Posts Tagged ‘Optimus Prime’

I decided I didn’t want to watch Transformers 3. (Here’s why: https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/why-i-wont-see-transformers-3/)

But I’ve been reading reviews to determine if I’m making a mistake.

Here’s what they say:

It’s much better than Rise of the Fallen, but it still had plot holes.

Wheelie wasn’t as annoying, but they gave him a pet. A sidekick should never have his own sidekick.

Shockwave was cool. But he was only in it for a few minutes and was upstaged by the wormy thing that came out of his hand.

John Malkovich was a good actor, but he wrestled a robot.

Some of the new characters were interesting, but completely unnecessary.

So, it seems like the problems I had with the first two are still problems, and maybe I’m correct in skipping this one.

By the way, here’s a silly “live action/stop motion” version of what I think Transformers 3 should be:


By the way: My nephew also told me all about Transformers 3. This is his version:

“When the movie starts, Megatron is like king of Africa. He’s talking to an elephant.”

I’d like to coin a new phrase: Michael Baywatch: When beautiful people run through explosions in slow motion.

 

The Bad:

 

I watched Transformers: ROTF because I felt obligated. The G1 series informed so much of my childhood, I had to go. Granted, the 1980s cartoon movie, if watched at a distance, is pretty cheesy. My emotional connection to my childhood is what makes it my favorite movie.

The high point of the movie for me was the trailer for Harry Potter.

 

Just like the first one, the changes in Transformers are not what bothered me. At first, I was upset that they actually made Bumblebee cooler by turning him into a Camaro. But now, I’ve come to expect some changes.

What bothered me was poor scriptwriting, sloppy scifi, continuity problems, lack of plot, lack of character…

Basically, if it wasn’t a Transformers movie, I wouldn’t have watched it. Or cared enough to post about it.

 

A lot of people are saying to ignore the plot holes and just enjoy the fun ride. But Iron Man and Dark Knight showed us that you can have both: A whirlwind action-adventure thrill ride that has great characters and story.

Saying that “It’s just giant robots fighting, don’t expect much” insults Transformers.

Again, the cartoons I grew up with weren’t Shakespeare. But they had characters and stories.

I still think this movie, and the last one, are monster movies. Giant aliens with no discernible personality are trying to destroy the world. It ignores the fact that the best thing about the toys when I was a kid was that there were personalities. Example: G1 Swindle. Toy was decent but it was the personality that was great. Mirage. Wheeljack. I could go on and on.

In monster movies, a person gets about 3 lines of dialogue and is killed. They don’t have a character, they have one character trait. Sound like ROTF?

 

Roger Ebert’s review is very poignant. It’s where I grabbed the Iron Man and Dark Knight thing from. He also said how a child can hold a Transformer toy and use his imagination to craft wonderful stories. And that ROTF was certainly not the work of a vivid imagination.

 

Some questions:

-If the Allspark created all Transformer life, why does it only make evil robots?

-Why does it take a Matrix of Leadership to bring Prime back to life, but Megatron can just be rebuilt on the ocean floor?

-Why is Megatron such a putz? He shows up on Earth, gets frozen. Gets thawed out, killed by a fleshling. Wakes up again only to kowtow to some ancient Cybertronian. I want my villains better than this.

-During the first fight, a human died. They showed his coffin. Was he in the first movie? Was he supposed to be important?

-How is Optimus a descendant of the primes? Do they have babies?

-Was Ironhide British in the first one?

-How did the government scramble a huge attack force to come in what seemed like seconds?

 

When Megatron called to Starscream for help at the end of the movie, Starscream should have looked around to make sure no other Decepticons were looking, then said “I’ll tell the others you fought bravely.” Then killed Megatron. That one simple action would have changed a lot of my opinion about the movie.

 

This should have been a kids’ movie.

A Bot firing a crotch-mounted cannon; constant testicle jokes; dogs humping; a bunch of cursing; an impossible to ignore drug scene; John Turturro’s thong (OK, that part was kind of funny, but still). The ratings board must have been out for popcorn during some of this.

I would be mortified to have my nephews here. My daughter is 2 and loves Optimus Prime. (She calls him Op-pa!) I think, when she’s older, I’ll have her watch G1 but not the new movies. Kind of like how I’ll have her watch Star Wars Eps 4-6, not Eps 1-3.

 

It’s kind of bad when Turturro had to actually ask Jetfire what the plot is.

Plot derives conflict: Character A wants to do something, but Character B wants to stop that. To a degree, there was some of that. But what we got was “There’s some big thing we have to destroy before it blows up the sun.” When Hitchcock was asked to define a MacGuffin, he said the audience doesn’t care what it is, as long as it drives the story.

Iron Man had a MacGuffin in it, too, the rings that created his power-core-heart-thingy. And the first Batman had the microwave emitter. Dark Knight didn’t have a MacGuffin, and that’s why it was brilliant.

There was comic relief, but no comedy.

The difference is that comedy flows naturally out of the story or characters. Comic relief is injected, forced into a movie. A robot calling a human a “pussy,” for instance. Jetfire’s routine “My father was a wheel….” was hilarious. But it shouldn’t have been in the movie. A lot of the gags, like a robot humping a girl’s leg, should have been in the Scary Movie franchise instead.

 

About the Jar Jar Bots. Much has been made to say they were racist black stereotypes. I didn’t get that. I hated them, yes. But I thought they were rednecks. I didn’t see the correlation.

 

The Good:

I think I’m being overly critical, so I’ll talk about what I liked.

I think Sam and Mikaela are very charismatic. They’re not necessary to the movie. But they’re likable.

I enjoyed Sam’s parents (minus the drug scene.) I liked them in the first one, too.

 

Any fight scene with Prime was amazing. If he wasn’t there, it was kind of blah. But whether it was slo-mo or what, you could really see what the characters were doing. It was a lot of fun to watch those fights. The 3-on-1 where Prime died; his return to take on Megatron and the Fallen; even Jetfire vs. Scorponok; Bumblebee vs. Rampage and Ravage.

And Bumblebee is making up for lost time. He stopped getting his butt kicked and started kicking butt.

There was one point where Ironhide was hurting pretty badly. No incarnation of Ironhide has ever been my favorite, but I was actually sitting there hoping he wouldn’t die.

Megatron and Starscream playing the roles that we’re used to seeing.

Soundwave and Frank Welker’s voice. Soundwave was always one of my favorites. I was curious to see how they were going to use him. The satellite was an interesting idea.

Ravage. Another one of my favorites. Done very well, I think.

 

This is a version of Transformers 3 I made myself based on what I think the script should be:

 

 

Spider-Man got revamped before his time….

Dare I hope that the Transformers license can get relaunched?

The concept is solid: Giant robots that turn into things hiding among us fighting a secret war that quickly becomes not-so-secret. But instead of a movie full of plot holes and forgettable characters, can I hope instead for a reboot within the next ten years?

A movie where you actually care about the humans? And the robots? Where it’s a science fiction war drama, not a monster movie?

Hasbro has said that they have plans to keep the Transformers line in the public consciousness indefinitely. They’ve gone to great lengths to streamline the story and develop the core characters.

Perennial toy lines and constantly retooled cartoon shows are part of this. But how about a new movie trilogy? The animated Transformers movie came out in 1986. 30 years later, there was 1997’s live action movie. Would it be too much to ask to see another series by 2027? 16 years from now?

That works generation-wise. The kids in 1986 (me included) have kids now to show the movie to. The kids watching the Michael Bay movies now will have kids in 2027. And so forth forever.

In the immortal words of Simon Furman: “It never ends.”

