Culture

Transformers Lockdown: Rise of the Beasts Part 2

sgathaich bannerBefore I start a minor correction. Transmetals and Fuzors were part of the third year of the toys rather than the second. I made this mistake as the second year was more of the normal beasts and there was no distinct difference between the two.  Also I failed to mention the basic level of toys, this was the level below Deluxe and has since been discontinued much like Mega and Ultra. Transformers Lockdown: Rise of the Beasts Part 1

Now since I’m talking about the toys, I should mention Kibble. Kibble is the term given to parts of the alt mode that have no purpose in the robot mode. Often these are pushed to the back to look like a backpack or maybe stylish useless wings. There is a stage up from this though; these are what are called Shell Formers. That’s when Kibble is so excessive it’s basically a robot inside the alt mode and the two have little between them, these ones are never popular. There were some cases of this in Beast Wars. Megatron’s TRex modes outer skin for example open up and fold to the back as an example of Kibble.

On the side of the show, I failed to bring up another aspect Beast Wars introduced. Beast Wars introduced many spiritual elements into the show, namely the Spark, a Transformer’s soul. These elements of the plot were often done by Rhinox and it was he who traveled to the afterlife to retrieve Optimus Primal’s Spark to put in an empty body to save the day in the 2 parter “Coming of the Fuzors”.

Season 2 of Beast Wars is also regarded as the best in the series. It’s here the story really comes together. While characters Airazor and Tigatron were removed rather poorly the character of Silverbolt with his overly chivalric nature and romance with Blackarachnia made him a very beloved character and the go to image of a Fuzor, being one of only 2 that appeared in the show helped too.

But now it’s time to talk about Dinobot’s arc.

Transformers Dinobot Beast Wars

As mentioned Dinobot at the start of season 2,  finding out they were indeed on Earth, make him think. As he himself put it:

“To be or not to be; that is the question. These disks I hold, are they a record of what will be, or only what may? For if, the future is indeed immutably foretold, then my demise is but moments from the confirmation. For I, I could not live if not the master of my fate. But if the future can be changed, if these disks record merely one path of all the myriad ways the cosmos might conform, then their power is infinite, and yet, still limited. For they could be used but once, and in that change be rendered fiction, forevermore. I could destroy them! But no. T’would be a coward’s answer. I will know the truth instead. Then, it will be either them, or me, that face oblivion. Till then!…”

Yeah I love his arc. But he struggles with the notion and holds the key too.

This all comes to ahead with the episode “Code of Hero”, an episode I will forever state is the best in the Transformers franchise. Opening up with primitive hominids as pathetic creatures, we then move to Dinobot about to kill himself, no longer able to live with the questions he wonders that he may just be destiny’s puppet. The answers however are not far away.

Megatron using the information on the discs, the Voyager disks, studies if he can change the future, and proves he can. So his plans are revealed. He intentionally travels back in time to alter the great war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The first plan to do that is make sure Man never existed. And so Dinobot, a being that was about to kill himself over the idea he couldn’t change history, now sacrifices himself to prevent it from being changed. And there dying, he gives his last words when asked by his former enemy now friend Rattrap:

“Upwind of you, for preference, vermin. …Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest… is silence.”

The episode ends with one of the hominids picking up the crude tool Dinobot made in his last hours to defeat the Predator that stalked him.

But this was not Megatron’s final plan, not his Ace. Though his first plan had been thwarted thanks to Dinobot, there was another bigger target. Season 2 came to an end showing the blast wave created from the destruction of the fake moon had traveled through space (probably taking millions of years to do so).  It  told the actual heads of the Predacons where they were, sending their agent, a former Decepticon Ravage, aligning with the Maximals (planning on turning on them later) to apprehend the criminal Megatron – also revealing Tarantulas was  an agent of the Tri Predicus Council.  Megatron revealed he still had a part of the golden disc that Dinobot destroyed, and on it was a message of the original conceiver of the plan and the one person Ravage would put above any other –  the original Megatron. BW Megatron’s plan was conceived as a backup plan should the Decepticons lose.

