After months of waiting, we finally have our first official look at Michael Bay’s next robots in disguise chapter Transformers: Age of Extinction – in the form of a Super Bowl teaser trailer. Like most Transformers teasers, Paramount Pictures held back finer details of the story in favor of showing off CGI Autobot vs. Decepticon action. Exciting style over tangible substance at nearly every turn, the “Big Game Spot” ultimately raised more questions than answers – with little context for several new characters that were featured prominently in the footage.
As a result, we’ve dug through decades of Transformers lore as well as recent movie rumors to clear-up some confusion as well as predict story points that could be explored when Age of Extinction hits theaters on June 27, 2014.
Since we’re taking a closer look at what’s been shown, alluded to, foreshadowed, or hinted at in the trailer, potential spoilers for all readers from here on out (if our analysis is correct). You have been warned.
UPDATE: We now know [via Toy Fair 2014 images and on-site representatives] that this in fact Lockdown (aka Gun Face) – not Galvatron.
Between leaked plot details suggesting Megatron could be reborn as Galvatron in Age of Extinction, along with images of the former Decepticon leader’s head on set, many fans assumed that Optimus Prime’s archenemy was the gun-faced evildoer in the opening of the trailer. It was a fair assumption, given that Megatron transformed into a gun back in his Generation 1 days; however, the mysterious bot is actually Lockdown.
For months we’ve known that Lockdown would play heavily into the Age of Extinction plot, sporting a black/grey design and Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 vehicle mode (the car maker’s logo is even visible in close-up shots of the “gun face” scene), so it’s not a surprise to see him highlighted in the trailer.
The bot, who is actually a relatively new addition to the larger Transformers franchise (debuting in the 2008 animated series), has previously been portrayed as a ruthless bounty hunter (with no direct allegiance to the Decepticons) that upgrades his own body with pieces of his fallen enemies; though, either of these details could change for his feature film debut.
UPDATE: We now know [via Toy Fair 2014 images] that this in fact Galvatron and his alternate mode, as speculated is the 2014 Freightliner Argosy cab over trailer truck.
One of the most debated characters revealed in the trailer, fans have been working overtime in an attempt to identify this mysterious robot. Everyone from Galvatron, Motormaster, and even Cyclonus have been named as possibilities but we’ll have to wait for further details (and footage) to know for sure.
Other fans speculated this is our first look at fan-favorite hero Drift, who will appear in the film as a Blue and Black Bugatti Veyron; yet, the robot featured in the teaser does not match Bay’s confirmed Samurai-style design for the Autobot.
Instead, it’s highly likely that the bot’s alternate mode is the 2014 Freightliner Argosy cab over trailer truck revealed last year – given that truck and robot share black, grey, and blue highlighting. At the time, speculation pegged Ultra Magnus and Nemesis Prime as potential alternate modes for the freightliner – but with no new information (aside from the character slicing an unidentified car in half) it’s too early to cross any of the mentioned characters off the list.
After Megatron and Sentinel Prime threw every Decepticon they had at the Autobots in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, viewers were likely surprised to see an armada of Cybertronian ships in the new trailer. Yet, the explanation might not be quite as obvious as some fans might assume. Rumored plot details for the Age of Extinction story suggested that Lockdown might lead an army of long-lost Transformers. If that information is correct, the ships seen in the trailer could be part of his fleet. It’s also possible that Lockdown is actually a servant of some larger threat, such as Unicron, who would be revealed as the true armada leader in a future film.
Of course, other possibilities remain – the scene could actually be a flashback (when Cybertronians first scouted the Earth) or simply a different means of transport for Autobot reinforcements (instead of the Protoform meteor drop seen in the first Transformers film).
Another theory suggests the ships are actually man-made – since humankind’s continued manipulation of Transformer tech is expected to be a major plot beat.
In addition to a shot of Optimus Prime taking a massive blow to the chest (seen earlier in the trailer), the Autobot leader is also shown held upside down in an enemy facility. For now, it is unknown where the scene takes place and what exactly is happening to Optimus; however, in the trailer Lockdown can be seen standing off to the left, watching the Autobot leader struggle against his restraints.
Has Optimus been taken to a Transformer prison ship or is something more insidious happening? Given that the clip is exceptionally brief, with only a quick shot of Prime straining to get free, before a blade comes sliding out of Lockdown’s arm, it’s hard to tell if we’re watching the beginnings of a Transformer torture scene or a nefarious experiment.
Either one is a possibility, considering there are identical “cells” on the right and left of Optimus, but (for now at least) we’re going to assume that Optimus is, once again, instrumental in a bigger story point – and there’s more than meets the eye to this scene.
