The order of which live-action Transformers movies to watch first is easy to figure out, but to understand where all the events fall into place in this Transformers timeline is haphazard. It requires rewatching the films again or looking at a good movie information page to review what’s significant. After catching the early access release of the latest film yesterday, I realised I had to make this chart in order to identify the master plan.
After Rise of the Beasts, the Optimus Prime we meet isn’t the same as the one from those early films. He’s a lot more rough at the edges, and to explain if he left Earth at some later point in time only to return again in Michael Bay’s film may well have long time viewers confused. That’s assuming this filmmaker’s movies are still important to the longer narrative. It’s possible that Hasbro and all the producers will have to decide to return to the present to address the story as it’s still left untold.
Even though Bumblebee is considered a soft reboot by ignoring the future by giving us tales set in the past, at some point the narrative has to return to the now to explain a huge plot hole.
Thus, we have the following points to consider from the Transformers timeline (spoiler alert):
17,000 B.C. (Transformers 2) – The First Cybertronians discover a method to harness the power of the Sun, and when one of them selects Earth’s solar system to burn out, he gets banished. His evil decision went against their prime directive.
484 A.D. (Transformers 5) – The wizard Merlin convinces the Knights of Iacon to help them fight the Saxons. After getting involved in Earth history, they go dorment.
???? (Rise of the Beasts) – The Maximals arrive at Earth and, unlike other factions, decide to ally themselves with the locals in Mesoamerica.
1897 (Transformers) – Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers discover Megatron in stasis and eventually report it.
1931 (Transformers) – The Allspark is found, and Hoover Dam is built to hide its energy signature.
1961 (Transformers 3) – The Ark crash lands on the dark side of Earth’s Moon; it has an invention that can end the war between the Autobots and Deceptions. The early moon landings existed to investigate, and the coverup became the stuff of legend….
1987 (Bumblebee) – The title character lands on Earth, loses his voice box in combat and goes into status until revived by Charlie many months later.
1994 (Rise of the Beasts) – Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Mirage, Arcee and Wheeljack are simply robots in disguise waiting patiently for some advancement to help them return home.
2007 (Transformers) – Decepticons Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream and Devastator land on Earth and make a pact with the U.S. Government.
2009 (Transformers 2) – The Autobots and the humans establish a treaty to work together to hunt down Decepticons around the world.
Sector Seven Agent Seymour Simmons mentions an older Cybertronian group known as the Seekers have existed on Earth in this Transformers Timeline, and they’ve remained in hiding for the most part, vowing not to interfere.
2011 (Transformers 3) – Sentinel Prime is revived, and his idea to end the feud only leads to the destruction of most of Chicago.
2014 (Transformers 4) – Galvatron is “created” from Megatron’s remains.
The Dinobots are reactivated / discovered hiding in the deepest jungles of China and are rallied to fight for the Autobot cause.
Galvatron flees into space, and vows to return.
2017 (Transformers 5) – A member of the Quintessons reprograms Optimus Prime. He’s remains Nemesis Prime until someone can restore him.
Megatron manages to regain his sanity/original personality.
Sir Edmund Burton reveals that Earth has always been an epicentre of Cybertronian visits since the dawn of man. The earliest recorded account concerns Merlin and the Knights of Iocon. The most ancient order is known as the Seekers. Also, he and Seymour Simmons both believe Earth is Unicron.
Fan Theory: If this franchise is to remain true to the fact many factions keep on wanting to lay low until needed, then that means some agents of Unicron survived. Since then, they’ve been building the means to bring their lord, hence the horns from The Last Knight.
Coming this weekend will also be a review of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.