 

By the way, here’s a silly “live action/stop motion” version of what I think Transformers 3 should be:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppG3ZtyIiJs

 

 

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

 

As a movie comes to theaters, we’re teased, we’re fed trailers, we’re made to find the stars interesting.
In the coming months before the first Transformers live action movie, I learned some spoilers. Some, like the robotic cast, thrilled me. Some, like the changes in Transformations, irked me. But I learned about a lot of the changes (Even Jazz’s death) before the movie, so I was not upset when I saw them in theaters.
Leaving part one, I was very conflicted, but had a mostly positive review.
Part two was awful. I never saw The Matrix 2 because people told me: “The only reason to see Matrix 2 is to understand Matrix 3, which sucked, so don’t bother.”
Transformers 2 was so terrible that I vowed that there would have to be something amazing to get me to see it. Some friends even said, “It’s got Shockwave in it!” Yeah? The last one had Soundwave. You saw how great that was.
There’s a hint that the humans have been working with Decepticons. OK. Marissa Faireborne (the daughter of Flint from GI Joe) and Carly. Whatever. Anything good that they bring in is just met with skepticism: “How are they going to mess this up?”
Instead I’ve made these movies, to show that it shouldn’t be that hard to make a good Transformers movies, even though mine are ridiculously cheesy and self-effacing:

What I Learned: If you have to win over an audience, it’s not enough to give them more of the same. Especially if they’ve lost confidence in you.
You have to answer their concerns. And the promotional material has to be clear that you’ve made some changes, without pandering to the crowds.

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Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”
I make silly videos and post them here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

A movie I made based on what Transformers 3 should be, starring Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Grimlock, as well as Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

 

 

A silly little movie I made with my toys, printouts of characters I don’t have, and way too much time. Super cheesy fun!

 

The full 15-page treatment begins here:

https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/transformers-3-screenplay/

 

Hope you like it!

Here’s the beginning of it:

 

And here’s the end:

Issue 5

 

Grimlock goes to the Autobots. They think he’s there to fight. He’s not. He tells them he renounced his allegiance, showing Starscream’s insignia.

Prime takes Grimlock to task. If he’s such a noble warrior, why did he kill Mudflap?

“I did you a favor.”

Skids goes ballistic at this and launches himself at Grimlock. Grimlock just steps out of the way. He doesn’t want to waste an ounce of energy on him. He doesn’t even make eye contact with him, he has such little respect.

Grimlock tells the Autobots that the Insecticons are mounting an attack on the Autobots’ human allies. Some of them think it’s a trap. Ironhide respects Grimlock as a warrior, no matter what stripe. He says they’d be lucky to have him. Alpha Trion says “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

At the very least, they try to warn the humans. Ratchet attempts to open a line of communications. Unsurprisingly, their secure channel is jammed. “It could still be a trap, Prime.”

“Then it’s one we’ll have to risk if innocent lives are at stake. Roll out.”

Everyone but Grimlock transforms. Prime opens the back of his truck. “Coming, Grimlock?” Grimlock steps inside.

For the first time, we see the inside of Prime’s trailer on the ride down. There are missile turrets, a repair bay, and various other sci-fi stuff. The turrets are keeping a close eye on Grimlock.

Bumblebee is with Sam, Mikaela and Wheelie when he gets word that the Autobots are on route to intercept the Decepticons. He goes to leave, but Sam wants to come.

“Hey, I actually beat Megatron once. That’s gotta count for something.”

Bumblebee gives in and lets them all come.

Switch to the Autobots on the road. Arcee pulls up close to Prime. “I’ve got five clicks coming in-fast. 200 miles northwest.”

“Coming in? From where?”

“Based on trajectory…Cybertron.”

We flash to five meteors streaking through the sky. They pound into a bay area. It’s an oceanfront city, with a shipping port, lots of bridges, and a skyline of skyscrapers. The five meteors rip through everything they hit. As they make impact, Starscream, Buzzsaw and Kickback fly in and transform, welcoming their new friends, the Stunticons. Motormaster and crew take their new forms and cause some chaos on the highways expressly to cause damage. Some real Bayhem.

“If there’s five of them, it’s got to be the Stunticons,” Alpha Trion says.

“We’ve only got, what, half of an Earth hour,” Hot Rod says to Prime. The Killswitch is going on soon.

“The Stunticons could level a city in that time. I don’t care if this is our last stand, we’ve got to save those people’s lives.”

Bumblebee arrives at about the same time as the others. The Autobots have to split up, because the waterfront area where the Stunticons landed is nearby but not close enough. So they split: Fighting at NEST HQ: Bumblebee, Wheelie, Sam, Mikaela, Sideswipe, Ironhide, Ratchet, Mirage.

Fighting at the bridge: Optimus Prime, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker, Hot Rod, and Grimlock.

When the Autobots arrive at the NEST base, it’s definitely a case of quiet….too quiet….

Suddenly several Transformers spring out of hiding. A super-fast blue race car, Blur, a white fighter jet, Silverbolt, a military construction drill, Nosecone, a green truck, Brawn, and a white sports car, Wheeljack. The Autobots have gone into full battle mode. But Ratchet scans one of the enemies and alerts the others that there are human pilots. “Non-lethal combat only!”

Ironhide looks at his huge arm cannons. “Is there any part of me that isn’t lethal?”

Ironhide turns into a truck and slams into one. Mirage turns invisible and dodges another so that it rams into a rock. Bumblebee cranks his stereo and disrupts one.

Bumblebee plays the line “What is your major malfunction?” to one of them. He opens up the machine, and it’s Lennox. He explains that the controls are locked up. Like someone’s controlling them.

Bumblebee spots Shrapnel using his antennae to direct electrical impulses and override the controls. He and Sideswipe chase after Shrapnel.

They follow him to an abandoned building in that empty town they were in earlier for training. He could literally be anywhere. They both spot Shrapnel mini-insects and give chase, getting separated.

Sideswipe finds the rest of him. When he fires at him, Shrapnel dissipates into the smaller insects, so he can’t get a good shot. He punches Shrapnel, and Shrapnel dissipates slightly, and reforms, closing around the Autobot’s hand. Sideswipe turns his hands into cutting blades, which shred a bunch of the bugs. Shrapnel then calls lightning down, and the electricity flows through him and into Sideswipe. He’s fried, but just wounded. Shrapnel then bites Sideswipe’s neck open, rears back a second, then dissolves, pouring his insect plague into the hole he made in Sideswipe’s neck. We pan back, and the insects eat their way through, making holes.

Bumblebee manages to squish the single Shrapnel he followed, but by now he realizes it was a distraction. He returns to find just pieces of his friend.

Suddenly, Shrapnel swarms Bumblebee. Tearing pieces off of him right and left. He is chanting horrible things at him in his insidious echo. “We killed your comrade….and you were helpless….and now you’re next…” One of them tears open Bumblebee’s fuel pump. The fuel splashes everywhere. Bumblebee aims it like a hose and splatters them all. He leaps back and fires, making a huge explosion and destroying the swarm. But he’s severely wounded and running low on fuel.

When he returns, Lennox, Epps, Furman and the others have regained their control of the Exosuits. The humans have come out of the suits and are talking to the Autobots. Simmons comes out and reminds them that there’s less than a half hour until the government triggers the Killswitch. Bumblebee tells them about Sideswipe’s death.

The Autobots get ready to meet their allies at the bay city to stop the Stunticons. The human Sector Eight troops want to come too. They’ve fought this long, they want to finish this.

There are five Sector Eight 2.0 Exosuits. (The first ones were either destroyed or damaged by Decepticons early in the story.) There are only three soldiers. So Lennox offers Sam and Mikaela a chance to each pilot a bot. They jump at the chance.

Lennox says their names: “Brawn, Blur-”

Sam interrupts. “I want Blur. That sounds fast.”

“No. I get Blur,” Lennox says.

“Then I want Brawn. That…sounds like it….fits me…”

“I’ll take Brawn,” Mikaela says, and Lennox gives him to her.

“Then who do I get?” Sam asks.

“Wheeljack,” Lennox says.

“Wheeljack? She gets a Brawn and I get a Wheeljack?”

“Yeah, we named him that because he kept breaking down. Good luck.”

