Yup, I’m writing about it again.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon came out on Blu Ray and DVD yesterday and since I still had a few things to say about it, I figured now is as good a time as any.
Unfortunatley for Dark of the Moon, Transformers has gained a bit of a reputation for being the franchise that makes more money than sense. But one of the reasons I like it so much is that the flick offers up a whole lot of fan service (not THAT kind) for old school Trans Fans like myself.
So in honor of the old days when Soundwave was a tape player and Optimus Prime didn’t rip Decepticons’ faces off, we figured we’d run down the top ten ways DOTM did right by fans hopelessly devoted to the first generation (G1) of robots in disguise.
1. Dylan Gould
Humans in league with the Decepticons is in keeping with some of the greatest traditions set forth by the G1 cartoon. In fact, Megatron even kept one on staff. And while Dr. Arkeville actually was a doctor and Derek Gould only plays one on TV, McDreamy’s still in good company.
One of the few Bayformers that didn’t get lost in translation, Shockwave is actually RECOGNIZABLE to anyone even vaguely familiar with his G1 counterpart. One eye? Check. One arm-as-gun? Check? Immensely powerful character who has no problem bowing to the whims of his superiors? As you command!
3. The Matrix of Leadership
Yes, this was present in “Fallen” as well, but this time it’s used and presented in keeping with its original design – a thingy that sits in the chest of Autobot leaders for no apparent reason. Perfect!
4. Ironhide’s demise
This was pretty painful to watch as Ironhide was one of the few Autbots to retain any kind of personality throughout the live action trilogy. BUT, anyone familiar with the G1 series knows that the orginal Ironhide met his end at the hands of Megatron in the 1984 animated film. So the tradition lives on – even if he doesn’t. He’s God’s weapons expert now. Oh, spoiler, I guess.
5. Soundwave and Laserbeak
One of the great tragedies of the Transformers film franchise is that it was never able to quite capture the magic of Soundwave. Not since Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor had a character with so little personality been so captivating to watch. But even so, it was a great nostalgic throwback to see Soundwave walking about with his faithful bird-bot perched on his arm. Now if only he could’ve ejected him from something…
6. Autobots’ exile
Even though the Autobots were great allies to the humans in the original toon, there comes a time in every relationship where you get suckered by bad guys and are forced to exile your robo-pals into the cold vacuum of space. Of course in the cartoon it was Optimus Prime’s sense of honor that compelled him to leave his human friends behind. In the film it was Optimus Prime teaching the ungrateful humans a sadistic lesson that cost thousands of lives. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.
7. The Ark
Any fan of the 80’s show knows that the Autobots arrived on earth via a huge intergalactic spacecraft called The Ark. After crash landing on earth, the Ark was embedded at the base of a dormant volcano and became the Autobots’ home as well as the setting for many of their adventures. It was cool to see homage paid to that ship in a way that didn’t completely contradict the spirit of the original (see Autobots’ exile).
As a fan of film continuity, I was disheartened to hear that Megan Fox wouldn’t be around for the third chapter of the series – BUT – in a truly inspired move, the screenwriters swapped out her character Mikaela, who didn’t exist in G1 continuity, for Carly – who not only existed in the original series as Witwicky’s main squeeze, but who went on to become his wife and the mother of his son Daniel. And while the animated Carly was a computer genius and not a Victoria’s Secret model, I like to think she could’ve pulled it off.
9. Optimus Prime’s trailer
One word – YAY!!!!!!!!
10. Leonard Nimoy
And finally…this. Transformers:The Movie, the 1984 animated film is the crown jewel in the G1 gallery of awesome. And at the center of this vortex of cool, was some truly inspired voice casting. This included, among notable others such as the great Orson Welles in his final performance, Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron – which was basically Megatron 2.0 – a Decepticon so powerful he was able to destroy Starscream with one blast. So it was AWESOME to have Leonard Nimoy return to the franchise and lend his voice to Sentinel Prime. Anything else would have been bad comedy. If you don’t get that reference, you have no business reading this. Also, you may in fact have a life.