more interesting rather than cliche.[/color]

I know you like to believe that everything has an in-universe explanation, but the reality is that Bionicle is a story written by fallible people over a long period of time.  Changes were bound to happen along the way.  Rather than try to bend the facts to get the canon to be consistent, sometimes it's just easier to assume that there was an external change, one that in this case makes a lot of sense.  (A comparable example would be the shift from Maori-sounding names to Latin-sounding names in the later years.)  Granted this isn't a major revelation, but the fact that you've already written this much suggests there's a discussion to be had here.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Er, actually that is probably the single [/color]most[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] talked-about thing, and often cited as a big part of the reason Bionicle ended, after all. I don't see how you figure here...[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Although, it really wasn't 2006 specifically. The story gradually increased in size with the books added in (I think it was) 2003 (or maybe 2002? I forget), then movies, then shrunk again for a while for 2006. With the serials in 2007 it got a bit larger again, and those expanded in later years, but then again, books lessened at the same time. Overall complexity of the many "constant updating threads" was the main problem (as so often cited), but actual story size definitely did not significantly grow at the time you put it at. Really the major change was 2003.[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Of course, since the story was -continuing- it naturally got bigger at those times but the same applies to every year. My point is that the rate of additions of new story actually slowed around then, rather than speeding up. It may be fair though that that point might be when for you personally and for others perhaps the total size may have reached what felt like bordering on too much or at least "clearly different".[/color]

Maybe it was more of a big deal at the time, but people don't seem to talk about it much anymore.  Anyway, the level to which people discussed it is irrelevant to my actual point.  

 

In the introduction I believe I did mention that things did gradually expand with more backstory, especially in 2005, but 2006 (really 2007) was a significant change, especially with the introduction of the serials.  The difference here was that the story was now unfolding in multiple locations with multiple plots at once, rather than carefully following one particular Toa team.  We had seen glimpses of this earlier with the Rahaga flashback, for example, but nothing on the scale we saw later.  In history parlance, I would say that 2005 and 2007 were milestones rather than turning points, which is to say that they each represented a culmination of gradual shifts rather than a sudden, dramatic one change.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Aaaand I'm probably nitpicking now. [/color] :lol:

Just a little.  :)  As I'm sure you've surmised, what I mean by unnecessary is that they did not revolve around the current year's sets, so in terms of the story being a vehicle to sell toys (which, let's admit, it was on some level), it's an important departure.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]But the decision to pin down the approximate age to 100,000 years did not cause the other things, is my point (though again, not sure you meant to imply that... just for sake of discussion and just in case [/color] :)[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]).[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]The story did not expand because of the expanded timeline, but rather vice versa[/color]

This is why I generally read the entire post (even when it's ridiculously long) before I begin commenting.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I don't see how it was sudden. The concept of ancient history to explore alongside the main plot has been a feature of Bionicle since the very first comic and MNOG, where we were told that long ago the Great Spirit was cast into slumber, etc. 2004-2005 were all about learning more of that ancient history (including brief flashbacks to the older histories of the Rahaga, Roodaka, etc.[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Naturally, these things worked "out from the center" (as the characters went through struggles farther in the future they ran into aspects of the present that invoked memories and uncovered knowledge of the more distant past, which is pretty universal to this genre of story and statistically virtually demanded to be realistic). The scale of what was "unexplored therefore mysterious history" got ever larger, but it was all a smooth, expected and even long hoped-for progression through ancient history, not some switch that was flipped on randomly at one point.[/color]

I'm afraid I disagree about the emphasis to which the ancient history was explored.  The legend of Mata Nui was hardly an important fixture in MNOG and it later turned out to be heavily distorted by the Turaga.  Even then it was never explained in any real detail, and for much of the first three years, even waking Mata Nui was mentioned only sporadically.  I found the transition to be a bit more abrupt than you seem to, which could merely be a difference of opinion, but my above comment regarding milestones versus turning points also applies here.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]My point is, I do object to the portrayal of this as a "downfall." It's a story that has an end, and that's good.[/color]

Demise, conclusion, unmitigated calamity--pick your favorite.  I don't really want to argue about semantics here, since your objection is mostly to my word choice.  Put another way, it was time for LEGO to move on, the sets were cancelled, and the story was given a conclusion (which was actually moved up a few years).  The expansive storyline, as I said earlier, could very well have contributed to LEGO's decision to move on from Bionicle.

