I talked last time about how the linear story is if not a vast improvement over previous incarnations, than a very solid one with varying angles that will keep viewers interested. Like any really good story, good characters are needed to move it forward. Transformers Prime does a little more than just a retread on some of the more notable personalities of the storied franchise, Autobot and Deceptacon. I’ve wanted to do a character breakdown of each cast member for a while now, so let’s get into the heroes first.
Optimus Prime: My absolute favorite Transformers and my all time favorite fictional character, the leader of the Autobots has been fantastic in every incarnation of the series I’ve seen. His patience, honor, bravery, undying nobility, and the means to do the right thing at no cost of his soldiers or civilians embodies the heroic stoicism that has become lost in a lot of today’s good guys, who are painted more in the mold of “dark heroes” and vigilantes in all of this grizzled, moody writing that’s supposed to be deep and complex. The only thing(s) about him that has changed has been his truck vehicle mode. While I have no problem with the long-nosed semi, I have always loved the flat-nosed truck more, in my humble opinion. It’s really hard to explain asthetically why I prefer it, perhaps it’s just a case of old habits not dying enough and i’m banking it solely on his G1 robot design, which accomodated it more than his modern day model, but it just came off more bad-ass in appeareance as this big rig pulled up into the battlefield
in heroic stoicism. Think back back to the epic scene in the 1987 film where he rolled through the Deceptacon ranks and layed waste to them single-handedly, flying through the air in truck mode prior to, and how awkward that would look in a long nose semi. It doesn’t convey the same emotion. another physical trait about Optimus Prime that I have mixed feelings about, probably more notable, is his visible mouth replacing the face plate. I have come to terms with the reasoning for this change (I assume is to make his face and expressions more readable), and while he does arm it for battle, he looks more imposing with it on, and also illustrates the prescense of the unswayable leader that I always viewed Prime being. Reading his face is fine for dramatic effect, but it comes off as a lot more vulnerable than I think writers intended, as opposed to following his body language when things are not well, but then again, when Megatron attacked Bumblebee with Raphael in tow, Prime’s immediate reaction to this news was conveyed effectively. Maybe I’m reading too much into this. These are minor nitpicks, and those aside, I would have a hard time finding any other fault with Optimus Prime…..well, there is the “Primes” thing, but more on that later. CHARACTER GRADE A+: Still the heart and soul of the franchise.
Arcee: Seemingly the second in command of the Autobots, Arcee is a battle-tested female warrior that probably has the most character development of the Autobots
early into the show, from her bond with Cliffjumper and her growing friendship with Jack Darby. One of the things that works so well with her in my eyes is how well the tough girl schtick is balanced with her. Tough girls in fiction are honestly depicted as being super bitchy and weilding a gun, but all you have to do is follow the first Tomb Raider game or watch Ghost in the Shell to show female independence and empowerment without having them all be Michelle Rodriguez.
Arcee’s stand alone persona is warranted because of her rocky past and her desire to fight by herself is more to keep those she cares about from getting hurt instead of just seeing them in her way or slowing her down. It’s more believable and easier to sympathize with her struggle over the loss of her fallen comrades as it’s clear she doubts herself and not her partners. Her need to claim revenge for the fallen is also engaging, as one moment she has a chance to take down Starscream, which leads to a critical mistake in the long term due to her emotions getting the best of her. She’s taken some pretty major steps since the start of the show and had a key role during season two in helping me gauge my feelings in regards to Miko. Her primary enemy is Airachnid and they duke it out more than several time throughout the series, but it seems that their battle may be put on hold or ended, judging by season finale. Acree acts as a surrogate mother in some degree to Jack when they are together and it’s pretty amusing. One of my favorite early episodes is Fast and Furious, where she helps Jack humiliate Vince, a bully I’d like to see more of, by beating him in drag racing. Sumalee Monotano is very fitting in the role, her voice bordering perfectly in between tough, yet caring. CHARACTER GRADE A: My female character of the year has great backstory and her fighting is easy on the eyes.
