Masters of the Universe (film)

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A 1987 film based upon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The movie features Skeletor's acquiring a teleportation device from an eccentric inventor, which gives him an edge in the war. Eventually the heroes find an identical device and use it to escape capture, accidentally traveling to a distant planet -- Earth. Skeletor is not far behind. Also starring in the movie was Frank Langella as Skeletor, Meg Foster as Evil-Lyn and a young Courteney Cox and Robert Duncan McNeill as teenage sweethearts caught up in the events.

A fictionalized version of the making of the live-action film was later used as the basis for a story arc in Paul Chadwick's Concrete.


Tropes used in Masters of the Universe (film) include:
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Eternia is besieged and falls to Skeletor and his armies.
  • Big Entrance: He-Man, when he first arrives on earth. Skeletor and his army made a pretty big entrance themselves when they first arrived on the scene. In fact, Skeletor love this trope, as he makes many entrances in this film often with low camera-angles and up-beat, dramatic music.
  • Big Fancy Castle / Bright Castle: Castle Grayskull.
  • Big No: Kevin, when Julie is shot.
  • Canon Foreigner: The Movie used only the most immediate characters of the show, He-Man, Duncan (Man-At-Arms), Teela and the Sorceress are the only heroes with a sidekick being a hairy gremlin called Gwildor (who vaguely fills out Orko's role in being comic relief, although he is also a Mad Scientist who is responsible for the plot). Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Beast Man are the only villains with a group of improvised minions to fill out his ranks, in particular an eyepatch-wearing bald swordsman named Blade who sort of fills the role of The Dragon. They both got action figures in the toyline, but no attempt has ever been made to integrate them into any main canon.
    • The commentary track on the DVD sheds a lot of light on why The Movie lacked certain key characters from the franchise and why other characters were so drastically altered (notably Teela and Duncan). Suffice it to say, they had only a little money (most of it spent building the insanely elaborate Grayskull set they only barely got to use) and an extremely limited amount of time to film things. (The track also explains the presence of the mysterious pig-faced boy in the Grayskull throne room.)
    • An urban legend, popularized by 4th World fan (and comics pro) John Byrne, was that the movie was a Spiritual Licensee to Jack Kirby's Fourth World, with Skeletor taking the role of Darkseid and other characters (including the ones created for the movie) having a surprising correlation to each other. Read here for the full story. The director has admitted to being a fan of the comics, but he still tried to make a legitimate MOTU movie.
      • Basically, just John Byrne making crap up, as usual.
    • Blade and Saurod (a reptile-man mook introduced in the movie) made appearances in the comic book continuity, making them Canon Immigrants of a sort, despite Saurod getting killed by Skeletor in the film. Possibly however they were following on from the movie's comic book adaptation, which did not include Saurod's death.
  • Carnival of Killers: The mercenaries sent by Skeletor.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: In the DVD Commentary, Gary Goddard mentions how Mattel held a contest where the winner would get a role in the film, but they didn't tell them about this until very late in production, so the winner just got a cameo as one of Skeletor's guards near the end with his face hidden under a pig mask.
  • Expy: Gwildor to Orko.
  • A God Am I: Skeletor has one of these speeches at the climax, right down to the line "I am a god!"
  • Idiot Ball: Evil-Lyn tricks Julie into handing her the Cosmic Key by disguising herself as Julie's dead mother. Not once does Julie question how her mother is alive, where her father could be, or why her mother would want the Cosmic Key.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Kevin and Julie, two normal earth teens don't like the idea of being chased around and nearly killed just because they happend to find the MacGuffin that everybody wants. Heck Kevin even tried to refuse the call!
  • Jerkass: Detective Lubic
  • Large Ham/ Evil Is Hammy: Skeletor down to the core. The universe is power! Real, unstoppable POWER! And I am that force! I am that power! KNEEL BEFORE YOUR MASTER!
  • Light Is Not Good: Skeletor when he absorbs the power of the Great Eye.
  • Magic Music: How the Cosmic Key works, basically uses a type of Functional Magic that works via music: playing a certain notes on the instrument like you'd dail a telephone causes a spell-like effect to happen. Thus sending the dialer wherever they wished to go.
  • Master of Illusion: Evil-Lyn can turn into just about anyone she wants with this power, she used it twice in the film. Once on Gwildor (off screen) and again on Julie.
  • More Than Mind Control: Evil-Lyn uses her magic to confuse poor emotionally vulnerable Julie.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gwildor for creating the Cosmic Key. He stated out loud that he wished he never did.
  • Save Both Worlds: Eternia and Earth.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Frank Langella accepted the role of Skeletor because his four-year-old son loved the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon.
  • Sword Fight: The film climaxes with to sword fights between He-Man and Skeletor.
  • A Taste of the Lash: After Skeletor manages to capture He-Man, he gets whipped.
  • Trapped in Another World: Skeletor steals the device the Eternians need to get home and forces them to stay on Earth.
    • Breaks it, actually, but because it's his turn to hold the Idiot Ball, he proceeds to leave the damaged device and its' inventor in the middle of a moderately technologically advanced civilization along with the rest of the heroes. Between them, they have all the parts they need to fix it, AND somebody who can figure out how to set it to teleport directly into his throne room.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase: In the movie, Julie immediately accepts her dead mother turning in the middle of a siege by magic aliens from another dimension to lure her out the back door of the shop in which she and her friends are holed up defending a powerful alien artifact. Moments later, she accepts that her dead mother needs her to hand over said artifact. Needless to say, it's not really her dead mother.
  • Too Important to Walk: Skeletor arrives on earth sitting comfortably atop one of his intimidating looking tanks.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: Or... "Aliens from Eternia".
  • You Have Failed Me...: Poor Saurod.