 

@fishers64: Responding to bonesiii took longer than I thought (I have a tendency to do that), but I'll try to respond adequately to your objections as well.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I'm not that old, but I haven't seen a theory in the archives or anywhere else that names the MU as 10,000 years old. Granted, the archives are down and all, but I would like to see the evidence. Other than that, bones' points here stand; I honestly didn't think about how old the place was, as it didn't seem relevant. [/color]

See above, I never meant to imply that anyone actually suggested it was this age, per se.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I don't think that comparison is valid. Human development of technology isn't comparable to development of technology in a universe controlled by robot AI. Further, the Agori outside have remained in the same primitive conditions for 100,000 years, so it's clear that the idea that technology develops and different rates and in different directions for different beings is [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]definitely[/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] present in Bionicle.[/color]

My point here is that sometimes we through around big numbers without really thinking about them.  100,000 isn't just a really big number; it's a really big number compared to 1000 or even 10,000.  The point I was getting is that the additional 90,000 years or so that were added is a huge increase compared to the 10,000 or so that the story had used so far.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]But we still don't know [/color]exactly[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] when the Matoran attained sapience. It could be later along then we think, which would largely explain the technology quandry. Also, there was ancient history that did affect present plot. See [/color]Mutran Chronicles[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] and the flashbacks in [/color]Swamp of Secrets[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]. I think it's largely the way secrets are revealed - the further you go back, the closer you get to a truth about the fundamentals about a world. The Codrex was constructed when the world was, and the characters are working toward saving the world. The closer you get to saving the world, the more you learn about how to save it, and that knowledge has to do with why the world exists in the first place, which is further back in time. [/color]

These are all valid points, and as the story developed, we certainly did learn more about its origins.  This evidence is the least convincing in favor of my theory, but it's difficult to ignore this pattern, which is what made me suspect this theory in the first place, which is why I mentioned it.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]D. Bionicle's End was a result of that storyline expansion. [/color]

This is an oversimplification of my point, which I tried hard to be clear about.  The complicated story alone did not doom (or conclude, if bonesiii is still reading) Bionicle, especially since they could have dramatically simplified the story in 2009 but chose not to.  The 2009 story showed us that even with the reboot, Bionicle still had some structural problems, one of which was that even on Bara Magna, there were still traces of the old story (which is sort of obvious, because otherwise it wouldn't be Bionicle).  If you look at, say Johnny Thunder, Knight's Kingdom, or Exo Force (or from what I'm told the newer themes, like Ninjago and Chima, though I'm not familiar with them myself), they all had more rudimentary stories that were far less expansive, especially compared to Bionicle.  Ironically, Bionicle's success was in part because of its story, but the story became so good that it was just a little too much for LEGO's target audience.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]But I think the storyline expansion happened first, and the timeline did NOT have to expand into the past as a result.[/color]

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]The story did not expand because of the expanded timeline, but rather vice versa[/color]

No, but as you point out it did enable the writers to play around more, and I agree that it was a good thing.  However, if the writers wanted to be able to play around like that, creating an expansive timeline like this would certainly enable that.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]With all that said, from what I understand of essay formatting the main point was letter B, and you rambled off topic into the other points, because you were paranoid that no one would care about your main point. You also seem to indicate that I should care about point B because it affected Bionicle's ten-year run and ending. While this is indeed a factual statement, the evidence you have used to support that point is lacking and somewhat invalid. (I hope you consider this for all future essays you may write. [/color] :P[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;])[/color]

I added the other sections because I believed that part II was not enough evidence alone.  The other parts are not rambling, but rather supporting evidence to ward me from criticism that the stuff in part II was merely a coincidence.

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;](Urg, that public school mindset is awful. Never start a post with "Introduction and Thesis" - yeesh.)[/color]

Don't make assumptions about where I went to school.  I would never write this way for my English teacher, but I wanted to make the content of each section clear because they are so long.

 

@Mehul:

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]I feel most of what could be said is covered by bonseiii and fisher64 but I'd like to add something you assume is that "bionicle time" is measured in fashion similar how we measure it, when in reality I dont think we have much information about how long hours, days, years, etc are measured and what their equivalance would be in "earth time".[/color]

This point, which I've debated before, is mostly irrelevant because no matter how long a year is, 100,000 years is an order of magnitude greater than 10,000, which means regardless, a lot of time suddenly came into the storyline.  What matters is that it's relatively larger.

 

I also had no idea that the 36 hour day was confirmed, although an hour is an arbitrary unit of time not based on any physical occurrence, so it doesn't matter much anyway.  Hours might also have been different on the surface of Mata Nui which relied on an actual day-night cycle rather than the simulated one inside the universe.

 

@Ghabulous Ghoti: As far as I know, we don't know how long a year is, although consistent with what I've said above, it's irrelevant because the relative time is what matters here.

 

Thanks for comments everyone, I appreciate the feedback.


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#10 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 06:30 AM

Mehul, this is mostly off-topic here, but Greg confirmed that the years are Earth years, at the very least.

The same change may have contributed to Lego's decision to cancel the Bionicle line (key word there is "contributed").
Honestly, I don't see how. The execs who made that decision probably were not very aware of all the trivial details of Bionicle like us "story geeks". I doubt they even knew that a timeline was given that gave particular ages for things. And I don't really see why it would even occur to them to make it part of reasoning for ending it in the slightest.If it contributed at all, IMO no more than any other trivial detail, so I still don't think that that line of reasoning is useful. I would hope we could focus more on it in terms of in-story consistency and plausibility because there we actually have something worth discussing. (To be clear, it's fine to pin down when these things were decided too, but I think we've established that now so probably not much more to add there.)

