THEORY: The Matoran Universe is a Social Experiment

So, some people say that Kini has crazy ideas. Some people say that those crazy ideas have absolutely no merit, and then Kini has to run around and collect the evidence that leads him to believe that crazy idea.

This is one of those times.

I present to you, fellow kids Members of the TTV Boards, with my Magnum Opus first essay/paper dealing with some random stuff in the Matoran Universe. I say first like there’s going to be more, but consider that when I resigned this is one of this things I was referencing coming down the pipeline.

I hope it’s not the last.

Please note that this is quite a large document but it is still a WIP, so if there are issues with the theory or aspects you can refute or just don’t make sense please feel free to let me know. I want this to be something that makes sense without stretching canon to its’ limits. Currently this theory is laid out in the linked PDF document, if it’s too verbose I’m open to working on a condensed version.

In any case, without further ado,

The Matoran Universe is a Social Experiment
A Theory developed by Kini Hawkeye

ABSTRACT: The Matoran Universe was created by the Great Beings not only to investigate other worlds and cultures, but to study them with the hope of avoiding a second Core War conflict. As such, I posit that the GSR functions directly as a self-contained Social Experiment wherein beings and events such as the League of Six Kingdoms, Makuta, Great Cataclysm and Destiny War serve as pre-programmed analogues to those that occurred prior to the Shattering. The way the Matoran Universe handles these threats and the steps taken to avoid catastrophe would, in the event of a successful Reunification, be analyzed and used to inform future conflict avoidance or resolution methods by the Great Beings. Importantly, this Theory works to redeem previous conceptions about the Great Beings being “stupid-smart” by attempting to explain why measures were not taken to avoid the outcomes we see in the Prime Universe: namely, the near-death of Mata Nui and his usurpation by Makuta.

Thoughts, criticisms, etc are appreciated! (Looking at you, @Ghid, @Keplers, @Dag )




This is already my essentially the AU story I’m working on, now it’s someone’s headcanon?

Will definitely read this. Looking forward to more like this in future.


I really like how this helps to explain why species like the Skakdi and the Vortixx exist in the MU when they don’t seem to serve any purpose in maintaining the Great Spirit Robot like the Matoran do. Great work!


Straight up THE best Bionicle theory!


Not gonna lie, I already thought that this was canon. I guess it must really make sense.

as the GSR clearly has a higher capacity for storing memory, I
believe it is a more direct result of the Great Spirit operating differently than we previously

I’m pretty sure this is explained by Mata Nui’s memories/knowledge being stored in the Knowledge Towers.

but would constantly add facsimiles of the
beings he encountered so that he could continue to study them, their conflicts, and their

I actually theorized something like this before, with the additional detail that the Southern Islands were left deserted to leave room for the new species that Mata Nui would replicate.

Velika’s gift of sapience only applied to those Matoran
Universe beings who were never intended to be anything more than stewards of the integrity of
the experiment – the Matoran and their offshoots,

But Toa and (presumably) Turaga already had sapience:

So if we know that Matoran who are destined to be Toa have the ability to become sapient, that could clue us in to a different explanation of Velika’s goals: perhaps The Awakening was an attempt by Velika to increase the number of Matoran who could become Toa. Who knows, he may have even succeeded.

or just violence (the Skakdi)

I’ve always had a little theory that the Skakdi were meant to be the white blood cells of the Matoran Universe, fighting off any foreign invaders that breached the Robot.

Overall, this is a really awesome theory. It’s a great detail to give Mata Nui the possibility of “resetting” the League of Six Kingdoms.

The one thing that I disagree with is the idea that the Great Beings would have ever intentionally planned for the Makuta to turn bad in any capacity, though I’m willing to believe that they saw the possibility and ignored it (beyond making the Golden Armour, at least).

Great job.


New headcanon


You know what I should do? I should draw the various aliens Mata Nui based as reference to create the other species. C.M Koseman style

1 Like

Well, we already know it is in fact a social experiment - Velika’s.


Mwahahahah I love it when a good headcanon comes together!

Thanks! It’s something that always kind of bugged me. If the Matoran are so essential to keep the robot running… what purpose does any other race serve? Why not have the robot just be filled with Matoran? Woulda solved a lot of problems.

Haha Thanks!

I do believe you are correct. That said overall I’m just counting the Knowledge Towers as part of the information gathering process overall, I still think that if Mata Nui were directly observing events that he’d have been a little more competent on Bara Magna.

Oooo I like that, definitely makes sense in terms of like, random empty space. You’d need that in order to keep growing the population until your sample size nets you a conclusion.

Yanno I never considered that it was maybe him trying to create a larger number of Toa. It’s flimsy at best because the Matoran were “destined” to become Toa, but there’s definitely some AU headcanony fun that can be had with that!

