I am glad to know that I wasn't the only one that was kind of put-off by that statement. I do think that it kind of translates into the lighter skin=better mindset, and I hate for that to have any part of this story. Maybe it is necessary to show the evolution of the elves back to their former selves. But then the coneheads were shape-changers "with no true form" of their own, so why would color matter? But, if we look at the world of Elfquest, which previously seemed to support multiethnic harmony, and assuming the Pini's haven't had an about-face in their own personal values, I wonder if the palace will be shown to be a malignant agent that is changing the elves as part of its own agenda or programming. Having it go against the established value system is a foreshadowing of it's amorality. It makes me think of those robots in stories that end up imprisoning their masters in order to protect them, because life is inherently dangerous. I think it is this realization of what the palace is doing to them that freaks Cutter out ("be careful what you wish for") and leads to the final separation of the elven population and the decision to take the palace somewhere far away so Abode is beyond the huge sphere if it's influence.