Ben 10: How to Fix and Improve the Omnitrix
Tactical Ochoa last edited by Tactical Ochoa
Magically changing its appearances after a simple reset, Primus and the Codon Stream, the Ultimate Forms, a simulated virtual world inside the Omnitrix, multiple types of Omnitrix watches, and now Omni-Enhancements? Geez, is this really what the Omnitrix is now? Some Frankenstein-esque mess of a concept? This is a prominent example of what happens when the "more is better" mindset is taken way too far. The Omnitrix has deviated so far away from its original design and purpose that it doesn't even seem like it's the Omnitrix anymore. It was bad enough that Ben's roster became so bloated and unbalanced due to the many aliens that he gained that were either too powerful for him to have access to and/or were just so redundant. The Omnitrix is by far one of the many things about the Ben 10 franchise that certainly became such a mess after the Original Series and it really needs some help. Therefore, here's what I think could be done to help fix and improve the Omnitrix. Hint: it follows a "less is more" mindset.
First off, let's look back at what the Omnitrix was in the Original Series. It's a watch that contains the DNA samples of over 1 million different sentient species. When worn and used, it transforms the wielder into any of those very species who's very DNA is stored in the Omnitrix's storage and database. The Omnitrix was created by Azmuth as a way to allow a wielder to be in the very shoes of other species and to communicate to said other species in an effort to understand them better and further promote peace throughout the universe.
Why am I explaining this? Because apparently Cartoon Network Studios, and surprisingly even Man of Action with the Ben 10 reboot, don't seem to understand this and I don't like to think of them this way. I want for CN Studios and Man of Action to show that they do understand the concept of the Omnitrix and Ben 10 overall. I want to see them improve. That's why I make articles like this. That's why I criticize the issues that they created for the Ben 10 franchise and provide my thoughts on how to hopefully fix and improve the franchise. Anyways, back to the Omnitrix. This is a one-of-a-kind device that's constantly being hammered at with all sorts of add-ons that doesn't fit together with it. Speaking of one-of-a-kind, introducing the Ultimatrix, new Omnitrix, etc most certainly didn't help because now the Omnitrix no longer felt that unique anymore due to there being other versions of it that outperform it. The Ultimatrix had the nonsensical evolutionary function while the new Omnitrix in Omniverse was an improved version of the original Omnitrix. There are ways to introduce other versions of the Omnitrix while still making the Omnitrix itself still unique and I'll get to that later. Speaking of a nonsensical evolutionary function, the Ultimate Forms certainly didn't help either since that they defied how evolution and biology works (Humungousaur with rocket launchers, anyone). I know that the Ultimate Forms applies to the Ultimatrix and not the original Omnitrix but the Ultimatrix is still a large part of the Omnitrix since that it's another version of it that works mostly the same way. The same goes with every other version of the Omnitrix as well. Even some of the smaller aspects about the Omnitrix that were added in the sequel shows didn't fit well with it. The Omnitrix magically changing its appearance for no reason after resetting itself makes no sense in Alien Force. The Destroy All Aliens movie showcased a virtual reality within the Omnitrix. Why? What's the point of the Omnitrix having that? It doesn't make sense for the Omnitrix to have something like that. The writers can't even seem to keep things consistent with the Omnitrix's functions established in the Original Series, such as how in season 3 of Alien Force, there's one moment where Ben let's Zs'Skayr try to possess him so that he could store Zs'Skayr back in the Omnitrix, even though in the Original Series, when Zs'Skayr tried to possess Ben, it triggered a security measure in the Omnitrix that stopped Zs'Skayr from succeeding in his attempt. Also, Primus and the Codon Stream? All of a sudden, the Omnitrix is now a network receiver? There were no hints and build up to that. Primus and the Codon Stream came out of nowhere. Then we get to the Ben 10 reboot and the Omni-Enhancements in season 2. For those that saw my part 1 review of said season 2 should know my thoughts on the Omni-Enhancements. Like with the Ultimate Forms, it's an unnecessary element to have in the show and more often causes more harm than good to the Omnitrix and Ben's aliens. The one addition to the Omnitrix that made the most sense to me was the DNA repair function that Ben used on the DNAliens. There are certain aspects about it that still made me skeptical of it but at least it makes sense since that Azmuth wouldn't want for any of the DNA samples that were collected to get damaged or corrupted.
Like I said before, I think a "less is more" mindset would be a proper solution to fixing and improving the Omnitrix. Therefore, get rid of all that junk that was taped onto the Omnitrix while also maintaining the consistency of the Omnitrix's functionality and characteristics as well as its originality. No magically changing its appearances after resetting. No virtual reality within the watch itself. No Ultimate Forms. No Ultimatrix and new Omnitrix. No Primus and the Codon Stream. No Omni-Enhancements. None of that. It's unnecessary junk that created more problems than benefits for the Omnitrix and the overall franchise. If the writers wanted to expand further on the Omnitrix, one such idea is to just introduce more aliens. However, that only goes to a certain extent as like I stated before on here, as well as on a previous article that I made a while back, Ben's roster became so bloated and unbalanced by the time Omniverse ended due to the amount of aliens that were introduced that were either too powerful and/or redundant.
