I enjoyed reading this entire long topic to try to understand the entirety of Faber's noncommittal creative contributions to Bionicle's future. Thanks for all of the jokes.
My running theory on looking over what images we have is that Faber is plotting a G1 continuation. The reason why I ran that conclusion would be that it would be difficult for the entire population of the Great Spirit Robot to escape before it shut down, and with a huge hull and no heating system, eventually the interior of the robot is going to freeze.
The other possibility is that Faber is bringing us to the core of Spherus Magna to follow the Toa and Matoran tasked with repairing or maintaining SM's new core. Likely to be cold down there, with no sunlight inside miles of rock. The Toa would be in canisters waiting for Mata Nui and his buddy to put the planet together, and given how long it took, the canisters froze in there.
Meso said that it wasn't a G1 continuation with all of the old point points resolved, but I don't see anything to counter either of those theories. Also, I think that looking for a Bionicle return out of this was kinda the wrong focus at the beginning. Now, I'm not sure.
I have something to say about this. A lot I could say - maybe it belongs in another topic - but I'll put it in here because I saw a lot of nasty comments when I was scrolling Faber's facebook feed from entitled fans making snide jokes, even on his Rebel Nature posts. I also saw a news article saying that Faber was a "creator of Bionicle" in reference to Rebel.
Part of this is less that Faber wants to be the victim of our worst people and skepticism, but that Bionicle is a permanent part of his professional career now. It's like Casey Neistat trying to get out of being a vlogger or Leonard Nimoy trying to get out of playing Spock. I think Faber has a big emotional investment in Bionicle as well - I mean, he put 10 years of hard work into the thing, and the fact that he's even thinking of reviving it in any capacity says something. He doesn't want to ditch his proverbial Spock ears. If you hated working on something for 10 years, you're not going to want to bring it back. This dude is committed, and we should have given him some space by default. The Faber Files blog is also proof that this guy is determined to do Bionicle. If there's any way to bring it back, this man will find it. He's a survivor.
But whether that commitment will pay off is another thing altogether - that's a matter of concrete details like business deals and resources. And maybe some ball joints. My best thought for future sets would be something like Sokoda's project - maybe it's possible to bring Bionicle back as a System IP. And our man needs a writer.
But you're talking about minutia and the toxic community. I have to say that the Bionicle community is actually improving in terms of the toxicity department. Back in the day, the Bionicle community was actually way worse. And while I have a reputation as an old story nerd, here's a secret about me:
I actually don't care for storyline minutia. At all. I care way more about what a story means (that is huge for me) than all of the little details like what masks are called. I mean, I love having cool concepts for these little things (Mask of Ultimate Power, anyone? Where's my warhammer?) but I'm not going to abandon a franchise just because the ship cannons aren't big enough.
But when I got to BZPower Storyline and Theories, I have to admit that if you didn't care about the minutia, you got insulted and attacked. My first memory of BZP was entering a story contest and getting my story attacked for not following canon details...then I learned that there was a whole group of Greg answers I knew nothing about as "common fan knowledge" that was being used as the bar for knowing anything about Bionicle. Back in the day, there was a huge obsession over what was and wasn't canon. A huge part of this I blame on one single individual on BZP who thought it was his responsibility to "correct everyone" to that standard of Greg posts and his own opinion.
The rest of it can be blamed on Bionicle attracting a bunch of artists and fanfic writers who wanted clarification on certain things in order to build their fanfics, then this got out of hand with people correcting others and everyone else wanting to toe the line to avoid criticism. This becomes a canon we have to defend and add to, because we're artists and we are ambitious and want recognition. All of the aggressive fanficing and creating and evaluating takes away from the enjoyment of the thing. There's your toxicity. It's like the Makuta from MNOG - creating and destroying only to create again.
"Is Bionicle coming back?" is an anxious question. We don't need anxiety - we can afford to take it slow and play the long game.
Deep breath. A better approach is to take a glass of lemonade and look at the picture, and ask yourself "What does this mean?". Not necessarily "what could this mean?", but what does it mean. This fanbase is on rocket boots, constantly with our eyes nailed to the future. We need to live in the moment a bit more and realize what we have. For example, right now I have a Bionicle system model from Sokoda. If it becomes a set, cool. I'll be first in line to buy it. But if not, I still have a draft for a Bionicle model that I may be able to build with existing System parts. No loss.
And what these pictures mean is that Faber still cares about Bionicle after all of these years. He still cares about the Bionicle fan community. That's you and me. I think human caring, displayed through story or artwork, is more valuable than all of the plastic parts in the world. And right now we're ignoring what this man wants to do for us in the name of results. I don't think this guy will ever give up. He will try again and again to bring Bionicle back until he finally succeeds. And the commitment is more valuable than just 1 result, he could just keep on going - G3, G4, G5.
But the reason we want results is that we are feeling shame after G2's failure. The bottom line is that many of us don't believe Bionicle is valuable anymore, that we have to prove that Bionicle is valuable once again. Or that nobody will believe Bionicle is valuable. And people get anxious about it because they don't believe in their own value. It's the "I've been wasting my time on Bionicle, this worthless dead IP!" as if their worth as a human depended on what they spent their time on. I simply believe that I am valuable, and that Bionicle is valuable, because it has meaning. There is truth in these gears. Truth is always valuable.
But I'm one person.
On the other hand, when I came back to the Bionicle community after about a 3-year-break, I noticed a huge toxicity drop. The fact that the jerk I mentioned before is gone has done wonders for my sanity, and while we may be still recovering as a community from that old abuser in town, I do feel somewhat welcomed back. So I definitely think we're on an upward spiral, and I hope we continue to improve.