I swear I had other articles planned. I’ve actually already started two. But… screw it I just saw the final movie so I’m going to write about what’s in my head and in my heart.
So let’s talk about the ending of Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising.
If I’m talking about this finale then I have to talk about the series and if I have to talk about that then I must talk about my apprehension towards it in the beginning.
Yeah, yeah shut up.
You would have thought that I would leap over a show like this but I was honestly hesitant from the outset. That was mostly due to me being jaded after the treatment the franchise got with the Bay films and Transformers Animated, which I didn’t care for.
So it was at much of the prodding of friends that I was made to watch this show. With a jaded heart spurned by years of internet self-righteousness I sat down to watch the first five episodes. I scoffed at plot holes, rolled my eyes at the reused dialogue from the original animated film, and sighed at the elements borrowed from the Bay films.
Then… I kept watching.
And bought, I also bought.
Something started to happen in the format of the show. The writing suddenly started getting tighter and tighter. Characters were becoming more developed, holes were being filled and through it all I had the voice of a leader showing me the way.
I saw three seasons come and go at a breakneck speed and I released a sad smile knowing that the end was coming, that a show that dared to take my cynicism and turn it to hope was being cast down. And then I heard that not only were the producers long ready for a season three finale but that we’d get a final movie, a last animated film for fans. I didn’t expect anything on the scale of the original animated film but I waited patiently.
So at this point I’m throwing up my spoiler warning. I’m not going to hold back my thoughts, feelings, analysis or observations. Every detail I think is worth mentioning is going to get a full look.
If you think the things I will spoil will ruin the final film for you then don’t read. But if you don’t care or think you might even enjoy it more then by all means let us continue.
First of all, it’s poorly titled. It really should have been named Transformers Prime: Wrath of Unicron or something of that sort since there’s only three active Predacons in this and they aren’t the real antagonist. Technically yes, other Predacons make an appearance but as revived undead, not really what the title suggests. No the antagonist this time is Unicron having found the dead body of Megatron he revives it, gives it a host of new upgrades and takes control.
It makes me wonder if someone in the writing booth came in at the last possible second with the idea of bringing back Megatron.
Megatron and Unicron spend the film at odds as Megatron cannot do anything save speak with Unicron and anything he says out of line earns the pain ray from the lord of destruction.
The entirety of the film supports a theme that’s been prevalent for some time in the show. That is the idea that much of the mystical legacy of the Autobots isn’t necessary for them to survive. The star saber, the forge of Solus Prime, all if it isn’t needed for them to grow and continue with their lives. Optimus is absentee for much of this film and it accomplishes much with the other Autobots by showing how they can function without him and how much they’ve learned with him.
Since this is the first time we have Bumblebee speaking for an extended period we really get to see the yellow scout (now warrior class). Here we see him taking on more leadership roles and taking point. Not that the rest of the cast aren’t given time to shine. Ratchet’s brought back and mentors the group for the majority of the picture (and really he should have been there from the start), Bulkhead clearly has a long future ahead of him as a builder and Arcee seems to be trying her hand at nurturing her fellow Autobots.
Aside from being the scary one, which she still is.
Despite his limited role Predaking got in some stellar development as he took control of the revived Predacons Skylynx and Darksteel. The new two are more portrayed as thugs then honourable fighters like Predaking so I do regret that we won’t have more scenes of Predaking teaching them a code of honor.
I also regret that we aren’t getting a Dinobots vs. Predacons fight considering it seems we were building that way but you deal with what you’ve got.
As for Megatron, well I maintain what I’ve said that this version is at least tied in quality from the Beast Wars Megatron and in the eyes of some fans completely surpasses him. He’d certainly become a character who earned more than just a simple death and the film actually gives him a chance to come to terms with his own ideals while still showing that even though he’s being tortured, even though his body is enslaved by Unicron, he’s still Megatron and he doesn’t yield.
And then there’s Knockout who interestingly enough manages a nice heroic turn from one of the more lazy underhanded Deceptacons into someone… still quite underhanded but at least he’s a good guy now. I wish I could say more to the effect but you must give credit. The show writers turned a one off gag at the end of the season into a real character changing moment. Especially when Optimus said that he, along with the rest of his team acted like Primes in their own accord.
Which brings me back to the big red himself.
Throughout the series and much of Transformers as a whole there’s been this theme that Optimus, like most Primes, is special among Autobots and thus is worthy of being a Prime. Optimus, in most incarnations that I can think of, has always countered this by extolling the virtues of his fellow Autobots, always being positive about them without being pandering. The ending of Transformers Prime: Predacons Rising has Optimus stating that the Primes aren’t needed to lead, really. In the end all that’s needed is a true heart (spark, sorry) and friends. That’s something a Matrix of Leadership cannot provide. In the end though, the greatest message of the show remains the one that it carries from its run and is solidified here. When I think about that, I imagine that it’s Optimus who says it.
Even though there is despair, we must keep hope. Hope gives us a direction, a point to aim for, to fight for. We must believe that there is no darkness, no true end to our story. We can always rebuild and move forward with the wisdom that we have acquired through what we have survived.
AUTOBOTS TRANSFORM AND ROLL OUT!
And so too does this work exist.