|"That's not what happened at all!"
|Season Mini-series, Episode 1|
|Air date||April 23, 2021|
|Written by||Mikkel Okholm|
|Directed by||Ben Marsaud|
This NINJAGO LEGACY short is about a samurai warrior fighting a dragon!
Who is this unknown warrior, and what does he fight for?
Has his dragon opponent been protecting something all along?
We’ll have to wait and find out
Tune in again next Friday for another NINJAGO Reimagined short episode.
A samurai warrior walks through a dark area while a voice monologues about the events that had previously occurred. The warrior uses a hook to climb up a mountain, but is ambushed by a dragon. He fights the dragon and is able to defeat it. The samurai slowly approaches golden statues of the ninja at the top. The dragon, however, comes back and stabs the samurai with its golden tail, causing him to fall off (only to catch himself), and then turns into a statue. It's then revealed that the dragon was the narrator, and the dragon mentions how enemy forces will continue to release attacks, but he cannot yield, as he must protect his masters until they awaken. A crack then appears on the golden statue of a ninja.
For the transcript of the episode, click here.
- The day before this short's release, Tommy Andreasen tweeted a video of the title card and the phrase, "... tomorrow ..."
- According to Sun Creature Studio, which animated the short, Lego reached out to us to produce a short for the 10-year anniversary of their Ninjago franchise. The mandate was clear: rethink the artistic direction of Ninjago and include a dragon! And so we did. The result is a cryptic and epic short, that not only presents a new and darker visual direction for the franchise, but also teases the existing fans and challenges the perception of the brand. Stylistically we wanted to draw inspiration from the cinematography of Kurosawa’s samurai films of the '60s. We wanted to keep it consistent throughout the film, but also allow ourselves freedom to break the rules as the narrative progressed. We wanted to find a balance between big establishment shots with lots of details, contrasted with more simple backgrounds for action driven shots. In each shot, it is either the background or the action that drives the narrative forward. This project was created with a small, nimble and highly skilled team and was directed by a good friend of the house, Ben Marsaud.
- When asked what this short was meant to reimagine, Tommy Andreasen said, "It is what Ninjago could have been if we were in a different mood when we conceived it."
- Judging by their weapons, the golden statue of the ninja appear to be in this order: Nya, Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Zane, and Cole.
- They appear to be in their Legacy uniforms.
- Kai, Zane, Jay and Cole are wielding their respective Golden Weapons.
- The dragon's head mold is very similar to Flame's. This may be the appearance of the actual dragon, as Flame was re-released in his set in the same year as this short, much like the Prototype X-1, which appeared in "Gold Rush."
- The samurai warrior wears a belt very similar to the one that Epic Battle Jay wears.
- The ninja's appearance in the episode may be a nod to, or the reason for the 10th Anniversary Golden Ninja in the sets.
- The setting of this short appears to take place in a post-apocalyptic future version of Ninjago.
- Some of the structures seen in the post-apocalyptic Ninjago include Borg Tower, Mega Monster Amusement Park, Garmadon's Corridor of Elders statue, and the Iron Doom.
- Several of the dragon's lines refer to lines from previous episodes:
- "When time had a name" is an altered form of "before time had a name"; refering to a statement from many previous episodes, such as "Rise of the Snakes" or "The Oni and the Dragon."
- "Stood up those who are cruel and unjust" refers to Cole's promise to his mother.
- "Protect those who cannot protect themselves" refers to Zane's line from many episodes.
- "I have to endure" refers to Lloyd's line from Hunted.
- Although this is not the fault of the episode itself, the LEGO description describes the samurai warrior as the central character, although in reality it is the dragon keeper. This may have just been an attempt to mislead the viewer.