With all due respect to everything that made Masters of the Universe so popular during the 1980s, there is no denying the fact that through numerous retellings of the saga, the characterization and narrative treatment have always oscillated between edginess and stagnation. Thanks to the dedicated collectors, the franchise has managed to keep its footing for so long in the pop culture landscape, which otherwise doesn’t allow space for such dated lore, which hardly grew in the span of thirty years. The challenge of exploring new possibilities while remaining faithful to the essence of the source material seemed to be a daunting task, especially when it came time to tackle the He-Man lore.
With Netflix allowing much-needed freedom, Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe adaptations finally break the shackles of the franchise’s’ outdated treatment as they manage to strike the perfect balance between new ideas and the original vision of the makers. While a good portion of Masters of the Universe: Revolution focused on Eternia in the absence of He-Man and Skeletor, putting greater emphasis on the female characters like Teela and Evil-Lyn. The sequel series, Masters of the Universe: Revolution, sacrificed some of the daring, inventive developments to pander to a particular insecure, puritan section of the fandom, character arcs from the previous series were followed through in addition to new insights on the two iconic leads. By the end, the series sets up a greater conflict and possibly a much-awaited reunion, both of which we will highlight while discussing expectations we have from the third installment of Netflix’s Masters of the Universe.
Will The Horde Fleet Return?
The cosmic warlord Hordak was the primary antagonist of the recently concluded series, whose elaborate plan to use Eternian royalty’s past cover-ups weakened the kingdom from within and almost resulted in a successful invasion by the Horde Fleet. After Skeletor decided to turn on his former mentor and kill him, the control of the Horde forces was transferred to him. Finally, empowered with the perfect amalgamation of science and sorcery, Prince Adam managed to turn Skeletor back to Keldor, resulting in the Horde Fleet retreating right off.
However, in the closing scene, it is hinted that Horde Prime, the true tyrannical overlord of the intergalactic fleet, will return to Eternia to even the score with He-Man and Skeletor. Additionally, the presumably slain Hordak will return, as Prime is already making efforts to resurrect him before taking the battle to the enemy front.
Will Adam Finally Meet His Sister, She-Ra?
Despite Prince Adam/He-Man having comparatively less screen time in the first series, a few notable character defining moments were accorded to him, and his relationship with his father, King Randor, was one of the major ones. Learning the true identity of his son as Eternia’s legendary protector filled Randor with joy, but at the same time, concerns regarding the future of the kingdom bothered him. As his successor, Adam was destined to become the next king, but as He-Man, his duties were too monumental to let him serve the role of king.
In the very beginning of Masters of the Universe, this particular situation is highlighted by the premise of King Randor’s death. On his deathbed, Randor requests that his son shoulder the responsibility of the crown and give up the life of He-Man, as he believes a single leader shouldn’t carry the burden of both. Already crestfallen at the prospect of his father’s demise, Adam is hesitant to take up the commitment as he is too unsure of himself. He is adept at wielding the sword and shield, but the weight of the sceptre and the diplomatic intrigue that it entails are not his cup of tea.
The sudden appearance of Keldor, Randor’s elder half-brother, who claims the throne of Eternia as his birthright, convolutes affairs for Adam all the more. In Eternia’s hour of peril, Keldor stands by his side to protect the kingdom, making Adam trust his intentions, but in reality, it was his inherent unwillingness to take up the burden of kingship that led him to relinquish the throne to Keldor. Ultimately, it was the revelation of Keldor’s true identity as Skeletor (and vice versa) that made Adam realize once and for all that his naivety was detrimental to the role of kingship. As Skeletor’s betrayal unfolds and Eternia plunges into doom, Adam experiences firsthand how a lone corrupt leader can bring the kingdom to its knees. After the end of the Horde crisis and the defeat of Skeletor, Adam uses his experience to the best effect, makes the most noble gesture a benevolent king could have made, and abolishes the monarchy to let the Eternians govern themselves. Not only is this decision perfectly in sync with Adam’s characterization, but it also marks a significant growth in his character arc at the same time. Now free from any royal or diplomatic burdens, Adam will be explored from a human perspective, and his personal relationships are going to be one of the focal points in the upcoming sequel. Especially with the impending doom hinted at by the appearance of Horde Prime, there is a possibility a familiar face is going to make an appearance in the sequel series. The lore of She-Ra, the Power Princess, has been integrated with Horde Prime since the original series. Which means there is a strong possibility that the long-awaited sibling reunion between Adam and his long-lost sister Adora (She-Ra) can finally happen.
