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The Final Battle Review
Posted by Mark on October 11, 2008 at 03:08 PM CST:
BIONICLE Legends #11: The Final Battle is not author Greg Farshtey's finest work, but resides somewhere in the realm of better-than-average. Its faults are no different from the faults of all the books over the past year or more: too many heroes and too many villians with too few pages to do any of them justice. But none of that matters to anyone who cares about BIONICLE. What matters is what happens in the plot.

Most of the plot has already been revealed in the comics and online at BIONICLE.com: the Toa Nuva seek to awaken Mata Nui through the Codrex located in Karda Nui, the "center of the universe". The wild cards are the Makuta, the Av-Matoran, Takanuva, Toa Ignika, and what happens if the Toa Nuva succeed (or don't succeed).

As befits a story with a title of "The Final Battle", there is plenty of battling. After all of the battles that have come before, it is difficult coming up with new twists. But there are some interesting wrinkles, what with the new vehicles and Bitil's ability to call up reinforcements from his past. It matters that the stakes are higher here too. Takanuva's dip into darkness affects the battle as well.

Don't confuse "the final battle" with "the final chapter" or "the final answers". As I hope everyone already knows, BIONICLE goes on into 2009. It may even live up to its once-promised twenty-year cycle. Yes, much here is final. But there is still more to explore in the BIONICLE universe, and although many questions are answered, there are still some that are not.

That's about all I can say about the book without revealing too much. But let me tell you about another saga near-and-dear to my heart that has parallels to my feelings about BIONICLE: Star Wars. I don't think it possible that someone would not know the plot of the Star Wars movies, but this is fair warning that the following contains spoilers about the Star Wars movies (not BIONICLE).

I first saw the original Star Wars movie in 1977 in the first few weeks of its initial run. Like many young boys at the time, I ventured back into the theater to see it again and again. By the time The Empire Strikes Back was released, I had steeped myself in the movie's mythos. I was greatly disturbed by the direction the plot took in that movie. I thoroughly believed Darth Vader was not Luke Skywalker's father and that Princess Leia was in love with Luke, not Han Solo. I was convinced that Return of the Jedi would either remove these fallacies or be a terrible conclusion to the trilogy.

Of course, those plot elements ultimately were not fallacies. But I found Return of the Jedi very satisfying as a conclusion. The twists in The Empire Strikes Back were still not ones I would have chosen. But given those twists, Return of the Jedi dealt with them better than I possibly could have imagined.

In the BIONICLE universe, I still disagree with the twist of a Makuta species. Makuta (and I am talking about the Makuta, of course) will always be for me as he was in 2001: the spirit brother of the Great Spirit Mata Nui. But given the twist of the past year, I can think of no finer resolution than that found in The Final Battle. Like Return of the Jedi, it ultimately and unexpectedly left me very satisfied with the way things turned out.



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