Lennox and Epps suit up, but Sgt. Furman hangs back. The other fights really got to him, with Buzzsaw picking into his Exosuit and other things. He doesn’t want to freeze up in combat. He feels he’s a liability.

So there’s another spot. Leo is about to step up when Agent Simmons talks over him. He’s been studying aliens for all his life. Now he’ll know what it’s like to be one.

They suit up. At first, Sam is very unsure on his big, metal feet.

“Just think about what you want to do before you do it,” Lennox tells him. The interface is completely thought-guided. It’s meant to be an extension of you, not just a weapon. You don’t have to be able to fly in order to fly Silverbolt. So, for reference: Blur (Lennox), Nosecone (Epps), Silverbolt (Simmons), Brawn (Mikaela with Wheelie inside), Wheeljack (Sam).

Meanwhile, the Stunticons are tearing up the city until they see the Autobots approach. Starscream, Buzzsaw and Kickback are there, too. The scenes should probably bounce back and forth between the NEST base and the bay city.

The Stunticons cause havok on a road, and the Autobots have to do some amazing maneuvers to not only stop them, but save innocents caught in the crossfire. For instance, the fight starts to destroy a bridge. Trailbreaker forms a shield to support the bridge while Alpha Trion repairs it. Also, Trailbreaker’s shield catches humans being flung from the undulating bridge.

Motormaster sees Prime and his troops approaching. He transforms into truck and targets Prime. They talk some smack to each other as they approach. Motormaster knocks empty cars off the bridge as he charges. The two trucks rush toward each other on the bridge. There’s no way they’re not going to smash. Then, at the last minute, Prime veers off ever so slightly and scrapes by Motormaster. As they pass, Prime’s back opens and Grimlock leaps out. Grimlock grabs onto the back of Motormaster and is enough of a weight that Motormaster, with all that speed built up, falls over and jackknifes, falling off the bridge. Grimlock rolls harmlessly to a stop.

Jolt drives really fast at Drag Strip, transforms and releases his electrical whips. He wraps one around Drag Strip and with the momentum he’s built up, drags the ‘con a few hundred feet.

Hot Rod launches himself off the bridge, transforms into robot mode, and lands on Starscream, who is transformed into a jet. The sudden weight throws Starscream off balance, and he flails around for a bit. Hot Rod takes advantage of this. His hand turns into a circular saw and he cuts up Starscream’s wings. Then Starscream transforms, they throw a few fists/shots in mid-air, Hot Rod holding himself aloft with his jetpacks, before Starscream blows off his jetpacks and he falls. On the way down, he pleads for help from Trailbreaker, who has his hands full holding up the bridge and catching humans. So Hot Rod lands in the water. He stands underwater, and sees Motormaster barreling toward him on the bottom of the river. He gets rammed and goes flying out of the river.

The remaining Insecticon, Kickback, transforms into his giant insect mode and kicks Grimlock so hard he flies across the street. He swings his sword, but it goes right through Kickback. He transforms, and the bugs easily maneuver away from his tail. He has more luck with the spray of his fire breath, but it’s still not enough. The Insecticon keeps breaking himself down into the little insects every time big, slow Grimlock strikes.

Grimlock’s starting to get worn down. Kickback’s actually getting too many shots in. He’s not seriously wounded, but he hasn’t made a single successful shot yet. Kickback is doing damage, but it takes a lot to bring him down. Kickback tries doing what Shrapnel did, and just swarms all over him. Thousands of tiny bites. It’s starting to work. Grimlock’s tiny forearms can’t clean himself off.

Grimlock spots an oil tanker. He runs at it as hard as he can and cannonballs into it. The tanker explodes in a fireball. Grimlock then calmly walks out of the blaze, smoking, scraping dead insects off him.

The time is almost up. The Killswitch is about to go off. Prime tells Starscream this in order to scare Starscream away, hoping he’ll order the Decepticons to leave on their own. The plan works all too well.

Motormaster, back on dry land, orders the Stunticons to merge, but Starscream tells them to halt. There’s no need.

Starscream, using his new powers from the Decepticon Matrix, opens a space bridge. He gets his Decepticons out safely. Knowing that only Alpha Trion has the ability to teleport the Autobots away, he blasts a hole in him. Then Starscream grabs Prime and disappears into the space bridge. Now the Autobots are left on Earth, leaderless, with no way to go after Prime, with only a few minutes left before they all get deactivated.

(Maybe Shockwave opens the portal from Cybertron….There’s no reason for Starscream to have powers that Megatron didn’t have.)

 

Issue 6

 

Starscream has teleported his Decepticons (the five Stunticons and Buzzsaw) outside the building where Vector Sigma is housed. Shockwave comes out of the building, greeting Starscream.

Motormaster and Wildrider hold each of Prime’s arms, and Starscream uses Buzzsaw to literally cut the Autobot Matrix out of him. Starscream, holding the Autobot Matrix triumphantly, is about to finish off Prime.

Shockwave warns Starscream that Vector Sigma has been completely unresponsive to him. Perhaps they need a live Autobot to do this. Reluctantly, Starscream grabs Prime’s arm out of Wildrider’s hands. He drags Prime inside with Shockwave. He orders Buzzsaw and the Stunticons to stand guard outside.

“For what?” Breakdown says.

“Yeah, the Autobots are done,” Dead End says.

“The Autobots have a habit of being very resourceful,” Starscream says, as he leaves.

Back on Earth, the Autobots gather around Alpha Trion, who is just barely alive. The clock is ticking. Only a few minutes left. Ratchet works feverishly to fix him. “Work on my space bridge, Ratchet,” Alpha Trion pleads. “Let me die if I have to.”

“Forgive me, Alpha Trion, but that’s what I am doing.” Ratchet gets his Space Bridge technology back on line, and Alpha Trion opens a portal. The Autobots, and their human allies, all go inside, just as the Killswitch goes online, sealing their way back forever. Trailbreaker has himself, Ratchet and Alpha Trion in a bubble shield, to protect them while they go through the violent warp. Ratchet is actually working to keep Alpha Trion alive during the jump.

When they land on Cybertron, they are far away from where they wanted to be. The jump was not perfect, since Alpha Trion was strained. But he’s stable, now.

Head Count:

Autobots: Prime (wounded and captured), Bumblebee (very wounded), Ironhide, Ratchet, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Alpha Trion (very wounded), Trailbreaker, Mirage (wounded), Hot Rod, Grimlock. Pretenders: Blur (Lennox), Nosecone (Epps), Silverbolt (Simmons), Brawn (Mikaela with Wheelie inside), Wheeljack (Sam). Decepticons: Starscream, Buzzsaw, Shockwave, Motormaster, Dead End, Drag Strip, Wildrider and Breakdown.

The humans take a look at the grim, cold world of Cybertron. It’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Arcee senses the Decepticon signatures quite a distance away. Everyone’s worried what they should do. They feel all hope is lost.

“Weaklings,” Grimlock mutters. “If you wanted to be deactivated, you should have stayed on Earth. While you’re licking your wounds, the ‘Cons are celebrating their victory. They think the war is over but it’s not. They don’t know we’re here. They don’t know we outnumber them.”

“So what are we waiting for?” Hot Rod says, leaping into action. “Let’s go save Prime!”

“Prime’s probably dead,” Grimlock growls. “I’m in charge now.”

The Autobots and even the humans look around at each other, not knowing what else to do.

“Autobots,” Grimlock shouts. “Transform and roll out!”

They all follow Grimlock’s lead, some more reluctantly than others.

In the chamber of Vector Sigma, literally hundreds of lifeless Transformers stand motionless, awaiting the spark. Starscream and Shockwave bring Prime in. Starscream now has both Matrices.

“This is it, Starscream: Vector Sigma,” Shockwave says. Starscream approaches it, first with wonder, then with contempt, as it is just another thing to bend to his will. Shockwave’s still holding Prime.

“Well? Where is it, Prime?”

