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The Matoran Civil War and Racism in Metru-Nui

matoran civil war racism metru nui matoran toa metru

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#41 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 09:55 PM

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

There is still racism is real life, yet we are the same race: human. The idea of separate human races is practically pseudoscience.


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#42 Offline JAG18

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 10:02 PM

 

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

There is still racism is real life, yet we are the same race: human. The idea of separate human races is practically pseudoscience.

 

Point taken.  I was probably just thinking that difference in element wouldn't be grounds enough for racism between Matoran.


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#43 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Feb 28 2014 - 11:42 PM

 

 

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

There is still racism is real life, yet we are the same race: human. The idea of separate human races is practically pseudoscience.

 

Point taken.  I was probably just thinking that difference in element wouldn't be grounds enough for racism between Matoran.

 

Well, from a certain point of view, it actually makes more sense for the Matoran to be racist when compared to how it developed in humanity. Humans have the capacity to have any personality, excel in any profession, and get along with or clash with any other humans with no regard to ethnicity. In contrast, a Matoran's skills and personality is literally programmed into him/her based on his/her elemental affiliation.

 

Also, I realized the sides of the Civil War were the same elements that the Toa Nuva split into in Karda Nui. Personally, I think that's coincidence, but interesting nonetheless.


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#44 Online bonesiii

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Posted Mar 01 2014 - 12:47 AM

The following probably doesn't really need to stay in spoilers but I guess I'll include them anyways. :P

 

Spoiler


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#45 Offline Artakha's Nephew

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Posted Mar 01 2014 - 02:09 AM

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.


It's nearly always nice to be positive, but saying that all Matoran are the same race is difficult to prove. A "racist" or biased matoran could make the same argument that a human racist may make about racial differences and justifications for discrimination:

"All matoran are of the same species; we are all matoran. But each elemental affiliate is made up of members of a different race then the others, and for that reason, they are fundamentally different from the others."
OR
"All humans are of the same species; we are all human. But each group with -differently colored skin, citizenship in a certain nation, certain customs that appear 'foreign', etc.- is made up of members of a different race than the others, and for that reason, they are fundamentally different from the others.

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I can also be found under the username Artakha's Nephew on Solis Magna and BS01, and the Biomedia Project. Check out Solis Magna, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend the hand-drawn comic Diaries of Destral, by Stroxx.

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#46 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 01 2014 - 12:27 PM

 

 

 

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

There is still racism is real life, yet we are the same race: human. The idea of separate human races is practically pseudoscience.

 

Point taken.  I was probably just thinking that difference in element wouldn't be grounds enough for racism between Matoran.

 

Well, from a certain point of view, it actually makes more sense for the Matoran to be racist when compared to how it developed in humanity. Humans have the capacity to have any personality, excel in any profession, and get along with or clash with any other humans with no regard to ethnicity. In contrast, a Matoran's skills and personality is literally programmed into him/her based on his/her elemental affiliation.

 

Also, I realized the sides of the Civil War were the same elements that the Toa Nuva split into in Karda Nui. Personally, I think that's coincidence, but interesting nonetheless.

 

I've never heard of a Matoran's skills and personality being programmed into them.  They were programmed to be soulless robots, until they became sentient.  We've seem Matoran of all personalities and get along with each other just fine.


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#47 Online bonesiii

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Posted Mar 02 2014 - 03:20 PM

I've never heard of a Matoran's skills and personality being programmed into them.  They were programmed to be soulless robots, until they became sentient.

First, the second sentence, although it's on the right track, is not quite right. They were not robots, to begin with. They're artificial life, but robot is a term the canon reserves for things like Bohrok (minus its Krana). Also, "sentient" is a much lower level of intelligence that (in Bionicle terminology) includes even animals; it simply means "self-aware", and Greg has often pointed out that many animals are that. The proper term for the distinction is "sapient", meaning wisdom (of a human level). And it's a little-known fact that Greg confirmed the Matoran were always mean to be partially sapient. It was the development of culture and the like that was largely unexpected; the GBs did not think they had achieved full sapience in their AIs. It comes across, from Angonce's POV near the end, as just that they did not imagine they could achieve it.

 

More importantly, being sapient or not (or even sentient) has nothing to do with whether you have a different personality and different skills from other beings of the same level. Even a mindless microbe will have different abilities than a different type, and different animals have different personalities, etc. Having a variety of personalities and skills means your society as a whole is better able to handle a variety of challenges; if everybody's a jack of all trades, and you end up needing specialists in a variety of areas, you'll quickly get into trouble (this is the basic idea of my Society Variety theory, though the basic idea is hardly new).

 

The GBs clearly were well aware of this, so that's where Matoran personalities come from. We even have direct confirmation the GBs interacted with the different personalities before they left the MU "for good" (other than Velika), such as the contest between Artakha and Karzahni (to test which personality would be better for owning the Mask of Creation), the choice of making Umbra without any inner shadow to make him a useful guardian, etc.


