In 2018, Hasbro and Paramount teamed up to release the highly praised Bumblebee solo film. With its success, the Transformers franchise jumped back to the forefront with the release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts earlier this year.
But Bumblebee left fans with a lot of questions, not the least of which was which Transformer should get a solo film next? Well, here are ten Transformers that absolutely deserve more time in the spotlight.
Here are the rules: Both individual characters and full teams will be considered as many Transformers have histories tied to several groups. These solo outings will reflect the single character or the single team for the films.
Skyrocketing into superstardom following his return to live-action in this summer’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Mirage is an easy choice. Having origins that go all the way back to the premiere of The Transformers in August, 1984, Mirage has been a fan-favorite for years.
Spotlight stories include the time he was accused of being an Autobot traitor in the aptly named Season 2 episode “Traitor”, which found Mirage being suspected of leading the Autobots into a trap and proving his innocence by disrupting Megatron’s evil schemes (which ultimately lead to him being brainwashed into an Decepticon Spy by the Insecticon Bombshell).
Mirage also features quite a few special abilities, such as holographic projection and even invisibility powers, both of which would allow him to star in a stealth-action film alongside a member of G.I. Joe whilst being framed by the Decepticons. An action-adventure film with Mirage could go a long way in humanizing the Robots in Disguise for modern audiences.
9. The Wreckers
One of the most well-known Autobot teams, The Wreckers have had their fair share of fun stories told since the days of the UK Marvel Comics written by Simon Furman. Featuring characters like Springer and Ultra Magnus (both of whom appeared in the 86 Animated Feature), Bulkhead and Wheeljack (from the Transformers: Prime continuity), and other lesser-known characters like Whirl, Topspin, and Twintwist.
The Wreckers are considered the Autobot Commandos, getting down and dirty in the Cybertronian Civil War. Although they were first depicted in Transformers: Dark of the Moon as Mad Max-style NASCAR Track Cars (Roadbuster as the 88 Dale Jr. Car, Topspin as the 48 Jimmie Johnson Car, and Leadfoot as the 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Car), the Wreckers have a dark and gritty history in the comics.
Most notably, the characters were left on Cybertron after Optimus and Megatron left the planet for Earth, being the last line of defense until Optimus returned. They also had their own three-part series in IDW Publishing’s Phase One of Transformers stories that catapulted them into stardom which showed the true horrors of the War for Cybertron.
An opportunity to create a film based on this fan-favorite team is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed, though the idea of creating a war movie about the violent realities of the Cybertronian War might be something to think about.
8. The Primes
The Primes. Cybertron’s first defenders. Originally created by the god Primus (not to be confused with the American Rock Band), the Primes were initially forged to combat the Chaos Bringer known as Unicron. While their normal roster has been changed around a lot, the core Primes are the ones who should be focused on.
The leader of the Primes was Prima, Warrior of Light, wielder of the Star Saber, and the first Transformer to bear the Matrix of Leadership. Then there is Solus Prime, the Forge of the Primes, she was the first female Transformer and the creator of all of the Primes’ weaponry. And to round out the core cast, you have Megatronus, the Guardian of Entropy and the wielder of the Requiem Blaster.
Though, most people will be more familiar with Megatronus based off his current title as The Fallen, depicted in Live Action and voiced by Tony Todd in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The story of the Primes is a tale of loyalty, brotherhood, and betrayal. A story that has been largely teased by modern media but never fully explored or fleshed out. But an opportunity to reveal the origins of the Transformers can’t be an opportunity to be missed, especially with Unicron’s arrival in live-action.
7. Optimus Prime
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone when I say Optimus Prime has a rich history within the Transformers lore. Though largely tied to Megatron, Optimus has had millions of years to fight for the Autobots. Only touched upon in recent media, Optimus is largely misunderstood.
Originally depicted as a gentle giant in The Transformers, Optimus has since been shown to have a huge depth to his character. From humble origins as a Data Clerk working in the Autobot capital city of Iacon named Orion Pax to the badass protector we all know and love, there is no shortage of stories to focus on when it comes to Optimus.
Surprised to see this coward on the list? You shouldn’t be! Starscream has just as rich a history as many of the Transformers on this list. Largely misunderstood due to the varied portrayals he’s had, Starscream has quite the history.
Starting out as a scientist, Starscream fell in line with the Decepticons early into the war. Using his skills as a Seeker to impress Megatron, Starscream eventually began to realize exactly who Megatron was and opted to begin his own destructive takeover of the Decepticons.
Various media have shown Starscream as the scheming coward of the Decepticons, but there are a few depictions that show Starscream in his true colors: an honorable warrior intending to bring the Decepticons to glory continuously abused and disrespected by their leader.
