With the live-action movie franchise currently on hiatus while they figure out a reboot, Transformers: War for Cybertron is being positioned as the big Transformers event for the next few years. Originally announced in February 2018, the transmedia project will be led by a Netflix show that’ll depict the last days of the titular War for Cybertron and the subsequent exodus to Earth.
The first chapter, Siege, hits Netflix on July 30th, 2020 and the company has just released a new trailer teasing what’s to come. As you can see above, the show brings back the iconic Gen 1 Transformers and seems to offer a fairly gritty and downbeat looking tale of warring robot factions. Here we see Optimus Prime’s Autobots in a desperate situation with their backs against the wall, with Megatron apparently ready to win a long, destructive and bloody (oily?) war.
The official synopsis describes the setting as so:
“It is the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. 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.”
I’ve got to say, it’s pretty ballsy for Transformers to reference the iconic Vietnam War quote “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” but this at least hints that they may be willing to go to some pretty dark places.
Hasbro designer John Warden discussed the project in an interview at the San Diego Comic-Con last year, saying:
“It’s their last moments on Cybertron. The decisions that are made, and being able to bring the story to life on that medium, I mean. Everything we do is, we’re very story-focused, and I think trying to find other mediums…it just makes everything about our franchise stronger. Because not only are we talking to the G1 fans like me, but we’re also talking potentially to a whole new group of fans out there, and it’s just an exciting time to be a part of it.”
Judging by the reactions on Twitter, many hardened Transformers fans are still skeptical. They’ve been burned many times over by shows banking on Gen 1 nostalgia without doing anything interesting with the characters, so they’re reserving judgment until this comes out. Particular criticism is reserved for not having Peter Cullen and Frank Welker voicing Optimus Prime and Megatron, but here’s hoping the show’s voice cast can fill their giant metal robot boots.
Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege hits Netflix on July 30th.