Shape-shifting robots might be strange but the core concept is nothing compared to these weird Transformers fan theories. When you have a franchise that’s over thirty years old, spans thousands of comic books, dozens of TV shows with hundreds of episodes, a billion-dollar live action film series with many different authors with many different intentions, and an astute and obsessive fanbase, there are going to be a lot of secret histories, rumors, contradictions, and, if you’re lucky, a whole lot of crazy crap. Well, the Transformers series is about giant robots from outer space that can turn into vehicles, animals, or dinosaurs at will. They can fall asleep, get drunk, feel pain, and worship even larger robot gods. There’s crazy in the DNA.
We’ve searched through the vast catalog of Transformers lore, studied the message boards and the various 'pedia entries, and we’ve come up with the most convoluted, bizarre (and a couple of mildly reasonable) explanations and rumors about the franchise. Not all of them are true, some of them are retconned-true, and some of them are just…fun. For your reading and aesthetic pleasure, here are the 15 Craziest Transformers Fan Theories.
15 Waspinator has an Immortal Spark
Let’s start off with something light. In the whole of the franchise, there isn’t a character who has taken quite as many—or as creatively brutal—beatings as Waspinator. Described by TFWiki as “fate’s chew toy,” this speech-impaired Predacon may be a villain by faction, but is really just a decent guy with bad luck. He’s been flattened, literally cut to ribbons, and blasted to pieces on so many occasions, Rattrap collected parts of him as trophies.
The fact that Waspinator has always managed to be repaired has made fans believe that he, like Starscream, has an immortal spark. While many Transformers have recovered from similar or even worse injuries, it’s the fact that Waspinator would get injured so often that makes it look like more than just luck. Essentially, he’s indestructible, which is just another form of punishment for the poor insect. It was so severe that the other characters noted how awful his life was, and how strange it was that he was always able to pull himself back together.
While never outright said in any official capacity, the fact is that other characters who have immortal sparks—Starscream and Rampage for instance—have also been shot to pieces and otherwise mangled beyond comprehension. And yet, they always managed to keep coming back the same way Waspinator does. Of all the possible ways to die, the poor Predacon's spirit carries on so we can be entertained by the clever new ways he’ll be slagged in the next episode.
14 Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus are Brothers
Admittedly, this is likely the least insane theory on this list. It’s also one that’s been proven true, at least on accident.
When the Ultra Magnus toy came out in the '80s, his armored exterior masked an interior that was literally just a white Optimus Prime. Now, Hasbro sure does love to recolor and reuse models and builds, but why they used their most identifiable character as a secondary skin for another character is strange. In the original G1 comics and TV series, the pair's connection was that of close friends, but one that was never elaborated on.
Over the years, other versions of the saga have seen them portrayed as brothers—in Dreamwave Comics and in the Robots in Disguise animated series, for instance. Hasbro and the creatives at work integrated the concept because of the incidentals of the toy and because of fans’ ready acceptance of the idea. Yes, the theory is true, Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus are brothers (in certain continuities) but not through original authorial intent, but because of a company listening to its
dangerous passionate fan base reaction to said company trying to save money on toy molds. It’s almost kinda sweet, isn’t it?
13 The Many Possible Fates of Dion
At the beginning of the Great War between the Autobots and Decepticons, Orion Pax and his girlfriend Ariel were friends with fellow dockworker Dion. They were attacked by the ‘cons and left for dead. Alpha Trion rebuilt Pax into Optimus Prime and Ariel into Elita-One. But what happened to Dion?
The easiest answer is, who cares? The guy had three lines of dialogue in his one appearance in the show’s history, and about half a dozen appearances in the comics.
The second easiest answer is that he died and that ghoul Alpha Trion cannibalized him for spare parts to create Prime and Elita. However, many fans have speculated that he was rebuilt into either Ultra Magnus or Ironhide, which would further explain Prime’s strong friendship with either robot (while also further muddying up Magnus’ G1 cartoon origins).
Other continuities have further confused the point by creating another creator, Magnum, and placing him alongside Pax, Ariel and Dion, creating a question of who Ultra Magnus is rather than who Dion is.
Since the continuity of the show was virtually non-existent, fans speculated for decades—incited by different creators planting the odd Easter egg now and again—until Hasbro’s twenty-year backlog of confused and angry fan mail got too much. They gave a terse response: “Dion was never rebuilt into any other character.”
12 Who Became Scourge and Cyclonus?
In the 1986 Transformers movie, Unicron came upon a bunch of dying Decepticons—Megatron, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and some Insecticons—and he reformatted them into sleek, purple soldiers. Megatron obviously became Galvatron, but which Decepticons became Scourge and Cyclonus has been a (clearly necessary) long-running debate in the fandom.
Those involved have looked over the scene, checking angles, character positioning, and shadows, analyzing the film like they were on the Warren Commission investigating the Zapruder footage.
It’s somewhat accepted that Thundercracker, the coolest of the group was turned into Scourge, an indisputable demotion in coolness. Meanwhile, Bombshell became Cyclonus (promotion) and Skywarp became one of the Sweeps (but no one really cares about Skywarp).
