With Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen coming out this week, it’s time to revisit the legacy that The Transformers have wrought on our generation, particularly in the wake of Father’s Day. Are YOU equipped with the cyber-skinny on these AUTO-matic stars?
When Michael Bay’s “live action” blockbuster transformed summer cineplexes from empty to full, Wired Magazine reminded us that “Prime practically parented the latchkey kids of the mid-80s. He was our Allfather at a time when flesh-and-blood role models were increasingly few and far between”. Cinemagogue captured the best quotes of the WIRED article and added a few thoughts on this Semi-Savior, and the 80s impact of the franchise, in this previous article.
It’s easy to see the deep spiritual chord and mythological roots of this narrative, albeit covered in technological trappings. From what little we can make of the trailers and online rumors, “The Fallen” appears to be one of the ancient Transformers that fell from grace, and the prequel comic portrays his presence as something of the serpent in Cybertron’s Eden, the Satan of Circuitry, perhaps even the tempting voice that offered old Megatron forbidden fruit. We’ll have to wait and see how much of this bears itself out in the film, or turns out to be marketing misinformation.
Moreover, the films featured yellow robot has had quite a lengthy history, and more than just his upgrade from a VW Beetle to a kickin’ Camaro. Questionin some middle-schoolers last night, it seems Bumblebee has been the consistent character boys identify with. They don’t imagine they’re Optimus Prime, but they do imagine they’re fighting the good fight in his semi-shadow. This was no different for me, as I mused in “Fight of the Bumblebee“.
Someone I’m hoping to get more of a look at in the sequel is the scheming Starscream, who was one of the only Decepticons to escape in the first film and a character whom I affectionately call “Judas with a Jet Engine“. We’ll see if his backstabbing ways are fleshed out (metaled out?) in this film foray. My wife is just thrilled they have “Ravage” in the film. (Hey, she likes big cats).
Last, if you want to enter the second film armed with popcorn, null rays, and some thoughtful examination of the overarching Transformers narrative, check out an narrative exploration of the first film with a spiritual perspective, posted here again courtesy of the Mars Hill Media Library. It may reveal a little more than meets they eye…