Bionicle: Refoundings (not a fan story, but a fan essay)

This is an essay I wrote about the next generation of Bionicle. This is not about Brickonicle as I have considered that as the third generation at this point, but about the future stories of Bionicle and what I would want to see, with suggestions for it. While they are not necessarily written as suggestions, they are just suggestions, and of course this is my opinion and is likely to have some errors. (According to some :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)



The idea of the next generation of Bionicle has been thought out before. The many ideas have already been laid out and stories have been created. Refoundings is the idea of going back to the foundations of the original stories and create a new one. The tale of the six heroes and the mysterious makuta battling on a strange island has been already told. Instead of taking the approach of retelling the tale of that island or changing it to match the current trends, There is a more interesting approach. It is something spread throughout all the stories and is found in the foundations of Bionicle. The discovery? The culture was found was found at the base of each story. Bionicle has always portrayed the idea of an interesting culture, though sometimes limited to its story. Refoundings is the idea to take that interesting culture and expand upon it and build a story from that culture as a base.

All tales of Bionicle share seven things in common, six different tribes and heroes to represent them, two powerful beings that cause the main conflict or contribute to it, different items known as masks or kanohi, and mysterious tropical island, the importance of the Mask of Time, the beings being biomechanical or robotics with organic organs, and elemental abilities also known as powers. These are the most common theme of Bionicle, Refoundings will take the foundations of the culture and the common traits to make a unique story. There is many ways to do this, but have you thought at beginning the tale at the end, the Makuta defeated and the war(s) is over? There’s a chance you have, but this a bet that you haven’t.

The general idea of Refoundings is to create the tale and conflict backwards. The journey would take the view of a simple villager, known as the chronicler. He is compiling the history of the war(s) and of the heroes. He would travel the different regions to find testimonies from different witness accounts. This would give the story time to explore the cultures of the six tribes and explore their subtle, or less subtle, differences, while also exploring the aftermath of the war(s). The chronicler could or would meet eyewitness accounts or find journals / bibliographies from the eyewitnesses. This would allow the story to explore their written dialect and cultural differences. This would be easy enough to make into a show, seeing as the chronicler mainly purposes as the audience’s point of view. The show would be able to follow a straightforward format. The beginning would consist of the chronicler and the rest would essentially be a flashback of the heroes. The twist is that the chronicler was never able to meet the heroes, seeing as he did not exist, when the heroes were on the island. Everything would simply be history to him, he would have no personal connection on the matter. This perspective is the easiest perspective for the audience. It allows the audience to be introduced to the history, to the story. There would be no need to know the past stories or even recollect them, except spare a probable few easter eggs for the older fans.

The culture would need to be immediately striking, it should be clearly different to the audience and leave them curious about said culture, this is the main goal of Refoundings. It is to create a realistic but unique culture that leaves the audience curious and hungry for more details. The culture should be different, but not alien. The Audience should have a sense of understanding when seeing the day to day lives of the tribes, but should be left curious for the history. The chronicler should never be seen as an unnecessary character, as the plot surrounds that villager. The chronicler’s gender should not matter, the story should never be used as propaganda. The known literature of the world should be intriguing and should never be incorporated without some relation to the characters ie. a fable being used as foreshadowing or a way to describe a character without the audience taking immediately, in order to build an investment in said story. The story should never show any useless information about the characters, however it is necessary to make the characters feel as if they are living. Each character should be interesting and not predictable, change things up might be interesting.

The tribes are one the key features of any Bionicle tale, Refoundings will contain the familiar tribes, however the tribe elements and heroes should not be key to the story, it should be interesting to mix things up and not stick to the old names and character tropes. The six different tribes should be well different. They should not be clones of each other. Each tribe does not have to be restricted to one element, for Refoundings the story will show each tribe with two elemental types of villagers within the tribe ie. Air and Jungle could be in the same tribe. The six heroes would not be as restricted to element either, they could be of the any two elements of the six tribes, totalling twelve elements. Each two element from the six tribes, should have a similar color scheme, but different, so it is possible to tell them apart, but they would blur from a distance. This is to make it easier to create background characters that might appear once or twice.

The island of the Bionicle stories are almost as iconic as its heroes, because of this, Refoundings needs to make a interesting island design that incorporates all the elements. Refoundings is planned to have twelve elements, therefore it needs multiple regions to fit the elements. It does not have to include a region for each element, instead two elements will share regions. This is to simplify the job of designing the island, as it needs an interesting and mysterious design. The six regions need to incorporate design features, fitting of each element and they need to need reasonable to be on one island. Lore can explain the island’s creation and elements, however it should never be the forefront of the story, unless needed. The island, for Refoundings, should feel and seem alive. It should be able to be portrayed as an island with a living economy and people on it. There should be trails, or roads, and man-made objects resting on the island from the war(s) of the heroes. This is to allow the history to have a grounding on the current island, as the war(s) of the heroes take place in the past and could seem unrelated to most of the current and younger population.

