Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Smokeyoreo18, Dec 30, 2019.
Wow I really wish that was true.
Very well worded.
Not nearly enough.
I personally think nothing should be off-limits and sometimes the best fiction takes inspiration from real life and tribalism is as real as it can get.
I'm not saying it should be the new status quo, but we could stomach 1 adult cartoon or comic book series where the war was started over how (one side was born and the other side was cloned) or where (one side is from Cybertron and the other are from the colonies), or what the factions were born as.
Yeah, I suppose if you spend too much time in insular circles and not enough time with other people outside of your bubble, it can feel like it's more people than it really is.
This isn't a put-down, this is me saying that maybe you need to find new people to hang around because MOST people aren't as backwards anymore, some are for sure, but there's more non-racists out there. Or perhaps that's just my naïve optimism, willing to give most people the benefit of the doubt because even if someone says something off-color or makes a spicy joke I can't for sure say they're a racist or not because I can't read their minds because intent is what makes something truly racist.
We're getting into the weeds here, this isn't a place to discuss this kind of thing.
It's cool, understood.
By the way, another argument on how/why 'species' (race isn't the right term here, even if its used often in fantasy) argument and classification for Transformers may be moot: we define species as organism able to exchange genes and reproduce. But as far as I know, most Transformers incarnation use a form of asexual reproduction, from construction (bodily construction, protoform and the likes) to being at least partially born from the planet itself (Atechnogenesis, Well of Asllspark, Hot Spots). The closest we see to classical reproduction is G2's disgusting 'budding'. So yeah, I'm a bit lost in thoughts on "Can/should Decepticons be a different race/species" because so little of these terms and ideas truly apply. There is a case to be made for cultural identity existing in Transformers across various media, such as being associated with one's city to the Animated-verse having groups such as the Malignus having their own language.
So what's the closest Cybertronians have to 'race' or species, then? I'd say the closest are universes where transforming mechanimals exist as born of Cybertron and using Energon or derivatives but that may truly be as vague as saying humans are interchangeable with anything that is carbon based and use oxygen. You cold say alt mode but that only function in universes where alt mode is an innate part of their birth, not something simply influenced by body type. The more I think about it the less I'm sure where I stand on the matter. Even if you go for a 100% mechanistic approach to Transformers life, growth and birth you still run into the issues of different body type, different method of constructions and different abilities/limits.
I'd say the closest we can define to species/inside-and-outside group that aren't cultural would then be "Can you graft/install a body part from another Transformers?" Maybe? Thoughts?
Edit: Oh, right. Having a spark is definitely something I'd consider pre-requisite, but then again maybe not. Dinobot II for example was sparkless but has half the spark of another, separate being and Movie!Galvatron is a sparkless revenant. Yet both clearly have a consciousness, personality and mind of their own and are not dumb robotic drones. You also have IDW Springer this grey zone. Man, screw trying to define TF nature and 'biology'!
> Racism long dead.
>The year that I had white strangers legit say racist shit to me.
lol, come on.
Anyways why wouldn't it be bad anyways? Why wouldn't it fit? You're telling me you can't imagine an idea that "race" could be tied to alt modes? How you could easily make it NOT foreign by turning it into something extremely plausible in the Transformers world? You can't imagine a bunch of flying alt mode bigots hating on alt modes that can't take to the sky just on that principle alone?
It's not cool.
I said the same thing Patrick said, and I live in San Francisco.
Between where I live, where I work, and who I hang out with online, there is no possible way that I could think the world is still chock full of racism because I'm hanging out with too many unenlightened, openly racist people. I think that, as does Patrick, because it is true.
I just think that racism as cause of conflict is a cheap, easy, cop-out killswitch in writing fiction. We all know racism is the irrational hatred of differences purely due to being different, and it's a terrible thing we struggle to get rid of in real life, no question. But that's exactly the problem for fictional conflict based off it, there's no question it's wrong. The values the Autobots and Decepticons might hold are far more interesting primary reasons for conflict than basing it off of race. If it's about moral ideals or a political system, there's a real debate for finding the right answer, if there even is one. Then we get characters on both sides who can be right about something, and Transformers has shown several times that the Decepticons can be both convincing villains and reasonable enduring foils to Autobot ideals, and we get to participate in this debate and think, 'this Decepticon has a point, but this Autobot isn't wrong either; I get why they don't understand each other, the right thing to do is this, but it'll be hard for them...' . If we simplify it down to race, the Decepticons would 99% most likely end up the aggressors, and suddenly their capacity to have members with sympathetic motivations, visions, or goals goes way down and the whole thing becomes black and white and uninteresting.
