NETFLIX Transformers War for Cybertron Trilogy CARTOON Series Discussion

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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:19 pm

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The War for Cybertron, by name alone, should consist of the planet on some level. The Beast Wars never took place on Cybertron. The war of the Beast Machines did. So fingers crossed we get some modern updates to the Vehicons.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby ZeroWolf » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:00 pm

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I wouldn't get your hopes up, we should be blessed we got beast wars.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:36 pm

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AllNewSuperRobot wrote:The War for Cybertron, by name alone, should consist of the planet on some level. The Beast Wars never took place on Cybertron. The war of the Beast Machines did. So fingers crossed we get some modern updates to the Vehicons.
It's not the "War ON Cybertron", it's the "War FOR Cybertron", which over the past 36 years has been fought in media set on Earth and many other non-Cybertron settings. No matter where they fought, Cybertron was the prize.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:20 pm

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Transformers Siege Netflix Panel:

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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:46 pm

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And, here's today's other panel. The Siege Netflix talk runs from 18:50 to 25:28:

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Caelus wrote:My wife pointed out something interesting about the prehistoric Predacons. I said that everyone was complaining because transforming for them mostly consisted of them just standing up-right. She essentially said, 'So? That's what our ancestors did.'
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:45 am

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So Elita will be "the heart and soul of the story" according to the 1st panel. It's certainly intriguing to me, as I loved her IDW incarnation, even if she didn't get nearly enough page time. Hopefully this version will be close to that one and she will stand toe to toe with Prime and Megatron. I just don't want her going overboard like in the comics. She became bit of a psychopath.

I also hope that Shockwave will be a central character as well, he's one of those rare gifts that just keeps on giving in the hands of the right writer. Plus I'm kinda tired of it always being Megatron. I was never a huge fan of IDW, but I lived the fact thst in the end it was revealed that Shockwave was behind everything as Onyx Prime.

Will the series be available to view at or around midnight or are we going to have to wait until like 9 in the morning? I'm off work on Thursday and I might have enough time to watch the whole thing, if it's not too long.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:56 am

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Ugh, that answer F.J. gives about "timelines" is really gonna confuse so many people, since his particular phrasing makes it sound like he's saying that this Siege cartoon is going to be a prequel to the 1984 G1 cartoon.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby william-james88 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:46 am

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Sabrblade wrote:Ugh, that answer F.J. gives about "timelines" is really gonna confuse so many people, since his particular phrasing makes it sound like he's saying that this Siege cartoon is going to be a prequel to the 1984 G1 cartoon.

More than sounds like, he clearly stated it is a prequel to the G1 cartoon.
The Siege toyline itself was based on the first episode of the G1 cartoon so i can see how that statement echoes that.

But you know, G1 always consisted of multiple simultaneous renditions anyways that it never was one thing . And we still see thst now with Siege, IDW, and Cyberverse all being "G1" in their own way.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:53 am

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Tying themselves into the G1 cartoon is a bad idea. Butler Shockwave might jar with modern fans ideas of the character. Plus the usual quagmire that comes with using characters IE Ultra Magnus, that simply weren't there during the early days of the War. But were shoehorned in retroactively.

Sabrblade wrote:It's not the "War ON Cybertron", it's the "War FOR Cybertron", which over the past 36 years has been fought in media set on Earth and many other non-Cybertron settings. No matter where they fought, Cybertron was the prize.



Except in Season one of Beast Wars. When it wasn't. ;)
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:05 am

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The other problem with tying themsleves to Sunbow comes with what happens next when the story ticks over to Earthrise
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:57 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
Sabrblade wrote:Ugh, that answer F.J. gives about "timelines" is really gonna confuse so many people, since his particular phrasing makes it sound like he's saying that this Siege cartoon is going to be a prequel to the 1984 G1 cartoon.

