The heavy focus on human characters in Michael Bay’s Transformers movies essentially boils down to this: it lowers the cost – so that less expensive CGI and effects work need be done in order to bring the titular giant robots to life. Just about everyone who considers themselves a Transformers fan knows this – and accepts that this summer’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon will introduce several new characters that are not created digitally (insert obligatory Rosie Huntington-Whiteley joke here).

Speaking of the model-turned-actress: her on-screen counterpart, Carly, is one of the new flesh-and-blood characters new to the Transformers movie universe – and is introduced in the first clip released from Dark of the Moon.

A recently-published Transformers 3 review claimed that the third Transformers film has a surprising amount of heart (for a Transformers film, that is) and that moviegoers will actually care when certain human characters’ lives are in peril. So it is nice that this first clip allows us to take a look at three such individuals: Carly (Whiteley), her boss (Patrick Dempsey), and franchise protagonist Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

Will people actually care about what happens to any of the aforementioned characters? Most moviegoers already know their feelings about Sam, and it’s obviously impossible to fully gauge how Whiteley (or even Dempsey) will come across in Dark of the Moon – nonetheless, first impressions are important, especially in a film.

With that said – enjoy a scene from Transformers: Dark of the Moon (via Yahoo! Movies) below:

LaBeouf as Sam (with that suit) arguably still looks kind of like a kid trying to appear all grown up, but at least it seems the character is maturing slightly with each subsequent Transformers movie. Whiteley doesn’t have much to do in this scene other than look pretty and deliver some exposition – but since she’ll probably spend most of Dark of the Moon running around and looking cute, her acting abilities won’t likely be strained too much. Lastly, does the manner in which Dempsey’s character dresses and talks remind anyone else of Michael Bay (not per se in either a good or bad way, that is)?

Reportedly, almost the entire last hour of Dark of the Moon chronicles the destruction of downtown Chicago as a full-on war breaks out between the Autobots and their Decepticon rivals – so, just like in any war movie, audience members will only find the action engaging on anything deeper than a visceral level if they genuinely care about the people (and robots) in danger. It’s impossible to say right now whether any of the new and important human stars will be all that interesting, but at least none of them seem too annoying right now. Considering how some of the Transformers characters came off in previous films (Sam’s parents, we’re looking at you), that’s a move in the right direction.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon arrives in theaters this summer on July 1st.

Source: Yahoo! Movies