TFP misunderstandings, in depth analysis of arcs and their meanings

Discussion in 'Transformers Robots In Disguise / Prime Discussion' started by Lord Tron, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Not safe for nought to three sad onions

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    That might have been around the time - in the planning period, anyway - when shit really started to hit the fan and the three involved departments of show animation, toy development, and corporate intention refused to ever see eye-to-eye again. It is without question they intended for Airachnid to come back in a bigger role but they shoved so much crap in that they did little more than occasional cameos of the stasis pod, and when they finally had a chance to unleash her...whoops the show suddenly needs to unfuck the ending of the previous season and make Megatron illogically desperate for a new advantage, so out the door she went with all the insecticons because why should they explain her connection to them?

    Ironically, Thirst is otherwise one of the few episodes I legitimately think is good in all of Prime. Namely because no Autobots are around to prevent some great characterization bits and Airachnid basically is set up to finally fucking die later off screen as a result of Unicron's imprisonment (going off of how all the Dark Energon infected zombie dragons just vanished, and how Airarchnid is basically a zombie herself...)

    Amusingly, the Arms Micron bio I posted earlier actually does a better job of bridging one of the massive inconsistencies between the WFC/FOC games to the Prime continuity than the show itself. Namely, Breakdown in WFC was a messenger who got his ass kicked by Bulkhead, and so basically got himself jacked to hell in a beefier body to get revenge at some point. A similar methodology to Cybertron Swerve's bio so it isn't unprecedented.

    Probably. To this day, nobody knows what the hell they were saying with Prime Nemesis not being Trypticon in the Flying Mind episode, despite Trypticon's entire purpose in FOC being to become that exact Nemesis ship as well have a grudge against Megatron because it was a painful, one-way transformation.
     
  2. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    They were probably just flipping Aligned the bird by refusing to acknowledge something they were forced to do.
     
  3. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Not safe for nought to three sad onions

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    Which is ironic considering the entire point of Aligned was to set up a loose continuity to avoid having to do full stop reboots. All they had to do with Prime was follow a handful of extremely maleable guideline concepts and they didn't even do that right such that Hasbro tried to force FOC into being more hardline in-canon with exclusively Prime alone. And the Trypticon issue as I mentioned before only proved that the show runners seemed to intentionally try to avoid doing what they'd been hired to do in the first place.

    The infamous Rik Alverez panel about how the Binder of Relevation was a glorified paperweight now and the sheer level of non-communication behind the scenes of Prime's production honestly came as no surprise because even if one of the things Rik revealed was true, then Hasbro should have exercised far more control than they did.
     
  4. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Yeah, they royally screwed the Aligned project, big time. The internal politics of it was clearly a total clusterfuck.

    But that's neither here nor there in terms of the show itself, on the show's own terms.
     
  5. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    I think it definitely would've helped for a lot of people, but I was fully aware they weren't doing, with Breakdown and Dreadwing, what everyone thought they were and I still didn't care for the show. Most of my disappointment comes from what the show itself seemed like it was setting up.

    Eh, can't say I feel the same way. That episode was dedicated to finally, firmly planting Starscream back into his comic relief dumb ass role, having him wipe out most of the 'Con army and then being unable to handle the situation himself. Instead we get an unbelievably lazy resolution with Soundwave just ground-bridging all the zombies into space (because if that trick was cool once, it has to be cool for the next thousand times), making all the time we spent with Scream and Knockout pointless. Not to mention, that one moment where those two seem to care about each other conflicts with Knockout turning on Screamer, in the finale, for being a dick to him. For me, Thirst is tied with Armada for the worst episode of the whole show.

    Of course it does, I created it. I still maintain that Takara stole that backstory from me and if you don't know whether I'm being serious, neither do I.
     
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  6. Chopperface

    Chopperface Holtzmanned

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    I do agree that maybe we did overhype Dreadwing as Dinobot 2.0, and I guess it was interesting that at the end, Dreadwing didn't want redemption because he clearly didn't think he was in the wrong at all. He's not interested in the Autobot cause. He firmly believes in the Decepticons, or at least, before Megatron and Starscream ruined the cause for him.

    He should've just kept shooting at Starscream, though.
     
  7. Lord Tron

    Lord Tron Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back to the next file of my TFP character and story arc analysis last file studied the in my opinion greatly misunderstood and incredibly well done conclusion to Dreadwing's arc, now we will move onto another greatly misunderstood story point.

    File 2: Bulkhead's injury and recovery.

