What inspiration does Transformers take from the real world or other franchises?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by TheWarPathGuy, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. TheWarPathGuy

    TheWarPathGuy As cool as the earth is blue.

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    Transformers has alot of real world and fictional influences.
    • Energy crisis has always been a problem in our world. And Transformers has mirrors to it. With Energon being scarce, and hard to find on their planet, and the Autobots and Decepticons constantly farming it.
    • War is also a problem in our world, and being the main concept of the franchise. Two warring factions with different ideals fighting each other. The series also shows the horror of war, and how some characters aren't built for it.
    • The character Drift takes inspiration from drift racers and Japanese culture. And the Shattered Glass depiction is a wisecracking mercenary, based on Marvel's Deadpool.
    • Blaster and Jazz takes inspiration from African American culture (Go us!)
    • Corey Burton's Shockwave voice is based on David Warner, who played Sark in Tron
     
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  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    The origins of the Decepticon movement in James Roberts' IDW stories draw heavily from communism.
     
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  3. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the G1 episode Sea Change:
    • The title literally means "a change wrought by the sea" according to the Oxford English Dictionary and comes from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest:
    "Full fathom five thy father lies,

    Of his bones are coral made,
    Those are pearls that were his eyes,
    Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change,
    into something rich and strange,
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
    Ding-dong.

    Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell."​
    • The planet, Tlalaka, is a reference to Tlalocan, a mythical place believed by the Aztecs to be a paradisiacal afterlife where people's souls went in the event they died by drowning.
    • One of the native humanoids is named Tlaloc, which is the name of the Aztec rain deity.
     
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  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    The planet Eurythma from the G1 cartoon episode "Carnage in C-Minor" was named after the 1980s synthpop duo The Eurythmics.
    Eurythmics.jpg
     
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  5. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    Aside from more broad-strokes stuff about 90% of these will be fanwank from TFCC, lol.
     
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  6. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    The original cartoon featured references to the Cold War and the USSR ("Prime Target" is probably the best example). Funnily enough, because the third season of the show was written in the 1980s but set in 2005-2006, this also resulted in the USSR existing in the cartoon's 21st century, several years after it collapsed in the real world. Season 3 also brought us *sigh* Carbombya, which I believe was a reference to Libya and the dictator the country had at the time. It also had elements of Middle Eastern countries, and the lack of a heroic character from the fictional country prompted Casey Kasem (voice of Bluestreak, Cliffjumper, Teletraan One, and others), who was of Middle Eastern decent, to quit the show. Oops.

    Very interesting!
     
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  7. Olivus Prime

    Olivus Prime Space Ranger

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    Everyone kind of knows Beast Machines takes inspiration from a number of philosophies and debates (e.g. environment vs. technology, free will vs. complete order etc.), but the series takes on a whole new light when you become familiar with spiritual teachings. It's very clear that the writers knew what they were doing, as many episodes, character arcs, story arcs and even visuals involve very specific spiritual concepts.

    I'd recommend reading Ram Dass' seminal book "Be Here Now" and revisiting Beast Machines with many of the ideas presented in that book in mind. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the actual text that informed the writers during the creation of the show.
     
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  8. nobleboivin

    nobleboivin Well-Known Member

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    The toyline for transformers itself (The original g1 ones,) were taking from other exsisting toy lines such as Diaclone, Marcross and whatever thing Whirl and Roadbuster came from.

    Now that I think more on it too. Beast Wars Optimus Primal vs Megatron is supposed to be a King kong reference
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  9. Tetratron

    Tetratron Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this was intentional but I always thought Megatron's traditional "bucket helmet" took inspiration from the WW2 German Stalheilm helmet.
     
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  10. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Cybertron Optimus is basically one big perpetual homage to the Brave series GaoGaiGar. Aside from just being incredibly Brave-style in design and transformation, his super robot mode heavily references ChoRyuJin the way the truck cab halves form the shoulders, the shape of his chest, and the position his "ladder guns" end up. (ChoRyuJin was also red and blue, and half fire truck) His Savage Claw Mode is a direct callback to GaoGaiGra's combination with Goldymarg, a robot who formed a massive right arm for the character. (and was even voiced by the same actor in Japan) And finally, his combination with Wing Saber further evokes GaoGaiGar himself, as not only does Optimus' super mode head share many similarities with GaoGaiGar, Wing Saber's added chest flare directly references the lion's head and mane on GGG's chest.