The heroes are the second focus of the story and should only be in the limelight, if needed to explain the history or in a flashback sequence, however the story, should not be entirely be built on flashbacks as the plot unravels. The heroes should stay as main characters, but they should rarely or never interact with the chronicler, seeing as they are history to him, the rare case being the mask of time, being used. However it is very unlikely that they would even see or need to see the chronicler using the mask. The heroes should be their own people and not be clones of each other. They should be interesting and eye catching. The heroes represent only six elements, whatever elements they represent are not pivotal to the story, however it can be used to move the story along if needed, ie. the other six being represented by creations of the Makuta. The heroes should have semi-control over their elements, however it should be balanced to the story. The heroes should never be depicted as perfect or invincible. If they appear unkillable then that could detach the audience from the heroes, however this may not be the case as there are enjoyable characters that seem unkillable and perfect. Refoundings should show the heroes as people not plot devices, they should seem to have choice in the matter and even make the wrong choice, whether it was the best decision or not.

The mask of time should never be used as an all-powerful plot device, instead it should have clear limits. These limits should be made known to the audience in an engaging way. The mask of time should be as an artifact, fragile to its own strengths. For example, maybe using the mask for to long causes damage to the mask and could render it useless.The mask should also be limited in its powers. In order to limit the mask some rules and powers must be set; first power would be the power of dilation, meaning that the user could dilate time at will making slower or move faster, the second power would be a power of foresight, or the ability to see into the future, this power would be kept random, but would always show useful information, it just might not be the information the user is currently looking for, third power would be a time jump, allowing the user to temporarily go back in time for two hours. The rules of the mask would be simple enough; rule one, a user can never turn back time, before the user was created or born, rule two, the user can never use the dilation power to time jump or go forward in time significantly, rule three, the mask of time is limited and can break after too much usage, this includes every power it contains.

The two great or powerful beings are very important to the story, often creating the conflict or contribute to it. One of the beings is named Makuta and is the main villain of the Bionicle story, often seen with a insatiable hunger for control. The other powerful or and great being is seen with the desire of protection, duty, and creation. Makuta has also been associated with duty, though he is mainly of control and the lust of power. The other being has had multiple names through each story, he was known as the Great Spirit, Mata Nui, and Ekimu. The other being is often seen as the protector of the tribes on the island, and in some stories had or has a leadership role. The Great Spirit is often portrayed as absent, giving a reason for the need of the heroes. The two great beings can be seen as the creators of the most powerful masks.

The wildlife is also necessary for the story, as it provides resources and in some cases, dangerous enemies. The wildlife should be diverse and unique, different from the previous bionicle stories, but it can be inspired. The plantlife and animals of the island should appear as if they belong there. The wildlife should be somewhat familiar to the audience, so that the plants’ or animals’ purpose and function is relatively easy to understand or guess. The wildlife should have a role in the function of the villager society.

These are my thoughts on Refoundings. I believe that if Bionicle should ever be brought back, that it should be focused the unique culture that we saw glimpses of in the previous generations. The story should definitely be focused on the characters, but the audience should see more of the culture and the history. This is why most of the conflict would be history, so the story can have the chance to show more of the culture and the villagers of the island. Would you pass up the chance to see more of the culture and history, allowing you to learn the villager’s way of life and their local beliefs?

I hope you enjoy reading my fan essay!!

Quick Update:
I did make a font for the island’s alphabet. -≡⨯∴≡=⋋: is Bionicle respectively.
(Well, not an actual font, but what the alphabet might look like)
(Bionicle Refoundings Alphabet)
° ► {A}

  • ► {B}
    = ► {C}
    … ► {D}
    : ► {E}
    ^ ► {F}
    • ► {G}
    ¯ ► {H}
    ≡ ► {I}
    ¨ ► {J}
    ± ► {K}
    ⋋ ► {L}
    ⌅ ► {M}
    ∴ ► {N}
    ⨯ ► {O}
    ⫶ ► {P}
    ⍛ ► {Q}
    < ► {R}
    ⍤ ► {S}
  • ► {T}
    ╏► {U}
    ≐ ► {V}
    ⋗ ► {W}
    ⌄ ►{X}
    ⫞ ► {Y}
    ⨪ ► {Z}