While Ravage was destroyed in the battle, the Predacons were victorious in destroying the Maximals base, but more importantly while dealing with that, Megatron found his true target. The Ark. The ship carrying the Autobots and Decepticons, still offline since crashing there. Here you do see the difference in size between the Beast Wars characters and their ancestors, Megatron making a point of their forms being far more energy intensive than his own. And finding Optimus Prime, he took aim, fired, and we saw a temporal storm wipe out the Maximals. As Megatron himself said:

“Muhahahaha! Say goodbye to the universe, Maximals! The future has changed, yessssss. The Autobots lose! Evil triumphs! And you…YOU NO LONGER EXIST!”

And once again, they didn’t know they were getting another series. So that series could have ended like that.

Season 2 had many great episodes. Bad Spark revealed Optimus Primal had secretly been transporting a dangerous experiment that had been an attempt to replicate Starscream’s immortal Spark (hence explaining him being a ghost) while transmuted… well I’ll leave that for you to look into.

Season 3 was however a green light. It started with Blackarachnia showing up reminding Megatron she was formed from a Maximal Protoform, so wiping them from history is not something she approved of and blasted him out of the ship. Optimus was saved by Primal holding his Spark and the Matrix into his body, upgrading him into Automaton Optimus. This however led to a problem –  he showed up so early they often had to find ways of removing him from action since he was above all other challenges.

The toy line had mostly abandoned Fuzors by this point and instead brought in Transmetal 2. An even more powerful form of Transmetal that merged the mechanical and biological even further while sacrificing the “Vehicle” form. In the show this occurred first in a clone of Dinobot and an accident to Cheetor and Blackarachnia. Megatron also received an upgrade by replicating what Optimus had done with Prime but with Megatron becoming a Dragon (probably the only thing you can up from a TRex, you have to go mythical). But this also made a new problem, he had the original Megatron’s Spark inside him, so they couldn’t just kill him or cause another temporal storm.

Airazor and Tigatron came back in the final episodes, merged together by the aliens now called the Vok into Tigerhawk who had near god like levels of power. However Tarantulas captured him. While bragging the aliens left Tigerhawk and attacked him, seemingly killing him too. By this point they were told this was to be the final series, and the finale was planned. Starting with Megatron looking over the deceased Tarantulas’ lair he uttered something that would be taken more literally than intended. You see while captured the Vok pointed out the suicidal nature of Tarantulas’ plan to kill BOTH the Autobots and Decepticons, to which he coldly pointed out he and the Council weren’t descended from either, and Megatron’s statement rang in fans ears, as he called him ” spawn of Unicron” originally meant to be an insult, the two statements merged in fans.

The finale had Megatron reclaim the Nemesis, the ship the original Megatron had used in episode one before boarding the Ark and was never seen again. Casting off the more comic relief minions of Waspinator, Inferno and Quickstrike, he launched the ship with Rampage and Dinobot II and had the climactic battle, quoting a holy book while fighting his nemesis on the Nemesis.

And so Beast Wars ended using an escape pod on the Ark. Even they commented nothing had been said in the history books about that though Rhinox pointed out history was being written here, with Megatron tied onto the ship yelling in protest as they returned to Cybertron, Waspinator the only one of the 3 left to survive was worshiped as a god saying “”Waspinator happy at last.”

Amusing to think they only gave a definitive ending when they knew it was the last.

Around this time Animorphs a series based on a bunch of books where a group of teens could turn into animals to fight mind controlling parasites, had had a toy line but unlike Beast Wars they didn’t really sell. A final line of those toys was repackaged and altered for Beast Wars, called the Mutants featuring Beasts that could turn into other Beasts, not surprising these never made it to the show.

And so 4 years of toys and 3 years of the show came to an end. But there is still more to tell on the Beasts. There was what happened in Japan, something I mentioned briefly in my talk on Unicron, (Transformers Lockdown: UNICRON ) but also how the Beast era came to its rather disappointing end.

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