How do you view the presence of the same character across the multiverse?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Kaje, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Kaje

    Kaje Well-Known Member

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    What are your personal views on this subject? The official fiction doesn't really touch on this much.

    Characters across the myriad universal streams can be nearly identical or have vast differences. How do you view these things when considered alongside the greater TF cosmology?

    To me, every iteration of a character started out with an identical spark. Every Optimus Prime in every universe has the same spark, (even SG Prime's ember is the same except for its negative polarity or whatever) though their individual programming and experiences have shaped them into the beings they are today. G1 comic Jetfire is the same as G1 cartoon Skyfire is the same as Armada Jetfire is the same as movie Jetfire is the same as Animated Jetfire. Not the same continuous character as in the case of multiversal singularities, but they are all basically the same at the core. The Allspark sent identical sparks to the various universes and they became basically the same character.

    Seems pretty simple, right? Well, then you get to more iffy parts. BW Megatron lived in the same universe as a G1 Megatron, so unless that spark manifested twice in the same universe (which I assume it did not) BW Megs is not the same as G1 Megs. But does BW Megs then have any counterparts in the multiverse? His voice is identical to Unicron Trilogy Megatron; are they perhaps the same? My hunch is that, no, UT Megatron is just another iteration of G1 Megatron, movie Megatron, Animated Megatron. Maybe BW Megatron has some other duplicates in the multiverse; perhaps (and this is something that just came to me while writing this) Machine Wars Megaplex or something.

    Then there's other complications. Animated Blackarachnia is obviously an alternate universe iteration of BW/BM Blackarachnia. But she is also Elita One. This leads me to conclusion that BW Blackarachnia is an alternate universe incarnation of G1 Elita One and all the other Elita Ones. Maybe without Tarantulas' interference, Blackarachnia would have emerged from that stasis pod as Maximal Elita One. This obviously requires that BW take place in a particular G1-verse in which Prime's girlfriend Elita One didn't exist.

    Add in other cases of switched factions (how does Armada Scavenger relate to G1 Scavenger?), switched identities (Animated Jetstorm an homage to BM Jetstorm; does that mean he's the Animated version of BW Silverbolt? Who knows?) switched genders (Animated Red Alert an homage to Armada Red Alert - how the hell does that even work!?) and you've got a huge mess of weirdness.

    Anyway, this has gone on a bit longer and rambly than I expected. I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but it's something I like to think about and was wondering what other people think.
     
  2. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    I basically agree they are the same character across every timeline. And so does Hasbro, judging from their hall of fame videos. But many fans swear by the idea that they are completely different characters - even blatantly identical to original ones like Blurr and Jazz from Animated.
     
  3. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    The only constant (from what I've seen which excludes the entire armada/energon/cybertron series) is Starscream. He's always the same. Prime, Megatron and the rest all can act differently and do. Megs in Armada seems to have a calmer demeanor and beat wars prime seems to have a shorter fuse with his own team.
     
  4. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    I wonder if that Megatron was some sort of statesman or wealthy businessman as opposed to a slave driven gladiator. Same ego, different experiences.
     
  5. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    And those different experiences make them different characters.

    Characters, just like people, are the sum total of their experiences in life.
     
  6. Soulmaster

    Soulmaster Well-Known Member

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    BW Megatron took G1 Megatron's name to show leadership (or something like that, I think he said that in on episode) but neh, I don't think the same, I think each spark could had the name they want, no need to be the same spark from another universe =/ but anyways your point of view was interesting :) 
     
  7. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    But to say they are different characters is to say they could theoretically co-exist in the same timeline. The two Blurrs can co-exist, develop with different experiences, yet still arrive together as fundamentally identical when we see them? The odds of that would be astronomical.
     
  8. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    Beast Wars "Prime" isn't Optimus Prime, he's actually a completely different person. He exists in the same universe as Optimus Prime, just several hundred years in the future (and I think in Beast Machines, he referred to himself as a descendant of Optimus Prime?)

    And you're excluding Armada because you haven't seen it, but Armada Starscream is -very- different from the other Starscreams.
     
  9. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    Just because they are fundamentally identical means nothing.

    1 simple difference maqkes them different.

    Lets say we have universe 1 and universe 2.In both Blurr is created, becomes an Autobot.

    Live's are completely identical....up to 1 point, Blurr of universe 1 turns right at a fork in the road, Blurr of universe 2 turns left at the fork in the road.

    This makes them different characters/people.Because each turn can lead to a completely different experience.
     
  10. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    The fun thing about that is RETCONS! Nowadays, we consider sparks to be a staple of the TF Universe, their essential souls/life force, and we retroactively apply it to G1, even though it didn't exist before Beast Wars.

    So, now we can retcon Beast Wars just like Beast Wars retconned G1. BW Megatron said he got the name Megatron from the Covenant of Primus, which prophecizes future events. He didn't specify that he got the name from G1 Megatron, he simply said that the Covenant of Primus mentioned a figure named Megatron who did something important, and he took the name so he could be that Megatron.

    Now, at the time BW was written, G1 Megatron was the only one, so we assume that's who the Covenant refers to. But, nowadays, thanks to the retconning of the First Thirteen, we know that The Fallen's original name was Megatronus Prime, and that's where WFC Megatron took his name. So BW Megatron was PROBABLY taking his name from The Fallen, just like WFC Megatron did (and, due to retcons, G1 Megatron probably did too)
     
  11. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    I've only got two episodes in so all I know is demolisher, hotshot, prime and megs.