See and I always considered the Toa the white blood cells :stuck_out_tongue:

I appreciate it!! I came to the realization midway through the paper that resets could’ve theoretically been a thing lol.

As for the Makuta, I don’t know if it was necessarily that they intended for him to go as hilariously evil as we saw, more that they intended for the Makuta as a species to have to grapple with their inner darkness and go through the same growth that the Great Beings would have done to become benevolent. Course, that’s me just assuming that the Great Beings had a helluva time deciding not to abuse the crap out of their abilities and status.


Plz do

On the one hand you’re entirely correct however Velika was never intended to be on the robot in the first place, nor were the Matoran supposed to achieve true sapience. The theory that the MU as a whole was intended to function as a social experiment, and the fact that Velika modified the beings within as a sort of experiment of his own, are not mutually exclusive and do in fact cover entirely different aspects of the MU we know.


And apparently the story team considered the Rahi to be the white blood cells:

(I actually didn’t know about these when I presented my Skakdi theory. I just found these a few minutes ago, looking for something unrelated)

Some of them might have, but I also feel like some of them would have been fairly grounded.


… This is officially the funniest thing i’ve heard all day. All I’m getting from this is that no one on the story team took Biology. This is up there with “They’re mammals because they Breathe”


Overall, this makes sense. Specifically the idea of the GSR being an experimental ground for The Great Beings. That much is really obvious though if you think about it for five seconds. Why else would The Great Beings create the GSR and it’s inhabitants if not as an experiment of some form. The problem is, I’m not seeing evidence that suggests the purpose was to prevent another Core War. The reason could just as likely be for the simple amusement of The Great Beings.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of certain major events being “scripted” to happen or exist. I think takes away from both the story and characters in question. For example, if Teridax’s plan was essentially programmed into him from the start, along with his actions, it makes him far less interesting to me. He’s not smart, because he didn’t come up with his own plan. His execution wasn’t (near) perfect, because someone else was in control the whole time.

The last thing from me for now is really in regards to any fan theory. It doesn’t matter unless it’s the intention of the writers. Who cares how much a theory lines up, if that’s not what the writers meant. Why not throw this theory into an Ask Greg topic so he can shoot it down in moments? While it may be fun, who cares about a theory, which can’t become canon.

Edit: Also, a note about theories making sense. They literally have to or else nobody would give them a second look. I don’t think this would’ve been a topic unless Kini knew it had merit. Any well put together theory will look good on the surface, and as such easily capture minds. You need to wait for scrutiny until you believe it.


I mean, this is actually one of the few wholly canonical points of the theory:

" In the midst of the Core War, the Great Beings realized that the source of the conflict, Energized Protodermis, was slowly destroying the planet of Spherus Magna. Failing to stop the damage themselves, the Great Beings initiated the construction of a giant robot, drawing upon ideas from a previous giant robot that they had built. The Great Beings intended for the robot to eventually fix the planet, after a period of time in which its artificial intelligence would observe other worlds to learn how to avoid future conflict. It was to be assisted by an additional robot they would create after the first was finished."
-BS01 (Great Spirit Robot)

The Great Spirit Robot’s mission was twofold - Fix the planet, prevent future conflict. That’s Canon.

There are plenty of things that the community accepts that aren’t canon and theorizing about things is half the fun when we’re considering a toyline and story that have been over for more than a decade at this point. Sure, could I throw it in Ask Greg and have him shoot it down? Absolutely. Was that the point of creating the theory in the first place? No.

If you don’t like fan theorizing then fine, but Greg is also someone who’s on record as stating, canonically, the Widgets are worth 8-some US Dollars, Bionicle characters are Mammals because they breathe air, and the Great Beings simultaneously planned for everything and didn’t plan for everything. It’s been 11 years, death of the author is firmly in place, besides - if I were trying to add my theory to canon I’d email it to Greg myself.

You don’t have to like or even subscribe to the theory, but having had a great many conversations specifically with regards to how the Great Beings somehow controlled every single aspect of the Matoran Universe and planned for every possibility while simultaneously failing to take such simple steps as preventing the Makuta from turning evil I decided it was worth compiling the evidence that suggest the Great Beings aren’t stupid, rather they didn’t consider everything.

If you don’t want to headcanon it, don’t. If you don’t want to theorize about the world and would rather live in canon, then don’t. Personally I would much rather deep-dive into the ramifications of things that the writers probably never even considered while they were writing story details for a toy.

As for “Waiting for Scrutiny” you probably missed the “This is a work in progress and awaiting peer review” part of the documet. This is the peer review. This is the scrutiny.


This can be yours, you’re simply right about that.

This belongs to no one since it’s subjective.

And this is mine. I said to wait for scrutiny, because I saw that this is a WIP. People like jumping on hype trains, and I’m trying to prevent that until this gets hammered out first.