    This particular story point is one of the biggest complaints of TFP season 2, many citing it as very useless and irrelevant to the narrative and having minimum impact, this is a misconception mainly due to the fact that many overlook just how it served the characters this is partially understandable one is difficult to catch the other however is very clear. Now as we did with Dreadwing let's run through the basics of this plot point. Special note this file will also give us quite a bit of a character study on Miko since it's critical to her story

    Bulkhead is sent to track down an unknown relic later revealed to be toxic energon during the battle he is gravely injured and left in critical condition. Miko discovers this and blames herself for not being able to help him. She sets out with Wheeljack to track down Hardshell for what he did. She's filled with rage and anger this ends with Miko being the one who kills Hardshell this doesn't make her feel better and it doesn't help Bulkhead, Miko for the first time sees the horrors of war that it's not a game. This leads to his recovery which is slow Miko is angry demanding and pushing Bulkhead further than she should. This leads to her talk with Arcee which helps her see the dangers of hiding her pain.

    Now of course you're asking what does this have to do with Bulkhead for the time not much. Bulkhead's injury is just as critical to Miko as it is to Bulkhead himself. This incident changed her after this Miko no longer rushed through the ground bridge blindly and her desire to come with them came from a desire to help her friends. This is very notable in Chain of command where Miko follows Ultra Magnus orders something she would never ever have done before hurt. She's not rebellious anymore when Jack comes up with the plan to defeat Soundwave Miko follows orders. Bulkhead's injury turned Miko into a soldier she becomes a full on wrecker driven by a desire to help rather than have fun, she become obedient yet spirited soldier.

    Another notable impact is Wheeljack and Miko's bond growing and her proving herself a wrecker in his eyes. This incident was critical to Miko becoming a wrecker and was very much the catalyst that caused it to happen. Orginally Miko was just a thrill seeker due to being bored of her life as a result of trying to be something she was not. Rock Bottom and TMI changed this making her consider her actions a bit more but it also gave birth to her need to help. Jack being chosen by optimus drove Miko to try and prove herself she wasn't seeking thrills anymore but she was still going for selfish reasons.

    Bulkhead's injury changed this Miko did prove herself and it didn't make her feel better, this incident was what led to her becoming a wrecker and pretty much leaving her rebel nature behind she even asked for permission to come. Bulkheads injury is the most critical part of Miko's character arc. Killing Bulkhead would likely not have the same result Miko would certainly learn but her obedience and desire to help would likely be driven by rage and a need for revenge on all cons likely making her even more reckless, it could work but that's a completely different arc however it would also waste bulkhead as a character.

    Bulkhead's actual process to recovery is important to his character as it puts him through a struggle that up this point Prime hadn't put him through. Bulkhead while getting plenty of screentime up to this point had not gotten very many notable arcs, his recovery is the only arc that really cuts to the core of his character and forces him to question himself and his worth though not as entirely expected, this arc is not what it appears to be. Bulkhead had up to this point been the brawler and not much else now he's in a position where his physical stature is threatened and he desires to prove his own worth. Smokescreen drives this conflict bringing a new Autobot on the team that Bulkhead fears will replace him.

    Bulkhead in his bitterness has forgotten how much his team value and care about him. He feels he's letting them down and can't just sit back and wait for his injuries to heal. He recklessly rushes into battle to face Breakdown later revealed to be Cylas and almost dies because of it even worse his own pride almost kills Miko, Jack Raph and Fowler. Ultimately what's holding him back is his pride he's not healing properly because he won't wait and let it happen. He won't rest, he won't stop trying to force himself to accelerate the process he's pushing his body to hard, much like Miko was.

    Bulkhead's main obstacle is overcoming his pride not proving his self worth if one doesn't notice this the story completely falls flat especially it's resolution. In the end Smokescreen shows up and Bulkhead has to accept that he isn't strong enough to win he has to accept Smokescreen's aid. Bulkhead has defined himself purely by his strength and his pride can't accept being unable to do anything he can't accept that he's not ready so he refuses to let himself recover. In the end Bulkhead must accept he's not strong enough to win and has to let his pride go. Once this is done Bulkhead can wait and allows himself to recover. This arc does change Bulkhead in a few ways first he isn't as clumsy nor is he as angry when things go bad. Look at Orion Pax then Darkmount Bulkhead handles the scenario completely different because he isn't as prideful about being powerless and about having to wait. He doesn't break things like he used to.

    This arc is actually critical and defines Bulkhead's whole character, revealing his central flaw his pride and insecurities which he uses his strength to try and deny. In the pilot why does he break what ratchet was using because Fowler questioned his efficiency. Why did he rage out during Orion Pax because he felt powerless to do anything about the optimus situation. What makes him murder Starscream's clone when he slices his chest to show superiority. Bulkhead has a inferiority complex which he uses his strength to hide, the show doesn't really touch on this until his recovery arc which forces him to confront it by accepting that his strength isn't enough and he needs to accept Smokescreen's aid. After this arc all of Bulkheads outbursts, breaking stuff all but vanish. Killing Bulkhead in hurt would be a waste, his arc didn't resolve yet and the show didn't do enough with him before that point it would just be a sudden death for the sake of shock value.

    Despite this there are a few issues regarding this story. First it probably should've been longer this was a pretty in depth story for Bulkhead and more time certainly wouldn't of hurt, we probably needed to wait a little longer after the human factor to get him back into the action showing the last traces of his recovery, it just ended too soon. The other issue is in my opinion far bigger, Bulkhead pretty much lost relevance after this story he was kind of just there, which is unfortunate as there were potential possibilities for the newly reborn Bulkhead, possibilities that unfortunately we never reached.

    Ultimately my issues with the story more relate to what it followed it regarding the character over the actual story itself, it's a critical story for the character that not getting would've certainly been a mistake since it would mean we never really delved into Bulkhead. It's unfortunate he didn't get much after it but killing him in hurt and losing his recovery arc would've been a complete and utter waste of the character.

    Next file Orion Pax.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  8. DOTM Bumblebee

    DOTM Bumblebee I must be some kind of nut...

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    I'm not sure if the inferiority complex may be reaching or not (Bulkhead's humble and thinks more highly of others than he does himself, but I don't recall it being to that extent), but I do agree with the rest of your analysis here. I'd probably dislike or be indifferent to Miko without the growth she experienced during this arc. I actually didn't notice how Bulkhead changed over the course of this arc at first, but looking back, I do think your argument here is sound.
     
  9. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Lord Tron's ideas about Miko is that she hadn't acted recklessly since season 1. You can't write out a character trait that you've already abandoned for over half a season. I know she hadn't really made that many appearances, but you can't expect people to realize that you're addressing something that everyone thought you were trying to ignore, especially if everyone is perfectly happy forgetting it existed. This arc might've worked if it was at the very beginning of season two, but its placement in the middle of the season utterly kills it. Sure, it may work from a technical standpoint, but if the audience doesn't realize what you're doing, then it's a failure. Improperly conveying your intention is just as big a failing in writing as any other. The same goes for Bulkhead. Him crushing random objects is s rather pointless thing to change. Removing an inferiority complex should completely change a character. Major examples of Bulkhead acting out of rage are few and far between, so of course removing them isn't going to be noticed. Lord Tron's comparison between Orion Pax and the Darkmount arc is flawed because the different reaction can too easily be seen as the result of a different situation. In the former arc, Bulkhead had lost Optimus for 10 months and it seemed to him like they were never getting him back. In the latter arc, Bulkhead was only separated from the group for a much shorter amount of time and had no idea anything had happened to Optimus. He only found out after Magnus turned up, someone who he long ago learned to respect and fall in line under his command. If the writers had intended Bulkhead to have some sort of inferiority complex, they should've made it clearer that was driving him and made it clearer when it had been removed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  10. Lord Tron

    Lord Tron Well-Known Member

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    I apologize but as I said this isn't meant for me to debate my point with others. My apologies if you feel I'm ignoring you but I already broke my rule once and don't want to again, I don't want the comment discussion to be just me debating with whoever disagrees or agrees I want the comment discussion to be a debate with everyone else but me. Sorry but I will not be joining this discussion or others, it's not meant for me.
     
  11. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    Alright. Luckily, it wasn't hard to edit my post to sound more like a general statement on yours, rather than something specifically talking to you.
     
  12. Snowcat

    Snowcat Animation Detective

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    Where are you getting 10 months from? I'm fairly sure the events of the series 1 finale and Orion Pax take place over a couple of days.
     
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  13. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    I haven't watched it in years, but I recall it being said Orion had been missing that long, early in episode 1. I believe it was the scene with Arcee, Jack and Sierra.

    Edit: Huh. Just checked and it's not there. I guess my brain totally made it up.
     
  14. Snowcat

    Snowcat Animation Detective

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    Yeah, it would have been strange if it was that long amount of time. Considering Megatron knew Orion Pax wouldn't trust them for long and he needed him to decode the Iacon database quickly.
     
  15. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    I also could've sworn there was a line about him being kept in isolation while he adjusted to his new environment. Did my brain make that up, too?:confused: 

    Still, my point about Bulkhead, in the Darkmount arc, not knowing anything had happened to Optimus until Magnus arrived still stands, even if the part about the amount of time that had passed being much shorter than in Orion Pax doesn't.
     
  16. Snowcat

    Snowcat Animation Detective

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    Yeah, I think you did. It's okay. I've just been watching all of Prime these last few weeks by coincidence, so it's all very fresh in my head.
     
  17. Autob ironhide

    Autob ironhide Well-Known Member

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    Man I really wish prime would of lasted longer, not liking this baby shit mustard we had in RID.
     
  18. NOCV

    NOCV Cretin of Kaon

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    When did they say that? It's right there in The Art of Transformers Prime that they are the same:
    DSC_0662.JPG

    Meg's should've used the Forge of Solus Prime to revive him.
     
  19. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Not safe for nought to three sad onions

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    Not according to Bob Skir.
     
  20. NOCV

    NOCV Cretin of Kaon

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    Huh. Well, that's an interview against in 2011, and a publication for in 2013, sooooooo I'm going with the book. Plus he looks too good with them to not be.
    DSC_0743~01-picsay.jpg
     

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