What SHOULD Optimus Prime's Origins Be?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by CyberstormSM, May 26, 2020.

  1. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

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    Recently I've been thinking a lot about Optimus Prime's origins (as you do), and to be honest I've found that the vast majority of them are differing degrees of unsatisfying. None of them are really my ideal origin for the character, though some of them do come close; IDW, War for Cybertron, and Marvel UK (kinda) are to me the best of the bunch, but none of them are 'perfect' in my eyes.

    For me, it would seem that he has to be a proven leader and scholar before getting the Matrix, but I understand that others may see it differently.

    I know there have been threads in the past asking what your favorite Optimus origin is, but I'm asking something a little bit different here; I'm asking what your Optimus origin would be; essentially, if you were given free reins to write Optimus' origins for a new Transformers continuity, how would you do it? Would it be similar to something we've gotten before, or would it be something entirely new? What would his name be before ascending to Primehood? Orion Pax, Optronix, just Optimus, or something else entirely? Would you have him be born great, would you have him achieve greatness, or would you have greatness thrust upon him?

    Basically, I'm asking what you'd want Optimus Prime's origins to be.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  2. Galvatross

    Galvatross Nemesis of the Dreklords Veteran

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    Optimus Prime became who he was by being driven by Chuck Norris, whose masculine energy turned a truck into a wise, sentient robot.
     
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  3. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    First off throw out the dumb pre-Prime names, either just call him Optimus or don't say his name until he becomes Prime.

    Then ideally don't do an origin story at all, mention it in passing if you want or if Optimus tells a story about himself to comfort someone. But hopefully the story of a new continuity would move forward instead of attempting the same thing they've been doing for over a decade.
     
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  4. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    The only origin that, IIRC, all G1 can agree on is that he's a low-level pion in the system. But I agree, there should be more to it than that.

    I've mentioned it elsewhere...but I'll mention here too. Optimus should be a member of the House of Magnus that was created for the sole purpose of being commanders of the Autobots. Each member is able to house the Matrix of Leadership. Each model is a cab-style truck with a trailer that can convert into armor. Known members are Delta Magnus, his good friend Ultra Magnus and Optimus Magnus. With the help of a sympathetic Ultra Magnus, Optimus rebelled against his destiny as a leader in the House and abandoned his trailer armor (and his last name) to become a low level technician, attempting to avoid war, while becoming best friends with Ironhide. But when Delta disappears and Ultra Magnus is unable to be present when the Matrix is passed, Optimus is found and brought to the Council to become Optimus Prime. But Optimus never truly fulfills his destiny as a member of the House of Magnus until he accepts his trailer armor during the Nebulan Wars to become Powermaster Optimus Magnus Prime.
     
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  5. Furnace

    Furnace Ant-droid at a picnic

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    I'd say Optimus' backstory should depend on what is role in the story will be and what sort of person he becomes. IMO there's not much point in changing the backstory if the end result is the same.
     
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  6. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    Well, mine addresses several plot questions:

    Why does Ultra Magnus's inner robot look like Optimus Prime?
    Why does Optimus refer to Ultra Magnus as an old friend?
    Why do neither feel like they were worthy of the Matrix, even though they are clearly intended to have it?
    How does Optimus get to know Ironhide so well?
    Where is Delta magnus and how does he relate to Ultra Magnus?
     
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  7. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    Personally, I've never put too much thought to Optimus Prime's origin because I really have little to no interest in Optimus as a character.

    So yeah, I would go with no origin story. Leave the background/growing up stuff to characters who really need it.
     
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  8. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Well-Known Member

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    I'm fine with the usual origin he's given. Lowly librarian who rises to greatness because of his moral character and leadership skills. I like it when there's a bit of self doubt at first. It's not a terribly original story for a hero's origin, but it works because Optimus is already something of an archetype.

    I could do without him being named Orion Pax. That was cool in G1, when they were trying to preserve the surprise that he was going to become Optimus. But now that the surprise is out, it's unnecessary. It's fine to call him Optimus, then give him the 'Prime' title later. But Orion Pax is iconic, so I don't have a huge problem with it.

    I really hate the stuff from the Covenant of Primus. All the destiny and whatnot. I mean, I wouldn't be entirely against making Optimus some sort of chosen one (if the story fit), but it completely negated his lowly origins and his hero's journey. They needed to pick one or the other. They can't have their cake and eat it too.
     
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  9. Honorbound

    Honorbound Bayverse Optimus was in the right.

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    I've always been partial to the War Dawn origin, because I feel like having Optimus be one of Megatron's victims, only to become his eternal nemesis resonates with me more than the others.

