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CrackedInkWell


"Inspiration does not come to the lazy. It only comes to those who call it." - P. I. Tchaikovsky

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Aug
16th
2021

Meditations on the My Little Pony: A New Generation Trailer · 12:15am August 16th

The Empire, long divided, must unite. Long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been.

- Luo Guanzhong, from "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"

Dear Bronies and Pegasisters,

You might be wondering why did I quote about China during the Three Kingdoms period in reference to this latest generation of My Little Pony. Because with blogs and comments floating around with us Bronies reacting to this latest incarnation about colorful cartoon talking ponies, it has gotten a lot of us... conflicted. And for pretty understandable reasons.

For most, like myself when the trailer finally dropped, many saw it as intriguing, but pretty funny. Despite a lack of a villain from what we've seen, there is an interesting conflict for the upcoming movie of trying to heal old wounds that have made ponykind afraid and miserable. Which will be quite the task for our upcoming heroes.

On the other hand, as soon as it was announced that the next generation of My Little Pony is going to be somewhat of a continuation of Generation 4, and what little scraps of what to expect spread across the internet, it generated massive confusion. Such as when exactly is all of this taken place? Where in Equestria or anywhere in that world is this being taken place? Was Princess Twilight, despite achieving unity and peace through the Magic of Friendship, a failure? Is she still even around? What happened to all three pony tribes? How come the Wendgeos didn't come to freeze Equestria as they nearly did in the last few episodes of G4? If there's no magic, do ponies including unicorns and pegasi have to rely more on technology? How are there toys and such from the previous generation if this is supposedly thousands of years later?

While I'm sure these questions and more may be troubling to us Bronies who care about the characters and the imaginative world of Equestria could be tainted due to the changing cultural shifts to suit the needs of a new generation; I have developed my own thoughts regarding this new change. Because unlike most Bronies who have watched the show over the years, I have one factor that has made me gain a different perspective - I don't take everything in My Little Pony too seriously. Now before you go light the torches and sharpen your pitchforks, I don't mean that I hate the show - far from it. If anything, sticking around for this long and writing nearly a hundred stories based on this franchise is a testament to my love for Friendship is Magic. Yet, I don't overly obsess over it because I know I'm doing this for the fun of it. After all, I had to remind myself that regardless of the fanbase it sprouted - this was a show, first and foremost, aimed towards little girls between the age of 3 to 11, yet it has just enough clever writing that the whole family can watch. Since day one, the show had stayed true to that fact and has never forgotten the audience it was supposed to entertain. That being said, I was never heartbroken when changes in the show did happen from Twilight getting her wings to Starlight Glimmer playing a bigger role in the show, to even having villains being reformed. Yet, I have seen from the fans who took this show so seriously that when change does happen they would have a heart attack saying that this is the end of the fandom for sure... and they did so about nine times since I joined the fandom; yet they never explain how the fandom stubbornly keeps going despite the flamewars that had happened.

I bring this up because I want to give you, the reader, some idea of where what I'm about to say comes from. Not from someone who doesn't care about the show, but someone who can take a few steps back and have a different perspective than the rest of the fandom. Even come up with possible guesses of its future that even most die-hard fans didn't come up with.

So in regards to the new G5 about to come out, we can never know exactly the direction the show is going to go for until it comes out. So in this atmosphere of ambiguity with picking out what little information we got, I notice a theme among the fans that the previous generation ended on a high note of peace and friendship where the whole world was united, only to be contrasted with the current show that starts with all the three pony tribes are not only divided but are afraid of each other. This status quo whiplash has gotten many to figure out did Equestria get from this golden age to this low point? And without having Equestria freezing over or even how there's day and night without any alicorns in charge to do so.

And while the fandom was pondering over possible answers from the results of a civil war to the ultimate alicorn sacrifice, I had developed my own possible theories. Two of them in fact. And while I acknowledge that there's very little to support my arguments, I am, however, in the same boat as the rest of the fandom. For all we know, anything that I or any of us say might turn out to be something completely different from the reality of the upcoming movie and show.