More than sounds like, he clearly stated it is a prequel to the G1 cartoon.
The Siege toyline itself was based on the first episode of the G1 cartoon so i can see how that statement echoes that.
But we know that's not what it's going to end up being. It's gonna lead into Earthrise and then to Kingdom, which we already know won't jibe with the G1 cartoon.

Plus, what we've seen in the trailers already shows that Siege is irreconcilable with the cartoon. For instance, Jetfire is shown to be a Decepticon soldier actively fighting in the war, and what was talked about him in the panel videos strongly hints at him having a character arc in which he gradually switches side to join the Autobots. That contradicts the G1 cartoon in which Jetfire(there named "Skyfire", even) was a scientist from the pre-war days who left Cybertron and crash-landed on Earth before the war even began, and when he was found and woken up by the Decepticons in the present day, he had no idea that there was ever even a war going on and no knowledge of what a Deception even is.

It's that same kind of misleading corporate language that led people to believe that the Bumblebee movie is a reboot and not in any way related or connected at all to the first five movies.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby william-james88 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:45 pm

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Sabrblade wrote:It's that same kind of misleading corporate language that led people to believe that the Bumblebee movie is a reboot and not in any way related or connected at all to the first five movies.


I find it very different. This person said something outright while with the BB film, what was said outright was the relation it had with Bayverse. But because people hated bayverse so much, that was ignored and they instead preffered the misinformation.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Deadput » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:38 pm

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It being a possible reboot still makes more sense then it not being one considering several things that tied it more to the other movies was removed.

Might be one might not be one but it's quite evident that some of the heaviest ties to it were removed, hell the whole beginning section was changed that made it incompatible with the TLK narrative (although the Anthony Hopkins character could of just been delusional as a retcon)

So in all likelihood their keeping the door open for it to be a reboot without full on committing to the idea where it could just be brushed up as another mess of continuity in the series, regardless the bay series is done and it's unlikely any future movies are a part of it. (unless Hasbro and/or filmmakers go stupid and ignore the lessons they should of learned by now)


As for Siege the G1 connection, hey who knows maybe Jetfire and Skyfire are two different characters who share the same character appearance much like the Seekers, unlikely to be a G1 prequel but if someone really wanted to it's maybe possible to squint your eyes and consider it one.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:17 pm

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The exact question and answer given:
Barbara: Speaking of intelligent elegant people, I've got some great questions from our community here for you. The first one is from Asian Cactus and they would like to know "Does War For Cybertron fit into any of the established timelines that Hasbro has set up, or will it be the start of its own separate thing?"

F.J.: Well, that's a good question. And so, it, technically, it does fit into the main sort of Generations storyline that Hasbro has established with the toys, so, technically, it's a prequel to G1 which is the original series from the eighties that we all sort of know and love if you're an old uncle like me and... So it, sort of, it sort of all connects in that way but it's its own story, like, it's a story that hasn't been told before, et cetera. And we-we, you know, we intentionally sort of find ways to connect it to the broader franchise. So it is considered part of the main timeline.

That is corporate gobbledygook at its finest.

We fans tend to think in terms of specifics. Timelines, universes, continuities, these are all things that matter to us because many of us are pedantic like that. G1 cartoon Optimus Prime is a separate guy from G1 Marvel comics Optimus Prime, and both of them are separate guys from Armada cartoon Optimus Prime.

The other side of the coin, however, tends to not think like that. To Hasbro and other corporate entities, Optimus Prime is Optimus Prime is Optimus Prime (and to John Warden, even Ginrai falls in there somewhere).

The user who asked the question was likely asking from a fan perspective in regards to specific continuities or, as given in the question, "established timelines", while F.J. instead replied with the other less-specific perspective.

F.J. likened this show to being a part of "the main sort of Generations storyline that Hasbro has established with the toys," which is correct. But then he also called it "technically" a "prequel to G1" which he then referred to as "the original series from the eighties". That is a rather broad description because it doesn't just refer to the 1984-1987 animated series but to the entire era of the pre-Generation 2 Transformers franchise of toys, comics, books, the cartoon, and more.