“I don’t know what-”

“Don’t lie to me. Since I received the Decepticon Matrix, great powers were unleashed. I can sense the Key. You have it in you somewhere. Do you want me to cut it out of you like I did the Matrix?”

Starscream’s standing a bit away from Prime, leveling a cannon at him. Prime looks at Shockwave and Starscream for a long time. Then he opens a container in his body. Starscream warns him against any trickery. But he doesn’t expect what happens next. Prime holds the Key to Vector Sigma out toward Starscream, then gives it….to Shockwave.

Meanwhile, the Autobots and humans are racing toward the chamber of Vector Sigma for the final battle.

Back in the chamber, Starscream asks Shockwave for the Key. Shockwave hesitates. Starscream turns his cannon toward him. Shockwave lets go of Prime’s hand and turns his own into a cannon.

“Don’t shoot, Starscream.”

“Then give me the Key!”

“I’ve been looking for this for ages.”

“Hand it over, Shockwave. So that I may make my legion.”

At this point, Prime starts to slink back into the shadows, ignored by the two Decepticons. He’s diverting power to his self-healing processes.

“Whoever uses the key places some of himself into his creations. It is only logical that I-”

“Slag it, Shockwave! The only reason you’re still standing is that I need all the warriors I can get. But I warn you not to stand in my way any longer. I killed Megatron, what makes you think I won’t kill you!”

“You…killed Megatron…?”

Meanwhile, outside, Buzzsaw comes screeching down toward Motormaster.

“What’s he squawking about?”

“What else?” Motormaster asks, stepping up and looking at the horizon. “We’re under attack.”

“Heh. Starscream was actually right,” Dead End says.

The Autobots race in to attack. The fastest are on point: Arcee, Jolt, Blur (Lennox), Silverbolt (Simmons), and Hot Rod. The slower guys, Ironhide, Skids, Trailbreaker, Ratchet, Nosecone (Epps), Wheeljack (Sam) and Brawn (Mikaela) are providing cover fire. Mirage and Alpha Trion are still wounded, so they hang back a bit. Bumblebee’s hurt, too, but nothing stops him. Some of Sam’s cover fire becomes friendly fire, but he’s just given a look and he tries harder next time.

Inside the chamber, Starscream and Shockwave hear the fight outside and Starscream realizes there isn’t any time. He grabs the Key to Vector Sigma, and Shockwave shoots him. They start to fight in the chamber, as Prime slinks deeper into the shadows.

Grimlock races toward the chamber of Vector Sigma, knocking Stunticons out of his way as he goes. Motormaster barrels down on him in truck mode. He’s about to make contact when a missile explodes in front of him. It’s Agent Simmons, riding Silverbolt, hooting with Han Solo-like joy from above.

The Stunticons tear into the Pretenders. “They’re the weak link!” Wildrider tells the others.

Lennox’ Blur has the speed over the Stunticons, but this becomes a detriment on Cybertron’s unpredictable landscape. He winds up being rammed into a building by Breakdown. Still functioning, but hurt.

Sam’s about to get scrapped by Wildrider when Mikaela’s bot comes charging in, spin-kicking and launching missiles.

“How did you do that?”

“You just have to think about it, remember? You don’t have to be able to do it in real life.”

Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela fight side by side, and there’s great camaraderie. Wheelie is inside the cockpit with Mikaela. Mikaela’s bot gets damaged, and Wheelie crawls out and does some repairs on it, like an insane, backwoods version of R2D2.

Bumblebee and Sam knock back a Stunticon or two, but are ambushed by Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw speeds at Bumblebee in saw form, cutting up his shoulder as he flies past, aiming next at Sam. Bumblebee spins and shoots him as he heads toward Sam. The blast knocks him off balance and he has to transform. That’s when Sam claps him to the ground and stomps him flat.

Back inside the chamber, Starscream guts Shockwave, leaving his lifeless husk on the ground.

“Don’t worry, Shockwave. I’ll put a new spark into you. One that won’t ask so many questions.”

Prime watches, waiting for the right moment.

Grimlock’s hunting his way toward the chamber. He transforms into Dinobot mode to sniff it out.

Motormaster gives the order to merge. Dead End and Motormaster combine. The Autobots do their best to try to keep them separate. Trailbreaker throws a shield between Motormaster and Wildrider. But that leaves him vulnerable. Breakdown blasts him and the shield goes down. Motormaster and Wildrider merge. Mirage, invisible, tries to grab Drag Strip, but he breaks free and joins the merge. Jolt wraps his electro-whips around Breakdown, but he joins the merge and becomes the last arm.

Now Menasor is formed and Jolt’s whips are wrapped around him. Jolt dangles helplessly. Menasor swings his arm and Jolt becomes a flail, knocking back several Autobots. Trailbreaker puts up a shield, and Menasor flings Jolt down on it. The shield is transparent, so Trailbreaker sees Jolt’s face as it’s slammed into the shield over and over until the lights in Jolt’s eyes go dim.

The Autobots are trying their best to hold off Menasor. Mirage snipers him and flees. Menasor shoots in the general direction and obliterates anything Mirage was hiding near. Trailbreaker tries to trip him with a shield, but it doesn’t work.

They have to attempt a combine, Ratchet shouts.

“But we haven’t tested it yet!”

“We have to try,” Ratchet says. He calls the team together. Ratchet. Hot Rod. Arcee. Trailbreaker and Skids. They merge to form Defensor.

A mighty gestalt battle on Cybertron erupts. They are trying their best, but it’s tough. They can barely hold their new form together for long. And they have none of the experience that Menasor has.

Alpha Trion gets an idea. Defensor is able to hold Menasor at bay (possibly using Trailbreaker’s force field) long enough for Alpha Trion to open a space bridge. Menasor is charging away from it.

Alpha Trion is suffering. It’s taking all his energy to open this huge portal.

“What are you doing?” Mirage asks. “He’ll be a threat to whatever planet you send him.”

“He’s not going to a planet…”

We see huge flames on the other side of the space bridge portal. Defensor picks Menasor up and throws him through. Menasor plummets into the sun. Huge flames shoot through the portal before it closes. Alpha Trion falls to his knees, exhausted. Defensor, now beaten down pretty badly, can’t hold himself together any longer and falls back into Ratchet, Arcee, Hot Rod, Trailbreaker and Skids.

The Autobots and humans race toward the chamber.

Inside the chamber, Starscream’s about to put the Key into Vector Sigma, when he looks over and sees Prime holding a gun on him. Starscream just sighs. He’s tired of this. “How many do I have to kill to make an army?”

“Add one more,” he hears, and looks over at Grimlock. Starscream’s standing in front of Vector Sigma. Prime’s holding him at gunpoint on one end, and Grimlock the other.

“I’m surprised to see you alive, Grimlock,” Prime says.

“Same here.”

“Oh, I’m not,” says Starscream sarcastically. “This is the kind of day I’m having.”

“Can it, ‘Con. Hand over the Key. There’s no way you can use it before one of us guns you down.”

“Fine. You win, Optimus.” Starscream takes a step back and looks at the Key. He holds it toward Prime, then smiles, and gives it to Grimlock. He steps back from Vector Sigma, laughing. Because now, Prime and Grimlock’s guns are still pointed to where he used to be. But with him no longer there, they are pointing at each other.

Prime quickly corrects his, keeping Starscream at gunpoint. Grimlock just lowers his gun and stares at the Key.

Meanwhile, Alpha Trion is leading them toward Vector Sigma, where he stored all those robots he built. Even without his directions, they could have followed Grimlock’s trail.

An argument escalates between Grimlock and Prime over who should use the Key. Legend has it that the recipients of the spark will have a piece of the personality of whoever holds the Key. Legends have a way of turning out to be false, Optimus says. Prime, as leader of the Autobots, is humble but still thinks it should be him. Grimlock thinks Prime’s too weak, and that the new legion of Transformers should value strength.

