WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Age of the Golden Master
Ninjago: Age of the Golden Master is a live-action LEGO film featuring the LEGO Ninjago characters. The film is written, directed, filmed and edited by Scott Pincus and distributed by Bio-Builder Productions. It is the second sequel to the 2014 film Ninjago, the sequel to Rise of the Great Devourer, and Scott's main project of 2018. The film stars returning cast members Jack Morris, Joe Teddick, OonieandCacola, Douglas Garthwaite, Jack Hillebrecht, Davy Smet, Tom McCabe and others, and introduces Lance Newman, Josh Lambright, JobbytheHong, Matt Howell, Luna Fett and Brent Miller, the original voice of Zane.
Set two years after the second film, Pythor forms an alliance of villains to turn The Overlord into the Golden Master, an all-powerful being bent on razing Ninjago. The Ninja and their allies journey across Ninjago to save the city from an age of destruction. Progress on the film picked up in 2016, but was slowed due to the production of Creepy Guy 4 and other projects, as well as Scott's graduation of high school and transition to college. The film draws elements from seasons three through six of the TV show, while mainly consisting of Scott's original story which adapt several of the series' plot points.
Filming began in November 2016, and took place sporadically over the next two years. The majority of filming wrapped in August 2018 before ultimately wrapping in December. The film began airing on July 19, 2018, with the release of Part 1, and the parts continued airing in October. The fifth and final part concluded the film on December 21, 2018.
Eighteen months after the Great Devourer's death, Pythor assembles a group of villains - Morro, the Elemental Master of Wind - Master Chen, the leader of a criminal cult - and Cryptor, a corrupted Nindroid. Together, they seek to make The Overlord into the all-destroying Golden Master. They spend the next six months constructing an ultimate weapon, which will teleport the Cursed Realm and merge it with Ninjago. To complete their mission, they need the Realm Crystal to reach the realm, and Lloyd's Golden Power to create the Golden Master.
In 2020, the Ninja fight the Sky Pirates, who capture Cole, Kai, Jay and Zane and deliver them to Chen. Chen holds a second Tournament of Elements, which will end with their elemental powers being stolen. With help from Elemental Masters Karlof and Griffin Turner, the Ninja steal Chen's Staff of Elements and are rescued by their allies. In the meantime, Morro possesses Lloyd to bring him to The Overlord. Vengeful, he goes after his old master Wu, and loses control of Lloyd during a fight with the Ninja. After regrouping with Delmar and his allies, the Ninja meet with the redeemed Serpentine and learn about the prophecy of the destructive Golden Master, after which they set off into rural Ninjago to find their adversaries. After Destiny's Bounty is crippled and Cole is captured, the Ninja are met with Ronin, Karlof, Turner and Samuel Mercer.
Delmar's team finds Soto's men, who have also changed their ways and help them find the Realm Crystal. However, Morro and the Sky Pirates intervene and steal it. Garmadon and Lloyd journey into Hiroshi's Labyrinth, before Lloyd is captured by Pythor and The Overlord steals his powers. The Ninja make their way to Stiix, where they rescue Lloyd and Cole and escape aboard Destiny's Bounty - just as the newborn Golden Master arrives. The Ninja go to the Slither Pit, where they stop the Serpentine from killing the corrupt mayor, Anthony Reese. Cole convinces the Serpentine to join them and stop The Overlord.
The Ninja and their new alliance regroup at Bowler Airfield, where they prepare to make a final stand against The Overlord's forces. Meanwhile, The Overlord arrives in Jamanakai Village with the Ultimate Weapon. The Ninja and their allies raid the village, with Lloyd leading an army on the ground while Zane, Ronin, Spitta and Nya pilot vehicles to attack the Ultimate Weapon. Garmadon condemns Clouse to the void between realms. Cole uses his earth element to carry the Temple of Fortitude into Jamanakai, as it resists the Golden Power. Zane fights and destroys Cryptor while Lloyd fights and redeems Morro. Dareth reawakens the Stone Army to get the Realm Crystal, but his plan fails and Eyezor kills him. Captain Soto tries defending the chest containing Nadakhan, but he's fatally shot by his old rival Flintlocke, who retakes the chest. After the Golden Master kills Lucas and several troopers, Master Chen fights Cole atop the flying temple. As the Ultimate Weapon becomes fully-charged, Chen fatally stabs Cole and throws him at the weapon's portal, sending him to the Cursed Realm.
Jay and Brent fly a ghost ship at the weapon's portal to stop its activation. Realizing their misdeeds, Pythor and Morro intervene to help shut down the weapon, with Morro taking the Realm Crystal to stop it from activating. As Jay and Brent escape with the crystal, Morro pilots the ship, and is incinerated by the weapon. After fatally stabbing Chen, Garmadon returns to the Bounty. Pythor declares they can end the war by performing a spell to banish any and all evil souls nearby to the Cursed Realm - but only by sacrificing someone who banished others in the past. Garmadon realizes he can make the sacrifice, the thought of which enrages Lloyd. Ultimately, he reads the spell to banish his father, which in turn condemns Chen and all the remaining adversaries to the Cursed Realm.
The Ninja and their allies celebrate the victory, but it's short-lived as The Overlord teleports in, unaffected by the spell. He returns to his weapon to raze Ninjago with the Golden Power. In a final effort to defeat him, Zane does Spinjitzu across the village and grabs hold of the weapon's harnesses. He uses all his strength to overpower the Ultimate Weapon, which shakes violently. Despite all, The Overlord becomes helpless to stop Zane, who looks back on his memories before the weapon explodes in a burst of light - killing him and defeating The Overlord once more.
The Ninja and their allies hold a funeral for Zane some time later. Cole is disheartened over his ghostly appearance, though Sensei encourages him to keep moving forward. After attending a speech by Ben Delmar, who declares Samuel Mercer as Ninjago's new mayor, Sensei and the Ninja pay their respects at Zane's memorial. Lloyd asks Sensei to guide him to become a sensei, which he agrees to do. Together, the Ninja agree to defend Ninjago for years to come, with Cole calling themselves "the protectors of Ninjago, the students of Sensei Wu", and "the Masters of Spinjitzu".
In a post-credits scene, a construction worker approaches an elderly man, Dr. Saunders, who inspects the ruins of the Ultimate Weapon.
Cast members with an * next to their name switched their username following the release of the second film.
- Jack Morris voices Cole Hence, the Elemental Master and Ninja of Earth. As confirmed in March 2018, this is Jack's last time voicing the character, having starred as Cole throughout the series.
- Matt Howell voices Kai Fellows, the Elemental Master and Ninja of Fire, and the brother of Nya. Kai was voiced by Ryan Bowman in the first two films, but he was dropped from the cast in February 2017. Matt Howell took over the role that April.
- OonieandCacola voices Jay Walker, the Elemental Master and Ninja of Lightning, who is in a relationship with Kai's sister Nya.
- Douglas Garthwaite voices Zane Julien, the Elemental Master and Ninja of Ice, as well as the first Nindroid and the son of Dr. Julien.
- Jack Hillebrecht voices Lloyd Garmadon, the Elemental Master of Energy and the Green Ninja, as well as the son of Garmadon and nephew of Sensei Wu.
- Luna Fett voices Nya Fellows, the sister of Kai and a loyal ally of the Ninja, who dons the alias of "Samurai X". Luna Fett was cast as Nya after Abby Pincus was dropped from the cast.
- Joe Teddick voices Sensei Wu, a son of the First Spinjitzu Master, brother of Garmadon, uncle of Lloyd, and teacher of the Ninja. Though he reprises the role for a third time, Joe created a slightly different voice for Wu, keeping elements of his raspy tone while making him sound more clear and young.
