Optimus Prime's Philosophy

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Black Oracle, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    There's been much debate about whether the portrayal of Optimus in ROTF was too brute and 'un-Prime-like'. I'm interested in what motives, beliefs and thoughts govern movie Prime's actions, so let's discuss it.

    I think there have been two obvious main aims that Optimus has strived for from the 1st to the current 2nd movie:

    1) Stopping the Decepticons from their goals of universal conquest.
    2) Protecting Earth and its human inhabitants from the Decepticons.

    Perhaps the 2nd aim is the more outstanding one. Why? Why is protecting the human race so important to Optimus? From his 1st movie description of the human race as "a young species" that "has much to learn" but that he has "seen goodness" in to his opening dialogue in ROTF where he describes the human race as "capable of great compassion, but also of war", Optimus obviously draws parallels and comparisons between his Cybertronian race and the human race. This i believe is one of the big reasons why Optimus feels compelled to protect the human race: because we are very much alike to his own, capable of compassion, but also of war.

    Optimus' desire to defend the human race extends even to protecting us from our own capacity for war as he indicates in his talk with Galloway at NEST HQs. Galloway reveals that the Autobots had agreed to "share their intel" with Nest, "but not their advancements in technology", to which Optimus responds firmly that he has "witnessed" the "human capacity for war" and that "it would absolutely do more harm than good". Galloway argues back: "but who are you to judge for us?". Optimus seems to be all too aware of the human ability for good and evil. Though he believes humans to be worthy of protection from his Decepticon enemies, he is not so naive and ignorant to believe that humans are completely innocent creatures either.

    At the end of his talk with Galloway, Optimus agrees that he and the Autobots would leave Earth peacefully if requested by human leaders, stating "freedom is your right". This is yet another display of Optimus' belief that "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings"; even though he warns Galloway about the unwiseness of such a decision, he ultimately champions his core belief in freedom. He allows humans the freedom to choose their own fates, make their own decisions which he will respect.

    Now moving on to Optimus' stance on the state and future of his dying race. We assumed from the 1st movie that with the Allspark gone the Cybertronian race lost its only source of life. After fighting a never-ending war on their homeworld of Cybertron, Optimus eventually was willing to sacrifice the only known source of life for his race, in the hopes of keeping it from Decepticon hands and putting an end to their war. Then in ROTF, this stance of Optimus' is once again emphasized when he defies Megatron's "Isn't the future of our race worth the cost of one human life?" with "You'll never stop at one!". Optimus by now knows Megatron only too well and knows that if he allows him the means to create more Cybertronian life, other worlds and life will suffer under an empowered Decepticon threat. All this means that ultimately, not allowing the Decepticons victory and stopping their war is more important to Optimus than the survival of the Cybertronian race. This is a tough dilemna for Optimus as a leader of his people; in the end, it seems he would rather sacrifice his race than allow his enemies to spread their war to other worlds. He essentially chooses extinction over a warring existence, sacrifice and death over unjust life.

    In his mind, Optimus perhaps blames Megatron and the Decepticons for starting and bringing war to their once peaceful world of Cybertron, and he is determined that they cannot be allowed to spread their war across the universe to other worlds. This justifies his and the other Earth-bound Autobots' mission in ROTF to hunt down and eliminate Decepticons on Earth. Optimus cannot allow Decepticons to grow in strength and nos. on Earth and thus threaten it and the humans.

    Personally, i feel this Optimus Prime has alot of depth to him by the difficult decisions he has made that forseeably condemns his race to a dying future and the way he has likened our race to his own and placed new hope in humans and Earth as a new home for his Autobots (since Cybertron seems to be a dead world now).

    So what do the rest of you feel about movie Prime's character evidenced from all of the above? How much does movie Prime's morals and goals really deviate from previous incarnations? I'd like to hear other thoughts on movie Prime's morals, beliefs, motivations, stance and general philosophy.
     
  2. iamamachine

    iamamachine colonyofcells

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    A species desperate for energy for survival will often need to kill other species in order to survive. The love of Optimus for other species will cause the extinction of the Transformers species.
     
