We’re again, and we’ve made it to Transformers: Battle for Cybertron – Kingdom, the third and last chapter of the Netflix-exclusive Transformers cartoon! The primary two chapters, Siege and Earthrise, allowed us to dig up and study the often exhumed corpse of ’80s popular culture. However for this chapter we’re out for recent blood: the ’90s!
As we traversed Kingdom’s six episodes, we requested the powerful questions: “Who’s that?” “The place are we?” “Why are we floating in house like this?” “At what level did this clearly cease pretending to be in any earlier continuity by any means?” “So, like, Blackarachnia’s like tremendous homosexual, proper?”
So let’s discuss concerning the Beast Wars-inspired Transformers: Battle for Cybertron: Kingdom.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for Transformers: War for Cybertron – Kingdom follow.]
Yet another ’80s hit for the street
In a significant departure from most Technology One Transformers retellings, Optimus Prime, Megatron, and their double crew of warring robots truly survive their double crash on prehistoric Earth! They only rise up off the ground simple as they please, relatively than taking a 4 million 12 months nap. No person even wore a seatbelt.
That is unsuitable! It’s so unsuitable that even Optimus Prime’s Matrix-less chassis begins throwing a match and displaying him pictures of the way in which issues have been speculated to be.
After all I’m going to catalog them. That’s what I’m right here for.
First we see Bumblebee speaking with Spike Witwicky, the Autobots’ human pal from the unique cartoon. I’d say it is also Buster Witwicky from the comedian (the shirt does look kinda pink), however let’s not child ourselves. That is all cartoon stuff.
We see Optimus Prime kneeling down to speak to Spike Witwicky and Spike’s father, Sparkplug.
We see Megatron with a flail and Optimus Prime with an axe preventing on high of Sherman Dam, as a result of that’s an unique cartoon scene so vital that they even did that scene within the unique comics. Even the primary Michael Bay film put Transformers on a dam. Why is it vital?
Properly, why is something vital? As a result of it occurred earlier than, OK? Once we have been 5 years previous.
We see Menasor! (He’s the mixed type of the Stunticons, who don’t seem on this trilogy.)
We see Optimus Prime on his deathbed, plucked nearly straight from The Transformers: The Film. See, that is the place stuff begins our brains spinning. Isn’t this pleasantly similar to the unique scene? There’s Perceptor, there’s Arcee, there’s … wait, is that Extremely Magnus? Extremely Magnus is useless on this Netflix cartoon! He died in Siege! What’s he doing there?
As everyone knows, there have been solely six Autobots (plus Daniel Witwicky) current at Optimus Prime’s The Transformers: The Film dying, with Springer off having higher issues to do than watch Prime die.
It’s at this actual level that your mind turns into that Wee-Bey Response GIF from The Wire. None of those characters (apart from Arcee) are those current in The Transformers: The Film, are they? Is that this not drawn artwork? Are these current character fashions? The one that appears like Perceptor isn’t; he’s received a sharp missile launcher on his shoulder, not a microscope. That’s most likely Mirage. The man within the higher left that type of seems to be like he has Scorching Rod’s spoiler wings on his again? That’s most likely Wheeljack.
In truth, as this clip sparkles round, we get a clearer shot on the robotic on the left, and … are these horns on that head? Is it Bumblebee? He isn’t speculated to be there! No person besides Arcee is meant to be there! The man subsequent to him could also be Prowl?
This Netflix cartoon noticed me coming and put a bunch of hard-to-discern of us who undoubtedly shouldn’t be right here behind layers of static, and I’m undoubtedly leaping by means of its hoops.
I assume that is what occurs when Extremely Magnus dies. Simply chaos. Chaos in every single place.
And, lastly, after all, 1984.
Take a shot.
Phew. Are all of us carried out with the ’80s now? Can we march on to the acoustic guitar covers and plaid?
The Golden Disk’s B-side hits
The final chapter of Battle for Cybertron left viewers questioning how Galvatron obtained the Voyager Golden Document that he was attempting to cross off to Megatron. Would you imagine … from one of many two Voyager probes? It’s loopy, we all know!
However right here after we see Galvatron being yanked again to his personal time interval from his standpoint, there’s a Voyager probe floating in house proper there.
