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How Teridax's many forms reflect his motives

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Recently I was able to assemble the sets necessary to build the 2004 combination model 'Ultimate Dume'. I did not expect to enjoy the model as much as I did, and it got me thinking about the many forms of Teridax. As the main villain, Teridax doesn't always have the same level of character development as perhaps the Toa Nuva have. However, I would argue that we can view his true motives and intentions just from the characterization and set appearance in each respective year from 2001-2004.

2001: Infected Matoran/Shadow Toa

When the Toa Mata arrive, Teridax sees them as more of an annoyance than an actual threat. He's defeated many heroes in the past, and six heroes with amnesia aren't too big of a danger to his plan at all. However, Teridax has heard of the Toa Mata, and knows their purpose. In this form he chooses not to confront them directly, but rather play with them from the shadows to assess their powers and abilities. 

2003: Shadow Titan Form

This is the most "complete" version of Teridax. This is the version he uses in his confrontation against Takanuva, and when he fakes his own death. To me, this form represents Teridax at his most theatrical. He looks menacing but beatable, and I think this is very intentional. He brought himself down to a defeat-able level, both in stature and intimidation.

2004: Ultimate Dume

The combination of Krekka, Nidhiki, Nivawk, and Teridax, Ultimate Dume represents Teridax from Legends of Metru Nui. I believe this is the 'truest' form of Teridax that we ever received in set form. Only in Legends of Metru Nui is the Makuta holding nothing back against the Toa Metru. 

In every set appearance after these years, Teridax is weakened, so his forms don't really reflect his full shapeshifting ability. 

What do you guys think? 

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Well, here’s how I put it: 

2001 - Makuta’s Matoran form - He used this to try to trick the Toa Mata about protecting him since he looks like a Matoran, but Kopaka saw through his trick, probably through his Mask of X-Ray Vision. Makuta knows that the Toa swear to protect Matoran, so that’s why he made that form. 
- Makuta’s Vortex form - He used this form as a way to fight the Toa. He was all over the place. However, the Toa defeated him while his Vortex form looks like that it’s made of Toa Mata parts flying around. 
 

2003 - Makuta’s Titan form - That’s probably his usual form. He tried to squish Takanuva with it, but he got defeated. 
- Makuta’s Makuta Nui form - That monster-like form could be used to scare his foes. He never used it, though. 
- Makuta’s Shadow form - He used this to scare the heck out of Takua while using it for stealth, and as a way to shapeshift.
 

2004 - Makuta’s Turaga Dume form - It’s simply impersonation. He used it to have the Matoran listen to him, so he could become their ruler. 
- Makuta’s Winged Titan form - That was made when he absorbed Nidhiki, Krekka, and Niwark, as he gained wings. He did use his wings to fly from a far platform to another in Metru Nui. He used this to fight the Toa Metru. 
 

He basically used these forms to adept to fighting certain Toa in accordance of his ultimate plan. 
 

2006 - Makuta’s Antidermis form - Since his armor got smashed, he used himself as a material for the Piraka to use to enslave Matoran in Voya Nui. It’s also his true form under his armor, and his kind was evolved that way. It’s also used for stealth. 
 

I’m not sure if I were to include his forms in 2007-2010 and G2 because his forms were just bodies that he used his Antidermis form to possess in G1 and the ones in G2 are just from Makuta’s G2 self, but I’ll do it. 
 

2007 - Matoro - Makuta liked to control Matoro, so he could get the Mask of Life, but the Toa Inika threatened him so much that Makuta left. 
- Maxilos - Makuta used the robot to avoid being detected by Hydraxon. 
 

2008-2010 - Mata Nui’s giant robot body - That was his ultimate goal. He used it to control the Matoran Universe. He also tried to use it to conquer the outside universe, starting with Bara Magna, but he got defeated by Mata Nui. 
 

2015 - Makuta’s Mask Maker form - this version of Makuta was his original form before he used the Mask of Ultimate Power for the first time. 
 

2016 - Makuta’s Shadow Fire form - he could use this form to communicate his allies since he was trapped in the Shadow Realm. 
- Makuta’s Shadow Titan form - he used this to represent his evil, and to fight the Toa, but he got defeated by them.

