"They Call Me Nuju, The Great Non-Follower..."

Some of you might remember the 2004 companion book Metru Nui: City Of Legends, which basically explained the setting for the 2004 storyline. It even had bios for some of the more story-relevant characters such as the Toa and the Matoran that got released as sets that year. The Vahki had bios, too, but no pictures. Guess the sets hadn’t been revealed or released when the book was published.

Anyway, one passage in Nuju’s bio reads as follows: “But at heart he simply is used to working alone and not having to deal with others, so being in a team is not a comfortable situation for him. He has made it clear that he is willing to accept Vakama as leader ‘as long as he doesn’t expect me to follow.’”

How does that last sentence make sense? Nuju acknowledges Vakama as his leader…but doesn’t feel obligated to follow his orders? How self-contradictory is that? The whole reason teams have leaders is to provide a source of authority. The leader gives orders and acts as the voice of reason in dire times. If you decide you won’t always follow the leader, then you might as well not be part of the team.

The context of the passage explains that Nuju is more of a solitary soul who’s more of a solo act than a team player. I get that Nuju has no choice but to be part of the Toa Metru, but what irks me is the cognitive dissonance that is his “You’re my leader, except for when I don’t want to follow your orders” mentality.

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Nuju is symbolic of every human ever born

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ngl nuju is a really interesting character - he never really gets much to do sadly…

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Somehow, I never heard of that reasoning. Even in the movies, Nuju seems to go along with Vakama’s plans. I just don’t see how this description of him plays into the story.

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How I would make sense of that, is that Nuju doesn’t have a problem with Vakama. Some people who dislike their leader will try to clash with them, get them deposed, vie for the position themselves. Nuju isn’t like that. If Vakama wants to call himself leader, and lead the others, he doesn’t mind. He’s just ambivalent to the whole thing, and he won’t even be insulted by someone who gives him orders, he just doesn’t feel especially obliged to follow them.

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Maybe it’s just his way of saying that he doesn’t care?

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like kopaka I guess

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When I read the 04-05 books, I got the impression that the Ko-Matoran were a little bit snobbish. Almost “high society.” The norm is that everyone is a flat intellectual who spends the day studying books and the stars. Ehrye is considered odd for being overly enthusiastic.

I really liked the dynamic between Nuju and Whenua in 04 since they are so similar, yet so different. Nuju is book smart, Whenua is a hands on learner. Nuju studies in sky high towers separated from the rest of society, Whenua’s work is messier, and in the underground in tunnels that stretch through all of Metru Nui.

Nuju can be pretty cold, like Kopaka (Example, his exchange with Ehrye in the alleyway). But while Kopaka didn’t seem to enjoy company at all (at first), Nuju, to me, seemed to have a bit of a “rich guy” complex. If I recall correctly, at first all he wanted to do was get back to Ko-Metru to keep living the life he already had. I haven’t even touched on the growth he goes through until he become the Turaga Nuju we all know!

Overall, Nuju is a really interesting character that people don’t talk about enough (in terms of personality, at least)!

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“You can lead the others if you want, but I will do my own thing and you can’t stop me.”

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