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Makuta_of_Oz

Are Su-Matoran just better Ta-Matoran?

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According to BIONICLESector01, Ta-Matoran can handle extreme heat. However, it also says Su-Matoran can handle more extreme heat than Ta-Matoran AND handle bright light.

This begs the question, what can Ta-Matoran do that Su-Matoran can't? Or are they just inferior to Su-Matoran in every way?


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Seems like Su-Matoran have built in sun glasses, so that automatically makes them cooler B-)  (but not literally, because heat?) 

Counterpoint: canonically, and I believe BS01 mentions this - Ta-Matoran are known for their tactical and mathematical abilities. The only thing we know from the canon about Su-folk is that Zaktan eats them. Sooo... yeah. 

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Its kind of a result of plasma having overlap with fire, since well the hottest of fires enter the plasma state. 

IRL Plasma is a state of matter when super heated gases loose their electrons, and it is naturally visible in lightning, hot fire, aurora borealis, static electricity sparks, and natural fusion reactions such as stars. In colder temperatures plasma can be formed via electrically exciting noble gases causing the distinct glow of neon signs and is also seen in arc welding or the fireball surrounding spacecraft reentry. 

So how does this play out in Bionicle? Pahrak-Kal is the only plasma character we ever see use their power "on screen" so to speak and it looks something like this:

image.png.d199e1499b73de2713b71a9202248856.png

So yeah... basically just really hot and powerful fire. 

I guess an explanation for the Su-Matoran even existing... the Great Beings are jerks. So I can see there being jobs in the Great Spirit Robot that required a higher heat tolerance than the more common Ta-Matoran but rather than building all Ta-Matoran to be able to work in that environment the Great Beings created a separate and rarer Su-Matoran, probably out of a combination of "this job needs to be done, but we don't want these super powerful heat resistant Matoran to exist in mass in case we need to fight against our own creations." These are the same people who created Marrendar to kill Toa if they ever posed a threat to the Great Beings after all... Better to have 1000 Ta-Matoran and 5 Su-Matoran doing their jobs, than have 1005 Su-Matoran and the potential for 1005 Su-Toa. 

Ultimately though, I think its a shame we never got to see many of these Matoran with secondary elements actually play a major role in the story. I like to imagine the "What If...?" had the Su-Matoran been included in limited numbers on Metru-Nui among the Ta-Matoran population. Easy to imagine them working directly in the Great Furnace were the temperatures were to hot for Ta-Matoran and being seen as a small but limited class of hardy workers, while the Ta-Matoran took on more of the forging work themselves (mask and tool making, etc) that while still hot work was around cooler metal than the blazing hot furnace temperatures Su-Matoran might have been needed for. Similarly it would have been cool to see a few Fe-Matoran working in mining on Onu-Koro, Bo-Matoran living in the jungles of Le-Wahi, Vo-Matoran working in the power generation station inside the Coliseum, or Ce-Matoran hard at work in the Knowledge Towers of Ko-Metru... but its that kind of missed opportunities that are really only apparent in hindsight with Bionicle. It just feels like many of the "secondary elements" are specialized versions of the primary elements that would have been great to see represented even if in a limited nature, working among the other tribes of the MU. 


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Well, let’s take a moment to imagine a Toa of each element, just to compare them in action at full power. A Toa of Fire generates fire. A Toa of Plasma generates plasma, a superheated gas as mentioned before (it was also mentioned before that fire can be considered a type of plasma, but let’s look past that for now). Let’s say a a Toa team needed to generate some heat to, oh, thaw something out, or maybe make some metal more pliable, or just keep the rest of the non-heat resistant team warm while navigating a snowy mountain range. A Toa of Fire could do all of these things, with little to no extra damage, but a Toa of Plasma would have a much harder time of preventing damage or injury. Now let’s say they needed to destroy something, and fast. A Toa of Plasma could just incinerate it with a beam of pure heat, but a Toa of Fire would need to keep throwing fire on the object for a while, because his fire is much lower in temperature than his Plasma counterpart, and as a result, he’d be draining his elemental energy, which takes a while to recharge, so he’d basically be rendered powerless until it does.

While this comparison doesn’t apply directly to Matoran, they are the beings that eventually become Toa. Since there are only a handful of Toa that were never Matoran (I think the only named ones were the six Toa Mata, Helryx and Orde), they would need both Ta-Matoran and Su-Matoran to have both types of Toa consistently active. It’s not a perfect answer, but it gives a reason for both existing.

Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese

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When compared 1:1, sure, but they're built for different purposes. It's like asking if a brain cell is just a better nerve cell.


-L

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