Euhemerism and IDW1's "cosmic" mythology

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by Nemesis Scar, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar Combatrona a'den mhi, Vode An!

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    A big part of IDW1, as spearheaded by Furman, was an attempt to deliberately eschew the Primus/Unicron mythos that was popular in the then-current Unicron Trilogy. It was only later that we would return to the idea of Primus in IDW1's pages, and as we all know, it was not the traditional godly Lord of Light that made an appearance. Primus was not the creator of all Transformers, but rather the first Transformer, who possessed a few special abilities that marked him out from the rest. And when Primus's creations appeared in the text, it was not the demigods of the Thirteen, but rather the mortal Primes. And of course, Primus' opposite, Unicron appeared as the creation of a race wiped out by the hubristic imperialism of the Primes. It is at this point I introduce my thesis.

    A crucial part of IDW1's "cosmic" mythology was Euhemerism. Euhemerus was a Greek skeptic, who took a skeptical approach to the myths of those days. He supposed that every myth was a historical account distorted by the telling, in some great game of Telephone. Though it predates Euhemerus, this approach is best exemplified by this conversation in Plato's Phaedrus:

    What do you think? Is this approach to the mythos of Transformers new and fresh, or hackneyed cynicism? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
     
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  2. Tetratron

    Tetratron Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind playing around with traditional Transformers background mythology if only for the sake of mixing it up sometimes. Wasn't a fan of how some of the concepts were re-imagined in IDW1 but I don't mind the general idea behind it I can dig. If I recall, I think much of it stems from some of Roberts fanfic works where Unicron and Primus were ancient Quintesson creations.
     
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  3. Furnace

    Furnace Ant-droid at a picnic

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    I'd say it depends. As Socrates said in the Phaedrus regarding myths, "I accept what is generally believed, and... I look not into them but into my own self." In the case of TF, I think this isn't all too bad a policy, the "self" in this instance being the particular story at hand and what it sets out to accomplish. The lore need not be drastically changed or redefined if those changes aren't in some way important to the narrative. Conversely, if the Unicron/Primus mythos doesn’t work for the story being told, then by all means change it as the story demands. Whether these changes are cynical or not would similarly depend on how the individual writer handles them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
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  4. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    This is a refreshing topic OP.

    There may be a bit of cynicism present in the idea, but that may just be due to cynicism being more prevalent in fiction nowadays and frankly I find it tiring because it's overdone. That said, I tend to lean more towards it just being a new take on the mythos, I liked how IDW Unicron was basically a sentient doomsday weapon built by an enraged scientist but I wasn't a fan of Primus being Rung. I preferred the Guiding Hand when it was just one of the many theories / stories for their planets beginnings rather than what Lost Light did with them.

    That said, I love the idea of their 'true' origin being unknown or incredibly hard to pinpoint or decipher due to many different tellings and retellings, like how in reality the history of the Bible is pretty complicated and fascinating, how certain books became apocryphal and etc. I'd love to explore that more, and honestly if we never got a 'true' origin story in a well fleshed out universe, and instead we just got theories and a sense of mystery, I'd be totally into that. Not everything needs to be explained. Maybe some believe in Primus with the Light gods and Unicron and the dark gods, or the 13, or the Allspark birthing their species, or maybe being built by another species altogether... You could include the Quintessons in a story and have them be important figures, but not exactly be the definitive CREATORS of their kind. Though personally I love the Quint backstory.

    Ah, you speak of Eugenesis my friend. Probably my all time favorite Transformers story ever told that's not an official story but it was still written by Roberts. Primus was the name of software that was used to essentially imbue life into things that were inorganic, Unicron was the result of a virus implanted within each geode (geodes were insanely high tech computers built by a super advanced species the Quintessons were monitoring) meant to purge the life-giving code upon being tampered with, gaining sentience and becoming delusional and thinking it's a god. The Quints stole two Geode computers, one of them was hidden within a planet they colonized and the other was buried on their home planet. Quiniad (The colonized planet) would over time convert into Unicron and through a series of chaotic circumstances, their home planet would be converted into what would become Cybertron.
     
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