LEGO is in the movie business now, and it seems they’re here to stay. With the success of The LEGO Movie, LEGO followed up with a spin-off film, The LEGO Batman Movie. Even as The LEGO Batman Movie remained in theaters, LEGO was confident that the franchise would be a success. Enough so that the company already has a third film in the pipeline – The LEGO Ninjago Movie.
Ninjago isn’t anything new. In 2011, LEGO released a toy line and TV series based on these ninjas. Ninjago aren’t your typical ninja; these characters are a mix of feudal and current-day Japan who use throwing stars next to high-tech vehicles.
So, before The LEGO Ninjago Movie comes out in September, here’s a run-down of each of the characters and how the TV and movies versions will likely crossover.
Meet Lloyd Garmadon
Lloyd Garmadon, a.k.a the Green Ninja, is the leader of the five ninja team and the main protagonist of the film. However, if you think Luke Skywalker has a complicated father, Lloyd’s dad sure gives Vader a run for his money. The LEGO Ninjago Movie revolves around the complicated relationship between the black-helmeted, four-armed supervillain Lord Garmadon, and his son, Lloyd.
Lloyd is not someone you want to mess with. If the film sticks to his TV show powers, Lloyd will be able to levitate, use all four elements, and use the tornado-like martial art technique Spinjitzu at a whole new level. In fact, he even held the title of the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master in the show.
You may remember Lloyd from The LEGO Movie where he is a Master Builder. Lloyd made several appearances in The LEGO Movie so that may mean that he and the other ninja will weave master building in with Spinjitzu.
The Master of Fire. The Red Ninja. Meet Kai; a blacksmith turned ninja with a hotshot attitude.
Kai’s power over fire allows him to manipulate flames with a flick of his hand, throw fireballs, and even create shields out of fire. Flames don’t affect him, and he can even use flames to propel himself upwards. While all these powers are demonstrated only in the TV show, from what we see in the trailer, LEGO won’t discard his pyrokinetic powers.
Kai trained separately from the other three ninja, Jay, Zane, and Cole. In the four ninjas’ earliest adventures, the team battled the Serpentine and Lloyd Garmadon who had followed in his father’s evil footsteps and had not yet accepted his destiny as the Green Ninja. Kai strove to become the Green Ninja, but to reach his full potential; he needed to accept that his destiny was to protect the Green Ninja.
Just like Kai’s immunity to fire, Jay can’t be hurt by electricity or lightning and can create an electrical force field as a shield. He can fly, shoot lightning, and power electrical devices like light bulbs. Jay also has an eye for machines and gadgets and is in charge of repairing and maintaining the various technology at the team’s disposal. He’s the most lighthearted of the ninja and is always cracking jokes, even in battle.
In the movie, LEGO seems to be adopting a Batman-like cover for Jay and the other ninja. By night, our Spinjitzu masters protect the island of Ninjago, but by day, they are just ordinary teenagers dealing with high school.
Calm, patient, and the master of Earth. Meet Cole, the black ninja.
Don’t bump into Cole – you’ll feel like you have hit a brick wall. Cole’s mastery of Earth gives him incredible strength and durability. He can manipulate the earth you walk on. He can surround his enemy in rapidly rising mounds of dirt. Cole can even create earthquakes with his very steps.
Out of all the ninja, Cole was probably the most qualified to become a ninja. He first met Master Wu while climbing the highest mountain in Ninjago, and was the first student to be recruited. He is disciplined, responsible, strong and a good planner, much like Zane, the next ninja we will meet.
Meet the Ninja of Ice, Zane. He may look human, but underneath his flesh-like exoskeleton, he is actually a humanoid robot known as a Nindroid.
Over the years, Zane has had many different looks and changed more drastically than the other ninja. At the start of the Ninjago series, Zane’s android heritage was hidden under a human-like exoskeleton. As the show progressed and Zane was unveiled to be a Nindroid, he adopted a look that exposed his robotic parts on one side of his body. Even later, he embraced his Nindroid heritage and in more recent seasons, he looks more robotic than ever.
The possibilities of what look LEGO may choose for Zane are endless. They could even go for one costume for the start of the film and change it halfway through.
Zane is one of the most complicated of the ninja. His personality is reserved and serious, and even the most blatant jokes will pass right by him. Despite his robotic interior, he still has mastery over the element of ice. Zane is not one to be trifled with. He can encase his enemies in ice, create ice constructs to block his enemies’ path, and even extinguish fire.
Meet Sensei Wu
Lloyd’s uncle and Lord Garmadon’s brother – meet Sensei Wu, the teacher of the five ninja.
Sensei Wu is a wise old man whose wisdom comes from hundreds of years of life. In his earliest battles with Lord Garmadon, he triumphed and cast Lord Garmadon into the underworld. Just like Lord Garmadon, he can harness all four elements, but through the Creation element, rather than it’s opposite; Destruction.
Sensei Wu’s powers include the ability to “create something, out of nothing.” For example, Wu demonstrated this in Season 1 when he formed a tea cup with a swift motion of his hands. However, his powers aren’t limited to just creating kitchenware. He can form weapons, tools, and even buildings. Will LEGO tie this into the powers of a Master Builder?
The movie synopsis reads “the epic showdown tests these undisciplined modern-day ninjas as they learn to check their egos.” We may see Sensei Wu play a larger role as a teacher of the ninja as he did in the first few seasons of the show.
Meet Lord Garmadon
Recognize the last name? Lord Garmadon is the Green Ninja’s father as well as the big villain of the film. Not only does he share a family line with one lead ninja, but he’s also the older brother of Sensei Wu.
It’s not exactly his fault he is so bad, though. When Lord Garmadon was younger, The Great Devourer bit him and infected him with evil. He then forced his brother into a confrontation that led to his own banishment to the Underworld.
LEGO seems to be adopting Lord Garmadon’s four-armed look, but why does he have four arms? In one storyline on the show, Lord Garmadon successfully possessed all four of the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu. Four weapons and two arms don’t add up, so the evil infection within him compensated with an extra set of arms, which we see in the trailer for the movie.
Lord Garmadon is a powerful entity and has the ability to channel the power of Destruction. He can disintegrate objects, and control dark versions of all four of the major elements.
The film is scheduled for release in the United States on September 22, 2017.