Why I Love the Piraka (and the 2006 Story Arc)
2006 is a dark mirror of 2001
In this way the first chapter of the Ignition arc directly engages with what has come before; not just what came before, but what came first. In deliberately subverting or undermining the narrative pillars that constituted the foundation of the original BIONICLE, the 2006 story arc rejects the franchise’s restraints and boldly declares itself a
Voya Nui is the anti-Mata Nui Like Mata Nui, Voya Nui is an island stranded in the midst of Aqua Magna’s vast ocean. However, its fate couldn’t be more different. In its social, cultural, and narrative landscape, Voya Nui is deliberately antithetical to everything that Mata Nui represents. Whereas the Mata Nui Matoran have the Turaga Metru to guide them through the Dark Times, the Voya Motoran have their Turaga, Jovan, killed during the Great Cataclysm. Mata Nui is a prosperous tropical island, while Voya Nui is a barren wasteland. The beings who arrive on the shores of Voya Nui in canisters are not heroes but monsters. Whereas the Toa brought hope to Mata Nui, the Piraka brought despair to Voya Nui. The volcano that sits at the heart of the island, Mount Valmai, hosts not a thriving village and central social hub (Ta-Koro) but rather a site of Matoran enslavement. The Matoran of Voya Nui have not cultivated a rich culture or erected beneficial institutions, too busy are they attempting the basic feat of survival. Yet despite these weaknesses, the Voya Matoran possess powers whereas the Mata Matoran have none, a sign of their greater self-sufficiency—desperate times have effectively made them their own Toa. Where as the Toa Nuve defeat the threats that confront Mata Nui, they are defeated by the threats that confront Voya Nui.
The Piraka are the anti-Toa They show up on Voya Nui in canisters, just like the Toa Mata showed up on Mata Nui, and even claim to be Toa. However, the Piraka are almost systematically defined in opposition to the traditional Toa. Whereas the Toa were masks, the Piraka bare their faces. Whereas Toa strive for unity, the Piraka propagate disunity, even to their detriment (as Skakdi, the Piraka gain special abilities when they combine their powers, but their antipathy towards each other usually trumps their hunger for powers). Jaller put it best while fighting Hakann in Power Play: “In place of honor, you have greed; in place of duty, you have treachery; and in place of a heart, you have an empty black pit.”
Piraka as both serious and comedic villains