Transformers: Beginner's Guide To Shockwave & Sentinel Prime

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Posted by No_name_here (1247 posts) - - Show Bio


There’s something scarier about a villain who’s utterly logical about everything he does; whose decisions aren’t tempered by any of the self-defeating mood swings of your typical narcissistic megalomaniac. Scorpius from FARSCAPE is one of my favorite villains of science-fiction (I even put him on my Top Five Evil Aliens list on Screened) for precisely those inhuman qualities. I thought it was so innovative how that show envisioned him as an “evil Mr. Spock” but, after doing some research for this guide, I learned that the creators of TRANSFORMERS beat FARSCAPE to the punch by about 15 years.

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Shockwave did indeed come from the conceptual starting point of what the world’s favorite Vulcan would be like if his unwavering rationality was directed toward malevolent ends instead of benevolent ones. And just as Spock, for all his wondrous intellect, still played second fiddle to Captain Kirk, so too did Shockwave obediently do the bidding of Megatron. In some iterations anyway. If you thought that keeping up with the respective continuities of Marvel and DC was a tall order, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by all the pieces of the fractal mosaic that is as the TRANSFORMERS franchise. Characters’ alliances, relationships and very natures change more drastically over all the iterations than any of the robot-to-vehicle transformations.

== TEASER ==
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In most versions, Shockwave's the commander of the Decepticons’ military forces, yet still somehow subservient to Megatron. His appreciation of that subservience differs from version to version, though. In some, his cold logic concludes that Megatron’s the most suitable leader, and he is thus content in his position. In others, that logic deems Megatron unfit and, because of that, he's always scheming to usurp him with a tenacity much like Starscream’s. Considering how he’s identified as the main antagonist of DARK OF THE MOON, my guess is that his characterization will lean more to the latter in the movie. One facet of Shockwave that remains constant, however, is that he’ll transform into an alien vehicle instead of something that blends into Earthly scenery. Originally, he turned into a giant Cybertronian cannon but, in this movie, he’ll be turning into a Cybertronian tank. Added mobility makes for a step up, perhaps?


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Not everybody realizes that “Prime” is actually a title Optimus holds as leader of the Autobots. It’s sort-of like calling him Captain Optimus or Lord Optimus. At least, it is in most iterations of TRANSFORMERS. The last movie, REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, reconceived “Prime” as something of a clan name, with Optimus being the last of the Primes (at least that’s how I interpreted that whole “robot heaven” scene.) We’ll see how that’ll be reconciled with the appearance of Optimus’ direct predecessor, Sentinel Prime, in DARK OF THE MOON.

This particular bit of lore was first explored in the ’86 animated TRANSFORMERS movie when it was revealed that Optimus’ right of command was given to him by a Matrix of Leadership he carried around inside his chest. It was fitting that this venerable object was held right where the robot’s heart would be, as it basically served as deus ex machina that would “light the Autobot’s darkest hour” and remedy whatever overwhelming problem was present when opened by their leader at the proper time.

After getting killed by Megatron (at the time, anyway) Optimus bequeathed the Matrix to his second-in-command, Ultra Magnus, who ultimately couldn’t use it because, even with his courage and nobility, he wasn’t worthy of leadership. The real chosen one was the young punk Hot Rod, who grew into the larger and more powerful Rodimus Prime when he wielded the Matrix at the precisely right moment. Later storylines revealed that Optimus had been known as Orion Pax prior to undergoing a similar trial, and that he had inherited the Matrix from Sentinel Prime (who was once known as Sentinel Minor.)

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As I mentioned, the live-action TRANSFORMERS have changed this particular part of the mythos significantly. Therefore, I wouldn’t expect the lineage of Primes to spin out as I’ve just described. Sentinel Prime will be revealed to have crashed the Autobot’s Ark on the Moon in the 60s and to have perhaps been hibernating amidst all the highly-valuable wreckage there over all the decades. For all we know, he could very likely be Optimus’ father or grandfather or uncle or what have you, as the Autobot Matrix has already been show and it has little to do with succession of leadership.

