What would you have the characters look like?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Nathanoraptor, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    So, there have been many arguments about the quality - or lack of - the Bayverse designs. This got me thinking - if I was making my own Transformers movie (continuing on from Bumblebee), what would I have the characters look like?

    Now, I'd go with BB's G1/Bayverse hybrid aesthetic, with some Bayverse stuff like claws and wheel-feet which I found very inventive. Basically resembling the IDW designs, which as @Music has said elsewhere, are better than G1, with a few Bayverse aspects.

    However, I'd go further from G1 with the Decepticons, as opposed to the Autobots. The reason why is that the '84 Autobot designs are basically iconic - there is almost no improving on them. The '84 Decepticons on the other hand... pretty much suck, bar the Seekers, Shockwave and Soundwave. Now, I'd go more G1 with characters based on the '85 Decepticons, who I thought looked pretty cool.

    Now, I've only done the "top-tier" characters - Optimus, Bumblebee, Arcee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Jazz and Prowl for the Autobots, and the Big Four (Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Shockwave) for now; however, I've got more if anyone wants to hear them.

    Autobots

    Bumblebee (Chevrolet Camaro) - The body we see him in at the end of Bumblebee - the one which turns into a Camaro I really think we shouldn't be going back to the VW Beetle, because I always felt the shift to the Camaro reflected his maturation; it was him saying "I've grown up now".

    Optimus Prime (Peterbilt truck) - I would change him quite significantly from his Bumblebee design (which wasn't meant to be filmed in a live-action environment). Basically a live-action version of the TFP look, which I thought was badass, and would fit the G1/Bayverse hybrid look.

    Ironhide (Chevy Silverado pickup truck) and Ratchet (emergency vehicle) - Ironhide would be a Bayverse/G1 hybrid, with a G1-like head and legs, but a Bayverse like body and colour scheme (however, he'd have red stripes), whilst Ratchet would be a G1/TFP hybrid, because I thought the TFP look was awesome.

    Jazz (Pointac Solstice) - I would do the Bayverse design with a G1-esque colour scheme; given the Bayverse design's basically the G1 design in silver, not much of a difference.

    Prowl (police SUV) - I'd go with his IDW police SUV-type altmode - differentiates him from Barricade and makes him look more badass.

    Arcee (Ducatti racing motorcycle) - The ROTF Knock Out toy with a TFP-resembling head. She'd also be red, rather than pink, because I think it's a little unoriginal for the girl robot to be pink and red's the closest enough colour to match her G1 look.

    Decepticons

    Megatron - I'd do something like the TFP design - to fit the G1/Bayverse hybrid aesthetic I'd be going for. I'd give him his TF2007 space-jet mode, but make it a bit more aerodynamic, so it looks like it could actually fly.

    Starscream (F-35 fighter jet) - Bayverse/G1/TFP hybrid. I'd make his body thin, and his arms long and wing-like, even with stylised feathers (most of the jet mode goes into the wingspan) - the "feathers" double as throwing knives, which he can use in close-quarters combat, like Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2. His classic arm-mounted weapons remain where they are and he has digitigrade legs, with Velociraptor-style feet.

    Soundwave (Nighthawk stealth bomber) - I would have used the ROTF Mindwipe toy, with a G1-Soundwave-like head and coloured silver (the black bits on the Mindwipe toy) and blue (the red bits on the Mindwipe toy). For some reason, I always thought that toy would make a good Soundwave. Ravage and Laserbeak remain unchanged - I loved their Xeno-panther/vulture looks. Maybe Laserbeak has a G1-like head and beak - only with teeth.

    Shockwave (Cybertronian jet/Russian MiG jet) - If he doesn't take on an Earth mode, I'd use the FOC design, because that was awesome. If he takes an Earth mode, I'd use the 2007 Dreadwing toy as a basis, with a Shockwave-like head and arms, because I always thought that toy would make a good Shockwave.

    What would you have the characters look like in the new movies?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  2. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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    Théy all look like soundwave
     
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  3. CyberstormSM

    CyberstormSM Turbo-Revvin' Young Punk

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    I'd like to see Optimus' design closer resemble Andrew Griffith's RID "Season 2" design.

    BjYsbZsCMAAoTCx.jpg

    Admittedly it's fairly close to the design he has in Bumblebee, but it feels more modern and has his iconic grill abs. Plus, he turns into a Freightliner Argosy which is perfect for Optimus in the present day.
     
