So, Hasbro has relatively recently decided to try and unify the Transformers brand with this new 'Evergreen' concept. Now, every new piece of Transformers fiction shares more or less the same backstory, which is something of an amalgamation of numerous origin stories from across the years. For all intents and purposes, these origins now seem to be the 'default' origins going forward. The problem is that none of these origins are particularly good, and they are all unable to provide a truly satisfying backstory for the lore of the Transformers, which hurts the fiction. My first problem with this backstory, fittingly enough, is with the origin of Cybertron and the Transformer race. We all know the story - Primus, after defeating his evil brother Unicron, transformed his body into Cybertron and gave life to the Transformer race using his godly energy. As the origin for the Transformer race, though, it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. Ideally, the origin of the Transformers should explain how and why a race of sentient, shape-shifting robots came to be. The Primus origin has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Transformers are robots who turn into vehicles and what not. It's not built on the fact that the Transformers are transforming robots; that part of the story is an aside, and it's a weak origin because of it. Yet, this origin has stuck around for decades, likely because it explains away a number of franchise constants like Unicron and the Matrix, but that doesn't really make it any less unsatisfying of an origin story. Though the Quintesson origin is flawed, it at least is built around the idea that the Transformers are sentient robots who are able to transform their bodies into vehicles and other machinery. The Primus origin, however, doesn't seem too concerned with actually explaining how the Transformers came to be; it's focus is elsewhere, and that's the very problem with it. It isn't a logical place for the Transformer race to begin; it barely has anything to do with who they are. It's not just the origin of the Transformer race that doesn't work with this seemingly default backstory. The outbreak of the Great War, and most especially the rise of the Decepticons is also really weak, which is troubling considering that it's more important to the main story. Throughout every iteration of the brand, the Decepticons are driven by goals of galactic conquest and technological supremacy across the cosmos. Logically, then, their origin should serve to explain how and why they came into existence and rose to prominence. The problem is that this current origin doesn't do that at all. It's flawed in a similar way to how Primus and the origin of the Transformers is flawed; the origin of the Decepticons and the faction that they eventually become are entirely disconnected from each other. It explains how they came to be, sure, but their rise has nothing to do with the ideas that are at the center of the Decepticons' core ideology. This take on the origin of the Decepticons have them start out as a workers' revolution demanding job emancipation. They're fighting for freedom, but after overthrowing the old guard, they just keep going and suddenly start blowing up planets. Why? The Decepticons who fought for freedom have nothing to do with the Decepticons who fight to conquer and enslave the galaxy. This origin isn't satisfying because the main, underlying idea of the Decepticons - the fact that they're fascist regime that seeks to pillage and conquer - isn't at the heart of it. It isn't a logical place for where the Decepticons would begin; really, it has absolutely nothing to do with who the Decepticons are, and as such it suffers for it. This origin of the Decepticons also causes the origin of the Autobots to suffer as well. Naturally, this would only serve to weaken the rivalry between the two factions. The modern Autobots are made up of the remnants of the enforcers of the old, corrupt regime who are now united in the name of freedom. If the Autobots and the Decepticons are both motivated by freedom, which is what this origin leads us to believe, then there isn't really an ideological difference between the two factions; the only difference is that the Decepticons are blowing up planets or whatever because freedom, I guess? They're a workers' revolution that kept going after they won, and their enemies are their former oppressors who now agree with them ideologically. That's just a really silly origin that makes things needlessly convoluted and messy. The whole point of providing an origin to the outbreak of the Great War is to explain the two factions and why they oppose each other, but all this one does is muddle the waters a bit without actually explaining anything. If anything, the story makes even less sense because of this origin. Now, that being said, there are a few good elements to this origin. Though I do think it's only stuck around for such a long time because of a lack of alternatives, the caste system does actually play up the idea of the transformation, which is really great. I also like that, as an origin, it actually kinda works for Megatron. As a character, Megatron is motivated by only one thing: dominance. His ideology is simple to understand: you can have anything you want, so long as you are strong enough to take it. Having him start out in the service of people who he sees as weaker actually makes a lot of sense. The problem is, however, that this origin doesn't really work within the larger context of the Great War because of what I talked about before. Intergalactic genocide is entirely far removed from class warfare. On the topic on Megatron, another staple of this new backstory is the idea that he was once friends with Optimus Prime. Though I don't think it's inherently a bad idea, it makes the whole Great War feel a lot smaller than it should. Instead of the two factions being headed by the two individuals with diametrically opposed world views, it feels more like a personal falling out between two people. The Xavier/Magneto dynamic doesn't really suit them because the Autobot/Decepticon conflict is a galaxy spanning war that has lasted for millennia. Really, despite ragging on IDW a fair bit, I think they handled this the best; Optimus and Megatron weren't friends or brothers before the war, but they did have one interaction with each other that fundamentally changed the two of them. That's an approach that I think could work going forward. At the end of the day, what we're left with are origins and explanations that aren't really built around the core concepts of what they're trying to explain. As a result, the backstory feels incredibly incoherent and weak, and the fact that this seems to be the default going forward doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Really, all of these origins just seem mandated and forced; these are stories being told without actual consideration as to whether or not they work, and unfortunately I don't see them changing these origins for more logical and satisfying ones any time soon. Those are all just my thoughts, but I am curious to read what the rest of you think.