Monday, 16 May 2022

Jem cartoon fashion galleries

One of the most comprehensive websites for Jem cartoon fashions - Pranceatron.com - shut down for most of a day.  While the site did return, the Sunbow Marvel Archive is in the process of hosting the character model images as a back-up.  

Follow this link to go to the main landing page: Jem fashion gallery 







Source link: Jem's Cartoon Wardrobe (pranceatron.com)


Monday, 2 May 2022

Story outline of Ron Friedman's script for The Transformers The Movie

I have analysed and typed up Ron Friedman's 179 page draft script for The Transformers The Movie.  As it was marked "completed" on April 27th, 1985, not including any duplicate or additional pages from the May 2nd revisions.

This is not the actual outline that existed before writing of the main script commenced, that is linked here:

Outline (Revised 29/03/85)



Rather, this condenses the actual story told within the script down to the equivalent of 20 pages.

Full Script (linked for reference)


The Transformers The Movie
Script Outline

As marked “Completed” April 27th, 1985

1. Pg.1-2: The movie begins on one of Cybertron’s five moons. Showing weapons factories and a shuttle being loaded on the center launch pad. Narration explains that five years have passed since the Autobots allied with humans.  Shuttle is carrying urgently needed munitions, crewed by Ironhide, Prowl, Ratchet and Brawn.  Optimus Prime oversees launch as the shuttle blasts off for Autobot City, Earth.

2. Pg.2: Shuttle passes a dead planetoid where the Decepticons are hiding. Megatron leads a strike force from behind the planetoid and begins trailing the shuttle.

3. Pg.2-5: Cut to Earth where we meet Daniel and Hot Rod at the fishing hole.  Daniel wants to see the shuttle land and rides off on his bike.  Hot Rod catches up, transforms and places Daniel in his driver’s seat. Passing Autobot City (fortress with a bowl-shaped layout), and heading to Lookout Point.  Daniel points out that that’s a security violation.  Hot Rod responds “Chromo-chicken”, races past a “stop” sign before a metal barricade can be placed on the road. Kup, directing the positioning of the barricade, glares after him.

4. Page.5: Cut back to the shuttle. Ironhide senses something wrong “must be gettin’ old.”.  Megatron smashes through the front viewscreen and blasts him to pieces.  The Decepticons board the shuttle, disintegrating Prowl.  The Insecticons chew Brawn to bits.

5. Page.5-7: Cut back to Lookout Point. Daniel is excited to see the shuttle through the viewing binoculars. Until he sees the Insecticons devouring the entire shuttle.  Leaving nothing but the Decepticon armada. Megatron orders the attack and blasts at Lookout Point. Hot Rod grabs Daniel in time as the blast shears off the viewing platform and sends it plummeting. Tucking Daniel under his arm, he leaps and kicks Hook. Who crashes into Scavenger and both crash into the mountain, causing a landslide. Hot Rod rides the falling rocks, when he sees Blitzwing waiting for him at the bottom, weapon drawn. With his target unable to stop or move out of the way, Blitzwing goes to open fire. Kup reaches in and knocks his aim off, blasting Shrapnel. He then kicks Blitzwing off the mountain ledge. Hot Rod’s attempt to thank Kup and is met with a chewing out and an order to roll out. The pair transform and head for the city, coming under strafing fire by Starscream.

6. Page.7-16: Perceptor sees approaching force from the city battlements, runs back to meet Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer.  First instance of Perceptor using complicated language, Magnus being baffled and Springer translating. Magnus orders Arcee and Springer to mobilise forces.  Then, changing his hand to a bullhorn, he orders Autobot City to transform.  Armour plating begins sliding into place all along the city as Magnus and Perceptor retreat to the passageway at the end of the battlements. Arcee and Springer have to dash across the courtyard under Decepticon fire, trying to reach the armoury. Starscream swoops down and fires after them when the floor of the courtyard begins to transform, closing up like a metallic clam and trapping his foot. His prey makes it to safety before the walls close up.  As the floor of the courtyard is being pulled into the city walls, Starscream blasts away at the “clam” before he is “eaten”. Able to pull himself free and wrenching off his metal “shoe” as he flies away.
Decepticons swarm all over the city, trying to find an entrance before the transformation is complete. They are repulsed by lasers, cannon and flame jets. The Insecticons begin chewing on the last remaining drawbridge into the city as Hot Rod and Kup approach. The two use Kickback and Shrapnel as ramps to jump into the doorway before metal shields close up, completing the city’s transformation.  Inside the city, Magnus briefly rebukes Hot Rod for his security violation, then tells both him and Kup to report to their stations. Once they are gone, Magnus reviews the situation from the control room, orders for Blaster to call Prime for reinforcements, an order Perceptor rushes off to obey. On the monitors, the Constructicons are firing and tearing through a section of the city walls. In a location where the defenses were damaged during the transformation. Realising that the area houses the Roboto-zoo and with no options left, Magnus orders Wheeljack to “Activate the Ani-bots!”. 
Parts of the city walls open like cages, as the Ani-bots attack the Constructicons and send them reeling. Elsewhere, Blaster is manning a “Crow’s Nest” lookout tower. He sees the Insecticons again try to chew their way in, and takes control of the tower’s cannons to blast all three of them off the city walls, left in a smoking heap. Perceptor arrives and relays Magnus’ orders.  Blaster transforms and begins broadcasting a message to Prime out into space.

7. Pg.16-17: Cut to the moon, where Jazz and Cliffjumper hear the garbled remnants of Blaster’s message. Deducing that it can’t be good news, they transform and race off to tell Prime.

8. Pg. 17-20: Back at Autobot City, Megatron is leading the assault when he hears Blaster’s transmission.  Ordering Soundwave to intercept and stop the message getting through.  Soundwave ejects four of his tapes (Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, Ratbat), who fly up to the Crow’s Nest, smash their way in and begin fighting with Perceptor.  In response, Blaster ejects his tapes (Cubbie, Stripes, Stinger and Bolts). The two groups of cassette Transformers brawl as Blaster and Perceptor can only watch and hope Prime got the message.
Elsewhere, Blitzwing is flying over the city, doing bombing runs and generally enjoying himself. When Powerglide and Warpath fly either side of him, firing lasers that set his wings on fire. He dives down through a Decepticon bombing party on the ground, scattering them before he finally lands in the fishing hole. Sizzling the water as the two Autobots drop another salvo of bombs on him and blast off. Back at the city, Megatron is overseeing a horde of Decepticons who are prying open the armour plating, to create a breach in the city wall. Sunstreaker, Hound and Bluestreak lie in wait on the other side. As the breach is ripped open and Thundercracker and Skywarp lead the charge. Bluestreak steps forward, cutting Thundercracker in half with a laser saber before being tackled by Skywarp. The Decepticon horde piles in as Hound fires blasters, cutting their legs off and toppling them.

9. Pg. 20-21: Cutting back to Cybertron’s moon, Optimus Prime directs the loading of a second shuttle. Herding the Dinobots onboard proves to be tricky when Grimlock refuses to take orders. Bumblebee flatters the proud warrior, saying that they need his intelligence to win the day. Satisfied, Grimlock follows Sludge and Swoop onboard. Prime leaves Jazz and Cliffjumper in charge of operations before boarding the shuttle, blasting off for Earth.  As they pass the dead planetoid from earlier, Astrotrain comes out from hiding. Firing laser bursts that obliterate asteroids and junk all around the shuttle. Prime orders the crew to return fire, but keep going. Astrotrain begins gaining on them and firing along the side of the shuttle. Sending a fireball through the hull and striking Grimlock, who howls with fury.

10. Pg.21-24: Back on Earth, Autobot City is heavily damaged. Megatron orders the Constructicons to merge for the final assault. In a nearby pillbox, Arcee and Springer move Autobot corpses away from a torpedo launcher. Struggling to move the catapult-like launcher until Hot Rod and Kup arrive to assist. As they push, there is flirting and romantic banter between Hot Rod and Arcee. Once the launcher is in place, they look outside to see Devastator forming. Smashing his way through the armoured walls, the other Decepticons ready to follow him into the breach. Springer launches a barrage of torpedo-bombs at the waiting hordes. Scattering them, but doing little to faze Devastator as he continues his way towards the inner defenses. Ultra Magnus orders Wheeljack to “Initiate Dragon-Beast!”.
The Ani-bots pull themselves from rubble and their various fights, merging into a massive mechanical dragon form.  Breathing lightning bolts and being met with fire blasts, Dragon-Beast lumbers into Devastator. The struggle between the two combiners threatens to crush the entire city beneath them.

11. Pg. 24-31: Cut to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere as Prime’s shuttle begins its final approach, with Astrotrain in pursuit. Prime orders the Dinobots to clear a path. Grimlock leads them ahead, blasting Astrotrain away. The battle between the two combiners stops as all look up to see the Dinobots transform and land on top of the Decepticon forces. Crushing, stomping, melting, fireblasting and scattering all those around them. Devastator becomes separated during the melee and the individual Constructicons are sent flying every which way from the assault. Dragon-Beast laughs and joins in the fight, smashing Dirge and Ramjet together.  While the Autobots in the pillbox watch, cheering as the enemy retreat.  Outside the city, Megatron impotently rants and rages, trying to rally his troops. Not noticing the shuttle land.  Once he realises Optimus Prime is standing behind him, he is really to unleash his hatred. After putting down a sneak attack by Dirge, Prime answers the challenge. The two leaders do battle with both blasters and hand-to-hand combat. Megatron uses a steel “spear” pulled from nearby rubble to pierce Prime’s side, and a hidden laser dagger to gash his midsection open. Prime eventually gets the upper hand, winning a test of strength and judo tossing Megatron. Who goes skidding across steel rubble. Crawling around, Megatron finds a discarded blaster in the rubble and quickly hides it underneath him. He pleads for mercy, making a show of casting aside his own weapon. Hot Rod spots the blaster and leaps on Megatron. After threatening to terminate Prime’s “lackey”, Megatron throws Hot Rod into Prime and opens fire. Striking the open wound he made in Prime’s side earlier, leaving a smoking hole. As he goes to fire again, Prime uses his remaining strength to deliver a
haymaker and smash Megatron’s torso casing. Wires and circuitry spilling out. Both sides rush to their fallen leaders, with Hot Rod begging Prime for forgiveness. Megatron, knowing his wound is mortal and his Life Spark must be laid to rest, looks for Starscream’s help. Receiving sarcasm and cold indifference in response. Starscream declares that the Decepticons shall return Megatron’s body to Cybertron and there determine who shall lead.  Astrotrain transforms and the survivors of the battle board his space shuttle mode, Starscream dragging Megatron by one leg. Almost immediately, the passengers begin arguing. With Thrust, Scavenger, Starscream, Dirge and Hook among those making loud declarations that they should be the next leader.

12. Pg.31-36. The Autobots and Daniel gather around the fallen Prime, who is lying on an improvised platform. Hooked up to monitors and transfusion devices while Perceptor examines his wounds. Before finally declaring “His wounds are mortal. Soon, his life maintenance system will self-extinguish, and all function will cease for eternity.”  Using what time and strength he has left, Prime tells the Autobots not to grieve “My time in the light has ended.” Calling a reluctant Ultra Magnus forward, Prime names him
leader and with a failing voice, pleads for the transfer of his Life Spark. A beam of light shines from Magnus' forefinger to Prime’s chest. A door on Prime’s chest then opens and bright light spills out, reaching out to Magnus’ chest. The Life Spark floats out: a glowing creature of pure energy resembling a miniature Optimus Prime. Floating inside Magnus, the chest doors close. With his life fading, Prime suddenly sits up and delivers the cry “Till All Life Sparks Are One!”. A chant repeated by the assembled crowd. With a last entreaty to “Remember me...” Optimus Prime dies.
After a few moments of shock and grief, Ultra Magnus steps forward.  Declaring that the time for action is now: they will pursue the remaining Decepticons before Megatron can be replaced. Perceptor “complicated language joke” no.2 as he voices agreement. However, Magnus points out that they cannot leave until Autobot City and the people of Earth are fortified against another attack. At his command, the Autobots set to work rebuilding their shattered city.
Hot Rod is still beating himself up over his actions, with Kup telling him to get it in gear. Arcee tells him that what he did was the bravest thing she ever saw. At his interested reply, she teasingly says “Of course,I’m only a she-bot, so I could be mistaken...”. Kup bellows at Hot Rod to get to work, as the group transforms and moves off with Daniel riding in Springer.

