From the start, of the biggest criticism leveled at Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise was how the films drastically deviated from the classic look of the Autobots and Decepticons. Sure, Bumblebee was yellow, but he wasn’t a buggy, and many others like Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and Optimus Prime — with his paint job and flair kit — really didn’t feel like the old-school robots in disguise many expected. Still others were rendered completely unrecognizable, as Bay had the designs generations of fans grew up with unceremoniously jettisoned in favor of new, overly-complex robot bodies.
While Bay clearly wanted to create something for modern audiences (we’ll leave it up to you to decide whether he ultimately succeeded), director Travis Knight’s Bumblebee is going back to basics and diving deep into the nostalgic feel of the property. This approach has become fully apparent with the release of the latest trailer, which showcases quite a few ‘bots rocking their Generation One look, exciting loyalists for what’s to come.
Classic Optimus Prime
Though his robot form still looks different form the classic cartoons and toys, when we saw ‘Bee as a Volkswagen bug once again, many fans wondered if we’d see other old Autobots in their G1 forms as well. If our first glimpse at Optimus Prime is anything to go by, then the answer is a resounding yes! The Autobot leader is seen in holographic form delivering a message to his comrade to protect Earth, and we also see him on Cybertron squaring off against some Decepticons.
And in both shots, as quick as they are, Optimus is in his classic G1 glory. He’s lost the flames from Bay’s paint job, and is much more streamlined in design. Perhaps most importantly to some fans, Prime is rocking his mouthpiece, and bears the Autobot symbol on his shoulders. The bottom line is, Optimus looks ripped straight from the original line of toys, which heavily influenced the early cartoons in the ’80s and ’90s.
Soundwave Looks Like His Old Self
In Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon, Soundwave was, well, completely unrecognizable. His design looked like an alternate version of the film franchise’s Megatron (who also suffered a complete makeover). Instead of a purple-and-white boom-box, he was a silver Mercedez-Benz SLS-AMG, as well as a weird-looking satellite.
Well, Knight is certainly giving us the G1 Soundwave here, not just via the character’s iconic color scheme alone, but also in terms of weaponry, as we can clearly see his signature right-shoulder cannon. The icing on the cake comes when Soundwave ejects Ravage out of his chest at the 1:39 mark. The sound effect here is taken straight from the original cartoon series, serving as a nice Easter egg to diehards.
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