Starscream watches from the sidelines. Absolutely loving this. Grimlock turns his back on Prime and points to the legion of empty Transformers that they’re arguing about. While his back is turned, Starscream blasts him. Grimlock thinks the shot came from Prime and goes into an unthinking rage. The two titans tear into each other. Prime’s trying to contain him, but it’s not working. Grimlock’s in too much of a rage. And his ferocity is threatening Vector Sigma’s safety.

Grimlock finally listens to reason. Prime, holding his jaws open, tells him it was Starscream taking a potshot. Grimlock comes to his senses and sniffs out Starscream. Besides, Prime says, one thing we can agree on is destroying Starscream.

A three-way fight is formed. Prime vs. Grimlock vs. Starscream. Grimlock and Prime are at an uneasy truce, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take shots at each other after Starscream’s knocked back. The surviving Autobots and humans have made it into the chamber of Vector Sigma, but are wisely staying back.

Prime’s hurting. He’s the only one who’s holding back, at least as fighting Grimlock is concerned. Just as Optimus is about to get fragged by Starscream, Ironhide jumps in and takes a bullet for him. He dies in Prime’s arms as Starscream just cackles.

Grimlock steps up to avenge him. Starscream is ready for him.

“No!” Prime shouts. Grimlock stops to look back. Prime walks past him. “Starscream’s mine.”

Now, Starscream’s scared.

A savage battle ensues. A stray missile from Starscream heads toward Skids. Grimlock jumps toward him and pushes Skids out of the way, saving his life. They look at each other. They still don’t like each other, but they’re not going to be fighting anymore.

Showing great ingenuity, cunning and even ruthlessness, Prime utterly destroys Starscream.

After the battle, Prime is winded, and it’s Grimlock who offers a hand to help him up. He offers him Starscream’s Decepticon insignia that he had ripped off of him from before. Prime takes it and throws it to the ground and grinds it under his foot. Grimlock laughs and claps him heartily on the back.

Alpha Trion looks at the hundreds of inanimate troops in the chamber of Vector Sigma. “I made their bodies. But that’s all I could do. We need Vector Sigma to give them life.”

Grimlock gives Prime the Key to Vector Sigma, finally acknowledging his leadership. Optimus pushes the Key and the Autobot Matrix into Vector Sigma. It glows wondrously.

“Welcome, Optimus Prime.” An emotionless voice says.

“Vector Sigma …as leader of the Autobots, I ask you to take the wisdom contained in the Matrix of Leadership and share it with these creations.”

“I cannot do that.”

“What? But…” Optimus is stunned, but is not disrespectful. He speaks with the awe that would come of someone talking to their god.

“Life needs more than just wisdom. It needs ambition if it is to thrive. All Transformers are constantly evolving. It is the nature of your species. Thus, my creations must have both the wisdom of the Autobot Matrix and the ambition of the Decepticon Matrix.”

“NO!” shouts Hot Rod. “We can’t do it. I don’t care if we’re the last ones! We can’t make more Decepticons!”

“Autobot and Decepticon are just your names. They mean nothing to me,” Vector Sigma says. “Each Transformer must make their choice.”

“And we will be there to guide them,” Prime says, looking at his comrades, stopping at Grimlock. “For anyone can change their mind.”

Ratchet and Bumblebee go to Starscream’s body and remove the Decepticon Matrix. A little bit of red light with crackling purple electricity jumps through the air when they do it.

Prime puts the Decepticon Matrix into Vector Sigma. “We honor your command, Vector Sigma.”

“Then let these new creations live, with the spark I give them.” Energy flows from Vector Sigma. A golden light bathes the area, lighting up the darkness literally and figuratively.

One by one, the automatons move. Look around. Look at their hands. Transform. Speak in Cybertronian. They are no longer dark. They are rich with color. Vibrant. Each one different and unique.

“Fellow Transformers,” Prime greets them. “We are the Last Autobots. Welcome to Cybertron, your home.”

It’s time for goodbyes.

The Autobots will stay on Cybertron, and guide the new life there. Bumblebee will return to Earth. He likes it there. And Earth needs a protector just in case. Prime grants Bumblebee’s wish, calling him “Autobot Commander of Earth.”

Agent Simmons says he’ll stay on Cybertron and help the Autobots. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and there’s enough air in the exosuit for months at a time. He’ll just go home for refills. And he won’t have to see his mother again.

Lennox and Epps will relay Simmons’ order that they’ll get the Killswitch shut down so that Bumblebee…and Wheelie…can come back.

Sam says goodbye to Optimus. Bumblebee says goodbye to his friends. Then Arcee and Bumblebee share a tender embrace before they leave. It’s meant to be funny, catching you off guard. Sam has this look on his face like “When did this happen?” Mikaela says “Oh, come on. It was so obvious.”

Alpha Trion opens a space bridge to Earth, and Mikaela, Sam, Lennox, Epps, Bumblebee and Wheelie step through.

Prime then turns to the new troops. They are all looking around, confused.

“My friends,” he begins. They all stop to look at him. “I am Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots.”

“Leader of Cybertron,” Hot Rod corrects. Prime looks at him, surprised.

“I suppose so. But leader or not. I need your help. Cybertron is at the end of a dark time. You are the first lives to be created here in millions of years. Our war…is over. We must rebuild what has been lost. For inside each of us is great potential that has yet to be tapped. We must work together and bring forward a Golden Age of peace and prosperity.”

Some of Prime’s speech is used as final narration here, as he has narrated each of the movies. We watch all the people go back to their homes and see their loved ones. Sgt. Furman welcomes back Lennox and Epps. Their families and Leo are there. Back on Cybertron we see the Autobots standing valiantly. And we get one last sweep of the new Transformers listening to Prime’s motivational speech. The camera stops on one last Transformer. We get a close-up of his eyes. They glow red with purple lightning.

 

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

This is the second act to my Transformers 3 treatment/screenplay.

The first act can be found in my previous post.

I also acted it out with my toys here:

Issue 3

Optimus and Ironhide return to the destroyed Sector Eight headquarters. They see the last of the Decepticons following the call to flee. Grimlock stops to peel Mudflap’s Autobot insignia off and meld it to his shoulder.

Skids is bawling about the loss of his “brother.” He pours a 40 of oil on the ground in honor. Optimus says a few words about the losses they suffered this day: Mudflap and the two humans. The three remaining Sector Eight Pretenders are too damaged to use. Someone says they’ll have to get the 2.0s online instead. (For headcount purposes, this means that Mudflap, Megatron and Bombshell are dead, and Windcharger, Inferno, Warpath, Smokescreen and Tracks are out for the rest of the story.)

Ironhide’s mad at Prime for risking lives, and losing Mudflap, to further the humans’ Killswitch project that ultimately could be used against them. It sows the seeds that makes him rebel later.

Sector Eight people are packing up the two Decepticon bodies: Megatron and Bombshell. The Autobots were surprised to see the Decepticon leader’s corpse. “Maybe it wasn’t us who dealt the killing blow,” Prime tells Ironhide. The human forces vow to dismantle the bodies so that the Decepticons can’t rebuild Megatron again. Ironhide, Jolt and Arcee will stay behind to help after they rendezvous with reinforcements coming from Cybertron.

Meanwhile, Starscream flies toward a mountain. He goes right through it, an illusion. He transforms and marches through Decepticon headquarters. The other Decepticons look at their new leader strangely.

Starscream heads down one of the stark metal hallways. He hears Megatron’s last words echoing throughout the halls. Starscream’s getting scared, until Soundwave appears. He recorded their fight, and is threatening to expose him. If Starscream attacks Soundwave, Buzzsaw will broadcast the message. If Starscream attacks Buzzsaw, Soundwave will broadcast it.

“Are you challenging me for leadership, now, Soundwave?”

“No. The real power is behind the throne.”

“Then,” Starscream asks, “what do you want?”

“The Key.”

“Never. I need it for my troops.”

“Correction, Starscream. My troops.”