- Tom McCabe* voices Garmadon, a son of the First Spinjitzu Master, brother of Wu and the father of Lloyd. Having been redeemed at the end of the second film, Garmadon has become a sensei like his brother.
- Davy Smet voices Ben Delmar, Ninjago's police commissioner and the leader of the city's united police and military forces. Delmar has formed a team of troopers that work with the Ninja to protect Ninjago.
- Josh Lambright voices Dareth, a loyal ally of the Ninja who assists them in their operations. Collector1100, who voiced Dareth in the first two films, resigned from the role in January 2018 and was replaced with Josh.
- Tom McCabe* voices The Overlord, an entity of pure evil who created The Great Devourer and manipulated Garmadon. He was a major antagonist in the second film, and plays a similar role in this film, as Pythor seeks to make him into the prophesied Golden Master.
- Jack Hillebrecht voices Captain Soto, the leader of a crew of pirates and the former captain of Destiny's Bounty. Over the years, Soto resorted to vigilantism as he terrorized the citizens of Ninjago, but after the Great Devourer's rampage he and his crew decided to live quiet lives. Soto is approached by Delmar's team to find the Tomb of the First Spinjitzu Master.
Daniel Poulter returns as Lucas, a police officer and Delmar's lieutenant. Cameron Morris returns as Anthony Reese, Ninjago's corrupt mayor. Sam Charbonneau* returns as Samuel Mercer, a politician who opposes Reese's rule. Russell Parkinson returns to cameo as Cillian Fincher, an ally of Reese. Scott Pincus returns as Simon Bowler, an inventor and ally of the Ninja, and Marco, Soto's second-in-command.
Tom McCabe makes a surprise cameo as General Kozu, the leader of the Stone Army, and archival audio of him as Dr. Julien is briefly heard. Captain Soto's crew and the original soldiers also return, and Vladimir Dubrovky, the Russian soldier from the previous films, cameos at the end of the film. The first Elemental Master of Earth, as well as other original Elemental Masters, appear in flashback scenes. Lou Hence (Cole's father) and Curtis - construction workers that appeared in the first film - cameo during the opening scene.
- Tom McCabe* voices Pythor, the last living Anacondrai whose skin was bleached white by the Great Devourer. He was a major antagonist in the second film and serves as a major antagonist in this film. Consumed by vengeance against the humans, Pythor seeks to make The Overlord into the all-destroying Golden Master.
- Davy Smet voices Fangtom, the two-headed leader of the Fangpyre Tribe, who served as a supporting antagonist in the first two films.
- Jack Hillebrecht voices Mezmo, the soldier of the Hypnobrai Tribe, who was an antagonist in the first two films.
- Sam Charbonneau* voices Acidicus, the general of the Venomari Tribe, who was an antagonist in the second film. He explains the legend of the Golden Master to the Ninja.
- Noah Phillips* voices Lizaru, the warrior of the Venomari Tribe, who was an antagonist in the second film.
- Noah Phillips* voices Spitta, a soldier of the Venomari Tribe, who was an antagonist in the second film.
- Jordan Winfield voices Skalidor, the general of the Constrictai Tribe and an antagonist in the second film. Jordan replaces Garnettfox, who was dropped from the role in October 2018 due to a lack of contact between her and Scott.
- Noah Phillips* voices Bytar, the warrior of the Constrictai Tribe, who was an antagonist in the second film.
Douglas Garthwaite and Scott Pincus briefly return as Chokun and Slithraa, respectively. Fangdam, the mute brother of Fangtom, as well as Snike and Rattla, also return from the first two films, without voice actors. Skales, Fang-Suei, Snappa and Lasha all have non-speaking cameos in flashback scenes. The Great Devourer cameos in a flashback.
- JobbytheHong voices Master Chen, the leader of a criminal empire that worships the Anacondrai. Pythor asks Chen to assist him in serving The Overlord. He serves as one of the film's main antagonists. Rob O'Dwyer was cast as Chen in December 2016, but resigned in April 2018 due to obligations with other projects. Jobby was cast in the role that June.
- Josh Lambright voices Morro, the Elemental Master of Wind and Sensei Wu's first student, who escaped the Cursed Realm; he was led to believe he would be the Green Ninja and seeks vengeance against Wu. Morro serves as one of the film's main antagonists.
- Lance Newman voices General Cryptor, the leader of the Nindroids who was built by Simon Bowler to keep peace in Ninjago. Zane harbored ill feelings towards Bowler's creation, especially after The Overlord corrupted Cryptor's mind so he would enact his will. He serves as one of the film's main antagonists.
- Lance Newman voices Clouse, a master of dark arts who serves Master Chen; he has an age-old rivalry with Garmadon, whom he trained with in his youth. He serves as one of the film's supporting antagonists.
- Douglas Garthwaite voices Eyezor, one of Master Chen's top generals who has a distinct mohawk; he works closely with Clouse on his operations and often partakes in attacks against the Ninja.
- Lance Newman voices Soul Archer, a ghost from the Cursed Realm who escapes with Morro. He has a past with the bounty hunter Ronin.
- Douglas Garthwaite voices Wrayth, a ghost from the Cursed Realm who escapes with Morro.
- Lance Newman voices Flintlocke, a high-ranking Sky Pirate who was second-in-command under Nadakhan. Flintlocke is the only Sky Pirate with a speaking role.
Additionally, JobbytheHong voices Kapau and Chope, two of Chen's cultists who are good friends. Lance Newman voices Ghoultar, a ghost from the Cursed Realm, and Zugu, one of Chen's top generals. Gabe Sagherian cameos as Hector, a.k.a. the "traitor pirate". JobbytheHong has vocal cameos as several minor characters, including a cultist and two ghosts, credited as Ming and Ghurka. Various ghosts appear in the film, including Bansha, as well as various cultists, including The Mechanic.
Various Sky Pirates also debut, including Dogshank, Clancee, Doubloon and Monkey Wretch. A Giant Stone Warrior, as well as Skulkin warriors Krazi, Bonezai and Frakjaw, debut as well. In addition, General Arcturus, the leader of the Anacondrai, and Nadakhan, the captain of the Sky Pirates, both debut in flashback scenes. Dr. Saunders, (presumably) the former Elemental Master of Time, cameos in the post-credits scene. None of these characters have voice actors.
- Lance Newman voices Ronin, a mercenary and bounty hunter who operates out of the city of Stiix. Though he's made deals with many enemies, he forms a rag-tag team with Karlof, Griffin Turner and Samuel Mercer in a bid to help the Ninja.
- Christopher Lee voices Griffin Turner, the Elemental Master of Speed and a close ally of Karlof.
- Lance Newman voices Karlof, the Elemental Master of Metal and a close ally of Griffin Turner.
- Dakota Markle voices Ford, an old war hero and a member of Delmar's team, who has supported Delmar since he started the group. Ford took Vladimir's place when he retired from his post.
- Lance Newman voices Zoltar, a soldier in the Venomari Tribe who defected and allied with Delmar's team. Zoltar knows about the curse of the Golden Master, and prompts the Ninja to look towards the Serpentine as new allies.
- Brent Miller voices Brent, a young man and a member of Delmar's team. Brent Miller voices Zane in the Ninjago TV show, and was cast in September 2016 after Scott won his voice actor contest. Brent makes various appearances throughout the film.
Additionally, Christopher Lee voices Cyrus Borg, the founder of Borg Industries who cameos in the film. JumboGauge voices Brandt, a trooper and member of Delmar's team. Various troopers allied with Delmar also debut in the film. JobbytheHong has vocal cameos as several miscellaneous characters, including a trooper named Hendricks and a curious villager. The same goes for JumboGauge, who voices a concerned villager. Josh Lambright voices a construction worker named Ailes in the post-credits scene.