He used the word "series", but we fans specify that word to refer only to television works, while from a corporate perspective, that word can and has been used to refer to any body of work that has multiple elements/aspects/components/installments released periodically over a course of time. We fans may call it a "toy line", but outside the fandom it could be a "toy series". And there is also the term "comic book series" that uses the word as well. In this case, F.J.'s words are so vague that he could be thinking of the whole 1980s Transformers "franchise" rather than specifically just the television cartoon.

Also, when he said "prequel to G1", that too is a broad descriptor because the term "G1" can and does refer to many numerous things:
  • There is "G1", the era of the Transformers brand that began in 1984 and preceded Generation 2 in 1993.
  • There is "G1", the specific line of Transformers toys released during that era.
  • There is "G1", the specific animated television series titled "The Transformers" that aired from 1984-1987.
  • There is "G1", the broad, abstract idea or concept that takes direct influence from either designs, stories, premises, or other more specific concepts/ideas released during the 1984-1993 era of the Transformers brand
  • There is "G1", the specific category that applies to certain comic books and other printed media either released during the 1984-1993 era of the brand or to those that are directly influenced by that era of the brand
  • There is "G1", the even broader, abstract idea or concept that not only encompasses the 1984-1993 era of the brand but also the Generation 2 era from 1993-1995
  • There is "G1", the even more broader, abstract idea or concept that not only encompasses 1984-1996 but also the Beast Era of 1996-2001
  • There is "G1", the even greater broad, abstract idea or concept that encompasses 1984-2001 and anything from the 21st Century that embodies that same idea/concept (e.g. - RobotMasters, Classics, Generations, etc.)
And there's probably even more definitions than that to list for the term "G1".

Because F.J. does not single out the 1984-1987 television cartoon, specifically, and since there are certain fans who automatically default to that cartoon as the "main" definition of the term "G1", there is a high possibility of people misinterpreting his words to think that he is saying that the WFCT Siege cartoon is a prequel to that specific G1 cartoon, when we already know that that isn't going to be the case, what with all that has been shown in the trailers and interviews thus far, as well as with the foreknowledge of both Earthrise and Kingdom being the second and third parts of the Netflix show's trilogy, and neither of which are compatible with the 1984-1987 G1 cartoon.

And the reason certain fans consider "G1" to primarily refer to the 1984-1987 cartoon when discussing things like this is because of a prevailing sentiment of motion picture media taking a higher precedence over all other forms of media, with print media being seen as a sort of lesser form of significant media. While, nowadays, many fans would say that the comics published by IDW are and have been the superior Transformers media over the cartoons, such was not always the case.

This particular sentiment of motion picture media superseding print media goes way back, even. Two very notable examples of this even being the official stance in regards to canon are Star Trek and Star Wars. For the former, the TV shows and Prime universe films trump all, while for the latter, the theatrical feature films trump all. Any novels, comics, games, or anything else for these two properties are and always will be secondary (or even tertiary) forms of media.

Though, while Star Trek was TV-first, Star Wars was film-first, and Transformers is toys-first, it's hard not to see the similarities when many of the older TF comics series are ignored over their cartoon counterparts. Like, no one ever really talks about the Armada and Energon comics, only the cartoons (despite how many people at the time claimed that those comics were better than the cartoons). No one ever talks about the Animated comics (which are even canon to the show, in their case), just the cartoon. Same thing with the comics of Prime and RID 2015 vs. their cartoons.

There's also the notion that, to a kid, TV shows have, for years, been more easily accessible than comics. Any kid living under a roof with a TV in it can just walk up to the television set, turn it on, and tune into a TV show. But if they want to read comic book, they have to go out of their house and be driven by their parents to a local store to pick up and purchase (or have their parents purchase for them) said comic book, meaning there are more steps in the middle of that process. Granted, this is less so nowadays what with digital media having made comics even easier to access throughout the world wide web, but I'm talking about before the present age.