13. Pg. 36-39: From out of the cold vastness of space, a moving point of light comes closer to reveal Astrotrain. Carrying the survivors of the battle. From inside, the arguments over who should be leader escalate into an all-out brawl. With Seeker, Conehead and Constructicon alike attempting to stake their claim and being met with violence. All the while, a badly damaged Megatron lies slumped. Feebly protesting that he still exists, and therefore he still rules. Astrotrain swoops down over Cybertron, heading for the Hall of Heroes: A high-tech version of Albert Speer’s design for the Nuremberg Rally setting. Used as a mausoleum for fallen Decepticons, whose statues ring the Hall. At the base of each statue pedestal is a niche containing a transparent urn. Glowing within the urns are the green Life Sparks of past leaders. As soon as he lands, the fight spills out of Astrotrain into the hall. The space shuttle transforms so he too can join the fray.  As Megatron weakly crawls along the floor, begging his troops for help. We see the empty pedestal and niche waiting to contain his Life Spark. Starscream forearms Dirge, sending him flying into one of the statues. Breaking it and sending the Spark of the Decepticon Hero interred within drifting upward. The fight continues, with more statues being broken and more Life Sparks being freed. All the while, Megatron pleads for his spark to be interred before it escapes into the void. Finally, Dirge uses a brazier stand and thrusts it like a lance at Starscream.  Knocking his blaster aim off, the errant shot topples a statue which plummets on top of the screaming Megatron.  Smashing him into a thousand metal shards.  His Life Spark rises up with a ghostly wail to join the stream of sparks ascending further and further up into space. Leaving the raging battle far behind.

14. Pg 40-45 :In deep space, Megatron’s Life Spark leads a “comet trail” of Hero sparks, along with the debris of their statues and his body trailing after them. He rages to himself that his spark will decompose and he will cease to exist. He vows that he would give anything to be restored and take his vengeance. A fearsome, ghostly voice calls his name, bidding him “Come to me!”. Suddenly a pale, cold ray drags his spark, along with all the others, through deep space. The terrified spark of Megatron comes to land on a slab-like mechanical planet.  Finding himself in a hellish, sulfurous high-tech cavern. With iron “grass” and steel “tree-trunks”.  The voice welcomes him to the planet Unicron. 
His attempts at questioning are silenced as the voice proclaims itself “Ingestor...The Absorber of Unicron!”. Ingestor offers a bargain: Megatron and his dead predecessors will be restored to new, more powerful forms with which to destroy their enemies. In return, they shall serve Ingestor for eternity.
Megatron’s attempts at negotiating are met with flames, tremors and lightning as the
Ingestor roars at him to answer or be returned to cold nothingness. With little choice,
Megatron accepts. The cold ray descends upon his spark. The debris trail swirls around him as a new skeletal structure, wiring and circuitry begin to take shape. The form increases in size and with a blinding flash, Megatron is no more. In his place stands Galvatron, wearing a new insignia that marks him as a servant of Ingestor.  The cold ray descends upon the other sparks to repeat the process.  First creating Scourge, and his Sweeps.  Then Cyclonus, and his “armada” of smaller, similar creatures. Galvatron laughs and flies to the head of his new force. Leading them back to Cybertron, following the command to deliver all of that planet’s remaining energy to Ingestor.

15. Pg. 45-53 Back on Cybertron, the Hall of Heroes and several Decepticons lie in ruins.  Starscream stands on a platform as Thrust and Ramjet bow before him. Astrotrain waiting to adorn him with a metallic crown. Dirge recites a ritual from an ancient book, much to Starscream’s annoyance. Soon their attention is captured by an eerie sound.  Looking up, they see Galvatron and his forces descend into the Hall. Starscream is outraged at the interruption, then suddenly recognises the figure before him as Megatron. The figure corrects him, he is Galvatron and he rules! Starscream attempts to object before Galvatron fires his blaster.  Disintegrating Starscream, whose terrified form holds briefly before crumbling to dust.  Galvatron dares anyone else to challenge, the assembled Decepticons fearfully responding “All hail Galvatron!”. The new leader demands an offering of energy for Ingestor. Scourge, Cyclonus and their minions haul energon cubes from nearby storehouses, creating a large pile in the center of the Hall. Bonecrusher and Astrotrain grouse that this is the last energon on the planet, but Galvatron shouts down their complaints.
The cold ray descends, sucking up energon cubes like a straw.  Accompanied by the sounds of sucking and devouring. We follow the ray up to the planet Unicron. The infusion of energy causes the planet to rotate rapidly on its axis, lighting up and expanding. Unicron moves out of its orbit, moving at speed towards Cybertron as the Decepticons stare up in awe. As it passes the moons, we cut to the munitions factory. Where Jazz and Cliffjumper barely have time to react before the ground shakes. Jazz sends an urgent message to Earth.
Autobot City is almost rebuilt while Ultra Magnus directs the construction of two new shuttles. The transmission is picked up by Blaster, who transforms to boost the signal. Jazz barely has time to inform them of a giant planet having shown up around Cybertron.  Before Cliffjumper’s panicked voice says it’s like they’re being caught in a space whirlpool and the transmission cuts off. Having heard all of this, Springer transforms and drives off to inform Magnus.
The Decepticons brace themselves against cyclone-level winds and continue to watch as the moon is pulled out of its orbit, towards the giant planet. A hole opens up on the surface of Unicron, showing lines of “saliva” as salivating and sucking sounds can be heard from a great distance. The cold ray extends from this maw towards the moon, drawing it forward even faster.
Jazz and Cliffjumper brave quakes, tremors and cyclonic winds as Unicron looms larger.  Using handholds every step out of the way, they make it to an escape pod.
Down below, Galvatron rages that all of Cybertron’s moons are his and Ingestor has no right
to absorb them.  Up above, the moon gets very close to the maw.
Jazz and Cliffjumper’s pod manages to blast off just as the moon is sucked completely into Unicron’s maw. Which snaps shut with a series of slurping noises. All is calm once more, then suddenly Unicron swells in size. The voice of Ingestor commands Galvatron to go to Earth and deliver its energy unto him. A defiant Galvaton proclaims the universe is his, upon which the cold ray descends upon him. Trapping him and causing him intense pain.  Ingestor commands obedience and Galvatron acquiesces, being released from the ray.  He leads both his new minions and the Decepticons towards Earth with all of them repeating the battle cry of “Ingestor and victory!”.

16. Pg.53-77 Autobot City as Ultra Magnus reads a scanner, confirming that the third moon has vanished. The assembled Autobots speculate over what happened, when a fast-moving dust cloud appears over the mountain ridge, headed for the city. Magnus recognises this as Blurr, a special messenger from their forward observation post. Blurr whips into view, speaking rapidly as he delivers the news of the moon’s consumption and of a large invasion force leaving Cybertron and heading for Earth. Hot Rod says they need to man battle stations, but Blurr responds “No time” Estimated arrival is...now!”
Galvatron’s massive armada, backed up by Decepticons who had remained on Earth the entire time, seems to blot out the sky. As they pass overhead, Hot Rod is eager to fight, but Kup tells him to stay put. Arcee looks to protect Daniel, while Hot Rod looks to protect Arcee. Magnus orders them to split into two groups and hold their ground, while he works a nearby console. Hot Rod thinks they’ll be melted down, but Springer reassures him that Magnus has a plan. As Galvatron leads his forces, swooping down at the Autobots with a cry of “Ingestor!”. Magnus pulls a lever on the console, dives for safety and orders the others to keep down. The floor where he was standing opens up to spew clouds of white Optic Dazzler Gas.  Blinding the likes of Thrust who crashes into Bonecrusher, who in turn crushes many Sweeps beneath him.  Astrotrain spins out-of-control, transforming over and over as he sends Cyclonus and other Decepticon jets smashing into each other. 
Magnus recovers from his dive, ordering the Autobots to fire then take cover. Springer downs Ramjet before grabbing Daniel under his arm and making a run for it, followed by Hot Rod, with Arcee at the rear. Scourge and the Sweeps land in front of her, she opens fire with flame jets that don’t damage or faze Scourge in the slightest. Hot Rod pulls her to the side as the return shot barely misses her and melts the wall behind her. She protests, but he is more concerned with the oncoming Scourge. Hot Rod reaches up and pulls down a trussed column holding up construction works. Sending steel and large wall sections tumbling down, burying Scourge and his Sweeps.
Hot Rod pulls Arcee behind an armoured retaining wall to shield them from laser fire.  Springer joins them and leaves Daniel in their care, shutting down Hot Rod’s desire to fight and telling Arcee “Make sure he doesn’t do anything heroic!” before tossing a cluster of grenades. The explosions toppling Decepticons like dominoes. He springs up and out from cover, jumping between Decepticons on the battlefield. Causing Scourge to melt his comrades in attempting to incinerate the agile Autobot. Galvatron berates him, then turns and orders “Melt down the city!”. The Constructicons and Cyclonus’ Armada concentrate firepower and begin melting the armour-plated walls, bringing sections of the city down on Autobot defenders.
Meanwhile, Blurr is trying to herd the panicked Dinobots, who are nearly ready to stampede, onto one of the shuttles. His attempts to calm them fall on deaf ears as all around them is fire and flames. Magnus wrestles down Hook while Perceptor karate-chops two Sweeps in half at the torso. The two join in trying to calm the Dinobots, Magnus shouting at Grimlock to activate his temperature monitors. The Dinobot opens a panel in his chest and presses buttons, activating his cooling systems and calming down considerably. The other Dinobots follow suit. Magnus orders Blurr to finish getting them onboard the shuttle. At his question of what for, Perceptor replies that they need to run as the city is finished.
The flaming city is now melting and collapsing, the mountainside adjoining it turning to lava. From high above, Galvatron watches the devastation and roars with laughter. Scourge salutes him and reports “Victory is ours!”. His leader orders him to prepare Earth’s energy for Ingestor. Left alone, Galvatron monologues that he will not rest until he has crushed the Autobot and the humans. Then he will rid himself of Ingestor and take his place as “Lord of All that shall ever be!”. He is interrupted by Powerglide and Warpath zoom in towards him, forcing him to run and fire back at them. Once he has gone, Springer springs out from his hiding place behind some nearby rubble “Ingestor, huh?”
Cyclonus leads the Decepticons that are engaging the last pockets of resistance around the city, which are being led by Blaster. While he is defiant, Gears complains that they’re energy is running low. Cyclonus swoops past and bomb Gears to pieces, the blast throwing Windcharger out from his cover. The Armada flies straight through, dismembering him. As the pieces of Windcharger rain down on him, Blaster decides it’s time to run, leading Mirage and others into hiding.
Back at their cover, Hot Rod delivers the bad news to Arcee: they’re trapped, the Decepticons are advancing and they’re out of ammo. But things are looking up, as Daniel spots Kup and Springer charge the enemy from behind. Springer uses an improvised “war club” made from a fallen metal beam to smash his way through. He faces off against Bonecrusher, who is armed with a laser saw. When Springer gets the upper hand, the Construction hurls the laser saw. Which misses, at the same time Springer hurls his war club like a javelin. Spearing Bonecrusher through the torso and pinning him to the nearby wall. Kup finishes off the last Decepticons, while Springer carries Daniel on his shoulder as he leads Hot Rod and Arcee out. As the group passes, Bonecrusher reaches out unseen and tries to grab for the boy. But Kup bends the “war club” over so that it acts like a staple.  Restraining the Constructicon for good, leaving him to struggle impotently while the old veteran follows after the others.
Cyclonus reports to Galvatron that the last remaining Autobots are holding out at the shuttle launch area. The Decepticon leader declares there must be no survivors. Seeing Scourge direct an endless line of Decepticons to stack energon cubes, he orders them to leave that and wipe out the Autobots. He watches the impromptu force fly out, Scourge leading the Sweeps and Cyclonus leading his armada.
At the launch area, Blurr is still trying to get Grimlock into the shuttle. Like a spooked horse, the Dinobot refuses to go. Coming under fire from Decepticon jets, he retaliates with his flame breath, setting them all on fire. Hot Rod, Arcee, Kup and Springer approach. The latter shrugging off Blurr’s excuses and telling him to keep Daniel safe. The boy argues to go with Hot Rod, but their conversation is cut short as Grimlock sticks his head out of the shuttle to roar a warning. The newly assembled Decepticon fleet has arrived and is raining down bombs. Springer grabs Daniel and springs off, telling Hot Rod and Kup to take the Dinobots and go. While he leads the remaining group towards Magnus. Kup and Hot Rod board their shuttle as other empty ones around it are bombed. Scourge opens fire on the fleeing Blurr and Arcee. Kup’s attempts to get them in the air are hampered by Grimlock wanting to watch out of the front window, saying he loves Kup’s war stories. Despite this, the boosters are engaged. The shuttle fires up and begins to taxi to the end of the launch, taking laser fire while Sweeps start to swarm over the hull. The shuttle's rockets kick in, sending it airborne with Cyclonus’ Armada swooping down behind them to destroy.  At another part of the launch area, Springer springs in with Daniel. Perceptor and Magnus are guarding the ramp to the last shuttle, the others having been destroyed by bombing.  Blurr catches up fast, with Arcee trailing behind him. Calling back to urge her on, he spots and runs over a Sweep who was about to open fire. Running back to the others while talking non-stop. Magnus orders all aboard, Blurr speeds up the ramp before it starts retracting. The shuttle starts moving for launch, Arcee running to keep up with it. Springer extends a hand she can’t reach. As the ramp fully retracts, he tells her “Try springing for it, ladybot!”. With Sweeps having transformed to automotive mode and pursuing her down the runway. She springs and flies aboard the shuttle, Springer pulling her in. The doorway clangs shut in time to block a barrage of Sweep laser fire.
Up front at the control deck, “Perceptor complicated speech” joke no.3 as Magnus worries whether the ship can handle taking off cold. Eventually getting an answer of “Go for it!” as Springer pushes the throttle forward. The shuttle’s rockets ignite, melting the pursuing Sweeps. Hitting the sky, Magnus’ shuttle smashes through the Armada who were chasing the Dinobot shuttle. Hot Rod greeting their arrival with a thumbs up from the window.  Their troubles are far from over, with Astrotrain leading a force of Decepticon jets toward them. Strafing and rocking the shuttles with laser fire. Magnus calls Kup on the intercom, telling him they’re going to Hyper-vault. Both pilots push their levers forward simultaneously. The two shuttles streak past Astrotrain at infinite speed. Leaving a trailing image that “swallows up” behind itself. Cyclonus realises they’ve gone.
Later, as night has fallen around the ruins of the city. An angry Galvatron berates Cyclonus while Scourge and the Sweeps have stockpiled a huge supply of energon cubes, with Decepticons forming two seemingly-endless supply lines. Ordering Scourge to maintain energy production, Galvatron boards his wedge-shaped “flat top” space carrier. It flies up out of the atmosphere, being accompanied by the Armada.
From a hiding place overlooking the burning city, Blaster tells his group of survivors - including a damaged Trailbreaker and Sunstreaker - that while the shuttles made it up, the rest of them are going to engage in guerilla warfare. Sunstreaker complains about being abandoned, but Blaster sets him straight on everything that happened with the moon and the Decepticons’ return. Looking up to the night sky, Blaster has faith in Magnus and his crew.  After all “They are our only hope!”.