Tom McCabe cameos as a shouting trooper who's incinerated by The Overlord. Archival audio from Gabe Sagherian and Dan Brusilovsky was used for The Overlord's massacre scene.
- Destiny's Bounty - A colossal aerial ship designed to fly and float in water. Once manned by Captain Soto and his crew before the Ninja took the vessel, Destiny's Bounty was shredded apart by the Great Devourer at the end of the second film. In the time since, the Bounty has been entirely rebuilt, with a far more advanced design. The vehicle was custom-built by Scott to resemble its appearance in season four and beyond. It is the Ninjas' only vehicle from the previous films confirmed to return for this installment, as well as the Ninjas' only vehicle to survive the final battle.
- D.B. Express - Also known as the "DB X"; a large fortified vehicle built to transport weapons and allies in harsh climates or situations. It is often used by the Ninja, especially when Destiny's Bounty was not in service. In the first part of the film, the Ninja drive it to the Frozen Wasteland; at this point the new Destiny's Bounty was still being built. The DB X was used by Cole and Ford's men to find the Temple of Fortitude; it was presumably abandoned after the temple was levitated.
- R.E.X. - A cargo ship built and flown by Ronin during his missions. He often stores it near his pawnshop in Stiix. It's equipped with several guns, two of which are underneath the cockpit, and another two are on its rotor engines. R.E.X. was severely damaged during the final battle, as its engine was crippled by a golden blast.
- Roto Jet - A jet bomber with a series of laser blasters at the front of it. The Roto Jet has enough firepower to swiftly take out many ground adversaries and their vehicles. The vehicle is flown by Cole, but after he was captured the Anacondrai Cultists stole it, and Chen flew it instead. It was later shot down by R.E.X.
- Escape Car / Proto Sam-X - Also known as "Nya's car", a small all-terrain vehicle equipped with a large missile launcher. The car was used by Garmadon and Lloyd as they went into hiding, and was abandoned after their fight with the MechDragon. The Nindroids later stole the vehicle, and it was briefly taken back by Lloyd before being damaged again.
- Hovercopter - An aerial surveillance drone equipped with micro missiles and large-scale rockets, it was designed by Simon Bowler for Zane to use in the final battle. The Hovercopter was shot down and destroyed by Cryptor during the final batte.
- Ghost Taker GT - A heavily-armored blue vehicle that fires Deepstone missiles. It was designed by Simon Bowler for Jay to use in the final battle. The vehicle helped vanquish many ghosts, but was ultimately destroyed by a golden blast from The Overlord.
- Blaster Bike - A large bike coated in Deepstone armor and equipped with twin carbine blasters. It was designed by Simon Bowler for Cole to use in the final battle, though Cole allowed Kai to use it due to a "mission of his own". The bike was lost after crashing into a Chain Cycle and plunging in the creek.
- Fangpyre Truck - A large green truck built by the Fangpyre Tribe to assault Jamanakai Village in the first film. In the first part of the film, Pythor drives a truck to fulfill his errands, such as retrieving the Golden Weapons and the Nindroids. Another Fangpyre Truck is seen during the Slither Pit ceremony, and later at Bowler Airfield, though it wasn't used in the final battle.
- Rattlecopter - A green jet built by the Fangpyre Tribe to battle their adversaries. A crashed Rattlecopter is seen during the Serpentine War flashback, and later during the Slither Pit ceremony. The Serpentine brought a Rattlecopter to Bowler Airfield in preparation for the final battle, and it was flown by Spitta in the conflict. The Rattlecopter was destroyed by a golden blast from The Overlord.
- Earth Mech - A black mech built for Cole to use. Though smaller than the other mechs, it's equipped with two golden sword blasters. The mech was destroyed during the Ninjas' battle with Misfortune's Keep.
- Fire Mech - A red mech built for Kai to use. The mech was damaged by the Great Devourer in the second film, and later received modifications from Simon Bowler. It's equipped with a fire blaster on its right arm. The mech was destroyed during the Ninjas' battle with Misfortune's Keep.
- Electro Mech - A blue mech built for Jay to use. The mech is equipped with a dual plasma cannon, and also features a set of golden blades on its back, which allow it to fly. The mech was destroyed during the Ninjas' battle with Misfortune's Keep.
- Titan Mech - A white mech built for Zane to use. The mech is equipped with two silver blades underneath its arms, as well as dual ice blasters on its shoulders. The mech was initially bisected by Misfortune's Keep, but was rebuilt, and later destroyed again during a battle with the Ghost Mech.
- Ultimate Weapon - A large, tripod-shaped machine built by Pythor's alliance of villains for the fabled Golden Master to use. The weapon is meant to use the Realm Crystal's powers to seize the Cursed Realm and merge it with Ninjago, bringing untold destruction.
- Bladecopter - A large stone-built jet designed by the Anacondrai Cultists. Loosely inspired by the Serpentine's Rattlecopters, the cultists produced numerous Bladecopters as a means of swiftly traversing Ninjago's vast jungles. Many Bladecopters are seen throughout the film, including during the final battle. Since they're armored in stone, Cole used his earth element to destroy many of them.
- Condrai Crusher - A stone-built vehicle with a snake-like head and spinning stone blades, also designed by the Anacondrai Cultists. The Crushers are able to quickly clear an area of debris and adversaries, cutting through anything in their paths.
- Jungle Raider - A stone-built all-terrain buggy, also designed by the Anacondrai Cultists. The original Jungle Raider set was green and meant for Lloyd, though Scott redesigned it to look like the cultists' other vehicles. During the second Tournament of Elements, Kai, Zane, Karlof and Griffin Turner stole one to escape their enemies.
- Chen's Chair - A flying throne which often transports Master Chen throughout his territory. The chair was frequently seen as Chen patrolled the area during the second Tournament of Elements, and was later attached to the Chenosaurus when Jamanakai Village was occupied. The chair was abandoned after Cole destroyed the Chenosaurus.
- Chenosaurus - A stone mech resembling a Tyrannosaurus rex, with short chainsaw arms and twin cultist blasters. The mech is often used by Chen, and is capable of holding his chair on its back. The Chenosaurus was destroyed by Cole when he used his earth element to rip it apart.
- Anacondrai Battle Ram - A large, stone vehicle capable of transporting cultists, equipped with a giant machine gun on its roof. The battle ram was a custom vehicle by Scott, built from the remains of the Anacondrai Temple set. The battle ram was destroyed by the Hovercopter during the final battle.
- Misfortune's Keep - A vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, utilized by the Sky Pirates as their main means of transportation. The original Ninja battled Misfortune's Keep using their mechs. Misfortune's Keep seemingly survived the final battle, as the Sky Pirates escaped after recovering Nadakhan's chest.
- Chain Cycle - A large bike built by Wrayth following his escape from the Cursed Realm; it's equipped with two ghost blasters on either side of its hood. The bike was used by Wrayth to attack Ronin at his pawnshop. The Chain Cycle was destroyed when Kai crashed into it with the Blaster Bike.
- Nindroid MechDragon - A mechanical creature built by the Nindroids to hunt down and capture Lloyd. The dragon was seemingly disabled using Lloyd's Golden Power, but was later reactivated for when The Overlord conquered Jamanakai Village. The MechDragon was destroyed when the Ninjas' vehicles concentrated their firepower and blew it apart.
- Destructoid - A tank-like vehicle with a sword and sawblade, utilized by the Nindroids. The vehicle was used to capture Garmadon, which in turn allowed Pythor to capture Lloyd. The Destructoid was destroyed as the final battle began, when the Hovercopter flew over the shot it into the creek.
- Hover Hunter - A small vehicle with a large sawblade on its front, and twin Nindroid blasters on either side. Numerous Hover Hunters are seen throughout the film; one of them was seen abandoned after the final battle.