Thus, the G1 cartoon has come to adopt a certain status of prevalence with many fans, to the point that if and when someone uses the phrase "prequel to G1", they automatically think "prequel to the specific Transformers cartoon from 1984-1987" rather than "a story set at the time prior to when the Transformers first left Cybertron and came to Earth in this brand new universe that is heavily inspired by the general concept and visual designs of the Transformers fiction from the 1980s but which is still its own brand new universe." That may be more of a mouthful, but it is a far more apt description for what the WFCT Siege Netflix cartoon is to be.
Last edited by Sabrblade on Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby o.supreme » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:00 am

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To me, there never has been anything else set in the Original Animated Series universe other than the original 98 Episodes, TF:TM, and by extension BW & BM. (In my own headcanon I like to include HM, MF, V, Zone, Battlestars OC, BW II and Neo, but that's just me).

Everything from the High Moon Video games, to Devastation, to the IDW comics, and the machinima-stuff, and now this Netflix series may take different levels of inspiration from, but are not genuine prequels or add ons to the original animated series universe. They can still be enjoyed to various levels, but considered alternate realities.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Deadput » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:36 am

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Call me weird but I find it so damn odd that there really hasn't been a sequel or prequel to the 1984 cartoon in any shape or form outside of the Japanese continuity that doesn't really mesh that well to the American one, now I don't mean another cartoon but not even like a small comic mini series to tie up loose ends such as Galvatron and Scorponok?

Like it's been what 35 years and this obvious cash-grabby idea hasn't been done?
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby o.supreme » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:39 am

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Deadput wrote:Call me weird but I find it so damn odd that there really hasn't been a sequel or prequel to the 1984 cartoon in any shape or form outside of the Japanese continuity that doesn't really mesh that well to the American one, now I don't mean another cartoon but not even like a small comic mini series to tie up loose ends such as Galvatron and Scorponok?

Like it's been what 35 years and this obvious cash-grabby idea hasn't been done?


I've been shouting it from the rooftops forever...maybe someday, until then, we just keep getting retells of the story we already know, some told better than others. For me, thats why I *headcanon* a continuity out of Rebirth to Headmasters, as it does resolve the Scorponok/Galvatron conflict among other things.

A few people have seen and reviewed Netflix Sige already, reviews seem optimistically positive.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Sabrblade » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:56 am

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o.supreme wrote:
Deadput wrote:Call me weird but I find it so damn odd that there really hasn't been a sequel or prequel to the 1984 cartoon in any shape or form outside of the Japanese continuity that doesn't really mesh that well to the American one, now I don't mean another cartoon but not even like a small comic mini series to tie up loose ends such as Galvatron and Scorponok?

Like it's been what 35 years and this obvious cash-grabby idea hasn't been done?


I've been shouting it from the rooftops forever...maybe someday, until then, we just keep getting retells of the story we already know, some told better than others. For me, thats why I *headcanon* a continuity out of Rebirth to Headmasters, as it does resolve the Scorponok/Galvatron conflict among other things.
The closest we've ever had were the 3-D comics produced by Blackthorne Publishing, which had Galvatron and Scorponok still as bickering leaders in all three of their very short-lived issues that were canceled after the third.

Australian company Madman also published a cartoon tie-in comic set between Season 2 and TFTM that came with their DVD sets.

Beyond that, everything else has only ever been "close but not quite the same universe", like the the 3H Beast Era fiction, the Dreamwave comics, Fun Pub's Wings Universe, that one Reveal the Shield "Rodimus vs. Cyclonus" comic that used modern toy designs, the Mars Attacks crossover comic, the awful "What if?" Deviations comic, the TFTM/GoBots mash-up story "Echoes and Fragments" (which is wonderful, btw), the Devastation video game, and that one Japanese PS2 game with the terrible English audio track.
Last edited by Sabrblade on Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby sol magnus » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:45 pm

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Sabrblade wrote:The exact question and answer given:
Barbara: Speaking of intelligent elegant people, I've got some great questions from our community here for you. The first one is from Asian Cactus and they would like to know "Does War For Cybertron fit into any of the established timelines that Hasbro has set up, or will it be the start of its own separate thing?"

