Name Calling: "Prime" vs "Optimus" vs "Optimus Prime"

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Tux Chaos X, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. Tux Chaos X

    Tux Chaos X Spades Slick

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    I was watching Star Wars (ep IV) and got jarred, as always, by Obi-wan referring to Darth Vader simply as "Darth". Afterwards, I started comparing it to other fictional names that have titles in it, and realized that it's not that much different from guys calling OP "Prime".

    Which got me thinking... how do the characters in the G1 cartoon tend to refer to him?

    From my recollection, the breakdown is something like this:

    Autobots: almost always "Prime" (Bumblebee in the very first episode, Jazz in MTMTE Part 2, Ironhide in the Movie). "Optimus Prime" when they're talking about him in a formal setting, and "Optimus" very rarely. I think the Movie has about an equal use of all three, but I can't remember too well right now.

    Decepticons: usually "Prime". Megatron almost always calls him this unless there's like a dramatic scene where OP appears to ruin things on his own, in which case he, and the others, will resort to "Optimus Prime" (also see "Prime Problem", where Starscream uses the full name when the clone is revealed). I can't recall them ever using just "Optimus".

    Humans: I want to say they use just "Optimus" most times, but "Optimus Prime" appears here and there, usually by government officials honoring him again. I think maybe Spike calls him "Prime" once or twice, but it's usually "OPTIMUS!" whenever he's stuck again.

    Anyways, it's mostly a curiosity, and I'm sure someone out there has a breakdown of this, because I refuse to believe I'm the only one wondering about it...

    ...right? D:
     
  2. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    This seems fairly accurate. Bots tend to refer to him as 'Prime' in respect to his leadership status, or maybe 'Optimus' if they feel particularly comfortable/close to him, as old friends like Ironhide and Ratchet tend to do.

    Decepticons, mainly just 'Prime' or 'Optimus Prime' because he's the big bad tough leader of the enemy army and he's here to beat your asses in, holy shit.

    And humans, mainly 'Optimus' because of our whole first-name basis stuff, occasionally with a 'Prime' thrown in for formality.

    Good spot :D 
     
  3. Hotshotprime43

    Hotshotprime43 Well-Known Member

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    I felt as a kid in the Unicron trilogy the Autobot's mostly said Optimus while Megatron wold say Prime.
     
  4. tfparodies

    tfparodies Well-Known Member

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    "Optimus" is a less formal way of referring to him. "Prime" is more formal, and "Optimus Prime" is most formal.

    I've thought about this a lot over the years, and it's funny you bring up Darth Vader because I always make the similarity myself.

    I don't at all like the fact that the cannon took us the way of "Primes", having a line of them the same way I don't like the fact that in the Star Wars universe we were later given a line of "Darths". What this actually does is weaken the original character in some ways.

    In the TF universe, after Rodimus Prime was named they just sort of ret-conned the backstory to keep it going from there. This was a cop out to me.

    Edit - By the way, I always liked the fact that Megatron would call him Prime for the most part. It shows a certain level of respect, even for a hated enemy.
     
  5. spiritprime

    spiritprime Dudes, I'm a girl!

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    Dude, this summons up this whole thing in retrospect and I'm not even being sarcastic! I noticed it too but had no idea why it was being done until I realised the Autobots who were closest to Optimus called him by his first name, while subordinates called him Prime.

    Humans, you're absolutely spot on. We always call people by their first names UNLESS you're talking to teachers or someone that needs respect.

    Very good eye, mate. I never noticed it until you pointed it out.
     
  6. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Head of Illuminati Chapter 517

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    Interesting. I've always felt that everyone, other than very close friends, should call Optimus 'Prime'. Rachet, Ironhide, Kup, and Megatron are really the only four that I feel comfortable calling Optimus 'Optimus'.
     
  7. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I also find it interesting that this came up after watching Star Wars. I noticed the "Darth" thing too with Obi-Wan, and Darth is the title, Vader is specific. So I guess the whole Optimus/Prime/Optimus Prime thing would be very similar.
     
