Another loud and proud preview of Transformers: The Last Knight arrived online this week, featuring the kind of explosive action that only the master of disaster himself, Michael Bay, can deliver. The fifth entry in the hugely successful Transformers movie franchise sees Mark Wahlberg return to the human cast as Cade Yeager, following his debut in 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. However, the Autobots won’t just be fighting the Decepticons this time around – instead, they’ll have to face off against their beloved leader, Optimus Prime, who has undergone a marked change in personality since we last saw him.
Not only does the the trailer show a bot-battle unfolding while the soothing tones of Sir Anthony Hopkins provide narration, we also see King Arthur teaming up with giant robots and Optimus Prime blowing the bloody doors off Bumblebee.
If you think you’ve missed something, don’t panic. We’ve dusted off our Reflektor to see what we can see and there’s a lot to decipher in amongst Prime and the pyrotechnics. Trailer breakdown, roll out!
1. “IT STARTED AS LEGEND…”
As revealed in earlier films, the Transformers history books share a few chapters with our own, and in the latest trailer there’s another glimpse into the time of King Arthur and the secret he may have helped to keep. Alongside brief shots of a blood-soaked sword that has plagued the previous previews (a well-known one, perhaps?), we see His Royal Heroicness and his noble allies sat at the Round Table, with some rather large guests accompanying him.
Apparently making an oath with five Cybertronians (two can be seen in the shot, with three others raising their swords off camera), Hopkins’ Sir Edmund Burton speaks of something being “kept hidden, to protect the Earth from what was destined to arrive.” Could this secret be the titular ‘Last Knight’, or the weapon that they’ll wield to protect the planet from a metal-flavored doom? More on that later.
2. HELLO, MY GOOD COGMAN
If we’ve learned anything from movies, it’s that all the best kept secrets are uncovered by candlelight, but this one shows more than just what could save humanity. Around the 13 second-mark we get a good look at Cogman, Sir Edmund’s trusty bot-butler, who has been described by Mr. Bay as “your most loyal and deadly servant.”
Given a closer look in the recent motion posters, he’s got a rather cool Steampunk look about him, and thanks to this footage we can confirm him as being a human-sized bot, considerable smaller than most of his Cybertronian brethren. With that said, his character description reports him transforming into an Aston Martin DB11, so we could be way off. Whilst there’s no confirmation on who will be lending their voice to this particular character, there’s a good chance that he’ll sound like an extra from The Crown or Downton Abbey.
3. Optimus in Chains
Interrupting our scheduled history lesson of man and machine, we get reunited with our Autobot hero and fearless leader, Optimus Prime, who looks to be in some serious trouble. Last seen flying off into space to meet the Creators at the end of Age of Extinction, the eventual encounter doesn’t look to have gone according to plan.
Shedding some light on why Prime goes dark, we see him chained in an unknown location being interrogated by a new character who shares the tentacle-like traits of the Quintesson – an ancient race who have had run-ins with the Transformers and, most importantly, have connections to Unicron. There’s still no confirmation if the planet-sized pandemonium that’s reigning down on Earth is thanks to the legendary big-bad from the Transformers universe, but the signs are all there.
4. WELL, THAT’S JUST PRIME
Putting the origin of this new antagonist aside for this moment, Prime’s captor claims that the Autobot leader is responsible for destroying his home – Cybertron – and offers a chance of redemption. Naturally, being the noble legend he is, our hero accepts, which explains why we’ve seen him being such a tool to his Autobot allies.
The change of eye colour from blue to purple will no doubt get fans’ attention, as this could be a nod to an old familiar foe, Nemesis: a clone of Prime programmed to fight on the side of evil and cause no end of bother for the Autobots. Chances are our hero won’t stay that way for long, but that’s not to say his old friends won’t have a job on their hands when he returns to Earth in a really bad mood.
5. ANOTHER ROUND OF YEAGER
Coming back for his second bout of earth-shattering, bot-scrapping action, Mark Wahlberg reprises his role as inventor and reluctant hero, Cade Yeager, who looks to be no better off than he was at the start of Age of Extinction. Still tinkering away with machines that don’t transform on him, this time around he encounters little orphan Izabella (played by Isabela Moner), who helps tie up all the loose ends that weren’t blown to pieces last time round.