17. Pg. 77-90: Out in space, finally able to take in a moment of peace. Kup spins a tale of his past soldiering days for the Dinobots, who are listening with rapt attention. Meanwhile, Hot Rod is sparring with a pole-mounted, spindly-limbed robot known as an Auto-Combatant.  Running out of patience, Hot Rod turns around and tells Kup to get on with it. The Auto- Combatant sees it’s opening and sends him flying with a kick. Then hammerfisting the young Autobot while he’s down. When his call for “time out” is met with a metallic “raspberry”. He winds up to punch the insolent training droid, who cries off.  Only interrupted by Grimlock demanding more stories. Ignoring Kup’s advice to listen so he might learn something, Hot Rod goes off in a snit, finding a corner of the shuttle to sit in and brood.
Kup starts his story again when the intercom phone buzzes, startling the Dinobots.  Hot Rod answers, getting Arcee on the hologram display. She asks after everybody and while the others tell her they’re fine, Hot Rod complains that he’s going crazy being stuck with the Dinobots. Daniel pops on to the display and suggests that he transfers over. Hot Rod tries to play it cool, asking Arcee what she thinks. While Daniel pleads with her, she coyly responds “I suppose it would be all right.”. Springer breaks up the personal time, saying that Perceptor has detected an energy transfer leaving Earth.  Aboard their shuttle, “Perceptor complicated language joke” no.4 is inverted as Magnus does understand what he’s being told about pinpointing the destination for the displaced energy. Looking at the scanner, they see lines of energy crisscrossing the planet. Intersecting at one point before pulsing out into space. Magnus identifies the ruins of Autobot City as the source.  Cutting to the energon “sending station” operating at said ruins. Scourge is directing many assembly lines - consisting of Autobot and human slaves under the whip of Decepticon and Sweep guards - adding to the massive stack of energon cubes that has been built.  The cold ray of Ingestor comes down, beaming cubes up into deep space. Accompanied by “soda straw sucking” sounds. Scourge continues to crack the whip and demand more energy.
Back aboard Magnus’ shuttle, the crew attempt to track the energy as it leaves Earth.  Springer mentions the name of “Ingestor '' that he learned earlier.  Then realising that Perceptor can’t hear him as he has merged himself with the ship’s systems. We see the image being uploaded to Perceptor’s processor: The cold ray leading to the Planet Unicron, it’s maw sucking up Earth’s energy. Perceptor disconnects from the computer, in awe of the “inconceivable” information.
Before he can explain to the others, the ship rocks from impacts as flames and sparks shoot from a hole in the wall. Blurr moves fast to patch up the hole with metal plates, as more impacts rock the ship. Springer at the cockpit window fires a laser ack ack at the source of the problem: Galvatron’s carrier and strike force have caught up with them.  Magnus gets on the intercom, warning Kup to raise force fields. Galvatron fires off a round of canister bombs from the carrier, known as Moleculon Missiles.  
As the Dinobots roar in panic, Hot Rod and Kup try to get the force fields up in time. The missiles strike the hull of their shuttle, forming a spider web of electrical energy that wraps around the ship and cracks it apart. Kup barely has time to order “Abandon ship!” before Hot Rod goes tumbling out into space.  His yell echoing as he disappears from view.
Convinced all aboard are dead, Galvatron then turns his attention to the other shuttle.  Pursuing it and bombing it relentlessly. Perceptor tries to plot an escape course, while Daniel, Arcee and Blurr move to patch up the rapidly deteriorating ship. Springer tells Magnus “We’ve got no choice....we’ve got to die!”.  
Galvatron ejects another round of Moleculon Missiles, which strike the shuttle.  The electrical energy wraps around the ship, exploding it in a blinding flash. Leaving nothing but space junk. Proclaiming his enemies terminated, Galvatron orders Cyclonus to take the carrier and return to Earth. While he flies off to personally claim reward for this victory from Ingestor.
The two parties split off and leave the cloud of space debris behind.  Once they have gone, the remaining quarter of Ultra Magnus’ shuttle flies out of the cloud.  The occupants are alive but cramped.  The damaged ship section shudders and dips as it is barely holding together.  Magnus asks Perceptor where they can set down for repairs. “Perceptor complicated language joke” no.5 as this time Magnus and Springer are too irritated to bother with responses.  Perceptor realises he is overdoing it, before correcting himself and confirms that he knows a place.  Setting coordinates, the ship turns and heads towards a distant planet.

18. Pg. 91-93. Back on Earth, on a mountainside road at night. The remains of Autobot City are still burning in the distance. Scourge leads the Sweeps in vehicle mode, with their heads extended. A Sweep antenna emits a beeping noise as it scans for surviving enemies.  The antenna beeps rapidly, Scourge ordering his party to eliminate the life forms. The Sweeps run up the side of the road and open fire with flamethrowers. Exploding an old stone farm building and setting the treeline ablaze. A wall of the building collapses, revealing the flaming skeletal hulk of an already-dead Decepticon. The hulk collapses into a puddle of steaming water. It’s head falling off and an eye rolling out toward Scourge. Who picks it up and regards it, the eye blinking back at him.  Declaring that it must have been a casualty from yesterday, he tosses the eye to the other Sweeps. Telling them to throw it in the spare parts bank for re-use, he orders the search party onward.  Once they’ve moved on, Blaster’s guerilla fighters move out of hiding. Hearing what he thinks are the Sweeps coming back, he orders Sunstreaker and the others to take up positions.  Readying for battle, they see a dark vehicle racing towards them from the treeline. Blaster gives the order to “Mess ‘em up!”. The mystery vehicle is revealed to be Wheeljack. The Autobot survivors cheer, relieved to see he made it out alive. He tells Blaster and co. that he doesn’t have such good news. He’s been tracking the two shuttles since they took off and...He can’t bring himself to say it. Blaster doesn’t believe they’re gone, giving a rousing speech and ordering his ragtag band of fighters to roll out. As they start transforming though, the planet itself begins shuddering and shaking. When Sunstreaker asks what that was, Wheeljack explains that the Earth is reacting to the energy drain. At the current rate of depletion, the planet will self-destruct in forty-eight hours. We leave them as the ground begins shaking again.

19. Pg. 93-106. Hot Rod falls through space down towards what we will find out to be the planet Quintesson.  Down through the atmosphere to a bizarre landscape of towering rock pinnacles. Finally landing in a sea of liquid energy and sinking all the way to the bottom, colliding with a high-tech metallic reef. Regaining his bearings, he transforms to a water-modified vehicle mode and sets out in search of his comrades. As he rounds the corner of the reef, he sees a robotic squid tearing Kup to pieces. Hot Rod fires on the creature, which reacts by unleashing a laser ink stream to cover its retreat. Hot Rod pushes through to Kup’s head and torso. Kup just about manages to tell Hot Rod to get him out of there.  He does so by engaging magnetic waves to pull Kup’s body parts in, which stick to the old bot’s torso.  While he carries the torso and swims towards the surface.
Later, on the shores of the energy sea, Hot Rod finishes re-assembly of Kup. Who is rather salty as he thinks a piece of himself is missing. But as Hot Rod hangs his head, tells him that overall he did a good job. Hot Rod ponders what happened to the others. Kup tells him they have to go on as the others are counting on them.. Hot Rod agrees as they transform and head out over the red metallic hills, scanning for the Dinobots. As Kup rolls out he realises there was a part missing after all, as his fender is misplaced and his wheel wobbles as he chugs along, spewing oil. The two move into the distance, while we see they are being watched by shadowy figures. Who make clacking, harsh chatter as we dissolve to....
The two Autobots crest a ridge, Kup’s scanner picking up strange, alien readings. They transform and start towards the area where the signal is coming from. Hot Rod is eager to jump in, but Kup advises caution. He recommends making communication and takes a small case from his belt, which bleeps and makes strange sounds.  Kup gives the universal alien language salutation “Graaaaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong!” and holds out energon sticks.  Encouraging Hot Rod to follow his lead, he walks forward and continues to deliver the salutation. A whirring sound coming from all around tells them they are not alone. Their attempts to smile turn to shock, as out come the Sharkticons: robotic scavengers with ferocious toothy faces and warlike armour and spikes. They “whirr” up to the intruders. The two Autobots approach, giving the salutation and offering the energon sticks. The lead Sharkticon whirs up, examining the sticks before transforming to it’s even more fang-filled animal-like mode, devouring the sticks greedily. This causes the others to transform and close in for a feeding frenzy. Both Autobots can see where this is going, so Kup punches several Sharkticons to allow Hot Rod to escape. The pair don’t get far before they are cornered and herded into line by cattle prod-like shock sticks. The lead Sharkticon clacks a command, to which the others march Hot Rod and Kup off. The old veteran speaks softly, saying that his alien language translator has told him what they are, as well as the phrase they keep repeating: “We eat!”. Hot Rod replies “Eat what?” before he receives another jolt. The procession marches off as we cut to... 
Hot Rod and Kup being herded into a holding pen within the Sharkticons’ walled compound. We catch our first glimpse of the Quintessons: slender and fragile humanoid creatures with metallic heads bearing five faces. Four of them are visible, the fifth as yet unseen. Metal supports run down to their fragile shoulders, in order to keep the massive heads upright.
The two Autobots are shoved and locked into the pen. They are approached by another prisoner: Granix, rector of the Planet Lithone. A robot made of granite and stone, chipped and cracked in places He tells them to abandon all hope of surviving. The Sharkticons, he explains, are a primitive tribe of cannibals. Who serve their cruel, intelligent masters, The Quintessons. As he speaks, we see a Quintesson in one of the guard towers watching.
Granix continues: they send the Sharkticons out to find those unlucky enough to land on the planet, and put them on trial for trespassing. Guilty or innocent, the verdict is the same - to be eaten!
Suddenly, the watching Quintesson appears at the open door of the holding pen “That one!”.  The Sharkticons charge forward and seize Granix, ignoring his pleas that he is the last survivor of his expedition. Hot Rod and Kup fight the guards in an attempt to free him, but are forced back by shock sticks. The Quintesson explains that as the two of them will soon be sentenced, they should see the fate that awaits them. He has the guards herd them out of the pen to overlook The Arena. Granix is thrown in, given a long shock stick with an explosive charge. The lead Quintesson sentences Granix to “extermination by consumption.” As he does so, he rotates his face to show the fifth expression - the Death’s Head.
The rock robot manages to dodge and kill two of the Sharkticons before more pounce and quickly devour him. Hot Rod says they’d better think of something fast before their turn in the arena comes.

