I'm not talking about characters or storylines really, but as a fan of both Transformers and Star Trek I've noticed some interesting parallels in the way the franchises have developed as two of the longest running sci-fi franchises in history and the way fandom reacts. G1/TOS (The Original Series) Both series set up the universe and ran for 3 seasons. When Spock died in the movie fan outcry brough him back. When Optimus died in the movie fan outcry brought him back. BW/TNG (The Next Generation) Both series could have easily been a reboot, but even with a new crew each show chose to be a continuation set in the future. Fans were angry at the changes at first, but the new show won over many of the older fans. Appearances by original series characters helped cement the "approval" of the new show. The new characters became as fondly remembered as the originals. And both shows lauched the franchise revival that is going on to this day. BM/DS9 (Deep Space Nine) The "odd ball" series. These series are often loved or loathed for their "deeper storytelling and characterization," and daring to take chances with the core concepts of the franchise. Both series feature a setting that is a departure from the privious series (Trek - space station instread of ship, TFs - Cybertron instead of Earth). Both series dare to examine sprituality. Sisko's and Optimus Primal's joureys both lead them from skeptics to (sometmes fanatical) believers. The final episode of both shows feature the hero locked in moral combat with his greatest enemy (Dukat for Sisko, Megatron for Op), they fall into a firey pit, both "die" but the good guy becomes one with the gods (Sisko - the Prophets, Op - the Oracle/Matrix))and may someday return. But in the meantime a war is ended and a new age of peace is ushered in for those comrades left behind. RID/VOY (Voyager) A back to basics show. For Trek this meant a return to a ship exploring space, for TF a return to vehicles and battling on Earth. For those who weren't keen on the chances taken in the last show it's a breath of fresh air and they like it, for those that liked the chances and "depth" of the last show this shows seem too simplistic with the big "reboot button" pressed at the end of too many episodes (or in TF's case for the whole show concept). Both shows performed well for the franchise, but fandom starts to divide even further. The Unicron Trilogy (Armada/Energon/Cybertron)/ENT (Enterprise) A REAL back to basic show, not only back to basics but back to the beginning. Thinking that just a ship exploring space ever week was not enough Trek ops, not for a reboot, but a prequel. TFs, never one to care about continuity anyway, decides to just do another reboot. Both shows experience some major direction changes along the way in attept to keep the show fresh and gain more viewers (Xindi & Manny Coto's S4 vision for Trek, and Energon and Cybertron shifts for TFs). These changes result in varying degrees of sucess with fans either thinking that the show ended too soon or didn't end soon enough. And after all these shows fandom couldn't be more divided. The result is fans of BM/DS9 who used to think that their show was "the red-haired step child of the franchise" for daring to take the franchise to it's "limits" are now joined by RID/VOY fans who think that no *their* show is the "red-haired stepchild" since the "odd-ball edgy show" is now expiriencing a small renaissance on DVD for "not realizing how good things were when we had it" syndrome. The Armada/Energon/Cybertron/Enterpise Fans all feel like the older fans hate their show (though they can't agree on which changes were best during the rather eratic, direction-changing run). The G1/TOS fans wonder if anyone remembers their show at all, reminding everyone that if it weren't for their show the franchise wouldn't exist. And the BW/TNG fans gloat about how their show is really the one everyone likes best (or *should* like best) and is reponsible for the original franchise revival. But of course ALL the fans form any generation can agree that the network is screwing over their favorite franchise with bad time slots and eventual cancelations. Which leads us to the most recent developments - a movie that not only gets "back to basics" think reboot/prequel again, but one that this time is original series inspired bringing thing "full circle." The new TF movie promises familiar named characters and (one so far) original voice actors. The new Trek movie promises young Kirk and Spock with casting aproval by the original actors (Nimoy at least and I would expect Shater to demand the same). Whether or not these new, new, new aproaches drawing on original series nostagia will work remains to be seen. But one thing should be noted, after 700+ episodes of Star Trek and 500+ episodes of Transformers both series are unlikely to die for good. Hiatus maybe, but like Superman, Batman, or Mickey Mouse they'll endure and change for each new generation when the time is right.