An interesting look into mental abuse, Starscream could serve as the Transformers version of Joker, seeing his descent into madness following the continuous abuse from Megatron. Seeing Starscream’s backstory would help emphasize how tragic of a character he truly is.
5. The Dinobots
I mean, what isn’t there to say about this team? Led by the ferocious Grimlock, the Dinobots have a rich history in Transformers lore. However, the team has had several origins within the mythos.
In The Transformers, the team was built by Wheeljack and Ratchet as an experiment based on visuals of Earth’s own Dinosaurs. However their brains were built to scale, so they quickly became violent and brutish warriors and had to be shut down. Yet they quickly became fan favorites and were some of the few Transformers to survive the decimation of the 86 film.
Nowadays, their origin is similar to The Wreckers. A team of Autobots that were called upon when the mission was most dire, they were eventually captured by the Decepticon Mad Scientist Shockwave and experimented on, being given dinosaur alternate modes.
The Dinobots have an interesting history and as they have seen limited and vaguely accurate on-screen depictions in Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight, a spotlight film on the team could give them a rejuvenation in the modern day.
4. Scourge and the Terrorcons
Scourge, Battletrap, and Nightbird may have only been in one movie since their introductions to Transformers lore, but their appearances in Rise of the Beasts have left many fans wanting more.
The Terrorcons, Unicron’s heralds, have interesting backstories. The three characters all have separate and un-unified origins, but all three can be traced back to Generation One. Scourge was introduced in the 86 Animated film, Nightbird in an eponymous Season 2 Episode of The Transformers called “Enter the Nightbird”, and Battletrap had his introduction largely through the Marvel Comics and the toyline.
The concept of the origin of the baddies is always an intriguing one, especially with Rise of the Beasts teasing a deeper backstory for Scourge. That said, anything can happen.
3. The Maximals/The Predacons
Rise of the Beasts arguably underdelivered on the Beast Wars allusions. The Maximals had a decently appropriate role in the film, but were largely relegated to background characters. And aside from a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment where a Predacon logo appears among Scourge’s trophies, they had no mention whatsoever within the film.
Yet the opportunity to dive deep into their origins remains, with the appearance of Eukaris in Rise of the Beasts also providing a method of telling their story without interrupting the main timeline. A film depicting the Beast Wars would be perfect following Rise of the Beasts, with an opportunity to tell a story of how Megatron (the David Kaye Variant) could be the one who summoned Unicron.
The Maximals and The Predacons in their own, stand-alone film would be largely welcomed by the fans in today’s day and age. Welcome to the Beast Wars.
IDW Comics had a lot of interesting characters, not the least of which was Drift.
Initially depicted as the Decepticon known as Deadlock, Drift eventually chose to change sides upon realizing the Decepticons had more violent motives than he initially realized. Struggling with his past as a villain and diving deep into the lost and ancient martial art known as Metallicato (not the metal band), Drift’s story has been one of overcoming mistakes and saving the world.
Barely touched upon in the live-action film universe (literally a side mention in a tie-in video game), Drift’s origins could lead to an epic solo outing, especially if done right. Imagine a Feudal Transformers movie where Drift arrives on Earth and learns the customs of being a samurai, only to find himself fighting opposite Bludgeon, a Decepticon with his own ties to ancient martial arts in an epic sci-fi western.
Drift deserves to be more widely known, and a film depicting his origins and challenges could do wonders to prove to the world who he truly is.
What to say about Megatron? The proposed film could tell a story of a lowly caste member struggling to create a life for himself. A slave to the system and the High Council, Megatron began his career as a Gladiator in the depths of Kaon. Rising to power, Megatron eventually became the leader of the Decepticons in an attempt to fight for freedom for all sentient beings.
Wait, isn’t that Optimus Prime’s catchphrase? Believe it or not, Megatron originally said it, which helps you understand the depths of his character. A slave who rebelled, a Gladiator seeking glory and individuality, and a revolutionary that plunged his planet into civil war, Megatron has the story to show just how unbelievably epic the tale of Cybertron is.
The Next Step
Fans of the Transformers shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for news regarding the next entry into the franchise, especially with Transformers: One releasing in theaters next September and promising to tell the origins of Megatron and Optimus in a brand new light.
But, until then, the fans are just gonna have to wait and see what happens next!
For further Transformers news, check out the preview of Skybound Entertainment’s new “Energon Universe” by reading this review of Void Rivals #1. Want more news on Sci-Fi films, TV, and gaming news? Follow The Illuminerdi on Twitter.