    As a bonus, while not specific to GaoGaiGar, Optimus' pose after receiving Vector Prime's sword in the final showdown against Galvatron is ripped straight from Exkaiser, the first installment of Brave. (GaoGaiGar was the last) There's actually other Brave references in Cybertron as a whole, such as Hot Shot's transformation being virtually identical to Volfogg's, and GaoGaiGra/Brave has been reference elsewhere such as TFA Safeguard's "symmetrical docking" combination.
     
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  11. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde シン・ブリュンヒルド

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    I always thought the beam-saber from the classic film was a Gundam homage, given how apparently some generic parts in the Quintesson prison cell are also Gundam-based.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Fallout

    Fallout Well-Known Member

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    oh, damn it. all i know about brave is choryujin n that i absolutely love the design, but somehow i never noticed all the homages to the design in cybertron optimus. that's insane. still, cyb optimus doesn't really scratch the same itch for me that choryujin does... but i do realize why i love the hip cannons on siege galaxy prime now.

    aye, what's the best choryujin figure out there? is there one that's properly articulated n splits into enryu n the... other one?
     
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  13. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    Just as an amusing addition: those generic guys are actually kitbashes of grunt suits from Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta, and the kitbashed portions are all from various suits from Zeta specifically. The fellow on the right having the Galbaldy's head, Gundam MkII's chest, and GMII's arms, and Rick Dias' legs. (albeit slimmer and connected to a waist I don't recognize) The guy on the right is likewise the Galbaldy's body with the Rick Dias' head and GMII's pelvis, so you could conceivably make these two characters with near complete accuracy with actual Gundam kits. (and only one of each to boot!)

    Sadly ChoRyuJin's unique transformation means no accurate posable transforming toy has been produced. That said there is a model kit, released under Bandai's Super Minipla line, that uses some parts-swapping to go between all three modes whilst staying accurate and articulated, but you have to assemble it yourself and again, a lot needs to be swapped between forms:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  14. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    The one famous one I know of is:

    Ironhide was apparently named after a show called 'Ironside'.

    Ratchet was named after Nurse Ratched after 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' according to Bob Budiansky.
     
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  15. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    Well his alt mode, the Walther P38 was the standard firearm of the Nazis in WW2 plus Decepticons are giant robotic Nazis. I did see the resemblance between Megatron's helmet and the Nazis too.

    Micromaster Stake Out was based on the police cars from Robocop.

    Onyx Primal seems a deliberate homage to Batman. Kenner made the Beast Wars toys and Batman toys in the 90s.

    Catilla seems inspired by Battlecat from He-Man.

    Actionmaster Treadshot seems to homage the Gun Robo Colt 45 from the Machine Robo line.

    Que from Dark of the Moon had a head based on Albert Einstein.

    Megatron had a light sabre in the 86 movie. I believe the director of that movie designed the light sabre for Star Wars.

    Megatron was so named after the word Megaton which everyone associates with nuclear bombs to convey how dangerous he is. Hasbro originally rejected the name for that very reason but Bob Budiansky convinced them because Megatron is the leader of the bad guys.
     
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  16. pokemonsdoom

    pokemonsdoom Got bored and changed it back.

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    Anyone mention Unicron's cool design concept yet? I recommend you look it up. He looks like Saturn for a reason.
     
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  17. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

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    Nightbird had a lightsaber in her titular episode, Hook had one in "City of Steel", and apparently Laserbeak used the TIE fighter engine noise almost every time he appeared!
     
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  18. Paok

    Paok Well-Known Member

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    References to real world scientific knowledge, most times without even calling attention to it. Not like an easter egg, but integrated into the storytelling, or the way things were visualized or how the world operated. G1 featured references to anti-matter (way before CERN), or essentially ARPANET (Prowl connecting with Chip Chase's computer through phone lines, before the internet was a thing) and many other subtle visual or otherwise implied references that overall always gave me the feeling that it was written by smart people. There's some of this in almost every episode if you care to pay attention, but they never hit you over the head with anything of that sort. And maybe that's why most people don't notice and don't bother when such things, that enrich a piece of fiction, are missing.
     
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  19. pokemonsdoom

    pokemonsdoom Got bored and changed it back.

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    "Since Unicron is a villain and because I was fooling around at that time, I decided to make him look demonic with goatee, horns, bat-like wings and eagle talons for feet. I got the idea of Unicron from the planet Saturn and Satur. Actually, the original name was "Ingestor," but the writer changed it to Unicron when he saw the design, probably because of the "horns."
    —character designer Floro Dery, Floro Dery's TransFormers Exhibit And Interview
     
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  20. Tetratron

    Tetratron Well-Known Member

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    Unicron is pretty obviously inspired (or rip off if you're less charitable) by Galactus and the Death Star.

    Galvatron also fits pretty well in the mold of Galactus's heralds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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