The film was planned as far back as 2013, when Scott began pre-production for the series' first film. He intended to make the series a trilogy, though at the time had few ideas for the third film. At that point, Ninjago only had two seasons and the lore wasn't as expansive as it would be years later. Many of the concepts he developed were scrapped as time went on, although a select few made it to the official script. The film was officially announced on July 3, 2016. JTH Studios expressed interest in returning as Lloyd if he's expected to, and was the first person confirmed for the cast. On July 4, Jack Morris and Douglas Garthwaite, who voiced Cole and Zane in the first two films, were confirmed to return. On July 5, Bio21 was confirmed to return as Acidicus and Samuel Mercer from the second film, and Garnettfox was confirmed to return as Skalidor. The same day, Daniel Poulter was confirmed to return as Lucas and Snike. On July 6, Joe Teddick was confirmed to return as Sensei Wu. On August 6, 1P Entertainment was confirmed to return as Garmadon and Pythor. A casting call for the film officially began on August 8. On August 13, OonieandCacola was confirmed to return as Jay, and on August 22, FireStar97Studios was confirmed to return as Ben Delmar and Fangtom.
Returning/New Major RolesEdit
On September 1, Scott announced he's entering a contest for Brent Miller, who voices Zane in the Ninjago TV show, to have a role in the film. Before the contest ended, Scott garnered nearly 70 supporters, and on September 15 he was announced as one of two winners of the contest. Through October and November, Scott worked to rewrite the opening scenes of the film, feeling they were poorly written and boring, and needed to introduce the characters better.
Filming officially began on November 11. On November 28, Lance Newman was confirmed to voice Clouse, Cryptor, Karlof and Flintlocke in the film. On December 1, TheOnlyVie was confirmed to return as Lizaru, Spitta and Bytar. On December 28, YamatoGuru was cast as Morro. On December 29, Ryan Bowman was confirmed to return as Kai and Vladimir in the film. He was technically confirmed for the cast back in July, though his return wasn't officially announced until this date. On December 30, Rob O'Dwyer was cast as Master Chen. The following day, he was confirmed to be voicing The Overlord, replacing 1P Entertainment, who voiced him in the second film.
Filming continued on February 9 to shoot a snow scene for the film. On February 19, Ryan Bowman, who voiced Kai and Vladimir in the first and second films, was dropped from the film's cast after being expelled from Scott's films. On March 13, it was confirmed that the role of Vladimir would be cut from the film due to Ryan's expulsion. The film's script was completed on March 14. Filming also took place on March 18 and 19 to complete its snow scenes. On March 19, Charlie Hopkinson, a popular voice actor on YouTube, was cast in the role of Ford. The same day, the film's teaser trailer was released; it gained 1,300 views within three days of its release.
On March 22, Scott confirmed that the character of Hibiki was cut from the script during the revisions process. Hibiki was set to be Ronin's right-hand man in the film. On March 26, Lego Zebra was cast as Griffin Turner and Cyrus Borg. On March 31, JumboGauge was cast as Brandt, a trooper allied with Delmar. On April 2, Luna Fett was cast as Nya, replacing Abby Pincus in the role. On April 3, the role of Kai was officially recast, as Matt Howell was confirmed to voice the character. On April 21, Scott confirmed that 1P Entertainment was brought back to voice The Overlord, replacing Rob O'Dwyer, as Scott wanted to keep a sense of continuity with the character. On April 22, Lance Newman was confirmed to voice Zoltar, Zugu, Soul Archer and Ghoultar in the film. On July 18, JobbytheHong, a satirical toy reviewer on YouTube, was cast as Kapau and Chope. Filming continued into September, though the schedule became more strict due to Scott's time in college. The same month, Brent Miller recorded his lines for the project. Filming continued into October, at which point filming was well over halfway complete. Upon the release of the film's first TV spot, it was confirmed that Captain Soto would return for the film, and that JTH Studios would reprise the role. Filming also took place on November 21, with the official trailer being released the next day.
On January 12, 2018, Scott expressed his uncertainty over Collector1100 reprising his role as Dareth, as he hadn't contacted him in a few months. On January 25, Collector1100 resigned from the role due to a lack of interest. On February 15, Douglas Garthwaite was cast as Eyezor and Wrayth. On April 5, Scott officially sent out the lines for the film's entire cast. On April 11, Rob O'Dwyer resigned from the film's cast, due to an overwhelming number of other projects he's working on. On June 20, JobbytheHong was cast as Master Chen. On June 29, it was confirmed that the film will begin airing in July 2018. On July 10, Davyd (a.k.a. R&D), a popular Ninjago YouTuber, was officially cast as Dareth.
Editing and Wrapping FilmingEdit
On July 13, the film's release date was confirmed as July 19. On July 17, a thunderstorm shut down Scott's computer and corrupted his Final Cut Pro library, nearly wiping out Part 1 of the film. Fortunately, Scott was able to recover a backup of Part 1, though he had to recover the source files; ultimately, it suffered only minor damage. The first part of the film was released the night of July 19. Filming continued on July 30 and 31, which Scott says was for the later parts of the film. It then resumed on August 2. On August 3, Scott cast Josh Lambright in the role of Dareth, replacing Davyd after he was cast only a few weeks prior. This was done shortly after Davyd made a disrespectful video against Brent Miller.
Major filming continued on August 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Filming paused for several days, due to a number of thunderstorms hitting the area, and resumed on August 16 and 20. Major filming wrapped on August 22. Scott has confirmed filming is well over 95% complete, though several reshoots are necessary (see the "editing incidents" section). Editing for Part 2 officially began on September 8, with Scott completing the majority of a rough cut by September 10 - save for several lost scenes due to the "editing incident". Reshoots began on September 22, and wrapped on October 20. Filming for the film's final scenes began on December 8, and major filming for Age of the Golden Master was wrapped that day. The last day of filming took place on the morning of December 9 - ending principal photography, which sporadically went on for the past two years, beginning in November 2016.
On September 23, Dakota Markle was cast as Ford, supplanting Charlie Hopkinson in the role; Gabe Sagherian was also confirmed to have a vocal cameo in the film. Reshoots continued on September 29 and 30. On September 29, Josh Lambright completed his lines for Dareth, and on September 30, Davy Smet completed his lines for Ben Delmar and Fangtom. On October 3, Part 2 was set for release on October 8. Reshoots continued and wrapped in New York on October 6, concluding filming for Part 2. On October 7, Cameron Morris completed his lines for the film, and the second part of the film was released on October 8. On October 10, Russell Parkinson was confirmed to return as Cillian Fincher; the character was initially set to return without a voice actor. Editing for Part 3 began the same day, with a rough cut of its scenes completed on October 11.
On October 13, Garnettfox was dropped from the role of Skalidor due to a lack of contact between her and Scott. On October 18, Jordan Winfield was officially cast in the role. The third part of the film was released on October 28. Editing for Part 4 began on October 29, and a rough cut of the original footage was completed on October 30; Part 4 was ultimately released on November 21. Editing for Part 5, which is the final part of the film, began on November 22. On November 29, Part 5 was confirmed for release on December 15. However, it was later postponed several days to Decemeber 18, due to Scott working on Man Out of Time and pausing editing for about a week. Part 5 was set for release between December 16 and 19, but was further postponed due to Douglas Garthwaite getting married and being unable to complete his final lines. He completed his lines on December 20, and Part 5 was released the next day - officially completing the film.
The film predominantly features music by Jay Vincent and Michael Kramer, the composers of the Ninjago TV show. Scott says that their works have a tremendous presence in the film, which was made possible by the fact that Jay and Michael have released much music in the time since the second film's completion in March 2016. The scores from seasons one to six of the TV show are heavily featured in the film. Themes for characters such as Cryptor, Chen, his cultists and Morro are introduced and heavily featured.