F.J.: Well, that's a good question. And so, it, technically, it does fit into the main sort of Generations storyline that Hasbro has established with the toys, so, technically, it's a prequel to G1 which is the original series from the eighties that we all sort of know and love if you're an old uncle like me and... So it, sort of, it sort of all connects in that way but it's its own story, like, it's a story that hasn't been told before, et cetera. And we-we, you know, we intentionally sort of find ways to connect it to the broader franchise. So it is considered part of the main timeline.

That is corporate gobbledygook at its finest.

We fans tend to think in terms of specifics. Timelines, universes, continuities, these are all things that matter to us because many of us are pedantic like that. G1 cartoon Optimus Prime is a separate guy from G1 Marvel comics Optimus Prime, and both of them are separate guys from Armada cartoon Optimus Prime.

The other side of the coin, however, tends to not think like that. To Hasbro and other corporate entities, Optimus Prime is Optimus Prime is Optimus Prime (and to John Warden, even Ginrai falls in there somewhere).

The user who asked the question was likely asking from a fan perspective in regards to specific continuities or "established timelines", while F.J. instead replied with the other less-specific perspective.

F.J. likened this show to being a part of "the main sort of Generations storyline that Hasbro has established with the toys," which is correct. But then he also called it "technically" a "prequel to G1" which he then referred to as "the original series from the eighties". That is a rather broad description because it doesn't just refer to the 1984-1987 animated series but to the entire era of the pre-Generation 2 Transformers franchise of toys, comics, books, the cartoon, and more.

He used the word "series", but we fans specify that word to refer only to television works, while from a corporate perspective, that word can and has been used to refer to any body of work that has multiple elements/aspects/components/installments released periodically over a course of time. We fans may call it a "toy line", but outside the fandom it could be a "toy series". And there is the term "comic book series" that uses the word as well. In this case, F.J.'s words are so vague that he could be thinking of the whole 1980s Transformers "franchise" rather than specifically just the television cartoon.

Also, when he said "prequel to G1", that too is a broad descriptor because the term "G1" can and does refer to many numerous things:
  • There is "G1", the era of the Transformers brand that began in 1984 and preceded Generation 2 in 1993.
  • There is "G1", the specific line of Transformers toys released during that era
  • There is "G1", the specific animated television series titled "The Transformers" that aired from 1984-1987
  • There is "G1", the broad, abstract idea or concept that takes direct influence from either designs, stories, premises, or other more specific concepts/ideas released during the 1984-1993 era of the Transformers brand
  • There is "G1", the specific category that applies certain comic books and other printed media either released during the 1984-1993 era of the brand or to those that are directly influenced by that era of the brand
  • There is "G1", the even broader, abstract idea or concept that not only encompasses the 1984-1993 era of the brand but also the Generation 2 era from 1993-1995
  • There is "G1", the even more broader, abstract idea or concept that not only encompasses 1984-1996 but also the Beast Era of 1996-2001
  • There is "G1", the even greater broad, abstract idea or concept that encompasses 1984-2001 and anything from the 21st Century that embodies that same idea/concept (e.g. - RobotMasters, Classics, Generations, etc.)
And there's probably even more definitions than that to name for the term "G1".

Because he does not single out the 1984-1987 Marvel/Sunbow-produced cartoon, specifically, certain fans who automatically default to that cartoon as the "main" definition of "G1", there is a high possibility of people misinterpreting his words to think that he is saying that the WFCT Siege cartoon is a prequel to that specific G1 cartoon, when we already know that that isn't going to be the case, what with all that has been shown in the trailers and interviews thus far, as well as with the foreknowledge of both Earthrise and Kingdom being the second and third parts of the Netflix show's trilogy, neither of which are compatible with the 1984-1987 G1 cartoon.