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#48 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 02 2014 - 03:28 PM

Dang it, thanks bonesiii.  Sorry about that not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that (or if I was thinking at all).  


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#49 Offline NuvaTube

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Posted Mar 06 2014 - 02:44 PM

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

 

Well, I would argue that the different Elements are basically different races. It's like saying humans wouldn't be racist because they're all the same race. Well, that's not true, we're all the same species, yes, but not race. There are definitely races, and there's definitely racism. The physical differences in Matoran, like colour and physical elemental perks (like strength for Po-Matoran and heat resistance for Ta-Matoran), as well as mental tendencies and predisposition (like someone said that Ta-Matoran are all Mathematicians at heart. I suspect this is more of a tendency rather than a rule but I don't know. Certainly it could perpetuate negative stereotypes often associated with racism) could lead to the social frictions being discussed.


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#50 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 06 2014 - 05:04 PM

 

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

 

Well, I would argue that the different Elements are basically different races. It's like saying humans wouldn't be racist because they're all the same race. Well, that's not true, we're all the same species, yes, but not race. There are definitely races, and there's definitely racism. The physical differences in Matoran, like colour and physical elemental perks (like strength for Po-Matoran and heat resistance for Ta-Matoran), as well as mental tendencies and predisposition (like someone said that Ta-Matoran are all Mathematicians at heart. I suspect this is more of a tendency rather than a rule but I don't know. Certainly it could perpetuate negative stereotypes often associated with racism) could lead to the social frictions being discussed.

 

Well, for what it's worth, I'm beginning to agree with you (and everyone who's argued this point) completely about there being racism in Metru-Nui.  


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#51 Online Yaldabaoth

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Posted Mar 06 2014 - 05:22 PM

 

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

 

Well, I would argue that the different Elements are basically different races. It's like saying humans wouldn't be racist because they're all the same race. Well, that's not true, we're all the same species, yes, but not race. There are definitely races, and there's definitely racism. 

 

Interestingly, studies suggest that there is no biological evidence for race at all, merely a collection of phenotypes associated with "races". ;)

 

That said, even if there aren't races, there's still racism, based on the groupings of people into designated "races". Humankind is silly that way. *sigh*


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#52 Offline SarracenianKaijin

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 05:28 AM

I have no idea why something as easy as "yep, racism" has two pages worth of quote-pyramid responses, but whatever.


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#53 Offline Artakha's Nephew

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 04:19 PM

I have no idea why something as easy as "yep, racism" has two pages worth of quote-pyramid responses, but whatever.


To be honest, I don't see how it's an "easy" or simple topic to come to a conclusion on at all.

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I can also be found under the username Artakha's Nephew on Solis Magna and BS01, and the Biomedia Project. Check out Solis Magna, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend the hand-drawn comic Diaries of Destral, by Stroxx.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 

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#54 Offline Damaracx Caratas Xarian

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 05:12 PM

I was on the Matoran Civil War page on BS01, and I noticed something about the sides.  Po-Metru, Le-Metru, and Ko-Metru aligned together, while Ta-Metru, Onu-Metru, and Ga-Metru formed the other alliance.  Going forward another 80,000 years or so, the Toa Metru emerge.  From the outset, Onewa and Matau strongly disliked Vakama, while Nokama strongly favored him.  Whenua leaned slightly towards Vakama, while Nuju leaned slightly away from him.  This is exactly how the Matoran Civil War turned out, and this points to island-wide racism between the Metru, because these disagreements between the Toa started as soon as they met, which points to them being predisposed to these opinions.  Thoughts on this?  Other instances of this sort?

Though I do feel this is kind of vaguely associated it does make sense.  The Matoran War like wars in IRL tend to create racial slurs when a battle is fought against two races.  So yeah, it would definitely be an explanation.


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#55 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 11:09 PM

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.  

This was my mindset about this, it's just like the rivalries between the five boroughs of New York City. The only difference is that we don't show where we come from with our colors (although wearing clothing bearing the branding of your borough is almost common enough to be the same thing), and obviously that we haven't gone to war yet :P It would be racism if the Civil War was because the citizens of each Metru thought their element was better than everyone else's, rather than coming out of a dispute over borders and stuff like that.


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#56 Online bonesiii

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 11:39 PM

It would be racism if the Civil War was because the citizens of each Metru thought their element was better than everyone else's, rather than coming out of a dispute over borders and stuff like that.

This.

 

It happened because of trade disputes and related matters; not about elements. There might be ill feelings related to different elements, but the Civil War is probably not good evidence of it. Might have gotten mixed up with it later, though.