Here's a tidbit: things come full circle a bit with Leonard Nimoy’s involvement. He was actually the voice of Galvatron in ’86 animated TRANSFORMERS movie, replacing the earlier model of Megatron who was voiced Frank Welker. And guess who Welker’s playing in DARK OF THE MOON? Yep, Shockwave. One shall stand and one shall fall, right?

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer ofHYBRID BASTARDS!&UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazonhere&here. Follow him on Twitter:@tompinchuk

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#1 Posted by NightFang3 (12187 posts) - - Show Bio


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#2 Posted by #1ElderScrollsFan (2010 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the Transformers can't wait to watch the movie, and nice write up.

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#3 Posted by turoksonofstone (14682 posts) - - Show Bio

This film series is an Abomination.

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#4 Posted by Green Skin (2943 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's hoping it's better than that last one.

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#5 Posted by They Killed Cap! (2268 posts) - - Show Bio

Shockwave is also an amazing Hardcore band From Ere Pennsylvannia. They come out dressed in camo and wave deceptacon flags...they are amazing...
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#6 Posted by Golden Cod (630 posts) - - Show Bio

Lets hope that Shockwave doesn't get defeated the way he does in the cartoons.... by being unable to factor human emotion into his plans.   That would be lame.

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#7 Posted by nomadicxnightmare (153 posts) - - Show Bio

I plan to see the movie, but I seriously hope it plays out better then the last one. Shockwave was a pretty cool villain in the comics and I love the redesign. It also sounds like they are including quite a few classic autobots that should have been present from the beginning (except Bay has decided to do some last minute name changes for whatever insane reason). I'm not worried about getting my moneys worth of action, explosions, and robots... but PLEASE have some semblance of a story that doesn't make me facepalm >_<

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#8 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2135 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the Characther Designs from the Film Franchise, and thats about it....
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#9 Posted by maxicere (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Transformers and Transformers movies !!!!  But.... I don't like so much the robots design in movies. When Transformers and Decepticon are in battle I can't understand nothing, who is who.
Shockwave face looks great!! But has the same body like Megatron and Starscream

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#10 Posted by Hadez (172 posts) - - Show Bio
@turoksonofstone said:
This film series is an Abomination.
fully agreed.
Optimus received the Matrix of Leadership from Alpha Trion the one the rebuilt the bodies of him, Ironhid, and Elita-1. Alpha Trion received it from Sentinel Prime.
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#11 Posted by cattlebattle (15921 posts) - - Show Bio
@turoksonofstone said:
This film series is an Abomination.
This is really all that needs to be said
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#12 Posted by katanalauncher (2598 posts) - - Show Bio

You do know that Bay is just going to butcher all those characters again?

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#13 Edited by labarith (730 posts) - - Show Bio

Bay ruins everything he touches, yes. 
But in all seriousness, Sentinel Prime was a "name" of a previous autobot leader we hear about in G1. 
Later, in DW, and later still IDW, we hear more about him.  IDW stands apart by having Sentinel Prime be a war-like dictator, leader of the autobot army, who oppresses the worker class Decepticons.  IDW's Megatron Origin is funny like that. 
The only time we've seen Sentinel Prime animated is during Transformers:  Animated, where he is sort of a dick.  In that universe, Magnus is #1, "Prime" is much like "group leader"... with about as much power as G1 Silverbolt or Onslaught.  Sentinel Prime is a dick suckup idiot who got his friend kicked out of the academy for a tragedy he caused, and generally continues to Mr. Magoo it up... which is too bad, because the character strongly resembles The Tick in robot mode, and is a snowplow truck. 
There has been some rumors that Movie Sentinel Prime is actually based on old "A3", Alpha Trion, from the G1 cartoon.  This elder hid the matrix and rebuilt Orion Pax into Optimus Prime after Megatron blew him, his girl, and his best friend up.  And yet Megatron is still a more endearing character than Sentinel Prime has ever been conveyed as.  In fact, in all honesty, from the spoilers I've seen... you probably still would take any given Megatron over any given Sentinel prime as your best friend - if forced to choose. 
Edit, PS - no discussion of Shockwave would be complete without this picture: 

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#14 Posted by SpidermanWins (4142 posts) - - Show Bio