Music by Steve Jablonsky, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino and John Ottman are also used in the film; Scott reprised some of their music as it was a big part of the last two films. For instance, John Ottman's X-Men end titles theme was reused for the credits, continuing a tradition set by the previous films.
The film received a very positive reception, with a rating of 97% based on 1,299 likes and 41 dislikes, based on the combined ratings for all five parts of the film. The film has garnered praise for its cinematography, voice acting, editing, story and balancing of its many characters, main villains, and plot points, with some favoring it as the series' best installment yet.
The first part of the film gained 1,000 views within half a day of its release, and a total of over 2,000 views within a day of its release. In comparison, Part 1 of Ninjago gained 100 views within a day of its release, while Part 1 of Rise of the Great Devourer gained around 200 views within a day of its release. The third film's opening was not only the biggest opening in the series by far, but the biggest opening for any of Scott's films. Within two days of its release, it gained over 6,100 views. In comparison, it took Part 1 of Ninjago nearly five months to reach this total, and two months for Part 1 of its sequel. A month after its release, Part 1 had gained over 14,000 views. JobbytheHong, who voices Master Chen and various minor characters, shared the first part of the film with his subscribers, which also boosted its audience as well.
Parts 2, 3 and 4 gained positive reactions as well, with Part 2 having over 13,000 views within two months of its release, while Parts 3 and 4 each have 6,000 views two or one month after their releases. The fifth part of the film, which was released on December 21, gained over 2,000 views within a day of its release, 6,000 views within two days, and 8,000 views within three days. A week after its release, it gained over 15,000 views - more than Parts 2, 3 or 4 had gained up to that point (they were released one to two months earlier)
- On July 16, Scott slipped in mud and dropped the Anacondrai Temple that was to be seen in Cole's fight with Jay. The temple shattered apart and he was unable to put it back together, so he instead littered its remains across the marsh.
- Later that afternoon, one of the lens in Scott's glasses popped out, and he lost a screw that held them in. Since he was deep in the woods, and 3/4 of the way through filming the scene, Scott opted to finish filming by keeping one of his eyes closed to preserve his vision and see what was being filmed; the scene was successfully completed.
- On September 3, Scott was filming the Nindroid labyrinth chase on a fallen tree, which had a long thin crack running across it. While filming, the Garmadon minifigure slid into the crack and was lost, and Scott couldn't reach in to get it. Several hours later, he used an axe to slightly open the tree, which allowed him to stick a twig inside and pull the minifigure up enough to reclaim it. The scene was completed the next day. The shot of Garmadon falling into the crevice was actually used in the film. This almost marked the first time where Scott lost a minifigure in the entire series' production.
- On September 4, a group of kids found the set for Jamanakai Village and wrecked it, leaving everything covered in mud, wood all over the place, and the giant "electrical barrel" pushed into the creek. Scott was initially unsure of how or when he would fix the damage, given that he was busy with college and had little time in the first place. Scott filmed many scenes since then, and later found the time to clean the set on October 28. Scott began filming on the set in November without any issues.
- Scott had filmed and completed a major scene at a reservoir that was overgrown with cattails. The location briefly appeared at the beginning of the first film and it returns in this film. On October 7, he found that all the cattails were removed and replaced with a large expanse of hay. The scene was featured in Part 2 of the film, in which Lloyd and Garmadon visited the Toxic Bogs, which the cattails were used for.
- On October 28, Scott found that the set for the Slither Pit had sustained damage over the last few months. A small tree had collapsed over part of the ravine. as it wore out over time. Scott still filmed at the location, and left much of the damage as it was. However, he wound up refilming the scene due to the original footage being lost, and cleared it out again next October (this time removing the small tree).
- On July 3, a severe thunderstorm hit the area where the film is shot. Heavy winds and rain knocked over many trees. A giant tree, which had partly toppled due to Hurricane Sandy years earlier, collapsed. It fell in front of Jamanakai's entrance (where the Ninjas' tree base used to be), smothering it with dense foliage and branches. Scott spent several days cutting through the dense foliage.
- On August 2, while carrying a large big full of props down a steep hill, Scott slipped and the bin hit the ground - though its contents didn't spill. However, many of the props inside were broken in the process, so he had to spend the next hour rebuilding many of them. Despite all, filming was completed as planned.
- On August 15, Scott found that a recent thunderstorm further knocked down the tree that blocked the entrance of the woods in early-July. He cut down the new foliage obscuring the entrance.
- On August 22, Scott found that a large tree on a hill near Jamanakai Village's set was very rotten and partially uprooted, and bound to fall at some point. Scott knew that when the tree falls, it would cause severe damage to the set for Jamanakai, which he deemed "inevitable".
- On September 29, prior to doing reshoots, Scott found that the tree had collapsed in the last week. Though it didn't land in the creek, it instead crashed right next to it and leaned against a smaller tree - changing the appearance of the area. All of Jamanakai's scenes were completed only days before the collapse.
- On July 17, a thunderstorm shut down Scott's computer and corrupted his Final Cut Pro library, nearly wiping out Part 1 of the film. Fortunately, Scott was able to recover a backup of Part 1, though he had to recover the source files first; ultimately, it suffered only minor damage. The first part of the film was released the night of July 19.
- On August 23, Scott found that at least four significant scenes (and parts of two scenes) from the film were lost after he deleted an old Final Cut Pro library. The original footage for these scenes was unknowingly stored in the library, and furthermore, Scott hadn't backed up the footage either. Most of these scenes are in the second part of the film, except two of them; reshoots commenced on September 22 and wrapped on October 6.
- These scenes included Garmadon telling Lloyd they had to stay hidden, Delmar's team finding Soto, the Sky Pirates flashback, and the Ninja and Ronin's crew discussing their plan of action. Most of of Possessed Lloyd's fight with the Ninja were also refilmed, though the beginning and end of the scene was intact as Scott coincidentally kept it on a memory card. Two scenes in Part 3 - Pythor confronting the fake Anacondrai, and the Slither Pit ceremony - also had to be reshot.
- All the film's cast members are credited by their real names, with the exceptions of OonieandCacola, who voices Jay, and JumboGauge, who voices Brandt.
- Some of the fim's earliest concepts date back to 2013/2014, which Scott revealed after the film's completion. None of these concepts made it into the final film.
- The film would revolve around the Serpentine being antagonists alongside the Stone Army and The Overlord. At the time, Ninjago had only two seasons and Scott could only expand the story so much.
- The finale would have involved Lloyd's final battle with the giant Overlord dragon, which would have been built as a giant MOC.
- Kai would have been revealed as a secret antagonist, though this idea was scrapped early in the series' production. In addition, Jay would die after his vehicle gets blown up.
- Anthony Reese would die after his helicopter gets shot down. Samuel Mercer would have been developed as a villain, and would die after being betrayed by Acidicus.
- The finale would have involved another climactic chase scene, similar to the first film, which could have ended with the Ultra Sonic Raider falling into the creek and Kai drowning as a result.
- At 153 minutes, the film is actually the shortest in the series, as Scott aimed to improve its pacing. The first film ran at 181 minutes, and the second ran at 246 minutes (both films have director's cuts which shortened them to around two hours). Scott likely won't release a director's cut for this film, as he feels the running time was necessary to tell the film's story.
- The release of Part 5 was delayed several days as Douglas Garthwaite, the actor for Zane, had yet to submit his lines due to being very busy and getting married.
- Zane is the film's thumbnail character, following Cole and Lloyd, who were the thumbnail characters of the first two films.
- Scott held a poll asking whether or not the film will have a post-credits scene. The poll gained over a hundred votes, with 100% of them saying "yes".