20. Pg. 106-112 Ultra Magnus shuttle approaches a huge, shadowy planet (Junkion). Buffeted by high winds and storms as it enters the atmosphere. Magnus sets the auto-pilot to glide in, then join the others who are holding on to the shuttle’s structural supports and are bracing for impact. The shuttle crashes through towering pinnacles of junk. Scraping along the rusted, metallic landscape. Skipping and bouncing before coming to rest.  Everyone has survived, with Perceptor hanging upside down and Springer with half his body sticking through the hull. Pulling themselves together, with Daniel declaring that a better ride than the “Roller Coaster at Future World!”.  Perceptor “complicated language joke” no.6 as he explains that the planet is made of junk. Springers rips the hull door off and takes a look outside, not impressed with what he sees. Daniel suggests that they could use the junk to repair the ship and Magnus agrees. As the Autobots set out with tools to start the repair, Daniel asks if he can help. Springer tells him to stay inside, but Arcee presents the boy with an exo-suit: a metal grid-like “suit”. Daniel climbs inside and clips it shut, Perceptor explaining that the suit greatly increases the wearer’s strength and ability. Daniel awkwardly tries to move in the suit, Springer explaining that the exo-suit works by the wearer thinking before acting. Daniel concentrates and soon begins bouncing off the walls and floors in a display of unintentional dancing and acrobatics. Arcee compliments his
skills for a first-timer while Springer says they have work to do.  The group heads outside and takes a look around at the junk-strewn landscape. Setting to work by digging up large sections of metal. They are unaware that they are being watched by three Junkions: a “Road Warrior” tribe of robotic Hells Angels. Their bodies are made up of rusted scrap and re-used parts. Their leader, Wreck-gar. Through a speech pattern of catchphrases and advertising slogans, he tells the others that these intruders aren’t welcome.  The other two agree while Wreck-ar readies a rocket-laden laser howitzer, saying they’re
going to have some fun wrecking these interlopers.

21. Pg. 112-115 We return to planet Quintesson, seeing a large castle structure that abuts the slave encampment. Shadows fall across the castle walls and the ground shakes as the Dinobots approach the drawbridge. Grimlock claims he can find Hot Rod and Kup because he is “sensitive”. The other three Dinobots get a hearty laugh out of this claim. Grimlock roars at them to shut up. Before he can continue roaring at them, he notices a Sharkticon gnawing on his foot. Before he can reach down and crush this annoying creature, it spits out the chunk of metal in its mouth and goes scampering away. Going across the drawbridge and through a small “doggie door” next to the main castle door. Within the courtyard, it runs up to two other Sharkticon guards and through clacking chatter, acts out what happened outside. The Lead Quintesson listens to this story of visitors looking for prisoners. Putting on his “smiling face”, he goes outside to speak with the Dinobots. Flattering Grimlock and praising his intelligence, the Quintesson tells the prideful Dinobot that his friends must be in the countryside - across the Mountain of Rusty Shards. His ego suitably placated, Grimlock sets out for the countryside, the other Dinobots making fun of him for being wrong about Hot Rod and Kup being here.
The Quintesson knows they’ll be back, so they must not find their friends here. Rotating to the Death’s Head, he sentences them to...consumption!

22. Pg. 116-118 Galvatron flies in deep space, the cold ray “soda straw” guiding the way towards the planet Unicron. Upon arrival, he sees that the planet has changed colour and is more than twice its previous size. Its landscape and features are seemingly “fattened”, sleeker, brighter, more fuller. Galvatron sets down on the surface where he first met Ingestor.  Not bothering with deference, he muses that perhaps his master has fed too much and may soon hunger for Cybertron. Something he angrily proclaims he will not allow. He is answered with a massive roar and a belch. The landscape shifts and undulates, throwing Galvatron off-balance. Ingestor berates him first for his insolence, then for failing to terminate Ultra Magnus. It orders Galvatron: go to Junkion and destroy him. When the Decepticon leader again attempts defiance, the cold ray descends again. This time with snake-like energy coils that begin strangling him. Ingestor lights the way by turning the cold ray into a marker beam off into space. Sending Galvatron flying on his way with a whip of its metal tree trunks. Seething with sarcastic hatred for his “master”, Galvatron orders the Decepticons to action.
Though he has unwittingly given Ingestor an idea, as it turns its cold ray on another moon of Cybertron. Pulling it out of orbit and towards the gaping maw. The moon is sucked in as Unicron’s crust fractures and cracks away.  Like a snake shedding it’s skin, the planet swells in size.

23. Pg. 119-121 Back on Quintesson, Hot Rod and Kup are herded into the arena. The Lead Quintesson declares them guilty of trespassing. A Sharkticon guard handing both of them their stun sticks. Kup is ready to go out fighting, but Hot Rod has an idea. As their judge passes sentence, he twirls his stun stick and explodes the head of two guards. Then using the explosive charge on the stick as a pole vault, leaping high in the air. The onrush of pursuing Sharkticon guards fall into the pit created by the explosion, Kup stunning several of them. Hot Rod lands next to the Lead Quintesson, pinning him against the wall and taking him hostage. With his back against the wall on the arena floor, Kup is in a stand-off with the Sharkticons. He asks Hot Rod what to do now, the young Autobot responding that he’s open to suggestions. Meanwhile, the Quintesson just rotates to his “smiling” face and laughs.

24. Pg. 121-123 Out in the countryside, the Dinobots are searching the area.  Grimlock is sure they’ll find their friends, but the other three are getting sick of looking and fed up with their leader claiming he has the answer.  Grimlock is indignant at their angry questions, but before things can get ugly.  They hear a squeaky, childlike voice behind them.  It belongs to Wheelie.  Akin to the “wolf boy of Quintesson”, this small, Autobot-like robot has been running wild.  Evading the Sharkticons ever since his ship crash-landed and the monsters devoured the other survivors.  Fearless, he clambers up Sludge’s back in order to jump on Slag’s head and look Grimlock in the eye.  Telling in his rhyming way that they’ve been lied to and that the Dinobot leader is a fool. Furious, he goes to swipe at Wheelie. Who loads a slingshot with firestone and hits Grimlock right in the nose. The small robot wants them to find their friends. The Dinobots are stunned by his defiance as we cut...

25. Pg. 123-129 ...Back to the arena. Down on the floor, Sharkticons are closing in on Kup.  While up in the stands, the other Quintessons watch and laugh at Hot Rod and his hostage.  Holding the Lead Quintesson up by his neck, Hot Rod warns the others to stay back or he’ll take the phony judge apart. His hostage is unimpressed, laughing as his head suddenly flies off his neck.  Flying into the stands where a new body waits to support his head.  He demands the sentence be carried out as the other Quintessons toss Hot Rod back to the arena floor.  The two Autobots decide there is nothing left and begin taking down the Sharkticons nearest them.  Ending up back-to-back in the centre of the arena. The other prisoners, including a robot made of glass and iron filings, cheer encouragement from the gates of the pen. While the Quintessons in the stands rapidly rotate their faces, clapping and laughing.  With a last battle cry of “Till all are one!” Hot Rod and Kup strike out. Battling the encircling Sharkticons, but being pushed back even as they do so.  The Lead Quintesson suddenly yells “Intruders!”.  The two Autobots look up to see Swoop overhead. Flying down and scooping them up. Soaring up high where bombs launched by the Quintessons cannot reach. The other prisoners cheer from their pen, until its gate glows and then explodes.  Grimlock stands before them “Not stand...fight!”.  Led by the Glass Warrior robot, the prisoners storm into the arena and take the Sharkticons apart. Slag and Sludge trampling and barbecuing the monsters. Still carrying Hot Rod and Kup, Swoop lets loose his fire breath.  Some Quintessons are set on fire, their heads rotating wildly before exploding.
The battle is over.  With Wheelie riding atop his head, Grimlock destroys the grandstand with one swipe of his tail.  Sending the remaining Quintessons tumbling into the arena.  The surviving Sharkticons then turn on their masters. The terrified Lead Quintesson commands them to stay back. The Sharkticon leader moves forward.  Its fangs fill the screen amid the off-screen screams of the Quintessons.
Hot Rod and Kup tell the Glass Warrior that the former prisoners can handle things from now on. Introduced to Wheelie, they start wondering where they will find transport to get back on mission. After Wheelie’s attempts to get Hot Rod’s attention fail, Kup asks the little robot where they could find a ship. He points to a Quintesson cruiser waiting nearby. The two Autobots and the Dinobots board the ship to the cheers of the former prisoners. Who are now keeping the remaining Sharkticons in shackles. Glancing back to see Wheelie looking expectantly, Hot Rod relents and allows him to come along “But I think I’m going to regret it!”. The cruiser blasts off into space to one final round of cheers from this world’s former prisoners.

