Arise, SPOCKTIMUS PRIME!!!

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Hazekiah, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Hazekiah

    Hazekiah Banned

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    While Star Trek and Transformers fans seem to have greatly enjoyed Leonard Nimoy's work within BOTH franchises, I don't think it's generally appreciated just HOW cleverly his character's role in Star Trek has been woven into Transformers: Dark of the Moon, an oversight this thread aims to resolve.

    Firstly, Nimoy's no stranger to the Transformers franchise, having already voiced the character of Galvatron in the animated '86 movie. But that correlation extends beyond simply voicing Galvatron then and Sentinel Prime now.

    Galvatron, of course, was simply Megatron after he'd been saved from the brink of death by an unimaginable power, a situation clearly echoed by Sentinel's resuscitation with the energies of the Matrix, the energy of which was established in the same animated film as being equal to or mightier than the powers of Unicron, Megatron's savior and the creator of his "reformatted" new self as Galvatron. Naturally, Galvatron rebelled against his master to serve his own interest, an overall dynamic similar to Sentinel's rejection of the tenets of the Primes and their belief in never exploiting or sacrificing other sentient life forms, not even for the sake of their own survival or Cybertron's.

    Some might call such parallels "reaching." I would however readily counter that if one can accept that the "helmet" of Sentinel Prime was clearly designed to resemble the "helmet" of Rodimus Prime -- and it most certainly was -- and that the filmmakers having considered casting Nimoy as The Fallen and having later actually cast Nimoy as Sentinel Prime stemmed largely from his previous work on the animated film rather than simply his availability to Bay through familial relations, then one must also consider the likelihood that the intentional connections DO NOT simply end there.

    If they were going to go through the trouble of courting Nimoy for the role of Sentinel Prime in the first place then they were damned sure going to make it something interesting and worth his while. A feat I believe they've achieved to a superlative degree.

    However, those elements merely demonstrate some degree of general correlation between both of his roles in the Transformers franchise. Interesting as that may be, it all positively pales in comparison to the extent to which they've played upon his past in the Star Trek franchise with his role as Sentinel Prime.

    Regarding those particular further parallels, their strong facial resemblance to one another is a good place to start.

    Yes, the character design for Sentinel began with the directive to re-imagine the face of Sean Connery as that of a Cybertronian. However, many fans have likewise noticed striking similarities to Peter Cullen's and Leonard Nimoy's faces in Sentinel's as well. Certainly, a visual homage to the voice actor of Sentinel's protege Optimus isn't out-of-the-question any more than the possibility of CGI animators referencing video footage of Nimoy's voice-acting sessions for the finished film's facial animation, a very common and effective practice in the field. Yet one must similarly accept that the faces of any number of dour and stern-looking old men could likewise be found to resemble Sentinel's own.

    However, it is by the same token worth pointing out that only Nimoy had previously played Spock. Bearing that in mind, I believe that the "antennae" above Sentinel's "eyebrows" resembling exaggerated versions the world-famous Vulcan eyebrows of Spock is by no means coincidental.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And then there's the matter of Sentinel's goatee.

    While Sean Connery and Peter Cullen have both had some interesting facial hair over the years, it is again Nimoy who most famously wore a goatee. More to the point, he even did so specifically for an extremely popular and well-known episode of "Star Trek," entitled "Mirror, Mirror," in which we meet Spock's evil doppelganger from a parallel universe gone sour. This of course is echoed by his turn as Sentinel, himself essentially an evil Prime who just so happens to wear his facial "hair" in a style noticeably reminiscent of "Evil Spock's" own primary distinguishing feature:


    [​IMG]


    Which leads me to Spock's dark side, so to speak.

    In the reboot/sequel film Star Trek, we meet yet another Spock from a parallel universe, who himself meets his own counterpart...the Spock from the original series!

    Following this revelation, Spock reveals to his younger, parallel-universe-self that back in the continuity of the original Star Trek shows and movies he'd embarked upon a quest to save an entire planet using his species' advanced technology. In the course of this failed attempt, however, he was tragically responsible for setting in motion the events which led to the destruction of his own homeworld.

    This very same Star Trek film was also written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the same two writers who were the principle writers of the first two live-action Transformers films. Intriguing! Furthermore, in an attempt to more easily distinguish the two Spocks within the same film, they were forced to create a more specific name for the original Spock. In keeping with the idea of a reboot, of course, their parallel universe Spock was simply the new "Spock."

    And, that same film also being a sequel, what did they come up with to call the original "Spock" in this new continuity...?