    To delve into fancanon territory, I drew on the War Dawn origin, but with the goal of making an Optimus that would make Bayverse Optimus look like a squishy moderate. Optimus was an archaeologist who found a Beast Machines-style reformatting device of Quintesson origin. Megatron, the surviving son of a strongman warlord and a man seeking to reclaim the kingdom he felt he deserved, led a raid on the university where the relic was being displayed, brutally butchered everyone there. Optimus survived only because Megatron left him among the scattered remains of his loved ones with a thank you and a blaster with a single charge. Two of Megatron's followers stayed behind to make sure that Optimus followed through. He was about two seconds away from pulling the trigger when a thought went through his grief-stricken mind: His loved ones died because of him. Many more people were going to die because of him, because he unwittingly enabled a monster. That could not stand. Optimus turned the blaster on one of Megatron's sentries, killed the other with his bare hands, then rebuilt himself into a literal murder machine that spent the next four hundred years breaking his foot off in the Decepticons, all to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else. When he says "freedom is the right of all sentient beings," what everyone understands is "and I'll kill anyone who threatens that freedom."

    That being said, the origin needs to match the version of Optimus you're going for. This kind of origin might work for a darker Optimus, but it would be out of place for an Animated or Beast Wars Optimus, or an Optimus modeled after Beast Wars Silverbolt.
     
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  10. Smokeyoreo18

    Smokeyoreo18 TF autobot chad Bumblebee absolute unit

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    A mix of his aligned and his IDW origin
     
  11. Necromaster

    Necromaster FEAR ME MORTALS

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    Regardless of his prewar occupation (librarian, dock worker, cop) Optimus should just start off as a guy doing his job who is ultimately propelled to his position by Megatron's actions (unwittingly on his part, mind-- I'm kind of sick of the prewar relationship that keeps getting revisited so ideally Megatron should have minimal interaction with Optimus beforehand, if any.) The early stages of the war ultimately create a domino effect of events that leads to Optimus having to take over command of the Autobots and becoming the leader figure most know him as along the way.
     
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  12. Cyberbot8460

    Cyberbot8460 The Weeb Transformers Fan.

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    First off, if Magnus has his inner robot, Prime and Mags should be siblings. Second, Optimus should earn his role as Prime instead of being granted it. He should rise through the ranks, and after proving himself, he'll be given the Matrix. Not the dumb crap TFP did. Second, for god's sake, don't make Orion Pax look just like Optimus. If the Matrix is supposed to upgrade someone, he should look smaller as Pax. Third, no "Megatron and Prime were brothers in arms" bullshit. If Orion was just one of Megatron's victims and/or smaller enemies, or even better, the two never meeting at all before Orion becomes a leader, this makes Megs look much more imposing.
     
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  13. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    Just read my comic... I'm probably going to make some people flip when the big reveal will happen but I can promise that it will fix everything that doesn't make sense with every versions of the Transformers stories.
     
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  14. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

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    This is the way.

    I like the idea of him telling someone about his younger days in order to help them. That's really kind and it definitely seems like something he would do.

    This is a very unique take, and I kinda dig it. Him being a member of the House of Magnus is an interesting take, though it makes sense given the history between Optimus and Ultra Magnus. I see Optimus as a sort of reluctant soldier as well, but I don't think he'd go out of his way to avoid the war, but it does make sense here. It gives him a new kind of character arc, which is neat considering how most Optimus' have already gone on their hero's journey by the time we meet them.

    Also this isn't really important but Powermaster Optimus Magnus Prime is a bit of a clunky name.

    I agree. His backstory definitely should inform who the character is now, but I've feel like none of them are entirely satisfying explanations for who he is and where he came from. Even just looking at specific continuities, sometimes the origin doesn't really feel particularly relevant to who that version of Optimus Prime is. For instance, Marvel Optimus started out as a gladiator, even though he's notably more pacifistic than other Primes. Movie Optimus (in the IDW tie-in comics) started out as a scientist even though he's definitely the most violent version of Optimus we've ever seen.

    Kinda feels like those two origins should've been switched, honestly.

    That's a fair stance.

    Something interesting about that origin is how Optimus being a librarian has sort of trickled into how he's depicted as a character. Cyberverse Optimus, for example, is somewhat introverted and mellow, and I think that makes a lot of sense given his backstory. What I don't like about this origin is how sometimes he immediately transitions from librarian to Autobot Supreme Commander. That's how it was in the War Within and Prime, and I'm really not too keen on that since it's honestly just feels like a shortcut. I think he should have to earn his position as a leader, since otherwise there really isn't much of an arc.

