Masters of the Universe

The more I think about how Skeletor is named "Skeletor" the weirder it seems to me. As a kid it made perfect sense: hey, there's a guy whose facial bones are exposed to the world, so of course he's named Skeletor. However, even if kid me was going to be okay with the literalness of Skeletor's name he should have asked why he wasn't known as "Skullface" since the only un-fleshed part of his anatomy is his face. But regardless of how fitting the name is, it's super weird that he's called that. Did he get the name when the midwife handed his baby body to his mother and she saw his skinlessness and freaked out? Was it a middle school taunt that he decided to own up to? Is it an acronym for something cool, like "Skullface Killer Ebola Lightning Exploding Tomahawk Orangutang Radio", except maybe slightly more thought out than that?

Here's what I've decided: when Skeletor went to Yale - and he had to go to Yale because that's where the Skull and Bones are, and he's a skully-faced dude who wants to rule the world, so duh - he decided to pledge at a fraternity. And as part of his initiation ritual, the haze-masters stripped him of his birth name and gave him a demeaning nickname which was designed to poke fun at the one trait he was super self conscious about. (That trait is that he's lacking skin over every part of his face, in case you somehow missed that.) And later, after he graduated, he thought back to those days of youthful mistakes and really regretted signing up to be humiliated by psychopathic jerks, but there was nothing he could do about it; once applied, the nickname stuck, and it was going to echo around the halls of power until he rose to power and pulled a Stalin. (Pulling a Stalin is when you use your power as the fascist leader of a country to murder everyone who knew you when you were young. Talking about pulling a Stalin is a lot less fun to talk about than talking about how Skeletor is epidermis-deficient, so let's get back to that.)

Maybe I'm reading too much into this; it could be that Skeletor has always liked his name. However, part of the reason why I'm pretty sure that Skeletor doesn't like being called Skeletor is because the instant he harnesses the power of the universe he tries to change his name to "The Master of The Universe." I don't think he would do that if he was happy with "Skeletor." I also don't think he realizes that it's tacky to try to give yourself your own nickname. (Especially if you pick something that doesn't roll off your tongue. I could see calling him "MotT", but "Master of the Universe" is a mouthful.)

This might seem like a trivial topic to explore, but I think it opens up an interesting chicken and egg situation: which came first, the evil or the evil name? You have to admit, there would be a certain dark majesty to Skeletor's story if it turned out that he was a decent dude before He-Man came and bullied him enough to spoil his spirit. Perhaps it's a bit of a cliche to imagine He-Man as the human embodiment of all the jock douchebags that held Skeletor down during his undergraduate years, but if that was their backstory it would explain why Skeletor is so eager to steal He-Man's sword so he can plug it into Eternia's throne, which he has to do if he's going to suck all of the magic energy out of a bird-shaped witch and turn him a world conquering super-wizard. (That is the actual plot of this movie. I don't think I have the energy to get into the rest of the plot, which concerns a dwarf with a magic circular keyboard that lets you travel across dimensions, amongst other bizarre things.)

Of course, I could wonder how He-Man got his name because that's also a weird name, but who cares about that guy? We all know that the bad guy is more fun - especially if the bad guy has a wicked looking ram's head staff he can shoot lasers out of, and if he floats around in a giant metal hovercraft, and loves to cackle maniacally. Basically, Skeletor is the best, and let's face it, part of the reason why he's the best is that he's named Skeletor and not, say, Brad. So, I'm sorry, Skeletor. Maybe you don't like that name. Maybe it brings up bad memories of unloving parents or heartless bullies every time you hear it. Maybe you wish your name couldn't be acronym-ized as "Scuba Ketamine Eagle Leopard Eating Tons Of Ramen". Maybe it's all of those things, but you do have to admit: it is kind of a fitting name for a skull faced dude.

Winner: Me

Masters of the Universe of IMDB