The role of humans in Transformers

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Snark, Jan 3, 2012.

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What do you think of the increased importance of humans?

  1. I like it

    14 vote(s)
    48.3%
  2. I dislike it

    7 vote(s)
    24.1%
  3. I am undecided

    8 vote(s)
    27.6%
  1. Snark

    Snark Well-Known Member

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    Ever since the first movie, there has been a paradigm shift in the roles of humans in Transformers. In series prior to the movies, humans were largely relegated to tag alongs, if they were present at all.

    Whilst budgetary constraints were probably a contributory factor behind the increased importance of human characters in the first movie, it nevertheless ushered a shift in the way humans and Transformers interact.

    Gone are the largely useless sidekicks, and in their place are partners, oftentimes emotionally, and sometimes even in the field of battle.

    The movies featured Sam and the NEST team as active participants in the war against the decepticons, whilst TFP and Rescue Bots both feature human/autobot partnerships as a key narrative feature. This change has even been reflected in the toys, through the Human Alliance line.

    So my question is this, what do you think of the increased importance of humans in Transformers?

    Personally, I love it. I've always been of the opinion that human/bot interactions allow for greater storytelling potential than simply limiting the focus to the bots themselves.

    And besides, current media has already shown the human/bot partnerships can be very well handled. Arcee and Jack for instance, have shown greater emotional depth than most bots have with each other, and whilst the series is still young, the human/bot partnerships of Rescue Bots play off each other very well, Dani and Blades in particular.
     
  2. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I'm not sure I agree with the premise, entirely. Outside of the movies, human kids have been about as central as they are now ever since Car Robots/RiD. And while I'd agree they've been somewhat more central than in the G1 cartoon, there were still a lot of episodes that centered entirely around Spike, Chip, or Carly. The early Marvel comics also built most of the drama and several major plot points entirely around humans--namely Buster, Sparkplug, Donny Finkleburg, Josie Beller, and G. B. Blackrock. I don't think the formula changed as much as people think it has--rather we got used to Beast Wars and the later parts of G1.

    Still, I'm glad to see some praise for it instead of vitriol for a change. :) 
     
  3. D-Unit

    D-Unit #1 Heel

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    Humans are an important part of TF fiction/media. It's not going to change. People who put so much effort into denouncing/complaining about it need to stop wasting their time. And they really aren't as bad as some people blow it out to be. Yes, there are annoying humans, but in ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the series we've have over the years there have been TF's that are equally/MORE annoying. I'd rather watch "The Miko Show" instead of "Fun with g1 Wreck-Gar, Energon Ironhide, Movie Wheeljack and Skids and Mudflap". I'd just shoot myself in the head
     
  4. KnightHawkke

    KnightHawkke Flynn Lives TFW2005 Supporter

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    The humans are there to make sure the people watching it have someone to "connect to." I would rather connect my spinal column to a wood chipper, but that is neither here nor there.

    You know I do find one thing funny about all this though, Beast Wars sure seemed to do fine without any modern humans, at all. Sure there was the proto humans every few episodes, but they were not major plot devices all the time every time. This is actually one of the things I actually like A LOT about Rescue Bots in the first few episodes, the humans there made themselves useful AND still had flaws. You can have a series where the Humans are more than just stumbling blocks for the Autobots.
     
  5. Spin-Out

    Spin-Out "It's just... Asinine."

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    I like the way TFA and Prime handled it. The humans (or "Human" in the case of Sari) are there to help the Autobots learn how Earth works in TFA, and in Prime, they're Audience Surrogates and Escapist Characters.

    What I don't like is how, in the movies (and in Costa's run on the Ongoing) Humans are portrayed as being better than TFs. I can believe a human defeating a Cybertronian if they had a comparable or better weapon (An anti-materiel rifle could do a number on quite a few TFs, I suppose) but when you have a shiny new Deus Ex Machina-brand railgun kill Devastator, or have "I'm-so-badass-and-awesome" Spike Witwicky killing a Construction, you've taken it too far.

    Granted, TFA and Prime have had humans beat TFs in a fight, but that's either through deception (Sari scaring off the Constructicons) ingenuity (Jack blowing up Airachnid's ship) or actual superpowers (the supervillains in TFA), so I can accept that far more easily.
     
  6. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    And that, to me, was the major failing (other than the art) of the entire Marvel run: Over-reliance on a bunch of boring human characters. The worst being the super-heroes. Did we really need human super-heroes in Transformers? Circuit Breaker was bad enough (and never mind Spider-Man), but then more came. Budiansky doing it I can understand, coming completely from a super-hero background as he did. But even Furman used them...and way too much. Human super-hero characters involved in the final showdown with Unicron. On Cybertron. Really...? Even in the final battle in the final issue. Toooooo much.

    I think my entire distaste for human characters in TF stems NOT from Miko, NOT from Kicker, NOT from Rad or Carlos or anyone else -- but entirely from their ill-advised complete overuse in the Marvel Comics.
     
  7. ErbFan28

    ErbFan28 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a problem with humans being involved in the plot.
    I'd just naturally rather have no humans in any Transformers series because I want all screen time on them. The Beast Era did it right
     
  8. Matrixbeast

    Matrixbeast Here comes a thought

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    I think humans are fine.
    ...Yeah. Not much else.
    The only humans that I don't like are Kicker and the Armada gang.
     
  9. Rexidus

    Rexidus Autobot TFW2005 Supporter

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    I like characters that make sense. Granted I prefer seeing the giant transforming robots but if it's a good character who is realistically in that situation, then I'm on board.

    Most of the shows however just have the kids there because it's a cartoon. The kids are always brought to places where they shouldn't be.

    TF Prime and NEST/Mech are good uses of humans. In Prime the kids are just friends of the bots and Optimus does what he can to protect them from danger, including preventing them from going to the arctic where there would be no danger from attack. Miko needs a good series of slaps though. And it completely seems natural that the military would become involved on either side of the conflict. NEST and Mech are fantastic concepts I would love to see repeated.
     
  10. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm okay with humans. I especially love the humans from the Movies -- well, except for Leo and that douchebag Galloway -- so I would like to see more human characters like the ones from the Movies in future TF projects.
     
  11. AMG

    AMG Old School

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    For me it depends on the human. Some add enjoyment to the show (Capt. Fanzone), others are nothing but irritating (Carlos).
     
  12. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I think some people like to gloss over the real reason the Beast Era had no humans. It wasn't because anyone thought a show with no humans would be better. CGI humans looked HORRIBLE back then! Putting the characters on a prehistoric Earth with no humans was convenient. So was putting them on Cybertron. Most of Mainframe's other shows avoided human characters as much as possible as well.
     
  13. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    I'd say that as long as humans don't get more screentime than the robots who are supposed to be the subject of the series in the first place, I'm completely indifferent.
     

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