Bumblebee: ‘Bee is Autobot’s youngest recruit, at least until Smokescreen enters the fray, and is portrayed as a rookie for the most part, as the episode Masters and Students hinted. Despite his inexperience, Bumblebee has proven to handle more than his share of the load in combat and is also very adept at playing some mental games (Out of His Head)
and improvising and ingenuity (the Operation Bumblebee two-parter) in tight situations. Like the Bay films, he still doesn’t talk, but the excuse is very valid and is another testament to Bumblebee’s loyalty and bravery for such a young warrior. I also prefer the squeaks and beeps over the damn annoying sound bites he played in the movie, at least it puts me in the mind of R2D2 instead of a failed attempt at prop comedy that only garners laughs from the dead. Bee’s lack of actual speech hurts him more than helps. On the positive side, it signifys the connection he has with Raphael, since he’s the only human who can understand him. The downside is that there is only so far you can go with a character who can’t speak, and as more Autobots are introduced, ‘Bee seems to slide a little further back in screen time and importance in favor of Smokescreen. I am sure a little more focus will be put back on him in the third season, but Bumblebee has only had a few noteworthy moments in season 2. CHARACTER GRADE B+: He’s not peeing on John Turturro, so that’s a positive.
Bulkhead: One of the newer Autobots to the frianchise that I’m not too familiar with other than his late appearence in the Energon series, Bulkhead is the shear brawn of the team whose heart is equal to his mass. Bulk is the prototypical giant of the team who is a little thin upstairs, though he isn’t depicted as Homer Simpson-level stupid, he’d rather let his fists do the talking.
His vehicle mode is a Humvee, ala Ironhide from the movies, and his robot mode looks like the Thing of Fantastic Four. While it’s been done todeath over the last 40 years of entertainment, I have always like the gentle giant character portrayal and his demolition combat mentality fits perfectly for his human companion Miko, and while Bulkhead’s battle history has been glossed upon nicely, where he really shines is his relationship with her. Unlike Jack and Raph, who have immediate families, all Miko has is Bulk here in the middle of the desert, so the episodes that focus on their friendship are very well done and helped me turn favor my original feelings on Miko when this show first started.
Bulkhead is very good at switching gears and can go from being a jolly giant to a very imposing and scary crusher the next. Early on, he battles often with Breakdown and it was hinted that have a history, but this is merely looked over. I can only assume that they used to be partners during his Wreckers days or just long time adversaries, but it’s moot, since little came of it and Breakdown was offed anyway. His history might be a little more developed later, but early on in the series, he shines with current stories instead of patterening after Arcee’s backstory. CHARACTER GRADE A- : Strong ties to Miko and some pretty intense battles are key for Bulky.
Still the teams’ medic and cranky as always, Ratchet is a grizzled vet who knows Prime the best of the Autobots and is as closest of a second in command as I’ve seen so far. His gruffness reminds me of Kup and his character change from relunctantly tolerating the kids to accepting them is done pretty good. The funny thing is every now and then he’ll still comment about how much they are a niusance around the base, to the suprise of everyone else. He bonds the most with Raphael, as they are, to some degree, intellectual equals, and comes off like grump uncle of the Autobots. I think Ratchet probably has the funniest dialouge in the show, what with his out-of-touch response to the children’s antics (threatening to send Miko back to Tokyo via groundbridge and going flat out mad scientist in Masters and Students) and pretty much the entire episode Stronger, Faster, which he pretty much buys a stock from Lance Armstrong and lays waste to everything in sight, but is driven a bit crazy because of the synthetic energon, err, I mean steriods. (TOPICAL HUMOR!!!) I think sometimes that the voice actor Jeffery Combs is doing a Doc Brown impersonation when voicing Ratchet. If so, I love it even more, so as long he masters the flux copacator to power the groundbridge. CHARACTER GRADE A: A great combination of humor, wit, insight, and gruffness make Ratchet my second most complete Autobot so far.
Wheeljack: I was always hoping to see Wheeljack again after his uncerimonious sendoff in the old movie, so I was a bit pysched to see him return for this show. And what I got was a bit of a pale hotshot renegade, “Play by his own rules” guy. Now, to be fair, I wasn’t expecting a carbon copy of the Generation 1 scientist, and he was a part of the Wreckers, but it’s not fitting to see the creator of the Dinobots act like a pale knockoff of John McClane from Die Hard. Would it have really been that hard to use more gritty, battle-challenged Autobots from the past, like Ironhide, Warpath, or Brawn, whom is known for the muscle (Christ, he threw Optimus in truck mode at some Deceptacons at one point).
