Bionicle Myths and Misconceptions
Friday, June 3rd, 2005 at 6:53pm by Curt, BZPower Reference Master
Over in the Storyline and Theories forum, we frequently encounter some common misconceptions about the Bionicle storyline. The "story geeks" of S&T do a good job of explaining what's actually the case when this happens, but of course only a tiny fraction of BZP members and Bionicle fans happen to read the topics and the posts dealing with these myths. So today I thought I would bring you some of those explanations in a medium more Bionicle fans will see.
I've hand picked everything that follows from my observations in the Storyline and Theories forum and BZP in general of the myths that seem to stick around the most.
So here's how this will work. First, in bold, I will state the myth. Then I will give the explanation of why it isn't correct. I may include some details that are merely likely theories, but I will make it clear when I do that those are merely theories. The vast majority of this is fully official and confirmed. For some of these, I will include links to other resources with more details. Well, I hope you enjoy it!
Mata Nui and Makuta are Great Beings -- Actually, neither are. Mata Nui is the Great Spirit, who was sent by the more powerful Great Beings. Makuta is a weaker being than Mata Nui; he is not a Great Being or a Great Spirit. What he is exactly is not definate, but it is generally believed that "Makuta" is actually a species name, and all members of the Brotherhood of Makuta are of this species. So far, we know nothing about the actual Great Beings, except that they do exist, and Mata Nui came on their behalf.
The 2005 story doesn't make sense, because at the end of B2: Legends of Metru Nui, the Toa Metru turned into Turaga -- This was one part of the recent story that is confusing. What's going on is really pretty simple; that scene at the end of Legends of Metru Nui is a "flash forward" - it takes place after the 2005 storyline. It was done this way only because when Legends of Metru Nui was being made, it was not certain that there would be another movie. The moviemakers did not want to leave B2 as a cliffhanger, and then have the next movie be cancelled; fans would wonder what happened at the end. So they included the final beach scene as a way to provide an "ending" to the movie in case that happened. You may notice that in that scene, there were hundreds of pods containing Matoran on the beach, but in the B2 story, only six pods were brought to Mata Nui (well, one of them was lost on the way; you can read that story in Bionicle Adventures #5: Voyage of Fear, and its continuation will be in BA#10: Time Trap). So how did all the rest of the pods get there? That is what the next movie, B3: Web of Shadows, and the 2005 story in general, is about. You can find more details about this here.
Matoran, Toa, Turaga, etc. are robots -- Actually, they are half mechanical, half biological. Their mechanical half does not include wires or circuitry that we know of; it is mostly simple levers, pistons, gears, as well as the metallic armor and bone structure that holds them together. Their biological side includes muscle tissue and lungs, possibly also the brain, though that is not confirmed.
Bionicle will not return to the story of the Toa Nuva -- By now, most of you probably already know that this is not true, but we in S&T find ourselves explaining this more often than you might think. Bionicle will return to the story of the Toa Nuva next year, in 2006. That year will feature the Toa Nuva, Matoran, and Turaga returning to Metru Nui in their quest to awaken the Great Spirit Mata Nui. The Toa Nuva will be then going to a new location to carry out the next step in that process.
There must always be six Toa, of fire, water, stone, earth, ice, and air, in every Toa group -- While that is often the case, there is no rule in the Bionicle universe that a Toa group must have a certain makeup. The commoness of groups having one Toa of each of the six elements is merely a result of the fact that there are six types of Matoran, and Toa made from those Matoran tend to have those elements. But there is no actual rule about how many Toa should be in a group, or what elements they can have.
Rahaga are Rahi Turaga -- That was a BZP theory when we first learned of the Rahaga, but they are actually nothing of the sort. They were all Toa originally, and their Toa group name was Toa Hagah. Hagah means "guardian" in the Matoran language. They were elite Toa who served as guardians of Makuta before he stopped pretending to be good. After the Brotherhood of Makuta turned evil, the Toa Hagah, who refused to go along with it, were all permanently and instantly mutated by Roodaka's Rhotuka spinner. She gave them faces that resembled Rahkshi as a cruel joke, and so their name is a mixture of "Rahkshi" and "Hagah." More details about the Rahaga can be found here.
The Bohrok are evil -- They're actually not evil at all. The mission of the Bohrok to clear off everything from the surface of Mata Nui is actually very important, for reasons that remain a mystery for now. Their mission was never meant to be carried out while there were inhabitants on Mata Nui; Makuta actually sent a signal from a beacon that awoke them early. The real culprit here is Makuta, not the Bohrok or the Bahrag. Also for reasons that are still not clear, neither the Bahrag or the Bohrok could realize that they had been awakened at the wrong time; their programming was too simple for that. They may not even know that Makuta exists, though that isn't confirmed. All they knew was that whenever they get awakened, it is their job to clean Mata Nui. They were simply doing their job at the wrong time.
Metru Nui is not underground -- This one isn't all that common, however, it is an issue that can be rather confusing at first glance. First things first; Metru Nui is an island in a huge underground Dome, directly beneath Mata Nui, which is on the surface of the Bionicle Planet. Metru Nui is much smaller than Mata Nui, which is one reason it fits beneath it. The ocean surrounding Mata Nui is made out of normal water, while the Silver Sea - the ocean surrounding Metru Nui - is made out of liquid protodermis. Mata Nui's sky features one sun, and stars. These stellar bodies are normal stars, just like ours, as far as is established right now. Metru Nui's sky features two "suns," which are acutally holes in the roof of the Dome which let light in from the real Bionicle sun. One hole is under the ice in Ko-Wahi, the other under Lake Naho (the lake that Ga-Koro is in). Metru Nui also has stars. The sky seems to rotate, so the suns and stars seem to rise and set, just as in the real sky above. What the stars actually are and how the sky seems to rotate are mysteries at this point. You can see some unofficial depictions of how Metru Nui and Mata Nui are related here (by me) and here (by BZP Reference Keeper QB) (Keep in mind these images are unofficial artist's interpretations; though the basic idea of where Mata Nui is related to Metru Nui is correct).
