How would you approach creating your own ThunderCats Continuity?

DBTrilogy100

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For those who are not aware, 2020 marks the 35th Year Anniversary of the ThunderCats Franchise due to 1985 being the year when the the franchise's first series premiered on TV. 2020 is also the year when the most recent series in the franchise, ThunderCats Roar, made its premiere and it was 9 years ago on this day when the 2011 Series made its premiere. The fact that this day and this year could be considered notable milestones for the franchise is why I decided to take the topic of a similar thread I made earlier in the year for the Ben 10 Franchise and apply it for the ThunderCats Franchise.

To provide context for those not in the loop, the ThunderCats Franchise currently has three animated series that have been made each with their own different atmosphere and tones. A common trait among all 3 animated series, however, is that they embrace the "Fantasy Kitchen Sink" trope (essentially, a story that combines aspects from various genres and/or myths; the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Franchise is an example that immediately comes to my mind), regardless of whether it's presented in a relatively more serious tone or a relatively more comical tone. I should also mention that the franchise also has comics although I am not as familiar with the comics compared to the animated shows.

Unfortunately, my reference pools have lead me to noticing how different parts of the fandom can be rather intense when it comes to which version(s) of the franchise they like and don't like, even when compared to other franchise's different adaptations and/or reboots. Unlike other franchises (such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Transformers, just to name a few examples), the ThunderCats Franchise hasn't had many adaptations and/or reboots and I suspect that this might have contributed to why the debates I've noticed over the different versions of the franchise can be rather intense since fewer versions can make it trickier to figure out a franchise's "core aspects" (adaptations and/or reboots already coming with the tricky situation of acknowledging the source material while also having its own identity certainly adds to the franchise's predicament, if you ask me).

Essentially, my intentions for creating this thread was to provide others fans of the franchise a chance to share how they would go about creating their own continuity for the ThunderCats Franchise as a way to celebrate 2020 being the franchise's 35th Year Anniversary. In light of what my reference pools have lead me to noticing, I ask that those who decide to participate in this discussion remain polite & civil if others are more inspired by a version that they may not be a fan of; fair enough if certain versions aren't one's cup of tea but putting down others for liking what they don't like is uncalled for.

For the sake of helping others have a clearer idea of the intent of this thread, I will share some of my thoughts on how I might approach this hypothetical idea to get the ball rolling, so to speak. Since these thoughts bring up details from the various shows of the franchise, I feel it is only right to provide a heads up for those who may not have seen certain episodes or even certain shows.

*If I were to go about creating a new continuity, I would mostly take inspiration from the 2011 Series (some might consider it more of an adaptation of the 2011 Series than an adaptation of the 1985 Series) as that is my favorite series from the franchise. I could feel the passion & effort that was placed by the cast & crew and I appreciated how the 2011 Series was willing to recognize the shades of gray in morality, highlight the problems with prejudice behavior and highlight the dangers of the conflict. The quest adventure style the 2011 Series followed brought Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda to mind which I feel lends itself well to embracing the "Fantasy Kitchen Sink" trope and offers many possibilities in this hypothetical scenario. I will bring up specific details that I would adapt from the 2011 Series in the following bullet points (while also brining up what changes I would make for certain points and bring up details I would incorporate from other versions).

*The first example of an aspect I would keep from the 2011 Series is the ThunderCats' backstory. More specifically, I would keep Thundera being a kingdom on Third Earth rather than a separate planet (with the ancestors of the animals coming from space), the animals shared history with Mumm-Ra through their ancestors rebelling against Mumm-Ra and the shared history between the Sword of Omens & the Sword of Plun-Darr. I felt this backstory was effective at streamlining certain details while still acknowledging the backstory from the 1985 Series (applying the travelers from space backstory to their ancestors) and helped in making Third Earth feel bigger in the process.

*The crew members of the 2011 Series once brought up how they had the Cats divided between a class with tails and a class without tails and the ThunderCats had members from both classes (the Kittens/Wily Twins had tails while Panthro was shown having a tail in some flashbacks). This tidbit was one that immediately caught my intention and I would explore it in greater detail in this hypothetical scenario.

