The Guidelines On How To Make The 'Transformers' Movies From Good To Great
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The Guidelines On How To Make The 'Transformers' Movies From Good To Great

Vector Sigma requires a few adjustments, and I'm the best mechanic for the job.

The Guidelines On How To Make The 'Transformers' Movies From Good To Great

Michael Bay is a movie director, and name that’s synonymous with summer blockbusters. Some people love him, some hate him. While I can’t say anything about him personally— given that apparently, he’s a pleasant person and has done some good deeds. The thing is you can place me in the hate category because I despise every single film he’s made except maybe “13 Hours” and even that’s pushing it. Of course, he’s not entirely at fault, given who’s been writing his films when he himself doesn’t, which brings us to the topic at hand.

The "Transformers" movies is a series of films that clearly haven’t been trying but somehow made so much money. It’s one of the few things that are making me lose faith in humanity alongside the current state of the US government and the war on terror that seemingly will never end.

But as it is, I've been a fan of the "Transformers" franchise for as long as I can remember, and I'm not exactly happy with how the films turned out; to the point after I tortured myself via going to see "The Last Knight" I stated that I, a media student with little to no experience making an actual full-length film, could do better. So I went home, gave it some proper thought, and laid out several key points that would stand in my theoretical Transformers films, which I believe should stand for any Transformers movie going forward.

Here's the ultimate guideline from yours truly on how to make not just a proper, but a great "Transformers" movie:

1. Put the Autobot-Decepticon War as the main focus.

A common criticism of these movies is that the Transformers are secondary characters of their own film. The films are called “Transformers”, yet we keep focusing on the human characters. I don’t recall the films being called “Americans". And yes, I said Americans since no non-American human appeared in an important role until "Dark Of The Moon," and even then, Carly Spencer was just eye candy at best.

Bottom line, the audience went to see movies titled "Transformers" and instead got some coming-of-age high school story trilogy that just happened to feature an alien robot war, and after that, some guy getting involved in said war while trying to keep his daughter from dating some Irishman. If you're going to make a movie about "Transformers" then actually give them the spotlight.

2. Make the Cybertronians distinguishable.

NOTE: As a fan, it’s been a bit irritating so quite heads up; the Transformers are an alien race after all. The correct term is Cybertronian.

Perhaps to emphasize their alien nature, the films' depiction of the Autobots and Decepticons are instead essentially garbled up metal things with bits of paint on them. In a way, this shaped up the future of the franchise as it allowed artists to draw the characters in a more complicated and interesting manner than the overtly simplistic designs from the original Generation 1 cartoon from 1984.

The ones who suffer the most are the Decepticons. But as I said above, both sides are hard to tell apart from each other regardless.

Can you tell who's who? Because I honestly can't.

The images of this point way above are the Autobots and Decepticons from "Transformers: Prime," one of the more recent Transformers cartoons. Despite taking many visual cues from the movies, they're still distinct, and every Autobot and Decepticon stand out from each other. So design the Cybertronians to stand out from each other, and not like the piece of paper my roommate's girlfriend drew on with gray crayons when she was drunk.

3. TRY to keep continuity.

The first film established that you've been on Earth for maybe a year. So how is it that you've been on Earth since the 1940s, you overexposed lemon stain?

The first four films, for all their faults at kept the story continuity. Then “Age of Extinction" and "The Last Knight” came and threw a giant wrench in the works. Apparently, The Allspark from the first film didn't make the Cybertronians but some race known as the Creators.... what?

Oh, and Cybertronians have been on Earth since around the time of King Arthur aka the 9th century. Bumblebee and Hot Rod fought in World War II and were instrumental in the Allies' victory. So next time, try to make the stories align with each other. This shouldn't be too difficult.

4. Focus on more Autobots than just Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

Not counting Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, the first five movies alone has roughly 30 Autobots (casualties notwithstanding), and we know next to nothing about them aside from their role within the Autobot military. That's not character, that's just basic description. Each Autobot has some personality tic that makes them stand out from each other, hence why some refer to the collective as family rather than a military coalition.

Hell, "The Last Knight" had the audacity to waste Hot Rod, as a rather stereotypical French joke.

When the original cartoon, with over 70 Autobots could make all of them stand out, I don't see why the movies couldn't. Give the other Autobots some screentime and character.

5. NO more racism

Granted, the first five films were directed by Michael Bay and the aforementioned is a staple in his work. If you’re thinking I’m just seeing things; I want you to look at these.

Mudflap and Skids, the Twins from "Revenge of the Fallen," who look like black caricatures, speak in black street slang and are illiterate.

Then there’s Drift.

The samurai Autobot, voiced by Ken Watanabe, refers to Optimus as his sensei (not even correct terminology), speaks almost entirely in haikus, and has a yellow/gold face when every other Cybertronian had grey faces. Granted, Drift is a samurai through and through; it's his whole shtick, but the gimmick wasn't as on the nose as this blue mudstain. To prove it, here's what Drift looks like in "Generation 1."

6. The women in the films... really?

As for the fanserivce, do I really need to elaborate on this? The actresses were in Michael Bay films, regardless of what they looked like, they were guaranteed to be sexualized for all the 12-year-old boys watching these films, whether they made sense in the narrative or not. That last leg shot also belong to a character that's 17-years-old. You feel good about yourself? Cause I felt disgusted watching that scene.

So hopefully no more of these.

7. Make the characters go through arcs and development.

I really can't believe I have to make this a point as it's basic storywriting 101 but have the characters go through development and an actual journey. Throughout all five films, none of the humans, Autobots or Decepticons go through an arc that develops their personalities. "The Last Knight" shows this the worst as it's just goes from Point A to Point B, rinse and repeat without any character development.

The gif above shows one of the more noteworthy arcs in Transformers history. Hot Rod, an eager and rash Autobot, learns to be wiser, stronger and becomes Rodimus Prime, the new Autobot leader after Optimus Prime dies. The Cybertronians aren't gimmicks, they're characters— SO TREAT THEM AS SUCH.

8. Bring something new to the Transformers mythos again.

The first film actually did pretty well, with the idea of the AllSpark. The next two films... a bit less.

Instead, “Age of Extinction” and “The Last Knight” just rehashed idea from the IDW G1 Comics, and even then didn't bring anything new. The Knights of Iacon from "The Last Knight" are just the Knights of Cybertron from the current “Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye (later relaunched as "Transformers: Lost Light")" but dragons for some reason.

The whole “humanity turns against the Autobots” from “Age of Extinction?” It’s from the first story arc of the IDW G1 Comics after the 2009 relaunch.

Also, spoilers for "The Last Knight" but Unicron is the Earth's core... just like in "Transformers Prime." So bring something new again, and not just rehashes/plagiarisms of pre-existing Transformers lore.

It's pretty clear that I'm not a fan of the first five "Transformers" films, but it's not because I don't like the "Transformers" series. As I said above, I'm a fan— but I want the movies to be good. Look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe for example: Adapting their comics into movies and TV shows, and doing them well (for the most part, anyway). So I don't see why "Transformers" can't do the same either.

Hopefully, whether I get to make the new "Transformers" films or someone else, this can help me/them paint a brighter picture for the franchise.

'Till all are one.

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