    I do retract , from what I've seen, the screams. Shattered glass was a totally different character as well.
     
  12. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    Shattered characters being different is sorta the point ;) 
     
  13. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I view the character as they pertain to that particular continuity.
     
  14. Overhaulimus

    Overhaulimus Sword of Fury!

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    I actually see it the same way as the OP, in fact, at work a few weeks back, my boss and co-worker revealed they were TF fans, but they really knew nothing about the history and mythos of the TFs.

    So I filled them in, I pretty much explained it how the OP put it, there was no way that I was gonna break down each Universe of the TFs.

    I see each Universe this way, there would be multiple alternate Cybertron's and Earth's, each their own Universe, but like all other series (IE: Ninja Turtles, Marvel, and DC comics) there would be 1 original Cybertron and Earth, where each Universe would split off from and each character from the Universe's would be extensions of the originals, so in summary, they would all be the same character's no matter what Universe they originated from, with the exception of the Shatter Glass Universe, the characters are drastically different there, think of it as Earth-3 in DC Comics.

    But I can see it going either way.
     
  15. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    I believe Earth 3 is more like shatter glass.
     
  16. coinilius

    coinilius Well-Known Member

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    In terms of DC comics multiverse, definately Earth-3/the Anti-Matter Earth (from the new Crime Syndicate of Amerika continuity).
     
  17. Overhaulimus

    Overhaulimus Sword of Fury!

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    Corrected my mess up, have no clue why I put Earth-2 since Earth-2 is the Golden Age of Superheroes.

    But, yea Earth-3 would the equivalent of the SG universe.
     
  18. Kinoko_Otoko

    Kinoko_Otoko Unenlightened

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    Animated Red Alert is a femme (and also not, that we see, notably paranoid). Animated Blackarachnia is also Elita One. In the Marvel G1 continuity, Bumblebee was Goldbug, whereas in the IDW continuity they are apparently separate mechs.

    Furthermore, in the Beast Wars Metals comic (which may be a Japan only storyline) Airazor and Tigatron 'merged sparks' and became Tigerhawk.

    This implies to me that sparks, while they are technically discrete from one another in the long run (for purposes of reincarnation for instance), are not irreducible (i.e. they can be made up of more than one individual and/or can be broken down into multiple, unique sparks).

    The tendency of a given character to be somewhat consistent across continuities where they have likely had very different experiences (G1 versus Animated Blurr for instance) furthermore suggests that a given individual has a 'core' personality which they regularly express, unless they experience significant traumatic events which reshape their view of the world and subsequent behavior.

    There is also the complication of names versus sparks; quite plainly, a name does not necessarily mean a given spark, as in the previously discussed case of Megatron.

    So, this basically means that the most common characterization of a given individual can be taken to represent his 'core' personality. If there is a character in some continuity that appears to be an instance of an established character, but acts significantly different, it can be assumed that significant personal experiences are being reflected which have altered the behavior of that instance of the character, but that they probably share the same spark. This can be true even for instances which have completely different altmodes (or genders).

    If a character has drastically different/contradictory behavior or is on the opposite faction, or if they exist within the same continuity as the established character (i.e. BW Megatron), they are probably only using the name of an existing character for trademark or archetype establishment reasons (i.e. Megatron = BAD GUY). This can be safely considered a 'unique' character.

    As for fusion characters (like Blackarachnia/Elita One and Bumblebee/Goldbug), well, we already know Cybertronians can operate with relative ease as a gestalt consciousness (as in the various combiner teams) and there is at least one canon example of a single entity split into multiple individuals: Nexus Prime. Though he operates like a gestalt, he was originally one individual. So apparently sparks are malleable in this way: they can be split and combined. In Bumblebee/Goldbug's case, one might assume that they are the same person originally, but that either Bumblebee's spark exists in two instances in the IDW continuity (one as himself and one as Goldbug) or that his spark was split/copied at some point (possibly copied since Goldbug and Bumblebee seem to have the same personality).

    It's also possible that each spark is actually completely unique, and they exist sequentially in each universe but parallel in a greater meta-timeline which is not perceivable from any one 'verse. This would mean that, should a given Transformer enter some kind of theoretical 'afterlife', they would remember personally all the experiences of every instance of themselves that bore their spark. It would also mean that no Transformer ever technically dies, he just gets reincarnated in a different universe. This is of course simply a pipe dream, as there is no support for it. But it would make a certain sense, and help to explain why there are 'universal singularities': every Transformer is a universal singularity, they simply have different incarnations, whereas the original 13 have never actually died.
     
  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    "Life sparks" existed in an early outline of TF:TM '86!

    Also, Ransack would like to have a word with you all.
     
  20. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Heh, pretty much no common theme at all attached to that name.

    In addition to Sparks, BW (in the show and in toy bios) brought forth in-fiction explanations for how particular names can resurface within a single apparent continuity/timeline, including upgrades, reincarnation, and new characters simply taking on past names just as they do on Earth with all their "Johns" and "Smiths" and "Mohammeds".
     

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