26. Pg. 130-152 On Junkion, repairs to the shuttle are almost complete. The crew welding various salvaged parts into place.  Daniel, walking vertical up the shuttle wall, asks to help out.  With some encouragement from Blurr, he concentrates and causes the finger of his exo-suit to transform into a welding torch.  Ultra Magnus declares they are ready to board as Daniel slips off the hull and has to be caught by Arcee.
From their hiding place, Wreck-gar begins to order his fellow Junkions to attack. He stops when he hears and sees a massive Decepticon strike force approaching. Deciding it’s best if they just wait and see how this plays out.  Magnus sees the Decepticons approach and orderseveryone to draw them off before doubling back. Springer fires up at incoming jets, then tells the crew to scatter.  Arcee transforms and rolls off in one direction.  Daniel asks the transforming Blurr what to do.  The fast-talking Autobot tells him to think and transform as he blurs away, evading Ramjet’s strafing run.  Daniel begins concentrating, but sees Shrapnel and Scavenger advancing on him. Suddenly, his exo-suit transforms into a skeletal racing vehicle, with wheels and rocket boosters. Daniel smashes through the two Decepticons at high speed and leaves a cloud of dust behind him.
From a ridge above, Galvatron orders his forces to split up and run the enemy to ground.  Transforming and firing a volley of blasts after Springer.  Who transforms and speeds forward to outrun the fire, but hits the brakes in front of a blind canyon wall.  With Galvatron’s bombardment coming towards him, he transforms into robot mode and springs up.  Avoiding the fire by landing a shelf of rock in the canyon wall, before going back to auto mode and driving off.  Wreck-gar continues to watch and finds it all mighty entertaining.
Ultra Magnus hurls a slew of cluster bombs at the Coneheads.  Clipping their wings and sending them crashing. He shepherds Perceptor towards an overhang for some protection.  There, Perceptor opens a steel attache case and shows Magnus what he had requested.  Transforming to microscope mode, Magnus sees through his lens small models of Blurr, Arcee, Springer and Perceptor. “Psuedo-clones” that can transform, but otherwise can’t move.  Perceptor “complicated language joke” no.7 occurs as he tells Magnus that once the clones are full size, they should fool Galvatron only until he destroys them.  Magnus tells him “I can deal with that! Be ready!”. He moves out from cover, firing on Decepticon jets.  Transforming and driving away to draw off their fire, with Dirge in hot pursuit. Left alone to work, Perceptor raises the antenna on the attache case. The case pulsing as it picks  electronic waves, the clones begin growing to full size.
Elsewhere, Arcee drives up a hill, being chased by the Constructicons. Their laser fire eats away at the hillside, causing a landslide. She transforms to robot mode and leaps off the hill, straight into the waiting arms of Astrotrain. Who pins her to the ground and starts warming up his flamethrower. Daniel drives up from the opposite direction and transforms his exo-suit to humanoid mode. Astrotrain just sneers at the boy, but without even thinking Daniel lets loose with a flame blast. Melting the space shuttle’s joints and rendering him immobile.  Autobot and human then make good their escape.  Blurr speeds through open areas, Decepticons unable to blast or catch up with him.  Roaring into a gulley, he is confused when an explosion of camouflage gas goes up and fills the entire gulley. Perceptor comes into view holding a lantern, telling him this is Magnus’ plan and to come along quietly. Arcee and Daniel soon join them, followed quickly by Springer.  At their confusion, Perceptor tells them to keep quiet. He presses a remote control and the clones move past the real Autobots.
Outside, the Decepticons surround the gully. Each of the clones comes roaring out of the smoke, firing and racing off. Galvatron’s bellows to exterminate them distract him from Ultra Magnus moving out from behind the shuttle and firing off a stream of bombs. The explosions send Galvatron toppling off the ridge and landing on Scourge. Furious, Galvatron moves off after Magnus with his strike force following. With the Decepticons concentrating their fire, the Blurr clone is hit. Exploding in half, the flaming wreckage wiping out the Arcee clone on impact.
The real Autobots watch from the edge of the gulley, worrying that the deception won’t hold for long. Perceptor grimly tells them Magnus has anticipated this.  The enraged Galvatron continues to fire on the fleeing Ultra Magnus. Who soon finds himself surrounded. Wielding his sidearm like a war club and using pistol lasers, he fights ferociously. Meanwhile the Springer clone bursts into flames, while the Perceptor clone shatters when Blitzwing flies in, picks it up and drops it from a great height.  Galvatron pushes through his troops to confront Magnus, who is now on one knee. Still fighting with one arm hanging off, nearly severed. Magnus hurls bombs at Galvatron. In response, the Decepticon leader transforms and blasts Magnus at point-blank range. Ultra Magnus' sparking torso lies shattered, his melted limbs and body parts strewn all over.  Galvatron extends a laser-saw from his hand and moves toward Magnus’ lifeless chest, claiming the prize of his conquest. Cutting into the heart chamber, he extracts the Life Spark of Optimus Prime. Sealing it in a bottle that he hangs around his neck. Declaring victory, he orders his troops to return to Earth and stop all energy supply to Ingestor. Daniel and the Autobots have been watching the operation with anger and sadness. Scourge asks Galvatron about the other Autobots, starting to examine the remains of the clones.  An unconcerned Galvatron declares them “carrion for the Caesium-crows!”. Again ordering the Decepticons to Earth, he says he will pay a final visit to Ingestor and “cancel our contract forever!”.
As the Decepticons fly off and leave Junkion behind, the Autobots come out from hiding to mourn their fallen leader.  An agitated Blurr blurs in, saying there is no time for mourning.  When Perceptor can’t understand him, Blurr simply points to “Them!”
“They” are the Junkions. Riding out in ramshackle tricycles, buggies and tanks. Wreck-gar is at the head of the pack, leading them in a gibbering, almost singing, kind of Junk-Rock-War-Cry-Song.  The Autobots and Daniel flee.  A chase ensues.  One Nazi-helmeted Junkion on a tricycle tries twice to hurl a laser-barbed grappling hook at Springer. On the second time, Springer grabs the chain and yanks it.  Sending cycle and rider tumbling. Breaking the Junkion apart on the rust-filled landscape, but the pieces keep moving. The roadside junk sticking and restructuring him into a new robot form that continues to keep pace with his quarry.  Arcee is almost swerved off the road by a Junkion who has a steel turban with a cobrahead in the center. She blasts him and he is torn apart. But immediately bounces along the roadway and is reformed by the junk into a tricycle rider.
With nothing working to shake off their pursuers, the Autobots are brought to a halt as more Junkions rise up from the junk piles ahead of them. Surrounded, the group moves to protect each other. As a Junkion equips a snipping tool with a blowtorch head and advances on Arcee. All stop at the sight of the Quintesson cruiser overhead. The Autobots recognise Hot Rod, Kup and the Dinobots aboard. However, more Junkions rise out of the landscape and appear on the hills. Definitely hostile to the newcomers.  Aboard the cruiser, the crew sees the situation from the cockpit. Grimlock doesn’t like the odds, Kup is ready for a fight but Wheelie tells him that it’s smarter to make friends. Kup shoots that idea down as unlikely, but it's given Hot Rod a brainstorm.  Wreck-gar leads the other Junkions to the cruiser’s landing site, herding Springer and company along with them. The cruiser sets down, Junkions taking aim at the doorway.  Hot Rod leads the way, smiling and holding energon sticks.  A wary Kup and the nervous Dinobots follow behind. Arcee notes “Hot Rod looks so...different.”. Wreck-gar sees his smile and imitates it to his followers, who get a big laugh out of it. Hot Rod tells Kup to put his laser rifle away, even as Wreck-gar is advancing with a blowtorch cutter. The young Autobot steps forward with a smile and recites the Universal Greeting. The Junkions all look at each other for a moment, then smile.  Hot Rod offers the energon sticks to Wreck-gar, who holds them over his head as his tribe begin cheering and celebrating. Singing, clapping and a square-dance style celebration breaks out involving the Autobots, while the Junkions chant the Universal Greeting throughout. Even Grimlock is happy to make friends as Wreck-gar hugs his leg, before going over to a platform and ringing a bell for silence.  Delivering a speech about friendship that Hot Rod and Arcee don’t fully understand, but they do start their flirting again. The Junkion leader turns his attention to the mangled body of Ultra Magnus. Which is passed through a procession of his people. Being reassembled, sprayed, lubed, oiled and polished.  Eventually ending up in front of Wreck-gar as a functional robot again, amazed by his reconstruction. Magnus steps towards his fellow Autobot who are overjoyed to have him back.
Wreck-gar calls for silence again and says after seeing what they do, the Junkions want to fight the Decepticons too. Springer looks to Magnus for orders. Who says that without Prime’s Life Spark, he is just a soldier. Kup says someone must lead and looks to Springer.  But before he can respond, Hot Rod steps forward with a commanding tone. Pointing out that the Decepticons were sending Earth’s energy out to a point in space. They should pick up where they left off and pull the plug on the energy drains, and the Decepticons, once and for all.
Junkions and Dinobots cheer their approval, chanting “Forward!”. As the Junkions board their own space cruiser in the background, Kup tells Hot Rod “You’ve grown, lad...”. To which the young Autobot responds by saying “I know.” then wryly giving an imitation of Kup telling one of his war stories. Provoking a laugh from the old veteran as the chant of “Forward!”continues. Autobot and Junkion alike board cruisers and other ships, blasting off into space. Headed for the final battle...

27. Pg. 152-166 Viewed from space, the now-huge planet Unicron glows and pulses ominously.  Galvatron flies in demanding an audience with Ingestor. Landing once again in the hellish area, where the “tree-trunks” and “grass” have grown fatter and shinier. Ingestor questions the idea of Galvatron demanding anything. As he speaks, the Decepticon leader surreptitiously takes a bomb carton out and places it on the ground. Shoving “grass” over it to conceal it. He speaks of the vast energy supplies he has given, even his planet’s moons, to sate his master’s hunger. Now he reports that the Autobot resistance has been exterminated.  Belligerent, he asks for an end to their agreement.  Ingestor laughs, the force of which causes thunder and lightning to rock the surface of the planet.  Declaring that Galvatron is his for eternity.  The enraged Decepticon roars that he set an enhanced Thermo Charge. One that will burrow down to the core of the planet and destroy Ingestor. He sends a signal to the bomb. Which glows and erupts like white hot lava, eating its way down through the surface.
Ingestor sighs, gleefully proclaiming that the bomb was the last bit of energy needed to set him free...
The ground beneath Galvatron’s feet moves and shifts as the landscape “rises''. As if a new mountain range is forming. The “tree-trunks'' whip about and the “grass” waves and ripples.  He holds on to a “tree-trunk” for dear life as we pull back. Seeing the rippling “muscles'' of the planet flex and swell out away from its surface. We change angle to the horizon of Unicron as it shafts, swells and something begins to rise. It is the beginning of a colossal robot head. Thousands of separate living mechanisms locked together, integrated to the planet Unicron itself. Once the head has emerged, Ingestor’s thunderous laughter can be heard. Portions of the planet open out, revealing the galaxy-size robot. A valley and mountains unfold and kick out, revealing a leg and foot. Another part of the planet recedes and then bursts forth as a hand and continent-sized arm. The surface under Galvatron tilts violently, throwing him backwards into the “tree-trunks''. The camera pulls back until Galvatron is the size of a flea.  Revealing that the “tree-trunks' ' are the hairs on the back of Ingestor’s hand, that he must cling on to.  Most of the planet has unfolded to reveal that it was Ingestor’s body after all.  The last of his features and extremities forming.
Proclaiming that he shall absorb the universe, the colossal robot flexes and shakes out his limbs.  A terrified Galvatron attempts to fly away, but the giant eye of Ingestor sees him.  Declaring that he may still have use for his slave, a vacuum sucks a pleading Galvatron back towards his master.  Continent-sized fingers place him in Ingestor’s eyebrow. The “tree-trunk” hairs bind him like manacles bolted to a wall. Revealing his intention to dine on Cybertron, Ingestor extends his limbs and flies through space. His laughter echoing as Galvatron begs for his world.
In a laboratory on Cybertron, Shockwave sees an “unprecedented life form” approaching on his scanner. Turning to Thundercracker and Skywarp, he gives the call to repel the invader.  Alarms sound and Decepticons scramble to battle stations. All look up in shock and awe as the gargantuan shadow of Ingestor looms over them, dwarfing the entire planet. He leans down and scrapes his hand across the surface of the planet. Tearing up buildings and weapon emplacements. Oblivious to the laser fire and cluster bombs which harmlessly explode on him. Pulling an electrical mast up through Shockwave’s laboratory like a carrot.  Taking power generators and many floors of the building up with it.  Shockwave screams as he is pinned by the giant fingers to a sparking generator.  Ingestor brings the generator towards his mouth, his teeth working. Shockwave’s last entreaty to the Decepticons to continue the fight is cut off, as Ingestor pops the “carrot” of the generator in his mouth and begins chewing. Down on the surface where the laboratory was previously. Various Decepticons, including Thundercracker and Skywarp, unleash an artillery onslaught using laser cannons and rocket blasters. Ingestor leans his face down and opens his mouth to swallow the entire barrage. Thundercracker reacts in horror as Ingestor bends down and bites that entire chunk of the planet.  Consuming him, Skywarp, buildings and weapons.
Seeing the colossal robot attacking Cybertron through the cockpit of their cruisers. The approaching Autobots are astonished. Even the glassy-eyed Kup can’t think of an anecdote this time around. Hot Rod gets on the intercom and orders “Battle stations!”. Saying they’re going to get inside the monster and see what makes it tick.  The Dinobots and Junkions fly out from the two ships. The Junkion have transformed their tricycles to space sleds, or are using rocket belts. Ingestor sees the ships approaching and turns to swat at them. The cruiser and the Junkion ship dodge his attacks and open fire.  Perceptor operating a control console, analysing data on the giant robot. Hot Rod maneuvers the cruiser and holds between Ingestor’s cheek and hand. When the titan realises, he attempts to slap his own cheek and crush the cruiser against his own face. But misses, the cruiser darts free as Ingestor reacts in pain and frustration.  The two ships and the Dinobots fly in formation together, heading straight for Ingestor.  As Hot Rod counts to three, their target smiles and cups his hands together. Ready to catch them all when they get in range. On “Three!'' The groups break off in different directions: Hot Rod’s cruiser towards the head, the Junkion’s cruiser towards the belt and the Dinobots towards the foot. Ingestor is confused, not knowing which way to strike and furiously grabbing at nothing. The Dinobots let loose their combined flame blasts at his foot.
Ingestor bellows in pain, bringing his foot up and reaching down to pat out the flames.  Aboard their cruiser, Wreck-gar leaves his console and joins his Junkion troopers. Giving the command to eject. The sides of the ship break away as the Junkions ride out, their cruiser still heading for its target. The cruiser crashes into Ingestor’s belt area in a fiery explosion, the Junkions riding in to land after it. Ingestor doubles over in pain, like he has been shot in the gut.
Hot Rod tells the others to brace for impact, as he brings the Quintesson cruiser to a screeching, skidding halt on part of Ingestor’s ear. Who stops paying attention to the fire on his belt long enough to reach up to his ear, gingerly searching for this new irritation.  The Autobots and Daniel in his exo-suit pile out of the cruiser. Hot Rod hangs on to the ear ledge, telling the others to keep the monster busy while he drops in. He and Arcee tell each other to be careful, before he jumps into the ear hole with an echoing shout.  Setting to their task, Blurr attaches a bumper to his back. The bumper has flame nozzles, scorching the surface behind him. Transforming and racing off across Ingestor’s neck and chest. Who stops investigating his ear to start slapping his chest, trying to swat Blurr like a mosquito.
Meanwhile, in Ingestor’s “inner ear”. Hot Rod sees a multitude of high-tech tunnels and corridors guarded by defense systems: advancing razor treads moving along the floor. Hot Rod bends part of the wall into their path, causing them to chomp down and short circuit.  
Outside, Ingestor reacts and reaches up to his ear. Springer shoving Arcee and Daniel out of the way of the oncoming hand. Arcee lands in a forest of “tree-run” hairs on Ingestor’s shoulder. The hairs come alive to bind and strangle her. Crying out for help, Daniel leaps after her before Magnus can stop him. Landing amongst the hairs, he concentrates. His exo-suit gives him the strength to reach down and yank one of the hairs out. Ingestor roars with pain again and searches for the source. The hairs binding Arcee release her, recoiling as Daniel menaces them. She tells him that was very brave, to which he blushes and tries to play the big hero “Piece of carbon cake!”

