Aside from the transformation gimmick being a common factor, both the Masters of the Universe and Transformers franchises share the similarity of first and foremost being popular toy lines that were infused with distinctive lore in the 1980s to boost their sales. Even though Transformers has managed to expand its scope by adapting to changing times and finding a place across generations, the fantasy-adventure-oriented saga of He-Man has been stuck in the bubble of time for far too long and failed to appease a newer audience. After multiple attempts to revive the franchise failed through the years, Netflix and Mattel took a gamble in their efforts to rework the existing lore with a character-driven approach and bold narrative choices and brought the animated series Masters of the Universe: Revelations to light. In many ways, the series subverted the expectations of He-Man fans, resulting in extremely divisive reactions.
Perhaps this is the reason why, with the recently released follow-up animated series titled Masters of the Universe: Revolutions, the makers have decided to swerve back to the original narrative style, playing extremely safe with their options and totally undoing the inventive flair established by the predecessor in the process. Shifting its focus to gimmicky aspects to bolster the amount of merchandise the series can prop up, the new Masters of the Universe series failed its promised potential in a massive way, which is a shame because a sizable number of fans wanted the lore to grow.
Why Did Prince Adam Relinquish Keldor’s Kingdom To Him?
Masters of the Universe: Revolutions picks up right from the ending of Netflix’s first installment of the series, which saw some significant changes take place in terms of world-building. Teela became the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull, taking the mantle from her mother, the original Sorceress. Evil-Lyn was able to tap into the power of Grayskull, and becoming a god, she destroyed Preternia, which was known as the heaven of He-Man lore. An empowered Teela was able to convince Evil-Lyn to give up her villainous ways, and she eventually went into self-exile in Trolla. After another defeat at the hands of He-Man, the wicked Skeletor returned to his lair, Snake Mountain, where he was subjugated by a new villainess—the techno goddess known as Motherboard. It was revealed that she is a representative of the almighty Horde Empire and its overseer, Hordak, the mentor of Skeletor himself.
With the beginning of the series, viewers are taken to Subternia (the hell equivalent of MOTU lore), where Prince Adam and his trusted sorcerer companion, Orko, have arrived to request the ruler of the land, Scare Glow, return the souls of brave warriors like Fisto and Clamp Champ. As Scare Glow refuses, a battle ensues, where Adam’s friends join in, along with his father, King Randor, and Teela. Transforming into He-Man, Adam manages to defeat Scare Glow and take the souls of the warriors, while Teela seals off Subternia to keep the dreadful beings forever locked inside the dark depths.
Upon returning, it is revealed that King Randor is suffering from organ failure and is gradually nearing his last days. A grief-stricken Adam asks Teela to help his father, but Randor, content with the life he has lived, isn’t willing to prolong it further using unnatural means. Instead, he wants his soul to rest alongside his fallen comrades, the souls of noble warriors that Adam brought back from Subterrania. The problem is that with no heaven (Preternia) to cross over to, their souls are at risk of fading away. Adam requests Teela to seek out possible ways to restore Preternia, while he himself remains conflicted about his father’s last wish—that he take up the kingship of Eternia and give up his life as He-Man.
After the death of King Randor, Adam tries to bring himself up to the task of carrying the burden of the crown, only to discover the existence of another rightful heir to the throne—Randor’s elder brother Keldor. Due to his half Gar-half Eternian bloodline, by the laws of the land, Keldor was never going to be given the reins of kingship. As a result, he’d had to return to his mother’s homeland, Anwat Gar. He had spent his life in seclusion ever since. There was a rumor of Keldor’s death during the attack of the Horde in Anwat Gar, but he had survived and hid the news from the rest of the world. Now, after the demise of his brother, he has returned to Eternia to assist his nephew, using his superior knowledge in technology and mathematics. With doubts about his abilities in governance and politics already, Adam almost considers giving up the throne to his uncle, Keldor, when suddenly an attack shakes the capital of Eternos.
How Did The Horde Invasion Occur In Eternia?
Eons ago, when denizens of Eternia weren’t well versed in the intricacies of magic, they were dependent on the usage of higher forms of technology. With time, sorcery replaced science, and the remains of technological advancement remained buried under the kingdom. Using her tech connection, Motherboard reawakened ancient techno monstrosities to launch a surprise attack on Eternians led by a techno-morphed Skeletor, now known as Skeletek.
Prince Adam, Keldor, and others rush in order to save the Eternians, some of whom are seen to be getting transformed into mindless thralls by a techno virus. Keldor helps the current Man-at-Arms, Andra, neutralize the threats of tech monstrosities, while He-Man discovers that his Sword of Power repels the tech virus from infected people. Keldor’s bravery is lauded by everyone, making Adam’s decision to crown him as the king of Eternia all the more acceptable. Additionally, to use the Sword of Power to treat the tech virus-infected people, Adam gives it to Orko to examine and amplify. Later, Duncan, the former Man-At-Arms, takes Orko to Gwildor, the legendary blacksmith, to imbue the Sword of Power with both sorcery and technology to unlock its hidden potential.