Be aware: the Voyager “Sounds of Earth” Golden Document (recognized in Transformers circles because the Golden Disk) as seen in Kingdom has some fairly low-res English on it. It ought to say, y’know, “Sounds of Earth” there, however as a substitute there’s what seems to be like pixelated Cybertronian letters.
We additionally see (Technology One) Megatron’s face mirrored within the disk, which is a sly callback to a flashback scene from the unique Beast Wars cartoon!
In Beast Wars, G1 Megatron’s face is mirrored within the disk as he’s encoding a message in it whereas in deep house.
When the Autobots and Decepticons meet up with the Maximals and Predacons on Earth in Kingdom, Beast Megatron has the Golden Disk already. So how does Beast Megatron get the disk? Why, the identical means he received it within the unique Beast Wars — he stole it. B
ut in contrast to within the unique Beast Wars sequence, we truly see scenes from the theft in Kingdom. Megatron, Dinobot, and Blackarachnia are all proven in silhouette, minus their beast mode components, in mid-caper.
Beast Megatron steals the disk for a similar motive he did within the unique sequence: as a result of way back G1 Megatron encoded data on the disk that gave data on tips on how to change historical past and alter the course of the conflict within the Decepticons’ favor! And so Beast Megatron and his Predacons stole the disk and likewise a ship that would journey in time (they only go away these out and about in Cybertron’s future), they have been adopted by Optimus Primal and his Maximals, and each factions crash landed on prehistoric Earth.
They’re from the long run and know so much about historical past
Kingdom doesn’t have as many deep cuts as Battle for Cybertron’s final two chapters. It appears fairly happy, cut-wise, to serve us up the primary season solid of the Nineteen Nineties Transformers cartoon, Beast Wars!
However who’re these guys? It’s vital that we all know precisely who and what their offers are in order that after they invariably present up in subsequent 12 months’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts function movie, we all know for what causes we’re offended that they’re completely different!
This ape’s for you, he’s comin’ atcha
He’s not Optimus Prime, he’s a gorilla! He’s Optimus Primal, chief of the Maximals! Within the unique cartoon, Primal was an untested younger captain who was extra down-to-earth than your typical Optimus.
In Transformers: Kingdom, Optimus Primal could have been like that after, however this Primal’s been at conflict with the Predacons for some time, and is right down to the final 5 members of his 200-person crew. (That’s proper, if there’s a Maximal you want have been on this sequence, they’re most likely not right here ‘cuz they’re useless. Whoops!) Kingdom’s Optimus Primal has a bone to choose with Kingdom’s Optimus Prime, who launched the Allspark into house in Primal’s previous, dooming Cybertron to dying, leaving Primal’s era to choose up the items. Mainly, Kingdom Optimus Primal is a pissed off Zoomer who’s mad that ol’ Boomer Optimus left him a wrecked planet.
Airazor, skilled sufferer
The unique Airazor was the Maximal’s wry child sister who had a crush on massive ol’ horny Tigatron, not realizing that talking up about her crush on massive ol’ horny Tigatron is what triggers them each to get all of the sudden ejected from the sequence. It’s like slasher movie guidelines, the place “intercourse” = “holding fingers” and “getting stabbed by the Scream man” = “getting kidnapped offworld by a tentacled alien plant lure.”
Kingdom Airazor performs a extra central function. She’s the Maximal’s coronary heart and conscience, and she or he will get herself purposefully captured in order that she will be able to attempt to infect Dinobot with a bit of of that coronary heart and conscience. She additionally nonetheless appears to have a huggy factor with Tigatron, however no tentacled alien plant traps this time. Plus Blackarachnia would love Airazor to step on her.
The ’90s Rhinox was many issues — massive, sturdy, an extremely good tech wizard, intelligent, compassionate — he’d seem to be he had too many stats maxed out if he had any ambition in any respect. He’s simply quietly good at stuff! And loudly good at stuff, if the state of affairs required.
Kingdom Rhinox is … precisely that, actually. The Autobots’ personal resident tech wizard, Wheeljack, even calls him a genius. Wheeljack is aware of what’s up.
