When I was in fourth grade, my class did a creative writing unit. It was a lot of fun. We were assigned to write a series of fiction pieces, and for one of them, our teacher showed us how to make clothbound books. Our stories were each printed on special pages and made into keepsake books. Then all of the students voted on their favorites. I could’ve done without the voting part, but I kept my book for years until one of my siblings accidentally ruined it.
My first idea for that project was a He-Man and She-Ra fanfiction. He-Man and She-Ra were conceived as half-hour (or 20 minute, given commercials) programs where each episode had a self-contained story. The stories were one offs, for the most part, but they did have a loose continuity. That sense of continuity was built up and enhanced by storylines that intersected, reference events that happened “before” the series, and eventually by recurring guest characters.
They did suffer from a lot of continuity errors and gaps. As an adult who appreciates solid continuity and has a good memory for details, those things annoy me. As a kid, they drove me absolutely batty. There were extended family members who would appear once, make reference to various kingdoms that they came from, and then never show up again. The episode The She-Demon of Phantos establishes that Eternia’s moon is its own kingdom, all of which gave me the impression of a huge kin network ruling over Eternian city-states. Then there’s an episode of She-Ra where Eternia has TWO moons, so I started wondering why the second moon wasn’t always visible and whether it was inhabited.
Another thing that bothered me was the way that Filmation utilized stock footage and basically recolored character models to create different minor characters from one episode to another. The shows aired at a time when there was little if any concept that a television program could be recorded and watched again. So, “episode continuity” wasn’t that important, and the idea of a full-season, serial story arc hadn’t been explored much. The same thing can be seen in Star Trek or any number of popular old live-action shows. I didn’t understand that when I was nine, and I would spend hours creating back story and tie in arcs for different minor characters so that He-Man and She-Ra made sense.
The biggest problem for me was that He-Man and She-Ra left all my favorite characters’storylines unresolved. At the end of the series, Teela still didn’t know who her mother was. Adora was still separated from her family because the rebellion hadn’t driven off the Horde, and Queen Angela’s husband was still MIA. I wanted that stuff fixed, and since Filmation was no longer producing episodes, I figured it was up to me. It was a pretty tall order for a fourth grader. In the end, I had to go with a different idea for my class assignment, because I was never quite satisfied with my MOTU project. I held on to the story, though, and in post #5, I’ll share what became of it.
Rose B. Fischer is an avid fan of foxes, Stargate: SG-1, and Star Trek. She would rather be on the Enterprise right now. Since she can’t be a Starfleet Officer, she became a speculative fiction author whose stories feature women who defy cultural stereotypes.In her fictional worlds, gender is often fluid, sexuality exists on a spectrum, and “disability” does not define an individual. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. To find out more, visit her website or her Amazon Author page.