By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Could there be a decent story in Michael Bay’s 5th Transformers movie outing? The Last Knight has a new television trailer, and it shows Optimus Prime behaving badly. The tagline of “Rethink your Heroes” suggests he’s been corrupted. He’s purple eyed and looking scary.
Including the previous trailer, there’s very little information to explain Prime’s transition. The last movie had him rocketing into outer space to search for the Creators, while carrying the Seed. While I doubt he’s going to ram that down their throat upon finding them, I suspect he did discover their whereabouts and because he was one to their many — they overpowered and reprogrammed him. He’s been left for scrap, floating helplessly in space. As the full length trailer suggests with the vortex (conical) shaped spaceship, could that be the Quintessons vessel? There’s not enough detail to say, although I am hoping these creators will be featured in this fifth outing.
The big question of why “They” (the Transformers) keep coming to Earth will be addressed. Obviously, the Creators have some kind of invested interest, and I surmise it is not Unicron wanting the ore buried within the planet. The planet Cybertron looks like it will be making orbit around Earth’s Solar System, and I’m guessing Optimus will be like a herald (like Silver Surfer) to scope out the planet before this universe’s answer to the Death Star comes calling.
Sadly, this new TV spot is simply a rehash, a condensing of the longer trailer. The only detail put at the forefront is in the fact that Optimus’ eye colour changed. Those who know the series will recognize the colour indicates that the robot is corrupted by Dark Energon. The name says it all, and I suspect the writing team of Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and Ken Nolan were not looking specifically at past products to pen a tie-in to the animated Prime series universe with this latest outing. The Transformers Bible outline how long the Autobot – Decepticon war lasted and just how much of Earth’s history has been affected by these robots in disguise; they visited it since the Middle Ages (at least). Although, if I see Blitzkrieg (there are two versions, working for each side), I will certainly nerd out since part of the film does include a peak at Nazi Germany.
More wham bam, thank you ma’ams will no doubt make this fifth film the usual Michael Bay spectacle it is. There is a backstory I am curious about, because somehow, the past three films have to be assembling a bigger story in this jigsaw product that defines most of this producer’s films. In Revenge of the Fallen, seven Primes made Sun Harvesters to make the fuel needed to sustain the Transformers. One of them is known as The Fallen, and he had one of these devices hidden in Egypt. Although it’s now destroyed, perhaps smaller versions of these devices still exist? The reason the past was a spotlight in the full-length trailer is because they were revered as holy objects and wars broke to claim ownership of it. I do not think time travel will be part of this movie. Instead, those moments will be recalled in flashback, after Optimus regains his senses.
I’ll give Hasbro top marks if they are paving way for all the Transformers material to make Bumblebee the next leader of the Autobots. He most likely became the captain when Optimus left. After watching Robots in Disguise, I should not be surprised. Although these series are different, they do have to follow some measure of general continuity. The premise of the latest episodes featured Scavengers looking for relics from the Great War, and I’m getting the feeling this movie will have a similar plot. Old relics need to be found to prevent Earth from getting devastated again.