The hype train for what? A fan theory?

It’s not like anyone is expecting Greg to show up and canonize this.

Because it’s fun to think about.

This is a pretty restrictive take even in the best of times, but it’s borderline wrong in Bionicle. Even Greg himself made things line up that weren’t meant to line up when they were written. For example, despite all of the (unintentional) clues and foreshadowing in 2006, it wasn’t decided that Velika would be a Great Being until at least 2010.

Us. We care, otherwise we wouldn’t be here after ten years. If you were to limit the discussion purely to people giving their opinions about explicitly canon events, you’d have a pretty boring message board.

Overall, you seem to be massively overestimating people’s expectations for this theory. No one is trying to get this canonized, or claim that it somehow is canon. It’s a possible explanation for some of the unsolved mysteries of Bionicle.


And then there was the great being who thought it would be fun to give the matoran species gender identities and the ability to love*, even though they lack the ability to reproduce themselves.

Honest work you put into this, nicely done. It reminds me of something a professor of mine once asked me to do. Only difference is that I chose to take on diagnosing Ahkmou’s mental state and writing a story about how his plans may continue given a certain situation. Was this also the case for you? If so, what sort of class was it for? But if not- I can respect the effort and genuine desire it takes to do such a thing. Good job either way.

*Love is canon!

1 Like

Ironically enough this wasn’t actually for any class. But did just start a new semester today lol!

That’s actually really cool that you had a class where you were asked to do something and could use Bionicle. I dunno what it says about me that I decided to do this of my own volition though lol

1 Like

I think you’re overestimating what a hype train is

If I understand you correctly, you’ve made a poor comparison. If I haven’t understood you correctly, then you’ve failed to make things clear.

Yeah, the Bionicle community hasn’t exactly been living off of theories to keep itself alive.

I didn’t advocate for this, and it’s subjective, so no one can say for sure. I’m my opinion though, things would be more than fine. Theories account for maybe 2% of what goes on in the these boards. If you got rid of them, little would change at all.

I’m not.

Which, if done correctly would essentially make it canon. If you were to connect the dots using only canon elements, than you have most likely found a canon fact that just wasn’t directly confirmed.

I think I’ll end of my last post in this topic with my idea of what a theory should be. An attempt to above all else explain, not entertain. You’ll often get the ladder by consequence, but it should not be anywhere near the primary focus. That should be saved for a fan fiction.



this is literally the only thing I’ve ever posted in this topic despite Kini pinging me to be here


It can’t be canon without being confirmed though, so this is a moot point.

I mean, listen, I get where you’re coming from - the world has been established so there’s not a ton of utility in theorizing or connecting dots that haven’t been connected by the story team. However, I point you to projects such as RSG, where a huge part of what they’re doing is just expanding the universe based on observations about what’s already established. Do you have to follow their ideas? No. Are their ideas, despite being connected to and mainly rooted in canon, canon? Also no.

Someone developed a whole Matoran Language. They did so using their knowledge of linguistics and the few words of Matoran we know. Plenty of people have decided to use said language to flesh out the world for themselves. Does that mean that it’s useless because it’s not canon? No, because at this point, Bionicle hasn’t had an actively developed canon in over a decade. People may theorize about some things and ask Greg if it fits or was what he intended, sure, but that doesn’t mean that the act of theorizing in and of itself is wrong or bad.

I think, ultimately, there’s a fundamental difference in opinion here. You care about canon, evidently. I really don’t. I haven’t prioritized canon over my own headcanon since I was 9. That’s 15 years ago. If you don’t like the theory or don’t think it’s worth reading/investigating, then that’s fine, but don’t try and take away the enjoyment from other people. Frankly, I don’t care if anyone’s “hyped” for this or not - if they choose to integrate some of my own headcanon and theory into their own, all the more power to them. Otherwise, It’s a moot point. It’s not Canon.

But I never intended it to be. It’s the same principle as how people adopted the Indoctrination Theory into their enjoyment of Mass Effect - was it true? No. Did it enable them to enjoy something more? Yes. So why should their personal enjoyment be stymied because it’s not confirmed true by the writers?

Basically this is just a really verbose way of saying you don’t have to like the theory but you also don’t have to actively try and reduce or discount others’ enjoyment of it just because you’d rather only care about canon things. Written theory may only be 2% of the boards but the vast majority of Bionicle Canon was also theory at one point either adopted by the writers or confirmed down the road.

Tis my final word on the topic of whether or not a theory is even worth having. I’d prefer this topic stay centered on whether or not the theory itself makes sense in the framework of established canon, or if I’m completely off base, rather than the merits of fan-theorycrafting overall.

No, no, this is good. this is fine. I like this. :stuck_out_tongue: