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Sir Kohran

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Everything posted by Sir Kohran

  1. Which I feel is at the very least dubious, though I'd need to know more about how the comics used the mythology before I could say for sure that it was outright wrong. It may be rare, but it has happened. In the decade before that point, Disney got a bad reaction from Middle Eastern people over the portrayal of Arabs in their Aladdin movie, and from the Greeks over the huge changes made to their mythology in Hercules. Therefore it would make sense to consult with the people concerned when dealing with them or their culture. In your opinion as somebody who wasn't affected (I assume you aren't a Maori). The Maoris clearly felt there was something to get upset over. I'm not quite sure what colonialism has to do with this? Yeah, the people involved in Charlie Hebdo got only eye-batting for their handling and portrayals of Islamic content, right? No, it probably shouldn't require compensation, and I doubt the Greeks or Japanese have been paid for all the movies that have been made about or with their culture - but then, the movies didn't ever pretend the culture was that of a fictional world or people as Lego did with the Maori words. I feel it does, as you'll find English speakers in almost every part of the world now. Its use by so many different people means that English just isn't specifically any person or group's cultural heritage at this point, whereas the Maori language remains the cultural heritage specifically of the Maori people because it hasn't spread beyond New Zealand in any significant way. There's also the fact that English itself contains many words that are there almost intact from other languages (French and Latin mostly), so English words are not 'uniquely' English in the way Maori words are. Whilst languages may not be commercial or copyright property, they do need protecting when they are dying out with the rise of another language, or just aren't spoken by many people to begin with (as is the case with the Maori). Language, when it is of a specific group of people, is or can be an important part of a culture's heritage and its people will probably want to make sure it's not used in a manner that changes it in an undesirable way (as Lego's use for their line of building toys arguably was). Lego might have actually won on the grounds that (as you say) the words probably weren't the Maoris' strictly legally, but 'big Western company exploits natives and gets away with it' wouldn't be too good for Lego's image, so they may have actually wanted the Maoris to win to a degree. And/or perhaps they just realised their use of Maori culture for their own products without any kind of consultation wasn't right, as I've argued it wasn't.
  2. I'm not a comics expert so I can't judge this exactly, but I would at least point out that Norse mythology is quite prominent, so many people would probably know that names like Thor didn't begin with the comics. I don't think many people would know the same about the Maori words and culture, given that the Maori are from small islands on the edge of the known world and so not extremely prominent. I would. If you're going to take something that another group considers theirs and pass it off as your own, a reaction to that isn't unlikely. Why would they have to? Bearing in mind most fans move on after just a few years, and those of us who stayed interested for many years are a minority of all those ever interested in Bionicle. And I think it was only because of the Maori action that many people learnt that the 'Bionicle words' were actually Maori words. And swiped a load of words exactly as they were and applied them to fictional things apparently without caring how the people associated with the language felt about that. Of course people can draw parallels if the people depicted are extremely similar to real world people - but when we're dealing with a bunch of rainbow-colored robot beings with big masks on their faces, it's surely going to be very hard for audiences to make any parallel with real world people. But language is also deliberately created for a specific purpose, and Lego didn't credit or compensate the Maori for the use of their language. No, not owned in the legal sense (as I've said), but culture is owned in an associative sense by the people/area it originated in. I mean, are Samurai and Tengu not part of Japanese culture? Are Pegasus and the Cyclops not part of Greek culture? I think this analogy doesn't work because the English language isn't spoken only by or associated with a specific group of people as the Maori language is; English is now too widespread for its use to be controversial or restricted. Often they don't have the money or means to, plus the use of cultural terms probably isn't outright illegal anyway. Did the Maori actually sue, BTW? They might have just contacted Lego and complained in the way customers do.