- The film followed a release schedule that was unintentionally similar to that of the first film. Part 1 of both films were released in July. The films continued airing in September/October, and finished airing in December.
- Due to many people posting spoilers in the comments of the film, Scott released a video asking viewers to put spoiler tags before their comments. He mainly did this knowing that Part 5 would include the most spoilers.
- Unlike other LordStarscream100 films, each subsequent part of the film got shorter. Part 1 was 41 minutes, Part 2 was 35 minutes, and Part 3 was 27 minutes, and Part 4 was 21 minutes (the series' shortest part overall). However, Part 5 is longer than the previous two parts, at 28 minutes.
- In the first two films, Destiny's Bounty was flown using fishing wire for many scenes. Due to its increased size in this film, Scott opted not to use fishing wire, believing it was too heavy by that point.
- Several original LordStarscream100 cast members cameo in the film, including Gabe Sagherian, Dakota Markle, Jordan Winfield and Russell Parkinson.
- Daniel Poulter was set to return as Snike, and recorded a line for him, but it was cut due to its poor quality. Scott instead had Slithraa say the line, and returned to voice him.
- Though many of the film's villains never interacted in the TV show, Scott used Pythor's recurring role throughout the series to bring them together, as Pythor has interacted with The Overlord, Cryptor and Chen.
- Josh Lambright based his voice for Dareth off the TV show character, and Collector1100's voice from the first two films.
- The oldest scene for the film was shot back in November 2016; it was the scene where Morro meets with the Sky Pirates in the ice cavern. Other scenes, such as the Nindroid snow attack, and the Serpentine War flashbacks, were shot in early 2017.
- The film experienced various issues behind the scenes, including the set for Jamanakai Village being damaged with fallen trees, and several scenes being lost and refilmed.
- Unlike the previous films, Scott added many more sound effects, particularly for the vehicles, in order to increase the sense of realism.
- Collector1100 was set to return as Dareth in this film, but in January 2018, he resigned from the cast due to a lack of interest.
- Davyd, a popular YouTuber who posts Ninjago news, was cast as Dareth in July 2018 to replace Collector1100. In August, Davyd released a distasteful video that aimlessly criticized Brent Miller, who happens to voice act in the film. Due to this, Scott dropped him from the cast and replaced him with Josh Lambright. Davyd was never informed of this, and never asked Scott about it either.
- The film began airing on July 19, 2018 - continuing a trend set by the previous films, as the first film began airing in July 2014 and the second in July 2015. Scott says this trend is actually coincidental. In addition, the first part of the film aired the same day that "Green Destiny" did. This was the 94th episode and the finale of season nine.
- In casting the film's new main villains - Chen, Morro, Clouse and Cryptor, Scott looked to recreate their voices from the TV show. Many people auditioned for the roles, with YamatoGuru being cast as Morro and Lance Newman being cast as Clouse and Cryptor. JobbytheHong was later cast as Master Chen for his impersonation of the character.
- Various actors auditioned for Master Chen after Rob O'Dwyer's resigned from the role, including Sam Charbonneau and YamatoGuru, before JobbytheHong was cast in the role. Scott didn't expect Jobby to take an interest in the character, but was thrilled when he did and cast him after hearing his audition. He received praise for his impersonation of Chen.
- Joe Teddick, also known as Ackar Productions, returns to voice Sensei Wu. However, his voice sounds slightly different in the film. Joe kept elements of Wu's raspy voice, but made him sound younger and more clear. All in all, he maintained Wu's wise tone. Scott says that Wu's new voice is "somewhat different, but fits the character perfectly".
- Lance Newman voices General Cryptor in the film. In the TV show, Richard Newman provided Cryptor's voice. The actors are not related, and their last names being the same is a coincidence. However, Lance's impression of the character is strikingly similar to the original voice.
- Scott had been preparing for the film since 2014, when he first began collecting sets for Rebooted.
- Due to personal changes in his life, this is Jack Morris's last time in which he voices Cole Hence, the series' main protagonist.
- Lloyd keeps his original head mold in the film, which appeared in the sets for season one. From the sets for season three to seven, Lloyd gained a new head mold that bears little resemblance to his appearance in the TV show. Scott kept the original head mold as he didn't want to create such a big and unnecessary change.
- The film is set to have over forty characters with different voices - exceeding the voice cast of the second film, which had around thirty-six voiced characters.
- ToaGresh300, Ryan Bowman and Collector1100, who appeared in the first two films, as well as Abby Pincus and Garnettfox, who appeared in the second film, don't return for this film. Ryan, Collector1100 and Garnett were initially confirmed to return, but were later dropped from the cast. Daniel Poulter, Noah Phillips and Tom McCabe, who debuted in the second film, return for this installment.
- With the release of this film, Jack Morris, Joe Teddick, Douglas Garthwaite, OonieandCacola, JTH Studios, Davy Smet, Sam Charbonneau and Cameron Morris have appeared in all three films of the series.
- While fixing the Jamanakai Village set in late-October 2017, Scott recovered several K'NEX pieces from the electric tower in Rise of the Great Devourer - two years after filming it in October 2015. He found part of the tower's platform and the red gear that held the chain up at the top of the tower.
- Vladimir Dubrovky, the Russian soldier seen in the first two films, was cut from the story due to Ryan Bowman's expulsion. His team of soldiers return, this time under the command of Ford, one of Delmar's allies. Vladimir ultimately makes a cameo at the end of the film.
- 1tjmac12, who voiced Garmadon, The Overlord and Pythor in the previous film, reprises the roles for this film. In September 2017, he changed his username to 1P Entertainment. He's credited by his actual name, Tom McCabe.
- Jack Morris, Joe Teddick, OonieandCacola, Douglas Garthwaite and JTH Studios, who voice Cole, Sensei Wu, Jay, Zane and Lloyd, respectively, appeared in all three of the series' installments. Originally, Cole and Lloyd had different voice actors before the first film was released, but the roles were recast for the project before filming began.
- GreshLord and CharCharStudios101 voiced Zane and Kai, respectively, in the first two parts of Ninjago, but the roles were later recast, with Westificationful voicing Zane and Ryan Bowman voicing Kai. Ryan was set to voice Kai in the third film, but was dropped from the cast and replaced with Matt Howell.
- The character of Hibiki was set to be in the film. He was a character from the Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin video game, which was actually non-canon. Despite this, Scott wanted to depict him as Ronin's right-hand man, but cut him from the script due to his lack of purpose in the story.
- Lance Newman, who voices major characters Clouse and Cryptor in the film, recommended Rob O'Dwyer to Scott. Rob would be cast as Master Chen, though he later resigned from the role in April 2018 due to obligations with other projects. Lance also recommended YamatoGuru to Scott, and in turn he was cast as Morro.
- Sensei Wu is still called Sensei Wu throughout the film. For cultural reasons, in the TV show the character was referred to as "Master Wu" starting with "Day of the Departed". Scott doesn't find the title offensive or stereotypical, and thus kept him as "Sensei Wu".
- Scott rewrote the film's ending scene numerous times, which is something he also did for the ending scene of the previous film.
- The area used for Hiroshi's Labyrinth was a major filming location for Dr. Troubleshoot and the final battle of Jurassic Shark III: The Revolution, both released in 2015.
- The Ninja wear numerous different robes in the film. They first appear with the Destiny (season six) robes in the flashback, and are briefly seen with their Elemental Robes during a flashback to the second film. They also wear their Tournament robes during the second Tournament of Elements, after which they take on their Deepstone robes for the rest of the film. During the final scenes, they're seen wearing various different suits.
- Scott began building The Overlord's Ultimate Weapon back in April 2016, and over the next year or so he gradually modified it by adding new parts and small details.
