I’ve been watching the new Voltron series on Netflix. I’m only about halfway through the episodes, but so far I really like it. I loved Voltron as a kid in the 80s. I can still hum the theme song from memory. Seeing it updated and improved is a really nice treat, because I had recently watched the episodes from the 80s and man oh man were they not as good as I remember. But this new series (so far) captures the spirit of the original show and gives it a nice, sleek sci-fi polish. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Getting nostalgic for my 80s childhood got me thinking about another TV series I grew up with and adored. Transformers. I had a handful of the toys but knew all the characters by name. Optimus Prime. Ironhide. Jazz. Ratchet. The list went on and on but I loved them as much as I loved Voltron. Last week was the 30th anniversary of Transformers the Movie, and it brought up a strong memory I have of that often-beloved film…
That I fucking hate that movie.
I don’t normally swear down here in the blog posts, but my nerd-rage for that piece of shit movie (there I go again) is significant. It’s an unpopular opinion among my fellow 80s kids, but it’s one I strongly adhere to. Transformers the Movie makes me mad as hell and I can’t understand why anyone likes it.
The praise I hear the most was that the death of Optimus Prime was a shot of grim darkness into an otherwise cheerful series, and that it taught kids an important lesson about loss. Fine. I can understand that. Beloved characters died all the time in 80s kids movies. What makes me mad as hell is not that Optimus Prime dies, but that the entire cast of Transformers is murdered like chumps within the first 30 minutes of the movie. Seriously. Watch it again. Ironhide, Ratchet, and a host of other Autobots are blown away without putting up much of a fight. Within the first 30 minutes, maybe less. The remainder of the movie is spent with a brand new cast of Autobots that no one had ever seen prior to this movie. No one ever mentions Ironhide, or Ratchet, or anyone else. Not even in the movie! Everyone is so focused on Optimus Prime dying that the rest of the cast’s brutal deaths are never even mentioned. But hey, we’re supposed to love these new jerks because they’re still Transformers! Just different ones!
I fucking hate that movie.
If you think I’m overreacting, I would ask you to imagine this scenario with a more current cast of beloved characters: FIREFLY. Let’s do a thought exercise where, instead of the Serenity movie (which I haven’t seen but I know the body count), fans of the show are given a different movie of their cult classic show. But, in the first thirty minutes of the film, the entire crew is murdered like chumps by the Alliance and the remainder of the film focuses on a brand new, never-before-seen crew aboard the Serenity. I cannot even begin to fathom the sheer fury that would encompass the internet.
I hope you understand why Transformers the Movie makes me so mad, even after all these years.
If they wanted to kill off some of the original cast of Transformers, they could have made it only a few deaths and paced them throughout the entirety of the film. Build the tension. No one is safe. Make the audience worried for who will make it out of the story alive. If Optimus Prime can get taken out, who else really has a chance to survive? But no. Blow them all away like chumps to make way for the new toy line, er, cast of characters. Bleh. Fucking movie.
I really hope this new Voltron series doesn’t disappoint me. I can’t handle more bitter nostalgia at my age.