Angrily, Starscream turns over the Key to Vector Sigma. It had been found on Cybertron, and Starscream was holding on to it to create soldiers to overthrow Megatron.

Bumblebee returns to the lake to pick up Sam and Mikaela, who made the best of their time alone.

Bumblebee brings them to a prepared place in the desert where the rest of the Autobots are awaiting a space bridge jump.

They watch as a group teleports in. They are led by the commander of Autobots of Cybertron, Alpha Trion, a wise old Autobot engineer. He has space bridge technology. With him is defensive strategist Trailbreaker, espionage agent Mirage, and young warrior Hot Rod.

Alpha Trion tells them of a great battle that took place on Cybertron. We watch glimpses of the battle, but don’t get a real good look at anything. Unless, maybe this is the time to cameo other characters just for fun. But the point is that the Decepticons on Cybertron, led by Shockwave, made a push and eradicated the Autobots. He suspects the Decepticons had a spy that gave away their location. “We are the last Autobots.” Shockwave is really built up here as a threat who personally exterminated hundreds of the last Autobots, either directly, or through his servant Menasor, who we don’t see yet.

Head Count: Autobots: Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Wheelie, Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker, Mirage, Hot Rod. Decepticons: Starscream, Soundwave, Kickback, Shrapnel, Grimlock, Buzzsaw and whatever Decepticons are still on Cybertron who haven’t come yet. That’s it. No more since the Allspark is gone.

“Vector Sigma is cold,” Alpha Trion says. Without the Allspark to give it power, the Vector Sigma computer can no longer give life to any machines. They need to discover a way to bring life back to Cybertron. (Remember? The plot from the first movie that never got resolved.)

“We need the Key to Vector Sigma. This, and the creation matrix within you, Optimus Prime, is the only way we can continue our species.”

“But what kind of Transformers will it create? Will they definitely be Autobots?”

“Can’t say for certain. Legends say that whoever holds the key can place elements of their personality inside. But, legends are not always true.”

As evening falls, the Autobots are trying to blow off steam after their memorial for Mudflap. They have a cavern in some mountains far away from civilization. Here they can have a home without endangering civilians. They’re having fun. Relaxing. We get a chance to see what they’re like when they’re not shooting at each other.

Only Ironhide is grim. He says something very ominous about how this is just the calm before the storm and as he turns to give a dramatic exit, he slams into a force field.

“Very funny, Trailbreaker.”

Ratchet says he has plans to reconfigure five Autobots so they could have an alternate mode like that Devastator creature they fought before. Several hands go up as volunteers. He begins preparations right away.

Sam sees Optimus leave the group and goes to talk to him. We get a few minutes of conversation to show their mutual respect and emotion between them. Prime feels he failed his team, and the race of Cybertronians in general. Sam helps pep him up, tells him he’s saved his planet (Earth) many times. “Maybe that’s what you’re meant to do. Maybe Earth is meant to be your home.”

And speaking of home, he’s got to head back. Bumblebee gives Sam and Mikaela a ride.

Since the gathering is kind of breaking up, no one notices Mirage leave on his own. No one, that is, except Hot Rod.

Mirage drives to a pre-arranged spot and transforms. He looks around, rocket dart rifle ready, until something catches his eye. It’s Buzzsaw. He’s not sure what to do until Soundwave emerges.

“Welcome to Earth, Mirage.”

“Soundwave. I came alone. You?”

“I’m never alone,” Soundwave says, Rumble crawling out of his chest cavity. “What news do you have?”

“First, you.”

“Megatron is dead. Starscream now rules the Decepticons. But he’s under my…supervision…”

“Good. Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker and Hot Rod are here now. That’s it for us.”

“And the other…”

“I found the forgotten library before we left Cybertron. I downloaded all the files that weren’t corrupt. One mentions something that would be of interest to you. The Decepticon Matrix?”

“Where is it?”

“Megatron’s body.”

“Can you get it?”

“Do you have what I need?”

Soundwave shows Mirage a vaguely key-shaped mechanism. “The Key to Vector Sigma.”

Mirage asks why Soundwave would want the Decepticon Matrix without the Key? The Key is needed to create new life. The matrix will guide that life.

Soundwave explains that the Decepticon Matrix has power of its own. He lists a few, but notes specifically granting one the ability to change into nothing more than a stream of energy: a ghost in the machine. Soundwave doesn’t want to create more Decepticons. Why have competition? (Besides, with Shockwave guarding Vector Sigma, there’s no chance of the Autobots taking it. Especially with the Stunticons coming to Earth to take down Prime.) He only likes the Decepticons that are a part of him, he says, Buzzsaw perched on his shoulder.

Soundwave asks why Mirage would want to give the Matrix to him. Why would an Autobot do that? Mirage said he’s been fighting this war for millions of years. He’s burned out. He wants it to end any way he can end it.

As Mirage leaves, he doesn’t notice Hot Rod spying on him.

Meanwhile, Bumblebee drops Mikaela home. Wheelie is waiting for her, pacing back and forth like a nervous wreck. He’s talking to the alarm clock. “When is she going to be home?”

Bumblebee brings Sam home. Judy Witwicky is anxiously awaiting the lovebird at the door. “Well, honey? How’d it go?”

“Mudflap’s dead, and so is Megatron and some other big bug guy. My best friends are an endangered species.”

He heads upstairs, and Judy just looks confused. Ron says “Ah, just like us when we were young.”

Back at Autobot base, Mirage is confronted by Hot Rod in front of the others. Doubt is cast upon his loyalty and people ask Prime to make a decision. Prime stands by Mirage. Not to insult Hot Rod, but he doesn’t want to sow chaos right now. Mirage is more useful as a soldier than as a prisoner. Several Autobots stand by Prime’s decision. Hot Rod, Ironhide, Sideswipe, and a few other tougher warriors are leaning away from him. Prime asks Alpha Trion, privately, what he knows of Hot Rod.

“Hot Rod was the last Transformer to be given a spark. He’s a little quick to action, but he has great potential.”

Meanwhile, Simmons and Leo are working in the Sector Eight lab to perfect the Killswitch. Gen. Morshower is there, asking for a status update. He was the nervous little bureaucrat from the last movie. They want to make it worldwide. Morshower gives him a deadline of one day, and Simmons says it might be ready then.

Mirage sneaks into the base and finds Megatron’s body. The Sector Eight guys haven’t dismantled it yet. They want to unlock its secrets first. Invisible, he opens Megatron’s chest cavity and removes the Matrix. He steals away into the night.

Issue 4

We see Lennox and Epps working on the 2.0 Exosuits, but we don’t get a good look at them yet. The third survivor (Furman) of the opening battle is winded. He doesn’t look too good. He’s nervous and scared.

Lennox hears about the new timetable on the Killswitch project and calls the Autobots. He tells them, basically, that they’ve got a day to leave Earth.

This helps finalize the rift that’s been forming among the Autobots (caused by doubt over Mirage, deaths of their friends, and just the weariness of continuing this fight when Prime seems unable to end it). Prime promises to leave Earth, hoping the Decepticons will follow. The tougher ‘bots want to take the battle to the ‘cons. Ironhide and a few others seem to be growing apart from Prime.

Sam is at his new job at NASA. He works in the astronaut training center. His biggest dream these days is to take to the stars. But he’s called into his boss’s office. Things are not going as well as he thought. A lot of the guys in the office are talking behind his back. His boss refers to it as “concern.” They ask him to take a psychological test. We know right then and there that he has no hope of passing.

Finally, we get our first good look at Cybertron. Shockwave and his troops (the Stunticons) are searching for something, and they find it: Vector Sigma.

“With this, we can finally make more soldiers!” Shockwave says.

“What’s the point? They’ll all just die in battle anyway,” Dead End mutters.

