Overall Transformers story?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by blaynescott, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Ever since I was a kid, and could catch random episodes of the original TF series I've wanted someone to just sit me down (perhaps over a pint), and explain to me Transformers. All of it.

    I belong to a subset of fans (I assume exist): people who grew up with Transformers, had the toys, researched some stuff online, saw Beast Wars (as it was in Canada), and read some of the various IDW/Dreamwave TF stories, and have a loose idea of the different timelines / 'universes' of TF-dom.
    Essentially, we can appreciate Transformers, but have very little story specific information to go on.

    I'd really love for someone whose well versed in the canon of Transformers to just... explain it all. Apologies if this is a silly request, but I think alot of people (perhaps just those outside of this forum?) would love to read an overview of the American TV series timeline, including any comics, and any 'ending' that's been written.

    Also, RiD, and the other TF Universes - how do they fit into what most people understand as 'Transformers'?

    These are questions I've pondered off and on for years. I'd love to get a solid answer (or series of) from those versed in Transformers. :) 

    Cheers,
    -Blayne
     
  2. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    TRANSFORMERS: A HISTORY by Black Zarak

    BZ's comprehensive history of the Transformers mythos. It's as complete a telling as you're likely to get. It covers everything from G1 to RiD. Everything beyond that point falls into alternate universe territory. One of my favorite reads. Enjoy!
     
  3. Karhukjnsi

    Karhukjnsi Universal Wrestler

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    Though it doesn't seem to mention (unless I missed it) how Liege Maximo is one of the Thirteen.
     
  4. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    It also doesn't cover animated and the movies, and lumps all the shows into a single continuity, even when I don't necessarily think that's always the case. It does do a remarkably good job of tying them together, though.
     
  5. boxorak

    boxorak Lovable Noob

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    I always thought the overall all-encompasing story for Transformers (At least, the closest thing to a story) was "Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons". I'm serious. :D 
     
  6. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    Heh, it's the how, why, and success/failure of that ongoing battle that interests me. :) 

    Great link about the story- I'm slowly working my way through it.
    I haven't encountered reference to Beast Wars/Beast Machines yet though.

    Does it (or another source) ever explain why/how Optimus Maximal find the G.D. arc with a Red/Blue truck Prime in it? I remember that even confusing my father, who knew enough about the original series from when I'd watch it as a toddler. Is BM/BW in the same continuity with the 80's Animated series?
     
  7. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it covers the beast era pretty well during the last segment. I think BZ wrote this back in 2003 or maybe a little earlier, so it doesn't cover the newer series or some of the more current info like the Liege Maximo being one of the 13. And really, you can't work the newer stuff into the original continuity. It's only because of some time travel that RiD fits into it at all. He does his best to make everything fit, but once Armada rolls around, there's just no way.
     
  8. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    TRANSFORMERS: A HISTORY by Black Zarak
    The more I read of this history - and it's a grand history - it feels like an episode by episode recap of every TF cartoon, copy/pasted together.

    "On the way there, in the town near the Coal Mine, Skids accidentally damages a human's car, but is ordered to keep moving, rather than attempting to make amends with the human."

    There's alot of incidental stuff like this, which really bogs things down. :(  It reminds me of one guy who decided to tell me the entire history of the Green Lantern Corp. at my convention table once in Toronto. So. Much. Detail.

    What I'm interested in learning is the overarching plot development, and where one series ends, and another starts/connects (i.e: The American TF series + movie, then... what? Where do those IDW/Dreamwave comics fit in?)

    This article is great at being super-comprehensive, but once I started reading about characters that had to be from RiD (time travelers), I knew the writer just seamlessly connected where on thing ended and the other began.


    Can anyone suggest another link (or just give their own readers digest version) of the TF universe? :) 

    I'll still finish reading the 'War & Peace' version, but I'm still a bit foggy on this.
     
  9. ErbFan28

    ErbFan28 Go Dennis Erb Jr. #28!!!

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    Thats pretty much the skeleton of the story. Then theres a hell of alot of meat to add
     
  10. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    If a friend asked me about Transformers cartoons plotlines, I could say:

    • Autobots and Deceptions crash landed on Earth while leaving Cyberton because they're at war. (intert analoges to peaceful exploration/violent conquest & expansion driven by energy/fuel needs)
    • They land on earth, and fight / "battle to de-stroy!"
    • Megaton dies, starscream has severe underling-syndrome.
    • Megatron is resurected as Galvatron, along with some other bots.
    • Unicron gets deathstared'.
    • Optimus Prime dies. Rodimus is a tool.
    • Optimus Prime pulls a robo-Jesus, and blasts the crap out of everything bad with his soul, hooked up to Matrix of Leadership.

    ... aaaannd... No clue. Bots start mixing black, white, and purple more often? Other bots looking like Optimus Prime appear, but only have design-cue connections to the Prime from the 80s cartoon? What reason is there for the bots to still be on Earth - I assume there's still fuel/energon shortages?