There’s a couple of strategy to pores and skin a CGI cat mannequin — there’s stripes and likewise spots
Beast Wars’ Cheetor was the Maximal’s awkward over-eager teenager. Beast Wars’ Tigatron was an aloof tree-hugging samurai loner.
In Kingdom, Cheetor and Tigatron are … there.
As soon as and all the time a vermin
In Beast Wars, Rattrap was a wise-talking, ill-mannered saboteur with a Brooklyn accent. In Kingdom, Rattrap is performed just about the identical means, most likely owing to Rattrap’s voice actor, Frank Todaro, who’s additionally been voicing a fairly good Starscream in Battle for Cybertron’s trilogy. Todaro’s been in Transformers fandom endlessly, so it is sensible!
Dinobot even will get to name him “vermin” as soon as, though the 2 by no means communicate in any other case. Generally Beast Wars followers get fan service, too.
Beast Megatron, no
Should you’ve been pondering, man, they’ve been hitting the Beast Wars characters fairly carefully or right-on-the-mark to date, then I’m sorry to introduce you to Kingdom Megatron. Basic Beast Wars Megatron was an extremely highly effective narcissist who believed absolutely in theatrics and infrequently gave David Xanatos a run for his interlocking-plot-scheming cash. Beast Wars Megatron shared the unique Megatron’s identify not as a result of he thought G1 Megatron was actually cool, however as a result of Beast Megatron learn some apocalyptic scripture prophecy that talked about a Megatron and determined truly that scripture was most likely speaking about himself and never the well-known Megatron everybody is aware of. That’s a flex. And Beast Megatron had such a wealthy, horny voice generally you’d simply spontaneously give beginning.
Kingdom Beast Megatron is a simpering G1 Megatron fanboy. He stole the Golden Disk to not reorder historical past itself underneath his rule, however as a result of actually he simply wished the unique Megatron to love him. His voice sounds uncannily like Beast Wars Scorponok (a dork) and he nonetheless says “sure” and “no” so much however it seems like these impacts are simply there within the script and the character doesn’t know what to do with them. He’s type of a doofus.
Beast Megatron is that this Netflix cartoon’s dump stat.
Be nonetheless her spinnerets
On the opposite facet of this coin is Kingdom Blackarachnia.
The unique Blackarachnia was one in all Beast Wars’ breakout characters, spinning off doppelgangers into later Transformers sequence with ease. Should you wanted a woman dangerous man Transformer, Blackarachnia was your bot! Again in 1996, she had the respect of being the primary feminine Transformer toy bought in North America.
Although early on within the Beast Wars cartoon she was a cookie cutter femme fatale, Blackarachnia shortly discovered plenty of storyline focus and have become three-dimensional and memorable. Fiercely impartial, technologically savvy, studiously on high of her Cybertronian historical past, and all the time simply barely one step forward of Xanatos Gambit Megatron himself, she had only one mantra: survive with out sacrificing who she was.
Kingdom Blackarachnia hits the nail on that head, with even the voice performing feeling spot-on with out being uncanny valley-y. It’s Blackarachnia, of us. She could also be this Battle for Cybertron chapter’s Better of Present.
And likewise now she’s very homosexual! There may be not a lady Kingdom Blackarachnia meets who she doesn’t both inform others she finds engaging, flirt with, or outright kiss. Airazor warns she’ll rip off Blackarachnia’s legs if she betrays her, and Blackarachnia tells Airazor to not threaten her with a very good time. It’s truthfully pleasant. That is my new favourite Blackarachnia.
The Final of the Scorponoks. Most likely.
Again in Earthrise, we met Technology 1 Decepticon Scorponok, the enormous city-sized (properly, condominium building-sized) purple and inexperienced metallic scorpion. He claimed to be the “final of the Scorponoks,” however Kingdom Predacon Scorponok is right here to name that dude a liar, ‘trigger he’s introduced himself and his dozen similar mates.
Beast Wars Scorponok was a fairly forgettable also-ran henchman, so it’s truthfully no actual loss that in Kingdom he’s a generic. The actual tragedy is that we by no means see Scorponok’s little claw pal, Cyberbee! There’s so many Scorponoks and but zero Cyberbees. It’s a criminal offense.