    SPOCK PRIME

    [​IMG]


    Haha, that's a pretty fun play on the new Star Trek writers' collective background as "the Transformers guys," obviously. I'm sure Ehren Krueger (their co-writer for TF:RotF and principle writer for its sequel, of course) and the rest of the crew thoroughly enjoyed incorporating so many Star Trek-related winks-and-nods into their Transformers film as much as Orci & Kurtzman enjoyed their own subtle little wink-and-nod to Transformers fans in their Star Trek film, albeit one glimpsed only briefly in the end credits.

    And the winks-and-nods don't end there!

    One could likewise easily make the case for the ultimate destruction of Sentinel's homeworld bearing a purposely distinct resemblance to the ultimate destruction of Spock's homeworld:




    Which leads me to the subject of space bridges.

    Yes, the space bridges of the Transformers franchise were rather clearly inspired by the transporter beams of the Star Trek franchise. They do originate from the same Transformers cartoon which even recycled the sound effect of Star Trek's doors, after all! Of course, the idea of teleportation as a trope of science fiction predates both franchises, but the transporter beams of Star Trek are by far the most famous and well-known example of the concept.

    So one can't help but appreciate the absolutely wonderful congruence of a character with the voice of Spock having invented the pillars to form a space bridge!

    Genius!

    And speaking purely in terms of visuals, the space bridge of TF:D otM is also a rather striking departure from the appearance of Jetfire's space bridge from TF:RotF. However, there IS an altogether different and, I believe, tellingly revealing visual connection to be made with the newer visualization of the space bridge vs. its earlier incarnation...


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    In fact...



    ENERGIZING TRANSPORTER
    [​IMG]

    COMMENCING TRANSPORT
    [​IMG]


    I could also almost SWEAR I've heard Spock, or someone from Star Trek anyway, actually say "commencing transport" in some place or another...but with all the episodes of all the shows (creeping up on 1,000!) not to mention soon-to-be TWELVE movies, I'm expecting to be looking for that one for quite some time, lol. But still. Given the numerous instances of Star Trek references which are practically pervasive throughout the Transformers franchise and TF:D otM specifically, I don't particularly think it's getting ahead of myself to chalk this one up as yet another intentional reference, particularly in light of its context.

    Haha, I can easily see Nimoy having a good chuckle to himself over THAT line in the recording booth for Sentinel's dialogue!

    Speaking of which...

    Aside from the more overt Star Trek references in TF:D otM -- Wheelie watching "Star Trek" on TV, Sam describing Dylan's office with "It looks like the Starship Enterprise in here," Bumblebee sampling Spock's dying words to Kirk -- there are unquestionably several more subtle references to Star Trek throughout the film, as detailed above.

    Yet there is clearly ONE such reference which is hands down the most subtly blatant and polarizing of them ALL...




    A classic Star Trek line blatantly echoed in a Transformers movie.

    You either LOVE IT or you HATE IT.

    Now, ONE frequent complaint about this scene is rooted in a general misunderstanding of Sentinel's application of the phrase. "How can he say that when we seven BILLION Earthlings EASILY outnumber a couple hundred Cybertronians?"

    This issue is however nimbly side-stepped by simply pointing out that we the audience have no real data on the sum total of surviving Cybertronians and must simply assume there are more of them than there are of us.

    But I feel that one key word in his statement tells a different story:

    "How doomed you are, AUTOBOTS; you simply fail to realize
    that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

    He's not talking about humans there. He'd already expressed his utter disdain and complete lack of respect for us QUITE clearly by that point.

    No, he's talking about the Autobots.

    He's addressing them from the point-of-view of a defector to the Decepticons, and just like his evil collaborators he views us as nothing more than insects and a means to an end. We don't factor into his decision making process at all, beyond whatever diabolical use he has for us as his slave laborers. Again, he's talking about the Autobots there, who barely number in the double-digits, mind you, versus the hundreds of Decepticons he's aligned himself with against Earth and its protectors. As if to further underscore this point, he even says that line at precisely the same moment as a Decepticon carrier ship is cruising by right beside him, brimming with invading Decepticons and their attack ships.

    Likewise, he's delivering to his former Autobot colleagues the ultimate justification for his plan to defect to their opponents right as he's finally activating HIS solution to their shared problem and just when he's mere moments away from attaining the crowning achievement and purpose of his entire defection in the first place.

    In light of all that, his meaning should be completely obvious to anyone paying full attention to the movie or at least that scene. With all those points driving his message home and all in that same, single scene, no less, it's truly baffling how often people still manage to completely misunderstand his plainly straightforward and strongly reinforced meaning with that simple and direct statement. Yet they still do. Ugh.

