Transformers Fanfics, Essays, Author Interviews and More...! Established 1996!
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The most enthralling, entertaining, comprehensive and... well, *best* Transformers essay I have ever read. There really isn't any raw information here that I haven't encountered previously in some form or another (with the notable exception of the circumstances of Mr. Kasem's decision to leave the show-- there's a noodle-scratcher...), but the unprecedentedly analytical way every aspect of the film is presented achieves the seemingly impossible feat of making the most talked about subject in the fandom seem completely fresh. There are some truly insightful ideas and interpretations of the movie's overall effect, such as the topical comment about how Optimus Prime's permanent standing in all new TF mythos' is almost directly related to the outcry over his death. Another refreshing approach was the avoidance of focusing too much on the similarities that certain characters share with archetypes of other fiction, and instead emphasizing the subtle differences and how they inter-relate (the bit about how Grimlock's stark change in behaviour can theoretically be traced back to the trust he gains by saving Hot Rod's life was particularly nifty). No doubt about it-- every TF FAQ out there needs to include a link to this masterpiece.
This essay is an impressive overview of the Movie and its various causes and effects, yet I must admit that it seems to focus too much on the cartoon continuity as opposed to those in the comics, specifically the UK Marvel continuity, and maybe even the Dreamwave one (depends on which way they steer the ship from here on) Issues such as the Matrix and Unicron's raisons-d'etres and the relationship of each to the Cybertronians are fairly well explored (although the arguments between comic and cartoon have raged for quite some time, and only really started once Simon Firman dragged the UK comic kicking and screaming into the realm of serious storytelling). The fact that the older comics were considered Marvel property and thus could steal useful ideas from that universe (astral plane, etc) to come up with the following - as if anyone reading this doesn't already know: In the beginning, there was a whole big pile of nothing. Then, the Big Bang created our universe, and in the fires of creation formed Chaos: the dark one, the Chaos-bringer, Unicron, who sought to consume everything else in the universe. To oppose him, the universe birthed the light-being Primus, and the two did smack each other around for a while. Unfortunately, Unicron had Primus' number, so Primus jumped into the 'astral plane', followed by Unicron, and re-emerged into the physical universe into a big lump of rock, with Unicron similarly trapped in another such object. Unicron decided to turn his prison into big scary planet-eater, then into big scary Orson Welles statue! Primus, meanwhile, turns his prison into Cybertron, putting his essence into the Matrix, a place where the sparks of all TFs come from and return after deactivation, yada yada... Anyway, I'm not trying to revive the comic vs. cartoon debate again, but room should be made for both continuities, something Dreamwave have apparently been trying to do while developing their hybrid universe... Gary
Wow! This was excellent! You hit every nail on the head. I 'm glad some one finally wrote out what I could never put into words.This well deserves its place at number 1 on the Top submissions list.
This stands out, not only as an oustanding essay, but as a finely-tweaked commentary on the movie as a whole, with personal biases kept nicely in check. It presents the argument clearly, with good attention to all the bases. Heck, I've seen the movie dozens of times, yet this essay still managed to bring up points I had simply heard too many times and had given no deep thought to.
And ultimately, that's the measure of an essay; how much insight on the topic can you bring to the reader's attention. And due to the simple but concise nature within, I will simply call this the finest essay I've ever read. It's not half-assed, but was clearly a labor of love on the author's part, and a composition is nothing without its writer's enthusiasm.
Likewise, this is not born of personal opinion, but of the innumerable views one is likely to encounter in the fandom, with its only real goal to make those that often hack season three to bits to stop and think about why the film was what it was, regardless of our individual outcries.
This gets a perfect ten -- because few essays on such a topic as this come off as anything beyond a rant, while this one goes worlds beyond that tiresome, irritating formula. : )