Transformers is a concept that keeps reinventing
itself. Since 1984, it’s been reinterpreted, rebooted and
reimagined countless times, both by Hasbro and its licensees as
well as fans themselves. Every fan has their own personal
canon–their own way it “really” happened that supercedes anyone
else’s ideas on the subject. You could say that, like the idea
itself, the Transformers brand keeps changing from one
thing to another.
The live action movies were an attempt to get
the concept out there and reach old, long forgotten fans while
making new ones in the process (basically, use the vast audience
that only a Hollywood film can reach to help sell new toys). All
three films were big successes, making millions of dollars and
millions of new fans. After Dark of the Moon, we were
told Shia Lebeouf, the film’s star, and the Director, Michael
Bay, would be moving on to other projects since their long
association with the franchise had reached its logical
Imagine my surprise when it was revealed Bay
would be back for a fourth outing (as will co-writer Ehren
Kruger). Fans were first expecting a total reboot of the concept
after the third film. After all, Megatron, Starscream and
Ironhide were dead and the giant robots were no longer able to
hide and pretend they weren’t on the Earth, when
thousands of people had already seen them. This then got changed
to “a re-imagining”, apparently focused on other characters in
the Transformers mythos elsewhere on Earth. Then Hasbro
mentioned that, of course, Optimus Prime would be in the fourth
film, leading to further confusion. At present, it sounds like
we’ll mostly be in for more of the same minus Shia Lebeouf. (I
like one fan’s idea to focus a new film around Ron and Judy–but
I doubt we should be so lucky).
In short, Michael Bay needs to go. If the
concept has survived so long in part by continually changing and
evolving, Bay’s vision is forcing it to stagnate. Love them or
hate them, the three films were his take on the concept and they
helped put Transformers back in the collective consciousness of
pop culture. Mission accomplished. Good work, Brownie. Now, move
It’s not like Bay needs the money. He
personally has made millions from being the Director. Only a
Hollywood Director would want to work again after the
compensation he’s made from this trilogy. What he should do is
get on his yacht and sail the world while more talented people
take the reigns.
It’s a fact his trilogy was a success and
made millions. However, a better director and better writers
could have done the same and made the story more endearing at
the same time. They still can. Yes, animating the robots must be
expensive, thus limiting their on-screen time but why not craft
a story that uses that limitation and squeezes some real
characterization out of the robots themselves, rather then yet
another high octane, explosion fest?
Every blockbuster must follow certain
rules--keep the action fast and furious, a neat and tiding
ending, true love must triumph at all costs, etc. but look at
films like the Dark Knight trilogy. Or Lord of the
Rings. Pirates of the Carribean. Harry Potter. The list
goes on... they managed to provide fun and/or interesting
characters, why can’t Transformers do that too? And I
mean the robots themselves, not a horn-dog dork stuttering up a
storm while a pretty blonde robot-thing tries to seduce him.
We can only hope one day soon that the powers
that be will learn that the concept can be much more then it’s
been so far and reach for the stars...
Til All Are One!
Issue #16, FALL 2012
REVIEW: Recent TF
toys (part one)
Beauty and the Beast (by Camille Mauro)
REVIEW: Recent TF toys
Prime: Dark Kremzeek, part two (by Peter Phelps)
REVIEW: Transformers Prime: Season
Transformers Legion, part two (by Johan
and Victory DVD sets
Chassi (by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Chock (by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Coagulanh (by
Prime (by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Deadikate (by
Unless noted, this issue was produced by Tony "Thunder"
Klepack. Contributions for future issues are welcome and
(Some stock graphics were designed by Peter Phelps. Thanks
to him for his many efforts).
The Transformers are Copyright and Trademark 2012
Hasbro/Takara Tomy. All rights Reserved.
This publication is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the
above companies nor any of their licensees.
The TransMasters are a Non-profit club for and by