Remember at the end of Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie when Ratchet repairs Bumblebee’s voice box and he speaks finally… only to never talk again in the following three movies? Continuity isn’t really a priority in this series with certain characters – human and Cybertronian – disappearing or appearing seemingly at random.
Arguably the most egregious example of continuity issues is with Barricade, the infamous police car villain that pursued Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) in the first movie while rocking the “to punish and enslave” motto painted on its side. Barricade has been killed and un-killed numerous times in the tie-in comics and movie sequels but the end result is him returning for Transformers: The Last Knight as revealed by returning actor Josh Duhamel in June. That first-look photo showcased Barricade’s updated police car alt mode and today Paramount has shared the Decepticon’s all-new robot form.
The original live-action movie Barricade was colorless, embracing a black design with a spiky, intimidating face. His updated design is much more colorful from the first-look image and does some interesting things with the car lights to add more vibrancy to his robot mode. The most odd change however is the completely redesigned face which looks almost identical in structure to Bumblebee’s.
The best part, hands-down, are how Barricade’s robot mode embraces the car text. Note the “SERVE” and “PROTECT” brass knuckles and the “PUNISH” and “ENSLAVE” on the elbows. When he leaves a mark, it comes with a message!
In the first movie Barricade is last spotted during a highway chase sequence seemingly helping Bonecrusher engage in a battle against Autobot leader Optimus Prime only to vanish from the film and not return for its sequel. In the tie-in comics – specifically IDW Publishing’s Reign of Starscream miniseries and Transformers #7 by Titan Magazines – Barricade was nearly killed and entirely killed, respectively. And while producer and co-writer Bob Orci at the time said this hanging thread would be explored in the second movie, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Barricade did not appear.
Instead Barricade returned for Transformers: Dark of the Moon only to be killed by soldiers. Footage of Barricade later appeared on a monitor during Transformers: Age of Extinction but miraculously, he’s back for The Last Knight.
For comparisons to his original, more sharp-edged alien design, here’s official Barricade art from the 2007 movie:
Even if Barricade (2017 edition) looks entirely different in his robot form, given the different design guidelines employed on new franchise characters Drift, Crosshairs, and Hound, it’s refreshing to see another Cybertronian character from the first live-action Transformers movie that looks more alien and robotic and less human-esque (i.e. Barricade’s not wearing some adaptation of human clothing or holding weapons – they’re built in).
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Transformers: The Last Knight opens in U.S. theaters on June 23, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spin-off on June 8, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28, 2019.