Transformers Prime (2010–2013)
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it is not. While some elements were lifted straight from the movies, it represents a completely different universe with different characters. It can be viewed independant of any prior incarnation, but it is intended to be linked to the video game War For Cybertron as its backstory.
There are several external connections, primarily that the writers of Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) are involved as producers. The general design of the robots, the musical score and the more realistic approach to the material were chosen specifically because of the film series' success. Backstory elements between this series and WFC also seem to evoke something similar to what happened in the movies.
The answer is a complicated one. According to the main official sources, it does. Yet there are many inconsistencies in their stories, their depiction of the characters, as well as their looks in general. The reasons for this go into how you accept the continuity and how Hasbro is treating the continuity.
The video game War For Cybertron was developed as being the basis of a new sub-franchise of Transformers, released alongside the novel Exodus that tells further details both before and during that game. Both were based off a new "Universe Bible" developed by Hasbro to use as reference point, but poor proofreading and editing caused Exodus to contradict itself on certain plot points. This already makes the two inreconcilable.
As for the cartoon it was developed independently from the video game, by different people, and the only connection is using the universe bible. Inconsistencies are a given. In addition to that the TV show and the game were marketed towards different audiences. War for Cybertron catered to the nostalgic fans who had fond memories of the original Transformers cartoon, as well as the general gaming crowd. Transformers: Prime is directed more towards the TV watchers and a younger generation of fans. Therein lies the difference in their storytelling, as well as their design aesthetics.
As for how Hasbro treats the various series, they are part of a "Continuity Family." They are set in the same universe but able to exist apart from each other. The show and the game are meant to be linked together, but the puzzle pieces are not intended to fit snugly.
This isn't new, as the comics of Transformers Generation One from the 80's contradicted the show despite being based on the same story. Newer comics have rebooted the actual Generation One and each incarnation does the same thing. Another explanation comes from the comics, where they coined the "Multiverse Theory," that there are a near infinite number of alternate realities and some characters are able to traverse the different realities.
But in the end it largely goes to how the individual decides to treat the two incarnations, they are either completely unconnected, very loosely inspired by each other or a direct continuation.
It was revealed at a 2015 convention that the video games were originally indeed meant to be parts of Generation One, and that the cartoon's production studio did not want to tie them together either. Obviously, these plans have changed during the series' development.
Yes. They both take place in the same continuity, as confirmed by Executive Producer Jeff Kline. The Optimus Prime and Bumblebee who make guest appearances in Transformers: Rescue Bots (2011) are the same ones as in this show.
If you have followed both series, you may have noticed that the time when the Rescue Bots lost contact with Optimus corresponded exactly with the story arc during which he became brainwashed and joined the evil Decepticons. Rescue Bots contains many other subtle references to TF Prime, such as Dr. Morocco dealing with an evil organization that's implied to be MECH or Optimus Prime mentioning the Autobot medic (Ratchet).
However, due to obvious reasons such as budget and plotting issues, the cast of Rescue Bots can't make any guest appearances in Prime.
The creators of the show originally intended to include Ironhide. There exist two reasons, one of which is only loosely substantiated, for why he was replaced with Bulkhead:
According to the first, more well-known rumor, they changed Ironhide's personality to be more friendly and goofy, and eventually came to the realization that a character like this already existed within the Transformers universe -- Bulkhead, first introduced in Transformers: Animated (2007) (whose character designer, Derrick Wyatt, at one point also worked on Prime), who has become very popular with the fans. Thus it was decided to switch the names around, and no injustice would be done to Ironhide's character.
A bonus featurette on the Transformers: Prime Season 1 Blu-Ray set, however, revealed that the above described rumor is just that: a rumor, meant to act as a cover-up for the real reason as to why Ironhide was replaced. The character of Ironhide namely appears, and is killed, in the the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and, even though the movie and the cartoon series take place in unconnected universes, the producers of this show didn't want to confuse children by having him suddenly reappear alive.
Despite this, Ironhide is a separate character in the cartoon's universe, and has received toys of his own.
Though many fans would prefer him never retracting his face-plate, the idea that Optimus has a real mouth underneath is not a new one. The idea originates back to as early as 1985, to the picture book titled The Great Car Rally, which featured the original Optimus Prime having a human face and no mouth-plate (in fact many originally "faceless" characters had been designed to have mouths, such as Soundwave and Bumblebee). He also clearly had a mouth in the old Marvel comics underneath this mask, a detail that the toy manufacturers even included in his Masterpiece figure -- though to see the mouth, one had to disassemble the toy's head.
Many of Optimus' later incarnations followed suit: the trend really started with Optimus Primal from Beast Wars (the first Optimus to bear his mouth in a cartoon), and was followed by Energon Optimus Prime (who had a mouth in toy form only) and Cyberton Optimus Prime (the first Prime with a retractable face-mask in both toy and cartoon form). Since then, every version of the character has been outfitted with a mouth and only put on their face-mask in battle.