But I guess if we did that, we wouldn’t have coined the unflattering nickname “Jackie”, which Bulkhead affectionately calls him. Would “Brawny” be too cutesy, or would Hasbro not want to get sued by a beefy lumberjack for character infringement? Anyways, that aside, there could be something here, but he has an uphill battle to climb with me personally. This wise cracking incarnation immediately butts heads with the way Optimus runs his operation, preferring his own methods of reckless abandon and wanton destruction to get the job done, Ratchet quick to point out that he could carelessly hurt civilians with his brute methods. I’m not a huge fan of these “rebel” types unless done correctly, and I’ve seen enough watered down comparisons lately, so while Wheeljack’s attitude doesn’t sit well with the team in episodes when he’s present, creating legit drama for the task at hand, it feels rather forced and unrewarding when they begin to see eye to eye, since there is so much ground to make up, as he’s not a full-fledged member of Team Prime just yet. To me, it seems the Autobots merely tolerate his methods until he goes too far.
Wheeljack’s battles, on the positive side, are really good. He wields dual blades, which I gotta say, is pretty awesome, and like Prime, uses his face plate when it’s time to fight. His scrap with Soundwave in the Triage episode is one of the best fights in the series so far that doesn’t involve Prime or Megatron, it’s two very good warriors going head to head on an almost even level. Same for his war with Hardshell, a brutal Insectacon who wrecks up Bulkhead something fierce and Wheeljack is out for payback. He’s like if Jason Statham was a Transformer. CHARACTER GRADE C+: Some really cool fights make up for an action hero stereotype that I’m tired of seeing, but there is room to improve.
Smokescreen: Oooohh, goddammit. If there is one thing I didn’t need Transformers Prime to do was remind me of the horrible spectre that is Hot Rod, and Smokescreen has just enough of that rebelious, party animal, youth mentality to make the vomit reach the back of my mouth before I choke it back down. Yeah, you know that feeling when you burp a little and some predigested food wants try and say “hello”? That’s Smokescreen for me in a nutshell. It’s the same issue I have with Wheeljack, except the new adoptive personality for the old Autbot model is one I hate even more than Renegade Cop; the douchebag Party Guy!! The ones that get killed in Eli Roth films! Again, other flamboyant Autobots already acted like this in the G1 cartoon. Bots like Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, the yellow and red lamborghinis, or hell, may as well have just brought Rod Ass back for all it’s worth!!
Smokescreen isn’t really all that far off from his old personality, except he borders too close to a token “hip youngster” to be believable, and bots like Arcee and Bulkhead don’t even take him seriously. it might just be a generational gap. I grew up watching Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, and Kurt Russell (that’s not dating myself) take their jobs seriously while including some dry wit to break the monotony without disrupting the flow or taking you out of the scene, but everytime Smokescreen talks, I keep fearing he’s gonna tell me to “chilax, bro”. So I am being an old man here relentlessly, and even though he’s virtually harmless in the big scheme of things, he’s still my least favorite Autobot. CHARACTER GRADE D- : I’ve already endured one frat boy Transformer in my life, I won’t tolerate another one.
Megatron: Formerly the baddest gun next to Dirty Harry’s, Megatron needed some serious damage control after being treated like a bitch in the Michael Bay films, and Prime was the series to return things back to the way they should be. Megatron is huge, powerful, has a big ass cannon, has shark teeth, and voiced again by Frank Welker. I can also say that this is a healthy change over the G1 Megatron (whom I also love dearly, with his woman drowning attempting), who spent most of his time bickering with Starscream like an old married couple who haven’t garnered the courage to ask for a divorce. This Megatron is much more intimidating, very cunning, and a lot more patient than the old 80’s show, where he seemed to teeter dangerously close to Skeletor-levels of pathetic at times with some of his schemes. I have really loved the lengths he has gone to achieve success in this show, like the Orion Pax 3 parter where he takes in a demoted and amnesiac Optimus Prime into his ranks to unlock valuable lost relics for him. I got so much amusement from watching Megatron paint the Deceptacons as heroes against the ruthless Autobot tyranny and Orion buying into the story, it’s worth it’s weight in gold! Besides, you know you are a badass villan when the most dangerous reciever in the NFL is rocking your name. CHARACTER GRADE A+ : “Such heroic nonsense!!”
Starscream: I’ve been long at thought about this one. I have never felt that any Transformers series has presented Starscream in any kind of respectable light, and mostly plays off his antics for comedy. Only Armada made ‘Scream out to be a fairly respectable combatant and strategist. In fact, he was pretty hardcore in that show. And then we get this version of him, who might choke on small objects if left around. He’s presented as a complete boob in Transformers Prime, which realistically isn’t much of an exaggeration from his former inceptions. Admittedly I laugh my ass off at how doofy he is, as it’s intentionally played for comedy with his constant grovelling, whimpering and blatant overacting, but at what cost? He’s exiled from Deceptacon ranks fairly early and in his time apart from them he may as well have been trying to help two lab mice take over the world. He even loses his ability to transform for what felt like an eternity. I thought I only see this kind of character burial in WWE. Like Daniel Bryan, he does make the very best out of what is given to him and he’s pretty damn entertaining when he is on screen. he’s got the best facials and his spider-like, extremely skinny frame only adds more to the comedic effect. Steven Blum, one of my heroes of voice acting, does a tremendous job selling the character. I would like to see him taken slightly more seriously, but I can’t say I hate what I see. CHARACTER GRADE B- : Keep an eye out for him gyrating his hips while the Deceptacons chant his name.
Soundwave: Megatron’s right hand con is probably a force to be reckoned with here in the Prime series. he doesn’t speak, so while I miss the modulated voice, the vocal data he records plays it back with the same effect, so that’s pretty spiffy. Soundwave mostly gathers information and seldom fights, but he seem more than capable of holding his own, as he made short work of Airachnid in a very brief grab for power and takes on Wheeljack in the aforementioned Triage episode.
He does still dispatch Laserbeak, which is a chest plate that detaches and flys around, but looks more like a mini jet than a bird. I’m a little sad that there is no Rumble, Frenzy, or Savage, but with Prime’s slightly more serious tone, it would’ve looked really silly and there is always a chance that those characters can resurface in another role, namely Savage, since season three will introduce Predacons. Soundwave’s undenyable loyalty to Megatron and the Deceptacon cause remains intact and likewise, Megatron treats him with such respect. He transforms into a jet that looks like one of those Soviet planes from Command & Conquer Red Alert that clears uncharted map. CHARACTER GRADE B+: It’s Soundwave, nothing’s really at fault here. The non-speaking carries some menace. I do miss less of Laserbeak and the other minibots.
Knockout: The medic and scientist of the Deceptacons, Knockout is a prissy, narcissistic chauvanist who is loyal to the faction’s cause. Unlike Ratchet, he sees more action in the battlefield, but usually preferred to let his former partner Breakdown do the heavy lifting.
After Breakdown was scrapped, Knockout spends more time in the Deceptacon warship. I thought that something was lost with this character without his partner, they had a Yin/Yang thing going with those two. He has some great chemistry with Starscream, so there is potential for those two to go back and forth at each other. Daran Norris’ voice work as Knockout is pretty darn good and gets his cockiness over with ease. Not much of a warrior, so his fights are fairly decent, mostly played for comedy, like Optimus ripping his car door off or getting scratched up by a train car. It’s lightly touched on that he’s tired of the special treatment Soundwave gets from Megatron, so it will be interesting to see if that goes anywhere. If you are familiar with Super Punch-Out, just picture Narcsis Prince as a Transformer. CHARACTER GRADE C+: Without Breakdown, he feels like he’s spinning his wheels (pardon the pun), but still enjoyable and serves his role well.
Airachnid: A sadistic and sinister female Deceptacon and Arcee’s blood rival. I really like her character and she has been great in every episode focused on her. She debuted in Predatory and pretty much sums up the darker mood of the series. Her menacing spider
transformation to hunting down Jack, this is the stuff really good villans are made of. Some minor problems I had with this character was all of her major story arcs seemed a tad rushed. She rejoined the Deceptacons, but was discarded very fast. Later in season two, she commands an insectacon armada, but that doesn’t last long. And shortly after that, she’s placed in stasis in Autobot HQ. I’m not disappointed that her battle with Arcee was essentially ended, for the time being, but the road in between was missing some body to it. I would’ve liked to have seen her construct a hive (which is what spiders are known for) and be a little more than just a mild nuiscance to either faction. I assume she might be back, but it seems very up in the air. Either way, I really enjoy her and would like to see more if it happens. CHARACTER GRADE B- : A great concept, an awesome rival, maybe ended too soon?
QUICKIES ON THE INCONSEQUENTIAL CHARACTERS
Breakdown: Knockout’s partner and a brutish Deceptacon who mainly does the fighting while Knockout did the talking. Not really much to him, character-wise, he’s pretty much just muscle. Most notable, he was the first Cybertronian to become a puppet for MECH.
He really takes a beating throughout his time in the show, getting his eye removed and later killed by Airachnid, then his cadaver used as ANOTHER MECH project!! Man, what a way to go. He mainly fought Bulkhead due to their history, but it wasn’t anything special, and he mostly got thrown around anyway. Not really missed. CHARACTER GRADE: C- : Just some colorless muscle who was at his best when paired with Knockout.
Dreadwing: Dreadwing is another Deceptacon, like Airachnid, who was written off a little too soon. The twin brother of Skyquake, a big, burlish jet fighter whom was dispatched in a pretty good fight early in the series, Dreadwing returns to find his brother’s slayer and make him pay.
I liked Dreadwing because not just his loyalty to the Deceptacons, but by nature he seemed to trust others to a degree that he could be reasoned with. This shown several time throughout his tenure and had some opportunities to set up some really cool story points involving ethics, trust, and ends justifying means. Sadly, this is all cut short, as he is killed for disobeying Megatron’s command. Is it just me, or are the Deceptacon ranks nothing but a revolving door? CHARACTER GRADE B- : A wasted character in my opinon. Maybe Tony Todd just wanted to go scare more teenagers in Final Destination 6.
Hardshell and the Insectacons: I wouldn’t say this character was wasted, he served his purpose in a short story that fleshed out Bulkhead a little more, but damn. Megatron lost three top warriors in one season. He was decent, mainly replacing Breakdown as some hardcore muscle and he nearly destroyed Wheeljack in a very good fight.
A destructive savage, yes, but not really all that important. I’d probably say the Insectacons are probably the most disappointing aspect so far. They all transform into the same Hercules Beetle, they have this annoying wail they emit when in pursuit of an enemy, and with the exception of the one that took Megatron to a really good fight, they have been nothing more than background fodder and extra henchmen with no real discernable traits. CHARACTER GRADE(S) D+ : Mostly just there to bolster Megatron’s foot soldier ranks.
Silas and MECH: I loved the concept of MECH and they were some nice secondary villans for Prime and the others, even the Deceptacons, to watch out for. For being human, they were more than capable of subdueing a giant, sentient robot. Silas himself was entertaining. His dreams of grandeur ultimately got the best of him, but his driven nature to pretty much become a god amongst men combined with his cool, heartless demeanor was top notch. Like Breakdown, his fate really sucked, first getting squashed by your own HQ and rouge Prime, and then taken apart as a science experiment, curtisy of Knockout, but I guess that’s poetic justice. I don’t know if MECH is over with or if someone else rebirths the organization, but I was half expecting them to gatther more Cybertronian tech and eventually create Bruticus. That might just be my own brain getting the best of me, but that’s one of the first thoughts that entered my mind when they began to hunt down bots. CHARACTER GRADE(S) A- : A killer concept and was handled very well with some cool action. Hope I haven’t seen the last of them.
THE HUMAN CHARACTERS
Jack Darby: A straight-laced and responsible teenager. Jack has done some pretty bold and epic things in this cartoon that puts me in the mind of Spike Witwicky. He’s very responsible and has the most natural reactions to a lot of what has been happening since the Autobots and this whole conflict came into their lives.
I think he plays the perfect counter balance to Miko’s recklessness and exuberance and at few points, comes off as a big brother to Raphael. His relationship with Arcee is close and she acts as a secondary mother figure at times. They play off each other great in episodes like Criss Cross in their attempt to hide Arcee’s presence from June, only to get ambushed by MECH after they team up with Airachnid, still seeking vengance. Most of the early episodes involve him trying to keep Miko out of trouble, but they function a little better as the series progresses. CHARACTER GRADE A: The main character for the civilians has a strong head on his shoulders.