Essentially what I was saying is, Lhikan was portrayed as a legendary hero, highly skilled in his element, and borderline elderly, most likely for the sake of contrast with the novice Toa Metru.  Other Toa who had been Toa for a much longer time were spared this same treatment, most notably Lesovikk, who seems no more skilled than any other average Toa, even though he's one of the older ones (more than ten times longer than Lhikan, in fact).  This is the inconsistency I was referring to
I still don't see any contradiction here. I don't know that Lhikan was portrayed as unusually skilled, by the way -- I think it was more that he was one of the patron heroes of the city so naturally the Matoran looked up to him -- but for sake of argument let's assume so. He was still to be a mentor and 'founder' to the Toa Metru. Lesovikk had no such relationship. This is relevant both in that he wasn't to be a mentor Toa to new (therefore unskilled) Toa; he wasn't there at the time do play that kind of role for the Mahri, for example; he had his own personal goals -- and relevant in the sense that he wasn't anybody's patron Toa but was a self-outcast.So, it just wasn't relevant to mention anything about being highly skilled or whatnot in the same vein as Lhikan. Also, Lesovikk had been dealing with self-doubt ever since as a newbie he did make a fatal mistake for the rest of his team (or so he thinks of it) involving the use of his powers. He's still sort of stuck in that old mindset. Surely by now he's become much more skilled and wouldn't make that mistake again, but the story was to focus on his mistake and how that affected him.Also, it would get old to repeat the same sort of thing for every old Toa.In other words, don't confuse a lack of mention of something one way or another for confirmation of a lack of something. Only if it was confirmed that he wasn't very skilled at all could we legitimately see it as a contradiction (unless it was plausible or stated that there was a reason he had been held back in learning all that time, which might apply to Lesovikk, actually, to some extent, due to lack of opportunities to waste his energies in practice and due to the self-doubt causing him to have trouble focusing).

and one way to solve this inconsistency is assuming a paradigm shift in how the story team thought of time.  They probably hadn't yet conceived of Toa being around as long as Lesovikk.
Incidentally, I checked that late-2006 book about the hiding of the Ignika and it does say 100,000+ there. Lesovikk was revealed after that, so when formulating his character, Greg was already aware of the incredible timespan, so given that you're saying you were surprised that he wasn't mentioned to be highly skilled (as I'm reading you?), I don't think this explanation works. It sounds like you mean that after coming up with Lesovikk and portraying him as young Greg would retcon him to be really old and this would explain (your perception of) a contradiction. But Greg would have known he was old from the start of his portrayals. So it's far more likely there just wasn't room or reason to mention that he was highly skilled, etc.

"For more than 100 centuries, I have looked into the face of evil again and again. It sickens me."Axonn's not establishing how long he's guarded the Mask of Life in this quote, he's actually being more broad than that.
Interesting. Actually, couldn't we make the case that it might be more -narrow- than that? After all, there's evidence that it took quite a while for major evil to make its presence known in the MU, and Axonn wasn't out encountering the majority of it himself. So it could be that it was around 100 centuries ago that evil first ventured toward the Mask of Life and that's when a period of his having to face it repeatedly began. Especially fits with "looking into the face" -- implying direct confrontation with evil people.

Since Axonn was essentially a warlord before his time in the Order of Mata Nui, I'm assuming this refers to his length of service there.
I do agree it would seem he probably encountered "evil" in that time. On the other hand, being a warlord itself may be morally questionable. It's possible that at the time he did not consider the sorts of war he dealt with or most people he met to be evil. Perhaps it was more about establishing order in a time when it was desperately needed, but people hadn't yet begun to deeply explore the fact that they had freewill.

What's more convoluted, that Axonn actually said the exact amount of time (or something close) and it was translated and Greg just expected us to know this even though he picked what he knew would be a serious underestimate, or perhaps he changed his mind?  When judging theories I look for parsimony (simplicity), and I think my explanation for this quote is simpler, and therefore more likely to be true.
It's reasonable to think Greg may have just thrown in whatever time he was sure Axonn could have been there for, prior to having it pinned down, because Greg did this sort of thing in the story all the time. At one time the term "legendary" was used of several masks for example that were only of the Great level, simply because he hadn't yet decided to use the term for level 9 masks, and "Great" was used for the Great Disks even though they were level 9, not 8 (although who knows whether he would have kept that term had the decision been made at the time). The "Makuta of Metru Nui" reference I gave earlier is another case of this; clearly we should interpret this as Pridak actually saying "Teridax" but it was "translated" into the level of fan knowledge at the time.Simplicity of a theory fitting the evidence is, ironically, not as simple as it might seem. What's simple has to be judged in light of all relevant, available evidence, including the fact that things are 'translated.' Ignoring genuinely relevant evidence just to make a theory simpler is not quite how it's supposed to work. I usually say that the methods for effective truthseeking (roughly in this order, and both for real-world and for storyline theories) are an open mind, logic, all-inclusive research, imagining all possibilities, and avoiding "patches." That last point is basically what you're talking about with simplicity but it's more about not imagining parts to an explanation that haven't been observed, after factoring in all observations (so the resulting idea may actually be very complex, but no more complex than is warranted).So it should be more about finding the best fit to the evidence, neither too simple nor too complex. :)Also, what I said isn't mutually exclusive with "just changing his mind". :P The way it was worded might need "translated" into a longer period, is my point, if Greg changed his mind about that one. My guess is it's the kind of little thing he wouldn't want to worry about either way as it really isn't a big deal either way.