    But the OTHER big problem people seem to have with that scene is of a different sort. "It just feels out of place and is an insult to what the line meant in Star Trek II!"

    Needless to say, I couldn't disagree more.

    Sentinel is using the same cold logic Spock was demonstrating with his sacrifice -- the logic in both cases essentially being that the ends justify the means -- but in Sentinel's case he's not justifying logically his own sacrifice, but rather the sacrifice he demands of others. And from a viewpoint of pure objectivity his logic is sound. He's trying to save his entire planet and species, after all.

    Which is exactly why Sentinel forgave Optimus earlier in the film when he confessed to Sentinel that he often felt doubt in his own leadership. Sentinel reassures him, "Never mourn the past, young warrior; because of you our race survives," because the ends are all he cares about and because Sentinel was attempting to indoctrinate him into his way of looking at "hard decisions," or to at least confuse him long enough to keep him out of his way. Sentinel's goals and intentions were completely noble, he just went that extra step too far and betrayed the very ideals and virtues which represent the best of his species. In contrast, Optimus maintained his high ideals and in turn essentially spelled doom for his planet and people, whereas Sentinel was able to forsake his ideals and would have restored his planet and people at the cost of all that was good in them.

    This dynamic, echoed by Sentinel's quote from Spock, is representative of the core messages of the film regarding right and wrong and the hard decisions in life.

    Optimus Prime's failure as a leader for being too virtuous is mirrored inversely by Sentinel Prime's failure as a leader for losing his virtue altogether. Optimus essentially sacrificed his planet and his people to end their war the only way he could find to do so, just as Sentinel sacrificed his virtue to save his planet and his people the only he could find to do so. In the end, thankfully, Optimus is able to learn this final lesson of "making the hard decisions" from Sentinel without completely forsaking his nobility and ideals and to instead form a synthesis of their two diametrically opposed approaches to "make the hard decisions" of killing both Sentinel and Megatron, no matter how much they begged or offered truces, and to thereby finally end the war once and for all. In the past, he might well have extended his hand in peace to both or allowed their retreat, but by the end of the film Optimus finally knows what must be done, which values he must forsake to win the war, and where he has to draw the line to preserve what good remains.

    Which is succinctly echoed by the entire point of his monologue at the very end of the film. He understands that in the fog of war he will question himself and his decisions and that even his allies may turn against him -- he may even lose his home planet and possibly seal the fate of his entire species -- but THIS planet and THESE people he will NEVER forsake at ANY cost.

    Which is in turn what Spock was saying with his final words, Spock and Optimus were simply noble enough to sacrifice themselves even for those who view them as alien and to count them among "the many" or even at all when weighing the positives versus the negatives of their actions, whereas Sentinel was decidedly not.

    Spock and Optimus both demonstrate for us all that there are ideals worth dying for and sacrifices worth making for the greater good. The ends do justify the means sometimes. When Spock kills himself to save his crewmates and when Sentinel activates the control pillar to save his planet and when Optimus kills Sentinel and Megatron to end the war, they're ALL using the same justification for different purposes and are all essentially noble characters performing ignoble deeds for a noble end. One of them just simply went too far and tipped the balance over to outright unjust evil.

    The choice to sacrifice oneself or kill others is a hard decision that should never be made lightly, but while it can easily be done for ill it can likewise be done for good. The key difference is the ideals and goals which justify the loss of virtue in the deed itself. Finding that balance between the correct path or a life-sucking abyss is the hard decision Optimus must make and around which practically the entire film revolves.

    That concept is CENTRAL to the entire film -- indeed to the very character of Sentinel himself -- and the Spock-quote plays to that idea PERFECTLY.

    The fact that the same actor had previously used the line in a noble fashion elsewhere rather than its more malicious context in THIS film dramatically underscores and intuitively demonstrates what Optimus said about Sentinel betraying himself in a way that no other dialogue could have managed.

    Many fans seem to think using such a well-known quote while simultaneously turning its meaning on its head was nothing more than an ill-conceived mistake and a bastardization of the quote's source. But what they seem to be missing is that the filmmakers had a chance to use our shared cultural history with Star Trek audiences everywhere to their advantage in demonstrating the lessons of THIS movie, one of the biggest worldwide hits ever. To that end, replacing it with any other line or even omitting it entirely would be sheer folly.

    Especially when they're using a Star Trek veteran's voice anyway.

