What should Optimus and Megatron's history be?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Proud Nintendo, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Proud Nintendo

    Proud Nintendo Well-Known Member

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    In Aligned, they came up with the idea that Optimus and Megatron were friends pre-war but eventually, they fell out hard and are now bitter enemies. The live action movies (at least in the original idea) had the idea that they were brothers.

    "We will always be brothers. We are bound together. You cannot escape me, brother. I will hound you across the stars if I must, until every star in the galaxy has burned itself into a cinder. I will hunt you, and I will find you, and when I find you, [clenches his fist] I will, as I promised, see what the Core might have sequestered inside the body of the so-called Prime."
    "Hunt me then, brother—if your hunt means Cybertron will escape your madness."

    Whereas in Animated, Megatron has barely any idea who Optimus is... and it isn't the final episode that he remembers Optimus's name.

    In Generation 1, this is their first meeting.

    "You've caused enough destruction for one day, Megatron!"
    "I've barely even started!"
    *Megatron's blasts harmlessly bounce off Optimus*
    "You...?! Who are you?!"
    "Your worst nightmare!"

    But what's you preferred take on their rivalry?
     
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  2. sikkusushotto

    sikkusushotto Well-Known Member

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    That is typical modern Hollywood writing which shrinks worlds and universes. Everything must always be connected. Everyone must know each other. Everyone must have past history. It's garbage. It makes the wider lore meaningless.

    Megatron: gladiator, revolutionary, Decepticon leader

    Optimus: Orion Pax, dock worker/data clerk, shot by Megatron, rebuilt

    That should be the extent of their past relationship. A chance encounter and nothing more.
     
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  3. Nova Maximus

    Nova Maximus Well-Known Member

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    They don't meet until which ever side begins fighting in the story. Maybe they meet in passing or see one another in the news once, but that's it.

    The relationship they have is from the many years of fighting one another. Not everything and everyone has to be connected before the war.
     
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  4. Rodimus Primal

    Rodimus Primal Well-Known Member

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    I've always loved the simplicity in that back story. I despise the modern Hollywood attempts at changing that.
     
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  5. Hail Galvatron

    Hail Galvatron Well-Known Member

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    I look for connections to the heroes, something that in essence makes the villain a dark mirror of the hero. If Batman is order than Joker is chaos. If Superman is strength, Lex Luthor is intellect. So I’m always looking for what it is that connects the villain and the hero; it doesn’t have to be a history, although obviously a backstory that connects them like Demona and Goliath is fantastic. It doesn’t have to be history but it has to be some, even metaphorical connection that makes the villain a good opponent.

    And having seen many backgrounds between Optimus and Megatron, I am not fond of them being old friends or brothers. The background as depicted in "War Dawn" works very nicely. A young and naive Orion Pax getting shot and nearly destroyed by Megatron... then is rebuilt by Alpha Trion and given the Matrix of Leadership. Megatron created the one being that would stand between him and total conquest... and while it may not have been on Ron Friedman or Flint Dille's mind when writing the climax of TF:TM and maybe not in the direction Wally Burr gave to Leonard Nimoy, that "No" Galvatron utters at the sight of Hot Rod becoming Rodimus Prime before taking a shot... that's the sound of someone who has seen this before and has never wanted to see it again.

    As for connections... Optimus Prime is a champion and a beacon of freedom. Megatron is an engine of tyranny. It's one of the reasons why I always felt that Nemesis Prime was redundant, because Megatron should already be Optimus Prime's "evil counterpart".
     
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  6. Blitzwing2008

    Blitzwing2008 Triple Changer

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    I always like they never met until a faithful encounter in which they become mortal enemies. Pure and simple but yet dramatic.
     
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  7. Fafnir72

    Fafnir72 Well-Known Member

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    War Dawn.
     
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  8. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I’m in agreement with everyone here. I prefer them not to know each other until a chance encounter. “War Dawn” is damn near perfect.

    They know each other well through their interactions on the battlefield, not because they were former besties.

    Also- nothing worthwhile ever came out of any of the times where they were once friends. TFP had a chance to do something with that, when Prime reverted to Orion, but they didn’t do anything with it. But nothing ever changes by having them be former friends. If they’re going to do that, they should first ask themselves “why” and “what different kind of stories can we tell now?”

    It’s not like Xavier & Magneto or anything.
     
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  9. theestampede

    theestampede Wandering Artist

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    well said. Hollywood shrinkage is a thing, and shouldn't be encouraged.

    I don’t want everything to be overly connected. I want a larger scale to stories. Animated is my personal favorite and I’m definitely a fan of IDW 1, but really any story where the characters weren’t too close before the war is always gonna be better than the bitter ex-best friend nonsense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
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  10. CannonBlaster

    CannonBlaster Well-Known Member

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    Former friends who fell out because Optimus disapproved of Megatron’s murderous ways
     
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  11. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

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    I have to disagree with the general consensus here; I really don't like War Dawn. Like, I don't think it's terrible for a first attempt at explaining their past history, but it sure isn't great, either. I dunno, but on a broader level, I don't think that the idea of the hero being created by the villain works for Optimus and Megatron. I feel like it defines Optimus just for his opposition to Megatron, but I think the reality is that the character is more complicated. He's this hopeful, humanist paragon, and that's why he's opposed to Megatron, but Megatron doesn't need to turn him into that... I think he should be heroic first and opposed to Megatron second instead of the other way around. I generally dislike the way Orion Pax is portrayed in the episode itself as well. Orion Pax is basically just a naive kid, and he just kinda becomes Optimus Prime through happenstance; there isn't really any growth, any self-improvement, he just kinda becomes wise and powerful because he was rebuilt. That's a pretty terrible way of handling Optimus' origin imo; he should work his way to greatness, not have it handed to him and then have to prove himself. That's Hot Rod's thing. Also, although I like Animated quite a bit, I have to admit that, in general, I prefer the idea that Optimus and Megatron have been on roughly equal footing for basically their whole lives. If there's one thing I like about the former friends backstory, it's that it does this.