I'll hear you out, but just for sake of information, just wanted to note that it really isn't important to most fans as far as what they have expressed prior to this topic. Occasionally one or two would wonder about the long times, but it's simply part of the fictional world that Bionicle created that is obviously not meant to work like ours, since we have trouble reaching just 100. To most people that appears to have been a simple and rather obvious fact meant to make Bionicle feel more fantastical and thus more interesting rather than cliche.
I know you like to believe that everything has an in-universe explanation, but the reality is that Bionicle is a story written by fallible people over a long period of time.  Changes were bound to happen along the way.
Why do you say "but"? I don't think anybody is under any illusions about the fallibility of the people who made Bionicle or the fact that changes were bound to happen, so not really sure why you bring this up, even. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "everything has an in-universe explanation." In a sense you could make the case (that explanations are always possible), but surely not everything has been explained in the minds of the story team, for example! Overall, I'm having trouble understanding how this is a relevant response to what I said in that quote there at all. :P Maybe you could elaborate, but I don't want to drag you too far off-topic, so it's up to you. :)All I was saying there is that having closely watched S&T, complaint topics, etc. since 2003 I'm simply telling you that you are pretty much the first to think that the long times are important (at least, that's how you worded it in the part I was responding to there... to be fair I'm not sure if you meant it that way, as you later clarified it). I was just reporting my sense of people's reactions to it judging from what they have posted over the years. :)

Rather than try to bend the facts to get the canon to be consistent
Again, this seems to be quite a tangent, but who would object to trying to find ways to see the canon as consistent where it's reasonable to do so? Do you remember Greg's mini-contest once about those Krana-like things (or whatever they were, I forget) where he said the idea of the theme was to teach that very lesson -- that instead of complaining about an apparent inconsistency, fans should use their imaginations to come up with a theory to resolve it? It sounds like you're saying the opposite, which if that floats your boat, okay, but it's way more fun and in tune with the idea of LEGO to engage the imagination IMO. ^_^

sometimes it's just easier to assume that there was an external change
We shouldn't really be assuming anything, but you probably don't mean it that way. :shrugs: What's easy is not always what's more fun or best, is basically my answer to this, nor what is most accurate per se.Also, not sure what you mean by "external" here. In-story, there was no change, it was just that new areas of the proverbial map were filled in. Unless that very process is what you mean by change, in which case there's no need to have a theory since that would be fact; all new revelations would then be change. It sounds like you mean like a retcon, but that's not what this was; it was adding detail.

Maybe it was more of a big deal at the time, but people don't seem to talk about it much anymore.
Well, there hasn't been much discussion lately at all about Bionicle's end. I think people pretty much have it figured out and/or have simply accepted that it's over.

I'm afraid I disagree about the emphasis to which the ancient history was explored.  The legend of Mata Nui was hardly an important fixture in MNOG
I'm talking about 2001 as a whole. It was directly important to the main 2001 plot which was Toa arrive, fight Rahi, and then Makuta, along the way to undoing the harm done to Mata Nui in the legend. Also, since MNOG ended with that finale, I'd say it is directly relevant there too (and the main end plot was about defending the Toa). The Toa weren't major plot ingredients during the main part of the game, though, of course.

it later turned out to be heavily distorted by the Turaga.
I dunno about heavily; the essence was that the big and powerful good guy was cast into slumber and Toa came to fight the bad guy.

Demise, conclusion, unmitigated calamity--pick your favorite.  I don't really want to argue about semantics here, since your objection is mostly to my word choice.
Actually semantics wasn't my point at all. (One of my rules though I don't mention it much is to carefully avoid arguing semantics usually. :P) But when someone using words like "demise" that usually does imply that they think it's bad that it ended or bad that it ended at that time. My point is that I would hope anyone who actually has negative emotions about the fact of the end could have an emotional turnaround and realize that it's a good thing really. :)I presume though that what you're trying to say is that you don't really have much negative emotion about it and that was just the wording you happened to pick, so yeah. Consider it a point raised for the sake of any reading along who this might help. ^_^

However, if the writers wanted to be able to play around like that, creating an expansive timeline like this would certainly enable that.
I agree with this point. Had Greg earlier on said that the MU was only, for example, 1005 years old, that would seriously constrict what was possible to establish for past events and thus possibly complexity of future storyline.Let's keep in mind, while I'm on the subject, that one reason the very long time is good is that Mata Nui was exploring other star systems. We don't know how many, and we don't know for sure that he has hyperdrive (though I presume he does due to all the other amazing powers of the substance he's made of). 100,000 years is probably the simplest way to avoid fans worrying about that being implausible without needing to pin down any of those other details at all.Also, since we're kinda beating around this bush, I'll just ask directly -- are there any actual downsides in-story (like with plausibility or whatnot) that you, Exitium, or others see with the long age? If so it may help if we can discuss them out. (I mean besides what's been brought up already like the old Toa thing.)

