Thirty years can change a franchise in many, many ways. I can recall the first transformers that came out when I was a kid and they were so cool and I was so excited to get the toys that there was no thought of what they could become later on down the line. There were certain toys that were just so cool to have because they were so hard to find, like Optimus Prime with his trailer, Starscream, or any of the jet fighters for that matter. Megatron was popular for a while until it was discovered that he was in abundance. Even Bumblebee and Ironhide were hard to find because their popularity grew grew so quickly. And Wheeljack, he was another one that was extremely hard to get your hands on.
The cartoons were great, showing the epic battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons in a grand stage of mayhem and robotic carnage that never seemed to affect the human cities around them that much. Boy did that change. When the first of the movies came out the realism of what a giant robot would do to a city and the surrounding areas became a huge issue that the director had to include since it wouldn’t make any sense if their energy blasts and the weight of their huge, robotic bodies did no damage to the environment around them but had devastating effects to them. It’d be almost as bad as the light guns used in Pixels, where nothing happened if you pointed it anywhere but at the aliens.
Throughout the years the story line has changed as well between the games, the comics, and the cartoons. At one point it was changed into Beast Wars, which kept the robotic aspect but instead of incorporating different vehicle designs had the transformers modeling themselves after the local wildlife, both living and extinct. I can recall that Optimus Prime was a huge gorilla while Megatron was a technicolor nightmare in T-Rex form. There was even a cheetah and a black widow in the mix, which was odd enough.
It’s hard to know if there’s anything that’s really canon in the Transformers universe since so many things have been changed throughout the years. If one thing is constant however it’s that Optimus Prime and the Autobots are fighting an unending war with Megatron, who somehow keeps being resurrected, and the Decepticons. The humans that are caught in the middle have gone back and forth when it comes to their allegiances. Some have attempted to side with the Decepticons as a matter of survival, while others want both factions off of their planet before any more damage is done.
Following the latest movie, The Last Knight, it’s kind of safe to assume that humanity might have finally realized that they need to embrace the decision of the Autobots to fight for their planet, mostly because there is a terrible secret that links the Transformers and the humans together as it’s seen in the final portion of the film.
What comes next in the Transformers franchise might be unlike anything long-time or new fans have ever seen, and personally I can’t wait to see it.