*Although Lion-O remains the main character in the franchise's different shows, the way in which he grows into the role of the ThunderCats' team is different between the different show. To elaborate, the 1985 Series portrayed Lion-O as being a kid whose body had grown into adulthood due to a stasis pod malfunction while the 2011 Series portrayed Lion-O has a teen who would grow into adulthood over some time skips (I haven't figured out what age Roar portrays Lion-O as being). Similar to the ThunderCats' backstory, I find Lion-O starting as a teen growing into adulthood to be more streamlined/simplified and see how time skips can help show that the conflict against Mumm-Ra is a challenging conflict to resolve.

*While Tygra is generally considered the "second in command" among the ThunderCats, the specific details regarding his characterization has been quite different between the different shows and my reference pools have lead me to noticing how Tygra has become a "base breaking character" due to his different characterizations (particularly between the 1985 Series and the 2011 Series). To elaborate Tygra was made into an "adaptational jerk" in the 2011 Series and my reference pools have lead me to notice how some fans greatly disliked that characterization while other fans felt it (along with being Lion-O’s adoptive older brother) helped make Tygra a more compelling character compared to his 1985 Series counterpart (who I have seen some fans consider to be "bland and forgettable"). In this hypothetical scenario, I would take inspiration from Tygra’s 2011 Series counterpart as I like the idea of Tygra representing the problems of Thundera's society while Lion-O represents the change Thundera's society needs and also like how it ties into the idea of Tygra's character development showing him overcoming his prejudice behavior and recognizing the importance of Lion-O's mission to unite the different societies of Third Earth. I would also make a point to make sure that the "heart of gold" part of the "jerk with a heart of gold" characterization is apparent and expands as Tygra undergoes his character development.

*While it is true that magic is a major aspect of the franchise, Jaga is one of characters from the franchise that is usually considered having the strongest connection to magic. A detail that caught my attention from the 2011 Series was the decision to have Cheetara become an apprentice to Jaga and being familiar with the type of magic that Jaga used (it was also revealed that Season 2 would have explored the idea of Cheetara taking up the role of a mentor for the next generation). If I were to go about creating a new continuity, I would expanded upon the idea of Cheetara being Jaga's apprentice with regards to the topic of magic; one might say she could be the member of main team that would most clearly fit into the role of a mage.

*The animal villains (known as the "Mutants of Plun-Darr" in the 1985 Series) were another example of characters that had notably differences in the 2011 Series, not just in characterization but also by the fact that three of them (Jackalman, Monkian & Vultureman) received "adaptational name change" ("Kaynar", "Addicus" & "Vultaire"). I appreciated how the 2011 Series gave those three characters more distinct/unique names and would keep the 2011 Series names in this hypothetical scenario. As far as differences from the 2011 Series go, I would have several Birds join Vultaire in siding with Mumm-Ra and would also create some new characters as members of Kaynar & Addicus' respective species to go along with how we saw notable Lizard characters under Slithe's command (some recently shared concept art suggests that the planned Season 2 would have been when members of Kaynar & Addicus' respective species would have been recruited to Mumm-Ra's side, although it is unclear if this concept art was of just minor mooks or not).

*Grune proved himself to be a popular villain in the 1985 Series despite his rare appearances due to his status as an evil ThunderCat and even being the former friend of one of them (Jaga, in the case of the 1985 Series). The 2011 Series took note of this popularity and made Grune into an "ascended extra" as Panthro's former friend turned arch-enemy, Mumm-Ra's "second in command" during the first half of Season 1 and the one who freed Mumm-Ra with plans for him to return in Season 2 with his status as the "Ghost Warrior" from the 1985 Series. If I were to go about creating a new continuity, I would keep Grune becoming Mumm-Ra's "second in command" after freeing him and being Panthro's former friend turned arch-enemy but I wouldn't bother with the Ghost Warrior aspect and would keep Grune around as one of Mumm-Ra's Generals/Enforcers alongside Slithe, Kaynar, Addicus & Vultaire for the whole story. Although they were brief, I liked the interactions between Grune & Slithe and think there is potential in seeing Grune's interactions with Kaynar, Addicus & Vultaire.