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#11 Offline Mehul

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 10:07 AM

I'd like to add something, perhaps not as serious as the discussions going on above- in the end of the day bionicle is has science fiction elements and it is a well established trope that sci-fi writers have no sense of scale, which I think could be extended to include timelines :P

 

The fact is a 100 centuries sounds better than 10 centuries. Whilst writing the line "epicness" might have taken precedence over consistency with timeline though really the more I think about it the more it feels like we're over-analyzing things.

 

As for [color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Lesovikk I know for a fact not everyone who is old becomes a "legend". As bonesiii points out [/color]Lesovikk was an outcast who believed he was to blame for his team's demise, probably preventing him from reaching his full capabilities with his powers.


Edited by Mehul, Jun 26 2013 - 03:49 PM.

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Link to my comic :D

To anyone contacting me, I'm of to Uni soon so I might take time to respond.


#12 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 03:13 PM

I agree with all that, Mehul. Another thing I just thought of is that Greg may simply have had in mind "100 millenia" but put "centuries" by mistake. That would have been 100 times 1,000, which equals 100,000. Regardless, it really doesn't matter; the point was that Axonn is old, and so is evil.


Edited by bonesiii, Jun 26 2013 - 09:53 PM.

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#13 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 07:55 PM

In essence: 1) I find it interesting that dates before 7,000 years ago didn't pop up until around late 2006, 2) The change appears to have been very deliberate, seeing as the writers had no trouble with dramatically earlier dates in later years, 3) The timing of this change coincides with what I see as a change in Bionicle's tone and scope, and 4) The same change may have contributed to Lego's decision to cancel the Bionicle line (key word there is "contributed").

Thank you. That makes it easier on my analytically deficient brain. :PAre you suggesting that the writers might have delibrately made this change to mess with fan theorizing (we knew it was 100,000 years all along, but we chose to reveal it now) or that it was illogically based (it's 100,000 years because we the writers want it to be and it makes no sense)? I don't think you intended that, but I want to be sure. Most importantly, did you intend to provoke a debate on whether having the MU be 100,000 years old was a good idea?I agree with point three. I mildly take issue with point four, but I've already covered that below. Anyway, moving along...

@fishers64: Responding to bonesiii took longer than I thought (I have a tendency to do that), but I'll try to respond adequately to your objections as well.

Thank you. Much appreciated. Although, aside from what's below, I wouldn't classify what I posted as an objection, merely an attempt to understand your position in order to evaluate it. (Objecting to the labeling of things as objections...:P) I nitpick.

My point here is that sometimes we through around big numbers without really thinking about them. 100,000 isn't just a really big number; it's a really big number compared to 1000 or even 10,000. The point I was getting is that the additional 90,000 years or so that were added is a huge increase compared to the 10,000 or so that the story had used so far.

Agreed. But I think there was a reason we really didn't think about it much - it didn't seem to affect the current story one way or another. I actually don't think whether the number was 10,000 or 100,000 affected much as it was. You have failed to convince me that it did, if that was the goal you had in mind. Okay to later points.

I added the other sections because I believed that part II was not enough evidence alone. The other parts are not rambling, but rather supporting evidence to ward me from criticism that the stuff in part II was merely a coincidence.

Not wanting criticism is understandable. :lookaround: But I thought the evidence in part 2 was pretty solid, particularly your statement about the books going from 7,000 back in Legacy of Evil to 100,000+ in Inferno. Solid. They revealed it would be 100,000 years in 2006. Whether 100,000 years was planned from the beginning, that I do not know. That other evidence for it is sketchy (as others have demonstrated), but that does not rule out the fact that it could have been developed in 2006. (The "Planned or Not Planned?" Topic in the archive could be helpful on this. :shrugs:)However, it is related to the point that you were trying to make, sort of. I'll give you that. My bad.

Don't make assumptions about where I went to school. I would never write this way for my English teacher, but I wanted to make the content of each section clear because they are so long.

Actually, that was meant to be a joke on where I went to school. :P All the old visual cues from the infamous public school essay outline caused me to whip out the old A-E bullet points and expect your thesis at the end of the Introduction, etc. I apologize for my poorly worded joke. :(And just a poorly-thought-out post in general. :wince: For precisely that reason. :wince:@bones:They could have made it 1,005 years, but that would be a very different story. And if they said it was 4 billion years old, that would have strained the suspension of disbelief pretty badly. But 100,000 or 10,000 both seem reasonable to me as numbers. I think if they told me it was say, 500,000 years I would have been displeased. (Especially if they filled up that extra 400,000 years with extraneous historical events. :glare:) You're right that there's a reasonable range for these things, but within that it's arbitrary.

