In G1 there were tons of creative and powerful villains who towered over the matoran. I’ve got an idea for a new species that I’d like to share, but first I’ve got to go over where I stand on issue of matoran as the cast went over in the latest episode.
I personally believe that matoran are stronger than people give credit for but they don’t necessarily rival the toa unless given significant upgrades to the point at which they feel like outliers of their species, so much so that they feel closer to toa, at which the point of them being matoran is lost. I also feel much of the discourse on the issue of matoran height/power comes from their relationship/hierarchy with the toa, and given that these two are of the same species or close enough that their only main differences are height, strength, and power, those differences should be emphasized. To me, the matoran are villagers, citizens, people defined by their dependency on the toa, which is why matoran who break that mold are celebrated as characters, but nonetheless they are anomalies. Matoran can fight and win using their cunning, but that’s made special in their case because of their inherent disadvantage.
Now out of this arises the question of where the toa will get their villains beyond the Rahkshi, and this is where my pitch comes in. I propose a titan species, possibly directly called the Titans or the Ancient Titans. They were a prehistoric species that existed long before the matoran and are at least the size of the toa, if not possibly even bigger. They were a race of powerless/non-elemental warriors that wiped themselves out. In a sense, they are the antithesis of the matoran; the Titans are a species defined by their warring nature whereas the matoran are what they are because of their unity.
So where are they? I imagine a lost city beneath the island or the ruins of settlements of different Titan tribes/fortresses scattered across the island. Since the island is allegedly going to be quite large, it would make sense for these ruins to get lost and forgotten, especially after all the time that has passed. I think instead of a lost city, there could be catacombs discovered deep beneath the surface, probably from the Earth village.
Makuta or Karzahni would be compelled to bring them back from the dead to challenge and fight the toa, or there could be certain Titans still alive in parts of the island, hidden away and frozen in time to protect certain important places. They wouldn’t directly be slaves to either of these forces, but they would hate the matoran because they were an entitled people who looked down on weakness and hate that the matoran succeeded the island despite being so much weaker and smaller than they.
Their presence on the island can be understated though, but it does add another layer of mystery and history to the island and provide a foil to the matoran, a reminder to the audience of why they are important.
There are examples of characters who’s likenesses can be brought back as Titans, like Brutaka, Kulta, Nektann, The Shadowed One, etc. They can be a simple side plot that stretches across the run, un-peeling its layers slowly as is relevant to the larger picture of the story or the smaller details of the island. At some point they can get a year or wave dedicated to them if they would have a larger presence or story arc, kinda like the Bohrok (in the sense that they feed into the larger narrative but also stand on their own as their own species with their own motives), or they can simply play a stronger role in some other arc.
Overall though, adding a lost Titan species can be an understated way of bringing culture and history to the island, as well as a way to add individual villain side characters that can have a great level of variety/individuality or a separate army/force to challenge the toa and matoran. This concept is broad enough to be bent into whatever way necessary, and fits onto the island without overcrowding it, all while adding a source for villains and mystery.
What do you all think? If you have anything to add onto this stub of an idea, I’m super excited to hear it! Any respectful criticisms are totally awesome as well.