28. Pg. 166-167 Dropping into the chest cavity through a valve stem, Hot Rod is confronted by Ingestor’s “white cells”. Like gigantic spiked versions of pollen. Batting them aside with his rifle, he hurries on. Thinking that this creature must have a core around here somewhere.

29. Pg. 167-168 Outside, Grimlock orders the Dinobots to pour it on as they blast Ingestor’s knee. Reaching down, he swats Slag and Swoop against his shin. They lay amongst his leg hairs or armoured shinguards, seemingly dead.
Smiling, Ingestor brings his hands to his midsection. Where Wreck-gar and the Junkions ride along his belly, shooting and using grappling hooks. The giant flattened hands come down on them, the screen fading to black with crunching and yelping sounds being heard.  Springer pulls Arcee and Daniel up to the clavicle area. Realising their enemy is getting sharper and they need to be moving targets. He sees the scratching fingers of Ingestor scrape Ultra Magnus and Perceptor off his neck, sending them tumbling away. Springer springs in one direction, while Arcee and Daniel run the other way.

30. Pg. 168-170 Back inside, Hot Rod finds himself next to an opening and closing “artery valve”. Fighting off the white cells, he dives through before the valve snaps shut. Finding himself in a series of gleaming catacombs, with working drive shafts on the walls. Like some giant chemical factory. He figures he is getting closer. Going up a rising ramp, he steps on one of the geometric “tiles” that compose it, depressing it under his weight...
Outside, Ingestor is alerted to Hot Rod’s presence. Leaving his attempts to swat Blurr, he picks Galvatron from his eyebrow. Telling his slave to destroy the intruder and he shall be allowed to live. Galvatron’s words of acquiescence trail off as Ingestor prods him down between his eyelid and eyeball. We follow the Decepticon leader as he falls, righting himself before landing in the chest cavity. Finding himself at the top of the ramp that Hot Rod has been climbing. He blazes with hatred at the sight of the Autobot, launching down with a battle cry of “Decepticons forever!”. Taking his prey by surprise, the two grapple and tumble along Ingestor’s rib cage.

31. Pg. 170 Outside, Blurr continues racing along Ingestor’s chest, spewing flames. Not seeing the giant hand looming up behind him. Perceptor tries to shout a warning, but is too late.  The hand smacks down, then moves away to reveal Blurr’s smashed remains.

32. Pg. 170-172 Inside, Galvatron kicks Hot Rod into a saw-toothed wall, then charges him with a laser knife. Hot Rod sidesteps the blade, which goes sparking into the wall and follows up with a karate chop to the neck. Then a right cross, followed by an uppercut that causes Galvatron to fall. Hot Rod leaping on top of him. Galvatron tries to claw his optics out, but he responds with two punches. Then grabbing his opponent and shoving him against the wall. The Decepticon pulls a blaster, but his shot cuts the side of Hot Rod’s face, leaving a scar on his cheek. The Autobot hurls himself on Galvatron, grabbing for him but getting the bottle containing the Life Spark of Optimus Prime. Still attached to Galvatron’s neck. Stopping as he realises what he is holding, the spark glows bright and speaks to him. Telling him to be the Autobot he was born to be. As the glow from the spark envelops Hot Rod in light, the voice of Optimus Prime calls out “Stand in the light...rise, Rodimus Prime!”. Dropping Galvatron, Hot Rod stands in the glow and is changed to the larger, more mature form of Rodimus Prime. Declaring himself, he is met with a furious Galvatron “What good’s a name to a dead Autobot?”. Firing his blaster, before charging the Autobot leader and both tumbling through a transparent membrane. Into a cavern full of acid geysers and rivers.

33. Pg. 172-173 Outside, Ingestor plucks Grimlock and Sludge off his leg. Holding their squirming forms aloft to look at them with contempt. Then throwing their crumpled bodies away. Atop one of Ingestor’s horns, Daniel, Arcee and Ultra Magnus cling on, hoping to avoid being seen. Magnus says that unless Hot Rod can do something, they’re finished.  Ingestor turns back and begins reaching for Cybertron...

34. Pg.173 Galvatron is relentless in his assault upon Rodimus Prime. Smashing him with a chunk of metal ripped from the wall and driving him back again and again. We zoom out to see that they are in the stomach of Ingestor. The moons of Cybertron hang overhead in webbing, waiting to be digested along with various ships and planets.  The staggered Rodimus back into a wall, as Galvatron wields a broken shard of metal like a broadsword. Ready to drive it into the Autobot’s chest. As he goes to strike the killing blow, he is harangued by blaster fire from above. Jazz and Cliffjumper are firing from their escape module, which is perched on a ledge next to other wrecked vehicles. Firing again, Jazz shouts down, telling Rodimus to finish the job. The Autobot leader rises, driving Galvatron back with repeated punches until he too stumbles against a wall. As Rodimus raises his fist for the final blow, Galvatron buys time by revealing “My true name is...Megatron!”. Using the distraction to begin strangling the Autobot. Rodimus puts his arms inside to break Galvatron’s grip. In doing so, the bottle around his neck goes flying, smashing against a saw-toothed wall. The Life Spark of Optimus Prime flies out and begins pulsing, glowing and expanding. Its loud voice proclaiming “This evil must be expunged...the goodness of the universe must survive.”
Ingestor’s face spasms and contorts wildly. He begins clawing at himself, trying to remove the “vile” presence. Pulling off his own foot, then his leg. Ripping away at his own eyes and neck. Tearing away portions of his chest, exposing “bones” and “wire-muscle”.  Violently twisting and turning as he continues to flay himself. The Autobots and Junkions on his surface are sent scattering.  Grimlock flies back into Sludge. Both battered but alive. They help each other limp away through space.  Ingestor pulls his own knee off, which goes spiralling out into space. He changes colours, begins to heat up, steaming and smoking. Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Daniel fly off saying “He’l explode at any astro-second!”. Kup flying in and noting Hot Rod is still inside.  
The interior is crumbling and falling apart as Optimus Prime’s expanding Life Spark makes the place white hot. Galvatron resumes his attack on Rodimus. Jazz and Cliffjumper return to their escape module, telling their leader “It’s gonna blow...Got to go...”  The light “bores' ' a white spot on Ingestor’s stomach wall. Which explodes, blowing out both Galvatron and the escape module. The Decepticon is sent hurtling off into deep space. Ultra Magnus helps the Autobots back aboard the Quintesson cruiser, Perceptor helping a battered Blurr inside. Arcee asks about Hot Rod, but Daniel says “He’d want you to survive!”
The writhing Ingestor is vibrating, swelling as sections of his body fall away. Shaking himself as he grows hotter, more blow holes popping out of him and raining debris into space.
Inside the stomach cavity. Rodimus goes to fly out when he hears moans and cries.  Looking up to the moons of Cybertron, he realises he must free them. Flying up to them as the fabric of Ingestor’s body falls apart, revealing space outside. Rodimus flies up to the corner of that fabric that is preventing the moons from escaping Blasting it with flame jets to melt it. Ingestor gives one final cry of pain. His face swollen to the bursting point.  Rodimus breaks through the holding corner as part of Ingestor’s body shell explodes, hurling the moons out. Which are then pulled back into correct orbit.  Ingestor suddenly glows white all over, vibrating and smoking. As his body is disintegrating. The now enormous image of Optimus Prime’s Spark declares “So shall all evil end! Farewell! Farewell...” The image shimmers out of Ingestor and dissipates into an expanding rainbow effect that then dissolves.
Finally, Ingestor explodes in a blinding flash. What remains of his burnt out shell drifting
off into space.
Aboard their cruiser, Daniel and the Autobots see it all. Arcee lamenting that Hot Rod is gone.

A “bandaged” Wreck-gar points out the window “Not so fast with bad news. Film At Eleven unnecessary!”
They see Rodimus Prime flying out from the carcass of Ingestor. Smiling as he moves toward the camera.  Cheers all around as...
Ultra Magnus and Kup pat each other on the back, pointing at Rodimus who winks back at them.
Arcee, who puts an arm around Daniel before blowing Rodimus a kiss.
Wreck-gar holds Perceptor aloft with help from the other Junkions as they applaud, along with Blurr.
Springer gives a thumbs up to Rodimus who waves as he flies by.  Martial music triumphantly rises as we fade out on the image of Rodimus flying towards Cybertron.

THE END




Saturday, 23 April 2022

Five Faces Of Darkness deleted, changed or misinterpreted scenes











Last month at TFCon LA 2022, Jim Sorenson and Flint Dille hosted a panel revealing the hidden secrets of Flint's Transformers miniseries Five Faces Of Darkness.  Simultaneously, this Archive went live with all five scripts and part of the outline.

The following is the document I wrote up to assist Jim with the panel.  Detailing scenes deleted or changed in the normal course of production, as well as providing explanations to scenes where the written intent was obfuscated by the failures of the animating studio AKOM.

To read any of the material referenced in this article, head over to The Transformers, Part 2 page.


Part 1

Act I


Opening recap


Changed: Points to be covered in the opening recap of TFTM include the death of Optimus Prime, the passing of the Matrix and the rise of Rodimus Prime.  Megatron becoming Galvatron and the death of Starscream (the script notes the plan to bring him back as a ghost was already lined up for later in the season).  None of these beats are touched on in the final recap.  Possibly due to the documented concerns from Hasbro over potentially spoiling the movie a month after release.


