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cruelfeline: I’ve always found it interesting how the Decepticons all seem to be obsessed with rank.  Weren’t they the ones who wanted to abolish the old caste system?  Y’all have lost sight of your goal, haven’t you?

krakenbell:  So I’m inclined to think the obsession with rank is no longer a matter of caste. Any member of the named rank and file (I’m excluding the Vehicons – I’m still not really sure what to do with them) has the opportunity to advance, regardless of caste – provided they have the firepower, the ruthlessness, and the pain tolerance to back it up.

And don’t happen to be around Megatron when he’s on dark energon. Or when he’s in a bad mood. Or when it’s Tuesday.  And I’d be willing to argue that, in Megatron’s mind, this is a significant improvement over the way it used to be. Especially given his gladiatorial background – the strong survive, the weak perish.  But hey! It’s not a caste system anymore.

(Yeah, the goal went off a cliff a while back.)

draquaYup.  This is a Megatron no longer actively pursuing his original cause.  This is a Megatron obsessed with some basic wants, and they’re not focused on making earth the new vacation spot for all Decepticons.  Its all about, like so many things in this world, shoving pointy things into Optimus Prime’s dark places.

Murder!  I mean murder!

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*claps*  Beautiful analysis, Draqua.  Just beautiful.  And I enjoyed how you tied the two seasons together in a timeline from sick mind to the current infestation.  (I also enjoyed the mental image of a harem of Soundwaves.)  The infestation of insecticons truly is symbolic at this point, because their arrival has put the rest of the army on a side burner.  The Vehicons no longer matter, Knock Out no longer matters, and the insecticons are willing to as a hive follow Megatron’s every whim.

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Its almost a sort of meta commentary on the slavish manner to which the Transformers franchise (and by greater extension, the longtime fans of said franchise) venerates the archetypes of Optimus and Megatron.

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I agree with you, Draqua, the whole aspect of the archetype of Megatron and Optimus has boiled down to them no longer able to represent themselves as individuals and they are now icons/symbols/figureheads of the Autobots and Deceptcions.  

The most puzzling aspect would have to be is where does Cybertron lie in all this.  I know it is a desolate wasteland, but do either of them have a plan for their world after the war is over?  What I never hear from any of the bots OR cons is the idea of “When I get home.”  They just accepted the aspect that they’re never going to end, there’s always some power struggle. They are never explored with their goals.  That’s where I look to the IDW Transformers Ongoing. The meetup of the Newly Revived Megatron and Optimus both speaking to one another. 

This is my favorite Scene in all of IDW History - When Optimus and Megatron question their motives.  


(^CLICK HERE^  Page 13 - Transformers Ongoing Issue 22)

As you can see here, Megatron’s goals aren’t on the war, it’s after, it’s WHAT he’s fighting for. There is a goal to rebuild Cybertron, make it so that it was a better place than it EVER was before.  He was a Patriot for his people.

Transformers Prime Megatron was a Gladiator, someone who was a warrior by entertainment, and he was greedy for power. There isn’t a complex character dynamic to him, at least not executed correctly. Where as Optimus is still much like his IDW interpretation when Orion Pax. Where he believes what Megatron is saying and what Megatron is fighting for, but has a more pure motive.

Indeed.  In TFP, I always get the impression that the Autobots are just fighting to stay safe and alive.  Cybertron’s basically dead, they can’t safely travel through space, they can only maintain relatively safe shelter on earth if they keep the Decepticons (who vastly outnumber them in terms of firepower and sheer number) at bay, and they’re constantly under threat of exodus via the American government.  Their goal right now is “get through each day intact” as opposed to “Get home” as past incarnations of the franchise have been.  Whereas by contrast, I get the feeling that the Decepticons (but not necessarily Megatron) are thinking “Forget Cybertron! Let’s build a new home, and damn any humans, trees, or bunnies that happen to be in our path”.

This is why I really like the sequence from Orion Pax part 2 where Jack and Arcee are overlooking a devastated Cybertron.  Arcee is saddened by what her planet has been reduced to and acknowledges the futility of her and the Autobots’ actions in the long term.  Even if the Autobots of TFP eventually capture, kill, or convert all of Megatron’s forces…  where can they go?  Its some heavy stuff.  As noted by Arcee herself, in a war, the current mission typically becomes the sole focus of the participants, not the endgame.  That’s the ultimate tragedy the setup of TFP is based on, and I really hope that the incoming incarnation of Shockwave is related somehow to this premise.

And yes, IDW Optimus and Megatron are awesome.

Filed under tfp transformers prime arcee optimus optimus prime transformers hasbro megatron cybertron orion pax idw idw transformers