Transformers: The Last Knight: Who Is Sqweeks?

Transformers 5 - Isabela Moner and Sqweeks

There is an inherent thrill built directly into the core of the Transformers franchise. The notion of robots hiding in plain sight (in the world we live in), is a scenario that has captured the imagination of kids and adults since the 1980s and the primary reason the property is as big today as it ever was.

Next year Michael Bay's Transformers series will hit theaters yet again for its fifth installment of the blockbuster series with Transformers: The Last Knight. The movie has been shooting for months and curiosity over the plot has never been higher, with inquisitive audiences trying to put together the puzzle pieces of the next chapter ahead of its release.

Fortunately, Screen Rant was able to visit the set of The Last Knight, while they were shooting in Michigan this past summer, and nabbed the inside scoop on the next release and potentially the star of the summer of 2017, Autobot Sqweeks.

Sqweeks Transformers 5 The Last Knight Autobot

Man's Best Friend

During the development of the first Transformers film, executive producer Steven Spielberg zeroed in on how to personalize the large scale story about an intergalactic war between sentient robots. He boiled the story down to its simplest form. Transformers would be about a boy and his first car - a first car that happened to be a robotic alien warrior. It's a trope that has been used in almost all Transformers' mediums - whenever humans are included in the intergalactic war. Whether its Sam Witwicky bonding with his Camaro in the 2007 movie, Spike's friendship with Bumblebee in the original 80's cartoon, or Daniel's adventures with Hot Rod in Transformers: The Movie, the very human experience of bonding with your vehicle has been an effective entry point for over thirty years.

By this time next year, Transformers' fans will be well-acquainted with a new duo for the next generation, Izabella and Sqweeks.

How Sqweeks Works

In recent years, there has been a yearning for more integration of practical effects in tentpole movies. While, the new Transformer was built practically (which is not a first in the series), it still has to deliver a performance, just like any other actor on set. Moner went on to give a little more insight into what it took to bring Sqweeks to life.

"It’s manually controlled. Someone stands behind him. It’s not remote controlled, which would be really cool. But he is there, and I think it gives me a great opportunity to work with it, hug the little thing, you know."

A large part of acting is reacting to other performers and the environment, so hopefully Moner's request to have Sqweeks physically on set will bring a little extra magic to the movie - especially when it comes to her character's relationship with Sqweeks. And there is rarely a downside to making things feel more tactile and real during filmmaking for the actors.

Transformers 5 The Last Knight Movie

What's Sqweek's Function?

Moner clearly wasn't the only one excited about Sqweeks' performance, both on set and in the overall story. While there is a history of crowd-pleasing characters like Sqweeks from the past, there is also a precedent for adding cute characters who don't add to story, beyond comic relief. It seems that the creative team behind the movie is aware of this and has given Sqweeks' a definite function in the overall narrative. Bonventura shared his enthusiasm for how the new Transformer is fitting into The Last Knight narrative.

"It's actually kind of amazing how well it works already. Sqweeks is going to be--it's an Autobot that you can't figure out how to transform at the beginning of the movie, and/or has a physical limitation that they can't figure out how to get around, and during the process, we have some real fun with the sort of malaprop attempts to form."

This wouldn't be the first time that a Transformer has had to overcome a perceived disability. In the first movie it was established that Bumblebee was mute, after his vocal processor was destroyed in a past battle. Much of the first movie's charm stemmed from the the first act, when the Transformer's world was slowly introduced through a car that only communicated through his radio.

In Transformers: The Movie (1986), a similar challenge was presented to Spike's son Daniel. He was given an exo-suit that appeared to be merely a life-preserving pressure suit built for outer space survival. However, unknown to Daniel, it actually possessed the power to transform which provided a memorable character moment. Bonventura hints at what's to come, as there is an equally, if not more thrilling scene awaiting Sqweeks in next year's adventure.

"A pretty seemingly inconsequential Autobot is going to rise a really great fucking moment where it does this--first of all, it's incredibly great, from a sort of story plot point of view, but you'll laugh so fucking hard, because it's such a great way for him to finally show his mettle. So it's one of those sort of cheer laughs when he does it. That's what I think is going to happen.

It seems that there will be great opportunities for comedy, as well as an emotional payoff for the most unlikely of Autobots in the upcoming movie. Judging from Bonventura's quotes, Sqweeks has a purpose beyond melting hearts and selling toys, as he will fit into a crucial story beat in the movie. Ultimately, that will be the character's biggest measure of success. The Transfomers franchise will release its fifth installment in the multi-billion dollar franchise next summer and it looks as if there are a lot of surprises in store. However, one of them is now out of the bag, as Sqweeks will be introduced as the newest face of the Autobots in theaters in 2017.

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NEXT: Transformers: The Last Knight Preview

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.

Key Release Dates

Tags: transformers, transformers 5

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