Roodaka is the Visorak Queen -- You may have read that she is the Queen of the Visorak if you read an earlier printing of Bionicle Adventures #7: Web of the Visorak, because at first, she was going to be the Queen. It was decided that she would instead be the Viceroy, but that decision came too late to change it in the first printing. The official word is now that Roodaka is the Viceroy of the Visorak. Learn more here.
The Vahi can be used for time travel -- The Vahi's power is actually only limited to slowing time down or speeding it up within a targeted area. And no, time can't be slowed down so much that it flows backwards, or vice versa. There is also the fact that there is no time travel in Bionicle.
Metru Nui was a dictatorship in which nobody would want to live -- This impression was often left because of the tone of the 2004 storyline, but that is largely only the case because Turaga Dume had been replaced by Makuta. With the exception of the Vahki, the real Dume's role as a Turaga was essentially the same as the Turaga on Mata Nui; their word was law just as much as his, and he was just as wise and benevolent a leader as they later would become. The Vahki could be harsh, yes, but the intent was never originally that they would be threatening to Matoran that did their duty, which they were supposed to be doing anyways. The Matoran also greatly appreciated that the Vahki could handle most dangerous Rahi, keeping the city safe for the Matoran without any Matoran needing to face the powerful Rahi themselves.
The main flaw with the Vahki, other than their harsh personalities, was simply that Turaga Dume could theoretically order them to do almost anything. Of course, neither the Matoran nor Dume expected that Makuta would replace Turaga Dume, thereby being able to use the Vahki for his evil purposes. Also, Matoran in Metru Nui actually had a great deal of freedom during their off-time from work. They were free to pursue their own hobbies as they saw fit. They also benefited in many ways from the relatively advanced technology of Metru Nui - if a mask ever got broken, it could easily be replaced, but on Mata Nui, no new masks could be made, and replacements could eventually run out. Since Matoran need masks to stay concious, that would be a very bad thing. Another example is the Kanoka disks, which Matoran could use to defend themselves, or help with everyday tasks. That was helpful because even though masks could have the same powers as Kanoka, Matoran cannot use masks of power, and without Kanoka on Mata Nui, Matoran could not use any powers to help them face enemies such as the Rahi.
In short - before Makuta took over, Metru Nui was in many ways a paradise, in which virtually all Matoran want to live.
Bionicle beings have parents, children, brothers, sisters, etc. and live and die as we do -- Actually, none of that is true. First of all - there is no known lifespan for Matoran. Most of those on Mata Nui have lived at least two thousand years, and are the same characters that were on Metru Nui. So most of the time, there is no need for new Matoran, or children, because the Matoran that are already in existence do not die of old age... or at least not that we have seen so far. Every once in a while, a new Matoran might be needed in Metru Nui to fill new jobs, or one may die in a chute accident or the like. When that happens, Turaga Dume can order a new Matoran to come into being. How they do come into being is a mystery that will not be answered, but we do know that it is nothing like how it works in our world; there are no parents, no children. Matoran come into being fully grown, and ready to begin their jobs.
Bionicle beings do often refer to each other as brother or sister, but these terms in Bionicle mean "comrade" or "close friend" - they do not mean they are literally brothers or sisters.
Liquid protodermis mutates things -- Actually, only energized liquid protodermis causes changes. Normal liquid protodermis, like the so called "protowater" in Metru Nui and the Silver Sea, does nothing but act like water. Energized protodermis also only changes something if it is destiny that it be changed; if it is not, that thing is destroyed! Wouldn't want to find yourself on the wrong side of destiny.
Protodermis is rare -- Almost everything in Bionicle is actually made out of protodermis, including the Matoran, Toa, Turaga and Rahi. The plants, rock, earth, lava and metal of both Mata Nui and Metru Nui are also made out of protodermis. The water and ice in Metru Nui is as well, though on Mata Nui the water and ice are normal water, just like ours. The air is known not to be protodermis, though what it is isn't known. As you can see, protodermis comes in many different forms, many of which seem to mimic the matter in our world. However, certain forms of protodermis, especially pure liquid protodermis, and energized liquid protoermis, are rare. Often in the early sources of Bionicle story, those rare forms would be simply called "protodermis," which is why this has become confusing. Generally, what was being reffered to was the rare types of protodermis, not protodermis itself. More details can be found here.
Takua awoke the Bohrok -- It was made to look as if Takua awoke the Bohrok in the final battle in the Mata Nui Online Game, but it was actually Makuta; he used a special beacon to awaken them. Takua never touched the Bohrok or its nest. Even if he had, he could not have awoken it; in Metru Nui, Bohrok were actually taken out of their nests and put on display in the Archives, and they did not wake up. It may have been a coincidence that Takua was right next to that Bohrok when it awoke.. or Makuta may have purposefully done it that way to fool Takua into thinking it was his fault. But regardless, it was Makuta that awoke them, not Takua or anyone else.
Well, that's all for this article. I'd like to thank my fellow "story geeks" for their in-depth discussions of these things over time, as well as Greg Farshtey, Bionicle comic book writer, book writer, and story team member. I hope you've enjoyed this and learned something new about Bionicle!
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