*While Grune being Panthro's arch-enemy was a major detail in the 2011 Series' story, I had also noticed how Vultaire grew into the role of an arch-enemy for Tygra in Season 1's Two Part Finale and I imagine it would have been further explored in Season 2. Grune & Vultaire's arch-enemy status with certain members of the ThunderCats in the 2011 Series is something that inspired me to extend this idea to other members of the ThunderCats and Mumm-Ra's Generals/Enforcers; in other words, I would have Slithe, Kaynar & Addicus grow into the role of the arch-enemy for the remaining members of the ThunderCats along with keeping Grune as Panthro's arch-enemy and Vultaire as Tygra's arch-enemy.

*Much like Tygra, Pumyra is a ThunderCat that had very different characterization between the 1985 Series and the 2011 Series which lead to her becoming a "base breaking character" among different parts of the fandom; the main difference being that Pumyra received "adaptational villainy" in the 2011 Series, being revived as a zombie that became one of Mumm-Ra's Generals/Enforcers. My reference pools have lead me to notice how some fans greatly disliked Pumyra becoming a villain in the 2011 Series while some fans didn't mind Pumyra becoming a villain but didn't like the idea of Pumyra being beyond the point of redemption (something that would have been shown in Season 2) while other fans felt it helped make Pumyra a more compelling character compared to her 1985 Series counterpart (who I have seen some fans consider to be "bland and forgettable", much like Tygra). In this hypothetical scenario, I would combine Pumyra's status as a medic from the 1985 Series with her status as a solider from the 2011 Series (prior to her death and resurrection) into a new continuity in this hypothetical scenario; while I would still take inspiration from her characterization from the 2011 Series in some ways, I wouldn't bother with the "adaptational villainy" aspect since I intend to keep Grune as one of Mumm-Ra's Generals/Enforcers for the whole story.

*Although Bengali didn't appear during Season 1 of the 2011 Series, it was eventually revealed that he would have appeared in the later half of Season 2 as the son of Tygra & Cheetara. I find the detail of Tygra and Bengali being "related in the adaptation" to be an interesting idea and have considered different ways to incorporate the idea into this hypothetical scenario, whether it would be as father & son or a different family dynamic (I had considered the idea of Bengali being Tygra's biological brother having potential to go along with Lion-O & Tygra being adoptive brothers). I would keep Bengali's status as a blacksmith from the 1985 Series and have him become an apprentice to Hattanzo (the Drifter from the 2011 Series) as I find that concept to be an interesting way to blend aspects of the 1985 Series and aspects of the 2011 Series together.

*Among the animal villains/Mutants of Plun-Darr, Ratar-O is consistently portrayed as the most dangerous among them. While the 1985 Series and Roar have portrayed Ratar-O as the leader of the animal villains/Mutants of Plun-Darr, the 2011 Series portrayed him as an independent villain from Mumm-Ra with plans to obtain the Sword of Plun-Darr for himself. Despite only having one appearance in Season 1 of the 2011 Series (it is currently unknown what would have happened with him in Season 2), Ratar-O managed to become my favorite villain in the 2011 Series thanks to him acting as an independent villain from Mumm-Ra and because I found him to be an effective "evil counterpart" to Lion-O with his role as the Rat King. If I were to go about creating a new continuity, I would expand on how the 2011 Series portrayed Ratar-O by making him into an "ascended extra" and have him share the role of main villain alongside Mumm-Ra in the form of a "Big Bad Ensemble" (co-main villains that act independently and/or may even fight each other). While Mumm-Ra would act as a personal enemy for all the ThunderCats and would still single out Lion-O, I would have Ratar-O grow into a more personal enemy for Lion-O specifically and in ways different from Mumm-Ra. To go along with Ratar-O's expanded role, I would create some new characters to act as members of Ratar-O's own team that would act as a foil for the ThunderCats and Mumm-Ra's Generals/Enforcers.