  8. Rewind Eject

    Rewind Eject Still no war in Ba Sing Se

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    It's because prime is the rank and optimus is the man. Calling him Prime is like calling your commanding officer General as a sign of respect. Calling him Optimus is more like being on a first name basis with your boss. Finally, I think treating Optimus Prime as his whole name is the ultimate sign of reverence as you're not just calling him a prime, but the prime.

    So,Prime refers to your boss, optimus is your friend, and optimus prime is the legend.
     
  9. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    ^ Yeah, like what he said. My father-in-law, a sergeant major in the Marines, would encourage me, a civilian, to call him by his first name. But if I had been in the Marines, I'd better have addressed him as "Sergeant Major" or else. Humans can call Prime "Optimus" because they aren't soldiers in his army.
     
  10. LegendAntihero

    LegendAntihero Banned

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    I prefer calling him Prime cause it's shorter to type
     
  11. Metroplex79

    Metroplex79 Hey mouse, say cheese!

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    I thought his name was "Sir"?
     
  12. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    They also didnt use he term 'Mr' so saying the full name sorta filled in for it.

    Always felt like the Decepticons said his full name in the style of mockery and last name out of disgust.
    Autobots/humans seem to use his first name when in fear sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  13. Dragonzzilla

    Dragonzzilla Well-Known Member

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    "Optimus Prime" is formal, "Prime" is an honorific, and "Optimus" is intimate.
     
  14. The Iron Magnus

    The Iron Magnus Optimus's Face-in-a-Box

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    i thought it was Optimus Prime by himself and most decepticons, Prime by usually megaton and some autobots, and Optimus only by the autobots.
     
  15. Digilaut

    Digilaut Well-Known Member

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    It's used very irregularly throughout the different series, some characters even call him multiple of the options.

    I always assumed his good friends prefer to call him Optimus, the guys with a more military background and respect like Ironhide or Kup would refer to him as Prime.

    'Optimus Prime' is used by friends and enemies in moments of awe.

    Megatron can say any one of the three versions, as any way he says it makes it sound like a mockery, especially in the newer continuities where Megatron and Optimus share a deeper history.
     
  16. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Prime for most, unless they are a part of his inner circle Optimus otherwise.
     
  17. CKSpawn

    CKSpawn 666 The Beastformer

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    I always thought megatron would refer to him as Prime.When he was refuring to him, Optimus when he was talking to him, and Optimus Prime when he was addressing him in stricktness.
     
  18. Fretburn

    Fretburn We need Instrument TFs

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    One thing to remember is that originally "Optimus Prime" was simply his name. The whole "Prime" being a title/position thing did not come until Rodimus Prime and even then he was almost never referred to as anything but Rodimus. It wasn't really until The War Within that the whole "Prime" thing really kicked off.
     
  19. Rexidus

    Rexidus Autobot

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    I found it strange for a while why people kept referring to Optimus solely as Prime on the boards; especially since there are now several big name Prime's that can be talked about. I had forgotten that in G1 they often just called him Prime.

    So with that in mind I have to remind myself that in the G1 cartoon pre-movie, Prime was not a rank. It was his name when the writers were writing the show. That's the same reason that Obi-Wan calls Vader, Darth. In Episode IV, that was his name, not his title. Later Lucas retconned it just as the 86 movie retconned Prime to be a rank. Both of these retcons are great in my eyes. :D 

    Now to actually answer the question, I support the concept that your average Cybertronian would address him as Prime with the less formal name being Optimus.
     
  20. Muramasa

    Muramasa Well-Known Member

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    In the G1 toon, Optimus was often addressed as "Prime". But yet Rodimus was always addressed as "Rodimus" by both Bot and Con. I think Galvatron only called him "Prime" once. In the Season 3 finale, both were addressed by name possibly to differentiate. Though Optimus Primal was always addressed as "Optimus".

    Formality wasn't that big a deal for Cons back then. Now it is for any all Con to address Megatron as "Lord Megatron".