Fight on Chaar


Changed/Deleted: The fight over energon plays differently.  The scenes of the Constructicons watching Astrotrain land, brawling over the cubes and then forming Devastator were added later.  Devastator kicking Astrotrain away, grabbing the cube and being wrecked by Menasor play out as scripted.  The Insecticons and their clones show up and buzz Menasor repeatedly, making him dizzy enough to stumble and fall.  The three main Insecticons attempt to take the energon, but see Cyclonus and the Sweeps coming in and decide to back away.  


KICKBACK: Let’s eat quick before they get here!

SHRAPNEL: No, they’ll eat us for our energon, energon.


This part was likely cut as though the three Insecticons were all continuing product in the ‘86 toyline.  The decision not to use generic models in TFTM saw them reformatted by Unicron.



The Galactic Olympics


Deleted: The planet that plays host to the Games is confirmed as Athenia: which would go on to be the Autobots’ second home in Takara’s Headmasters series.  We start with our reintroduction to the Witwicky family as Spike and Daniel stand next to the Autobots, watching the various aliens taking part in the parade.  Daniel starts to make remarks about the aliens’ looks when Carly’s hand enters shot and muffles his words.  She starts to remind her son that they are there to make friends with these aliens and not offend.  She cuts herself off and gasps when “The ugliest alien ever created” stands before them.  Spike buries his revulsion and introduces himself as Earth’s ambassador to Cybertron.  The alien “slobbers something in a language that is nearly as ugly as he is”.  Spike attempts to be diplomatic, introducing the Uglian to Kup, who offers his hand.  The Uglian then spits a giant green globule into Kup’s hand.  Much to the elderly Autobot’s anger, as Spike pleads with him not to make a scene:


KUP: What the…?

SPIKE: He didn’t mean to be rude, Kup.  In his culture…

KUP: I’ll teach him some culture…


Changed: Throughout the scenes at the Olympics, Rodimus is often referred to with royal terminology such as “ruler” and “sovereign”.  When the attack starts, Magnus earnestly yells  “Duck, your majesty!” to which Rodimus draws his blaster and replies  “You duck for me!”


Deleted: As Magnus' speech is broadcast to Autobot City, we get a better look at the setting in which Bumblebee and Warpath are watching it.  It is being shown in an Autobot bar, decorated with banners and featuring some of the other Autobots stationed here, such as Blaster, Powerglide and Superion.  Warpath not being written with his trademark speech pattern, which was added in story-editing.


Changed: The winner of the race was scripted to be a generic Autobot.  The use of Jazz in this spot was presumably a Marvel storyboard artist’s choice.


AKOM: The transition between Blurr complaining about his mission and the Olympics’ announcers declaring Munka Spanka the winner of a contest was scripted to be a Dissolve, to indicate the passage of time.  However, as was common with their work, AKOM failed to add the dissolve and instead cut straight between scenes.  Leading fans to believe that the announcers were referring to the previous race and that Munka Spanka was some renaming of Jazz.


Deleted: Magnus’ officious nature means he is embarrassed by Rodimus’ exuberant cheering.  Rodimus shows that even though he is now the leader, he is still Hot Rod at heart.


MAGNUS: Rodimus, you must show some decorum.

RODIMUS: Decorum…I don’t even want to be up here, I want to be down there.

MAGNUS: It is not appropriate for sovereigns to compete.

ARCEE: I don’t know.  The Emperor Nero still holds Earth’s records for the most gold medals.

RODIMUS: He does?

MAGNUS (To Arcee)  I would appreciate it if you would select his role models a bit more carefully.


Deleted: As the mysterious creatures (Quintessons) watch the Autobots on a monitor, one sends instructions “Do not leave the human behind.”.  Foreshadowing the intent to kidnap Spike.



Act II


Note: As he and Blurr depart Cybertron, it is noted that Wheelie should be played “like the jester in RAN”.  Ran was Akira Kurosawa’s last epic film, released in the US in December 1985, three months before this script was complete.


Deleted: On Athenia, Grimlock (in robot mode) interrogates two frightened aliens as to the whereabouts of the Decepticons.  Who proclaim “We’re neutral, we’re neutral!”.  “OK, you not know, then me Grimlock not ask you any more.”  As the big Dinobot walks away, the aliens breathe a sigh of relief.  Only for Grimlock to transform to dino mode and stick his head right in their faces “You sure you not know?”

The terrified aliens yell that they’re on Chaar “See, me Grimlock smart and wily.  But me no heard of Chaar.”  He picks the two up in his mouth and carries them away


Carbombya


Changed: Abdul Fakkadi’s opening rant covering his ludicrously long title and the name of the country were originally written as descriptive text and not dialogue.  His first line being “I give no clearance to land.  Do nothing to arouse my ire.”.  The text describes Fakkadi’s soldiers as men who would assassinate him at a moment’s notice if someone paid them enough.

Instead of Outback, Sandstorm originally accompanied Blaster on this mission.  Along with Sparkplug, who was likely removed due to having insufficient dialogue to justify booking Chris Latta for a recording session.  His lines were reassigned to Blaster.

Once Dirge and Ramjet try to escape, Sandstorm fires his weapon at a sand dune.  Creating a big cloud that the two Coneheads fly through and suck the sand into their intakes.


Changed: The following scene of Outback reporting to Rodimus about the location of Chaar was added in story-editing and does not appear in this script.



Act III


Chaar


Deleted/Changed: Various small changes as the battered Decepticons await the return of Cyclonus and co.  Swindle proposes cutting a deal with the Autobots: energon for being left in peace.  Motormaster’s odd praise of the late Optimus Prime is in fact a subtle (by his standards) hint that he should be leader of the Decepticons:  “-- like, for instance the Autobots used to have a great leader.  What was his transform, anyway?”

Once Cyclonus arrives, the device he holds is a black box retrieved from Unicron.  Containing proof that Galvatron still lives.  He makes his pitch for the Decepticons to contribute what little energon remains while Rodimus and Grimlock watch, camouflaged by the ash substance of Chaar.

Octane tosses a cube in, proclaiming “Fuel is power, but leadership is life.” before keeling over.  This role was given over to Motormaster.



Part 2


Act I


Discovered


Deleted: Parts cut from the Decepticon attack on Rodimus and Grimlock include attempts by Dead End to fire his weapon, only for the laser to dissipate like the water out of a squirt gun.


DEAD END: It is as if the fates themselves had ordered our demise

VORTEX: You’re a real upper, aren’t you?

DEAD END: (not catching the sarcasm): No.  It is hard to be optimistic when one’s universe is collapses (sic) upon itself.


More from the should-be-departed Insecticons as Grimlock transforms to robot mode. He and Rodimus raise weapons to return fire


SHRAPNEL: We need energon, energon

BOMBSHELL: (points o.s) We need to stop yappin’ and take cover!

KICKBACK:  They’re gonna shoot back!


Frenzy comes up with the solution, sluggishly hammering his piledrivers on the ground


FRENZY: If you can’t blast ‘em - bash ‘em!”


Interrogation


Changed: Some ideas for Kup’s interrogation by the Quintessons were dropped.  The questioning would take place inside a cell and not over the Sharkticon pit.  Magnus and Spike would be locked in a cage nearby (thus a bit more plausible when their captors hear them speaking).  While the dialogue is as broadcast, the intent would be that the Quintesson face pointing towards the Autobots would be speaking to Kup.  While the discussion over the truth of his answer would be conducted by the face pointing away from the Autobots and towards the other Quintessons.  For example:


INTERROGATOR FACE #1: (To Kup) Tell us the Status of Cybertronian defense apparatus.

KUP: Total shambles after the last war.  Three kids an’ a dog could take the planet.

INTERROGATOR FACE #2: (To other Quintessons): Four percent probability of truth.  Defenses at optimum levels.  Direct assault not viable.



Act II


Inside The Matrix


Changed/AKOM: While certainly the sequence of Rodimus’ Matrix vision is intended to be trippy and hard to make sense of.  There is some logic to the visuals that AKOM failed to convey.

Cybertron would be seen to disassemble “like a tinker toy set”

The face of Optimus Prime would dissolve to be replaced with the face of Orion Pax.  Who would in turn be replaced by another face, then another, then another.  Almost moving backwards in time through an Autobot Hall Of Fame.  Until it reaches the most primitive of robot designs.  A CAD image of a robot skull which would reappear in Return Of Optimus Prime, dubbed “It”.  This image would explode, as an angry and malevolent presence would rip through the line of Autobots.  Coming closer to be revealed as a Quintesson.


Judgment


Changed: As the Autobots and Spike are being led to sentencing and execution, and Spike gives his coded message to break out.  His mention of football plays provides an interesting glimpse into the future timeline:


SPIKE: Remember – We all went to the ‘97 Super Bowl together.  What a game.

Miami versus the Lunar Colony.  It was fourth quarter, fourth down, thirty yards to go – remember the play?


Changed: Throughout the episode, the Sharkticon pit is scripted to be the dry, metallic fighting arena it was depicted as in earlier TFTM scripts.  This is revised to be consistent with the more “shark tank” visual we saw in the movie.



Act III


A nasty surprise


Deleted: Quintessa has a new addition since we saw it in the movie: an artificial moon in orbit.  On the far side, it is equipped with a gun platform containing a battery of anti-spacecraft laser cannons, manned by various Quintesson guards.  

As the Rockeroid approaches the planet, Rodimus and Arcee converse amongst themselves, unaware they are being targeted.  The battery opens fire, shells throwing the occupants of the ship around.  Rodimus tells the others he has an idea, moments before the barrage sends the Rockeroid into a tailspin, then plummeting towards the Sharkticon pit.  Whereupon the Quintessons’ massive Phalanx Gun destroys it.


Changed: Once the Quintessons activate the core bomb.  A countdown clock was intended to be superimposed in the corner of the screen for the remainder of the episode, counting down to the explosion.



Part 3


Differences between outline and full script


Instead of the Aerialbots’ spacecraft, it is the Rockeroid that is used for the Autobots’ escape and torn apart by the explosion of Quintessa.  Suggesting that it’s destruction in Part 2 was a change made to accommodate the Aerialbots’ inclusion in the episode, likely a Hasbro request.


When Galvatron makes his decision to detour through the warp gate, he claims he can sense Autobots on the other side.  Something that no other Transformer can do.  Lending a sense of uncertainty as to whether his claims of being more powerful than ever are true after all (Flint’s handwritten notes on the outline suggest he was already looking to ditch that idea).


Originally, Shockwave was the one to harbour doubts about the Quintessons.  Being the most ancient Decepticon still alive, he has vague memories of the aliens that tell him they shouldn’t be trusted.  “But there have been too many uploads and downloads since then to remember exactly why they strike him as so unsavoury”.

In a memo sent to all three story editors, Production Coordinator Elise Goyette instructed Flint to replace the now-discontinued Shockwave with another character from his briefing binder.




In the footnotes, Flint makes explicitly clear that Marisa Faireborn is the daughter of GI Joe members Flint and Lady Jaye. 



Full script


Act I


Aerialbot bravado


Deleted: Once the Autobots, Spike and Deliberata are hurled from the wrecked spaceship.  Air Raid attempts to fly out, despite Silverbolt’s warning not to.  Sure enough, he accelerates through the debris storm and small meteorites punch holes in his wings.  He takes his leader’s point.


Fun with gimmicks


Changed: On the run from Galvatron.  Blurr, as Flint puts it, is elevated from a one-note to a two-note character.  As he gets the idea to lose their pursuers around Jupiter, he speaks in a slow, calm manner.  When this is noted by Wheelie, Blurr responds “That’s cause I’m scared.  I always slow down when I’m scared". The episode was clearly recorded and animated with this idea intact. However, due to the payoff of this speech gimmick gag being deleted from part 4. Additional dialogue was recorded (with an unknown voice actor as Wheelie, in place of Frank Welker) to restore the duo's normal speech pattern.



Act II


Madness or truth?


Deleted: The Jovian storm erupts in full force, sending both Autobots and Decepticons hurtling out of the atmosphere.  On the other hand, Galvatron is braced against the hurricane winds, seemingly able to absorb its power.


GALVATRON: Fools!  Taste the storm’s power! Seize it for your own!  You can be its victim or its master!!