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  4. ObakaChanTachi

    ObakaChanTachi Voyager Class

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    So they all have faces that look like a bird :D 
     
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  5. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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    Huh
     
  6. 96megatron

    96megatron Well-Known Member

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    I'd love for Optimus Prime to look like his Armada incarnation aka the greatest Optimus Prime design in my opinion.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. mn_128875

    mn_128875 Well-Known Member

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    I like the way you think
     
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  8. AustinLucas

    AustinLucas Banned

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    I agree with you
     
  9. Rodimal Rodimus

    Rodimal Rodimus Agent of Unit:E

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    In my view, it would heavily depend when it would be set.
     
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  10. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde 狡猾の死神

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    A big issue with the Bayformers is that their names seem almost interchangeable due to how little in common they share with any of their namesakes. Often it just felt like they'd slap a random name on a random design, which is a poor way to create characters and especially down the line it can get needlessly confusing. It's also super unnecessary when you have a literal treasure trove of characters to pick from.

    But this isn't a shocker, right? We sort of knew this for the most part from the outset. The Autobots in the first movie were mostly based on an existing character, but as each film went on they relied on name-slaps a lot more, the majority of characters seem to be a nameslap of some sort. It seemed like they'd choose an alt mode first, then design a robot, and then give it a name. Imagine if any other franchise did this with an established property rather than just adapting characters people like, remember and want to see.

    I'm not gonna entertain the idea that name-slaps are a good thing, they're lazy at best and actively dilute a characters identity at worst. We shouldn't be supporting or rewarding lazy character creation in our fiction.

    So tl;dr: the process of making characters for the films was ass and as a result a majority of the 'characters' are mostly just (at times impressive) CGI monsters with no real personality or character to them.

    What would I have the characters look like? It's not complicated. I'd just properly adapt existing characters instead of mixing and matching names and designs. That doesn't mean there's no room for OC's like Barricade and Blackout, but they should at least have a reason for existing and stand out enough to warrant being made. The more they stand out the greater chance they'll make it into the larger canon alongside characters like Lockdown and Lugnut.

    But even then the best of the film OC's like Barricade and Blackout aren't really remarkable in the films themselves. Blackout for all intents and purposes has no personality other than being evil, and Barricade is just an exaggerated bad cop.

    If I was making a character that was called Optimus Prime, I'd make sure he looked like and behaved like Optimus, there's still lots of room for making his design unique while at the same time having him LOOK like Optimus. If I was gonna make an OC I'd first check to see if an existing character didn't fit in that criteria, and if not, get to work making a new one, it's really not that complicated if you actually try.

    Researching into how these films started, the earliest treatments and even from the get-go it sounded like a slapped together mess that was severely undercooked, is it really any surprise the finished product is so bad? I'm often told the first one holds up but it really doesn't, and I think a lot of that is just nostalgia giving them a rose-tinted view of it.

    I remember first seeing the teaser for the movie and being super excited, I remember the build up, and it was exciting times!

    But the veil is lifted and I'm not a kid anymore, these movies were not good films, they were poor adaptions of the source materials and it's a shame it took 5 of them for Hasbro and Paramount to finally pull out and reconsider their options. :/
     
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  11. AustinLucas

    AustinLucas Banned

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    but the live-action Transformers franchise found redemption when Michael Bay left the director's chair and Travis Knight came in and directed Bumblebee which is the best review Transformers movie.

    also Bumblebee and Optimus Prime we're the only two Transformers that were fully developed and we already knew who they were even with those live action robot designs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2020
  12. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    Nothing like the cybertron scene in Bumblebee movie.
    Shatter, Dropkick and Seeker on earth for cons. Travis Bumblebee example for Autobots.
     
  13. AustinLucas

    AustinLucas Banned

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    What did you think of the film Bumblebee?
     
  14. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    It was a good movie.
     
  15. AustinLucas

    AustinLucas Banned

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    No argument there
     
  16. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    None. But the designs, that's a separate issue I had.
     
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  17. AustinLucas

    AustinLucas Banned

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    Bumblebee had a look which was just brought into the 80s I mean if they went with the Generation 1 robot mode it would have been completely different
     
  18. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    It was a nod to G1 fans. But I don't want those designs again.
     
  19. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Bounty Hunter

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    For me BB Optimus is the ideal Transformer design. He's completely recognizable as the classic character, but looks more detailed for a live-action movie. I say the more they lean into that aesthetic, the better.
     