We’ve “Code of Hero” at residence
Keep in mind once I gushed over Dinobot on the finish of my writeup for Earthrise? Properly, my gushing was well-founded! I feel the oldsters behind Kingdom additionally gush a bit of over Dinobot, and it exhibits, and so a number of episode 3 felt very me-targeted. I’m the meant viewers.
(Additionally: Kingdom’s Dinobot is voiced by Krizz Kaliko, the rap artist. I’m solely bringing this up as a result of this implies Dinobot is… A VELOCIRAPPER! Eh? Ehh?)
Dinobot is thought in Beast Wars for 2 issues: (1) having a finest frenemies relationship with Rattrap, as Dinobot is the Maximals’ Worf and Rattrap is a suspicious butthole, and (2) having an extremely superb dying within the Beast Wars season 2 episode “Code of Hero.” Dinobot by no means joins the Maximal crew in Kingdom, so Kingdom places all its weight on remembering that second bit.
In “Code of Hero,” Dinobot has to save lots of the timeline itself by attempting to steal the Golden Disk from Beast Megatron and destroying it. To take action, he opts to combat solo by means of each single dang Predacon alive on the present at the moment, one after the other, and he finally ends up … not trying so nice on the finish of it. However he destroys the disk, Megatron is thwarted, and the Maximals arrive to offer their final respects as he dies. In Beast Wars, that is the end result of about 35 episodes of Dinobot characterization, so when Kingdom makes an attempt to do a really related factor, they’ve received an uphill battle to achieve those self same notes in simply three episodes.
And by “a really related factor,” I imply Dinobot single-handedly fights by means of Soundwave, Ravage, Laserbeak, G1 Megatron and finally Beast Megatron in an effort to rip both the Golden Disk or the Matrix from Megatron #1. And alongside the way in which he paraphrases some vital quotes from each “Code of Hero” (“The longer term shouldn’t be fastened, and my selections are my very own. And but, how ironic… for I now discover I’ve no alternative in any respect!” I’m a warrior…”) and from his clone (lengthy story) within the Beast Wars sequence finale episode “Nemesis, Half 2” (“And I’ve… my honor!”). Beast Wars followers, these are our interminably repeated The Transformers: The Film quotes now.
True to type, the great guys arrive too late round Dinobot’s dying physique, the Predacon turncoat having wrestled the Matrix of Management away from Megatron, and the Autobots and Decepticons give him their final respects as he shuffles off in the direction of the Transformers Afterlife. It’s similar to Dinobot’s dying in “Code of Hero” besides Prowl and Sideswipe are additionally there!
(Optimus Primal’s friendliness is a bit of suspect right here in context, contemplating Dinobot may be very doubtless liable for no small portion of the 200 Maximals Primal misplaced in battle with the Predacons. Primal should have gotten the memo that Dinobot is Superior and this can be a Very Necessary Dying.)
It’s completely shameless, however you may inform it was written underneath the throes of Dinobot Fever, which is a illness I additionally endure from. So I give all of it 4 of Dinobot’s thumbs up. A+ Dinobot pandering, would binge once more.
Oh wait, there’s nonetheless extra ’80s stuff!
In episode 3, because the Autobots and Decepticons wander the forest round the place the Allspark is situated, it begins to offer them every personalised hallucinations. Megatron sees Galvatron. Optimus Prime sees his perished mentor Alpha Trion. Arcee sees Cog (who died in Earthrise). Sideswipe calls out for Sunstreaker, his twin brother who doesn’t seem on this trilogy. Starscream’s hallucination is, after all, his crown and cape from his coronation scene in The Transformers: The Film.
Blackarachnia’s hallucination is a bit more obtuse. The ghostly visage of a wolf’s face briefly seems behind her. Is the wolf only a wolf, or is that this a reference to Silverbolt, her half-wolf boyfriend from the unique Beast Wars?
Everybody else’s is a direct reference, so I’m selecting sure!
The Final Arkobot
In episode 5, because the battle for the Allspark reaches its climax, the Autobots’ spacecraft itself, the Ark, rises from its resting place within the Volcano, having reworked right into a mighty robotic. Because it holds off the Decepticons’ spaceship, the Nemesis, it informs Wheeljack that it was product of potential futures whereas touring by means of the Useless Universe (as seen in Earthrise), noticed that in a single timeline it might remodel right into a robotic, and devoted a portion of its assets to creating this risk a actuality.