And the reason certain fans consider "G1" to primarily refer to the 1984-1987 cartoon when discussing things like this is because of a prevailing sentiment of motion picture media trumping all other forms of media, with print media being seen as a sort of lesser form of significant media. While, nowadays, many fans would say that the comics published by IDW are and have been the superior Transformers media over the cartoons, such was not always the case.

This particular sentiment of motion picture media superseding print media goes way back, even. Two very notable examples of this even being the official stance in regards to canon are Star Trek and Star Wars. For the former, the TV shows and Prime universe films trump all, while for the latter, the theatrical feature films trump all. Any novels, comics, games, or anything else for these two properties are and always will be secondary (or even tertiary) forms of media.

While Star Trek was TV-first, Star Wars was movies-first, and Transformers is toys-first, it's hard not to see the similarities when many of the older TF comics series are ignored over their cartoon counterparts. Like, no one ever talks about the Armada and Energon comics, only the cartoons. No one ever talks about the Animated comics (which even canon to the show, in their case), just the cartoon. Same thing with the comics of Prime and RID 2015 vs. their cartoons.

There's also the notion that, to a kid, TV shows have, for years, been more easily accessible than comics. Any kid living under a roof with a TV in it can just walk up to the television set and turn it on to tune into a TV show. But if they want to read comic book, they have to go out of their house and be driven by their parents to a local store to pick up and purchase (or have their parents purchase) said comic book, meaning there are more steps in the middle of that process. Granted, this is less so nowadays what with digital media having made comics even easier to access through the world wide web, but I'm talking about before the present age.

Thus, the G1 cartoon has come to adopt a certain status of prevalence with many fans, to the point that if and when someone uses the phrase "prequel to G1", they automatically think "prequel to the specific Transformers cartoon from 1984-1987" rather than "a story set at the time prior to when the Transformers first left Cybertron and came to Earth in this brand new universe that is heavily inspired by the general concept and visual designs of the Transformers fiction from the 1980s." That may be more of a mouthful, but it is a far more apt description for what the WFCT Siege Netflix cartoon is to be.

Damn, that's well articulated.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby o.supreme » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:52 pm

Motto: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
Also, I think the host of that interview unfortunately was reading what she had been told as it was part of her job, and really had no vested interest. Rodimus Primal just released a much better interview with FJ on Youtube. FJ basically states that he loved the original series as a kid, as many of us did, and that the Netflix series, is it's own retelling of similar events (as many other continuities are), and is NOT in any way shape or form directly related to the original Sunbow series, but that doesn't mean there wont be some nice call backs or fan service winks to it.

I also appreciated how he said his team spent a lot of time studying the opening sequences of the Bumblebee Movie, definitely a good place to start.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby Deadput » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:55 am

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I loved the Cybertron opening in Bee, I got bad seats when I went to the theater (the very front row ugh) but man for that and some other bits that row was able to present me a sense of scale that was truly breath taking.

If I remember right I was able to watch the movie in theaters a several days early.

It was a great scene truly, and if the show is taking inspiration from it then hopefully there is some great action.
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Review of Netflix Transformers War for Cybertron Chapter One: Siege

Postby ScottyP » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:46 pm

Weapon: Battle Blades
Netflix and Siege
A Review of Transformers: War for Cybertron, "Chapter One: Siege"

Spoiler Free-ish
Image
Images in this review courtesy of Netflix

In a mere two days' time Transformers fans will finally get to watch the highly anticipated, much speculated about first chapter of the Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, known as "Chapter One: Siege". You'll need a Netflix account to stream the show's 6 episodes, and in case you need a brief overview, here's the official synopsis provided by Netflix:
It is the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.

