Valiant and heroic, Optimus Prime is known across the world is leader of the Autobots, throughout the Transformers franchise. He is often portrayed as a robot whose primary vehicle mode is that of a semi truck. He made his first on-screen appearance in 1984's animated series, Transformers
, during the first episode entitled Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: Part 1 (#1.1)
. Optimus Prime made his first ever live action appearance, in the 2007 film Transformers
from director Michael Bay
. Once again, Optimus Prime was depicted as a semi truck. But rather than the usual cab over design, which many fans had become accustomed to, Prime was now a conventional Peterbilt cab design truck. And unlike the animated series, a trailer did not suddenly appear behind him when he transformed into truck mode, and then disappear when he transformed back into robot mode.
Animated Series Biography
Four million years ago, on the distant planet known as Cybertron, life existed. But not life as we know today, sentient robots, who could think and feel inhabited the planet. These robots were known as Transformers. Created by a race of beings known as Quintessons. Within this race of intelligent robots, were two factions, the evil Decepticons, and the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime. And for many years, a war raged on between the two factions. Soon, the war drained the planet of its energy sources, and the Autobots boarded their ship known as the Ark to find a new source of energy. But the Autobots, were ambushed by the brutal Decepticons aboard their ship, the Nemesis. The Decepticons boarded the Ark, and the ensuing space battle ended with the Ark crash-landing on prehistoric Earth. Buried deep within a volcano, the Ark remained dormant for four million years.
In the year 1984, the volcano where the Ark rested erupted, awakening the ship's on-board computer, Teletraan I, which sent a small scouting robot out. It soon scanned Earth vehicles and thus modified the Autobots and Decepticons. The form chosen for Prime was that of a semi truck.
The struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons continued on Earth, for over twenty years. Until Optimus Prime had his final confrontation with the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron
The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
In the film The Transformers: The Movie
, which we find out happened in the year 2005, the treacherous Decepticons, had conquered the planet Cybertron. But the Autobots had planned to fight back and retake their homeworld. Planning an attack from two of Cybertron's moons, several of the Autobots had planned to return to Earth to collect some energon cubes, enough to power a full-scale assault. But the Decepticons caught on to Autobot plans and ambushed them on their way to Earth, killing them. Aboard the Autobots' own ship, the Decepticons planned to exterminate the remaining Autobots on Earth. During their attack however, the Autobots managed to contact Optimus Prime on Moon Base 1. Prime and some reinforcements soon arrived on Earth, and Prime turned the tide of the battle by driving back the Decepticons. But not before he had a final conflict with the sadistic Decepticon commander Megatron. The resulting battle fatally wounded both warriors, leaving both camps, Autobots and Decepticons without suitable leaders. Before he died, Optimus Prime passed on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to a soldier known as Ultra Magnus, much the same way it was once passed on to Prime. But, the Matrix was meant for another, as soon afterwards, a young brash Autobot known as Hot Rod assumed leadership of the Autobots under the name of Rodimus Prime. But no one could ever replace Optimus. The Autobots still grieved for their fallen leader. Optimus Prime was gone, but he would never be forgotten...
The Return of Optimus Prime
In the episode entitled, Transformers: The Return of Optimus Prime: Part 1 (#3.29)
, a group of scientists discovered something in space, the body of the slain Autobot leader, Optimus Prime. However, the scientists also discovered something else, entirely by accident. A small cluster of spores that bring out angry and aggressive tendencies with whomever comes into contact with it. Causing a plague among the Transformers, that turned Autobot against Autobot and Decepticon against Decepticon.
As this "hate plague" turned worse and worse, Rodimus Prime sent one of the few Autobots, besides himself, who had not been infected by the spores, known as Sky Lynx, to find a Quintesson and hopefully bring Optimus Prime back to life. And have a chance at stopping the plague.
Sky Lynx succeeded in locating a Quintesson and thus the Quintesson, was successful in his attempts to revive Optimus Prime. Who sought to find a way to stop the hate plague, which had spread to even Rodimus Prime. Optimus knew that the answers to his mission lay inside the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. But, Rodimus was still in possession of it.
In Transformers: The Return of Optimus Prime: Part 2 (#3.30)
, Optimus needed to find a way to get to the matrix without becoming infected. Which he discovered, ironically, with the help of the Decepticons. Prime soon discovered the secrets that lay within the matrix and used the wisdom of the ages inside, to help stop the hate plague, and restored peace to galaxy.
Optimus Prime once again, took his rightful place, as the leader of the Autobots. And there he remained.
Throughout the animated series, and the animated movie, Optimus Prime was voiced by Peter Cullen
, who stated that he based the voice of Prime on John Wayne
Live Action Film Biography
Before time began, there was the All Spark. A giant cube, of unknown origins, which held the power to create worlds and fill them with life. Thus, the world of Cybertron was created and in it was born a race of intelligent robots who could think and feel, known as Transformers. But, while some Transformers wanted the cube for good, like the Autobots, others wanted it for evil, like the Decepticons. This began the war that ravaged Cybertron until it was nothing but a barren wasteland. And the cube was lost to the far reaches of space. For many eons, the Autobots, led by a robot named Optimus Prime, (and Decepticons), searched for the All Spark. And soon, word reached the Autobots of the cube being discovered on Earth. But the Decepticons had already reached Earth, when the Autobots had arrived.
A young man named Sam Witwicky, (played by Shia LaBeouf
), held the key to the location of cube on Earth. And was sought out by the evil Decepticons. But, Optimus Prime had sent a protector to Earth for Sam Witwicky, an Autobot soldier named Bumblebee. Soon, Prime and other Autobots arrived on Earth, but to their dismay Bumblebee is taken prisoner by an organization known as Sector 7. Who Prime and the Autobots learn, have possession of not only the All Spark, but also the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron. Who crash-landed on Earth many years ago, trying to retrieve the cube. With the cube, Megatron planned to use it to conquer Earth, but he crashed and was frozen in the Arctic for many years, until he was discovered by Sam Witwicky's great grandfather.
Megatron was kept secret by the government for many years, by having the Hoover Dam built around him and around the cube.
Megatron is soon freed, but Sam Witwicky is given possession of the All Spark. And a battle ensues on Earth between the Autobots and Decepticons, for the cube. Resulting in Sam Witwicky using the cube to destroy Megatron.
Despite being his nemesis, Prime seems deeply regretful of the death of Megatron, as he says; "You left me no choice, brother."
We find out in the prequel comic, that Megatron and Prime both ruled Cybertron together. They protected the All Spark, but Megatron secretly desired it for himself. With his group of separatists, the Decepticons, they waged war on Prime and the Autobots. This resulted in the All Spark being launched into space.
As the film ends; Prime speaks the following words; "With the All Spark gone, we cannot return life to our planet. And fate has yielded its reward: a new world to call home. We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight, but watching over them in secret, waiting, protecting. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there's more to them than meets the eye. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars; we are here, we are waiting."
Optimus Prime returned for the sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Optimus Prime was once again voiced by Peter Cullen
in the live action movie, much to the delight of many fans.
Autobot CommanderAlternate Modes:
Freightliner Cab-over engine semi truck. Peterbilt 379 semi truck.Height:
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."