The remodeling Ark robotic is the biggest toy within the Kingdom toyline, and so sure clearly it was going to point out up in Kingdom, simply as Omega Supreme and Scorponok confirmed up respectively in Siege and Earthrise. However a deeper reference is who Hasbro designed the Ark robotic to resemble: the Final Autobot, the Autobot symbol-faced demigod who appeared within the final two problems with the unique Marvel comedian e book sequence.
Unicron had attacked Cybertron and was defeated, however regardless of the Transformers’ victory, their planet had suffered a lot harm that it started to tug aside. As each Autobots and Decepticons evacuated their planet, a crew of, uh, mutant superheroes from Earth who have been stranded on Cybertron throughout Unicron’s assault determined to remain behind and discover the legendary Final Autobot to revive Cybertron … on the phrase of a bit of fleshy man who claimed to be the recently-deceased Optimus Prime. Comics are nuts, yo.
Anyway, yeah, they discover The Final Autobot and restore Cybertron. And that’s who the Ark’s robotic mode is designed to seem like. That dude!
Identical to the Final Autobot, the Ark robotic in Kingdom helps to shortly and decisively finish the millions-of-years-old conflict. Although this time it’s by means of punching issues, not by standing round and administering additional lives to all of the Autobots as they die in battle.
Cogs for all seasons
Because the solid fills up with increasingly new characters, the necessity for filler dude generics has shrunk. However generally we nonetheless see one or two! Cog, the companion to an unseen Fortress Maximus, died heroically in Earthrise, however his palette-swapped clones nonetheless hang around with the Autobots. The blue Cog was initially paired with the blue Fortress Maximus, the crimson Grand Cog was paired with the crimson Grand Maximus, however there’s additionally a 3rd, inexperienced Cog who exhibits up often in crowd scenes! His presence implies the existence of a inexperienced Fortress Maximus.
Do you know there IS a inexperienced Fortress Maximus? In a flashback scene within the 2002 Transformers anime, Transformers: Armada, a festive green-and-red recolor of Fortress Maximus’s character mannequin was nicknamed “Christmas Maximus” by the fandom for apparent causes.
What I’m saying is that inexperienced Cog’s identify is clearly Christmas Cog.
Spoiler Toys III
The final two chapters of the Battle for Cybertron trilogy had corresponding waves of Walmart-exclusive toys which included a big windowless bundle filled with SPOILER TOYS. Kingdom isn’t any completely different!
Siege’s “Spoiler Pack” contained a dying Extremely Magnus, Earthrise’s Spoiler Pack contained Nemesis Prime, and Kingdom’s Spoiler Pack incorporates G1 Megatron with a Matrix of Management you may strap to his chest, similar to within the cartoon! There’s additionally a purple translucent Fossilizer named Skelevore (yeah) included, however he doesn’t present up in animation.
Additionally just like the earlier two Spoiler Packs, there are Cybertronian phrases to translate into English on the within of the bundle. It’s a easy alphabet substitution language, and what you get out are some Kingdom quotes from Megatron and Optimus Prime, respectively.
And that’s it, of us! The Battle for Cybertron trilogy is over, and I’m fairly positive I’ve squeezed out all the within baseball I might. We’ve been by means of so much collectively over these three chapters — the brown Cog named Comms Officer, the member of the Authentic 13 Primes disguising himself as a 2018 Submarauder toy, and, uh, the extraordinarily mainstream first-season solid of Beast Wars, as a result of I assume this cartoon couldn’t give us a Dinobot recolor as Grimlock or one thing like that.
I used to be truthfully hoping they’d recycle Dinobot’s character mannequin in numerous colours like 16 instances like they did for Cog or the Reflectors or the Seekers, simply to offer me an excuse to (1) inform you about them at size, and (2) purchase up a bunch of Dinobots and customise them into these recolors. However alas, it was not meant to be.
Thanks for studying! Possibly you’ll see me once more if there’s one other batch of weirdos that want explaining in a Transformers cartoon.