After the debacle that was the Prime Wars trilogy of streaming shows, fans looking for something different in (perceived) tone from the outstanding Transformers: Cyberverse have eagerly awaited the arrival of this latest installment. Many of us are happy to see toys that we've had for a year and a half reach the silver screen. All of us are wondering if it will be good - read on to find out.

Image

The main plot of the series is summed up well in the synopsis above, and most fans will likely find the "30,000 foot view" of the plot to be about what's expected. While stories about the end of the war on Cybertron are as old as the franchise itself, the past decade or so has created so many disconnected permutations of this story that it's starting to become Transformers' version of Bruce Wayne's parents being killed. It makes sense for this first chapter to play things relatively safe in this context, given the amount of casual fans likely to be exposed to this series that haven't experienced the wide combination of movies, video games, books and other Transformers TV shows covering the same general story as much as those hanging out here on Seibertron.com on a daily basis have in recent history. For the most part, the good guys are the Autobots, the bad guys are the Decepticons, they're in a war which is bad and has been long, and events occur with big, sweeping consequences for the Transformers. The show keeps it simple on a high level, and to be honest, it works.

Image
Those backgrounds are nice.

One of the reasons the somewhat standard main plot works is because the side plots with tighter character focus are then able to grasp the spotlight and provide the series' most compelling moments. The first hour of the show does feature a great deal of talking and walking but it's worth sitting through because the characters you should really be paying attention to, such as Jetfire and Bumblebee, gain foundational characterization that pays off as the episodes progress. The cast is a little big and there's maybe one "B" plot too many running in the middle of this first chapter given its length, but this isn't a problem that sticks around for long.

Image
Slow and low

The aforementioned cast of characters is kept somewhat small and if you're expecting anyone that doesn't have a Siege toy, temper that expectation now. Heck, if you're expecting any Battle Masters or Micromasters from the toy line, I'm going to go ahead and bring you that disappointment now too, because they're not present. Optimus Prime and Megatron receive the most spotlight as expected, with Jake Foushee reprising his role as Optimus Prime after performing him in Cyberverse. It's one of the weaker Optimus Prime performances that I can recall, but Foushee does kick some more emotion in nicely during some of the more action-packed sequences. Marnocha's Megatron sounds tired, which feels character appropriate, but is overall so low and slow that if you were only listening to audio you might mistake the character for Unicron or some other giant Transformer. It's worth noting this could be entirely on the provided direction and not the actor himself, to be fair.

Image

Thankfully, there are standout voice performances surrounding the sub-par ones. Keith Silverstein brings in a fantastic performance as Jetfire, layering in his experiences playing Char Aznable in another globally huge robot franchise to create a take on the character that feels fresh while carrying appropriate emotion. Georgia Reed delivers punchy lines as Chromia in another more subtly notable performance, to me at least, while Frank Todaro's Starscream has evolved into one of the best interpretations of Chris Latta's original take on the character's voice that's ever been recorded.

Now if voice director Philip Bache could just get everyone to actually enunciate the first "r" in "Cybertron" we'll be getting somewhere very good.

Image
Just enough transforming and rolling out. Usually.

Transformers shows are notoriously limited by budget constraints, as making complex CGI models of robots transform into CGI models of vehicles is, presumably, complicated and expensive. There's just enough transforming most of the time that it feels appropriately present throughout, and sometimes this is accomplished through clever-ish use of smoke and other camera panning effects leaving your imagination to fill in the rest. It works fine and is preferable to skipping out on opportunities to have the Transformers, you know, transform. There was only one moment early on where I wanted to pull my hair out because the Autobots were running away on foot from Decepticons, some with flying alt modes, who were also chasing them on foot. The rest of the animation is fine with the movements of characters looking infinitely better than what was seen in Prime Wars, though not quite as nice as other recent forebears such as Transformers: Prime or even Cyberverse with the characters in "Siege" moving their hands a little too much, too often while they speak. The backgrounds are also positively gorgeous at times, with large, sweeping vistas and massive buildings giving Cybertron a sense of grandeur and scale. Occasionally the characters stand out oddly against them, but this was something I only noticed once or twice during interior shots.