*While Mumm-Ra and the animal villains/Mutants of Plun-Darr are the franchise's most famous main villains, Season 2 of the 1985 Series introduced another group of main villains known as the Lunataks (whose members originated from the various moons of Plun-Darr); it had also been revealed that the 2011 Series had plans to incorporate the Lunataks had it been able to continue past Season 1. Since I would keep the 2011 Series' decision to have Plun-Darr as a solar system rather than a planet and its star's destruction to create the Sword of Plun-Darr, I would feature the Lunataks as survivors of the solar system that seek revenge against Mumm-Ra (as a way to tie into how the Lunataks' backstory in the 1985 Series had them feuding with Mumm-Ra).

*While I would incorporate the Power Stones from the 2011 Series into a new continuity in this hypothetical scenario, I had also considered creating a set of artifacts that represent the four classic elements (Fire, Wind, Water & Earth) since the four classic elements are some of my favorite concepts to utilize in works of fiction.

*While Roar isn't my favorite show from the franchise, I still feel that it did create some characters that I wouldn't mind seeing featured in future adaptations and/or reboots. Barbastella is a character that I would incorporate into a new continuity in this hypothetical scenario as I find the concept of a society of anthropomorphic bats to be one with great potential. Lion-S is another character from Roar I could see myself incorporating into a new continuity in this hypothetical scenario.

Those were just several thoughts of mine on this particular topic but I hope it helps to provide others with an idea of this thread's intentions and maybe help to spark some discussion. Feel free to be as detailed as you like when sharing your thoughts and/or asking about what fellow fans might think of certain aspects of the franchise. Once again, I ask that those who decide to participate in this discussion remain polite & civil when discussing different poster's different ideas in this hypothetical scenario.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Well, for once, I would include relatively obscure characters from the 1985 series and the Marvel Comics run into my continuity such as Jagara (I'd have her being Jaga's daughter), Torr, Leah and Lynxana, not to mention reintroducting Mandora and Hachiman, given that they didn't appear in the 2011 reboot.
 

DBTrilogy100

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AdrenalineRush1996 said:
Well, for once, I would include relatively obscure characters from the 1985 series and the Marvel Comics run into my continuity such as Jagara (I'd have her being Jaga's daughter), Torr, Leah and Lynxana, not to mention reintroducting Mandora and Hachiman, given that they didn't appear in the 2011 reboot.

Much like the idea of Tygra & Bengali being "related in the adaptation", I can see the potential behind applying the trope for Jaga & Jagara. Now that you mention it, whether or not Mandora would have appeared in the 2011 Series if it hadn't been canceled remains a mystery for the time being (it was, at least, confirmed that Hachiman was set to appear in Season 2). I'm guessing those other characters are from the comics since I'm not too familiar with them but I definitely agree with the idea of giving obscure characters a chance to shine and tapping into their potential in a different continuity.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Much like the idea of Tygra & Bengali being "related in the adaptation", I can see the potential behind applying the trope for Jaga & Jagara. Now that you mention it, whether or not Mandora would have appeared in the 2011 Series if it hadn't been canceled remains a mystery for the time being (it was, at least, confirmed that Hachiman was set to appear in Season 2). I'm guessing those other characters are from the comics since I'm not too familiar with them but I definitely agree with the idea of giving obscure characters a chance to shine and tapping into their potential in a different continuity.
Actually, Torr and Leah are from the original series and Lynxana is from the Marvel comics.
 

DBTrilogy100

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AdrenalineRush1996 said:
Actually, Torr and Leah are from the original series and Lynxana is from the Marvel comics.

Ah, so those were examples of obscure characters from the 1985 Series. I'm guessing those characters appeared in the New Thundera episodes towards the end of the series (I haven't seen the later half of the series as often when compared to the first season).
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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Ah, so those were examples of obscure characters from the 1985 Series. I'm guessing those characters appeared in the New Thundera episodes towards the end of the series (I haven't seen the later half of the series as often when compared to the first season).
That is correct.
 

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