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#57 Offline Artakha's Nephew

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Posted Apr 15 2014 - 11:52 PM

I don't know, maybe there is some Nationalism, but not racism considering that their all the same race: Matoran.

This was my mindset about this, it's just like the rivalries between the five boroughs of New York City. The only difference is that we don't show where we come from with our colors (although wearing clothing bearing the branding of your borough is almost common enough to be the same thing), and obviously that we haven't gone to war yet :P


As Bones said, there's no canon indication that war was begun over dislike or hatred of certain elemental groups. However, it's worth mentioning that there are small physiological differences between each elemental group, around the right size to be comparable to "racial" differences in humans. Each group of Matoran share a sort of special ability between themselves, such as better vision in the dark for Onu-Matoran and a greater amount of agility in high places for Le-Matoran.

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I can also be found under the username Artakha's Nephew on Solis Magna and BS01, and the Biomedia Project. Check out Solis Magna, as it is exactly what we need to maintain interest in Bionicle. Also, I highly recommend the hand-drawn comic Diaries of Destral, by Stroxx.

Check out the script for Mysterious Island, an adaption/reboot of the 2001 Bionicle story which I am writing. It's also a musical.

 

Bionicle is returning in 2015!


#58 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 12:16 AM

The disputes weren't about "race" though, at least, not at first, if they did incorporate "race" later. There are definitely differences between each tribe of Matoran, for sure.


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#59 Online bonesiii

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 12:26 AM

I was going to edit my last post to add this, might as well make it a new post -- while some "elementism", if you will, may have gotten mixed into the war later (makes sense -- you identify your bitter enemy on sight by color for so long, for example, some of that could happen), it's possible the vast majority of people who condoned that kind of thinking died in the Archives Massacre (or were arrested by the Order, for the warlords themselves).

 

Of course, that makes me think of how the Matoran reacted to the massacre; the possiblity of viewing those Matoran as martyrs and embracing their views could come up, but I still think it's more likely most would, by that time, be completely disgusted with what their views led to -- a way-drawn-out pointless fight. They weren't happy with Teridax's solution, especially because some who were fighting in there would have been friends of the survivors, but I think by that time they were probably ready to get rid of all the nonsense associated with the war.


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#60 Offline Quisoves Pugnat

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 09:08 PM

I have to agree with those who are saying it's more likely that there was already some kind of underlying disagreement and this led to both the war and to their later differences, not that the war caused those differences. Think about it -- you don't just go to war on a whim and then later think of being angry (or whatever) at the other side, although it certainly may deepen such divides.

 

Now since this is obviously something my retelling had to deal with (at least since I chose to assume these characters were even alive at the time -- which I don't know that we know), I'm going to do something I haven't yet done and use spoiler tags. Don't read if you don't want to know yet how my story handles it (just the basic idea though, there's still plenty I'm not spoiling). :)

 

Spoiler

 

Some other things to keep in mind. Your characterization of who was for/against who sounds good at first glance, but there are some problems with it. The two primary enemies of the war were Ta and Po, yet Onewa and Vakama spent a lot of time working together when the Toa paired off (keeping their eyes on Nuhrii and Ahkmou). Onewa's distrust of Vakama probably had a lot more to do with his apparently being a little nuts when he had his visions, and it was often more of friendly teasing than actual antagonism. In the Visorak Saga, Vakama seemed to equally snap at Nokama, supposedly his closest ally, as any of the others (prior to capture by the Vissies). Le was versus Ta and Ga, yet it was Matau who was able to convince Vakama to return from the "dark side", and he "had a crush on" (officially wanted to be close friends with) Nokama.

It's probably too late for you to change this in your story, for what it's worth Time Trap rather suggests that Vakama is young as Matoran go.

Spoiler


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#61 Online bonesiii

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 10:01 PM

Good to know; I can at least add a sidebar comment clarifying that that's evidence my version may not be possible canonically (depends on how pervasive of an invasion it was, though).


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#62 Offline Quisoves Pugnat

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Posted Apr 16 2014 - 11:13 PM

Good to know; I can at least add a sidebar comment clarifying that that's evidence my version may not be possible canonically (depends on how pervasive of an invasion it was, though).

It destroyed the original Great Temple, which, according to BS01 "Prior to the Great Cataclysm... was a popular tourist destination for Matoran." So it seems like its destruction and the circumstances thereof would be pretty well known.

Though as discrepancies go, it's a very minor one, with little actual bearing on the plot. And the Protocairn invasion of Metru Nui is somewhat obscure, as facts go. I primarily remember it because it actually makes determining the age of one of the major characters of Bionicle easier (beings who were created at the dawn of the Matoran Universe are, of course, quite easy to date, but the ages of others are much more ambiguous.)


Edited by Quisoves Pugnat, Apr 16 2014 - 11:14 PM.

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