Theory 1: Once Upon a Time...

Under this assumption, it's to assume that Equestria as we knew it had, once upon a time, existed. That the kingdom was united, peaceful, and happy. Yet, if G5 takes place a long time after this from a few centuries to maybe a thousand years, then it might be seen as something historical - perhaps, dare I say it - mythical. In this scenario, I can see ponies looking back at the reign of Princess Celestia and Princess Twilight in the same way that we see King Authur. Perhaps seen as a fictional ruler from the distant past in which the longer time passes, the more storytellers have added more details to the mythos. I'd bet there might be a few historians in G5 who would look back at G4 wondering if such things have indeed happened at all, even if there were such ponies. Yet, if this were the case, perhaps part of the show would be dedicated to rediscovering forgotten legends of the main six, perhaps stumble across the ruins of Ponyville and its famous School. Maybe they would learn from what went wrong in the past in order to make a brighter future. So that if they could figure out how and why ponies became divided, they could find a way to become united again through friendship.

At the same time, some would wonder how did it get to this point in the first place? After all, Twilight had brought about a golden age, does the fact that it's all broken up prove she was a bad leader? My answer is not exactly. As much as we'd like to have golden ages last forever and ever, amen... Open up a history book, and they would tell you that nothing is permanent. This insight is a double edge sword which means that regardless of who is in charge and the results that follow, these too are never set in stone. Even with the best of rulers who have had a huge impact on their society, there will always be opposition in all things that would force the pendulum to swing the other way.

Even so, what about Twilight Sparkle? Is she even alive during the time this new movie is produced? My answer is probably unlikely. And worst yet... I think it's partially our fault. Remember back when she got wings that one of the fears is that if she's an alicorn now, does that mean she'll forever? Well, we want our bookworm princess to be with her friends so much that we saw immortality as cruel. And something tells me that the writers listened, and confirmed that our beloved Twilight will not outlive her friends. But now we got our wish, which also means that she will die, leaving us in the dark of how she would take care of Equestria in light of her passing. So in other words... we forgot the phrase: be careful for what you wish for - and we got just that.

Yet, at the same time, the cynical side of me is questioning even this is what we're going to get. After all, we call the previous shows of My Little Pony G1, G2, G3, (and the generation that shall not be named), and of course, G4 for a reason. Because while they all have similar elements, each generation was its own thing. Each taking a different approach to how it's written, animated, acted and sung. In a way, despite having some similar names and whether they want to include humans or not, they are their own identity. So the question isn't if this new generation is going to be different, but how. This leads to the next possible scenario which I admit would be the most unpopular but more interesting angle:

Theory 2: It's Just a Fairytale

Okay, stop! Before you send death threats, just hear me out on this. I know how hard this theory sounds to most of us who have quite the connection and emotional investment with this show. But at the same time, when I saw the sneak-peak pictures and the trailer for the upcoming movie, along with the main character Sunny being told about Equestria from a bedtime story from her father. It had got me thinking... the toys she has in her room along with other things from posters to buttons have a strong resemblance to our favorite characters in the show. Maybe... a little too much.

Call me someone who has put on a tinfoil hat, but suppose for a moment... in this incarnation... there was no such place as Equestria.

Waitwaitwait! Hear me out! Just listen for a moment!

Look, I know how uncomfortable this is to hear that all nine seasons of our beloved show turn out to never happened. But believe it or not, I'm bringing this up because there's an idea that as far as I'm aware, no one is talking about. And it might explain not only the state of things in G5, but even explain everything about G4 that I don't think any of us have considered before.

