John Barber: Not to give anything away, but as Revolution starts, Optimus is in a fairly antagonistic relationship with ... well, almost everybody. He’s come to Earth and said the whole planet is going to be part of Cybertron’s Council of World, without asking if the people of Earth wanted to be in it — or if the people of Cybertron wanted them. He’s doing this because he thinks he’s out of options to protect the Earth — he’s tried fighting evil Cybertronians, tried leaving the place alone. But bringing Earth into Cybertron’s fold is the only thing he hasn’t tried.
In Revolution this comes to a head: there’s a big, dangerous thing happening with Ore-13, which is a form of Energon that’s on Earth, and it looks to G.I. Joe like Optimus is behind it, so the threat becomes immediate. This isn’t a spoiler — Optimus is not behind the problem, and in the process of resolving the complex web of Revolution, alliances are formed and new relationships are established.
So...Optimus still has the goal of bringing Earth into the cosmic community of Cybertron. But who’s with him and who’s against him have shifted a bit.
Vince Brusio: How will Optimus’ origin be relayed in this new series? Is there room for the past? Or is the present too busy to spare time for reflection?
John Barber: The first arc goes full-steam-ahead into the present, but there’s a parallel story in pre-war Cybertron, when he was still Orion Pax, before he became Optimus Prime. It’s important for this series to see why Optimus is doing what he’s doing, what’s motivating his actions. He’s not just taking over, and he’s not just being decisive out of nowhere.
There’s a particular point in his life that we haven’t seen that’s really important to how he became Optimus Prime. He has some regrets — there was a war fought between him and Megatron, and that war lasted four million years and destroyed planets — including Cybertron, and very nearly Earth. And the ultimate goal of both sides was sort of the same — both sides were against an evil and corrupt system that had taken over Cybertron.
The first arc is called “New Cybertron,” so the war — and the events that led to it — weigh on Optimus’ every action.
Because Optimus made such a bold move in annexing Earth, the story was necessarily going to focus on him — or, at the very least, he becomes the axis on which the story pivots. There’s still a big supporting cast — Soundwave, Arcee, Jazz, Victorion, many others; plus the human contingent — but the shadow of Optimus’ actions is so big they can’t help but be pulled into his gravity. We’ll be seeing Optimus through their eyes.
- Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura says The Last Knight is going to explore the mythology of how Transformers “were created, where did it start, where did they go from being a sort of a slave-race to a sentient race–we’re delving into that aspect of the mythology, so the characters that are involved in there are Megatron before he’s Megatron, Optimus before he’s Optimus, the Librarian, the Quintessons, there’s a whole group of things that have to do with how, in a sense, the Transformers were birthed, and also with how they were divided. What brought up the division, and what were the jealousies involved.”
- The film will have two parallel stories that are leading to the same place, all surrounding one mythology. Di Bonaventura said, “They’re part of the same mythology, but the fact that these two pieces could interrelate, and have quite a span in time in which we’re trying to draw from–one is, in the Transformers’ mythology, billions of years ago, and one is hundreds of years ago, so in that sense, those two ideas came together. At first, we thought maybe they were two different movies, and then they came together.”
- Regarding how much The Last Knight sets up the Bumblebee spinoff and future sequels, Di Bonaventura says, “you’ve got to be careful with that stuff, because then you start thinking about the other movies and not about the one you’re making. I would say, we definitely spent some time going “How does this link up and where are these other things going to go?” So I think in their initial construction in the writer’s room, and the initial sort of thinking, we spent a lot of time on that, thinking about the interrelationship.” He went on to say, “some of the things will have a very direct relationship. You’ll see some things in here that are laying a pipe. You won’t necessarily know that it’s laying a pipe for another movie, but it’s there. So there’s probably, in a really meaningful way, two or three things in this movie that really have a meaningful aspect…and then there’s a bunch of little things. But we’re not making this movie to set up the other movies.”
- With Paramount and Hasbro hoping to make a number of future Transformers movies, Di Bonaventura revealed they have outlines for six and seven. However, they haven’t started writing the scripts because they didn’t want to rush them and needed to see how The Last Knight would change during filming.
- Santiago Cabrera plays a mercenary who’s out to get all the Transformers. He says, “I was a SEAL but I’ve retired and I’m on contract, I’ve been hired –The TRF (stands for the Transformers Response Force) has been formed to fight the Transformers, so my orders are I don’t care if they’re Autobots or Decepticons, we gotta stop this war. So I’m a team leader and I’ve come with my team to fight them and what I find and when I see Cade Yeager is harboring them he becomes the enemy basically.”
- Josh Duhamel says NEST is not part of the film. During an interview, he revealed that it’s a bit of a mystery who he is working for in the film. He explained, “Am I with the US military, the Army, or am I working with a group that’s trying to eradicate all Transformers? Not just Decepticons, but all of them. There’s a bit of a struggle between myself and Santiago Cabrera, and then we’re also working against [Mark] Wahlberg’s character in this. Because he’s definitely working with the Autobots. It’s just a lot of big fun movie shit that we get to do. And what brought me back personally is the fact that you get to do stuff that you don’t get to do anywhere else. Michael [Bay] does stuff bigger than anybody I’ve ever worked with, for sure.”
- Isabela Moner describes her character as a tomboy and says when we meet her she’s homeless and joins Mark Wahlberg and the team in defeating the Deceptions. She’s also the one that brings Sqweeks, who is a mini-Transformer Vespa, into the group as they’ve been together for a while. Apparently Sqkweeks is broken, so the only thing he can say is chihuahua. Moner’s character lost her family in the battle of Chicago.
