Masters of the Universe: Revelation creator and showrunner Kevin Smith recently revealed that not only does a major, established character die during the course of the show’s story, but that the decision to kill off this particular character was done solely and explicitly to make fans angry.
[Warning: Major spoilers for Masters of the Universe: Revelation follow]
This major revelation (pun a little bit intended) was first made public on July 12th, when the Nerdist published a video interview conducted by their own Hector Navarro with Smith and Revelation voice actors Chris Wood (He-Man), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Teela), and Tiffany Smith (Andra), about “the process of bringing this new story to life, and how the new series will excite older fans and the new generation alike.”
At one point during the interview, Navarro speaks to Smith about his own personal love of Orko, telling the creator, “I think I’m an Orko guy, I think he’s my favorite character in the entire franchise. He’s so well done in this show,” (eliciting an enthusiastic cry of “GOD YES. THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY,” from Smith) before asking him, “If you had to – I hate to make you pick your babies – but do you have a favorite character in the entire He-Man / Masters of the Universe franchise?”
Caught up in his enthusiasm with the topic of Orko being brought up, Smith proceeded to unintentionally diverge from Navarro’s original question in order to discuss why Revelations’ iteration of “Orko is very special to me.”
Here's the full clip with the spoiler. As an actual He-Man fan, I find this whole conversation disturbing… on multiple levels. pic.twitter.com/RTAip9gvxu
— Steven™ (@StevenTheArtist) July 17, 2021
“I’ll never forget the conversation that we had in the writers room, with me, and Eric, and Dia, and Tim, and Mark,” Smith recalled. “You know, we were going through the show, and going like ‘Look. Orko. Y’know, it’s not even 50/50, it’s 75/25. 75% of people just did not like the character, saying ‘Oh he ruined the show for me’ and s–t like that. So we were like, ‘Alright, let’s change that. How do you make Orko the most *beloved* character?’”
In an explanation evoking red-flag-raising flashbacks of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Smith noted that the team went about making Orko ‘beloved’ by introducing “ this kind of broken, sadder, wiser version of Orko who still has this youthful voice and childlike enthusiasm for adventure.”
“And like he has this moment – even if you hated Orko your whole life,” the showrunner continued, “when he has that moment, where he’s talking about, like, ‘Please let me come along with you, I won’t mess up this time,’ he sounds like a five-year old who just wants to be involved in stuff.”
Smith then explained, “So we wanted to make the audience fall in love with Orko cuz we knew what we wanted to do with Orko at the end of episode 4, have him be the hero, have him make a -very- heroic sacrifice.”
“So, it was kind of insidious,” admitted Smith, “where we were like, ‘Here’s this character that nobody likes, let’s make everybody love him, and then watch them get angry when the character they’ve always hated is taken from them, and they’re like ‘But I like that guy now!’”
While Nerdist’s original video bore a ‘light spoiler warning’ in its title, it was soon privated after fans pointed out that the death of Orko was more than an insignificant plot point.
However, as of writing, Nerdist has since taken down the original video and reuploaded a version of Navarro’s interview with the Revelation crew which completely omits Smith’s discussion of Orko.
What do you make of the reasoning behind Smith’s decision to kill off Orko? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!