    I'm kind of ambivalent on the Orion Pax name, but I find it somewhat ill-fitting for most depictions. "Peace hunter" is the translation of Orion Pax, but that's not particularly relevant to a young librarian or dockworker or whatever. It made sense in IDW since Orion Pax was a police officer in that continuity.

    Agreed on the Covenant of Primus part. If he was the last surviving member of a special lineage (like Aragorn, I guess) that could be interesting, but having him be the literal reincarnation of a deity is a bit much. Though I'd much rather have Optimus be a champion of and from the people more than anything else.

    I guess that works for your depiction of Optimus, but I've never really seen the character that way. Even Bayverse Optimus is too far removed from the how I see him.

    I agree that the origin needs to match the version of the character, for certain.

    So, he basically starts out as a librarian but transitions to police work?

    I'm not too keen on the whole "Optimus and Megatron were old friends" routine either; that's not to say that it's a bad idea, but I've never really seen it done well.

    Dreamwave had Optimus and Magnus be brothers, but I don't think that ever came up in the War Within. It's a dynamic that definitely makes sense, though. Absolutely agreed on how Optimus should earn his position as a Prime rather than just be given it. I don't like the idea that all the wisdom and honor came with the Matrix; he should have a foundation of that beforehand.

    I'm fine with pre-Prime Optimus looking like Optimus; Rodimus Prime definitely looks like Hot Rod, but it's obvious that the former is a more matured version of the latter.

    I look forward to seeing it.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  15. Tetratron

    Tetratron Well-Known Member

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    I guess whatever works best for the story (dock worker, librarian, disgraced academy student, cop, etc) being told.

    Personally, I always had the idea of a dock worker (or the Cybertronian equivalent of) who had aspirations of working in the archives but couldn't because of the caste system. Sort of a contrast to Megatron where they both had aspirations in life beyond the lots they were assigned but became very different people.
     
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  16. TheUltimateBum

    TheUltimateBum Nautica Lover

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    Thanks for understanding. :) 
     
  17. Smokeyoreo18

    Smokeyoreo18 TF autobot chad Bumblebee absolute unit

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    No he goes into the well of allsparks and tells alpha trion to remove his name from the covenant of primus and becomes Orion pax who later on becomes a cop and when he gets the matrix he remembers everything about what happened before he became Orion pax
     
  18. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    LOL! True. I think there'd just be a moment in which he embraces his House name...but the Autobots would probably just shorten it to Optimus or Prime anyway.

    Anyhow, glad you like my idea. I'd like to see it make its way into future official fiction someday. It takes some of the focus off the 13 Primes shenanigans and places some mystique in more familiar toy territory that really needs better explanations...
     
  19. RodimusRex

    RodimusRex Well-Known Member

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    If he's Optimus before he becomes Prime then how do you get "Rodimus"? The whole point is that you get your fake Greek/Latin name when you get upgraded.

    Even Ultra Magnus and I think Fortress Maximus are generally treated as upgrades that resulted in a new fake Greek/Latin name applied to bots who had a more standard original name.

    To me, Transformer names are typically either two words smooshed together (Buzzkill, Jumpstrike, Sixblast) or one to two syllable phoentic names that could exist in any language (Jazz, Straxus). If it's Greek or Latin, they got rebuilt.

    Dai/Dei Atlas for example couldn't have been born that way IMHO. He had to be Groundbuster or Fez or something else first. Greco-Latin names are reserved for new identities.
     
  20. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

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    That would make an interesting contrast, though I always thought that the point of Orion Pax: Supercop was to contrast him with Megatron. Orion Pax was the reformist was Megatron was the revolutionary, but I think your take would aim to have them both start out in a similar position and develop into different people which is neat.

    No problem.

    A lot of Optimus Prime's story towards the end of the IDW continuity was about this. They never confirmed whether or not he was the Arisen, but there were a couple hints and many Transformers believed that he was.

    Personally, I'm not really a big fan of Optimus being one of the original Thirteen. I think there are better ways to tell an 'Optimus is special' story without him being pre-ordained for greatness. Plus, it kinda nullifies his hero's journey if he was always a demigod anyhow.

    I'm not too keen on the 13 Primes lore either, but I've always thought Transformers should be more sci-fi than fantasy. Explaining Optimus' similarities to Ultra Magnus with his origin is cool, though admittedly I've always seen it as 'Magnus resembles Optimus' rather than the other way around.

    I wouldn't mind seeing this in official fiction, but I'm not sure it's my ideal origin even though I do think it's pretty interesting.

    That's why his pre-Prime name should be Convoy. :cool: 
     
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