Edited by Lenny7092
Forgot to put Makuta’s Shadow Form. Oops.

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On 8/28/2020 at 2:42 PM, fabSheers said:

I did not expect to enjoy the model as much as I did,

I totally agree-I got my hands on "The Big Three" (lol) last year, and was kinda reluctant to take them apart, but I gotta say I was surprised by the quality of the combo. The instructions/pictures of it don't do it justice. 

On 8/28/2020 at 2:42 PM, fabSheers said:

This is the most "complete" version of Teridax. This is the version he uses in his confrontation against Takanuva, and when he fakes his own death. To me, this form represents Teridax at his most theatrical. He looks menacing but beatable, and I think this is very intentional. He brought himself down to a defeat-able level, both in stature and intimidation.

I'd agree here. I seriously doubt this is Teridax's "true" form, but one carefully chosen for the circumstance. It's certainly intimidating, but it also strikes me as being cobbled together from miscellaneous bits of Rakshi/Manas/whatever else was around. For a Makuta who took over the universe, it does look a bit.... dumpy. 

I think there's also some irony in his set function, which is basically the same at the 03 Matorans'. (Especially considering his Infected Matoran form, his 03 form might be his own subtle mockery of The Rebuilding... perhaps :)) I'd guess that not only was his form chosen to make him look beatable, but also as part of the bigger mind game he was playing with Takanuva with the Kolhii game (the whole battle was basically him taunting Takanuva: "Even though you may look different, you're still just trying to play Kolhii games in a world far more complex than you could ever understand"). Further, I'd also guess that he wasn't just taunting Takanuva for the fun of it, but to distract the Toa from how "easy" it was to defeat the Makuta. "Winning" the "Kolhii" game was a moment of profound character development for Takanuva-he proved to himself that he was a Toa, and that he earned the right to be a Toa. Remember, even though everyone else was awestruck by the Toa of Light, Takanuva had serious self-doubts about his role. When he beat Makuta, everyone else bought it (after all, he's the 7nth Toa!) and Takanuva himself was probably reveling in the significance of that moment: "I am a Toa. I defeated Makuta though my own skills and abilities. I was chosen for a reason." Had the confrontation been just a simple battle, Takanuva might have wondered "Why was that so easy? How could a Toa who's less than a day old do what a team of six experienced Toa couldn't in a few years?"

So yeah, all this to say he chose a form that would manipulate Takanuva into truly believing that he had completely defeated Makuta. 

On 8/28/2020 at 2:42 PM, fabSheers said:

Only in Legends of Metru Nui is the Makuta holding nothing back against the Toa Metru. 

I actually disagree here. Teridax has basically three moments of immense triumph in his life: first he overthrew Miserix. Second, he caused the Great Cataclysm. And finally, he took over the Matoran Universe. Based on what we know of his personality, it's safe to assume that Teridax is not gracious in victory. He's a gloater. "The reply came from everywhere at once. A dark, humorless laugh boomed from every stone, every star, from the ground, the sky, the ocean. Matoran huddled together in fear at the sound even as the Toa drew their weapons." (From The Final Battle: Epilogue). What does Teridax do once his great plan comes to completion? He laughs. He moves the stars just to taunt his foes. His arrogance is boundless in victory. We can expect him to behave similarly at his second greatest moment of triumph: the Great Cataclysm. Think about it: the "Ultimate Dume" form is completely unnecessary. Six novice Toa (one of which, I might add, doesn't even know what his mask power is) and a Turaga are no match for the leader of the Brotherhood of Makuta!  Even if this isn't true, it's still probably what Teridax is thinking in his arrogance; but it does raise the question, how were these novice Toa able to beat him? The answer is simple: because Teridax was being reckless. The first key stage of The Plan has been accomplished! He's not threatened by these "Toa" Metru; in his mind they're probably closer to Matoran cosplayers than to actual Toa :)

So he assumes a new form: a towering, winged, colossal beast with savage claws.... all purely for decoration. Think about it: the only ability gained from this new form that he uses (as far as I can remember) is flight as he chases after the Toa. But even this is theatrics! As a Matuka who can access all 42 Kraata powers, Teridax can teleport! Flying is SLOWER! My guess is he didn't really care at all about the battle. Sure, he lost the Vahi, but that's a minor setback. The wheels of his plan are finally well and truly turning. With every victory, the Toa come closer to their ultimate defeat. What's one battle when you've just won the war? 

