Transformers week: Looking back at the decade-old film franchise
This week, some of you may be planning to watch the fifth Transformers film in cinemas. With that in mind, we’ll be taking the week to talk about the film, as well as select bits of the past 10 years of Transformers films. Specifically, we’ll take a quick recap of what happened throughout the past four films, the characters that will appear in the upcoming one, as well as a review of the film itself when we’ve watched it for ourselves. Today, we start with the recap.
The first film introduced us to the alien race of Transformers and the civil war between two factions – Autobots and Decepticons – that is tearing their home planet Cybertron apart. Autobot leader Optimus Prime sends the AllSpark, a powerful artifact that brings life to the planet, into space, where it would later find itself on Earth. Megatron, who leads the Decepticons, would pursue the AllSpark, and end up crash-landing in the Arctic Circle as a result. As Autobot scout Bumblebee arrives on Earth, the race to search for the AllSpark between the Autobots and Decepticons begins in earnest. The end of the first film saw the AllSpark being pushed into Megatron, diminishing his own spark and leaving him presumably dead. The Transformers then went into hiding, with each faction calling more of their own to Earth for what would be a prolonged conflict.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Of course, Megatron is revealed to not only have been revived using a small shard of the AllSpark, but revealed that he serves The Fallen – a former member of the Seven Primes who traveled the galaxy harvesting Energon using star-absorbing machines called Sun Harvesters. The Seven Primes decided that the Sun Harvester would never be placed on a planet with abundant life, but The Fallen insisted on placing one on Earth. He was stopped by the other Primes using the Matrix of Leadership, which they then hid by sacrificing themselves. Optimus Prime was also slain by the resurrected Megatron in an ambush, but is later revived using the Matrix of Leadership manifested by the Seven Primes near the end of the film. The Fallen is then defeated by Optimus Prime, while a disabled Megatron retreats, swearing vengeance.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
The third film revealed that a Cybertronian Ark has crash-landed on the dark side of Earth’s moon. The Autobots set off to explore the Ark, and find a comatose Sentinel Prime, the previous Autobot leader and creator of Pillars that could establish a Space Bridge that opens a portal that links two points in space together. The Autobots rush Sentinel Prime to their base, only to be betrayed by Sentinel Prime, who reveals that he made a deal with Megatron to ensure the survival of Cybertron. Under the threat of war, the Autobots agreed to be exiled from Earth, but the space ship that they were seemingly on board was shot down by Decepticon's second-in-command Starscream just as it leaves Earth, seemingly killing the Autobots. The Autobots then reveal that they were never on board the destroyed ship, and would proceed to work together with the humans to destroy the pillars as Optimus Prime confronts both Sentinel Prime and Megatron.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Age of Extinction introduces us to the Dinobots, Transformers whose secondary forms are that of dinosaurs instead of vehicles. Also mentioned was the alien race called simply the ‘Creators’, who used devices called Seeds to terraform Earth and harvest an alloy known as Transformium during the age of the dinosaurs. These beings were also presumably the ones who created the Transformers. Back in modern times, a rogue CIA black ops division called Cemetery Wind has been eliminating Transformers regardless of faction, aided by a Cybertronian bounty hunter Lockdown who works for the Creators. Autobot survivors Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Drift, Hound, and Crosshairs later discover that K.S.I. Industries, a company that excavates Transformium to build Transformer drones, is also involved in the indiscriminate hunt of the Transformers. Destroyed Transformers, regardless of affiliation, were melted down to manufacture the drones – including prototypes Gavlatron and Stinger – using data harvested from the decapitated head of Megatron. Megatron’s consciousness eventually takes complete control over Galvatron, leading to a three-way conflict between the Autobots, Cemetery Wind, and K.S.I. drones – de facto Decepticons at this point. The former would tip the odds to their favor when Optimus Prime gains the allegiance of the Dinobots. The autobot leader would also destroy Lockdown, before flying off into space in search of the Creators.