Miko Nakadai: I covered a portion of Miko’s development in this series in Bulkhead’s report. I had a love/hate relationship with her for a while, her antics, while amusing, managed to get her human friends and Bulkhead into a lot of trouble. I was really close to having enough with this character until some touching moments, like in the episode Rock Bottom, where some of her more genuine emotions for Bulk are shown. T.M.I., an episode were Iacon data is slowly dissolving Bulk’s mind and soul, is very well done in reflecting a softer side of a radical teenager, making her appear more human and closing that gap. The final blow and turning point was midway through season 2 when Bulkhead critically damaged by Hardshell in the Toxicity episode. this happened right before Transformers Prime took a break due to the Olympics, and I was legit concerned when the show came back and Ratchet said Bulkhead may never function properly again. Miko was crushed and so was I, a 29 year old man, genuinely worried that a fictional character might be leaving the show!! She grew up a little in my eyes, and now it’s easier for me to enjoy this character so much more. Her humor, while at times filled with cringing modern day youth lingo, is really on-the-fly and entertaining. CHARACTER GRADE B+ : After a very rocky start, I grew to appreciate her much.
Raphael Esquivel: Probably the least fleshed out of the three children from a backstory perspective, Raph doesn’t need a lot history anyway. Like I say with a lot of anime nowadays with these teeny bopper heroes, you can’t create any deep, meaningful story with someone who doesn’t even have a learner’s permit. Raph works great as a tech wiz who occasional provides some very important background computer work for Team Prime. I do like Raph okay, but he’s easily the least interesting of the three so far. Given his age, I don’t expect him do anything as rash as Miko has pulled, so most of his key moments are emotionally charged from something drastic happening. The aforementioned attack from Megatron, infecting him with dark energy, and fighting valiantly against Scraplets, an early episode that highlights Raph’s enthusiasm to want to do as much as he can to help. Also, I think he looks like a slightly older Jimmy Neutron with token nerd glasses. CHARACTER GRADE C+ : He hasn’t had big moments like Jack and Miko so far, but his friendship with Bumblebee is touching.
Special Agent William Fowler: You know, if there was one thing I didn’t see coming from Transformers was for them to hit me with the grouchy, 1970 police chief who scolds his top agent, then congratulates him on a job well done. That’s Fowler’s role, while also being the agent who tries to keep the bots’ presence under wraps, which he somehow does singlehandedly. Fowler looks like Mr. Sandman from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out if he were played by Samuel L. Jackson. He can be bumbling, but dammit, I love this character, and being voiced by one of the kings of cool Ernie Hudson, makes it that much better. CHARACTER GRADE A- : One of the few adults whom deals with the bots in person, Fowler is great as a comedic foil who doesn’t sacrifice much dignity….not too much.
June Darby: Jack’s slightly overbearing single mother. It might seem a tad pointless to put her here, since her role is fairly tiny, but I’ve had a crush on Markie Post since watching her in the 80s TV show The Fall Guy and 90s sitcom Night Court, and I think she’s kind of pretty, so when else will I get an opportunity to talk about her? Never, I tell you!! A not very interesting ColonelFancy Fun Fact, June is the only parent of the three kids to actually appear in any kind of role on the show thus far. I assumed her role to be a damsel in distress for Jack to come and rescue, but that has only happened once so far. Works for me, I enjoy June and I got a kick out of her butting heads with Arcee over jack’s wellbeing in Metal Attraction. Her frustration over why the kids are involved in this conflict, I honestly didn’t see coming, and was a highlight in the One Shall Rise season one finale. CHARACTER GRADE B+ : Yeah, I have lot’s of crushes on actresses old enough to be my grandmother. Jessica Walter, Florence Henderson. What of it?! Why are you looking at me like that?
IN CLOSING: Phew, this took longer than I thought it would. I haven’t over-analyzed a cartoon like this since Gargoyles. Transformers Prime has been really good so far. With a great story, lovable characters, both familiar and new, great action, and top notch voice acting, it’s the best cartoon on the air right now. With the epic fashion season two closed with only makes me wonder what the future holds in store for this series. The workings of a theatrical film has been presented and the toys have all looked great. If you have not seen this series and I spoiled some things for you, I apologize, but it would be hard to explain in vague context why certain scenes and episodes worked so well. It’s not perfect, but I highly recommend it and feels that even though it has told it’s own story, it has paid homage to and even used stories and concepts from the entire Transformers universe. Thank you for having the patience of reading this extensive retrospective, and I’ll try to keep it shorter next time.