I don't think he was even really paying attention to the battle. Sure, the Toa "beat" him (perhaps kinda like how Takanuva "beat" him), but they beat him by..... letting him bash himself with stone pillars? By.... dogging?  

Definitely not Teridax's A-game. 

I'll admit that being placed under a Toa Seal probably him off more than a little, but in the grand scheme of things, even that was a minor setback.  

 

It's definitely fun to consider though! No wonder Teridax was the "Farshtey Fave" lol         

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I really wish we'd gotten one or two more versions of Makuta - maybe one to round off Gen 1, and one to round off Gen 2. Getting the Ultimate Power Makuta in Gen 2 and a Makuta in Stars would've been nice, but then again, anything besides Stars to wrap up Gen 1 would've been nice. 

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I'd like to think that Teridax used a more elegant, sleeker form while he was the Makuta of Metru Nui-a bit of a viceroy/steward/ruler thing going on...

...I like that theory b/c it justifies the Teridax MOC I'm working on lol XD

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Thinking about it, I wonder what Teridax looked like before he tried to overthrow Mata Nui. Would he have been a bit more gentle-looking, like Melding Teridax? 

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In regard to his vortex form, did he lose that battle on purpose, too? The Toa had just recently arrived. We don’t know specifically how much time passed between their arrival on Mata Nui and their descent into Mangaia, but long enough for each to locate and collect ten Masks and one Makoki Stone and have some miscellaneous adventures on the side (like the abduction of most of Le-Koro and the infection of Lewa). Maybe Teridax decided that he needed time to figure out how to deal with them now that’s he’s seen a small sample of them in action, and basically put on a little show of a fight and played dead.

It didn’t seem like a terrible loss. All we really see are the Toa shooting elemental energy at him, together (but not in sync, so no Toa Seal is formed), and the vortex just kind of stops, and the “body parts“ that were whirling around in it just fall to the floor. Now, the Makuta’s true nature may not have been fully developed by the story team yet at that point (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that) but based on what we later learned about a Makuta’s anatomy, that doesn’t seem like a very sound defeat. Just imagine those body parts are “containers” full of Antidermis. None of them rupture, they just scatter around the room. Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that Teridax wasn’t particularly injured at the end of that battle, just a little frustrated, and stopped the vortex to give the impression that he was defeated.

Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese

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13 hours ago, Cheesy Mac n Cheese said:

In regard to his vortex form, did he lose that battle on purpose, too? The Toa had just recently arrived. We don’t know specifically how much time passed between their arrival on Mata Nui and their descent into Mangaia, but long enough for each to locate and collect ten Masks and one Makoki Stone and have some miscellaneous adventures on the side (like the abduction of most of Le-Koro and the infection of Lewa). Maybe Teridax decided that he needed time to figure out how to deal with them now that’s he’s seen a small sample of them in action, and basically put on a little show of a fight and played dead.

It didn’t seem like a terrible loss. All we really see are the Toa shooting elemental energy at him, together (but not in sync, so no Toa Seal is formed), and the vortex just kind of stops, and the “body parts“ that were whirling around in it just fall to the floor. Now, the Makuta’s true nature may not have been fully developed by the story team yet at that point (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong sbout that) but based on what we later learned about a Makuta’s anatomy, that doesn’t seem like a very sound defeat. Just imagine those body parts are “containers” full of Antidermis. None of them rupture, they just scatter around the room. Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that Teridax wasn’t particularly injured at the end of that battle, just a little frustrated, and stopped the vortex to give the impression that he was defeated.

