If, like me, you grew up watching the adventures of She-Ra and He-Man, you probably hoped Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power would give at least a nod to She-Ra’s brother, the master of the universe. But He-Man mentions were scarce in the first season, and that might not change.
She-Ra showrunner Noelle Stevenson told Inverse that “He-Man is not really on the table for this iteration of She-Ra at all.” This makes sense when you consider He-Man is kind of a pulpy holdover from the late ’70s and early ’80s who might need some significant overhauling (or at least a goddamn haircut) to be updated to our more modern sensibilities.
He’d also be stuck with the same conundrum as Superman on Supergirl—potentially overshadowing the titular character on her own show. But while Supergirl has been forced to introduce Superman, or look very silly otherwise, She-Ra has the luxury of ignorance on the part of most of the audience. No one has to explain why He-Man isn’t fighting the Horde, because none of the characters, or even much of the audience, probably know who He-Man is, or what his connection to Adora/She-Ra is.
If no one on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is mentioning He-Man, and She-Ra isn’t trying to live outside of his shadow, then he doesn’t really seem necessary to her story—though excluding He-Man isn’t without its challenges.
“It’s sort of a dance of figuring out how to incorporate the larger lore of Masters of the Universe without needing to visit Eternia or see these very, very iconic characters appear,” Stevenson said. To that end, the showrunner prefers to focus on She-Ra herself, “Just letting it be about She-Ra’s story and her being disconnected from where she came from, from her family on Eternia.”
Which is something I’m all for. It’s about time all these female spin-off characters with much more fascinating backstories than their male counterparts finally start getting their due.
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