I have another idea on expanding the Omnitrix in a way that would be better and more interesting than what the shows portrayed and this involves once again pointing out the Little Moments fan fiction series by shadows59. First, some context so there are some spoilers that I'm going to discuss. In the Little Moments story, there is a part where Max takes Ben to a secret and abandoned Plumbers facility, Fort Tesla, that's quite some distance away from Bellwood. In Chapter 12, we learn the reason behind why. While Max does praise and credit Ben and Gwen's heroism and willingness to be heroes, there's a part of him that is concerned for them considering how dangerous their lives had become. He's concerned for their safety and wants Ben and Gwen to live normal, safe lives. Therefore, while Max does tell Ben that the reason for going to Fort Tesla is to dampen the Omnitrix's power surge to make it less trackable and they did indeed do that. However, the real reason behind going to Fort Tesla was that Max wanted to find a way to remove the Omnitrix because of what I just stated about him. It's during his research into the Omnitrix at Fort Tesla that Max learns that there's a spiderweb of nano-fibers in Ben that starts from Ben's wrist and is all over and connected to Ben's body and brain. In the spin-off chapter, Little Moment: As Old As You Feel, by Erico, we learn more about these nano-fibers from Azmuth. The nano-fibers that come from the Omnitrix and are all over Ben's body serve multiple purposes. First, they're there to properly anchor and secure the Omnitrix to the wielder. Second, they ensure that Ben's transformations to his alien forms and his transformations back to his normal, default human self work properly as intended. Finally, they serve as a, in Azmuth's words, very blatant security measure as well. The nano-fibers can be severed from the Omnitrix but if severed incorrectly and improperly, it could damage the Omnitrix beyond repair unless fixed by Azmuth himself. The only way to remove the Omnitrix properly is either through a simple command, that only Azmuth knows, or by more very brutal means, such as the method shown in Back with a Vengeance. Properly removing the Omnitrix would disconnect the nano-fibers from it cleanly and safely and after one or two days, they would harmlessly biodegrade and be absorbed into Ben's body.
I also earlier mentioned that there could be a better way to introduce other versions of the Omnitrix that don't create the issues that I previously mentioned. Going back to Chapter 12 of Little Moments, we also learn that Max sent the research data and report on the Omnitrix to some of his former Plumber superiors. This leads to the Plumbers re-establishing themselves into an active organization and reopening a past research project called Chimera. In response to the Plumbers constantly being outgunned by alien threats, Project Chimera was focused on splicing human test subjects with alien DNA to give the Plumbers an upper hand in the fight. It wasn't pretty. The project was cancelled after Max defeated Vilgax years before the event of the Original Series. However, Ben's use of the Omnitrix encouraged the Plumbers to reopen Chimera...with Dr. Animo running the show. Using the research data and report that Max sent in, the Plumbers managed to create their own replicas of the Omnitrix. However, they're not as advanced as the original Omnitrix and therefore they each can only hold just one DNA sample. Some psychologists believed that the Omnitrix attached itself onto Ben because they think that Ben was the only one close to it that it could bond with; that it chose Ben because he was still a child and he would better be able to better mentally accept the changes that would result in him wielding the Omnitrix. Again, at least this is what some of the Plumbers scientists believed. Regardless, this encourages the Plumbers to use children to test the Omnitrix replicas and therefore many Plumbers volunteered their own kids into Project Chimera, such as Michael Morningstar. Later in the Breaking Point sequel story, there are moments that illustrate Plumber kids using said Omnitrix replicas, such as Alan Albright.
I make mention of these moments in the Little Moments series because, like with the rest of the series, these are really brilliantly well-written moments that are so interesting and compelling for the story, lore, and characters. The Omnitrix connecting itself to Ben through the use of nano-fibers really expands deeper on how the Omnitrix exactly works the way it does and Azmuth's mindset when designing and making the Omnitrix. Meanwhile, as for the Omnitrix replicas that were made by the Plumbers and Dr. Animo, they work so well with the story and lore without interfering with the originality and technological superiority of the Omnitrix itself. Plus, the history behind these very replicas is just so chilling. Project Chimera opens up some new possibilities, such as the origins behind many mutant characters like Clancy and maybe even Kevin Levin. It also shows a more darker, more corrupt side of the Plumbers as well. I mean like christ, the Plumbers are trying to weaponize children and Project Chimera was already so messed up years before the events of the Original Series. It's quite fitting, too, that Dr. Animo would be involved give who he is as a character. I also find that Project Chimera also makes the Plumbers' kids and their origins much more interesting than in the actual shows given what is learned about it. Much like what I said about how the prequel chapter, Little Moment: Stone in the River, tackled Professor Paradox and time traveling, this is some of the most interesting and compelling Ben 10-related material I've come across and it would be really neat to see stuff like this done in the franchise itself. It disappoints me that there are so much potential and so many great opportunities that the Ben 10 franchise still has and yet Cartoon Network neglects to fulfill said potential and opportunities.
Anyways, this is how I think the Omnitrix could be properly fixed and improved in the Ben 10 franchise; how I think the issues with the Omnitrix could be resolved. If anyone else has any thoughts of their own on the topic of this article, feel free to leave a comment down below. I also highly recommend checking out the Little Moments series by shadows59. Links to the series can be found here:
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