The Omnitrix and "If it isn't broken, don't fix it."
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
I've always been more of a fan of the original Omnitrix from the Original Series and not so much of the later Omnitrix designs and iterations that followed afterwards. I don't really find the later designs and iterations to really be necessary for the shows and they don't really feel like they add a lot to said shows and I think they more so took away what made the Omnitrix and its concept so special and unique. If anything, the later iterations of the Omnitrix feel more like they're there to sell more merchandise over being something that actually adds to the Ben 10 universe. Now sure, the original Omnitrix was also a merchandise seller. However, it was also something that added a lot to the Ben 10 lore and universe. It was a major focal point within a show that started this very franchise. So much so that, as the title of this page states, the original Omnitrix feels like an instance of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." At least this is what I think here. Maybe I'm wrong. At the very least, I'll go into the why of my claim here.
A major factor behind why I like the Original Series' original Omnitrix the most is because it was a very special and unique aspect of Ben 10 given the nature of it and its creation. The original Omnitrix was created to allow various alien species to be able to experience what it's like to be in each other's shoes and would thus allow said species to better communicate with each other and further promote peace in the Ben 10 universe. That was Azmuth's original intention behind creating the Omnitrix. It wasn't made to be a weapon, like what Vilgax intended to use it for. It wasn't made to be a "Noah's Ark," as what I recall that Alien Force established. It wasn't made to win back Azmuth's former lover, as what Ultimate Alien established. This is what the original intention behind Azmuth creating the Omnitrix was and writers should really stop trying to change that. The original Omnitrix was also quite a marvelous achievement to create as well. It took one of the smartest individuals in the known universe, and a lot of effort and resources, to create it. Even the design of the original Omnitrix itself felt unique. It was indeed an alien looking device that looked really cool and unique. The original Omnitrix overall felt like a one-of-a-kind device and concept for Ben 10.
Which is a major factor behind why I'm not a fan of the original Omnitrix's redesigned appearance in Alien Force and the different variations of the Omnitrix in the later shows. The Omnitrix's magically changed appearance in Alien Force felt unnecessary and like a downgrade and I also think it doesn't make sense in-universe. That doesn't seem like something that Azmuth would implement because changing its appearance doesn't really fulfill a necessary purpose and like I said, the new appearance felt like a downgrade. Alien Force's redesign of the original Omnitrix makes it look less alien and more bland and I guess generic. Like it was made by humans instead of being made by a renowned Galvan.
Then there's the Ultimatrix which, despite being considered by Azmuth as inferior to the original Omnitrix, was a straight up upgrade to the original Omnitrix because of its evolutionary function that granted Ben's alien forms their ultimate forms. This doesn't really add any variety to Ben's alien roster because they're just evolved versions of existing aliens. I don't even think the evolutionary function makes sense from an evolutionary aspect either; especially in regards to aliens like Humungousaur, who for some reasons evolved to have rocket launchers for arms. The Ultimatrix, despite whatever issues it did have, made the original Omnitrix obsolete. The Ultimatrix's appearance didn't really help much either. I think a good way of summing up its appearance is that it's the Alien Force Omnitrix design in a more gauntlet structure. I don't think that makes the Ultimatrix's appearance stand out well.
Then there's Omniverse's Omnitrix, which looked even more bland and generic. It looks more like a typical watch that you would find on Earth than something that is alien made. Omniverse also introduced the Nemetrix, made by Dr. Psychobos as a knock-off version of the original Omnitrix. At that point, the original Omnitrix and the concept of there being an Omnitrix no longer felt special and unique. Once the Ultimatrix came around, the Omnitrix no longer felt like a one-of-a-kind device and more variations, like the Nemetrix, further cemented that. Also, why bother having villains even go after the Omnitrix at this point when they could try making their own replicas or hire someone like Albedo or Dr. Psychobos to make replicas? I say there's a reason for why the Omnitrix should be a one-of-a-kind device. Those, such as Vilgax, have gone through such extremes to get their hands on the Omnitrix. To use it as a weapon to cause more harm to others. That's how important the original Omnitrix was. It was such a marvelous achievement that many in the known universe wanted to get their hands on it to use for their own purposes. Having replicas of the Omnitrix exist within the Ben 10 universe undermines that very importance that the original Omnitrix had.
