by James Eatock
Continuity was something that the Temple of The Sun missed out on.
The Temple of The Sun was used three times in the He-Man series, and continuity seemed to be something that the writers forgot about with this location within the vast Sands of Time!
No doubt about it, the Temple of The Sun was one of the more familiar places on the planet Eternia. Whenever there was the slightest hint it would reappear, we the audience would get excited. Unfortunately, after it's initial appearance, the writers didn't know what exactly to do with it. And while it was one of the most unique locations in the Sands of Time, it never really had a conformed identity.
The initial appearance of the temple was in season one's "Temple of The Sun." You would be forgiven for thinking that this episode was it's only appearance; the Scarab within the temple is located and used by the villain, and then destroyed. As a single episode location it works perfectly. When Nepthu stumbles upon the temple, it is shrouded in mystery, and hinted that nobody has accessed it in years. This really confuses matters with the final appearance in "Trouble's Middle Name."
It its second appearance in "The Great Books Mystery," the temple is still given respect by the writer, in this case Harvey Brenner. Batros, the guest villain makes use of the temple by hiding all of Eternia's books in it. The temple seems to have no definitive reason for appearing in the episode, and is used only as a storehouse for stolen books. This episode could've used any other location on Eternia. Why use the temple? The other problems is that now it appears a little too easy to access, with Teela and Orko entering and re-entering the temple quite a few times during the episode's duration.
J. Michael Straczynski who was usually the He-Man and She-Ra series continuity expert really failed when it came to writing "Trouble's Middle Name." The reason for this is that in the temple's third appearance all past continuity appears to have been thrown out of the window. The idea of the temple being a place of great power is something that was touched upon in "Temple of The Sun," but this time the power seems far greater. This time the Sunstone is a part of the temple, and by all rights always has been. The strangest inclusion is that of two men who are the keepers of the Sunstone.
Overall, the two latter episodes, which featured the Temple of The Sun, are terrible in comparison. "Temple of The Sun" was by no means a classic episode, but it is a highly enjoyable, memorable and definitive appearance for the temple, and the Sands of Time.