- Lou Hence, the father of Cole, and Curtis, a construction worker, both appear during the opening flashback where the Golden Weapons are excavated. They last appeared during the opening flashback of Ninjago. Though their voice actors Sam Charbonneau and Douglas Garthwaite appear in the film, they don't reprise their roles.
- In the TV show, the Nindroids were randomly built by The Overlord to fulfill his plans. In the film, Cryptor and the Nindroids are built by Simon Bowler, the son of Cyrus Borg, as a means of keeping peace in Ninjago - until Cryptor's mind is corrupted by The Overlord.
- NOTE: This was confirmed outside of the film; in the film, Bowler quotes his father as saying "the only limit to our potential is that which we don't dream, which was spoken by Borg in episode 26, "The Surge".
- Nadakhan cameos during the flashback with the Sky Pirates. In addition, a Sky Pirate resembling Nya can be briefly seen during the flashback; this is confirmed to be Dilara, Nadakhan's love interest.
- The flashback with the Sky Pirates was filmed at Point Lookout Beach in New York. After losing the footage from the original scene, Scott had to wait several weeks before he could refilm it out-of-state, as he wanted it to take place on a beach.
- To film the Great Devourer's cameo, Scott had cleansed and rebuilt the Great Devourer's head, which was messy and heavily damaged after the creature was destroyed in the second film.
- This is the first film where Zane and Lloyd are shown using their powers. Zane uses ice streams to save Brent and destroy Cryptor, and Lloyd uses energy blasts to fight Morro. It is also the first film where Jay is "truly shown" using his lightning powers. In the second film, he briefly used a spark burst to reactivate the tower's chain pulley.
- Vladimir, a.k.a. the Russian soldier, doesn't return in this film. Delmar mentions he rretired from his post to be with his family, and Ford took his place. Vladimir is briefly seen during Delmar's speech at the end of the film.
- In Rise of the Great Devourer, the Great Devourer was first awakened in Part 4 (though its body appeared in Part 3). In this film, the Golden Master is born in Part 3 (though he's seen in a flashback in Part 2).
- In the film, the Golden Master has gold hands and a tattered black cape. In the TV show, he has black hands and no cape.
- The Slither Pit ceremony with Anthony Reese was one of Scott's earlier ideas for the series, and one of his original ideas for the third film that made it into the final product. He had the idea as far back as 2014.
- Up until the scene was shot, Scott planned for Lizaru to kill Reese, but decided it would be more interesting and less anti-climactic to keep him alive. Originally, Fincher was set to fight against Skalidor, but this was cut to better the pacing.
- Some of the series' oldest characters die in the film, including Cillian Fincher, Dareth, Captain Soto and Zane, who appeared in the first parts of Ninjago.
- This was the first LordStarscream100 film to feature BIONICLE characters in nearly six years; they last appeared in BIONICLE: Universe III: War of the Worlds, which finished airing in February 2013.
- Dareth retrieves the Helmet of Shadows from Jamanakai Lake, as it was left there following Ninjago: Rise of the Great Devourer. The Stone Army is subsequently reawakened. Kozu is missing his faceplate, which he lost in the second film.
- Though the Stone Army endures the Golden Power, it is easily destroyed by blasts from the cultists' vehicles. Though The Overlord designed them to withstand the Golden Power, other strong elements could potentially destroy them. In addition, due to their advanced age, the army was easier to destroy.
- Scott kept many plot twists hidden from the film's actors, such as the BIONICLE cameo, Cole's transformation into a ghost, and Dareth's death.
- Dareth's death and the Stone Army's cameo was added to the script later in pre-production. Scott felt that Dareth's death would add more depth to the film, and also that the character had run its course and had a chance for a noble end.
- Destiny's Bounty is the Ninjas' only vehicle to survive the final battle, as the others were all destroyed through the course of it. Technically, the DB X survived as well, but it wasn't present for most of the battle.
- A Kanohi Olmak, the mask of dimensional gates in the BIONICLE storyline, can be seen inside of the Ultimate Weapon. Fittingly enough, the mask is golden, and Scott chose to place it inside because of its power.
- The film features the most protagonist deaths out of any installment in the series, including Dareth, Captain Soto, Lucas, Brandt, various troopers, Garmadon and Zane.
- There was set to be a brief scene at the end of the film where Cole says "goodbye" to Ben Delmar following his speech. Delmar would explain that they agreed to let Pythor live with the Serpentine despite his wrongdoings, as he'd found redemption. Ultimately, the scene was never filmed.
- Simon Bowler introduces the Ninja to their new vehicles, something he previously did in the first film.
- During the final battle, Jay and Brent jump off a Rattlecopter and onto the ghost ship. In the first film, Jay and Dareth jump onto a Rattlecopter instead. This was meant to pay homage to said scene.
- While in the Slither Pit, Cole has a brief vision of Skales with a sword running through his stomach. This references his fate in the first film, which continues to haunt Cole.
- In the first film, Cole let Jay drive his vehicle, the Tread Assault, during the final battle. In this film, Cole let Kai drive his new vehicle, the Blaster Bike, during the final battle. Ironically, in both films neither Kai nor Jay had a vehicle to drive in the finale.
- Cole is fatally stabbed by Master Chen in the film's finale - a parallel to him fatally stabbing Skales in the first film. Unlike Skales, Cole doesn't die in the scene.
- Various scenes from the first film are briefly seen during Zane's memories, including Zane flying his Ice Dragon and the Ninja standing in the Slither Pit following the final chase scene.
- Cole and Wu share a scene towards the end of the film where they reminisce on recent events, with Cole struggling to cope with becoming a ghost and losing Zane. In the first film, they also share a scene towards the end, where Cole questions his choice to kill Skales.
- Following that scene, Delmar makes a speech to the Ninja and their allies. This is a parallel to the first film, where Delmar made a speech to Ninjago's citizens about the mysterious roles of the Ninja.
- One of Lloyd's memories is his younger self standing before Lord Garmadon. This was the same set used for the post-credits scene of the first film, where Bonezai approached Lord Garmadon in the Underworld.
- Dareth recovers the Helmet of Shadows from Jamanakai Lake, prompting the Stone Army to rise out of the water. The helmet and the Stone Army were both abandoned there towards the end of the second film.
- Footage of Lloyd confronting his father, and reuniting with him after the final battle, appear during Lloyd's memories.
- Footage of Zane on the electrical tower, and Zane reuniting with Dr. Julien, appear during Zane's memories.
- Archival audio of Dr. Julien and Sensei Wu are heard during Zane's memories. Their lines are the same ones used for Zane's memories in the show. Scott wrote these lines for the second film back in 2015, knowing that Zane would eventually sacrifice himself.
- Simon Bowler returns in this film in a slightly larger role, having previously cameoed in the first two films. Bowler also served as a character in Scott's BIONICLE Universe series. In this film, he's revealed to be the son of inventor Cyrus Borg.
- As Jamanakai Village is evacuated before the Ultimate Weapon arrives, a pilot in a black suit stands by the helicopter. This is J.T. O'Neill, a character from the BIONICLE Universe series who also cameoed in Ninjago.
- Several BIONICLE characters cameo in the film, most notably Tahu and Teridax. Two original BIONICLE Universe characters, Oris and Tranua, also appear (Oris is dead in the scene). Several Heat-Vision Rahkshi also appear. The large black figure that attacks them is Marendar, a character from the BIONICLE Universe trilogy, whose design was completely redone in this film.
- Though not necessarily a reference to BIONICLE Universe, the last word that Lloyd says to banish his father is "Bohrok". The Bohrok were a race of mechanical insect-like creatures in the original BIONICLE saga. In the Ninjago show, it sounds like Lloyd says "Bohrok" while banishing his father, hence why Scott added the word.