As revealed by her questioning of our familiar friend, it turns out that Cade’s daughter Tessa isn’t present for The Last Knight. Yeager muses on what he’d tell her given the chance: “Brush your teeth, work hard, stay away from any boy in a band – especially a drummer.” Oh sure, Cade, but hot-headed stunt drivers are perfectly acceptable.
6. TABLE FOR ONE
Giving another glimpse at the Arthurian elements that will flood the film, we get a look at Sir Edmund stood at what looks to be the Round Table. Surrounded by suits of armor and the swords that carried them, this solidifies the theory from the previous trailer breakdown that this astronomer and historian might be a member of a sacred order sworn to protect this secret – then again he might really like overly expensive furniture.
Now, here’s where a crackpot theory comes into play and you may want to apply your Cybertronian tinfoil hats. If Sir Edmund is The Last Knight, or has connections to King Arthur, then perhaps he may also know the whereabouts of the legendary hero’s weapon of choice? Could the secret to saving humanity lie with Excalibur – a Cybertronian weapon that wasn’t plucked from a stone, but a meteorite of alien origin?
7. “TWO WORLDS COLLIDING”
Having the whole wise elder thing down to pat, sometimes Sir Anthony Hopkins completely throws us off when he speaks in a literal sense. So when, halfway through the trailer, he explains how two worlds are colliding, we actually need visual aids to explain just what he means.
Harking back to Dark of the Moon, we see the ship that crashed on our nearby rock get brushed aside by a monstrous U.F.O that’s making its way to Earth. Herein lies the continuing evidence that planet-sized bad guy Unicron is most certainly going to make his presence known, and it’ll be up to Cade to rewire Prime to fend him off. Along with Sir Edmund’s images of giant planet-eating objects citing proof of this beast beyond the stars, we eventually see it colliding with Earth and lighting the fuse for the inevitable Bayhem we’ve come to expect. It’s a match made in chaotic heaven.
8. R.I.P. BUMBLEBEE?
The trailer is big on fight sequences, both in the present and in the past, and cross-cut with scenes from the modern plot are shots of medieval knights being destroyed in fiery battle. Flash forward from the Arthurian-based battle sequence, we also get an introduction to what looks to be Cade’s new love interest, Vivian Wembley (Laura Hancock) as they both stumble across some form of Cybertronian monument dedicated to the knights of old. Seconds later, we see more of Prime vs. Bumblebee in what might just be a battle to the death (albeit a temporary one, since Bumblebee has a solo movie in the works). Cade appears to make an effort to calm things down but, as any character that appears in a Transformers film should know, getting between two aggressive robots is never a good idea.
9. CADE YEAGER – THE LAST KNIGHT?
Though we can’t yet confirm its importance in the film, we should definitely be able to Excalibur’s presence, judging by Cade’s weapon of choice. Let’s face it; if you’re going to get involved an intergalactic affair that has links to King Arthur and Camelot, what better tool to use than that? Chances are that Cade comes across Excalibur by way of Sir Edmund, and it seems likely that the sword is The Last Knight’s resident MacGuffin, with some kind of special power to take down Cybertronians (that flash of light when Cade strikes looks significant). But while Cade may not be an expert swordsman, there’s one character in this trailer who definitely is.
10. ONE SHALL STAND, SIX SHALL FALL
This final trailer has quite the final money shot. If there’s a quota for ultra-cool Optimus Prime moments, this certainly fits the bill. Surrounded by enemies that for any regular Joebot would spell certain doom, Prime stands tall and takes out his attackers like he’s carving a cake. If you can take your eyes off Optimus’ deadly finishing move, however, it’s worth observing the appearance of the attackers. These cronies all appear as identical, horned baddies that could be miniature cloned versions of Unicron. If that’s the case, are we looking at Prime wandering around the planet-sized protagonist in an effort to kill him once and for all? Or has the purple rage seeping from the Autobot leaders eyes taken over him for good?
We can only wait until June to find out when Transformers: The Last Knight hits our screens in all its robotic bashing glory.