Why Some Fans Are Concerned About An Origin Change
With the first official trailer of Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally released, fans are still clamoring over a possible alteration to the origin. Two years ago, the concern was over statements that Bay had made about the turtles being Aliens, while today the concern is over a statement made by the Shredder himself. But why are some Shellheads so displeased with the concept of changing the origin of the TMNT? After all, their origin has changed a lot over the years, so why fight another alteration? Well, it's all about a simple mistake that was never meant to be: The Ninja Turtles themselves.
You see, our heroes in a half shell have almost always included in their creation story the aspect of a complete fluke. To be more specific, they aren't put into contact with anything that would change them by any other means than pure chance. Why? Because this adds a deeper aspect to their character than just being a mutant. Not only are they mutants, but their creation was a mistake; they have no real family and they have no means of understanding why this happened to them. Surrounded by confusion and shrouded in mystery (at least to a certain extent), their very existence becomes a struggle for them to comprehend. You see the fear and bewilderment in Raphael all the time, because he's constantly struggling with his purpose in life.
If you know why you were born and how you were born, there is no reason to search for those answers – there is no reason why they would torment you and leave you constantly questioning why. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always displayed character traits which denote a murky and unknown origin that cannot be explained through any normal means. They are like orphans who do not know the circumstances of their birth or why they exist, and their only experience in life is through their foster parent, Splinter. This aspect of their characters is integral and it adds an enormous amount of depth to a story that would otherwise be simply goofy and fun. Sure, it was always intended to be like that, but perhaps unintentionally it has also always included in it this condition of the unknown.
When Shredder comes out and says that he and April O'Neil's father were trying to create heroes, the trailer denoting a connection between his monologue and the turtles themselves, there is an insinuation that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been created intentionally by two main characters. If their creation is intentional and they know that there was a reason, what motivation (other than plain, boring and uninteresting revenge) do they have to search for answers and discover how they were brought into being? To put it simply, I think this is why fans are disturbed and upset by the idea of a possible origin change. Even slight alterations have the power to negatively affect a story and remove from it certain integral aspects that could make it more deep and meaningful for those who choose to dig a little deeper.
Sure, the new IDW comic paints a different picture, but even then there is no clear understanding about why they were brought into being. Even in the most recent alteration to the origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there is an element of mistaken creation. Is it really Shredder's involvement that the fans have a problem with? Is it the involvement of April's father? Or is it the possibility that an elemental quality of the characteristics of the TMNT might have been not only altered, but removed entirely?
Before we all start trying to attack our fellow Shellheads, I think we should step back and realize what is at stake here. It's also important for everyone to realize that one misplaced line in a trailer is not necessarily an undeniable indicator that something has been changed. For all we know, their creation could still be a mistake. After all, Kevin Eastman has given his blessing to the film numerous times, and I don't think he would do that if they had removed such an important aspect of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or sound off in the forums!