Much of our idea of Terridax as he was in later stories really hadn't been fleshed out in those early years, and it has to be understand that Makuta in his first incarnation was never planned to become the mastermind villain he was in later years. As such the MNOG Makuta is much more symbolic as a spiritual villain or boogie man, he is the Yang to Mata-Nui's Yin. If Mata-Nui was the force of creation then Makuta was one of destruction. Both are a part of the Lego process, Lego sets get build up but must be destroyed before they can be rebuilt as something else. So Makuta' swirling void form in its most basic was just a metaphor for loose Lego pieces, and when he says "destruction lives in all your hearts" referring to the Toa and Matoran, it can be taken literally since they are all Lego products and as such destruction and creation is the same cycle they are trapped in. The same idea with how the Toa Mata had to absorb the Shadow Toa forms, it was them having to face their own innate abilities for destruction in their nature and accept their dark side. 


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On 9/24/2020 at 11:29 AM, Xboxtravis said:

Much of our idea of Terridax as he was in later stories really hadn't been fleshed out in those early years, and it has to be understand that Makuta in his first incarnation was never planned to become the mastermind villain he was in later years. As such the MNOG Makuta is much more symbolic as a spiritual villain or boogie man, he is the Yang to Mata-Nui's Yin. If Mata-Nui was the force of creation then Makuta was one of destruction. Both are a part of the Lego process, Lego sets get build up but must be destroyed before they can be rebuilt as something else. So Makuta' swirling void form in its most basic was just a metaphor for loose Lego pieces, and when he says "destruction lives in all your hearts" referring to the Toa and Matoran, it can be taken literally since they are all Lego products and as such destruction and creation is the same cycle they are trapped in. The same idea with how the Toa Mata had to absorb the Shadow Toa forms, it was them having to face their own innate abilities for destruction in their nature and accept their dark side. 

Well, I can appreciate the deep thinking here, but:

1. LEGO didn’t really have anything to do with that battle, other than approve it to be published on their site.

2. I was more trying to reconcile the two interpretations into one character (and because both MNOG and MoL are canon, they are indeed the same character). It’s tough, especially because the two representations seem to be so different both physically and in terms of their basic personal nature, but because they’re undeniably the same person, I feel compelled to do so.

Now, I suppose we could also argue against my previous, “containers of Antidermis literally flying around in a vortex” theory by saying Teridax was using his power of illusion to merely appear to be a giant tornado woth body parts flying around in it, and the form he was actually taking was a solid, whole being, maybe even the same form he took in 2003. Makuta seem to prefer bipedal, humanoid forms (even the insectoid Mistika Makuta were rather anthropomorphic, two having four discernible limbs and walking fairly upright, including the quadrupedal Krika).

Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese

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Teridax probably only ever saw Mata Nui’s body as his “true” form, and in a sense he was right, since it really was his destiny to control it, and it was his “ultimate” form. 


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On 9/25/2020 at 9:10 PM, Cheesy Mac n Cheese said:

Well, I can appreciate the deep thinking here, but:

1. LEGO didn’t really have anything to do with that battle, other than approve it to be published on their site.

2. I was more trying to reconcile the two interpretations into one character (and because both MNOG and MoL are canon, they are indeed the same character). It’s tough, especially because the two representations seem to be so different both physically and in terms of their basic personal nature, but because they’re undeniably the same person, I feel compelled to do so.

Now, I suppose we could also argue against my previous, “containers of Antidermis literally flying around in a vortex” theory by saying Teridax was using his power of illusion to merely appear to be a giant tornado woth body parts flying around in it, and the form he was actually taking was a solid, whole being, maybe even the same form he took in 2003. Makuta seem to prefer bipedal, humanoid forms (even the insectoid Mistika Makuta were rather anthropomorphic, two having four discernible limbs and walking fairly upright, including the quadrupedal Krika).

I totally agree with that assessment. We do need to be able to reconcile the character, and in comparison to many other stories and themes Teridax really isn't that paradoxical of a character to relate his versions to. I believe many of these answers hit very close, and there really is no way to know for sure, but I think it's important to work "inside of the lore". It's true that the Bionicle theme is a product of the time it was written in, but I believe that the differences in Teridax's appearance should be used to add more depth to him, not take it away.

I really like where this thread went. Thank you all!


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