One very good depiction of tribalism and divisions in science fiction is The Expanse. It establishes 3 clashing factions that have shaped their own worlds and developed their own lifestyles and cultures, and are even so physically incompatible they're almost alien to each other with how they struggle or even fail to live on each other's domains. But it's not about the xenophobia. The Martians have a singular goal of turning a lifeless rock into a garden, the Earthers had a garden, and they paved it, and the Belters live under the boot of both. Often the leadership of each of them, if they can even be united, will bring suffering to the others for the genuine benefit of their own people, like a division of the Belters throwing big rocks at Earth to become the boot instead of the ass under it, or the Earthers infecting a Belt colony with a mutagenic material in hopes of learning to use it to survive an impending alien danger. There's rhyme and reason to the horrible things done, but the main characters know it doesn't justify it, and, even if they're pulled in the direction of one division, want to bring communication, understanding, and empathy to these worlds in hopes of peace, and that's the core of the story, and it's damn good, and I think Transformers can be just as good.
So no, my being against the entire Cybertronian war being based off of race is no knee-jerk reaction. I just want a well-concieved, multi-faceted reason for the war that is the backbone of the whole series. I would, however, not mind racism being touched on in a smaller capacity.
Anyway, I tried to make a case for/against Decepticons-as-race and I'm just not sure where exactly I stand on it. Beside, alt-mode-as-social-standing (or Functionism) is, in fancier terms, a caste system which is a bit different and has much different implications. By this extension, if we assume all Cybertronian life with a spark to be the same species then we are looking at a caste-based species with a level of size, intelligent, body shape and abilities far beyond anything we've seen in nature. A species whose member can be anything from mechanimals to intelligent, non-humanoids (see: Sky Lynx) to the more traditional humanoid transforming robot, themselves split between beast and vehicle modes. Again, the TF Prime Predacons vs 'regular' Transformers come to mind, as their differences became quite moot the moment Predaking realized he could transform and talk.
That said, being from the Beast era I'm a lot less attached to alt-mode-as-immutable-thing or similar body attachments and much more a fan of Transformers bodies being far more mutable, being able to be rebuilt and redesigned quite a bit more. They are mechanical life, after all. Alive, yes, but still with a body made of machinery.
I live in the St. Louis area, pretty close to where some stuff happened that made the news not too long ago.
Well put response!
For the record I think it'd be boring if that was the reason for their conflict as well, I simply think it's a reasonable topic to at least bring up since they're robots, so naturally people will wonder "who made them? Are they ACTUALLY capable of free-will? What if the Decepticons were built to be more inclined to be war machines?"
I think IDW had a good idea with the whole 'forged' / constructed cold thing but just failed to fully utilize it, I thought Roberts' original concept for it was interesting, sadly I can't even recall where I read his original plan. Basically post-war Cybertron devolving into forged Vs. Constructed cold I THINK? I'm sure I read that somewhere. Basically doing more with the concept 'Is there a reason constructed cold bots seem more prone to doing immoral things?' But even then I'm not saying the difference in birth should be the sole reason, but as a plot point it'd be interesting.
Okay, random idea: Decepticons-as-Transformers-super soldiers. Basically, taking the Warrior Caste idea and the Forged/Constructed cold idea to a dark place. Now it isn't one I would use, but what about Decepticons having started as that universe version of mass production. A version of Cybertron that badly needed cheap, expendable troop for some alien war and kept producing more and more accelerated growth Transformers and engineering them to be little more than world-destroying infiltration machines or planet-busting weapons. Then oh, surprise, they are hyper aggressive, ambitious (but not very emotionally and philosophically developed) and most of all way stronger than the average robot joe. Basically, Transformers version of the Clone Troopers meet Augments, maybe? That would tie in pretty well into a Quintesson origin and also somewhat echoes G2's weird budding storyline.
Yeah I think I remember hearing about some of that.
But I'm guessing you don't choose to hang out with openly racist people either. <3
I try to avoid it if I can help it. I learned a lot about a few people in my life in recent years.
I'll just leave it at that so as not to derail the thread.
The best (major) villain That the tf franchise has ever had was d-void. Bite me
D-void is a good nickname for BW Megatron.
I meant major as in majorly large or gigantic like unicron
Blue Bluestreak should just be an upgraded Bluestreak.
Because he needs to be a fucking main character. The protagonist of a full spinoff, even.
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