The first trailer for Paramount's Transformers spin-off film Bumblebee has finally arrived, and though short, it indicates that the film will bring some much-needed heart to a franchise that had, well, run out of emotional depth.
The film seems to be noticeably different from previous entries in the explosion-filled saga, a much smaller and quieter affair that is built around two central protagonists: a young girl, and her car (who just happens to be a sentient robot from outer space). What's more, unlike the trailers for the previous five Transformers films, there are barely any actual Transformers to be seen. In fact, aside from 'Bee, there's just one... though he's a big one.
Of course, we have Bumblebee, the hero of the film -- but there's also another Cybertronian, a Decepticon who is only glimpsed for a few seconds. And while it's not made explicitly clear in the trailer, the villainous robot, who takes on the form of a fighter jet before transforming into his robot form, appears to be Starscream.
As the right-hand man... err, robot of Megatron, Starscream was one of the main players in the '80s G1 cartoons, a despised fan-favorite who was constantly serving his master... when he wasn't trying to usurp him. His vehicle form has always been the signature fighter jet, and he has had a long rivalry with the Autobots. In fact, Starscream was one of the main villains in the first three Transformers live-action films, where he served the same role he did on the cartoon series. He fought Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and the other Autobots during many big battles, before being unceremoniously taken out by the humans in Dark of the Moon.
It would make sense for the villain in the Bumblebee movie to be Starscream. After all, it's only logical to cast a well-known and important character like him as in the role. As one of the main players of the G1 Transformers, Starscream would best be used in a film that's set in the '80s, a film that looks to honor the original roots of the franchise in a way the previous entries didn't. Hid look appears to be bulkier than usual, a clear nod to the original designs of the Transformers. Plus, for many fans, Starscream is a character in much need of redemption after his disappointing live-action death. A starring role in Bumblebee would certainly be a good way to fix that.
Of course, there is always the chance that this Decepticon is another villain from the cartoons, like Thrust, whose vehicle mode was also that of a red fighter jet. But most people aren't familiar with Thrust, or have any sort of emotional attachment to him. Starscream makes more sense, and given what we know of the history of the Transformers in the movie universe, it's entirely possible that he, along with Bumblebee, was already on Earth in the '80s.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) from a script by Christina Hodson, Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Pamela Adlon, Jason Drucker, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny. The film arrives Dec. 21.