Shockwave upbraids Dead End for his sullenness. His pessimism is illogical. He contacts Starscream, telling him he found Vector Sigma. But it’s empty. It needs a matrix to fuel it. Starscream decides he’s going to need the one from Prime, not realizing yet that there is such a thing as a Decepticon Matrix. Shockwave also finds something else: about a hundred empty shells. These are Transformers that Alpha Trion built, waiting for the Allspark or Vector Sigma to give them life. Basically, these should have been 100 new Autobots, but now they’re going to be made into Decepticons.

Starscream wants a new army to command. He wants to create soldiers that he knows will be loyal because he’s the one imparting their personalities. Soundwave pits Starscream against Prime, to try to get him to steal the Autobot Matrix. Soundwave tells him that the Autobot Matrix is the only thing that can get Vector Sigma to breathe new life into those machines.

Starscream tells Shockwave to stay there and guard Vector Sigma, but send the Stunticons down to Earth to create enough havoc to lure Prime and the others away. Motormaster is more than happy with this. He has a score to settle with Prime.

Starscream sends Shrapnel to NEST headquarters to use them against the Autobots. Grimlock is ordered to stay by Starscream as his bodyguard, but Grimlock just scoffs at him. He calls Starscream a coward for using puny humans to attack his enemies. After centuries of being on Earth, he doesn’t like the humans, but he pities them. He sees the Decepticon way as backward. The only ones on this dust ball who fight honorably are the Autobots, he says.

Grimlock breaks ranks with the Decepticons. Starscream challenges him, but in an offhand way, because he’s scared.

Grimlock looks at the rest of the Decepticons in the room (Soundwave, Buzzsaw, Rumble, the two remaining Insecticons) and knows he’s outnumbered if an actual fight starts. He walks confidently up to Starscream and pulls off Starscream’s Decepticon insignia, then says “I’ll be back for the rest of you.”

As Grimlock walks out, none of the other Decepticons challenge him. But he is outnumbered if they should all fight. Starscream calls after him, calling him a coward. Soundwave says “Maybe he’s just using strategy.”

Sam goes to Mikaela for help. He still has a job, but there’s no way they’re ever going to let him on a flight now, even when he was training so hard.

Mikaela gives him a pick-me-up speech about how he’s smart, and he’s destined to go places. It’s in his blood. His great-grandfather was an explorer.

“Look at me,” she said. “I’m still working in my dad’s old shop. Not like you. You’re going somewhere. You’ve already done stuff that people only dream of,” as Wheelie is playing with a flashlight. Every time it goes off, he thinks it’s dead.

Mirage meets with Soundwave in their predestined spot. They trade their items. Mirage holds out the Decepticon Matrix and Soundwave holds the Key to Vector Sigma.

“I sense that is the real Decepticon Matrix,” Soundwave says. “The readings I’m picking up….wait….you mean to double-cross me!”

Mirage takes a bomb out from a hidden compartment and hurls it at Soundwave. Soundwave dives out of the way at the last minute, dropping the Key. The bomb explodes in a sphere of electro-static energy.

“You’re a fool, Mirage. When you fight Soundwave, you’re always outnumbered,” Soundwave says, as Buzzsaw and Rumble eject, slamming into Mirage with the force of a rocket. “Buzzsaw, Rumble: Eject. Operation: Destruction!”

Buzzsaw turns into a circular saw, mounted on Soundwave’s forearm. He flings his arm, and the blade flies off, cuts through Mirage, transforms into a condor, turns around, fires, then transforms back into a saw and cuts through Mirage again.

Mirage can get shots at him, but he’s overwhelmed. He hides the Decepticon Matrix back in his compartment. Rumble rips the compartment open to grab it and toss it to Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw flies it back to Soundwave, but Mirage’s shot knocks it out of Buzzsaw’s claws.

Rumble jumps on Mirage. His pile drivers cause a quake on his body. Chunks of armor fall off. Then Mirage grabs Rumble, who writhes in his hand. Then he turns his hand into a missile launcher and fires. Rumble, at the tip of the missile, is launched and collides with Soundwave, killing them both.

Buzzsaw gets away, grabbing the Decepticon Matrix on his way out.

Mirage returns to the Autobots, severely damaged. He tells Prime he did everything he asked him to do. But the mission was only a partial success. He retrieved the Key to Vector Sigma. The Decepticons have their Matrix. Mirage gives Prime the Key to Vector Sigma. Ratchet gets him stable, but he’s still hurting.

This is how we learn that Prime was aware of Mirage’s actions the whole time. Prime informs the rest of the Autobots that Mirage had to appear to be acting on his own because the Decepticons have spies everywhere. Hot Rod sheepishly apologizes.

Buzzsaw returns to Decepticon base and provides Starscream with the Matrix. Starscream’s very surprised, but very happy that Soundwave’s schemes ended badly. Starscream puts the matrix in and energy crackles over him. He uses the Matrix’s power to augment his robot and jet modes. Whenever there’s a close-up, his eyes gleam bright red with purple lightning crackling all around.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

I wrote a part 3 to the Transformers live action movies. What came of it was a 15 page treatment. I tried to stick to the story, and the characters, and keep everything in line with what has come before, but…better…

Then I took out my toys and acted out the first part and put it on YouTube here:

 

What follows is the first and second parts.  I hope you enjoy it.

Transformers

The Last Autobots

Opens at Sam’s house. It’s early morning. They’ve got a new house, rebuilt with government funds. The alarm goes off. Sam’s eyes were open anyway. He’s very excited. Everything’s going great with his life: family, girl, new job at NASA. But today is special, but he hasn’t said why yet.

Sam goes downstairs. His mom is up to her usual shenanigans. The house was rebuilt by a reincorporated Sector Seven, now called Sector Eight. Because of this, there are tons of gadgets. Everything’s at a push of a button. But she can’t get anything to work. He’s having a blast. He gets whatever it is working with just one push of a button.

“Wow, Honey. You’ve got the touch,” she says.

He confidently walks outside. “They shoulda built us a lawn that mows itself,” his father says in the front yard, as Sam runs out the door. He’s trying to fix the lawn mower. “Where you running off to?”

Sam can hardly speak. “Today’s the day.”

His mother comes out. “Today’s the day!?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Oooooh! Today’s the day!” She hugs him.

“The day for what?” his father asks.

Sam is smothered by his mother. “Mom…Mom.”

“I knew this day would come!”

“Is anybody going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Mom…one of us is going to die if you don’t let go…”

“I’m so sorry. It’s just that…Oooooh!”

The father just shakes his head and goes back to tinkering with the lawnmower. Sam’s mother gushes over him a bit longer, then is interrupted. Something jams in the lawnmower. It was turned on its back, and the automatic thrust kicks in and the blades spin. Sam’s dad has a second to get out of the way as the chopping blades charge past.

“Bumblebee!” Sam calls. True to form, his protector launches out of the garage and blasts the lawnmower to pieces.

In the aftermath, they look around. Sam’s mother offers her advice. “Y’know, honey. Just because a major appliance is broken doesn’t mean it’s a Decepticon.”

Across town, an alarm comes on, and Mikaela drags herself out of bed. Throws a robe on. Stumbles to the kitchen where Wheelie is smooth-talking the coffee machine. Then, when he sees her, he tells the coffee machine, “Act natural.”

Mikaela knows what’s going on. “The TiVo’s going to be jealous.”

“That was just a fling. This…this is special. This is love.”

“Yeah, well, I love my coffee maker, too. Move over.” She gets past Wheelie to make some coffee. Wheelie has a Tailgate thing going on, not realizing that inanimate objects are not alive. On her way out, she steals a line from a great YouTube video: “By the way, that’s a Mister Coffee.” Wheelie just looks at it.

Bumblebee pulls up in front of Mikaela’s. She’s dressed and ready to go. Although she’s not terribly thrilled to be going on a picnic or whatever insane thing Sam has planned this time.

So they go to the lake where he first “picked her up.”

As they look out over the lake, Sam bends down on one knee and fishes a ring out of his pocket. “Mikaela. There’s something I want to ask you…”

He cues Bumblebee, and he starts playing “If you think I’m sexy and you like my body, come on baby let me know!”

