If you missed CinemaCon 2023, the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts trailer is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in a long time. Fans are jumping into a new era of Transformers, seeing new factions on screen, and gearing up for the action. Why do you need this summer blockbuster in your life? First, if you haven’t seen the trailer, you should probably check it out.
Now that you’re all caught up, on to the pressing question: Why is this movie a must-see for all Transformers fans?
Let’s start with the leader of the Autobot forces, Optimus Prime. In the Bayverse (the Michael Bay-directed Transformers movie series), Optimus is portrayed as a strong, capable, and hopeful leader with both war experience and expertise–and not too much left to learn. While he makes a mistake trusting Sentinel Prime, he very quickly rectifies that with a swift double-tap to the face (Zombieland, anyone?). However, in Rise of the Beasts, we’re rumored to be seeing an Optimus Prime who isn’t yet sure about humanity and isn’t as ready to jump into another war after losing his home. Director Steven Caple Jr. and legendary voice actor Peter Cullen will explore a new character arc for Optimus Prime and examine a part of his heart and history viewers haven’t seen before.
Second, we need to talk about the villain. A good villain makes the hero shine, so I feel it’s only right to mention the Terrorcon leader Scourge is forged for intimidation. Scourge, created by Unicron from a deceased Decepticon, was a hunter for Galvatron, a Unicron-remade version of Optimus Prime’s once-brother-turned-sworn-enemy Megatron. Unicron is a planet-devouring deity from the Transformers lore making his way toward Earth, and as Optimus and Megatron have a history bathed in energon, another war following Optimus from Cybertron is exactly the deep-rooted conflict this franchise thrives on.
Now, many audience members might read “Unicron” and think of the 1986 Transformers movie featuring Orson Welles as Unicron and Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron. This time around you’ll be hearing prominent film and stage actor Colman Domingo voicing the Chaos Bringer and Planet Eater. We’ve yet to confirm Galvatron’s appearance, however, as that voice actor hasn’t been announced. Scourge is voiced by Peter Dinklage, so you know that performance is going to be amazing. With the current Rise of the Beast cast including the irreplaceable Peter Cullen, Hellboy’s Ron Perlman, and so many other fantastic actors, this Transformers movie is rolling into theaters with some serious firepower.
Finally, it’s time to talk story. Rise of the Beasts appears to be covering four major Transformers factions: the Autobots (led by Optimus Prime) and the Maximals (led by Optimus Primal, who’s voiced by Ron Perlman) as they face off against the Predacons and the Terrorcons (led by Scourge). As we’ve discussed, having just led and survived the war on Cybertron, Optimus Prime is not interested in getting involved in another planet’s problems. Which, to be fair, I totally get it. However, Airazor reminds him that Earth is now their shared home, and they must defend it. The trailer concludes with a very epic battle scene in which Prime, Primal, and their comrades in arms face off against Scourge, Battletrap, and an invading army.
I mean, just experience this early clip of the Autobots and Maximals meeting for (presumably) the first time and try telling me Optimus Prime isn’t about that life:
With gripping character arcs, a clear storyline, and a riveting villain, this movie is set to be one of the best Transformers movies to date. Not to mention everyone gets love in the trailer: Bumblebee gets a solo shot jumping out of Stratosphere, Cheetor gets a superb tackle sequence, Arcee and Wheeljack get a wonderful Transformers Prime callback battle stance, and Mirage gets even more comedic quips. Also, did Noah get an exosuit? If so, that’s awesome because we squishy humans wouldn’t last a second on a Transformers battlefield, no matter what Mark Wahlberg would have us believe . . .
This is one of my most anticipated 2023 releases and no doubt it’ll be one of the most talked about movies this year. Where will you be on June 9th? It better be somewhere you can join the Autobots and Maximals in saving Earth.