Here I will give a somewhat critical, yet trying to remain humorous account of the philosophy of Orko. Orko errs on the side of science as we shall see, but also has philosophical debates with himself, as he has limited mental challengers in the rest of the cast.
This is a classic picture of Orko contemplating, much like Diogenes under the tree when Alexander came to visit him, or the Buddha as he ventured from society to reach enlightenment.
Uncle Montork: Orko, there are things more important than magic.
Orko: Really, like what?
Are there actually more important things than magic? Uncle Montork isn’t exactly sure and has no answer for him. I suppose Orko is right in the absurdity of life, that the only thing left is magic. What he is talking about however, I will address in the proceeding analysis. He is actually talking about science and the nature of life. Orko is not a mere magician, but a genius scientist. He has to conceal his new innovations constantly as mere magic throughout the show, as his fellow citizens are generally indoctrinated by the totalatarian government of King Randor.
Shadow Weaver: Why, you miserable excuse for a wizard I have half a mind to…
Orko: [interrupting] Yeah, and that’s all you have: half a mind!
Orko’s intelligence is possibly on the level of Plato, Kant, Descartes or other philosophical geniuses who let out their verbal wizardry onto the world. Some were even heretics at the time with their genius. Orko as stated is actually a scientist, and not a wizard at all. The cast of he-man are equivalent to the folks who lived during the Salem Witch Trials in comparison. Orko needs no magic, that is only the perception of the others in the show, he is an Eternian Ben Franklin.
Teela: You know, when you open a book, you’re really opening a door to a wonderful world of entertainment and information.
Orko: That’s for sure! I’m finding out all about science, and dragons, and sports, but mostly bodybuilding!
Teela: You have a book on bodybuilding?
Orko: No, but carrying all thse books sure builds my body.
Orko, like Skeletor has a deep appreciation for books. Now, one might say the cartoon was indoctrinating children at the time to want to read vis a vis Reading Rainbow or something of the same caliber. I say no, some of the smartest characters in the episodes were of course Orko and Skeletor, whereas Merman, Man-At-Arms and Man-E-Faces were mental serfs in comparison. Orko had an entire library of books which he retreated to, while Skeletor collected ancient texts and was always on the search for a higher meaning through them.
The first topic mentioned is science, in which Orko as I said before was actually a scientist and not a wizard at all. He stayed cloak to avoid the Eternian clergy in most cases like King Randor, equivalent to Charlemagne.
Orko: Great! Even when I’m right, I’m wrong! And the only reason I’m right is because I’m wrong. And if I’m wrong, it’s because he’s right about me being wrong. Ew! That does it. I’ll show you that I’m right because I’m right!
The Orkian great debate on logic. Not only was he an outstanding rhetorician, he had an extreme fascination with ethics. What exactly is right or wrong, is it Orko’s own motives, or the decisions made by the oppressive Eterinian monarchy of King Randor? You see, Orko lives in a totalatarian multipolar world, on one side is Castle Grayskull, the other is Snake Mountain. You would have to go into an entirely different dimension to find Hordak and his crew. Given this Orko is always forced to make a choice and side with good and evil, leaving not many choices, he errs on the side of slightly better than the other, as Skeletor is purely evil, while He-Man is actually middle of the road and isn’t always concerned with the moral good as he is made out to be.
Orko would do better in the series to take a more proactive role. If he would dish out his knowledge onto the land more often, Eternia would be a better place and they might have had a great school of Athens, instead of a big Green Castle with pageantry and a monarch ruler.
Until next time…