What if the GI Joe Movie aired first?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by BumblebeeFan71, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    I was inspired to make this thread by the "What if the G1 Movie were success?" thread and after reading through some of the posts an interesting question popped up in my head and it does indeed lead back to Transformers. As some of you may know the GI Joe Movie was originally suppose to air in theaters first but got delayed and Transformers took that spot which of course led to the 1986 incident with theaters full of bawling children and the movie not being a success.

    But if GI Joe aired first like originally planned, how would had Transformers been affected? One crucial detail is to think about the characters Duke and Optimus. Both of the characters would already be written to die since the whole thing was started by one of the writers requesting permission from Hasbro to kill off Duke to make the story more mature which sparked the idea for Hasbro to ask the writers to kill off a majority of the main Transformers cast to make room for the new cast. If the GI Joe Movie had aired first, there would had been no backlash to save Duke and kids would have been greeted with the sight of him dying on screen.

    Another question to pose is, would have Duke's death caused as much backlash as Optimus' did? Duke is pretty much the face of GI Joe but you do have to take in account that with Transformers kids were already pretty shaken up from other Autobot deaths earlier and Optimus' death was the icing on the cake. While we're not sure how kids would have reacted, there is a canon Duke death that did stir up a bit of anger and that was in "GI Joe Retaliation." Fans threw fits when they saw from the trailers that Duke was going to be killed off in the film, so much in fact the writers had to go back and change from where instead of Duke dying at the beginning of the film, he had some scenes before his death. But even then fans were still angry they had chosen to kill Duke. If Duke's death managed to stir up that much rage, it is reasonable to believe that back in the eighties the reaction would have been indeed much worse.

    So if Duke's death caused backlash, what would this mean for the Transformers? By receiving backlash, Hasbro would already be frightened, especially since Transformers death scale was much worse than GI Joe's. Would they have left it untouched and risk receiving more backlash or would have they tried to dub in lines much like they did with Duke? If they dubbed in lines, what would they have done? Would had they made it where all characters survive or would have they made it where only Optimus got to live?

    There's many questions this What-If scenario creates, so what do you think would have happened if the GI Joe Movie aired first.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  2. Ramberk Magnus

    Ramberk Magnus Well-Known Member

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    If Duke's death caused backlash, then Optimus's death scene would have beem re-edited to just show him get "really hurt, but not dead." Season 3 would have aired as normal except maybe there would be a voice over at the start of every episode saying that Optimus was still recovering from his injuries. I don't know how his death/resurrection episodes would have played out though. Just more re-editing I guess.

    Who knows what would have happened if Hasbro/Takara had more time to redo season 3 to account for Optimus having survived the movie. In an alternate reality Optimus had not died in the 86 movie. The really metaphysical question to ask is: "If Optimus had not died, would the 86 movie have been as memorable?"
     
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  3. Switch625

    Switch625 "Up, up, and away!"

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    If the roles had been reversed and Optimus lived, I don't think much would have changed. Sure Optimus would have played a larger role in season three, but beyond that I think the brand had run out of gas pretty much just as it did. As an example, I love watching old TF toy commercials on YouTube and when I see the ones post Headmasters, it's pretty clear that Hasbro was running out of ideas. The ideas were just getting further and further away from the concept of Transformers and more into gimmicks for the sake of toy sales. And lack of creativity, that's something that even Optimus can't overcome.
     
  4. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    That is very true considering pretty much when someone brings up the movie it's almost always about Optimus' death. If he didn't died, it is very likely that the film wouldn't had as much impact and be less remembered as time goes on. But with Optimus' death, it created a memory that stuck with people, something they would always go back to because how much it shook them up. Had it been the other way around then GI Joe would had been the movie most remembered for Duke's death and it possibly could've altered how people see he franchise's popularity. Well maybe that is, I'm not fully convinced that a shocking Duke death would outshine Transformers since it is after all giant fighting robots from outer space that can transform into vehicles.
     
  5. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Both the TF and GI Joe movies were in the can way before they were released theatrically. Don't forget the TF movie was done early in Season Two, hence why the Scramble City combiners and Omega Supreme don't appear.

    So while it was easy to 'undo' Duke's death with a simple re-dub, the same wasn't true of Prime's.

    His death was an integral scene in the film (like Obi Wan dying in Star Wars). The life monitors stop bleeping, he turns grey, Daniel cries. We get "Arise, Rodimus Prime". Given that Prime's death is such a pivotal moment, I don't think a simple re-dub would work here. Unlike Duke's death, it's a lot harder to undo.

    Also, and sorry for being blunt, but nobody outside America really cares about G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. I mean, look at it from the opposite perspective - would Americans really care about Team Austria: The Movie?

    When GIJ was imported to the UK, they changed the name of the entire franchise (to Action Force), and altered Wild Bill's bio so that now he was born in Kingston-upon-Hull.

    It was always going to be the case that Prime's death would mean a lot more to worldwide audiences than the death of Duke. Duke dies? Eh, shrug shoulders, move on, the world goes on like before. Prime dies? HOLY SH....
     
  6. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    Don't worry, totally understandable. I'm not a huge GI Joe fan myself neither, that's more of my brother's department. I only take mild interest in the series.

    Anyways I can see your point about how even if GI Joe aired first, Duke wouldn't had much of a impact with his death. There would be some backlash but likely not enough to frighten Hasbro into changing Optimus' fate which pretty much leads us to where we are now. Kind of funny how it seems no matter what film came first, it seems Optimus' death was always destined to leave the strong impact we remember it for to this day.
     
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  7. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, completely agree.

    One thing I would say though is that - intuitively - the death of a human should mean 'more' to us as viewers than the death of a robot. Robots can get rebuilt (as Ultra Magnus can attest in the very same movie!) whereas humans obviously can't. Also, we should be able to relate to the human Duke and his friends, more so than the alien Optimus Prume.

    The death of Duke would have had a permanence that Prime's death could never achieve. It's easy to bring a Transformer back from the dead down the line, but when you kill a human, it's irreversible (well, aside from that time when Cobra Commander came back from the dead in the comics, but we'll just forget that ever happened!!).
     
  8. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    I think they could have reedited the TF movie to say Optimus went into a robot coma. Cut the shot with the monitors showing him flatline. Dub in a line how he went offline and it will be awhile before before he is repaired. Maybe cut the show of his black head falling to the side. Spend a little $$ and keep him in normal colors instead of turning black.

    Clearly Dark Awakening wouldn't happen and Prime would be in more scenes recovering. He gets 100% during a reworked Return of Optimus Prime.

    As for there not being much of a backlash during Retaliation, remember a lot of people hated Tatum being Duke in the first place and those movies didn't make a huge hit. The backlash would have been more during the 80's when Joe popularity was much higher then the recent movies. Although while I think kids liked Duke, he probably wasn't the most popular Joe like Optimus is for Transformers. A ton of episodes don't even feature him. Optimus is absent in only a handful of episodes. You could argue that Flint, Shipwreck, Snake Eyes or Roadblock held the spot for most popular Joe.
     
  9. Spiderus Prime

    Spiderus Prime TFW Spongebob and TTV's MS 2.0

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    Well if Duke would been killed off, you still got Wheelchair-bond Hawk, since Optimus killed off does can cause a major impacted to the everyone who live in the 1980's because the fact Prime is kinda like a father-figure to them, and Duke isn't.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
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  10. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    As was the case with Prime dying, Duke's death wouldn't have bothered me at all. And for the record, Flint > Duke.
     

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