  3. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    I don't think it's just his compassion for other species that motivates Optimus to protect them from the Decepticons, it's about doing what he believes is morally right. He believes in freedom for all sentient life, he's standing up for his principles of justice and righteousness.
     
  4. transmetal2dinobot

    transmetal2dinobot Sub-Commander

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    personally* i think optimus prime's philosophy is cut off their faces and let primus sort 'em out!




    *sarcasm
     
  5. eisen

    eisen "CUT ME SOME SLACKS!"

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    that and all of the past movie primes valued life. it's not just optimus's belief, it's his lineage as the last Prime.

    see how the seekers were commanded to find suns that did not have nearby planets it provided with life.
     
  6. newguy

    newguy i

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    ROTF, keepin things fresh
     
  7. eisen

    eisen "CUT ME SOME SLACKS!"

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    -and confusing
     
  8. transeeker

    transeeker PSN: NTPrime

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    I think it's just about him accepting that his race is doomed and that the best he can do is protect other races from the same fate as his own. In his eyes decepticons are all about killing other races and so he needs to fight and kill them off for the good of all of the other sentient life in the universe.
     
  9. vektsilver

    vektsilver Transorganic member

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    It s fairly simple

    The character change was the choice of the director or writers it doesnt have to do with being realistic at all or trying to understand the situation.

    If that were the case the no army would ever take prisoners in real life nor would they rip someones heart out rip a face off decapitate then shoot in the head or split someone down the middle.

    The groups who do this are usually sadistic terrorist like organizations or some god aweful cult like thing
     
  10. wchen34

    wchen34 Well-Known Member

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    Yup humans should put cons in CA's jail instead, and tell con's they have to pay.
     
  11. Goatboy

    Goatboy Well-Known Member

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    Transformers have shown themselves to be a very tough species, unlike squishey and fragile humans. They have shown an ability to survive and recover from losing limbs and even decapitation. So if you want to stop one you have to be fairly brutal about it. And if they had taken prisoners where would they put them? You would need one hell of a big and secure prison to contain bots as big as Demolisher or as sneaky as Ravage(plus the Fallen could teleport how do you contain that?)
     
  12. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    That's a point. Wonder how much Optimus was aware of his forefathers' principles of preserving life on other worlds? I seem to recall Jetfire explaining in the novel that Optimus was "an orphan ignorant of his destiny" as a Prime. If we're going by that, Optimus likely was not aware of his forefathers' principles of not endangering life on other worlds, but perhaps this rule of the Primes was programmed or instilled into him at his conception?

    I kinda got the impression also that Prime, after centuries of battling the Decepticons, has seen the terrible consequences of their war and holds himself and his race as a whole accountable for the "mistakes" they made. He cannot undo the effects that their war has had on their world and countless lost Cybertronian lives, but he can try to prevent others from suffering also from their 'mistakes', from their destructive fate, hence why Earth and the human race have come under his protection. Perhaps Earth and humans are, in an odd way, kind of like a second chance for Prime to redeem himself and the Autobots' honour after centuries of killing, and serve as a reminder for what ideals the Autobots are fighting for. If they cannot save themselves from their own war, they can at least prevent other worlds from suffering it too, and it is their responsibility thus to protect others from their war.
     
  13. eisen

    eisen "CUT ME SOME SLACKS!"

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    or perhaps when a transformer shows similar traits to the value systemof the primes he inadvertently turns into one?
     
  14. jgoss

    jgoss transformers fan 4 life

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    optimus totally kicked butt in rotf alot of fans i talked to said that he was i wimp in the first one. i'm happy with what he did in rotf
     
  15. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    I doubt that. I believe in the novelization Optimus says to Megatron that "Primes are born, not made" when Megatron demands to the Fallen "You promised me the power of a Prime".
     
  16. Darthbane2007

    Darthbane2007 Well-Known Member

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    He must have stolen some of Devastator's Balls, or grew some of his own..
     

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