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 conclusion.
    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 along.
    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!



Transmasters Magazine. Issue #16, FALL 2012

REVIEW: Recent TF toys (part one)
FICTION: Beauty and the Beast (by Camille Mauro)
REVIEW: Recent TF toys (part two)
FICTION: Transformers Prime: Dark Kremzeek, part two (by Peter Phelps)
REVIEW: Transformers Prime: Season Two Episodes
COMIC: Transformers Legion, part two  (by Johan Piest)
REVIEW: Masterforce  and Victory DVD sets
PROFILE: Chassi (by Jay Gutzman)
(by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Coagulanh (by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Cumulus Prime (by Jay Gutzman)
PROFILE: Deadikate (by Jay Gutzman)
      Comic Round-up

Unless noted, this issue was produced by Tony "Thunder" Klepack. Contributions for future issues are welcome and encouraged!

(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 Transfans.

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