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#14 Offline Exitium

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 09:07 PM

I don't have time to go into as much detail as I did in my last post, but I want to clarify a few more things.

 

First of all, I wasn't really trying to reignite the debate about whether or not the story line caused Bionicle's conclusion.  It's my opinion that it was one factor, and I have given my reasons for believing so.  Of course we'll never know exactly why, and a large part of the reason may have been that LEGO themes are usually cancelled after just a few years and Bionicle had overstayed its welcome.  

 

@bonesiii:

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Incidentally, I checked that late-2006 book about the hiding of the Ignika and it [/color]does[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] say 100,000+ there. Lesovikk was revealed after that, so when formulating his character, Greg was already aware of the incredible timespan, so given that you're saying you were surprised that he wasn't mentioned to be highly skilled (as I'm reading you?), I don't think this explanation works. It sounds like you mean that after coming up with Lesovikk and portraying him as young Greg would retcon him to be really old and this would explain (your perception of) a contradiction. But Greg would have known he was old from the start of his portrayals. So it's far more likely there just wasn't room or reason to mention that he was highly skilled, etc.[/color]

Lesovikk's character was indeed created after my proposed paradigm shift, so I wasn't suggesting that he was retconned.  Rather I was saying that when Lhikan was created and given the back story of being around for a long time, it was likely before the writers imagined Toa would have been around for a lot longer than that.  So given the fact that Toa such as Lesovikk, Orde, and Helryx have been around for a lot longer than Lhikan, it seems odd to me that he gets special treatment (although admittedly Helryx does as well).  As I write this BS01 is down, so I can't provide the quote about Lhikan, but I'm pretty sure it was something about he had mastered his control over fire due to being around for so long.

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Interesting. Actually, couldn't we make the case that it might be more -narrow- than that? After all, there's evidence that it took quite a while for major evil to make its presence known in the MU, and Axonn wasn't out encountering the majority of it himself. So it could be that it was around 100 centuries ago that evil first ventured toward the Mask of Life and that's when a period of his having to face it repeatedly began. Especially fits with "looking into the face" -- implying direct confrontation with evil people.[/color]

Axonn's quote here is so vague that it's hard to read much into, although I imagine there must have been some evil around when the Order was formed, otherwise it wouldn't have been necessary (especially when you consider that the Makuta, Toa, and Barakki were all supposed to good at this time).  The Pit also existed early in the history of the universe, so there was probably plenty of evil for Axonn to face.  

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Again, this seems to be quite a tangent, but who would object to trying to find ways to see the canon as consistent where it's reasonable to do so? Do you remember Greg's mini-contest once about those Krana-like things (or whatever they were, I forget) where he said the idea of the theme was to teach that very lesson -- that instead of complaining about an apparent inconsistency, fans should use their imaginations to come up with a theory to resolve it? It sounds like you're saying the opposite, which if that floats your boat, okay, but it's way more fun and in tune with the idea of LEGO to engage the imagination IMO. [/color] ^_^

I guess I'm just more cynical about these things, and I'd rather assume that the writers made a mistake unless there is a straightforward solution or the instance is retconned.  That's just me though.

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Please note that there are many little things like this that were obviously wiggled around a little later. For example, in the Barraki flashbacks, they refer to Teridax as the Makuta of Metru Nui. This was because his actual name had not yet been revealed to the fans (and there was considerable debate over whether it should). But later it was decided that Miserix did not assign any Makuta to any particular area until shortly after the fall of the Barraki. Such little retcons are normal -- I think you understand that, don't get me wrong, but just for the record.[/color]

I meant to address this in my last post, but I seemed to have forgotten.  Actually, the point you're making here is exactly what I'm getting at.  Around 2008 Greg decided to reveal our favorite's villain's name, and that had ramifications on how the story was written.  Before that point he was always referred to as "The Maktua of Metru Nui" even when that label was nonsensical and later everyone seemed to know his name.  There's a similar pattern here with the whole timeline thing.

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Also, since we're kinda beating around this bush, I'll just ask directly -- are there any actual downsides in-story (like with plausibility or whatnot) that you, Exitium, or others see with the long age? If so it may help if we can discuss them out. (I mean besides what's been brought up already like the old Toa thing.)[/color]

No, I wouldn't say there are any downsides, and in fact I think it was a good change, although not an altogether necessary one, in my opinion.  The ramifications of the change were simply that going forward the story team would have more room to work with, although there would be a few minor hiccups, such as the oddly compressed timeline of the earlier years and a few minor oddities as I've already pointed out.  My reasoning for pointing out what I believe are inconsistencies is to provide evidence in favor of my understanding, not to criticize the writers for making mistakes.

