The Masters of The Universe franchise, which includes the original He-Man and She-Ra series, was absolutely huge in the ’80s. A pop culture force, the series spawned a film, TV reboots, comics, and of course ran alongside one of the most successful toy lines in history. Naturally, it’s also picked up a fervent fanbase who’ve stuck with the franchise through the many years of ups and downs. Fans who, both directly and indirectly, had an impact on the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
When Noelle Stevenson, known for her work in comics, was approached to develop a new take on the ’80s classic She-Ra for Netflix, she was only partially aware of the bigger Masters of the Universe lore. She’d hadn’t watch the series growing up and wasn’t a hardcore fan.
To aid her in the process of making the updated series, DreamWorks provided her with an an “original series document that they had hired some people to write that was all about the lore of the Masters of the Universe world. All the characters and what the plans had been for future arcs in Masters of the Universe.”
Stevenson, who calls herself a “nerd about exploring lore and mythology” loved getting deep into the wider world of MOTU. “(It) really sent me down this rabbit hole of research,” she says. “I got very into fan sites and the online community for Masters of the Universe. It’s pretty small but very, very devoted.”
Impressed by how much the fans had archived and chronicled the original series, Stevenson got wrapped up in going through old blogs and learning the minutiae of every character.
“(The fans) do such a great job of just archiving everything,” she says. “Here’s this character. Here’s what the toy was like. Here’s what she was like in the original illustrated books. Here’s what she’s like in the comics.”
Even through the new She-Ra does change some things about the beloved series, it’s great to know the most hardcore fans did have an impact on it.