Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Transformers: The Movie
Transformers: The Movie is a 1986 feature film version of the popular television series Transformers based on the line of toys by Hasbro. It was directed by Nelson Shin and featuring the voices of Judd Nelson, Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Casey Kasem, Robert Stack and Frank Welker, among others.
The plot of the movie concerns the Transformers' battle with the gigantic planet-destroying robot Unicron.
During the course of the movie, many of the classic Transformers were killed or recreated (allowing Hasbro to launch a new line of Transformers toys). The Decepticon leader Megatron, for instance, was left for dead and rebuilt by Unicron as a new robot called Galvatron. Transformers: The Movie marks an epoch in the history of the franchise, and began a series of storyline patterns that persist in the present day's Transformers toys and media.
The Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, was mortally wounded due to injuries sustained in a final battle with Megatron, and passed the Autobot Matrix of Leadership on to Ultra Magnus. Before dying, Optimus revealed a prophecy - that one day, an Autobot would rise from their ranks, and use the power of the Matrix to light their darkest hour. When Galvatron subsequently stole the Matrix of Ultra Magnus, that Autobot was revealed to be Hot Rod, who recovered the Matrix, and used its power to destroy Unicron, while at the same time becoming Rodimus Prime.
See Transformers (toyline) for descriptions of the characters.
Autobots introduced in Transformers: The Movie
- Daniel (human ally)
- Hot Rod, who later became Rodimus Prime
- Ultra Magnus
Autobots killed in Transformers: The Movie
In the episode, "Dark Awakening," Huffer is listed among the dead, though he is not seen to die in the movie itself.
Brawn's death has become a popular debate among fans - after all, he's supposedly to be a very tough character, and yet in the movie, seems to die from nothing more than a shot to his shoulder. This has led to a somewhat humorous ongoing debate on whether the character is truly dead or not.
Prowl and Wheeljack would later be seen to be alive in the Japanese Transformers series, but this is because the movie had not reached Japan at that point, hence they were unaware of which characters had died.
Decepticons introduced in Transformers: The Movie
Decepticons killed or "reformatted" by Unicron in Transformers: The Movie
It is a bone of some contention exactly which Decepticons become which characters when Unicron reformats them. The script does not specify this, and the animation shows Thundercracker becoming Scourge, Kickback and Shrapnel becoming his Sweeps, Bombshell becoming Cyclonus, and Skywarp becoming another Cyclonus.
Unicron refers to "Cyclonus and his armada," but one duplicate does not make an armada. The line is a carry-over from the original script, in which Cyclonus was to have multiple duplicates of himself, but this idea appears to have been summarily abandoned, since after this scene, the duplicate Cyclonus is never seen again, AND an additional Sweep has appeared. Hence, retroactively, the duplicate Cyclonus has become a Sweep. But then, the argument is - was it Bombshell or Skywarp who truly became Cyclonus?
There are those that consider Bombshell to be Cyclonus, simply because that's what the animation shows. However, there are those that support the theory that Skywarp became Cyclonus, generally born of the belief that being turned into an expendable Sweep seems an ill-fitting end for one of the original Decepticons. To break things down to their most basic facts: what we have here is a blue jet, a purple jet, a trio of three warriors, who get turned into... a blue spacecraft, a purple spacecraft and a trio of three warriors. There is a distinct logic to this, which supports the "Skywarp" argument, which is why this debate will never have a conclusion.
This, however, is without even getting into the confusion caused by the Insecticons. Despite their apparent transformations, the characters continue to make appearances in a small number of post-movie episodes, and most tellingly, Shrapnel even appears later in the movie itself. The script even specifies that he is to appear in this scene, meaning that the writer did not intend for him to be transformed by Unicron. This has led to some people speculating that the Insecticons transformed by Unicron could have been clones, as the Insecticons possess this ability. (It's also worth noting that the number of Sweeps constantly increases throughout the third season with no explanation - could the Insecticons have retained their cloning ability when transformed by Unicron?)
And this is without touching the ongoing debate over whether or not Galvatron is Megatron - although they share a reconstructed body, their minds seem particularly different (Galvatron's insanity notwithstanding), leading to frequent discussion over this point among the fandom.
Other characters introduced in Transformers: The Movie
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