I am a huge Transformers fan, especially of the stories and – shall I say it? The mythology surrounding these characters. A sort of childhood-based, lifelong love that equates my re-imagined memories of the show on the same level of the Elder Eddas or the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s sort of what the director of last year’s Chronicles of Narnia film, the Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe said, (and I badly paraphrase) in that movie he was trying recapture how he imagined the book when he read it as a child, and how he remembered the book, as opposed to simply if he read the book now and based his adaptation on his adult interpretation.
The original Transformers movie, back in 1986, had a lot of things I couldn’t stand about. Not only was it focused on wiping out the Season 1 and 2 characters and replacing them with the blander Season 3 characters, but it sucked. The big assault on Autobot City was cool, Unicron was cool, but there were lots of really stupid bits as well, such as the Quintesson trial, the planet of Junk… and they killed off my favourite character, Starscream, who was a big reason why I enjoyed the first two seasons as much.
Fast forward to the present day, well, to yesterday. I was sceptical about Michael Bay’s treatment of the Transformers…. but it was good. Yeah, really. The human drama aspect of it worked, the disaster movie take on giant robots invading earth worked, the personalities of the G1 season characters was kept (and that was important to me, because of the mythological aspects, the archetypes were preserved and built upon) and there was lots of awesome inter-robot fight scenes. I wished they’d used Frank Welker’s voice for Megatron, but Peter Cullen (Prime’s original voice actor) really helped create the impression that this show was a mythological re-imagining of the old series. Starscream’s brief scenes, especially the one at the end, were very Starscream, for example.
When some people saw Star Wars for the first time, they described to me a feeling of absolute… rapture? Excitement? A sort of HELL YEAH!!!! moment, where the media resonated on the exact wavelength of the expectations created by their innermost geeky fantasies? Well, I had that feeling yesterday, watching the Transformers movie. It was a sublime feeling, of nerd transcendence, of almost like having a wish granted or something… Shit, I can’t explain this very well.
Just go to see the movie. It’s good. There’s giant robots fighting each other.