Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has proven to be quite the conundrum for fans around the world. Following Bumblebee in 2018, the newest entry into the Transformers franchise has many fans asking questions about who the Maximals are, what a Terrorcon is, and what have the Autobots gotten themselves into now. We released a new article detailing the new trailer for Rise of the Beasts which you can read below that details some of the answers to these questions. But I’m here to lay the groundwork for what could be one of the most important films in all of Transformers’ history.
What is the plot of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?
The premise of the film is as follows:
In 1994, Noah (Anthony Ramos) and Elena (Dominique Fishback), two archeologists from Brooklyn, New York, are pulled into a globe-trotting adventure when the Autobots return to face a new threat: the Terrorcons, led by Scourge (Peter Dinklage). Now, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and the Autobots must find new allies in the Maximals, led by Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman) in order to stop the threat from disrupting the past and the future of the Transformers.
The premise implies a major battle that could affect the entire Transformers universe if the Autobots don’t win at the end of the day, which begs the question: what are the Terrorcons after?
The Heralds of Unicron
Simply put, its been theorized by many fans that the Terrorcons themselves are the Heralds of Unicron. Similar to that of the Marvel Comics supervillain, Galactus, the Terrorcons are servants of the Transformers devil himself, Unicron.
For those unaware, Unicron is a transformer himself, first introduced in the original 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie and voiced by Orson Welles in his last role before his death. In the film, Unicron turns Megatron, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Hardshell, and Kickback into his new heralds Galvatron, Scourge, and Cyclonus. The trio sought the Matrix of Leadership from Optimus Prime to destroy it, the Matrix being the only device in the known universe capable of destroying Unicron.
But how does this apply to the Terrorcons? Right now we have no official confirmation that the Terrorcons are actually the Heralds of Unicron, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate.
In order for me to fully explain who I believe the Terrorcons really are, then I’m going to have to reintroduce you to Beast Wars: Transformers.
Return to the Beast Wars
I explained in the Definitive Guide to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts that Beast Wars: Transformers took place in the pre-history of the Generation One continuity. In the show, the Predacons went back in time to change the history of Generation One so that the Decepticons won the Great War, not the Autobots. The Maximals went back in time as well to stop them from doing so. The two factions landed on prehistoric Earth.
With the faithfulness that Hasbro is currently showing to the Generation One designs for the Transformers (with the exclusion of Bumblebee), it wouldn’t surprise me if the Maximals and Predacons went back to prehistoric Earth in the film continuity. However, this begs the question: what were they attempting to change?
The Bayverse Strikes Back
Are you following along? Good. Now, in Transformers: The Last Knight, it is revealed that the Earth is itself Unicron, adding yet another link between Cybertron and Earth. This concept was appropriated from Jeff Kline’s Transformers: Prime, which is considered the best Transformers show since Transformers: Animated and Beast Wars: Transformers before that.
Also in that film, we see Optimus Prime become brainwashed by the sorceress Quintessa (based on the Quintessons introduced in Generation One). By that point in the series, Optimus had lost faith in humanity multiple times, he’d become much more brutal to the point of murdering a surrendering foe and decapitating another in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. At this point, Optimus was basically going down a truly dark path in the series.
With The Last Knight leaving a lot of questions unanswered and plot holes galore, Hasbro and Paramount needed to find a new way of telling the Transformers story, hence why they made Bumblebee a Prequel/Reboot of sorts. But it also gave me room to speculate the fate of those characters, especially with Unicron’s awakening.
So…who’s to say that Unicron couldn’t create a few heralds, send them back in time to prevent the Maximals or Predacons from changing the past, and create a new timeline that led to a new future?
Spelling it out for you
Alright. Enough beating around the bush. Here’s what I think is happening.
The Maximals and Predacons are the descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons from the Bayverse timeline. The Predacons go back in time in an attempt to prevent the Autobots from winning, and the Maximals go back in time to prevent the events that would lead to Unicron’s awakening in the original timeline. When Unicron woke up, he destroyed the Earth around him, which led Optimus and any other surviving Autobots without a home or friends, leaving them open to corruption.
That’s right. I believe that Scourge is actually Bayverse Optimus Prime, reincarnated as a Herald of Unicron, sent back in time to awaken Unicron and prevent the Autobots from winning again.
The Maximals are there to prevent Megatron from finding the AllSpark from the 2007 film, which would alter every event following Earth becoming part of the Great War, and would effectively change the entire timeline, wiping it clean and allowing for future films to explore new stories without the constraints of having to lead up into the Bayverse films.
Paramount has already confirmed that Rise of the Beasts is a reboot, and when there’s time travel, there is often also multiple universes, which allows for all of this story to take place.
Right or wrong?
If I’m right, Rise of the Beasts will end up being one of the most important Transformers films to come out in the entire franchise, possibly up there with Avengers: Endgame on its world-altering storylines.
If I’m wrong, then it’s a great story that could be adapted into fanfiction in the future. Who’s to say?
Either way, stick by The Illuminerdi as we get closer to the official release on June 9th, 2023 by following us on Twitter for more content like this, we’re always watching.