The unspeakable truth of Skeletor
When Skeletor was first created, it was, as designer Mark Taylor shares in “The Toys That Made Us”, “the very essence of evil”. The bible from Filmation’s “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” series describes Skeletor as the last remaining ruler of Infinita, Eternia’s evil twin planet inhabited by demons and monsters. He was an “evil, megalomaniac and power-mad monster” determined to conquer Eternia. Granted, none of this was ever mentioned on the show, but it was the basis of Skeletor’s stories.
Then Mattel cast She-Ra, and for her cartoon debut, they created a being far more powerful and evil than Skeletor: Hordak.
This villain had succeeded in enslaving an entire world – Eternia’s twin planet, Etheria, which had replaced Infinita, never officially mentioned. Hordak even kidnapped a newborn baby – Adora, aka She-Ra – and brainwashed her into serving in his army, the Horde. Moreover, he knew Skeletor not as an equal, but as his former apprentice.
Skeletor never succeeded in conquering an entire world, and the magical power he had amassed had been learned from Hordak. Granted, “She-Ra: Princess of Power” established that Skeletor’s power had increased dramatically since her Hordak days, but suddenly this mysterious demonic figure with no real past seemed a little less intimidating. He had just been another lackey. A cog in the machine. It was a shattering backstory that has remained ever since.