Beast Machines: Transformers (1999–2001)
FAQAdd to FAQ (Coming Soon)
One of the main reasons Transformers fans have found hard to swallow this series and its themes is that it apparently contradicts the source material by presenting the Transformers' mechanical home-planet Cybertron as an "organic" planet that once sustained organic, non-robotic life. Many have felt that this was a sacrilegious idea that went against all of what had been laid down before in the Transformers canon.
These complaints are, however, mostly misguided as they disregard all the previous hints that show that Cybertron may in fact have once been an organic rock planet. In several episodes of the original Transformers (1984) show, such as Desertion of the Dinobots: Part 2 (1985), War Dawn (1985) or Grimlock's New Brain (1986), Cybertron's inner surface, under the outer layer of its metal crust, is obviously made up of normal rock, likewise, the planet has breathable atmosphere and also has some ponds with live fish in it.
Cybertron being an organic rock planet doesn't actually contradict the base canon: according to the backstory of Transformers (1984), the Transformers were just one of the many creations of the alien race called the Quintessons, who inhabited the world before the Transformers rebelled and drove them away. Unlike the comic series, where Cybertron is actually the god Primus in disguise, the cartoon never stated how Cybertron came into being, thus it's entirely within the realm of possibility that it may once have been a simple, natural planet of rock before the Quintessons built the metal surface. Edit (Coming Soon)
The reason is never made clear -- in the prequel series Beast Wars: Transformers (1996), Megatron is shown to be very fond of his beast modes, and can even be seen attending to its bodily hygiene by brushing the teeth of his right hand, a T. rex head. Yet in this show, Megatron considers organic creatures abominations and actively seeks to purge his own beast mode out of his system.
One likely explanation is that during the time spent hiding on Cybertron, which was inhabited by Transformers that had turned into vehicles and other mechanical equipment, he has grown to regard himself as a freak due to his beast mode, or he realized that a purely mechanical body would be far more fitting for his ultimate goal, further, his altered worldview in the series clearly shows how he sees all forms of organic life as bestial and "unclean", thus his sudden hate of his beast mode is a logical result of and extension to his newfound philosophical ideology, which proposes the superiority of machines. Edit (Coming Soon)
Most of the returning characters from the previous series, Beast Wars: Transformers (1996), are shown behaving completely differently than normal, which has lead to fans of Transformers despising the show.
However, if we look at the story and the situation that the characters are in, most of these changes can be explained. Their home planet has been overrun by a tyrannical maniac they thought they had securely contained, causing all of them to feel deep guilt, mostly Optimus. Receiving guiding visions from the mysterious Oracle lead him to develop a more spiritual side, and their situation's seriousness has also washed away most of his former sense of humor. Now a battle-worn spiritual leader fighting for the life of his planet and his entire people, he has come a long way since his relatively humble beginnings as the captain of an exploration crew.
Rattrap's lost most of his self-confidence with his weapons and beloved explosives. While always something of a dirty coward, he normally could at least rely on his sharp wit and his gadgets. But in his near-defenseless and weaponless new robot form, he has to act much more cautious, and in the absence of Rhinox, also become the team's resident technician.
Cheetor's character change is a more-or-less natural progression of his established development: from a reckless youngster, to a dorky and hapless "teenager" and a rebel, he has matured into a skilled fighter and second-in-command by the time of the series. His character growth was of course aided by the sheer desperation of the Maximal's situation.
Blackarachnia is the only one who doesn't have much in the way of justifiable explanations behind her drastic change of character, as she goes from a tough-as-nails "bad girl" with a soft-spot for hunky guys to being a love-obsessed woman desperately trying to find her partner. Although given that her evil Predacon programming has been removed by the end of Beast Wars, it could theoretically be argued that she has also got rid of much of her former "ruggedness", also that her passionate relationship with Silverbolt has likewise changed her radically.
The changes of the other returning Maximal characters, Rhinox and SIlverbolt, are addressed in the show.
The real-life explanation for these is that the producers have asked the series' writers to disregard all previous cartoons of the franchise and start from scratch, claiming that they weren't continuity-heavy to begin with. It is unknown why they told this huge lie, however it is obvious that as the show went on, the writers started looking into the previous series, and attempted to tie the story and the characters more closely to their portrayals in Beast Wars. Edit (Coming Soon)
Savage/Noble is an organic transformer who turns from a dragon (Savage) into a werewolf-like, humanoid wolf (Noble). His dragon part is clearly implied to be the remnant of Megatron's half-organic dragon form, which he intended to purge from his body. However, it is never revealed where his wolf form comes from, and it's existence is indeed a total mystery, seeing as Savage/Noble was born out of Megatron, and he never took on a wolf form.
Fans have speculated that Noble might be Silverbolt's wolf portion that somehow got separated from him and fused with Megatron's dragon form. But there is nothing in the series to suggest as such.
Supposedly, that was actually the original idea behind the character. Silverbolt would have worked together with Megatron for a time, and his wolf-mode would have somehow gotten transferred into Megatron. But since this storyline would have totally gone against Silverbolt's character, it was scrapped, and Rhinox took his place as the Maximal traitor. However, the rest of the story wasn't changed, and thus we ended up with a character, Noble, whose existence is never explained and makes no sense within the context of the finished series. Edit (Coming Soon)