  3. There's nothing wrong with basing a work on something already there, the problems start when you take things exactly as they are, as Lego did with the Maori words. Yes, Tolkien based things on real world mythology, but he didn't actually call his characters 'Odin' or 'Loki', did he? I'm not saying it was wrong for Lego to refer to the Maori language at all, obviously you have to start somewhere when coming up with fictional names. I just think that, if they wanted to use the words exactly as they were, they should've (at least) spoken to the Maori about it first to see how they felt about it. The problem is kids don't know the words are from a real language, they just think of 'Toa', 'Tohunga', 'Kanohi', 'Whenua' etc. as entirely Bionicle words and nothing else. This is what I think the Maori were angry about: their words being rebooted as the words of a fictional people/world for a company's commercial interests without any consideration for how they felt about it. But it can't be racist if the group of people portrayed are fictional (and not even human in this case). The difference doesn't really matter, I was just using this to show the difference between 'taking inspiration from' and 'taking and using it exactly as it is' (as Lego did with the Maori words). Not legally, but they are owned by the Maori in the cultural sense.
  4. The Maori language may not be owned in the strict sense of copyright, but the Maoris own it in as much as they (or their ancestors) created it and it isn't spoken or used by any other bunch of people. And they were clearly bothered that their language (a big part of their cultural heritage) was being taken by a toy company for their plastic building products without any consultation. Well it would be okay actually, as Lego created and own the Matoran, and the Matoran aren't real beings, so Lego can portray them however they like. There's a difference between taking inspiration to create something clearly different, and taking something without changing it at all. Lego probably took inspiration from the Aliens xenomorphs and facehuggers for the 2002 enemies, but they didn't actually call the 2002 enemies 'xenomorphs' and 'facehuggers', they called them 'Bohrok' and 'Krana'. They made them clearly different from the source of inspiration. That wasn't done with the 2001 names, Lego just took and used the Maori words exactly as they were.
  5. Well, I think Lego should at least have checked whether it was okay to use other people's words before they actually did. I guess the terms were too established to be changed, apart from 'Tohunga', and the agreement with the Maori was probably that Lego wouldn't use more of their words in future.
  6. Are you sure it was? The name appears in MNOLG's last cutscene, and I think Greg said the character and him becoming a Toa was planned from the start. Takua is first named in Quest for the Toa, which came out on October 3rd. Maui Solomon contacted Lego sometime before June. The tricky part is that QftT does indeed use a few Maori, Fijian, and other cultures' words that hadn't cropped up in any media before. They might have been grandfathered in, since the game's development had already been rolling with them. But weirdly, we already see in the July version of the Legend of Mata Nui that they were actively scrubbing that game of appropriated words (only references to "villagers," Tamariki becomes Nobua). In any case, it's clear that from June onward, Lego was not taking new words from any cultures (again, MNOGII aside). So it's a question of at what point and by whom "Takua" was conceived - and by extension, whether he was one of the grandfathered-in words. Which we don't have a concrete answer for. BUT: while MNOG had its protagonist from January, Templar internally called him George for what seems to have been most of development. This also appears to have been the case with Quest for the Toa, which has a cheat code (evilgeorge) that makes the player character all dark blue. Based on that, I would argue the name "Takua" (if not his role as a character, which is a whole matter of its own) was almost certainly coined after the Maori intervention. In which case, it would have been an original word created at Lego, even though it accompanies some appropriated words in the game it debuts. And I also kind of think this just because we haven't found a convincing source for the name. But that could change! You're probably right, like I said above, 'Takua' really doesn't seem to be a Maori word. Lego probably came up with it themselves. As I said before, the MNOLG 2 names weren't used to the same extent that the first Bionicle ones were (so I doubt anyone actually noticed the second time), plus it was just one or two names from a whole load of different languages rather than lots from just one, so there wasn't one group of people to get angry about it. That might've been intentional by Templar to avoid repeating what happened the first time.
  7. Are you sure it was? The name appears in MNOLG's last cutscene, and I think Greg said the character and him becoming a Toa was planned from the start. I don't think it was quite the same, as the MNOLG 2 names didn't appear outside the game (which only Bionicle fans knew about), whereas the 2001 words were used on physical products and paperwork.