Simply put, what if all the events of G4, was all in Sunny's head? And I'm not talking about that she's crazy, but rather, all the events we've seen were her during playtime with her toys. After all, Lauren Faust herself had said that Equestria partly came about because of her memories of G1 she had seen on television, and partly from her playing with her dolls in her room. So what if that's exactly what's happening here - the show was really just a young filly playing her toys and we didn't notice it? That outside of Sunny's room is a world without real magic, and ponies who have prejudices against other ponies simply because of how they look; yet inside, she has made a world, a whole kingdom that challenges that. Maybe parts from the lessons of her father, partly from the society she grew up in, and partly from a toyshop just selling toys that didn't have a story behind it - she came up with the Kingdom of Equestria where she goes in her playtime in order to deal with some tough questions she may have had. Everything from prejudice to finding one's place in the world, even the idea of a cutie mark was her way to both cope and working out these tough problems for herself.

Yes, I acknowledge that this is a stretch and there's no evidence to support that theory, but personally, this one makes the most sense to me. That way, if that's exactly where the show is going to go, then it'll be about a pony who is using her fantasy as a guide to make the world a better place from the bedtime stories her father told to even imagine a better society from the hours she pretended with her toys. Even if Equestria doesn't exist there, perhaps through her hearing friendships, she could give birth to a new way of ponies uniting.

Either way, if Equestria as we know it has the same status as King Aurthur, or it was just in the playful imagination of a filly, I am hopeful about MLP's future but cautious as well. As much as I want this to succeed (and the trailer has shown good signs that it may be the case) I don't want to count my eggs before they hatch. Yet, I look forward to seeing the movie and the series if it does it as well as its previous incarnation. However, we can also console ourselves that even if it's a flop among us Bronies, we at least know in our hearts that we do have a good version of MLP - Friendship is Magic. A flawed masterpiece that has well-written characters, thought-provoking episodes, and a sense of humor that can rival the Looney Toons of the '30s and '40s. Yet, what this show has taught me that I will apply to what's coming next is to not judge it for being a little girls' show, but on it's own merits to see if this would be worth watching.

Signed, your fellow Writer and Brony,

- CrackedInkWell

Comments ( 8 )

same here dude

Perhaps a mix of both is possible? The FiM series literally had bookends after all. That friendship journal that began and ended the series might just be the one of the few historical articles left behind from that time, and extrapolation did the rest.

I'm of the Theory 2 bend myself, though not this exact flavor. One does not read of alternate universes as much as I have without significantly redefining what the phrase "actually happened" means in fiction.
In other words, G4 exists, nothing can change that... just not in the same world as G5. It sees into G4 the same way we do, though thinks it a touch less fantastical than us due to sharing the same dominant species.

To the author - didn't comment on the previous post you did for i was busy.
watched a video by clownfishTV & gave me a negative view on it, i feel bad for the voice actors who're apart of this movie.
also seems like they spat on Lauren Faust's vision! also i'm kinda mad at Hasbro for not releasing the last two seasons of mlp not even the 3 remaining equestira girls films on DVD😤
now gen 4 wasn't perfect like scootaloo being an orphan & shining armor may or may not be a rape victim by queen chrysalis (in season 2) this is probably the most negative comment i've ever left, lol:rainbowlaugh:

p.s: i agree with either of your theories because if there isn't an explanation (in the movie) reviews done on YouTube & the internet will tear it to sherds.

originally written out in-between the days august of 16,17 & 18th, 2021

I am not even hyped either way. I will wait and see if I like it. I think G4 ran it's course, got stale several years ago and we need a completely new story.

I suspect that even though I expect nothing I might still be disappointed.

They certainly didn’t intend to be discarding everything Gen 4 established. No creator ever tries that when they’re brought into a franchise in the payroll of the IP owners. But for their society to regress to this point of segregation? The only thought process I can think of for this bizarre departure are A) The new show staff threw their hands up on matching anything with G4... or B) they came up with a totally fresh setting and timeline, and then some exec or analyst at Hasbro said “Heck no, you are GOING to connect this with our previous money-printing machine. Got it?” And that level of mandated storytelling doesn’t fill me with confidence.

