The first film was a fairly original piece, keeping to the basic Autobot-Decepticon war and the main cast from G1, and creating a distinct new mythology: brothers who fought each other, the Allspark/Underbase concept that started the war, and Megatron having crashed on Earth and kept in cold storage by the humans. The second and third films, however, hold distinct homages to other G1 features: ROTF bears a distinct homage to TFTM, and DOTM was majorly inspired by two G1 episodes (MEGATRON’S MASTER PLAN, and THE ULTIMATE DOOM). How do they compare? Or should there even be comparison? Well, G1 is held in high regard to the point that much of the TFilms were inspired by that verse, so some comparisons will inevitably be made. And comparison is just looking at different/similar concepts and explaining which one in your opinion was done better With ROTF, there were distinct homages to TFTM: - Megatron is rejuvenated. While this was his “Galvatron” phase and has been done before, it was a necessary move considering he met his end in the first film. And even though he was more an apprentice/lieutenant, he did more in this film than in the other two films. - Optimus is slain, and resurrected... again. The Optimus martyr stuff has been done to death, and while it always works (and worked well here, with him being the last Prime) I can’t really say I was too taken by it. - Wheelie, Arcee and an old-timer make their appearances. Didn’t like Wheelie (who likes a leg-humper?), didn’t know Arcee well enough to like/dislike her (though her unicycle mode was awesome), but the glory of Jetfire is ETERNAL! - A giant robot unleashes a vortex weapon. Devastator is no Unicron, but sans his wrecking balls (obviously) he is pretty awesome on his own. - The consequent battle the aforesaid robot takes part in is awesome on both counts (Unicron vs Dinobots, Twins vs Devastator). My respect for the Twins rose on seeing them fight that thing despite it being clearly bigger and stronger than them. - The Matrix of Leadership. From being a major talisman in , it was devolved into a key to activating a doomsday machine. But to be fair, it was still a tool used by the Dynasty of Primes, and in the Robot Heaven scene it appears they transferred their lifeforce into that thing to revive Sam and power it. So, on the whole, still cool. - An ancient enemy is the main antagonist. The Fallen, portrayed as a Cybertronian forefather, had great potential, but I have to admit he was definitely under-utilized as a villain. He needed to have more action: show him bringing darkness and storms and stuff, something apocalyptic as he was described to be. With DOTM, the major source material was two G1 episodes: MEGATRON’S MASTER PLAN (the Autobots are forced into exile with the cooperation of Decepticon humans) and THE ULTIMATE DOOM (the Decepticons link a space bridge to Cybertron, bringing their home to Earth so that it will be rebuilt by the humans). Also employed to a minor level was CITY OF STEEL (the Decepticons seal off a metropolis) and TRIPLE TAKEOVER (Megatron gets deposed, and is tricked into beating down his own collaborators). The best part of the film was the space bridge concept: Sentinel Prime makes for a fantastic gray-shaded villain: his intention is to restore his own homeworld, even at the cost of another world and its lives. In the film, as in G1, Optimus faced a choice of which of his two homes to save, and he put Earth before Cybertron (even if their old home could be revived, he was not going to do it the cost of others). It made for an interesting concept at the DC invasion, and the best part of the film was the dialogue between Optimus and Sentinel. My only problems with it are: - The link to Cybertron could have been utilized as an entry point for OTHER Cybertronians on Earth (e.g. the pillars link to Cybertron for the invasion instead of to the Moon). Cyberton was described as a barren wasteland, but had there been other Transformers, notably Autobots, who enter the fight from the bridge it would have made for a fantastic battle (“it’s our fight now”, indeed). - So Cyberton reaches Earth. Then what? How are the Decepticons going to rebuild a planet with 7 billion slaves, without the previous film’s AllSpark/Solar Harvester? Does Cybertron even have the capability of sustaining humans (atmosphere, arable land, etc). But then, it doesn’t look like Cybertron was held in high value: all that mattered was having slaves to lord it over, and work them to death for the nigh-impossible goal of restoring it. - Its destruction. MBay just didn’t have anything less to blow up on Earth, so he went for blowing up a whole planet, regardless of whether there was still living beings on it. The latter two concepts were also good to a point. Sealing off the city was a splendidly dark moment, showing the Decepticons slaughtering their own slaves. And the usurped Megatron who strikes back in the climax was great (the look on his face at being called “Sentinel’s bitch” is epic), but it needed more time for development; it would have been better off had he lived in the end. The Decepticon human concept is my least favourite concept of DOTM. It formed way too forced a retcon in my opinion: Soundwave could have started recruiting humans in the two years since he’d arrived at Earth, but instead they had him set up his network in the 1970s with supporting fiction few know about. In the end, it established him as yet another car-Con (whom Bee of all bots kills) and gave him most of his action offscreen, which is more than Soundwave deserves. Dylan is the movieverse version of Shawn Berger: a parallel of Sam Witwicky, he is in too deep with the Decepticons to back out, and too craven to go against them. A significant difference between him and Berger is that the Decepticons turned on their human representative Berger, and made him a slave himself; I think that ruthless element was lost in the film in that they let him live. The point of choosing to work with the Decepticons is that it’s a futile collaboration; in the end you are disposable and they WILL turn on you. Why Soundwave or especially Megatron didn’t kill Dylan is beyond me; it would have fit in with the themes of betrayal, and made a great parallel (Bee never gave up on Sam, but the Decepticons will kill their human collaborators even if they were still a useful resource). Besides, Dylan didn’t do much on his own except serve as a parallel to Sam by stealing his girl; he could have been killed earlier than he was in the film (Sam didn’t have the guts to pull that trigger). Verdict? The TFilms did some great stuff and did a great job at reworking some G1 elements, but on the whole some parts could have been done better.