Throughout every iteration of Transformers, Optimus Prime is an eternal Optimist Prime. If the Autobots can keep fighting for what’s right in the galaxy, defend their home planet and the worlds of others from the Decepticons with every ounce of oil pumping through their combustion engine hearts, then fate will grant them victory.
But the Optimus in Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, a new anime-inspired series from Netflix and Rooster Teeth, is gloomy and existential. Maybe all the warring was for nothing. Maybe there’s no beating ol’ Megatron.
“I cannot help but ask myself ... is this a hopeless crusade?”
While War for Cybertron isn’t going full Jarhead, the new Transformers series has a grit and darkness that seems to lend the drama a level of reality that a billion jagged pixels couldn’t do in live-action. This is war — and it’s intense.
In the final trailer for the series, premiering exclusively on Polygon, things aren’t going well for the Autobots and what’s left of Cybertronian life. In fact, the first six, twenty-two minute episodes, subtitled “Siege,” picks up “the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons.” Here’s a full synopsis:
The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy was produced for Netflix by Rooster Teeth (RWBY, gen:LOCK), with animation from Polygon Pictures (Godzilla, Knights of Sidonia). Longtime comic book writer and Transformers veteran F.J. DeSanto (Transformers: Titans Return, Transformers: Power of the Primes) is the showrunner on the series, backing a voice cast that includes Jake Foushee (Optimus Prime), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Linsay Rousseau (Elita-1), Joe Zieja (Bumblebee), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Rafael Goldstein (Ratchet), Keith Silverstein (Jetfire), ad Todd Haberkorn (Shockwave, Red Alert).
“Siege,” part one of Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, premieres on July 30. Part two, “Earthrise,” and the untitled part three have yet to receive release dates.