Remembering the Short Lived TV Series “Beast Wars: Transformers”

Remembering the Short Lived TV Series “Beast Wars: Transformers”

Anyone remember this? Transformers Beast Wars came about in the mid to late 1990s and was supposed to be a sequel to the original Transformers. Don’t ask, it gets complicated since their ships went through a time warp and the world they land on is supposedly earth. But the whole premise of the show is that they’ve landed on a world that’s rich with energon, the substance that keeps them going. The only problem is that in its raw form energon is very damaging to their robot bodies so they have to adopt other forms in order to withstand the intense radiation. Thus the Predacons and the Maximals are born. The series was short-lived, lasting only three years before it was taken off the air, but it was the first CG of the Transformers to ever hit the airwaves, as up until that point the robots in disguise had been brought to life solely with common animation techniques. This was a treat when it first came out, but as the 90s progressed the animation became less and less impressive until finally it was a thing of the past by the time the year 2000 rolled around. It was still impressive for its time, but it kind of came and went very quickly.

The show used very notable stereotypes.

If you look closely there aren’t a lot of Maximals, in fact there’s very few, that aren’t mammals. This could be taken to mean that Maximals are more warm-blooded, so to speak, than the Predacons and were thus given forms that people could identify with when it comes to strength of character, nobility, and a moral compass that might be a bit skewed at times but is still more or less on par with what a lot of people feel is right. The Predacons on the other hand were formed into creatures that are seen as a danger, as pests, or are considered otherwise fearsome and cold-blooded. Their leader, Megatron, was a T-Rex in his animal form, and was quite fierce when he wanted to be. But his subordinates all took the form of vermin or dangerous creatures that didn’t seem to be anything other than murderous creatures.

The Maximals didn’t fight among themselves that often.

There was a disagreement here and there as not everyone is going to get along all the time, and having a member of your party that turns into a rat would make it seem that there might be a few problems now and then, but the Maximals were, for the most part, able to coexist and work as a unit. The Predacons however were all about ambition and were constantly vying for power with one another, which was a big reason why their plans never worked out the way they wanted. This has been true of pretty much every story that the Decepticons, in any form, have undergone throughout their history with the Transformers franchise. They squabble and bicker about anything and everything and thus ruin their own chances of success since they don’t know how to work together or how to share the power. The Maximals might defer to Prime, but they’re given a chance to voice their concerns and ideas as well.

The proto-forms could become Maximals or Predacons.

The fun thing about this is that the character were programmed from the proto-forms that were left out in space to avoid being damaged in the crash landing of their ships, but once they fell to earth it was a race to see who could get their first, the Maximals or the Predacons. This was a large part of how they built their forces, as the proto-forms were like blank slates that could be programmed as enemy or foe and were therefore just waiting to be claimed by either side. It was almost like watching a video game play out in this way as both groups had to struggle to survive and to find new recruits so that they could establish some sort of dominance or defense.

When it first came out this show was absolutely great. Looking back at it now it’s easy to pick the computer graphics apart and state where they could be improved, but back then it was just awesome since it was a new level that the Transformers had been elevated to. Once they started doing this with the original Transformers it was even better since fans could get a better scope of just what it was like to see their favorites transform from different angles and to see individual parts moving rather than have to rely on their imagination to fill in the gaps that the animation couldn’t cover. Of course it was fun either way since that’s what we knew and loved at that point.

Of course the best part is that they never lost the iconic sound of each Transformer switching their form.

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