However, it is revealed that Keldor is truly Skeletor, whose tech augmentation, giving him the appearance of Keldor, allowed him to befool the rest of the world, including Prince Adam himself. The invading Skeletor was Motherboard in disguise, whose attack was a ruse to allow Keldor to win the trust of the Eternians. This eventually clears the path for the invading Horde fleet led by Hordak, as the next part of the masterplan is set in motion. However, before the initiation of the next stage, Skeletor learns the truth: he is Keldor himself, whose memories were wiped out by Hordak, and the Havoc Staff given to him corrupted his appearance to turn him into the gnarly, monstrous Skeletor. Plotting revenge against his current masters, Motherboard and Hordak, Skeletor decides to proceed with the plan for the time being.
As the King of Eternia, Keldor sends Adam to the Snake Mountain to take the war to the enemy front while assisting Andra in empowering the people of Eternia against any possible tech virus attack by injecting them with an upgrade. In the absence of Adam, Motherboard takes over the Castle Grayskull, which results in Adam getting de-powered, and at the same time, the Horde invasion begins. Keldor, or should we say Skeletor, timely activates the ‘upgrade’ he had put inside the Eternians to turn all of them into mindless thralls at the same time.
How Did Teela Restore Preternia?
On the other hand, in her efforts to restore Preternia, Teela seeks the help of her mother, the Sorceress’ soul, who advises her to unite the three ancient powerful magics—that of Zoar, Ka, and Ha’vok—in order to take on such a monumental task. To obtain the magic of Ka, Teela goes to Granamyr the Magnificent, the legendary dragon of Darksmoke, who had provided the secrets of snake magic to humans millennia ago and became jaded after seeing humanity abuse it to wage wars. There she meets Evil-Lyn, who is seeking repentance by nursing the mighty dragon, who has suffered due to her actions in destroying Preternia. After some initial disagreements, upon Evil-Lyn’s request, Granamyr agrees to teach the magic of Ka to Teela, and Lyn trains her to perfection to let her obtain the staff of Ka.
As the Horde invasion begins, Teela and Evil-Lyn return to Eternia to help the remaining noble warriors fight against the aggressors. In the meantime, Skeletor has managed to capture Adam and, giving in to his ulterior motives, has killed Motherboard to challenge Hordak’s superiority. Lyn uses the scuffle between the two as an opportunity to steal Skeletor’s Staff of Ha’vok and give it to Teela. As a grueling battle between Hordak and Skeletor begins, Skeletor hones the Ha’vok magic to perfection and manages to kill his mentor as well.
Andra rescues Adam, Cringer, and the rest of the captives while Orko and Gwildor finish upgrading the Sword of Power. Teela unites the three powerful conduits of sorcery, but in the process, she almost loses herself in the powerful surge, and Adam jumps in to her rescue by using the power of Grayskull to contain the surge. With the perfect assimilation of science and sorcery, He-Man and Teela emerge in a new, ascended form and join the battle against Skeletor and the Horde army. In his efforts to save the Eternians, Granamyr battles a gigantic tech monster and sacrifices his life, and motivated by his sacrifice, Teela channels her newfound powers to perfection to restore Preternia. King Randor’s soul helps his son in his battle against an ascended version of Skeletor before joining his brave, fallen comrades in the heavenly realm of Preternia along with the soul of the original Sorceress. Adam uses his sword to turn Skeletor back to his former self as Keldor, and he is held captive in the dungeons of Castle Grayskull. With the end of the Horde invasion, Adam decides to abolish monarchy and surrender the power of governance to the people of Eternia, thereby being able to fulfill his duties as He-Man without worrying about political intrigue and being the noblest of kings by virtue of the act. Meanwhile, Zodac enlists Lyn in the ranks of the cosmic enforcers as a gesture of appreciation for her benevolent act of saving Eternia.
However, just as the series nears its end, another form of evil lurks in the background as the scene shifts to an undisclosed location. A mysterious female entity, wearing a mask that resembles Hordak’s profile, is seen tending to Hordak’s corpse. It turns out the entity is a gender-switched version of Horde Prime, the chief overlord of the Horde Empire, who is trying to resurrect her strongest general as she plans to wage war against He-Man and Skeletor in the future. In the Masters of the Universe lore, Horde Prime made his first appearance in the “She-Ra: Princess of Power” animated series as well as the newest Netflix series on She-Ra. Which means, at long last, fans can finally expect He-Man and She-Ra to reunite in the upcoming installment of Masters of the Universe, as the siblings will unite against a common threat.