Why Is Optimus Prime Fighting Bumblebee in Transformers 5?
Paramount Pictures finally dropped the Transformers 5 trailer ( or Transformers: The Last Knight as it were) yesterday. As is usually the case with the Transformers movies, it was by most accounts an excellent trailer. There was a whole lot of Anthony Hopkins narration, a little bit of Nazi action and perhaps most importantly, Optimus Prime was fighting Bumblebee and seemingly about to kill him.
Outside of how cool it may have looked, after seeing the heartbreaking look on Bumblebee's face, many fans may have been asking themselves, why would Optimus do such a thing? The folks over at Cosmic Book News have a seemingly good answer for that. Warning, this article may contain spoilers for Transformers 5 from this point on, so if you don't want to know anything more about the movie, you've been warned. In short, it looks like Michael Bay may be taking several cues from the Transformers animated series and more specifically, the animated feature Transformers: The Movie.
In the trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight, we see Optimus Prime frozen in space and maybe sort of dead. We don't know for sure. In the original animated series, he was brought back to life a couple of different times. In Transformers: The Movie, Megatron kills him in a big bad way, leaving the Autobot Matrix of Leadership up for grabs. Megatron decides not to take it, so instead, the Autobot Hot Rod does, who we know will also be appearing in the movie. Optimus is later resurrected by a race called the Quintessons. He is, at that point under their control so they can try and steal the Matrix of Leadership and since Hot Rod trusts Optimus, he gives it up willingly. That could explain why he is on a warpath in the movie against his Autobot brethren.
Now, in the trailer itself, there aren't any actual references to the Quintessons, but we do know that Megatron will be appearing in the movie and it appeared at one point in the trailer at the very end just before the title card, we see what appears to be the Matrix of Leadership. So that seems to lend some credibility to the idea that will play into Optimus going haywire. Also, around the 1:20 mark in the trailer, we see what appears to be Unicron, a massive planet consuming Transformer also featured in Transformers: The Movie. Not something directly related to Optimus' aggression towards Bumblebee, but another clue that this will be taking cues from the animated feature. Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura had this to say to Collider earlier in the week about the origin aspect of the movie, hinting that the Quintessons are definitely in the story.
"[The movie will explore how the mythology of how the 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."
It should be noted that eventually, Optimus is able to gain control over himself and turns good again in the Animated version. That could explain why he says "forgive me" right before he is about to stab poor Bumblebee in the face. In any case, it seems like Michael Bay could be doing a retro thing, in addition to incorporating Nazis and Merlin, into Transformers 5. Since Transformers: The Movie is still considered by many to be the best Transformers movie to date, that may not be a bad thing.
This installment of the franchise will bring back series stars Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro and Josh Duhamel, as well as Peter Cullen, who will once again provide the voice of Optimus Prime. They will be joined by newcomers to the series Isabela Moner and Anthony Hopkins. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the first trailer for The Last Knight for yourself below. The movie is set to hit theaters on June 23, 2017.