Power is Primal! The Transformers are back and things are about to get really bonkers in epic fashion!
It’s been a while since we got them converting bots on the big screen. The last outing, which focused on the lovable Autobot, Bumblebee, was released in 2018. Since then, Transformers has stayed pretty hushed with general content on the streamers to add to the franchise.
We do have to admit, the Hailee Steinfeld-led “Bumblebee” was, in many ways, a breath of fresh air for the franchise and also felt like a return to its roots. The Generation One aesthetics and playful tone of the film alongside a heartwarming plot matched well enough to bring about a certain depth to bots that felt like fodder in Michael Bay’s previous outings. No doubt, it was one of the best things to come from the franchise when it was released.
Now, “Rise of the Beasts”, directed by Steven Caple Jr. is set to follow up on the 2018 flick and explore more of the mythology and lore surrounding the Robots in Disguise. Set in the1990’s, the film will spotlight the new Autobots on Earth, Optimus Prime, Arcee, Wheeljack, Stratosphere, and Mirage. Indeed, based on the first look alone, it will be borrowing elements from the fan-favourite 90’s animated series, “Beast Wars”. There will be new faces, new factions, and new battles to delve into.
In terms of factions, there will be three units here: the Maximals, the Terrorcons, and the Predacons. First up, we’ll talk about the Maximals. This faction of Transformers consists of giant robotic animals led by Optimus Primal, who we’d like to dub mecha-King Kong. Other members of the Maximals include Cheetor, Rhinox, Airazor, and Rattrap.
While it might seem like Optimus Prime and the gang are at odds with the Maximals at first, they can later be seen as allies, fighting side by side against another veiled threat.
The Predacons, on the other hand, are the opposite side of the same creature-based coin. Indeed, they are the sworn enemies of the Maximals. Nonetheless, it can be noted that Predacons are nowhere to be seen in promotional footage thus far. The only evidence is from some promotional art that depicts Predacons such as Rampage, Terrorsaur, and Blackarachnia.
So, who are the real villains here? That would indeed be the Terrorcons.
In animated and printed Transformers material, the term “Terrorcon” is disambiguated. In G1, the Terrorcons consisted of 5 members: Hun-Gurrr, Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Cutthroat, and Blot. When prompted, they could combine into a singular entity known as Abominus. Nevertheless, they aren’t very bright and could be seen as the C-list type of thief who’d try to rob you with a banana.
At the very least, other versions of the Terrorcons do try to put the terror into the name. Think… zombie drone armies. Like… undead robots clawing their way out of the ground…
Regardless, Steven Caple Jr. seems to be taking things in a different direction for this movie as the Terrorcons are a faction on their own accord.
In the trailer, three notable Terrorcons can be seen. These baddies are Scourge, Nightbird, and Battletrap.
Scourge here is the leader. There’s no doubt that he’s the head honcho. Indeed, in the trailer he’s seen wounding our favourite yellow Autobot (hopefully, not fatally). As such, he’s not one to be messed with.
Scourge transforms into a Peterbilt 359 Mad-Max-ish truck that echoes Megatron’s look in Michael Bay’s third movie. Moreover, Scourge has a bunch of Autobot and Decepticon insignias on his front grille that could very well belong to the various bots that he has offed. Phew!
And who’ll be delivering the ruthless voice to spell the Autobot’s doom? That would be none other than Tyrion Lannister himself, Peter Dinklage!
Moving on, a heavy hitter comes along in the form of Battletrap. Unlike his original G1 counterpart which had the novel concept of two vehicles combining into one singular entity, this version of Battletrap transforms into an orange GMC Topkick C7000 tow truck. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the firepower of Battletrap who spews forth some explosive punches with his firepower!
Nightbird seems more like a wildcard. A grey and pink Nissan Skyline GT-R-R33 already sound villainous enough, but this ninja warrior isn’t someone you could bet your life on. She would probably double-cross you if you weren’t careful.
It’s really hard to make out Nightbird in the recently released trailer but she’s the flurry of purple that streams past as the Terrorcons make their way toward the Autobots and Maximals. So, it can be seen that she has some flight abilities, probably with the help of jet-propelled thrusters of some sort. Gotta get that GT-R NOS burning, we guess.
So, what exactly are the Terrorcons up to in “Rise of the Beasts”? What are their motives?
Although plot details have generally been kept under wraps, we do have some theories.
First off, we’re going to look at the Terrorcon logo. The logo itself is new and not based on any pre-existing material. At first glance, it might look like a simple insignia. Nothing too special. However, one might be able to pick out the angled horns, which might be a precursor of who might be behind it all.
Indeed, curved horns in Transformers’ mythology could mean one thing. And this is huge. Like PLANET-SIZED massive.
Yup, we’re talking about Unicron, the Chaos Bringer and Planet Eater of galactic proportions. Indeed, he could actually be behind the scenes of it all. When Primal mentions that a ‘darkness’ is coming, this could actually be what he was referencing.
Now, what the heck is a ‘Unicron’ and why is his name an anagram of ‘unicorn’? Well, we won’t answer the latter because hell, it’s Transformers and they all have weird names. Nevertheless, Unicron is simply the biggest literal bad there is. Think Marvel’s Galactus, but yellow and mechanized.
Unicron’s ultimate goal is to devour, not just the universe, but the Multiverse itself. What a greedy fellow.
In the Netflix anime “Transformers: War for Cybertron”, Unicron was seen as a multidimensional entity that used Megatron to conduct its bidding. He existed on a plane that was out of conventional time and space. We expect that “Rise of the Beasts” will also delve into the concept of time travel or time dilation of some sort due to “Beast Wars” and the aforementioned anime’s use of such plot devices. This would indeed be perfect to bring in the Lord of Chaos himself in all his planet-sized glory!
So, again, perhaps the Terrorcons were created by Unicron as his heralds to tell worlds of his plans to make a meal out of them. Or perhaps the Terrorcons are a cult that worships him and was promised power if they did his bidding.
All of that is purely speculative on our part. But that’s the fun of it!
Certainly, we’ll be waiting for their appearance on screen alongside the Maximals and fingers crossed, some Predacons. The world of the Transformers is expanding. There’s so much more cinematic potential and stories to be told in this wonderful franchise and we’re all here for it!