Remember when you first saw Michael Bay’s Transformers? I call them “his” Transformers because they aren’t the robotic bros who wage war over energy–that I know of.
Robert Orzi, and Alex Kurtzman wrote Transformers in 2006. Michael Bay directed a year later, and Steven gathered the cash to pay for it all. Make no mistake; I love Mr. Spielberg. I mean to work with him some fine day filming my first screenplay. I also adore Bernie Mac and his feisty gran-mammy, as well as Bay’s signature “underbelly/shoot at the sky” camera angles–found in most of his work. But Bay’s Transformer movies blow. The first was dumb, and every film subsequent has galed harder than a trade wind from Hurricane Bambi. Yes, they made money. But come on, if you had some better TF to watch, you know you would. It seems Paramount execs lately agree.
An article from back in February claims the Transformers could get a reboot. But how will they pull it off? Personally, I hope they will finally answer certain questions that have overshadowed Transformers since “before time began”.
- Why robots into planes, trains and Autobots?
- How’d they get that way?
- Where did these guys come from?
The Transformers didn’t come from some silly CUBE, Mr. Orzi. They didn’t come from those retarded mother boxes Joss stole for Justice League’s plot, either. The first statement made by Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, represents the origin we have thus far for Transformers ala Hollywood.
We know not from where it (the stupid CUBE) comes, only that is has the power to create worlds and fill them with life. That is how our race began.
Takara and their 80-toons were even more vague when it came to origin story. Their big idea was: millions of years ago, the Autobots and Decepticons crashed on Earth to continue their fight for Energon, the life source of the Transformers. No matter how cool the guy’s voice telling us this sounds; we deserve a teensy more.
I suppose it is a stretch even for Hollywood to come up with a viable origin story for toys that turn from robots into stuff we drive. But I’m just a humble, training engineer from sweet home Alabama–and I did it in 14 minutes. I may as well publish it too because (1) ideas alone aren’t copyrighted, and (2) only a Hollywood royale can ever actually boost it–which would be an amazing complement!
Imagine in a nutshell (no, not a real nutshell!) a race of organic beings just like us who suffer a global pandemic. The best and brightest invent a way to continue life by matriculating everyone’s consciousness’ into machines. Unfortunately, this tech, when animation appendages are applied, renders the aliens’ bodies 10 times the size of their previous organic shells. Unfortunate more, after everyone on “Keilea”(kay-leee-aaa) has been “transformed”, a new need arises for what now powers everybody. Ever heard of energon?
Because people are people no matter where they get naturally selected, a conflict ignites over who controls this new lifeblood of the universe. That of course fuels a shortage, then the demand to seek out fresh supplies. Can you guess where the biggest resource is found? Yep… our good old backyard–only it’s a million years ago when an uber-tough electromagnetic flux was around Earth. Our robotic visitors, unbeknownst of this informative tidbit, enter the atmosphere, crash into Arizona, and must go into stasis until their alternative power cells can recharge.
Now let’s jump a million years, 14 minutes later. Crafty, spike-haired teenagers uncover the ship, reactivate the barely active robos (with a potato gun), and reignite the war between the Optimans and those “who once Deceived”. With me so far? Ok. Because their robot bodies are so big, they gotta stay outta sight to do battle in our anti-alien world. To solve the prob, the Optimans augment their enormous bodies to disguise themselves at will as human vehicles. When the Deceivers employ the same genius, we are left with a solid origin story for who, when, what, how, and WHY the robots in disguise do the dance they do.
Just three peegees of text and the Transformers have a balanced, BELIEVABLE origin story. Finally. This is one you can believe in too if you like–despite it not being “official”. It’s the best I have heard–if I do say so myself. It also proves how origin stories can be so paramount to the stuff we love. They represent the literal world from which a creation derives. Imagine this really were how the Transformers began. Then remember there isn’t anything “canon” that comes close. No, without a good origin story, the Transformers are really just an aging toy line and some kids’ cartoons.
Speaking of good origin stories, my wife and I recently watched a new take for one of my other favored amours, Stargate. Stargate was first a 1994 movie by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, then three tv spawns by Brad Wright and Peter DeLuise a few years later. What we watched the other night was done by none of those guys. In all honesty, I’m not sure Mercedes Bryce Morgan, the producer of StarGate: Origins even got permission–the film being originally 10 episodic parts online. I assume she has since garnered those attorney-induced Oks, however. You can catch everything as a 112-minute “feature cut” on the various streaming services.
Stargate: Origins focuses on the Catherine Langford, that nice, old lady who originally couldn’t get the Gate working. She was just a kid when we first saw her character in Giza, 1928. Morgan’s film is set 10 years after, with Cathy’s father still diddling over the big ring–and no clue as to what it does, is, etc. Understand here the attempt to tell such a story, at first glance, is a total smack attack upside our rosy reds. In the Stargate SG-1 Season 1 episode, Torment of Tantalus, we see Catherine’s old beau Ernest Littlefield–still young then–go through the Stargate in 1945. Daniel Jackson recognizes this as the first “modern” time the gate is activated before he did it in 1994.
So how can we accept an origin story about the Stargate being activated by Catherine and her father in 1938? It’s pretty simple, really. Take some Nazi scumbags, sprinkle on some papyrus detailing how to make Stargates work with an Army Jeep, then stir in some good, old fashioned soap opera amnesia. As crazy as it sounds, this recipe will give you a solid Stargate origin story. No, it doesn’t tell us where the Stargate came from–that concoct was actually provided by the 2008 film Stargate: Ark of Truth. No, this Stargate “origin story” is simply that–an original story woven to tell us something new about our favorite interstellar wormhole induction bridge. I won’t spoil it any more except to say if you are a fan of Stargate and SG-1, and you remember Torment of Tantalus, you should still give Mercedes’ little “canon insert” a chance. She fits this new story into the SG Universe quite nicely.
The acting is pretty good. Ellie Gall is gorgeous–she has this really cute way she does her mouth–that you probably shouldn’t mention me mentioning to my wife. Veteran Connor Trinneer plays Elle’s Pop. If you know Stargate, then you know Connor was also the Wraith hybrid, Michael, from Stargate: Atlantis–and most certainly Trip from Star Trek: Enterprise.
They had a biiit of a producer to spend with. The sets were well thought and authentic–although I intend to manslaughter the ditzy bobo who decided to forgo LIGHT-UP lights on the new gate. Sheesh. The Stargate lights up as its coordinates engage, people. Get it right in post, will ya? You can go back and add some CG on the Blu ray release–promise I won’t tell. I also won’t tell anymore about what happens to Catherine, her apparent “first” Stargater boyfriend, and their compatriots.
No, really. I’m done. Go watch some TV.
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