Do Transformers Eat Trees? (and If Not, Then What Do They Eat?) In my other recent musings/rants/essays... http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/trans...artoon-cynical-cash-something-more-essay.html http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-general-discussion/483170-why-did-g1-die-essay.html ...I attempted to tackle Transformers-related subjects in a more straight-laced and scholarly (perhaps pretentious) manner. For this one, however, I’m going to have a bit more fun. This particular subject is a favourite of mine, and I submitted something similar to Seibertron.com at a point when they were soliciting for essays and opinion pieces. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t picked for publication! Bearing all that in mind... *** So let’s get to it. Transformers eat trees. That’s a fact, there’s no getting away from it. In the episode ‘More Than Meets the Eye, Part 2’, there’s a montage sequence of the Decepticons siphoning power into Energon cubes. They take the energy from oil pipelines and the usual other places, but there’s one brief shot sowing the Decepticons sapping energy from... a forest. Now, on first viewing, most people would assume that they’re not actually sapping Energon from an Earth forest, and that there’s probably a power station just off-screen out of shot. But the more episodes we watch, the more it becomes apparent that they are actually extracting something out of nature itself. In ‘The Golden Lagoon’, much is made of an almost mystical golden lake in the middle of an unspoilt countryside, which gives the Transformers extra power on contact (not to mention a nifty ‘Lucky Draw’ colour scheme). The ecological moral of the story is that the Transformers’ battles on Earth (and indeed wars in general) are causing widespread damage to the Earth’s flora and fauna. But this damage is not just caused by stray laser beams, but as a direct result of its exploitation. Matters reach a head in ‘The Insecticon Syndrome’. The Insecticons could have any energy source they want... and yet their priority target is a forest. Finally, there’s no ambiguity – here we see a trio of Transformers munching their way through woodland like it was a picnic. And if you need any more persuading after that, then just look where the Autobots have built their city on Earth in 2005 – in the midst of the most picturesque forest/river/mountaintop panorama this side of an Austrian postcard. Obviously, the Transformers like to be around nature – it simply has to be a power source. If you look at where the Decepticons get their energy from in Season 1, it’s inevitably from rocks (the Burmese rubies in ‘More Than Meets the Eye’, the green crystals in ‘Fire in the Sky’, the Crystal of Power in ‘Fire On The Mountain’ and the asteroid in ‘War of the Dinobots’). Not to mention all the oil refineries and hydroelectric dams that the Decepticons attack throughout the run of the show. This begs the question – if the Transformers create Energon from rocks, crystals, oil, water and trees, then how did they survive when they lived on the metal planet of Cybertron, which lacks any of these raw materials? Since Megatron boasts a Fusion Cannon on his arm – nuclear fusion being a wonderfully powerful energy source –it’s therefore reasonable to assume that Transformers cannot create energon from nuclear power; if that were the case then Megatron could just fill up Energon Cubes with his own weapon! Similarly, we’re shown that Cybertron has a massively powerful store of Plasma Energy (in ‘The Rebirth’), so rather than lacking energy per se, what we really mean is that Cybertron lacks the silicon- and carbon-based energy that fuels its populace. So what options are we left with? Here are a few: 1) Transformers were once able to power themselves via Cybertron’s natural nuclear and plasma energy, but for some reason they now lack this ability. An interesting thought, but I fail to see what could have caused this sea-change. 2) Cybertron is not as lifeless as it seems. This idea carries a bit more weight. It has atmosphere and pressure enough for humans to survive on the surface unaided, and it boasts some minimal cloud cover (as shown in the episode ‘Divide and Conquer’.) It is conceivable that, if Cybertron can have clouds and rain, then it could also have seas. And where there are moons, we can have tides. Perhaps the Transformers used to create energy from hydroelectricity, but are no longer able to do so now that the seas have dried up. Sadly, however, we can easily disprove this line of argument - no seas are ever depicted on Cybertron, even in flashback episodes. As can be seen, it remains a mystery what powered the Transformers in the G1 Cartoon canon between their creation by the Quintessons aeons ago, through to their fateful mission in the Ark in the year 3,998,016 BC But one thing is for sure – now they’ve found Earth, trees are definitely on the menu.