But the WAY bigger issue isn’t internal logic and retcons. It’s the potential mishandling of the topic of racism, and I worry we’ve already on shaky ground. The morale of “segregation is bad” feels like bottom of the barrel, kind of copout way of tackling racism. At least, it does for settings that are extremely modern like Generation 5 clearly is. Segregation of people by ethnicity, by rule of law, has fully shifted to obsolesce in the cultural landscape of first world countries. Not even the most deranged lunatics in our government like Boebert or Greene advocate for it (not yet anyway). Stories about segregation can still be done really well of course, but it can’t just be about wiping it off the lawbooks and solving everything. It needs look at why people do this in the first place, who fights for it as the status quo, and what social structures and habits keep the thing in place despite the efforts of good people.


Of course, we still HAVE segregation in society. Not legally, but de facto thanks to economic status and civic planning. And not just physical separation, but grotesque imbalances of power and means. Look at job opportunities, home ownership, insurance evaluations, scrutiny by police, investment in local schools, etc. In G4 it was pretty clear that WAY more unicorns got to live in the lap of luxury or centers of commerce and education. Earth ponies were more spread out, rural, and based on an agrarian existence to feed the country. It’s not that G4 did much with it, but that kind of setup is way closer to modern day inequality, and would be a more fertile bed for those kind of stories. Admittedly, the Pegasi city in the trailer looked absolutely LOADED, so maybe we do have that element in store.


What the trailers and press releases are saying feels weak even as just a segregation story. The movie makes segregation look like a bunch of people moving out like feuding roommates… instead of being put in place by a group of people with a shitload more power and money than everyone else. Segregation is portrayed as a mutual agreement, not exploitation. My worry is that they’re going to go to Pocahontas routes, and make the root of racism a select few rich assholes spreading lies. And undoubtedly, rich people in the private and public sector DO profit off of ignorance and violence, and divert attention from real problems. But when white people in America were treating everyone as subhuman, it wasn’t FEAR that was driving it (at least, not exclusively). For one, it was profit and sheer convenience. Manual labor and the least desirable tasks could be foisted on to ‘lesser’ peoples, and they wouldn’t even require a humane wage. Even if there hadn’t been those empirical benefits, discrimination also brought the sadistic sense of self-importance that comes from standing on someone else’s neck. The imaginary structures of racism let people feel comfortable about their place in the universe.


Companies and studios will gladly tell their audiences to sympathize with victimized individuals and populations of oppression, and hate the individuals acts done upon them. But then they’ll get cagey about making some members of the audience feel any kind of guilt, from distantly benefitting from that system; or maybe even subtlety being part of one. It’s not good for the bottom line to name a civilian population for taking any racist, oppressive or outright murderous actions. No, it’s a single evil dictator (or CEO, or general) and their gaggle of cronies, who just needs to be overthrown. We see this toothless crap play out over and over because corporate entities are scared of some dipshits with megaphones losing their minds over the slightest whiff of ANY reference to some kind of systematic critique. Because some people are so fragile at the idea of accusation, self-examination, or guilt. Because it goes back to having an identity, a proud or sympathetic self-image.

5585196
Or... and this might be the slightest of all possibilities, that maybe it could be about something else? How do you know if this new generation would only focus on that, especially when it's still aimed at girls between the ages of 3 - 11?

5585261 Don't know where these systems of thoughts all come from. Sure, you can blame all the evils of the world on the people at the top or depths of human nature. One thing I do know is that cognitive dissonance makes people act... weird and irrational. These ponies suffer like us when it comes down to this. People think the world is made up understandable coherent body of ideas or principles. Sure, to a point. Beyond that point, it falls apart because it's more complex than one person can handle.

Beyond writer's and higher ups dueling and dancing with each other, don't think this is in Sunny's head. Equestria fell due to reasons you stated in your Theory One blog post in my opinion. Would like to add more that nations are like personal relationships. Friendship. These things require work to keep healthy. Other issues and other people during life get in the way. The health of one relationships affects the health of others. Nations are made up of them, and when one weakens, others get strained.

Am gun shy from the destruction or subversion of other properties. Though, I'll give this movie a chance. All and all the date for the English release creeps closer and we'll see what this story is all about.

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