Zarn - The Observer
An essay by River Rasmussen
I’m going to mention this at the beginning of all of my essays, because I believe it’s an important detail, as simple as it may seem. I believe that the differing looks of characters throughout LOTL are simply interpretational, no more complex than a recasting, or redesign of a cartoon character. This doesn’t mean it means nothing, because I think it’s a way of expressing characteristics. This will come up soon.
In canonical order, the first appearance of Zarn is in the film. We learn from a hologram that he had sent out some sort of message to someone, warning that, “Enik the Altrusian has escaped our custody. He has overtaken the central pylon, and now plans to lead his army of sleestak on a rampage across time and space.” This leaves me with a few questions.
1. Why did he refer to Enik as “Enik the Altrusian”?
2. What does he mean by “our custody”?
The first answer is actually shockingly simple. Zarn is not an Altrusian. I can say for certain that he is in fact, the same creature he was in the 70s show. Proof? Look no further than his skeleton, shown on the ground behind the hologram. His skull is simply not of an Altrusian. Strange that no one has noticed that, seeing as Altrusian skulls are prominently featured in the movie's council of skulls.
Altrusian skulls: https://youtu.be/VMFwVNGGfBc
Zarn’s skull: https://youtu.be/BeqJIBhAs5Y
This also comes back to the reversal of the law of conservation of temporal momentum. This Zarn is only one half, and after dying, his second half is granted access to Altrusia. So what is he if not an Altrusian, and why did he only enter Altrusia again in the 70s show if his first half died in the movie? I am not certain what Zarn is. But I have an interesting theory. Zarn claims in the 70s show, that he is an explorer, who specializes in the study of humans. That’s strange, as he was seemingly hiding among the Altrusians not humans? Unless those bipedal, English speaking, sentient animals that lived on a planet with nothing on it but things from earth were related to humans. But there’s just no evidence to back that up *wink wink nudge nudge* (I will likely return to this topic some day in the near future.)
Now why did he only enter Altrusia in the 70s? Well here’s a concept. We know that the Zarn from the 70s can make himself silent and invisible when he needs to. And in the clip shown earlier of the Zarn’s skeleton, the hologram of Zarn appears revealing a crucial piece of lore right when Holly comes near it. This was entirely unprovoked and seems like a crazy coincidence, and this completely fits with the theory of Zarn being a watcher over the Altrusians.
But we still have to discuss what Zarn meant by “our”. From what we see in the movie, the only other people opposed to Enik are the skulls in the council. Before they were killed, it’s not possible that Zarn was one of them is it? I think it is. On multiple occasions we’ve seen Zarn try to make his way into situations he has no part in for “research” purposes. He’s a mastermind with technology and has incredible supernatural powers on his side. For Builder’s sake, he’s created sentient robots and used them to monitor human life before! (Or after depending on how you’re looking at the space-time continuum.)
This leads me again to believe that the Altrusians are descendants or ancestors of humans, although as I said, I just don’t have enough evidence. I do, however, have some bits of information that could link humans to Altrusians and Altrusians to Zarn. Zarn tells the Marshals that humans are all the same, anger-filled and quick to violence. This sounds oddly familiar to many of the flaws of the Altrusian race that Enik often discusses in the TV show. And is it that difficult to imagine that in the Krofft brothers’ minds, it might be possible that a creature struggling with controlling emotions might evolve to feel pain when exposed to or expressing it? This seems like a hint of some sort. But that’s really all I have for this one. Let me know what you think, what I got right, and what I got wrong. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.