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    The Toa Nuva: an Evolutionary Concept
    OpinionTuesday, April 30th, 2002 at 12:29am by Kelly, BZPower Co-Owner

    Where, exactly, do the Toa Nuva fit into the grand scheme of the Bionicle saga? They�re the next batch of good guys, sure, but what�s to become of our existing heroes, the Toa v1.0?

    Several clues point to the existing Toa "evolving" or "upgrading" to the Toa Nuva. Included are several images that help illustrate the concept of the Toa changing �state� and becoming something new. You may also want to read Bryan�s most recent Behind the Mask for his theories on evolution on Mata Nui.

    To begin with, at no point has LEGO indicated there will be two sets of heroes on the island. The Toa are always referred to as a group, presumably of six; not as two separate groups. And there�s really no logical reason to keep two sets of protagonists around, other than to enhance any good-guy conflicts (which might actually be interesting), but there�s no sign of that type of conflict. Everything points to Makuta and the Bohrok as being the sole adversaries.

    So we come to the conclusion that one set of Toa is replaced by another set of Toa at some point. Without keeping the elder Toa lurking around, there are really only two ways of dealing with this: eliminating (aka �killing�) Tahu and company, or having the existing Toa become the next version. The first scenario is unlikely� it has not been LEGO�s style to wipe out their characters. Note that the most recent update went to great lengths to say that Hafu was �presumed lost� rather than killed in some fashion.

    Tahu Nuva closeup At this point the word �evolution� gets bandied about, but that may not be entirely accurate (not to mention it raises hackles of those who don�t agree with the concept of evolution to begin with). It may be more along the lines of an �upgrade,� especially given the premise that the Toa are biomechanical. So the Toa Nuva would be Toa v2.0. Better armor, updated mask and (presumably) mask powers, and overall a shiny new look.

    Transforming Tahu

    To back this notion up, take a look at the now-familiar image of Tahu Nuva�s �Kranohi� emerging from a liquid (above). Note the lower portion of the mask, which is chrome-finished rather than red. It looks like the color is flowing into the mask from the top down, and hasn�t quite finished making its way into the entire mask.

    One image equals poetic or artistic license, but two images are a trend. Now take a look at the next image, which are scenes from a newly-released CGI �backstory� movie on a promo CD-ROM. In a bit of revisionist fashion, Tahu places his flat grey Hau on (top) and then he begins to gain his familiar red hue (bottom).

    Only two images, did I say? Au contraire. On the recently-released �BIONICLE: The Mask of Light� press release, an accompanying image displayed the Toa Nuva, including Tahu Nuva, fully colored red except for the lower portion of his legs (see below). Also note the fully-colored mask Tahu Nuva is sporting.

    This leads to the conclusion that there is a state of existence prior to wearing a Kanohi and another state of existence prior to becoming a Toa Nuva. The most logical pre-Nuva state of existence, of course, is a Toa.

    Toa Nuva with weapons

    Some more supporting evidence from the movie press release: LEGO states, "Having defeated the Bohrok and Makuta - or so they believe - the Toa are taken by surprise when Makuta launches a new and even greater evil force against them." Although we know the Toa Nuva are set for release late Summer 2002, the movie is not coming out for a year after that. The Toa Nuva are more powerful than the current Toa and would be more likely to fight Makuta and whatever evil force he sets loose. The image released also showed the Toa Nuva rather than the Toa. Reading between the lines, it appears the Toa Nuva will be referred to as "Toa" at a later date, having replaced the existing Toa in some way.

    From a pragmatic point of view, LEGO has now virtually provided a replacement for the Toa, reducing the likelihood that people will continue buying the existing Toa. It makes sense to end-of-life the Toa line at the same time they introduce the Toa Nuva. If rumors of the Turaga being end-of-lifed are accurate, that would indicate the beginning of turnover in the line. The size of the canisters and price points are also identical to existing Toa.

    While this may all seem obvious to many readers, neither the �evolution� or �coexistence� theories have been confirmed or denied by LEGO. The above is simply an exercise in matching existing clues and looking for patterns, and seeing if the patterns lead to any conclusions. For myself, it seems fairly apparent that the Toa Nuva will be the upgraded incarnation of the existing Toa. Only time will tell how, exactly, LEGO chooses to introduce these new sets into their Bionicle universe, and the ultimate fate of the v1.0 Toa.

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