Transformers, do you need the War and Violence?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by UKBrawn, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. UKBrawn

    UKBrawn No arms just CLAWS!!

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    Is the war aspect a big part of Transformers for you or could you deal with a series without it?

    My opinions are below:

    I was just thinking, for me a big part of what I like about Transformers is the characters and the asthetics and just that they are giant Transforming robots.
    I like a lot of the Decepticons, but I don’t necessarily think of them as evil. Even if they are supposed to be. I enjoyed a lot of the simpler stories and g1 episodes, the character based stories. Just Robots interacting with an Alien environment. (This doesn’t mean more humans btw haha).

    A big part of G1 was that each of the Autobots had special powers, like hologram emitters, stealth, forcefields e.t.c. With the new Movie, it is just violence, from both sides, and that was the biggest turn off for me. Hell, I don’t even like it on the original movie when Prowl gets a brutal death.

    I personally would like more of the toys to have none weapon based accessories, maybe even a series where the two factions are rivals rather than trying to kill each other.
    I just think it is sad that the new Transformers Movies seem to be so Violent, war based and even pro military, and I always saw Giant robots more as escapism. I think that side of it is mainly ignored.
     
  2. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    You raise some interesting points.:thumb 

    I don't think that every single Transformers story NEEDS war and violence, but the essence of drama is conflict and physical conflict with good guys and bad guys is usually the quickest way to set up a narrative, especially for a Toy franchise which has to sell first and foremost to kids with shorter attention spans and a general preference for things that go boom. Obviously there are other forms of conflict, such as clash of personalities and objectives, and I agree that a wider palette of stores with more of a character basis would be nice, but the action adventure format of the Transformers franchise is usually the one that goes down best with its target audience. IE, young males.

    I think for the continued success of the brand, the war will always have to be the big backdrop against which the stories are set, even if not every story is a war story.

    On your point about perhaps setting the two factions as just rivals and not actually trying to kill each other, I can see where you're coming from but the problem is that the stakes of such a setup are much lower and the drama is reduced. "If we lose, we die." is quite a dramatic situation to be in. "If we lose, we don't die." is less so.

    That's my :2c:  anyway.:) 
     
  3. MACRAPTRON

    MACRAPTRON Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I like it. What we don't need is a new Optimus Prime and Megatron every year. Bring new leaders like japanese G1 - Fortress, God Ginrai, Star Saber, Dai Atlas.
     
  4. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    One possible idea for a more peaceful storyline would involve a team of Cybertronian explorers who just land somewhere for a while, take on local forms, and then have a few adventures before moving off to another planet. That would ensure a constant stream of new character designs and redesigns to base toys on, therefore enabling support for a whole toyline. Conflict could merely stem from the normal dangers of exploration like the environment, and perhaps encounters with dangerous alien natives.

    If Stargate and Star Trek could do it for years, I'm sure Transformers could pull it off as well. Set the series a few centuries after a Transformers war has finished and have a mixed crew of Autobots and Decepticons for a little internal friction, but not outright war. Maybe it could be a prequel to Beast Wars and involve Maximals and Predacons, instead.
     
  5. tf7

    tf7 Well-Known Member

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    Nope. War is the main backdrop for the lore. That's why they split into two damn factions, no matter what series or movie their in. It's always been Autobots VS Decepticons, and just outright war, even IF G1 had it toned down a little bit, with them fewer in numbers and that kind of BS.
    To me the war-like themes in the movies are what makes up for crappy storytelling, plot-holes, etc. Face it, M. Bay is the shiz when it comes to war movies, and an 'action movie' is probably what anyone would imagine when they think of giant robots that can transform into anything worth their mass and size.

    :) 
     
  6. Phoenix Blaze

    Phoenix Blaze Brain Waster

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    I think a series where they are rivals *could* be good, but it could also be shit.

    I really like the gritty realities of war applied to something like giant death robots who can turn into vehicles/appliances etc.

    One of my favourite themes in TF is the war in space, or on Cybertron itself (it's why I think WfC could be one of the best Universes yet!).
     
  7. OldDirtyBot

    OldDirtyBot ODB

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    I don't know if you co do a live action non-war movie but a animated series that focused more on exploration or life on Cybertron could work.
     
  8. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    I agree to the most part. However, today's society, people like watching action/violence on TV. And isn't the hole basis of Transformers basically the "battle" between the two sides?
    Would Transformers be just as exciting WITHOUT the wars? Or do you want it to be more like an after school special where one of the "twins" steals something and Optimus Prime reprimands them? I think that would be rather dull in all honesty.
    Now the question really should be, how can we have the same story line, same wars, but without so much violence?
     
  9. Aernaroth

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

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    I think that an attempt to strip the war aspect out of the transformers but still keep the conflict would result in a toothless, boring series palatable only by the youngest of children. This isn't to say that it has to be grim, bloody violence either, however. One of the strengths of the original series, and the franchise as a whole, is the depth of characterization for much of the cast. The conflict they're involved in affects each of them differently, and deeply, and the relationships they form both in and outside of battle make the story more interesting.

    Not every scene has to be about a PEWPEWPEW laser fight, and shows like Animated, Beast Wars and even many of the episodes of G1 adressed this well.
     
  10. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    Headmasters kind of tried the Star Trek thing and it came off really boring imo. That said, I figure anime is the only way to pull off a compelling non-war-centric TF series. I'd like to see them give it a shot.
     
  11. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

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    I'm sorry, but I can't stand Stargate (aside from the movie, which is passable). And Star Trek was always the most interesting when they brought in conflict (the Borg, the Dominion, etc.).

    Every episode doesn't have to be Saving Private Ryan, but the encompassing conflict is what drives the storyline.
     
  12. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    I agree with practically everybody else here:

    The conflict is the base of the series. G1, as a kids tv show, wasn't always able to get this message across, and on the other hand, Bayformers sometimes seems a bit too violent for the sake of violent. But Transformers will always be about the battle between the two.

    If you are looking for a series with less brutal violence and more 'smart use' of powers, I suggest taking another look at Animated. They did exactly that. Still, even Bayformers has its share of 'powered' Transformers: The Fallen and Jetfire can warp, Prime's arms are practically Swiss army knives, Ironhide has his special guns which can fire everything from EMP blasts to rockets, Jolt has electro-whips, Sideswipe has swords, etc. etc.
     
  13. biscuits

    biscuits Sin from Genesis

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    The weapons on toys are a main part of the figure, other wise they would have stupid punching-twist waist things. The guns are good.
     
  14. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    The Autobots want peace more than anything , the Decepticons lust for conquest is what has led cybertronian race into a seemingly endless civil war.
     
  15. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    I wouldn't be in favor of this. I prefer darker stories and darker villains.
     
  16. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    Now the mixed crew idea is what could make this idea work, in my opinion.

    You could definitely meet your quota of action with hostile alien beasts, armies, space pirates, or what-have-you. You could also have the occasional Autobot/Decepticon scuffle over all sorts of issues.

    You could have a 'con wanting to just wipe out some space pirates while some Autobots want to capture them to interrogate them or turn them over to local authorities. You could have Autobots wanting to destroy a dangerous artifact with Decepticons wanting to acquire it for the exploration team. Have a Decepticon crew member taken hostage and have the 'cons just storm on in, right over their own allies, if need be. Really, the possibilities are vast.

    Now the important thing in a show like that? The Autobots cannot always be right. Star Trek had a big habit of making the Federation's way almost always be the "correct" way of doing things, until DS9 showed a lot more shades of grey and moral ambiguity. I really enjoyed that series for that reason. By showing that sometimes, the Decepticon way gets results, you can create a more nuanced conflict among the crew than just "kill/capture on sight". Of course, explaining what the distinction between Autobot and Decepticon is now that the (latest) war is over is important. Frankly, since they're effectively immortal, you could just have the entire group just keeping their faction, even after an (unsteady) detente is reached. Toss in some blanket pardons for "war crimes" (to prevent a new war from starting up) and you have some great opportunities for very strained relationships among the group.

    I can see that working, but it would depend on some seriously good writing to have even a chance.

    - Coeloptera
     
  17. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    I have to say, I really like Nachtsider and Coeloptera's ideas. In a way, the inclusion of Worf in ST:TNG was a similar idea. The same with the Klingon/Federation alliance against the Dominion.

    Such a shame we can't get Star Trek writers to do a TF series. As I write this I'm aware that the last Star Trek and the TF films share the same writers but I'd prefer proper Star Trek writers from the Next Gen, DS9/Voyager series.

    On a side note, I can't watch the 80's Star Trek movies without seeing Kirk, Spock and McCoy as Prime, Prowl and Ratchet. I love the chemistry between the 3 and wuld love to see Prime, Prowl and Ratchet depicted in the same way.
     
  18. Zherbus

    Zherbus In Shogo Hasui, we trust.

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    I agree. The Sci-fi channel-esque space drama tries to be intelligent, but it's ends up being largely boring. Transformers always had the ability to have a casual watcher be entertained without knowing the inner workings of such and such faction or this race and the political nature of that federation. The reason is, is because the struggle and plot is simplistic and easy to relate to; bad guys and good guys are fighting.

    I have an abnormally long attention span. But I can't tune into most of these science fiction shows five episodes in and not wonder if my time would be spent doing almost anything else. Sure, visuals have gotten a lot better since the days of tin-foil Daleks and alien costumes more fitting for Halloween. But the writing, as clever as it might be in the grand scheme, is not good at pulling in or retaining a casual viewer.

    I think there's a lot of good ideas floating around in this thread. Personally, I could go with reading some comics along those plot threads. However, the franchise's strong point have always been GIANT BATTLING ROBOTS and not profound lessons in morality, intelligent and stunning plot twists, and nuanced conflicts told through cleverly metaphoric means. I'd love to see it proven to me that that can be done in this plot-hole ridden, inconsistent, and quite honestly superficial mythos. Sadly, I don't see it ever happening, so for now I am content to shut off a portion of my "but how?" brain and watch robot violence.
     
  19. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

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    Good topic here. I like some of the ideas coming up for settings other than war. The idea of a mixed crew of Autobots and Decepticons sounds intiguing. But i do think that at its core, TFs and war can never be completely separated. When you think of giant robots, doesn't fighting quickly come to mind? And having a setting of war, like others have said, increases the drama of the TFs' conflict. Stakes are high and there is a good reason for their fighting.

    For some reason, i'm thinking of the BW Neo series where Big Convoy's and Magmatron's crews, though sworn enemies and often fighting when they met, were more intent on finding Angolmois capsules across the universe before one another. It was more a race between the two teams to collect all the Angolmois energy they could find from different planets. The conflict between them was not the main driving force for their adventures. And then toward the end of the series, the fighting between the sides had to be halted when the threat of Unicron arose. So while war was in the background, it was oddly not the main concern of Big Convoy's and Magmatron's crews.
     
  20. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    A Transformers show without War and Violence is a Transformers show that misses the point.
     

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