    This is the problem - I have enough TF pop culture knowledge from watching the show as a kid, and reading some random DW/IDW comics, and keeping an eye on cool TF toy designs + seeing Beast Wars/BM -- but the above sums up my ability to understand the direction things went after my memories end. :) 

    Help patching up the rest?
     
  11. MrSneis

    MrSneis Build Giant Robot!

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    Space bridge! Energon cubes! Pew pew lasers! And thats all there is to it.
     
  12. Steevy Maximus

    Steevy Maximus Movie Megs eats your soul

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    Here is the gist of it: The original Transformers cartoon (including the 1986 movie) exists in roughly the same continuity as Beast Wars and Beast Machines (well, they fit about as well as any TF sequel series does, but that's another issue).

    Each comic publisher's run of G1 comics generally exist individually of each other, so the Marvel G1 comics (up to the G2 comics) are a seperate continuity than Dreamwave's G1 comics, which have little to do with IDW's current G1 universe (even though IDW continues to publish reprints of both prior companies' TF comics).

    A general rule of thumb is: the cartoon and comics present similar ideas and characters, but are generally unrelated as far as long term continuity. In my opinion, the 18 issue Armada comic book is pretty and better than a good portion of the Armada cartoon series, for example. However, despite IDW publishing several prequels/sequels to the live action films, the films often contradict material presented in the comics.

    As to the rest of the series: The Armada, Energon, and Cybertron series are generally considered a "trilogy", even though Energon is the only series really made as a "sequel". Cybertron exists in the same continuity, but the show tried to "do its own thing" and doesn't tie in to the prior series as well.

    Robots in Disguise is its own stand alone series. So is Transformers Animated for that matter.

    The live action films, likewise, exist in their own little universe with no bearing on G1.

    As of 2010, Hasbro has started pushing for a modern "Aligned continuity" which is supposed to the one "true" Transformers story for the foreseeable future. Many Generations bios and Hall of Fame bios reflect this, and the current Transformers Prime series is supposed to be the "core" of this new continuity, though stuff like War for Cybertron have been added to it.

    My advice? Pick one you are familiar with (like, the G1 cartoon, or Beast Wars) and get familiar with that. But remember Transformers has DOZENS of different interpretations, and remember that what happens in one piece of media may not have any bearing on another.
     
  13. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I'm just content to having TRANSFORMERS as a multiverse myself. I think it's much easier to keep up with each story for each series, rather than to try to tie them altogether into one story. I also think I like it better this way, as I don't need "one" story.
     
  14. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    Good advice. It's like the mental acrobatics continuity focused superhero comic fans need to do to keep everything aligned. The only comics I read these days are by a single writer, or are self contained by their nature. For example, "All Star Superman" is a great short series by Grant Morrison. I found that you can plug that series into your preexisting knowledge set, whatever it might be - and enjoy it.

    I suppose I'll just do the same with Transformers. I think everyone likes a sense of continuity - the feeling that a story exists beyond the screen or page - but any fictional narrative runs into trouble the longer it lasts - it's soap opera syndrome, done with Robots.

    * * *

    The big question I have is - what's the fate of the 80s Optimus Prime? Since bots don't age (or at leasts, not like organic life), I assume this version of Prime would be around for a while. What was his eventual fate in each of the various universes?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  15. Megabattimus

    Megabattimus Reborn Comics Fan

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    This. Each cartoon has it's own continuity.
     
  16. ErbFan28

    ErbFan28 Go Dennis Erb Jr. #28!!!

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    Tfwiki.net has everything you need to know about Transformers
     
  17. blaynescott

    blaynescott Well-Known Member

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    That's an awesome site - thanks for the link. :) 

    I was reading the general entry, and...

    "[Season 3] concluded with the resurrection of Optimus Prime, spurred on by a massive campaign on the part of fans, who were displeased by his death and subsequent "evil" resurrection."

    Wait, what? Is Purple 'Evil' Prime (iGear verson, and the Hasbro Shattered Glass Purple Classics Prime) actually semi-canon?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  18. boxorak

    boxorak Lovable Noob

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    SG Prime is supposed to be a mirror universe version of Optimus, not a ressurected superpowered evil side, so yeah, he's canon. :D 
     
  19. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    Since they're talking about The Return of Optimus Prime, I believe that is a reference to his quasi-resurrection in Dark Awakening. There is no "evil" Optimus Prime in official G1 canon.
     
  20. Greyley

    Greyley Well-Known Member

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    It kinda sounds like you're trying to find a way to fit every TF continuity into one cohesive story...which isn't really possible. They tried to do it at first by writing Beast Wars so that it was set in the G1 universe, and Beast Machines is supposed to be the third installment in that universe. But most of what comes later is it's own story that's next to impossible to wedge into the previous continuities without some serious rewriting.

    Transformers has never been one big connected story, even at the very beginning. The original comic and cartoon followed their own timelines and often had competing characterizations for the same characters, so even G1 itself isn't a single story. By the time you get to the 2000s with Dreamwave and RiD and the UT and IDW and the movieverse, it's hopeless to try to connect everything together.
     

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