 

@fishers64

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Are you suggesting that the writers might have delibrately made this change to mess with fan theorizing (we knew it was 100,000 years all along, but we chose to reveal it now) or that it was illogically based (it's 100,000 years because we the writers want it to be and it makes no sense)? I don't think you intended that, but I want to be sure. Most importantly, did you intend to provoke a debate on whether having the MU be 100,000 years old was a good idea?[/color]

My guess was that until the writers had decided on 100,000 years they really had no idea how it old it was.  The dates they gave in 2004-2005 are merely clues that suggest they pictured it as being several thousand years old (though they weren't trying to mislead us intentionally) but left it sufficiently open ended until 2008 really, when it was confirmed Mata Nui came online 100,000 years ago.

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Agreed. But I think there was a reason we really didn't think about it much - it didn't seem to affect the current story one way or another. I actually don't think whether the number was 10,000 or 100,000 affected much as it was. You have failed to convince me that it did, if that was the goal you had in mind.[/color]

Can't say that I expected anyone to really be interested, I really just wanted to know if anyone had noticed this before and thought anything of it.  I find the timing interesting, but if you don't, that's completely understandable.  

 

 

 

[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]Actually, that was meant to be a joke on where [/color][color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;]went to school. [/color] :P[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;] All the old visual cues from the infamous public school essay outline caused me to whip out the old A-E bullet points and expect your thesis at the end of the Introduction, etc. I apologize for my poorly worded joke. [/color] :(

Sorry about that, these sorts of jokes are sometimes hard to pick up in writing. :)  I tried to make the layout as simple as possible because I knew that it was really long and some people would only want to skim it.

 

Ultimately, I have no problem with a universe that's 100,000 years old, and as far as sci-fi numbers go, it's not too unrealistic.  Personally I think I would have preferred something on the order of 15,000 years (or maybe twice that much) simply because the characters are immortal.  I simply can't fathom how characters like Helryx can have 100,000 years of memories and experience and how that would have shaped them, but I'm willing to cut the story some slack because I enjoy it  the way it is.


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#15 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Jun 26 2013 - 10:20 PM

I guess I'm just more cynical about these things, and I'd rather assume that the writers made a mistake unless there is a straightforward solution or the instance is retconned.  That's just me though.

Well, why call it cynical? Nobody's disputing that there were mistakes made. That's not cynical, that's just realism. People do make mistakes; that's fact. And the apparent inconsistency that Greg's mini-contest was about was likely a mistake too, but that doesn't stop us from having fun imagining ways to resolve it anyways. :) I don't see this as an either/or thing.

 

Retcons are IMO best avoided when something has been published already, if it's reasonably possible, mainly just because it will confuse people who treat the published story as 'the story.' Would you agree?

 

No, I wouldn't say there are any downsides, and in fact I think it was a good change, although not an altogether necessary one, in my opinion.  The ramifications of the change were simply that going forward the story team would have more room to work with, although there would be a few minor hiccups, such as the oddly compressed timeline of the earlier years

Out of curiosity (since thought about something related to this but not sure I understood you right), when you say earlier years, do you mean in real life or in-story? As in, it seems odd to you that the later in-story years have much more happening in a more compressed timeframe? (Don't wanna put words in your mouth.) But now regardless of whether you meant to bring it, I might as well mention my theories for the answers for sake of discussion, 'cuz it's fun and stuffs. :P

 

How I handled this in my retelling is:

 

1) Much more is presumed to have happened filling the spaces in the earlier years but just wasn't as directly relevant to the present-day plot usually so was left out (and my main character/protagonist/first-person narrator is writing this as memoirs after the plot is over and mentions at one point that much more happened he doesn't feel is relevant enough to record).

 

2) The Makuta had "finalized" his Plan A basic idea (takeover Metru Nui), and was experimenting with various manipulative ways to accelerate events toward it, beginning with (I theorize) manipulating TSO to want to conquer it so starting a long series of attempts beginning basically with the Kanohi Dragon's release. So he's forcing the status quo to be continually upset, and finally arrives at the fake Turaga plan. (By Plan A I mean before being protocaged and realizing he could takeover the whole giant robot; Plan B).

 

3) As I mentioned, many more people had been experimenting with evil and spreading it, so there was more that the heroes needed to focus on, plus heroes were getting stretched thinner as many were being killed.

 

4) The universe had begun to wear out some of the bigger and more common components, even as various societies like the Skakdi and Stelt were collapsing, so more pressure to work on the repairs (via my theory of secret repair robots that stop off at maintenance skyscrapers, and the people just maintain the skyscrapers themselves) for smaller percentages of the total people, especially Metru Nui Matoran. Same applies also to people's minds getting old. This is a bit less relevant here but helps motivate the following point:

 

5) Technological advancements to free up more free time (by cutting down on travel times, policing jobs now filled by Vahki, etc.) for Matoran to work, but also may have spread throughout the universe and sped up things everywhere, making it a "smaller world." Thus things actually do happen more quickly.