I'm going long on this part of the review, but need to mention that the action and battle sequences are crisp, busy, and ultimately quite satisfying.

Image
Always a look of dull surprise...

If there's one thing I found to be a let down, it's the sound. The balance of voices to background music and sound effects was occasionally off, and I had to turn up my 5.1 system temporarily at times to make out what some characters were saying. The classic transformation sound effect from G1 is used effectively in some places, but they forgot to sample more than one version of it making me wonder why they even bothered at all. It's something that should be done with differences in tempo, levels and duration based on the character and what they transform into but here, a lazy, one-size-fits-all approach was used. Edward Bosco's voice performance as Soundwave is ruined by a poor attempt at his voice effect but at least he also plays Ultra Magnus well, proving he's not a slouch. The musical score by Alexander Bornstein is entirely forgettable and sounds like the Tron: Legacy score by Daft Punk was cut into small samples to avoid a lawsuit then rearranged into a generic bore-fest that adds no emotion to anything at any point. My apologies to Mr. Bornstein if generic, derivative music that sounds like everything else while also sounding like nothing whatsoever was precisely the musical direction desired by Hasbro and Netflix.

Producers of Transformers shows, if you take nothing else from this review, please take this: just hire Vince DiCola next time. Barring that, hire a good Synthwave artist that can provide some exciting electronic scoring to go with the action.

Verdict
Image
Pictured here: the fandom after watching the "Prime Wars" trilogy

:exhales:

It doesn't suck.

All I wanted was for this show to not suck, and it achieves that. The wider story is a bit blasé to this long time Transformers fan who rabidly consumes its media, but the side plots and character work help elevate it. Some of the character models are re-used as generics far too often, but the overall nice visuals make me care less about that. The voice performances are hit or miss and the score is terrible but excellent all-around work on characters like Jetfire, Ratchet, Mirage and even Impactor lead me to forgive. The really important thing here is that it was a fun watch that doesn't ask for a ton of your time. You'll have about 2.5 hours sometime in the next week where the Transformers will entertain you, and for many fans, that's a big increase.

I considered going a notch higher on the score below, but "Tarnhauser Gate" was too cringe-worthy to let go without some punishment.

Final Score
. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½
out of
:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:


Seibertron.com was provided with complimentary advance screening access to Transformers Chapter One: Siege by Netflix for the purpose of this review. "Thank you" to Netflix and Hasbro for this access!
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Re: Review of Netflix Transformers War for Cybertron Chapter One: Siege

Postby o.supreme » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:40 pm

Motto: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"
ScottyP wrote::exhales:

It doesn't suck.

All I wanted was for this show to not suck, and it achieves that.


It is sad we've lowered our expectations so far, but it is truth to the most accurate degree. thanks for your honest review, my anticipation for watching this series has gone up a couple clicks.

I've been Waiting 7 years from the end of Prime until now. and Nine Years between the end of Car Robots to Prime. It's rough, really rough to be a Transformers fan that has certain expectations of an animated series. Glad to see the drought has ended.

*If your raising your eyebrows at my mention of Car Robots/Rid. I can explain. BW was great, BM was a letdown. Car Robots not only return to formula of sorts, but added a fun anime flare as well. The sense of Fun most fans attribute to TF Animated, is what I get out of Car Robots.
Last edited by o.supreme on Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby ZeroWolf » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:59 pm

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That it doesn't suck is great news as hopefully the next chapter can build on what this show does right
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Re: Transformers Netflix Series Trilogy Discussion

Postby sol magnus » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:17 pm

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I knew it wasn't going to be bad.
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #256 - Netflix and Siege
Twincast / Podcast #256:
"Netflix and Siege"
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