Is Umbra an Order servant?
After digging through some Greg quotes, I'm no longer certain Umbra is an Order of Mata Nui servant.
For context, here is the first quote that (I believe) led people to conclude Umbra was an Order servant:
A few posts further down, there's a link to a BZP topic about Umbra. Fortunately the first page of that topic was saved on archive.org:
The top post says Umbra is a servant, and it was last updated in June 2006. So, by mid-2006 people believed that Umbra was a "servant," and not a member, of the Order. The timeline is important, and I'll get back to that. Here are a few other quotes predating June 2006. They make it clear that Umbra was not a full-fledged member of the Order, but he was involved with them in some capacity.
So, by mid-April we knew Umbra was not a full-on Order member. Now look at these this quote from the same time period:
This quote is interesting because it got retconned. Greg said the Great Beings founded the Order and placed Umbra on Voya Nui. It was fair back then to call Umbra a servant of the Order, because the Order gave him his mission.
Summary so far: As of mid-2006, Umbra was placed on Voya Nui by the Order, but he was not a full-on Order member. So, it was fair to call Umbra an Order servant. Near as I can tell, fans coined the term "servant," not Greg. (I could have missed something though!)
Umbra's backstory changed when Greg decided the Order was founded later.
After the retcon, it was still true that the Great Beings placed Umbra on Voya Nui. (We know that from Umbra's BEU and MGttU entries.) Since the Order didn't exist until after the GBs did their thing, the Order couldn't have placed Umbra on Voya Nui. Then Greg said pretty conclusively that Umbra was not part of the Order or its predecessor, the Hand of Artakha:
That said, after the retcon, people kept referring to Umbra as an Order servant, and Greg didn't correct them. For example, see these posts (thanks Dorek):
To wrap up, here's what I suspect happened. Originally, Umbra was an Order servant because the Order placed him on Voya Nui. After Greg changed the Order's founding date and introduced the Hand, people still called Umbra an Order servant, even though the original reasoning behind that title didn't hold anymore. Greg didn't correct people, so the title stuck.
Back in 2008, a BZPer noticed this situation and asked Greg about it. Greg suggested asking again later.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like anyone followed up, and neither BEU nor MGttU clarify the situation.
Lastly, note our Umbra article calls Umbra an Order servant not because the Order put him on Voya Nui, but "because he does the same work the Order wants done." I haven't found any Greg quotes confirming this. They could very well be out there, in which case there is no issue!
I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. (If you can find relevant Greg quotes that would be great!) Obviously this is super trivial and largely a matter of semantics. The post-retcon quotes make it clear that Umbra wasn't active in the Order or Hand. The only question is whether the Hand/Order considered him a servant regardless. As trivial as this whole thing is, I'm bringing it up because if Umbra isn't an Order servant, it would affect which infoboxes/navboxes we use in the article. -- Morris the Mata Nui Cow (talk) 23:41, 20 May 2020 (UTC)