- Hot Rod is in the film and he’s got a French accent, but he’s not from France. Bay said “he just likes the accent.”
Developer Kabam and toy company Hasbro today announced Transformers: Forged to Fight, a mobile game based on the well-known franchise.
Described as a "high-definition, action-fighting role-playing game with strategy elements," Forged to Fight claims to offer trademark Transformers action. You will assemble an "ultimate" team of Transformers, including Autobots and Decepticons from across almost every era of the Transformers history, and then do battle. The game is set in a colorful 3D world, and battles take place in a number of varied and unique arenas. Click through the images in the gallery below to get a closer look.
The game is set in a "strange new world where multiple realities collide," which in turn creates a "massive planetary battlefield." So, you know, Transformers stuff. Some of the features include 1v1 battles, RPG elements described as being "deep," and base-rading. Some of the playable Transformers include Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream, and Grimlock. These characters can be leveled up through gameplay, unlocking more abilities over time.
Forged to Fight enters beta in some territories soon, and will be released widely across the world in Spring 2017. The game is in development at Kabam Vancouver, which is the studio that made Fast & Furious: Legacy and Marvel Contest of Champions.
The release teases a "unique" story that goes beyond purely good and evil--what more can you say on that front--and is this canon?
McCartney: We've worked closely with our partners at Hasbro to create the story of our game. In doing so we've ingested every classic cartoon, comic book, movie, that you can imagine. Our team has immersed ourselves in the Transformers Universe in order to understand each character’s unique personality and quirks. As the game begins Optimus Prime is returning to his home planet of Cybertron after many years of conflict on earth. During the course of his travels his ship encounters a strange anomaly in space and crash lands on a strange planet. Through the course of the game Optimus is attempting to unravel the mystery and escape the planet.
How much freedom are you afforded in the Transformers universe? It's obviously a massive, revered franchise--but I'm guessing you want to push things forward with your own unique voice, so to speak, as well.
McCartney: We work closely with our partners at Hasbro to ensure that we stay true to the franchise and lore established over the course of the last 30+ years. We also take the history of the Transformers franchise very seriously. For example, before we start work on a new character we have a bit of a classroom session for everyone working in that character. Our Transformers experts walk everyone through the history of the character and his / her personality traits. This gets everyone in the right mindset before starting work on a character. With regard to the story and character dialogue, Hasbro has been amazing. They give us the freedom to create our own vision and then feedback if something isn't true to lore, or if we're pushing something too far. For the most part this interaction has been minimal. We're excited about continuing work with Hasbro in the future and we have a lot of ideas we can't wait to collaborate on.
Transmission ID: 00004
Operation: A New Light
Making his first appearance at a Transformers convention, we are thrilled to announce artist and creator Jack Lawrence as a guest of TFNation 2017!
Jack first came to the attention of TF fans through his work with the TRANSMASTERS community in the 1990s, working with the likes of Nick Roche and James Roberts. His comics journey has come full circle recently, joining James and Alex Milne as part of the new creative team for the MTMTE follow-up LOST LIGHT, issue#1 of which will be released shortly.
Along the way, Jack has worked for a wide range of publishers, from Dark Horse to Image comics, Panini, 2000ad and many more, covering characters such as TMNT, Dr Who, Sinister Dexter, Skylanders and Jackie Chan... Tell us you wouldn’t like to see those last two in a crossover! In addition, you can also find Jack’s work in many reference books, from the likes of Eaglemoss Publications and Hatchette UK.
Fans of independent comics may also be familiar with Jack’s ongoing collaboration with Adam Lawrence, TINPOT HOBO, following a crew of Custodians as they try to enforce the law in the chaos of space. For those unfamiliar with the project, check out the official website at http://www.tinpothobo.com/home.html where you can find character bios, ship descriptions and much more about this well thought out and immersive universe.
Jack will be signing autographs and selling sketches and artwork in our guest area all weekend. Launch tickets, bedrooms, pricing, further guests and activities will be announced in the coming months. Keep monitoring this frequency.
Further transmissions to follow.
Where All Are One
Transmission ID: 00003
Operation: First 2017 Guest
We are super-excited to reveal that Transformers colourist extraordinaire Josh Perez will be making his UK TF convention debut at TFNation 2017!
Josh began his time with the Cybertronians by providing colours for several Dreamwave titles, most notably various issues of Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Micromasters.
With the dawn of IDW, Josh was able to apply his talents to a wealth of new material, starting with the darkest of all backstories, Megatron Origins. He went on to add his very own (All)spark of magic to several movie-verse titles such as The Reign of Starscream and Tales of the Fallen. Afterwards, he hopped back to the regular IDW-verse to breathe life into a new fan favourite in the Drift mini series.
Josh is perhaps best known for his work on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise comic series where he served as regular colourist for most of the run – even the book’s name change couldn’t stop him! A keen Transformers: Animated fan, Josh also provided some additional character designs for The Complete AllSpark Almanac.
Josh will be signing autographs and selling sketches and artwork in our guest area all weekend. Just don’t be surprised if you catch him chowing down on a slice of pizza at his desk… he tells us it’s essential.
Launch tickets, bedrooms, pricing, further guests and activities will be announced in the coming months. Keep monitoring this frequency. If you want to ensure all communications are intercepted, join our mailing list at https://tfnation.com
Further transmissions to follow.
Where All Are One
To celebrate the release of Transformers: Lost Light #1, Orbital Comics is pleased to welcome writer James Roberts and artist Jack Lawrence to the store!
They will be signing copies of the comic on Friday December 16th, from 5-7pm.
Also, while you’re in store, check out our gallery, featuring an exhibition of artwork from Jack Lawrence.
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