  8. I did it the other way around... put 'Takua' in, told google that it was (possibly) Maori, and it returned 'ship'. But, like I said, I don't always trust Google translate, so I can't guarantee it's correct. Oddly, 'Takua' (not just 'takua') does produce 'Ship', but then 'ship' and 'Ship' into Maori both produce 'kaipuke' and 'Tuhinga', then maoridictionary.co.nz doesn't return anything for 'takua' and gives 'ship' as 'kaipuke'. So I'm fairly sure 'takua' doesn't have a clear or exact Maori meaning.
  9. This is just a guess, but the word "ship" in Maori could have connotations of exploration or travel, which would fit Takua well. For me, Google Translate gives 'ship' as 'kaipuke' in Maori.
  10. Did he say that in the first few years? For that to have been the cause of Matau's name, it would have to have been thought up back at Bionicle's start as Matau was a 2001 character. Maybe it's just a big coincidence?
  11. Unless somebody actually tells us, we may never know whether the Krana were actually derived from the facehuggers, but at the very least you have to admit it's pretty similar. Plus the internet was fairly established by 2004/5, so there would've been media and information released or leaked in the months before the film's release and so I hardly think the story was especially secret.
  12. I think that was in the very first year when he skated with a Three Virtues logo on his board or something. I don't think it amounted to much.
  13. The Bohrok in general are quite similar to the Xenomorphs - they have both have nests, in which they curl up when not active, and are led by a queen (or queens) that is/are larger than the good guys. The Krana latching onto Matoran/Toa faces is also quite similar to the facehuggers latching onto human faces. The Avohkii is the equivalent of the Ring, Takua and Jaller are the equivalent of Frodo and Sam, and the Rahkshi are the equivalent of the Nazgul, just to spell it out.
  14. I think there's a clear difference between MNOLG Jala saying to Takua "It warms me that you have chosen to accept our trust" and MOL Jaller saying to him "Kohlii head, you coulda been lava bones!" One of the things I liked about early Bionicle in general was its more dark and mature tone, instead of the goofiness and immaturity there was in most other child-friendly media of the time and earlier. That's not to say there weren't any lighthearted moments at all, and I'm glad there were some, but they didn't change the generally serious atmosphere. The MOL portrayals aren't fatally bad, but they do feel a bit different.
  15. Sorry if I sound like a snitch, but are we allowed to revive topics from more than six months ago?
  16. I wouldn't say it's outright dead, but I think it is in a retirement/old age kind of state.
  17. Does anybody know/remember when the last serial update was? Wasn't it in 2011?
  18. Except those threads were all part of a larger pucture that involved planet-wide conflict and inevitable civil war. Yes, I’m still bitter. I'm not saying there wasn't anything to happen at all after Makuta's destruction, just that that was the end of Bionicle's central plot and so the line didn't overall "end on a cliffhanger". And I’m saying it did. Would you care to say why? What desperate situation was hanging in the balance after Journey's End? The Bionicle story, right from 2001, was always about the threat from Makuta. That's why almost all the story media didn't continue past Makuta's destruction, and even the serials which were going to stopped only a little over a year after.
  19. Except those threads were all part of a larger pucture that involved planet-wide conflict and inevitable civil war. Yes, I’m still bitter. I'm not saying there wasn't anything to happen at all after Makuta's destruction, just that that was the end of Bionicle's central plot and so the line didn't overall "end on a cliffhanger".
  20. Tiribomba's name trumps any characteristics or roles in society.
  21. That was a great and informative read, I learned quite a bit I didn't know before. What an amazing story this game's has been. Just one thing: "Bionicle was cancelled in 2010 and ended on a cliffhanger with multiple story threads left unfinished" Yes, there were some other stories left to be continued in the serials, but surely the basic story did end with Makuta/Teridax's destruction.
  22. Tiribomba's name automatically makes him cooler than any other Matoran. This cannot be disagreed with.
  23. I don't really see how now is a far better time than 2014-16 was, people either connect with a line/story or they don't, they did with original Bionicle but they didn't with the second one. Whilst it might not be certain why they didn't, I don't think it was to do with 'recycling' the old story, bearing in mind most children of the last five years weren't even alive when the original Bionicle story was (therefore it shouldn't feel 'recycled' to them, even if it sort of was).
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