Shockwave is so much cooler than Megatron people, just saying

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#15 Posted by ltbrd (706 posts) - - Show Bio

my biggest disappointment (out of many) was the wimpy depiction of Sam Witwicky in these films. Even back in Generation 1 when the animated Sam was just a little kid he did far more and actually kicked ass compared to the Bay version of the character. I mean, the kid and his father built exoskeleton suits that allowed them to actually fight alongside the Autobots and transform into little cars. Later in the comic book series Sam became a cop/special forces/agent (can't remember exactly) and continued to be awesome.  
but this series decides they'd rather just have Shia LaBeouf be a comedic, in over his head character and cry like a little b*#!@ for Bumblebee or Optimus to come save him all the time. LaBeouf is not one of my favorite actors (far from it) but he at least looks in decent enough shape that they could have actually given him an action in role in an action movie.....considering that 90% of the films is about him and the other human characters. 
while I know audiences wouldn't have connected with a character riding around in a big exoskeleton with a glass bubble they could have at least done more with his character. If not an action style character than they should have made him more tech and engineering savvy rather than bring in some random blonde chick and Anthony Anderson. The fact that they didn't give Sam a purpose yet spent the majority of the film on him doesn't make the audience connect with him.
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#16 Posted by The Impersonator (8002 posts) - - Show Bio

Scorpius is one of my favorite villains too. Plus, Farscape is the best sci-fi show.
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#17 Posted by goldenkey (3033 posts) - - Show Bio

I like how the gun in Shockwaves hand looks just like the toy of him from the 80's
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#18 Posted by labarith (730 posts) - - Show Bio
@ltbrd said:
my biggest disappointment (out of many) was the wimpy depiction of Sam Witwicky in these films.  
I must have higher standards.  I like, you know, plot and substance.  Sam being a douche coward protagonist is just a side effect of otherwise poor production skills.
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#19 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Shockwave was always my second favorite after OP...he's pretty much the only reason why I'm watching this movie...and I really do hope they redeem the abortion that Revenge of the Fallen was...

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#20 Posted by mikeclark1982 (423 posts) - - Show Bio

when i heard leonard nimoy was going to be prime, i instantly said "it won't be so bad". i can NOT WAIT!

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#21 Posted by HellionVulcan (5226 posts) - - Show Bio
@turoksonofstone said:
This film series is an Abomination.
This this & more this .
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#22 Posted by B'Town (2369 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Transformers even if I can't keep it straight. heh.

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#23 Edited by Emperormeister734 (895 posts) - - Show Bio

this is going to  be great, i can tell by the previews that t's gonna be action all to the end, the only thing I'm upset about is the no show of Silverbolt

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#24 Posted by creole (250 posts) - - Show Bio

there might be more fart jokes & sex jokes, in the 3rd movie that then the last one?

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#25 Posted by labarith (730 posts) - - Show Bio

I hear the nascars are rednecks.  With guns. 
And that the racist twins aren't coming back. 
Because, you know, giant inbred robots are cool, but not if they have blackface. 
Oh, wait, no.

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#26 Posted by umbrafeline (5919 posts) - - Show Bio
i agree with you
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#27 Posted by ProjektGill (68 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh wow, I remember loving Rodimus Prime and Hot Rod as a kid.

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#28 Posted by _Zombie_ (10572 posts) - - Show Bio

Not going to pay to watch another Transformers film until they boot Michael Bay.

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#29 Posted by grimlock (1583 posts) - - Show Bio

Shockwave's cold logic just amazes me. I want to see how it rolls out in this movie

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#30 Posted by sa5m (2381 posts) - - Show Bio

I do like the cartoon and I want to watch this movie when it comes to the theaters =)

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#31 Posted by The Mast (793 posts) - - Show Bio

Wake me up when people stop calling Skids and Mudflap racist twins. I'll take that as a sign logic and reason has returned.
"Gangsta" speak isn't a race-trait. Although nobody clearly had issue with the distinctly German speaking Doctor robot with the monacles, who conducted experiments.
-The Mast

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#32 Posted by nickthedevil (14908 posts) - - Show Bio

Hated how they prtrayed shockwave in dark of the moon. he seemed like just another psycopathic transformer. like megatron. I was hoping shockwave would have a bigger role. but thanks for the post! clearing it up with Movie fans!

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