Can We Expect More Skeletor/Keldor Duality?
One of the key highlights of the sequel series has turned out to be the exploration of Skeletor’s past, which was hinted at in the original 80s series as well. The prolonged rivalry between Gar and the Eternian Empire resulted in Keldor being deprived of his rightful place as his father, Miro’s successor, and Randor becoming the king of Eternia instead. Keldor lived in ignominy in his maternal homeworld, Anwat Gar, until the attack of the Horde Fleet led by the villainous intergalactic warlord, Hordak, changed his fate forever.
Recognizing Keldor’s ambitious nature and strength of character, Hordak took him on as his apprentice and trained him. Ultimately, Hordak exploited Keldor’s allegiance and turned him into his puppet, using the Ha’vok staff to corrupt his mind. Skeletor learned about the truth while playing the part of his former self in Hordak’s grand plan to beguile the royalty of Eternia and started being plagued by the visions of his alter ego. The Gar half of Keldor berating his alter ego, the demonic half of Skeletor for becoming a lackey to Hordak, makes a compelling characterization, and we had hoped the series had a longer runtime to explore the dynamic. It is interesting how, despite remembering his past, Keldor doesn’t bother about the unjust treatment due to his heritage but remains focused on the quest for power, as being Skeletor was the first time he felt a sense of purpose. Eventually, Keldor accepts his demonic self, and Skeletor becomes the dominant persona, but at the same time, Keldor’s indomitable spirit makes his presence felt by turning on his former mentor, Hordak, and slaying him. At the end, Adam’s superior Sword of Power almost exorcises Skeletor out of Keldor, and he becomes a captive in Castle Grayskull—but needless to say, Keldor will seek ways to turn into his demonic self soon enough to get back at his nephew. Redemption is not his lot in life, nor does he want to turn over a new page either. In the final moments of the series, it is hinted that the Horde Fleet will return with its true master, Horde Prime, who is keen to exact vengeance upon Skeletor in the near future. In the third installment, Keldor’s return to his demonic self and battle against the Horde Empire will be something to look forward to. Who knows? Perhaps, just like in the previous instance, Skeletor and Adam will once again team up against a common enemy by putting their differences aside.
What Role Will Lyn And Teela Play In The Future?
Speaking of redemption, the most intriguing character of the series, Evil-Lyn, did her fair share of penance and deservingly got a second chance at life by the end of Masters of the Universe: Revolution. Lyn’s actions in destroying Preternia were the reason the souls of the noble warriors, including King Randor, weren’t able to cross over, which is why Teela, the current Sorceress of Grayskull, persuaded her to convince Granamyr to teach her Ka sorcery. Lyn was already on the journey of earning her salvation by coming out of self-exile to nurse Granamyr, whose condition deteriorated after Preternia ceased to exist. Now, after being compelled to acknowledge her part, she helps Teela convince Granamyr and trains her in the disciplines of Ka.
Lyn even goes as far as to trigger Teela’s feelings for Adam, as the lesson of Ka requires surrendering to one’s passions. But ironically, she herself has decided to abandon her desires, as despite briefly reuniting with Skeletor (her former mentor whom she loved), she remains resolute in her mission to protect Eternia and doesn’t hesitate to think otherwise, even for once. At the end, Lyn’s redemption is marked by Granamyr’s last words of acknowledgement, and as the series ends, her inclusion as one of the cosmic enforcers feels all the more justified. As her job dictates, in the follow-up series, Lyn will operate to strike a balance between the opposing forces of Eternia. On the other hand, as the current Sorceress of Grayskull, Teela is at her strongest after harnessing the three disciplines of sorcery. Her role as the protector of Eternia will be significant, as the return of the Horde Fleet will threaten the security of the land.