Down In The Goo


AKOM: When Kup picks a spluttering, indignant Deliberata out of the goo, only to drop him back in.  Only his Death’s Head emerges and the rest of his body is missing.  Fans have speculated that this is based on the Ron Friedman drafts of TFTM.  Where the Quintessons were large heads atop frail, humanoid bodies.  Which had the ability to detach their heads and re-attach to a new body.  However, there is nothing within the script to indicate that Deliberata was to have been drawn any differently than a standard Quintesson Judge.


Act III


Fight Or Flee


AKOM: Once Rodimus emerges from under the goo, after bringing down the Elemental Processing Unit.  We are supposed to see that the arm he used to jam the unit’s motors with goo is now a steaming, twisted girder from the elbow down.


More Fun With Gimmicks


Changed: Coming to after their crash landing on Io.  Blurr and Wheelie find the damage they sustained in Jupiter’s atmosphere is still affecting them.  Blurr’s speech is slurred “like a 45 record at 33” until he runs internal diagnostics.  Wheelie on the other hand has stopped rhyming and is speaking in an intelligent manner similar to Perceptor.

The creatures stalking them are described as “multi-armed, glowing tadpoles, apparently composed of volcanic lava.  They spit acid and feed on metal.”  and “They’ve just found lunch.”



Part 4


Differences between outline and full script


Throughout the plot of Marissa Faireborn flying to Io, attempting to rescue Blurr and Wheelie, and ending up stranded herself.  The outline mentions a squad of EDC troopers as part of the rescue effort.  In an effort to simplify, only Marissa makes it to the full script.


In attempting to convince Galvatron of the merits of an alliance, the Quintessons would reveal a deep knowledge of Decepticon history.  Mentioning Megatron, Starscream and even the leader who preceded Megatron.


The history shown within the Matrix would have delved deeper into the age of peace after the Quintessons were overthrown.  The Autobots sent out exploration teams across the galaxy.  Many of these expeditions settled on alien worlds and formed entirely new races (hinted that some of these would be seen later in the series).

It also outlined the philosophical difference that led to the rift between Autobot and Decepticon: the Autobots saw the various alien races across the galaxy as potential allies.  Whereas the Decepticons saw them as potential successors to the Quintessons in oppressing their kind.  Eventually the Decepticons saw that potential for oppression in the Autobots as well.  Thus they staged a coup, sparking off the Second Cybertronian War (the uprising against the Quintessons being the First).


Full Script


Act I


Last big party of the summer


Deleted: As the Autobots continue to trudge towards the anchoring satellite, under fire.  Spike is knocked off-balance and begins to sink into the Goo until Magnus rescues him.


Deleted: Dead End, Blast Off and Swindle’s conversation as they attack the Autobots is cut off.  The full line is:

SWINDLE: He means one of their opportunities could come knocking for us next time!


...suggesting that at least two out of the three understand that their new benefactors could easily turn on them next and are not to be trusted.


Deleted: Aboard their cruiser, the Quintessons gloat about their plan to destroy both Autobots and Decepticons.  The Guards and Sharkticons piloting the ship see this and join in the laughing, even though they have no idea what’s so funny.  Their mirth is interrupted by an explosion that rocks the cruiser and sends all aboard tumbling into a pile at the corner of the room.  Looking through a monitor, the Quintessons see the cause of the explosion.  An enraged Galvatron coming straight for them, before he punches the ship’s antenna and cuts off transmission.  He then turns his attention to his “disloyal” Decepticons.


Deleted: Once they realise who has been firing on them, the trio of combiner limbs we saw earlier object to falling in with Galvatron, and Blast Off pays the price:


BLAST OFF: What’re you “hailing” for?  He’s ruining everything!

SWINDLE: We were doin’ fine until he showed up.

(Cyclonus and Scourge exchange worried looks)

BLAST OFF: So he’s a cannon - so what!  If we turned all our firepower on him

(A seething Galvatron raises his cannon arm)

BLAST OFF: – how long do you think “mighty Galvatron” would last?

GALVATRON: Long enough

(His cannon fires, sending Blast Off hurtling away, trailing smoke)


Surprisingly, Swindle is undeterred.


SWINDLE: They gave us energon.  They led us on this raid.  What can you give us that they didn’t?


Yo Joe


Once they reach the satellite, Rodimus starts fiddling with the TV dial.  He cycles through various channels before finding Wreck-gar.  Among the programs and commercials shown, Flint suggests a reprise of The Likeables - a parody of “pro-social” network cartoons created by Cobra in the GI Joe episode The Wrong Stuff.


Through the storm


Deleted: Scenes of Marissa Faireborn piloting her ship through Jupiter’s magnetic field are cut down, as she can barely keep communication with Blaster on Earth.

Down on Io, Blurr and Wheelie are on the run from the alien tadpole creatures (dubbed “Lightpoles”), who slither across the moon’s surface like a molten river.  Wheelie swats away a Lightpole that tried to snap at him, causing the “stream” to halt it’s advance.  Still speaking intelligently without rhymes, Wheelie notes that retaliating against one causes the entire pack to retreat.  A panicking Blurr implores his companion to keep going.  When told “Calm yourself, Blurr.”, he snaps and shakes Wheelie by the shoulders.  Pleading with him to stop sounding like Perceptor.  In doing so, something clicks back into place within Wheelie’s systems, who responds “Wheelie shaken, suggestion taken.”

Their attention is diverted when a Lightpole flies past them.  They look in horror as the rest of the creatures reshape their bodies to have bat-like wings.  Flying in a swarm towards the two Autobots.

The chase resumes as Marissa spots the two on her monitor.  Wheelie attempts to swat the creatures away as before.  But now they swoop down and spit lightning, hitting him and wearing him down.


Changed: Instead of landing immediately, Marissa takes her ship low to grab Blurr in mid-flight.  But as soon as she does so, the ship comes under attack by Lightpoles.


Act II


Galvatron lives!


Deleted: Trying to force his way into the cruiser, Galvatron is met by a lone Guard


QUINTESSON GUARD: My masters wish you to come aboard.  They surrender.

GALVATRON: (shoves him aside) In that case, I am your master!


Meanwhile down on Goo, the other Autobots wonder why the attack has stopped.  Kup telescopes his eyes to form binoculars and is shocked to see Galvatron is still alive.  Who at this moment is tearing his way through the doors on the underside of the Quintesson cruiser.



Act III


History Lessons


AKOM: Due to careless use of model sheets during the journey through the Matrix, a lot of the intent behind the visuals is obfuscated.


The basic structure is that each narrator represents a step of evolution for the Transformers.  We follow them through their portion of history until they die, at which point the next narrator takes over.


First is the Ancient Robot.  During his section, we are shown a montage of Transformer design, using Rodimus Prime’s head as a base.  Evolving from flat, moulded features to the humanised faces we are used to in the present day.  However, this montage has clearly been animated in the wrong order.  As the most primitive face (with a molded smile) appears in the middle of the sequence.  The Ancient Robot is intended to be melted down and recycled as his part of the story ends.  However, the ‘bot receiving this fate looks nothing like him.


Next is the Powerful Robot, the gladiator.  He turns his opponent to junk in the arena, attempts to rebel and is destroyed.  However, his opponent uses the design of the U-Haul Robot from a future era.


Third is the Brooding Robot.  He is the leader of the uprising against the Quintessons, yet he is nowhere to be found during those scenes.


Fourth is meant to be the Pre-Transformer, describing the age of peace.  However, the robot that appears is a barely changed version of the Brooding Robot.  When the Decepticons launch their attack, the Pre-Transformer is blasted and passes the Matrix to the New Narrator.  For some unknown reason that is not scripted, the Pre-Transformer suddenly resembles a primitive version of Rodimus.

The New Narrator is fated to become the U-Haul Robot, a slightly modified version of himself that can transform.  However the robot receiving the Matrix bears virtually no resemblance to his future self.


The scene of Megatron’s creation features both on and off-model Constructicons, providing a potential third contradictory origin for the group.  The script merely spoke generically of Decepticons.  The following scene of Megatron killing the U-Haul Robot was meant to depict him breaking into an Autobot throne room, though the backgrounds used do not indicate that.


He’s hard to describe, but he’ll soon arrive


Changed: An entire scene of the stranded Marissa, Blurr and Wheelie calling Earth for help, and being told Sky Lynx was on the way, was moved from its original position between the conversion of the Earth city and the transformation of Trypticon.  It was placed in Part 5, Act I and integrated into scenes already dealing with the Io sub-plot. 

 


Part 5


Differences between outline and script


The fight against Trypticon (Only referred to in the outline as “Decepticon City”) is a lot more involved, with both Autobots and EDC fighters making a pre-emptive strike.  Just when it seems they have the upper hand, the battle station transforms to its huge dinosaur mode and begins a march across half the continent towards Autobot City.


Rodimus and co. arrive at Cybertron halfway through the battle, using a borrowed Junkion ship.  They are spotted by the Quintessons and shot down, the crew barely escaping before the wreck explodes.


Shockwave, having overheard the Quintessons’ plan to deactivate all Transformers, races to find Galvatron.  His leader refuses to hear him out and bats him aside.  Galvatron’s ego won’t allow him to believe he’s been tricked.  Sickened by the knowledge that his comrades are following a lunatic and “five-headed devils” to their doom.  Shockwave walks off, eventually finding Rodimus at the end of a gauntlet of Decepticons and tells him they need to talk.


Galvatron is the first one to find the Sharkticon strike team.  Lunging for the switch as he believes it to be the Decepticon Matrix.  Shockwave, Rodimus and Magnus open fire, but the stumbling Galvatron ends up activating the device.


The Quintessons expound on their future plans as they move through the planet.  They will re-program the Transformers to be their troops, re-open the factory and rebuild it as a galactic business empire.  Finally they will conquer Earth.  A new day will dawn for the quadrant (reference is made to a similar speech from Rodimus in Part 1.  A speech he never gave in the full script).


Once the Quintessons have been driven back into space, Galvatron and the Decepticons retreat of their own volition.  Promising they will finish the battle another time.  Shockwave flies up to join them, but is blasted back down to the surface by Galvatron for his “treachery”.  He accepts Rodimus’ offer of refuge and is hailed by the Autobots as the first Transformer to change sides (though it is noted that how much allegiance he has to the Autobots is a question for another day.  He is less their ally than he is Galvatron’s enemy).



Full script


AKOM: Throughout the battle on Cybertron, the animation makes it seem as though all of the fighting takes place on the surface.  Whereas many of those scenes take place in the various underground levels of the planet.

Many shots feature multiple versions of Cyclonus flying overhead.  This has led fans to speculate that Flint was revisiting the “Armada” concept from early TFTM scripts (where Cyclonus would have multiples of himself, similar to the Sweeps).  These were not scripted as such and were merely AKOM re-using model sheets to pad out the Decepticon ranks.


Act II


AKOM: Ramjet and Dirge take on Ultra Magnus one at a time and are sent crashing into walls.  The implication of the script is that they are damaged but alive.  Whereas the animation depicts them exploding utterly.


Deleted: Decepticon jets swoop down into a deep shaft, heading into the interior of the planet.  Cyclonus bombs and destroys a bridge across the shaft, cutting off a party of Autobots led by Perceptor.   Just as it seems the Sweeps screaming towards them will finish Perceptor and the others.  Rodimus, Kup and Spike come through a doorway firing.  Hitting one Sweep and setting off a chain reaction that sends all of the Decepticon jets spinning and colliding with each other.  Perceptor thanks Rodimus as Cyclonus and the Sweeps plunge down the shaft and into the darkness.


Act III


Playing with the format


Changed: Once the Quintessons finish their victory speech, we pan over to the inert Rodimus.  The script calls for the music to rise as if we were ending an episode.  The intent was to make the audience momentarily believe that the miniseries would end with a Quintesson victory.


Changing sides


Deleted: As Galvatron departs, outraged by Blitzwing’s act of betrayal.  Rodimus attempts to appeal again;

RODIMUS: We really do need all the troops we can get.

BLITZWING: I’ll think about it.


The Enemy


Changed: At the close of Rodimus’ speech, he gestures to the half-destroyed wall of a building.  Where a couple of Autobots have etched the image of a Death’s Head Quintesson onto the metal.


“We Transformers have looked into the face of our creators…and seen the face of an enemy.”