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  20. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    Nameslaps are done so Hasbro can keep trademarks and Hasbro needs Transformers fiction to sell Transformers toys. Basically, the nameslapped characters have to appear in fiction so people can buy toys of them.


    Again, nameslapped characters are necessary for certain names to be used - the only reason we had Hot Shot and Shockblast was because the trademarks for Bumblebee and Shockwave had run out.
    As I have said repeatedly, for general audiences, there's a short list of those - for the Autobots, there's Optimus, Bumblebee, Jazz, Prowl, Arcee, Ironhide and Ratchet, whereas for the Decepticons, there's the Big Four (Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and Shockwave) and maybe Ravage and Laserbeak. Yes, every generation has its own set of well-loved characters, but these are the names that appear consistently.

    Compare that to Marvel and DC, which have a vast slew of well-remembered characters. Fact remains, even after fifteen years of well-known Transformers content, the general public can name more members of the Justice League than members of the Autobots. Even the less-prominent members of the Justice League - such as Aquaman, Green Lantern and the Flash - are still incredibly popular, even prior to (in Aquaman and Flash's cases) their well-received appearances in the DCEU.

    By contrast, pretty much all of the '85 Decepticons are unknown to general audiences, as are most of the '84 and '85 Autobots - general audiences are not going to be excited about seeing the likes of Dirge. And that's because writers were uninterested in many of those characters - the fact remains, many of those characters only got a proper personality when John Barber and James Roberts picked them up.

    Unless, you are suggesting that the film should have only catered for long-time fans and not general audiences; not even Disney did that when they started remaking their old films. This is a bad idea, because it only serves to alienate general audiences from the brand... which would have led to a sharp decrease in popularity.

    Again, this is a situation that Bay and the writers explained fairly well - they had trouble deciding what characters were going to go in the film and Hasbro were pushing them to send them the list because of the long production run on the toys. So, facing a deadline, they wrote up a list of vehicles they wanted in the film and matched those ideas to names they liked, rather than run the risk of delaying the film further.

    Please stop repeating things that have already been explained.

    The core reason for the problem is that we don't have many characters with as much history as, say, Marvel or DC - it's easy to pick who's going to appear in a Justice League film and find the best-known appearances of those characters for reference. Whereas, with Transformers, for the most part, we've just had the same set of characters.

    There's actually reason to believe that, at one point, Orci and Kurtzman wanted the Combaticons to appear in the film - aside from, of course, Brawl, Blackout was originally called Vortex. There's also a toy called Landmine that could, work as an incarnation of Swindle and Movie Wreckage is based on a character who was going to appear in the film, who I think was called Onslaught at one point. You'll notice Blast Off's been left out, but who cares about him, really?

    Firstly, that is your opinion, not a fact; other people do think it holds up (even people who don't like the other films) and the fact remains it is still well-remembered today. I'm not calling you out, I am saying that you should add a clarification that it is your opinion.

    It is a fact, however, that the 2007 film did give a massive popularity boost to the brand - without it, the franchise would not enjoy the popularity it does today. Transformers got elevated from a niche toyline to something that was more accessible to the general public and surely that's a good thing.

    Secondly, it holds up better than other films from that period - for example, the Ang Lee Hulk and Superman Returns, which are actually bad films. As a film, TF2007 isn't half bad; the fact is, as the dull, melodramatic Superman Returns and the Ang Lee Hulk demonstrate, we could have gotten far, far worse (e.g. Ang Lee or Bryan Singer). This is a fact.

    And that's the studio's fault - not Bay or the writers. All of the writers - Orci, Kurtzman and Kruger, at least - were long-time fans and, when Bay got the gig, apparently, he researched it intensively to know what he was signing up for, because only hacks with delusions of grandeur (i.e. Christopher Nolan) arrive on set knowing dick-all about what they're adapting.

    Unfortunately, it was meddling from Lorenzo and Paramount that basically meant the films didn't turn out as good as they could have been; refusing to give Hasbro veto power on the designs or script (a situation that Bay and the writers voiced their dissatisfaction with), attempting to not have the robots talk at all and, when they did, attempting to get celebrity voice actors for Optimus and Megatron (Bay and the writers said Weaving as Megatron was a choice forced upon them by the studio), to the point where they sabotaged Cullen's audition.

    It was Paramount's mismanagement, not Bay or the writers, that made the films turn out the way they did. Indeed, Hasbro's situation is exactly identical to Marvel's - in the mid 2000's, they realised that no-one knew their characters better than they did, so they started a studio to make their own films and have some real creative control.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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