    Especially when that voice belongs to a character who's using technology suspiciously similar to Star Trek's transporter beams.

    Especially when that voice belongs to a character who's absolutely defined by his betrayal of his own ideals.

    Not only does the Spock-quote work, it works on levels which no other line could POSSIBLY have matched, DESPITE the inchoate complaints and misguided nerdrage of a vocal minority.

    In short, whether they liked it or not, the ends justified the means.

    Or, to borrow a phrase, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    ;) 


    CLICK THIS TEXT FOR
    MORE ON THIS SUBJECT REGARDING
    TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION





    SPOILER WARNING!!!




    SENTINEL PRIME
    ON A PILLAR



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    SPOCKTIMUS PRIME
    ON A PILLAR

    (UPPER LEFT-HAND CORNER FTW)




    [​IMG]
     
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  2. MV95

    MV95 @marlinfan1995 Moderator News Staff

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    I didn't read all of it, but dude if you combined all of your posts together, it would make a very entertaining Transformers book.
     
  3. WTDylio

    WTDylio Where is Jessica Hyde?

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    Long-ass post, but a very good read, even if I did skim over some of the end :thumb 
     
  4. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    [​IMG]

    If George Lucas owned Star Trek, he probably would've set his phaser to 'litigate'.
     
  5. cuad

    cuad VOK EMISSARY

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    Why'd you have to use a teleporter pic out of some crappy Star Trek spin off series instead of the glorious Star Trek TOS?
     
  6. oswaldCobblepot

    oswaldCobblepot Well-Known Member

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    Well. I, for one, am convinced.

    convinced of what, I'm not sure, exactly. But you make a very compelling argument.
     
  7. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Ahhh... I love this gif.


    In-depth analysis, but yeah, I thought all those things were pretty obvious to the audience to be callbacks to star trek. There've been a ton of Star Trek references throughout the films, such as Bumblebee using the communicator noise in the first film while explaining his origins and character.
     
  8. TylerMirage

    TylerMirage I vawnt my berdt.

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    Again, interesting read. I remember back in 2009/2010 when I found out that Nimoy's character in Abrams' Trek was "Spock PRIME", I :lol  from awesomeness. And then when it was announced that he'd be voicing Sentinel Prime in DotM, my :lol  turned into :eek:  .
     
  9. PrimusVsUnicron

    PrimusVsUnicron Well-Known Member

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    1. No Insults, Trolling, Flaming, Name Calling, Harassing, Etc.
    We will not tolerate insults, excessive profanity or throwing a topic off course. Use of racial or bigoted terms is not accepted. Keep topics/posts where they belong.

    -2005 Staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2012
  10. Ultrawave

    Ultrawave Hey look, I have a title

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    You know what? This one of your threads was actually really entertaining.

    The only part I think was a stretch was the space bridge/transporter connections.

    But I'm pretty sure somewhere, I think the the Errors and hidden references thread or in one I made, I also posted something about a possible reference to Vulcan's destruction in Star Trek because of how Cybertron's looked.

    But yeah, this is an interesting thread.
    Bravo on a good read, Haz.
     
  11. Atlas42

    Atlas42 Banned

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    ^ I thought the pillars and H2O thread was pretty good, as well as the life sucking abyss one.
     
  12. lugNUTS92

    lugNUTS92 Wrecker

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    Did you get n A + for your essay? seriously though I have a greater appreciation for what they did with these movies, theme wise.
     
  13. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime was perhaps the most brilliant casting choice in recent years.

    He rocked the hell out of the charecter. Hell If they were able to get him back to revoice Sentinel Prime or Galvatron or a new charecter in Transformers Prime, I'd be truly complete.
     
  14. StacyGrsley

    StacyGrsley Banned

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    Que?
     
  15. Puck Hockey

    Puck Hockey Well-Known Member

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    Ah, more fuel for my brain. I was afraid you weren't going to post anymore and that I'd die out.
     
  16. TylerMirage

    TylerMirage I vawnt my berdt.

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    My bro, I agree.
     
  17. seekerblackout

    seekerblackout Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. UnicronFTW

    UnicronFTW Don't blink.

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    Dammit man... One part of me wants to hate you for all this deepness... but the other part of me, the one that wins out in the end, actually enjoys it. Very interesting read, man.
     
  19. Soundbytes

    Soundbytes Well-Known Member

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    This is one theory of yours i was actually really intrigued by.
     
  20. StacyGrsley

    StacyGrsley Banned

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    Lol that was the expression on my face when I read this post. :lol 
     

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