How would you cast the main Autobots and Decepticons (or Maximals and Predacons, or something else you made up, or whatever)? What characters would you use and how would you use them? I was thinking about this in the shower the other day for some reason, and I was trying to come up with how to best streamline each faction into a set of core characters who all have distinctly separate roles. Here's mine: Autobots: Optimus Prime - I'd make Optimus much more of a political leader than a warrior. I think it could make him a more interesting character. He'd be the guy with the big ideas and the mediator, but neither the guy who you'd go to for your battle plan nor the first guy you'd want to back you up in a fight. Ironhide - Ironhide, on the other hand, would be ostensibly the military commander of the Autobots. This would be a smarter Ironhide than how he has sometimes been depicted, but still far from some sort of "intellectual". Ironhide has been around the block a few times, so he knows his shit, but he doesn't want to sit around and talk about it when he could be out blowing things up. His strategies would be crude, but highly efficient for it. Bumblebee - Bumblebee feels to me like he has to be there, but usually he doesn't have a very well-defined purpose. By leaving out characters like Blurr and Mirage, I'd make it reasonable that Bumblebee would actually serve the role of a scout or a small-time spy. He'd be the smallest and fastest of the team. I'd also conflate him with Hot Rod a little by making him "the rookie". Arcee - Arcee would be the most skilled fighter on the team, which gives her a purpose beyond being the girl because there's supposed to be a girl. She's highly valuable on the battlefield, but she's hotheaded and a little out-of-control. This is kind of a combination of her characterization in Prime and stealing a little bit of what might usually be Bumblebee's thing. Grimlock - Grimlock would be just the character you'd expect him to be, and he'd be the main muscle on the Autobot side of things. Ratchet - Ratchet is the medic, of course, and he's damn good at it, but sometimes it's hard to tell that he actually takes his job seriously. Extrapolating from Ratchet's sort of irreverent personality in G1, I'd make him more of a dick until he was kind of Gregory House. Wheeljack - Wheeljack would probably be less bumbling that his G1 self, but no less eccentric. He'd be sort of a mad scientist who will come up with a lot of ridiculous gadgets to help the team. I like the idea of the Decepticons having very sleek tech, and the Autobots instead having some slapdash stuff that Wheeljack threw together out of spare parts that is probably pretty unwieldy but can make really big explosions. Prowl, Bluestreak, Smokescreen, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, and Red Alert - Having the two sets of guys with the most reused altmodes made me think that they should be like the Seeker equivalent for the Autobots--the regular infantry guys to pad out the troops. They'd all have their own personalities but it'd be mostly just little glimpses here and there for fanservice purposes. They wouldn't be as fleshed out as the main cast. The Protectobots- They'd be the only Autobot-ish combiner team, and rather than having individual personalities, they'd be a hivemind possessing Defensor's general personality. Rather than being an actual loyal Autobot, Defensor would be ostensibly neutral and simply be concerned with keeping peace and protecting defenseless lifeforms. He'd be a sort of zen acetic who would be hard to understand for most of the Autobots except maybe Optimus. Decepticons: Megatron - Megatron would be pretty much Prime/WFC Megatron. A revolutionary who rose up against injustice but has been corrupted by his newfound power (and was probably a little deranged and misguided in the first place). Unlike Optimus who is more of a political figure than anything, Megatron would also be the most powerful warrior of the Decepticons, who have more of a "might makes right" attitude than the Autobots. I think that Megatron would always kick Optimus' ass in a one-on-one fight is probably a good dynamic. Starscream - Starscream would be pretty standard Starscream. He's the commander of all of the generic troops, and kind of Megatron's whipping boy, but his treachery and intelligence combined with the fact that much of the Decepticon forces answer directly to him rather than to Megatron might turn out to be a problem when he gets sick of putting up with all of Megatron's shit... Shockwave - Shockwave is the main muscle for the Decepticons, and his cold rationality serves as a counterpoint for Grimlock, his Autobot equivalent. He is certainly more loyal to Megatron than Starscream is, but his true master is his own intellect, and when Megatron's plans don't make sense, he just can't bring himself to carry them out, and this sometimes creates trouble within the Decepticon ranks--trouble that Starscream hopes to capitalize on. Soundwave - The whole "communications officer" thing seems stupid to me, so I'd toss it out altogether. Soundwave would be Megatron's chief adviser. Megatron would blow you to pieces if you were to say so, but he does know he's not actually the smartest guy around. Soundwave would be Megatron's go-to guy for advice and intel, and also Megatron's spy within his own ranks, because Megatron can smell that something's up. Soundwave is smart, not tough--scarcely a fighter himself, he'd prefer to sit back and let the cassette bots do the work. Swindle - Swindle is where the Decepticons get all their spiffy new tech. He'd be pretty much entirely his Animated self. There's no other Combaticons in this universe. Bludgeon - Bludgeon is the most skilled warrior of the Decepticons. He is motivated primarily by his thirst for battle and has a sense of honor that most other decepticons lack. He sees much of himself in Arcee, who he sees as his only potential equal among the Autobots and hopes one day to duel to the death. Tarantulas - A Decepticon "medic" and scientist, he is a socipath who more often than not creates horrifying abominations out of those he is tasked with repairing. Much like almost everyone else, he serves himself moreso than the Decepticon cause and is most concerned with seeing the destruction that his creations can cause. The Seekers - The Seekers, pretty much like in G1, are the generic Decepticon troops commanded by Starscream. Like the group of Autobot cars I mentioned, the ones that are actually characters might get a little bit of fanwanky characterization here or there, but they won't have much real depth or development, and are there mostly to be cannon fodder. The Constructicons - Once a group of high-ranking, intelligent Decepticons, they are now reduced to a goup of babbling, traumatized, soulless hunks of their former selves after Tarantulas' greatest experiment yet gave them the power to combine into the horrifying, raging beast that is Devastator, whose destructive capabilities are unmatched, but can scarcely be controlled even by Megatron.