Take TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Home on DVD, Blu-ray™ and 4K Ultra HD™ on Monday – The Evolution of Optimus Prime
How many bangers have you waved off to the scrapheap in your life? Probably more than you care to think about… But while our vehicles get worse over time there’s one that just keeps on getting better and better; let’s hear it for Optimus Prime, who’s been going full throttle for over three decades.
The leader of the Autobots first appeared on our screens in 1984, when a mere glimpse of his blue and red ‘Freightliner FL86’ cab would launch an army of pre-teens into a chorus of the ’Transformers! Robots in Disguise’ theme. It might appear basic looking back, but the first episode of The Transformers was pretty ahead of its time (ironically since it was initially set four million years ago). Animated in Japan, it incredibly used the same actor (Peter Cullen) to voice Prime as this year’s live action Transformers: The Last Knight. Why fix something that’s not broken, hey?
This version of the warrior appeared on our screens for three years, laying the foundations for future incarnations. But while the character traits that make him such a worthy role model - such as his sense of honour and justice - have remained, this early version of Prime was the only one who ‘magically’ made his combat trailer appear when he transformed into truck mode. Let’s just say everyone gets a little more sophisticated with age.
Although an animated film spin-off was released in 1986, it wasn’t until 2007 that we got to witness Prime in full live action glory - then as a conventional Peterbilt cab design truck, but with an increasingly impressive array of add-ons. Directed by Michael Bay, Transformers followed the story of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who got caught up in the war between the Autobots and the villainous Decepticons. The sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, saw a (literally) quite crushing defeat, but Prime is made of tough stuff, and by the third film in the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he even had flight tech.
While the fourth film in the series, Transformers: Age of Extinction, saw a new human lead with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Prime was as consistent as ever with his heroics. Initially dressing down as a rusty 1973 Marmon semi cab while in vehicle mode, he later changed this to a snazzy blue and red Western Star 5700 Custom semi-truck.
Although this film sees him suffering from a crisis in faith, it set the scene for the literal and metaphorical journey that followed in Transformers: The Last Knight, when after his friendship with fellow Autobot Bumblebee is truly tested, he must take responsibility for reuniting humans and Transformers through the universe.
So, as you’re stuck in traffic later, rueing your vehicle’s lack of flight tech, raise a toast to Prime - and his ability to transform our day by keeping us so entertained. Thanks, Prime!
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT – SEE IT NOW ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, IT’S OUT ON DVD, BLU-RAY™ AND 4K ULTRA HD™ OCTOBER 30