    I have to say that my favorite take on their pre-war history would be "There Shall Come a Leader" from Marvel UK, in which Optimus and Megatron have no relationship pre-war, or even early into the war. The first time they come to face to face and meet one another is during the siege of Iacon on that bridge where they battle each other. They both only meet when they're both commanders. Of course, "State Games" comes along and retcons that, establishing that Optimus and Megatron knew each other from their gladiatorial days, but I think that it's not as good as the idea presented by "There Shall Come a Leader," even if I enjoy "State Games" quite a bit. Generally, I like the idea that Optimus and Megatron are two individuals with two wildly differing worldviews informed by their unique backgrounds and experiences, and I like the idea that they don't even meet each other until early into the war. Maybe before then, in the earliest parts of the war, they're both aware of each other, but they don't actually meet until the Decepticons attack Iacon. Maybe Megatron grows more and more obsessive as he learns more and more about Optimus, the one Autobot who has a chance of standing against him as an equal, and maybe Optimus grows more and more determined as he learns more and more about Megatron, a manipulative, ruthless tyrant who will truly stop at nothing to get what he wants. This all builds up until their fateful first meeting face-to-face...
     
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  12. Warpshard

    Warpshard Well-Known Member

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    Either War Dawn or Animated's portrayal, since I'm just not a fan of the "friends but now enemies" dynamic. They don't need to know each other pre-war, and I would argue it's a bit more meaningful when Prime is fighting after a chance encounter, or never even meeting the guy himself until much later. He doesn't have much of a personal stake in it, he's fighting because he believes it's the right thing to to.
     
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  13. HotRodDidNothingWrong

    HotRodDidNothingWrong Still salty about TLK Hot Rod

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    I've never been very fond of Optimus and Megatron being friends/brothers who had a falling out. Having the war start over a rivalry between two former friends seems really petty and pathetic to me. The War Dawn origin has always worked better imo.

    I'm also not the biggest fan of Optimus being a supercop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
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  14. Rojixus

    Rojixus I AM NOT YOUR ENEMY!

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    Damn, I was going to give my two cents, but @CyberstormSM took the words out of my mouth! As far as I'm concerned, Optimus and Megatron do not have any kind of pre-war relationship and the number of times they actually meet before they get to Earth can be counted on one hand, with a finger to spare. But when they do meet, it's like an unstoppable force clashing with an immovable object.
     
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  15. Cyberbot8460

    Cyberbot8460 ACCESS FLASH

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    Two faction leaders who weren't all that close before the war broke out.
    That's it.
     
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  16. Chaos Studios

    Chaos Studios Well-Known Member

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    Im surprised people like the war dawn origin considering how terrible it is. Random worker gets shot and turned into the leader of the autobots. Like I know thats a barebone basic explanation but thats really it, theres no interesting interaction or engaging history that makes me care about why they want to kill each other so badly, he doesnt earn his rank or gives us a reason for him to be leader, hell the only reason why orion even became a prime was because of the time travelling bullshit with the Aerialbots.

    Call me a broken record but I prefer the notion of them knowing each other and were once friends because theres an infinite amount of possibility with this. Not only can you have megs and orion be friends, you can also have other bots be once friends with each other like how cyberverse did it. Cyberverse and prime really handled the history between the two nicely especially with how prime ended with megs willingly ended the war after his revival from unicron.

    I think the IDW comics handled this the best with showing each of the leaders' philosophy and reasoning for why they do the things they do, if theres any credit I can give to IDW its definitely exploring the morality of these two leaders.
     
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  17. Chaos Studios

    Chaos Studios Well-Known Member

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    uh no? that type of writing has been used and existed for hundreds of years, this aint a trend just because the popular franchises use it, thats like complaining about the heros journey story
     
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  18. Bee427

    Bee427 Still here and queer

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    I think TFP and Cyberverse have the best backstory for Optimus and Megatron, because they weren't just friends, but leaders of opposing political ideologies. The war didn't start just because their relationship broke down, it started because their beliefs were incompatible with each other and Megatron escalated the conflict to the point that they had no choice but to declare war.
     
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  19. Lola

    Lola Soap

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    I actually like the idea of Optimus and Megatron knowing each other. I like the idea of them having lead a faction that was trying to better Cybertron, but after differing world views their faction split and they wouldn't meet again till the end of the war when Cybertron was nearing it's shutdown. Even then I feel their common backstory doesn't have to be brought up that much. The time they spent together is more like a distant memory than anything else. They may have seen each other as brothers once but now they only know each other as arch enemies. Thou I think Optimus having worked with the leader of the decepticons gives him a better understanding of the decepticons and their believes, as he reminds himself to strongly enforce his morals so that the autobots won't follow suite.
     
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  20. Lola

    Lola Soap

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    Pretty much every story prior to the 19 hundreds were family stories. Everything was interconected. Turns out this guy was your uncle, Oh the villain is a former friend of your father.

    connectivity was definitely not some Hollywood writing. It, like other tropes just weren't as common in children's media till the 90's
     
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