This version of him is no different. The main difficulty, and the reason Optimus Primal started the trend, is that in live action and animation much of the personality and "performance" of a character is found in the mouth expressions. Having a mask of some sort inhibits a characters' ability to converse with others, so only "strong, silent types," generic footsoldiers or similar characters tend to be faceless.
Prior to the release of Season 3, there were many rumors floating about of the potential appearance of the popular Autobot sub-faction, the Dinobots, in the cartoon. These were further fueled by a somewhat confusing piece of news that claimed Gregg Berger, who has voiced the Dinobot leader Grimlock in Transformers (1984) and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (2012), has worked together with Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, on the show's voice recordings.
Yet nor Grimlock nor any of the Dinobots ever appeared, their existence being referenced only by an off-hand comment made by the characters in-show. While it is true that the cartoon's creators would have liked to include the Dinobots, there were never any official announcements made about them truly appearing -- the characters instead starred in a comic series titled Rage of the Dinobots by IDW Publishing, which took place in the same universe as the Fall of Cybertron game and the TF Prime cartoon (some continuity issues notwithstanding), but detailed a side-plot that wasn't tied closely to the show's main storyline.
Before the series debuted, there were many official infos circulating on the Internet over what the show would be about. Among them that the central theme would be exploring what makes a Prime and what it means to be one.
However this issue was never really discussed or clarified in the cartoon. In fact, it has shown that anyone, even the evil Megatron, could possibly wield the power of a Prime by simply replacing their own arm with the arm of a Prime. The base-idea of what a Prime is was briefly hinted at at certain points, such as when Optimus declared Jack to be worthy of the title thanks to his courage, maturity and collected thinking, or when he wanted the reckless but fast-thinking and determined Smokescreen to be his successor (although in the latter case, it turned out that Optimus was mistaken in his judgment and Smokescreen wouldn't be fit for the title).
It is possible that the writers changed their minds while planning the show's storyline, or that they simply couldn't find the appropriate time to introduce the theme. It should be noted that some other bits of early info have likewise proven to be untrue -- for example the early character descriptions claimed that Optimus was frequently unsure of himself and would ask advice from the well-balanced Arcee. In the actual show, however, Optimus doesn't show signs of unsureness or needing advice from others, and Arcee is more of a temperamental, emotional wreck.
Yes, according to the backstory detailed in the War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron video games, the Decepticons' warship, called Nemesis, is really the giant dinosaur-like Decepticon Trypticon locked permanently in the form of a ship.
Much confusion seems to stem from the episode Flying Mind (2012), in which the ship develops a mind of its own after the Decepticons infuse it with Dark Energon. In the episode, no reference is made at all to the Nemesis' "past life", and indeed, all of the Decepticons are surprised to discover that their ship can think for itself. Writer Robert N. Skir was actually aware of the Nemesis' backstory, however according to him, when the ship came to life again, it wasn't Trypticon anymore. Instead, the ship's computers developed a totally new mind unrelated to Trypticon's, who still remained locked in stasis.
According to info from a convention panel, the show was meant to reference Trypticon in some way, thereby clearing up this confusion, but due to various reasons, it was never incorporated.
Team Prime, original members
- leader, transforms into a red and blue long-nosed truck, later a heavily armored army truck
- young scout, transforms into a yellow sports car with black stripes, later with the colors reversed
- female warrior, turns into a blue motorcycle
- medic, transforms into a red and white emergency rescue vehicle
- former Wrecker, transforms into a green off-road vehicle
- fighter, turns into a red muscle car
Team Prime, new members
- Wrecker, turns into a white, red and green sports car
- up-and-coming youngster, transforms into a white, blue and red race car, later blue and yellow
- leader of the Wreckers, transforms into a blue and red long-nosed truck
- ancient Autobot
Tailgate - Arcee's former partner
- leader, transforms into a silver and purple alien jet
- second in command, turns into a fighter jet
- communications expert, transforms into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle drone
- "bird", part of Soundwave's armor
Vehicons - Decepticon foot-soldiers, transform into dark purple cars and alien jets
Later recruits, temporary members or one-shot Decepticons
- medic, transforms into a red sports car
- warrior, transforms into a blue armored truck
- spider-like female ex-Decepticon, turns into a black stealth helicopter
Skyquake - warrior, transforms into a green, gray and brown military jet
Makeshift - mysterious one-shot Decepticon who can take on the visage of other robots. Original form unknown.
- demolitions expert and temporary second in command, turns into a blue and yellow military jet
Seekers - Starscream's Vehicon brigade, transform into silver alien jets
- fiercest of the Insecticons, transforms into a gigantic alien beetle
- ancient warrior, transforms into a black and orange robotic dragon
Other evil Transformer characters
- evil ancient Transformer god, the core of planet Earth
"Cylas" - the human terrorist Silas fused together with Breakdown's dead body. Transforms into a beat-up armored truck
Terrorcons - zombie Transformers