Before the 2004 storyline
Matoran into Toa, Toa into Turaga, Turaga into Legend. This model of understanding the way of the Bionicle was taught to us in our childhood, when the grass was greener, Miramax was still alive and the trilogy was but a duology. Vakama uttered the now sacred words "You are not the first Toa" at the end of 2003, leading us into the 2004 – 2005 prequel storyline about Metru Nui and the Toa Metru, the original forms of the current Turaga. However, according to the words of Alastair Swinnerton, this twist was a later addition and was missing from the original story bible when it was first written in 1999. So, the entire system of Matoran (back then Tohunga) becoming Toa and the Toa becoming Turaga wasn't part of the canon at the time. Those three were actually different species. The idea of making the Turaga former Toa came to be during 2003, when the next year's story was being developed.