Sam waves the song off. “Real funny, ‘Bee! C’mon, we practiced this!”

It doesn’t matter. Mikaela says “Do you really think I’m going to be a little housewife with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence?”

“The fence is optional.”

“You really think this is for the long haul?”

“Sure. Don’t you?”

“Well, most of our relationship is about almost getting blown up. If you really want me around, you’re going to have to keep our lives that exciting.”

Cut to Optimus Prime leading Ironhide, Ratchet, Mudflap and Skids into an abandoned town in a desert. There are mountain ranges nearby. Prime warns them to be on the lookout for anything.

Suddenly, five Transformers spring out of hiding from several vehicles that appeared to be abandoned on the side of the road. A red sports car and a faded race car chase the Autobots, funneling them down a path toward a big tank. The faded race car emits a trail of thick smog. Wings flip out of a blue Corvette and it takes to the sky, raining down black beams that blind them. A huge fire truck hits them with freezing fluid.

The Autobots match them in battle. But it becomes clear really quickly that the weapons each side are using are not doing any damage. They are tagging each other with electrical impulses. There’s even some playful banter between both sides.

In the end, the Autobots win, with only receiving a few tags. We see inside the new robots, and learn that they are Major Lennox and his crew. Sector Seven might be no more. But there is now Sector Eight, a worldwide anti-Decepticon team that has reverse engineered their own Transformers. The Autobots have been training the soldiers to use these battle mechs to help them in the war against the Decepticons. They used to do remote control, but the one-on-one interface is much better than remote. They found that remote control was easily tapped. The new Sector Eight NEST Transformers are Windcharger (piloted by Lennox), Inferno (piloted by Epps), Warpath (piloted by a new guy), Smokescreen (piloted by a new guy) and Tracks (piloted by a new guy, Sgt. Furman).

The Autobots and Sector Eight NEST crew are called back into a nearby compound. Giving high-fives and pats on the back. Mudflap and one of the other soldiers even give each other a chest bump.

Prime tells Lennox that the new ‘bots performed well. Lennox said that if you liked these, the 2.0 models are almost complete.

What they don’t see is a small, metallic insect stowing away on one of the Sector Eight robots.

Inside, Agent Simmons, now back in charge of things, welcomes them back into the base. He makes a derogatory comment about his assistant, who we find is the hyper tech-head Leo. Simmons proudly shows them Sector Eight’s newest toy: A Killswitch designed from Transformer parts that can remotely shut down aggressive robots. It hasn’t been tested yet on real Cybertronians.

Prime, of course, volunteers. Ironhide steps up. “Let me go instead, Optimus. You know I’d take a bullet for you any day. We can’t afford it if something goes wrong. You can lose a grunt like me and keep fighting.”

Prime: “You’re my right hand for a reason, Ironhide. Besides, there isn’t any sacrifice I’d call on you to make that I wouldn’t make myself.”

Simmons nervously pull the switch. Prime goes into a mechanized coma. Then Bombshell, the little insect, injects a cerebro-shell into Simmons. He turns the Killswitch on Ironhide next, shutting him down. Leo gets the Killswitch away from Simmons. But they can’t figure out a way to reverse it.

Then Decepticons attack. Lennox and his troops first pick up what they think is a dust storm gathering outside. They get a visual and realize that it’s actually a plague of Insecticons. Millions of tiny little metal bugs have swarmed the facility, sneaking their way into every little crevice. They pour into the building. They rise up, insects stacking and climbing over each other, until they form three distinct characters: Bombshell, Kickback and Shrapnel. Their armor is a blur of crawling insects. When they transform, it’s like all the bugs crawl into a new place. Then they look like giant insects made up of millions of smaller insects. Whenever they take damage, several insects crumble off. When they talk, it’s like each insect is talking, giving their voice a creepy whispering echo.

Taking instructions from Ratchet, Leo crushes the cerebro shell, and Bombshell goes crazy, like every insect in his body screams. He’s a big blur for a few seconds, and can’t hold himself together well. Lennox, driving Windcharger, takes this opportunity. He uses his magnetic powers to spread the insects apart, keeping Bombshell from coming back together. He then uses the magnetism to crush them.

Prime and Ironhide are left in limbo while the others try to bring them back. Ratchet radios for help while trying to get Prime back on line.

Back at the lake, Bumblebee tells his friends there’s trouble and leaves to help. Plays “Hold On, I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave.

“Our ride just left to fight evil,” Mikaela says.

Mudflap asks where these guys came from, and Skids answers. They are Seekers. There were five Seekers who were searching for the Matrix of the Primes during the last movie. They all took ancient forms. Jetfire was one. Here’s three more. Well then, where’s the fifth?

A huge explosion racks the place. You can hear heavy footsteps. Building tension. Until finally, we see Grimlock in all his glory tear a whole through the place. They see dozens of Autobot insignias all over Grimlock’s body and for a second they are hopeful. Until Grimlock informs them that the insignias are his “scalps,” trophies of Autobots he’s killed. Megatron, Soundwave and Starscream are right behind him. Even with the Sector Eight NEST bots, the Autobots are badly outnumbered.

Issue 2

Soundwave ejects Rumble and Buzzsaw to help in the fight. Rumble causes an earthquake that wrecks havoc on the NEST robots. Buzzsaw ejects as a circular saw and carves into Tracks. Buzzsaw transforms and tries to claw and peck at the human inside (Sgt. Furman). When he can’t, he transforms back, and continues to slice deeper. Tracks tries to grab the spinning blade, and loses a hand. Megatron blasts the Warpath Sector Eight NEST bot and destroys it, killing the driver. Soundwave and his henchmen tear apart Smokescreen.

We see some Autobot back-up coming, but they won’t be here in time. Bumblebee is leading a troop of reinforcements: Arcee, Jolt and Sideswipe.

Ratchet tries to protect the lifeless bodies of Prime and Ironhide, but is having trouble. Mudflap and Skids step up to the plate against Grimlock. And this ends badly as Mudflap is literally devoured.

Megatron sees this as his opportunity to strike Prime while he’s down. Ratchet bravely stands between them, but is knocked away by Megatron, trying to get to his prize. Just as Megatron is about to deliver the killing blow, he’s stopped by Grimlock. “There’s no honor in a victory like this.”

Magatron is furious. “You’d defy me? Do you think you should be giving commands?”

“No,” Grimlock says. “I’m not the one who wants your crown,” as he looks at Starscream.

The other Autobots finally get there, and the battle is rejoined. Bumblebee and Sideswipe team up to take on Megatron. Grimlock looks at Ratchet and tells him to get the others back online so that he may have a real battle and that Prime may “die a warrior’s death.” He goes off to fight someone else, letting Ratchet work.

Bumblebee sings “Welcome back” from “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Megatron doesn’t know why he’s making that infernal noise until he sees that Optimus and Ironhide have risen. They soundly pummel Megatron, and he’s forced to sound a retreat. Megatron and Starscream are chased out of the compound by Prime and Ironhide. During this fight, Starscream sees an opportunity to help Megatron against Prime, but chooses to let Megatron get defeated.

Megatron and Starscream break away from Prime and Ironhide. Megatron is severely injured and asks for Starscream’s help in getting him out of the battle.

“Help, mighty Megatron?” Starscream taunts. “It seems I’m always helping you. You landed on this dirtball, and got yourself frozen. I had to thaw you out. Then, you let a fleshling defeat you. I had to find your body and bring you back. And now, another of your failed plans brings us low.”

“Starscream! You wish to take my place? You’ll draw a target on your back for every Decepticon beneath you.”

“I’ll tell the others you died valiantly,” he tells Megatron.

“Only a coward would wait until now!”

“It’s not fear, Megatron. It’s strategy. Too bad you never heard of it.”

With this, Starscream fires a set of missiles and ends Megatron’s life. Starscream transforms and flees the scene, but he doesn’t see Buzzsaw watching the entire scene.