One of the many unanswered questions from Bionicle’s original story is this: what/who broke the Red Star?
It may not be one of the most important questions, but it is one that I will explore nonetheless.
For the answer, we turn to Sentrakh. Specifically, these two parts of his backstory: (From BS01)
- “…trapped in a state between life and death by various experiments.”
- “However, the process destroyed Sentrakh’s memory…”
When this was written, it is clear that the writer just wanted to give Sentrakh a cool, mysterious background. But then, in 2011, Greg Farshtey completely recontextualized the concept of death in the Matoran Universe, by introducing the idea that the Red Star is a repair station for dead beings.
In this new light, we must reconsider Sentrakh’s state of “trapped between life and death”. What does that mean?
Here’s my theory: during the experiments performed on him, Sentrakh died and was revived by the Red Star. But then, for some reason (most likely due to said experiments), the return process was stopped from working correctly, and his body was returned without its AI. This explains his loss of memory and complete loyalty to The Shadowed One; his body literally doesn’t have a personality. For all we know, this was the intended goal of the experiments: to prevent a being from having a personality. We know that the experiments were at least intended to increase loyalty.
It also explains his existence of being “trapped between life and death”; part of him is in the Matoran Universe (‘alive’), and part of him in on the Red Star (‘dead’).
Of course, the Red Star isn’t going to like this; its job is to teleport dead beings back into the Matoran Universe, and it still hasn’t completed that task, since Sentrakh’s AI is still on the Star. From the perpective of whatever system is running the Red Star, Sentrakh is continuously in the process of teleporting back, and that teleportation will not be complete until his AI is returned to his body.
It is known that teleporting two beings at once is ill-advised. This isn’t just a Bionicle rule; this goes for science-fiction in general. Plus, we are told in Reign of Shadows that it is dangerous to latch on to a teleport in progress. The Great Beings would have known this, so the Red Star assuredly has some kind of program or protocol in place to prevent it; it creates a queue of beings to be teleported back, and won’t start on one being until the previous one has been teleported back.
And so is created the problem: the Red Star won’t teleport anyone back until Sentrakh has been fully returned, but the nature of the experiments on Sentrakh prevent this from happening.
So the Red Star doesn’t send anyone back.
(And Gaardus just happened to die around this time. It has been confirmed that Gaardus is not the cause of the Red Star’s failure.)
EDIT: There’s actually an exact time of failure for the Red Star: 80,000 years ago. This is when Gaardus was experimented upon.
This gets a little tricky now: It is said that Gaardus died “at some point”. It is presented in a way that suggests that this happened long after he was experimented upon, but this can’t be the case: the Red Star broke
more or less immediately after he left, yet it is also known that the Ghosts that Gaardus killed are trapped on the Star. Therefore, he must have died before killing the Ghosts.
And we know that he killed the Ghosts more or less immediately after the experiment 80,000 years ago.
So, “at some point” must have been during the experiment.
SECOND EDIT: Additions from the comments: