What Does Optimus See in Megatron?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Leadfoot, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot The Strongest.

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    It can easily be observed that Optimus is largely defined by compassion, but it would seem that given Megatron's myriad immoral deeds, that he would actually deserve less compassion from Optimus than his decepticon underlings. What makes Optimus want to give Megatron the benefit of the doubt? This question applies to all Transformers continuities. In my own experience, I can remember many occasions in which Optimus Prime attempted to negotiate with Megatron rather than fight, and in some cases seemed inclined to spare Megatron's life - even cases in which the two outright worked together - all this in the G1 cartoon and comic plus the DW comics.

    In the live action movies, Optimus proclaims his goal to either "defeat" Megatron or sacrifice his own life to destroy the Allspark fairly early on, but says nothing about killing or destroying him. Although he outright kills Bonecrusher in combat, he seems remorseful over Megatron's death ("you left me no choice, brother"). Why? Why kill Bonecrusher for his crimes, but feel kinship and remorse for Megatron and regret over his demise?

    In Transformers Prime, Optimus outright declares that he had once hoped to change Megatron's mind rather than fight or destroy him. Why? Prime has no problem ripping the decepticon troopers to pieces and helping Skyquake to an early burial (although it's true, he did attempt to negotiate and reason with both he and Starscream).

    I think it can be inferred that there has been a tradition in Transformers of Optimus feeling there is something in Megatron worth redeeming. But what is it, and why? Opinions?
     
  2. D-Unit

    D-Unit #1 Heel

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    Depends on the continuity. In the G1 Cartoon, Megatron wasn't this raving 80s villain, and there were several instances ("Countdown to Extinction", "Insecticon Syndrome", "Revenge of Bruticus") where Megs showd he could put differences aside and work WITH Prime for the greater good. In the movies, he says "You left me no choice, Brother", so that's inferring that they had at one point, some sort of amicable relationship (sorry if that's been expanded further, I don't read the movie comics), in Prime, I'm guessing the answer to your question will be explored further as the series goes on, but in all cases I would just say that they have some sort of previous relationship where Prime believes that beneath it all, Megatron is not really "evil", just misguided. I would liken it to someone who has a friend/relative who gets into trouble with the law and doesn't give up on them, despite what others say. Ironically, the only coninuity wher eMegs seems to have mutual respect for Prime is the G1 Cartoon, and THAT'S the one where Megs killed young Prime (Orion's) friend and girlfriend and left him for dead. In any event, good discussion topic
     
  3. Obsidian X

    Obsidian X Dork of the moon

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    Well regarding Transformers Prime it is (sort of) in continuity with the Transformers Exodus novel.
    And in Exodus Optimus and Megatron have a friendship going before things turn bad, so that explains his want for redeeming Megatron in that continuity at least.
     
  4. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

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    I think that it's something the writers of each series forced on Optimus in order to avoid having a hero who would shoot the villain on sight. It portrays Optimus as having misplaced compassion; according to the writers, he has compassion for the murderer, but not the murder victim. He's allowing a severe injustice - the injustice of a murderer still drawing breath when his victim has lost everything - which is something I serious doubt that the writers have considered. They don't understand that mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent. Their "mercy to the murderer" routine disconnects Optimus from reality. Only someone who hasn't seen the victims or doesn't understand that the murderer would do the same to them would offer that kind of mercy. (I'll bet that Standards and Practices or the FCC (whichever apply) have something to do with it as well.)

    This is why I like RotF (not Movie 1, but just RotF) Optimus so much: he has no mercy for butchers and tyrants. He's the only Optimus to have a meme about his face-ripping. He made Megatron shoot himself in the face. He beat Starscream with his own arm. He ripped Grindor's head in two. I've already mentioned what he did to the Fallen.

    *Standard If-I-were-to-write-Optimus Speech*
    If I were writing Optimus Prime, I would introduce the concept of "mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." Optimus would show no quarter to the Decepticons because they don't show mercy to their victims. Every time he fights a 'Con, he would remember someone they've butchered, and the grief and rage would drive him onward to kill them. I think that Optimus's reason for fighting (the usual prevention of conquest) could change and make him a better character. Instead of preventing conquest, he could fight the Decepticons in order to avenge their dead victims and prevent them from making new victims. That would make him far more sympathetic, in my opinion.
     
  5. Blurr ftw

    Blurr ftw Quick draw

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    read exodus its pre-war backstory
     
  6. Torque

    Torque The WORDSMITH

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    plus Megatron has alot of good qualities-strength, determination, perserverance. He is brilliant in most continuities, not to mention lately seems to have a past with Prime. hard to look the other way when it comes to friends with potential.
     
  7. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    I think that's what more recent series are trying to establish, by having Prime and Megatron have a history of friendship or some mutual respect, and Optimus thinking there may be a way to turn Megatron back to the light, as futile as that may be.

    And then there's some Optimus'n who don't share this compassion towards Megatron. And others still that don't consider him such a threat.
     
  8. kremzeek prime

    kremzeek prime Kremzeek!!!!!

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    This was well said. But in an odd way, I have seen Megatron have a form of warriors respect for Prime in most of the series, IMO. This is one of the few times where you see a developed bond between the two main characters that goes beyond the general storyline. The two leaders need each other in the end.
     
  9. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    Because they used to be married. The entire war is just a divorce that went really, really badly.
     
  10. Dran0n

    Dran0n Junk male

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    Kind of a Luke/Darth Vader thing going on?

    Less hand hacking, granted.
     
  11. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    I get this vibe too.

    Starscream is secretly their love child, and Megatron beats him regularly because he can't stand that Optimus left him/"betrayed" him and he feels this every time he sees Starscream, :lol 
     

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