Things are looking pretty dire for the Autobots in the trailer to Transformers: War for Cybertron as Siege rolls around. Obviously the morale of the Autobots has been weakened to the degree that doubt has started to eat away at their resolve, and even the strongest-willed among them are thinking of tossing in the towel so to speak. The only problem with that is Megatron has never really been known for his mercy, or his ability to trust anyone. He’s usually been the type of ruler that keeps control of his people through fear, intimidation, and by dint that he’s one of the most powerful forces on Cybertron. The fact that he can overcome Optimus Prime in a head to head fight doesn’t say much for the Autobots since the power that Megatron holds is often a pretty big advantage that the Autobots can’t always work around. One thing that feels painfully obvious is that Ultra Magnus has had enough, and is ready to concede defeat, or perhaps just go down fighting. But the fact that we see him as a captive in the trailer is evidence that Megatron sees more use for him as of yet, will gladly hold him for whatever reason he might have in mind. The evolution of the Transformers over the years has gone from simple animation and a story that’s been fairly simple to one that has become somewhat convoluted to this, which is just dark, gritty, and shows the very serious and unfortunate effects of war.
There’s no doubt that Optimus feels guilty for each of those that have fallen when it comes to the toll the war has taken on his people, but the fact is that he’s bound to keep fighting since there’s not an ounce of quit in his being as it’s been seen throughout the years. As leaders go he’s undeniably idealistic, but he’s also someone that others can’t help but follow since when they’re ready to back down and admit that they’re overmatched, Optimus goes charging back into the fray, determined to see it through to any end that comes. The decision to kill their own planet in order to save themselves and keep it from falling into the hands of the Decepticons however is one that feels rather drastic, but in an ongoing war where their side is losing and the only options are annihilation or living with the blasted-out husk of their planet, the Autobots don’t have a lot of options that make any sense. The Allspark, the very object that makes their existence possible, is what the Decepticons know can help them to ultimately win the war, and Megatron is willing to to go any lengths to get it, though Optimus is willing to any lengths to stop him. The war that has raged on Cyberton for so long is only hours away from being finished, and it would appear that the Autobots will go down with a fight, but they’ll still go down.
It’s interesting really to see how things have changed from the 80s since the Transformers have undergone a few transitions since their creation, and while they’ve been allowed to keep their more iconic looks at times their back story and histories have continued to change as they’ve become more complex and exquisitely detailed so as to give the viewers and long-time fans a more in-depth look at their world and the conflicts that have kept the Autobots and the Decepticons at odds for so long. Thinking that there were was a time when Cybertron wasn’t ravaged by constant war is interesting since it indicates that at some point the ideologies of all Transformers might not have been entirely unified, but they were still able to harmonize in a way that might have been discordant at times but still maintained a type of order and sense of peace that didn’t call for conflict between one ideologue and another. The question however is how they came to oppose one another, since Megatron and Optimus have known each other for a long, long time, and Megatron was apparently Optimus’ mentor back when Optimus was still known a Orion Pax. That should tell many people just what kind of history lies between them.
Initially Megatron wanted to eliminate the corrupted caste system on Cybertron, as he came from the lower castes to start a revolution of sorts. When Optimus figured he’d gone too far however he obviously stood in his path and said no more. The only problem is that once Megatron numbed himself to the violence he could cause it was too late to stop the onrushing storm of change that he desired. To think that such a conflict would last for so long is hard to fathom, but given their vast differences of opinion it’s obvious that none of them are willing to relent.