Before the Super Bowl spot aired, Paramount Pictures released this image of a green-colored Autobot parachuting into battle and certain viewers were quick to guess the character was a redesigned version of Bumblebee or Ratchet – with green coloration (and a cape).
However, this is actually Crosshairs, an Autobot warrior that was first introduced back in the original G1 days and found notoriety in the Japanese series Transformers: The Headmasters. Crosshairs is true to his namesake, a knowledgeable weapons specialist with an extremely deadly shot – especially when wielding his dual grenade launcher, a smaller Nebulan Transformer named Pinpointer.
The character will probably undergo significant reimagining for Age of Extinction – given that Crosshairs has already endured drastic changes with each medium iteration. That said, with Ironhide out of the picture, and plenty of physical brawlers already on the team, a sharpshooter like Crosshairs (who transforms into a 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray) is a smart addition to the Autobots.
For months, we’ve known that the fan-favorite Dinobots would be included in Age of Extinction – which made it all the more surprising when viewers took a second look at this beast bot. At first glance, fans assumed that the aerial creature was Pterodactyl Dinobot Swoop but closer examination revealed the bot has more than one head.
The Dinobots haven’t always been friendly with the Autobots, so it wouldn’t be a total blow to the mythology if this clip shows a drastically altered Swoop fighting Bumblebee. That said, leaked concept art hints at a more traditional depiction of the flying Dinobot – e.g. featuring a single head.
A more likely explanation comes from rumored human story details – specifically that Stanley Tucci’s character, Joshua, has been manipulating Cybertronian technology to create new Transformers. If that story point turns out to be true, this flying bot could represent one of his creations that turned deadly – and decided to fight alongside the film’s malevolent evildoers. Bay could even use Joshua as a way to introduce the Terrorcons, specifically two-headed dragon Hun-Gurrr.
UPDATE: We now know [via Toy Fair 2014 images] that this in fact Strafe – a two-headed pteranodon dinobot. Longtime fans will likely remember that Strafe is the name of an aerial (but non-dinobot) autobot that also formed the left arm of combiner Computron.
The most talked about moment of the trailer is easily the reveal of Dinobot Grimlock in Tyrannosaurus Rex mode – with Optimus Prime riding on his back. Unfortunately, the trailer didn’t give us any indication of the fan-favorite bot’s personality. Often, not always, he’s been portrayed as a Hulk-like brute – more brawn and less brains – with the eloquence of a caveman (e.g. “Me Grimlock”).
Yet, even though Optimus is (inexplicably) riding Grimlock, moviegoers shouldn’t expect the character to be a thoughtless beast. Instead, it’s probable that Age of Extinction will play-up his primal personality – presenting him as a ruthless warrior that needs taming.
In addition to his dragon-like horn additions, Grimlock is surprisingly large – especially when compared to Optimus Prime. Traditionally, Grimlock and Optimus have been depicted as relatively similar in scale; so, given that Optimus is already one of the bigger Transformers featured in the movie series, it’ll be interesting to see how Bay explains Grimlock’s increased sizing (which should be even more apparent when we get a glimpse of the Dinobot in robot form).
UPDATE: Some readers had suggested that, given Grimlock’s enormous size, this “dragon-like” form could actually be a dinobot combiner – not just Grimlock’s dinobot form. However, we now know [via Toy Fair 2014 images] that, as previously confirmed, this is just Grimlock’s dinobot mode.
Prior Transformers films have featured globe-trotting locales – as the Autobots attempted to thwart Decepticon forces around the globe. However, Age of Extinction viewers will quickly notice the upcoming film spends a lot of time over in Asia.
Previously, we’ve reported that Paramount Pictures’ was attempting to woo Chinese moviegoers by injecting Age of Extinction with subtle (and some not-so-subtle) Asian influences. In addition to Chinese locales revealed throughout the trailer (a large scale battle in downtown Hong Kong and Grimlock crashing through a tiered gateway), viewers can expect even more examples of Asian-market influences in the coming months.
Some are already apparent, since many of the primary robot characters were redesigned with Eastern influences – specifically slimmer, more angular, anime-like robot characters. Samurai Autobot Drift (whose vehicle mode is a Bugatti Veyron) is also set to play a major role in the film – both in terms of story and visual spectacle.
Those are the brief clips and questions from the newest trailer that most stood out to us but only time will tell how accurate our speculation turns out to be. Given that this is only a sneak peek teaser, we’ll add to this post when the full Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer drops.
Do you think our theories are right on target, or are you hoping they’re off the mark? Be sure to share your own insights or theories in the comments.
Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters on June 27, 2014.
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