I see a lot of discussion these days about whether 2010 is the last year of BIONICLE. Figured it's about time that I organized my feelings on the matter in a blog entry.
For starters, I do not care if BIONICLE ends in 2010. Why would I say this, when I've been such an approving fan of BIONICLE's story and set developments? The short answer is that BIONICLE has lived a good life, and is at a point where an end is possible.
The long answer is a lot more complex, and based in part on my observation of other LEGO themes. Consider, for a moment, LEGO EXO-FORCE and Knights' Kingdom, two themes which were similarly story-based. I was entertained by both of these themes during their span (although KK's sets never were quite so entertaining), which was about two-and-a-half years for each.
During the last year of each theme, however, the story of each stagnated. Knights' Kingdom illustrated the entire plot almost solely in the instruction booklets, with only a single magazine comic which didn't even take the story to its conclusion. Plot elements such as The Sorceror, hinted in the cards and books to be the source and inspiration of Vladek's dark ambitions, were hardly touched upon in the end.
In Exo-Force there was a similar development: after the capture of Sensei Keiken (the line's elder figure) by Meca-One, he was taken to the deep jungles at the foot of Sentai Mountain, presumably for some reason regarding Meca-One's unique creation in that place. The Exo-Force team, now led by Keiken's granddaughter Hitomi, pursued the robots, and... a cliffhanger ending finished off the series. The revelations expected of that jungle adventure were never realized, and only one magazine comic marked the line's passing (previously there had been a huge saga of web comics, as well as a line of books for young readers).
(Notably, both of these lines also ended in a fashion entirely unlike what BIONICLE 2010 seems to promise. Rather than a diminishment or simplification of the sets, the set lines were expanded considerably, with gimmicks like metal tins and larger action figure sets for Knights' Kingdom, and "mini-robots" and a decently-sized line of sets for Exo-Force. Perhaps the smaller BIONICLE set line for 2010 indicates not an end for BIONICLE, but a budget that will enable the line's continued presence.)
BIONICLE's story for 2010 does not seem as though it will meet such a fate as these two dead themes. Greg Farshtey has revealed at least one book for 2010 (the last to be published by Scholastic), and has stated that the lack of story material will be compensated by other means including serialized online content. He also hints at dynamic storyline developments, and the possibility that any living character might make a return. This is a good indication that in 2010 the saga might come to a definitive and satisfying close, if an end to the line even occurs.
This is just my opinion, however. Perhaps others who were less satisfied by BIONICLE's recent years (and by the 2010 sets) will see the line's possible conclusion in a less favorable light. Still, I am sure I will enjoy the 2010 BIONICLE sets and story. There is, after all, such a thing as dying a good death.