And then there's the reboot show and how it modified the Omnitrix and introduced the Antitrix. At first, we got the original Omnitrix back and at the time of the first season of the reboot, I recall that it was the only Omnitrix that exists within that continuity. Cool. The Omnitrix feels special and unique again. Then in I believe season 2, the Omnitrix was modified to grant Ben's alien forms their Omni-Enhanced forms. Later on, we got the Omni-Kix and then the Omni-Nauts functions. All three of these essentially do what the Ultimatrix does in a power armor-esque format. That what it really boiled down to for me. Each new function of the Omnitrix didn't really feel that different and unique to me. They felt more like a set of power armor being slapped onto Ben's alien forms and allows them to do more of what they already do but better. In fact, reboot Azmuth's intentions for creating the Omnitrix seem to be the same as Original Series Azmuth's intentions. The Omni-Kix seems to be an intended feature of the Omnitrix that enhances the capabilities of Ben's alien forms. To me, that seems like something that would weaponize the Omnitrix, which goes against Azmuth's intentions for creating it, which makes me question as to why this is an intended function of it. While the reboot post-season 1 designs seem decent and I think I would actually consider them to be better than the Omnitrix and Ultimatrix designs from the sequel shows, I also don't think it's necessary to change the Omnitrix's appearance in each season of the reboot show. The original Omnitrix design already looks great as is. As I stated before, if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
I think the Antitrix is by far the worse variant of all the post-Original Series iterations of the Omnitrix. It's not so much in regards to its functionality and appearance (I'm not a fan of its appearance though), but more so in regards to its origin. The Antitrix is a replica of the Omnitrix created by Kevin Levin, an 11-year-old human kid, using various parts from his garage after receiving the blueprints of the original Omnitrix from Vilgax through a dream. No explanation behind how he has the intelligence and skillsets to create the Antitrix. No explanation behind how he has all the necessary advanced resources to build it. No explanation behind how Kevin got all the DNA samples that he would need to transform into the very aliens that he has. None of that stuff. Some aspects of the Antitrix are even improvements over the original Omnitrix, such as staying in alien form for a longer period of time and Kevin's alien forms being more powerful than Ben's alien forms. This is possibly one of, if not the most, absurdly stupid moments in all of Ben 10. In fact, it's thinking back to the Antitrix a while back that sparked my interest in covering this topic. What confuses me even more is that Vilgax helped Azmuth make the Omnitrix and had the Omnitrix blueprints. Why didn't he make the Antitrix instead? Why did Vilgax entrust an 11-year-old human kid to make the Antitrix for him? What an absurd way to downplay Azmuth and his achievement. I don't care if there are some aspects of the Antitrix that made the original Omnitrix better than it. That moment was still incredibly absurd and I say that should've never happened in the Ben 10 reboot. The Antitrix is by far the biggest example as to why the original Omnitrix should remain as a one-of-a-kind device.
Despite me emphasizing why the original Omnitrix should remain a special and unique one-of-a-kind device, I do think there are some exceptions here. Ben's son, Ken, receiving his own Omnitrix is certainly one of them. Ken wants to be like his father. Ken wants to follow in his father's footsteps and also be a hero. Therefore, I think it's fine for Ken to have his own exact replica of the Omnitrix. If there is one thing that I do want to change though, it's how that replica was created. From what I recall, Ben 10,000 used his smartest aliens to create an Omnitrix replica. I'd rather prefer instead for Ben 10,000 to convince Azmuth to make the Omnitrix replica for Ken instead. Another exception is in regards to the Little Moments fanfic series. In that series, the Plumbers (the Original Series version of them) acquired data on the Omnitrix and used it to create their own replicas of the Omnitrix with the help of Dr. Animo. What's different about these replicas though is that due to the limitations that the Plumbers had, these replicas are quite inferior to the original Omnitrix, as in they can each only hold one DNA sample. The Plumbers also assumed that the Omnitrix latched itself onto Ben because kids could better adapt to it, hence they give their Omnitrix replicas to children of members of the Plumbers. Alan Albright, Helen and Pierce Wheels, Manny Armstrong, Michael Morningstar, etc. Not only do these replicas feel like they don't tread on the significance of the original Omnitrix, but it also feels more like a much better set up of the Plumbers' Helpers compared to what the sequel shows did.
The overall point of what I'm trying to make here is that the original Omnitrix is such a special and unique device with a lot of significance and importance to the Ben 10 series and universe and I don't think the post-Original Series shows did a good job of maintaining that, at times even hampering it. The original Omnitrix is a one-of-a-kind device created by one of the most intelligent beings in the known universe that had villains go through such extremes just to get their hands on it to use for their own evil purposes. With the exception of, well, the exceptions that I mentioned, I think that aspect of the Omnitrix should be maintained and I don't think there's really a necessity to try and "improve" the Omnitrix and try to put a different spin on it. As I stated before, if it isn't broken, don't fix it and I don't think the Omnitrix needs any "fixing."
If anyone has any thoughts and opinions of their own about this that they want to share, feel free to comment down below. If there's any hiccups in regards to my coverage of this, feel free to let me know and I'll see if I can address it.