 

 

I was going to add to this post with a rundown, just for fun, of how long each year's total of story was by counting story sources per year, but then BS01 had to go offline on us. I think 2004 may have had nearly the most books or at least the most of books that told side-stories almost completely non-essential to the main plot. 2006 had a lot of books too but I think most were more on-topic, as it were. And later years had far less books on average. That was what I was basically referring to earlier and didn't have time to add it then, but on the other hand this is just from memory, so I might be counting wrong.

 

Plus we could factor comics and movies too, in addition (obviously) to the serials.


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#16 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jun 28 2013 - 08:21 PM

*lays odds of anyone reading this post at less than 30%*

My guess was that until the writers had decided on 100,000 years they really had no idea how it old it was.  The dates they gave in 2004-2005 are merely clues that suggest they pictured it as being several thousand years old (though they weren't trying to mislead us intentionally) but left it sufficiently open ended until 2008 really, when it was confirmed Mata Nui came online 100,000 years ago.

The dates under the quote headers below are the dates the Greg Answers below were posted in the past.

Oct 12 2004, 09:54 AM 13.can a bionicle charachter die of old age?   13) Don't know, we have never seen it happen. We do know they have extremely long lifespans. "Old age" to a Matoran  might be 100,000 years.

 

Jul 5 2005, 07:11 AM4. How many years has it been from the time of Artakha and Karzahni up till present day(the time of the Toa Nuva)? 4) A lot. Could have been as much as 50,000-100,000 years, or more.

   

Jul 23 2005, 02:30 PM 7. What kinds of matoran are they? Metruan, IoDtoran, or different? [in refrence to the Matoran of Karzanhi]    7) They are Matoran who date back some 100,000 years before the Matoran you know

 

Oct 12 2005, 10:37 AM In BA10,TSO got weakened alot by the aging.In like,1000 years,did he managed to recover? I wanted to ask this because TSO is my favourite BIONICLE villain,and seeing him unable to fight would disappoint me.    Even aged, he is still able to fight. Remember, BIONICLE characters have incredibly long lifespans -- Makuta is at least 100,000 years old or so -- and still pretty spry.

  Theory debunked. Greg knew about the 100,000 years in 2005.  

Jan 26 2006, 06:53 AM1) How long do you estimate Metru Nui has been around?  1) Probably in the neighborhood of 90,000-100,000 years.

 This was well before Legacy of Evil or Inferno were published. * * * And now for bones' list of yearly story source numbers (it's horrendously off topic, but I wanted to know anyway, so might as well post it :)): 2001: Comics 1-3, Bionicle Chronicles #1: Tale of the Toa (technically published in 2003, but I'm adding here for clarity), MNOG, GBA Game Quest for the Toa Total: 6 sources 2002: Comics 4-8 (5), Bohrok Online Animations (6), Bionicle Chronicles #2: Beware the Bohrok (same dif) Total: 12 sources 2003: Comics 9-15 (7), Bohrok-Kal Online Animations(3) , Bionicle Mask of Light (movie and book) (2), Bionicle Chronicles #3 & #4 (2), MNOG II  Total: 15 sources 2004: Comics 16-21 (6), Bionicle Adventures #1-5 (5), Bionicle Legends of Metru Nui Total: 12 sources 2005: Comics 22-27 (5), Bionicle Adventures #6-#10 (5), Bionicle Web of Shadows, The Search for the Mask of Light Animations (6) Total: 17 sources 2006: Comics 0-5 (6), Bionicle Legends #1-5 (5) Total: 11 sources 2007: Comics 6-11 (8), Bionicle Legends #6-#8 (3), Online serials (3) Total: 14 sources 2008: Comics 12-15 (4), Bionicle Legends #9-#11 (3), Online Serials (6), The Final Battle Animation Total: 13 sources 2009: Comics 1-5 (5), Raid on Vulcanus, Bionicle the Legend Reborn (book and movie) (2), Online Serials: Reign of Darkness, Empire of the Skrall, Riddle of the Great Beings, Sahmad's Tale (4) Total: 12 sources 2010: Comics 6-7 (2), Journey's End, Mata Nui Saga Total: 4 sources So:  2001: 6 sources2002: 12 sources2003: 15 sources2004: 12 sources2005: 17 sources2006: 11 sources2007: 14 sources2008: 13 sources2009: 12 sources2010: 4 sources Total: 116 story sources  Aside from the series opener and closer, looks about around the same. With the outliers removed, there's about 13.25 story sources per year. But since I have this up, let me account for the type (medium) of source (book, comic, serial, movie) as well, since some people have complained about not having access to a certain story source or other. 2001: 4 types2002: 3 types2003: 5 types2004: 3 types2005: 4 types2006: 2 types2007: 3 types2008: 4 types2009: 4 types2010: 3 types Considering that most series are only one type of medium, this seems a bit excessive IMO. You'll notice that 2006 does contract both the number of sources and the type of medium, while 2005 was the villain on both accounts. 2009 does not. :blink: If storyline access was an issue, the numbers do make sense. Sort of. But on the number and type of storyline sources was the one thing that didn't really change about Bionicle much. :shrugs:

Edited by fishers64, Jun 29 2013 - 12:35 PM.

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