Season 3: RebootedEdit
- Pythor helps The Overlord recuperate via a power station. This is based off their first scene together in episode 29, "Blackout", in which Pythor awakens the Digital Overlord. Parts of the film's dialogue are also derived from the episode's dialogue.
- The Ninja are forced to look to the Serpentine for information on the prophecy of the Golden Master, which occurs in episode 32, "The Curse of the Golden Master". Much of Acidicus' monologue to the Ninja is taken from that episode as well.
- The Overlord's Ultimate Weapon is loosely based off its appearance in episode 34, "The Titanium Ninja". It also bears semblance to The Preeminent, the physical manifestation of the Cursed Realm from season five.
- Many of Lloyd and Garmadon's scenes in Part 2 are based off their scenes in Season 3: Rebooted, such as the car chase with the MechDragon, Garmadon teaching Lloyd about balance, and the journey through Hiroshi's Labyrinth. In addition, the Nindroid labyrinth chase, Pythor capturing Lloyd, and The Overlord stealing Lloyd's power, are also based off scenes from season three.
- The Golden Master's first lines to the Ninja are derived from some of his dialogue in season three.
- In episode 34, "The Titanium Ninja", the Ninja used the Temple of Fortitude to hold off the Golden Master. In the film, Cole levitates the temple (due to its stone foundation) and brings it to Jamanakai Village to fight the Golden Master.
- Cryptor is destroyed when Zane freezes him and blows him apart with his own bazooka. He suffered a similar fate in the TV show, when he was frozen and shattered apart following Zane's sacrifice.
- Zane sacrifices himself in the film, in a scene heavily adapted from his sacrifice in episode 34, "The Titanium Ninja". Unlike in the TV show, there's no hint of Zane's survival.
- The Ninja and their allies hold a memorial service for Zane, which pays homage to a similar scene from the TV show. In both versions, Kai gives a eulogy, with his eulogy in the film being taken from the TV show.
Season 4: Tournament of ElementsEdit
- Parts of Master Chen's dialogue when speaking to Kai are taken from their conversation in episode 41, "The Forgotten Element". Unlike in the episode, Kai refuses to ally with Chen.
- The Serpentine War flashback is partly based off said scene from episode 40, "Spellbound"; much of Garmadon's dialogue in the film is derived from that scene. Both scenes were set in places with snow.
- Captain Soto explains that Clouse reunited the Sky Pirates after they were marooned across the Sixteen Realms. In "The Dark Island Trilogy", Clouse unites and takes command of the Sky Pirates.
- Several original Elemental Masters are seen during the Serpentine War flashback - as confirmed by Scott, they were the masters of earth, electricity, gravity, nature and shadow. Ray and Maya, the masters of fire and water, also appeared as Chen was exiled. This was a reference to the TV show, in which Chen had a connection to their backstory (which he also mentions in the film).
- Chen manipulated Cole's grandfather to betray the other Elemental Masters. This concept was hinted at in the TV show, but never explored.
- Kapau and Chope use a transformation spell from Clouse's spellbook to become Anacondrai. In the TV show, this process was more complicated, but serves as a reference nonetheless.
- The Ninja form an alliance with the Serpentine. This also occurred in episode 44, "The Corridor of Elders", when the Ninja allied with the Serpentine and Ninjago's citizens to fight Chen's army.
- In the same episode, Destiny's Bounty dropped its anchor on Condrai Crushers. In the film, it drops its anchor onto a Crusher, and drags it into an army of adversaries.
- Clouse makes a final stand against Garmadon, which is heavily based off their last scene in the TV show. In the film, Clouse tries condemning him to the Ethereal Divide, which is the void between realms.
- In episode 44, "The Corridor of Elders", Garmadon sacrificed himself to free the Anacondrai generals so they could curse Chen's army. In the film, Garmadon also sacrifices himself, this time fulfilling a spell where "someone who banished others can be sacrificed" to condemn any and all evil beings nearby.
- The scenes leading up to Garmadon's sacrifice also pay homage to this episode; Pythor approaches Lloyd, then meets on the Bounty with Wu and Garmadon, and Lloyd takes his anger out on his adversaries.
- During Zane's memorial service, the Ninja wear different suits from throughout the series - Kai has his original training suit, and Jay and Cole have their ZX suits, which they wore in the first film. Lloyd has his elemental robe, and Nya has her samurai stone armor, which they wore in the second film. This scene was loosely inspired by the Ninja wearing different robes when they went off to find Zane in episode 35, "The Invitation"; Scott did this as an act of the characters commemorating Zane.
Season 5: PossessionEdit
- Ronin tells Clouse that "he reunited the Sky Pirates". In The Dark Island Trilogy, a series of books set between Day of the Departed and Hands of Time, Clouse takes command of the Sky Pirates since Nadakhan is never freed.
- The scene where Clouse and Soul Archer confront Ronin in his pawnshop is partly based off a scene in episode 47, "Stiix and Stones", where Morro and Soul Archer do the same thing. In that episode they seek the Scroll of Airjitzu, while in the film Clouse seeks the Book of Spells.
- The scene where Lloyd meets Morro, and the scene where Possessed Lloyd fights the Ninja, are partly based off episode 45, "Winds of Change".
- In the TV show, Morro escaped the Cursed Realm when a portal was opened to banish Garmadon there. In the film, it's said that the explosion that killed the Great Devourer briefly tore open a rift between realms, allowing him and other ghosts (Wrayth, Soul Archer, Bansha, Ghoultar) to escape.
- The flashback to Morro's past is partly based off said scene from episode 46, "Ghost Story".
- In the TV show, water and Deepstone were used to vanquish ghosts. In the film, Ronin uses Deepstone bullets to take out several ghosts, furthering this concept.
- Wu's dialogue with Morro aboard Destiny's Bounty is taken from his dialogue in episode 54, "Curseworld, Part II", just before Morro dies. However, in the film Morro flies off instead of meeting his end.
- Delmar's crew fighting Morro and the Sky Pirates at the tomb pays homage to the Ninja fighting Morro at the tomb in episode 52, "Grave Danger"; in both instances, they're seeking the Realm Crystal.
- Lloyd and Morro have a one-on-one fight during the final battle, which pays homage to their fight in Curseworld, Part II. They also travel between realms in both the film and the TV show. In the show, they use the Realm Crystal, while in the film Morro uses the spellbook.
- In the TV show, the two visit various realms, such as the Underworld and the Realm of Madness. In the film, they briefly visit Spherus Magna, the BIONICLE's homeworld.
- Cole turns into a ghost in the film's finale. In the TV show, this happened when he went into a haunted temple. In the film, he's fatally stabbed by Master Chen, but survives after being thrown into the Cursed Realm, which turns him into a ghost.
- In the show, Morro gives the Realm Crystal to Wu right before he dies. In the film, Morro gives the Realm Crystal to Brent shortly before he sacrifices himself.
- Morro's death pays slight homage to his fate in the show, in which he was dragged into the ocean and dissolved. In the film, he and the ghost ship were incinerated by The Overlord's Golden Blasters. Both scenes involved Morro sacrificing himself, but in different ways.
Season 6: Skybound (and beyond)Edit
- Nadakhan, the Sky Pirates' lost captain, is trapped in a teapot, which also happened in the show. In the film, the teapot is hidden in a lost chest near the Tomb of the First Spinjitzu Master, as it was left there by Captain Soto's father.
- Dareth reclaims the Helmet of Shadows to control the Stone Army a second time. In the TV show, he also did it two times; the second time was in Day of the Departed, when he had the Stone Army destroy Kozu.
- Dr. Saunders, (presumably, in this universe) the former Elemental Master of Time, cameos in the post-credits scene as he inspects the wreckage of the Ultimate Weapon.