Of course, there are plenty of people who still argue who became what, since the footage doesn’t make it entirely clear. You can even search out long blog entries and videos on YouTube where people passionately lay out their theories and evidence. However, unlike some of the items on this list, neither Hasbro nor anyone involved in the old G1 cartoon has ever commented on the reformatting, because, honestly, it was 1986. If you remember the eighties, you probably weren't doing it right.
11 The Many Origins of Tarantulas
Tarantulas is kind of a strange character in that he has a very specific origin that no one knows about. It’s allowed fans to theorize endlessly, but to no definitive result: not even the writers who created Tarantulas know his origin.
After being revealed as a member of the Cybertron Secret Police, Tarantulas also mentions that he and the Tripredacus Council aren’t descended from Autobots or Decepticons, so their existence wouldn’t be altered by Megatron destroying the Ark. Following one of his many patented insane plans/betrayals, an angry Megs refers to Tarantulas spitefully as “Unicron’s spawn”, leading to many fans taking this literally. Of course, this created continuity issues—not that that would be a new problem for the franchise.
Megatron’s comment was meant to be a generic insult. Series creators Larry DiTillio and Bob Forward never had a direct idea for the spider’s origin. Had Beast Wars continued for another season, rather than being replaced by the feculent Beast Machines, the writers claimed that Tarantulas and the Council “might” have been revealed as being descended from the Cybertronian off-shoots from Generation 2…which would create its own continuity problems as well. Oh, Transformers.
10 Female Transformers were Created to Appease Feminist Demands
Female Transformers were introduced seemingly all at once in the cartoon and the comics. It was a sudden influx that forced the idea of gender onto robots…who are robots…that don’t reproduce sexually. Hasbro itself believed that female robot toys wouldn’t sell to boys or girls, and were initially against introducing female characters.
Over the years, a mini conspiracy theory grew out of the fandom: female Transformers were created to appease the demands of feminists. This is likely because of Arcee’s origin story in the comics; in-world feminists became mad at the Autobots for not having a female member. Despite claiming they’re a genderless species, they caved to demands and built Arcee. The same feminists then complained that she was pink. The meta-commentary was confused for real world actions and became part of the legend. In reality, no one seemed to care about gendered Transformers except for Hasbro itself, who just wanted to sell toys.
However, without that initial push to create Arcee, we wouldn’t have Chromia, Windblade, or Blackarachnia, which would really suck.
9 Michael Bay's Transformers are Human Creations from the Future
Well, now we know who is to blame for those terrible designs. It was us. We did it. You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!
Anyway, the theory goes that advanced humans built the All-Spark to communicate with their technology easier by giving said technology life and human characteristics. This would explain why this iteration of the Transformers has developed more of a humanoid structure, and why so many of them have mouths rather than speakers. These Transformers have also easily adopted human colloquialisms and more "human” personalities. Where Skids and Mudflap fit into this is a question best left unanswered.
Since it was established that the Transformers can travel through time, at some point, Cybertron and the All-Spark were transported to the past, with the latter device falling to Earth. The Autobots then go search the planet for it, explaining why they had been on the planet for thousands of years already.
8 G1 Cartoon Galvatron was Cured of his Insanity by the Matrix
In the 1986 movie, the new Autobot leader Rodimus Prime tossed Galvatron into space, where he landed in a plasma pool on a planetoid. The exposure caused him to go insane (as detailed in the episode “Web World”). His insanity was really quite fun, though he was just as likely to shoot his fellow Decepticons as he was the Autobots because, as he put it, “Strategy is for cowards.” He also once greeted his friend Cyclonus by beating him half to death and would repeatedly shoot TV screens like he was Elvis Presley.
When Optimus Prime released the “concentrated wisdom” that was stored in the Matrix to cure the universe of the Hate Plague, Galvatron was at ground zero of the release. Shortly after, he and Optimus has a pleasant moment, where Galvatron told Prime he respected him. They even shook hands. In the following episode, “Rebirth,” the Decepticon leader is still evil, but he’s also lucid. Fans believed that the sudden change was due to the Matrix’s effect on him, as it was seemingly the only variable that could have changed him in such a short time. Given the sudden change in his character, and the fact that he was able to form a plan and see it through without firing on his own people, the likelihood of this theory being true is actually pretty high.
7 An Unproduced Beast Wars episode called "Dark Glass" Explained Dinobot II's Character Arc
Dinobot II was created by Megatron to replace the original, dead Dinobot who betrayed him. In the series finale, Dinobot II betrayed Megs again after his original personality was somehow reasserted. While a great moment, it didn’t quite make sense. Apparently, an unmade episode called “Dark Glass,” by Christy Marx was meant to take place earlier in the season and would have explained how it all was to have fit together.
A synopsis for the episode has made the rounds on the internet, but Hasbro never released the script to the public, and those involved in its production have made contradictory statements about it over the years.
The story called for Rattrap and Rhinox finding the Dinobot’s core consciousness in the Axalon’s computer (which he downloaded in a previous episode). Rattrap captures Dinobot II and attempts to restore his friend in this new body. It doesn’t go well, and he's forced to accept that Dinobot is dead.
Of course, even this story—or what we’ve gathered from it—would still leave some continuity gaps in the series finale. But, again, there are still many missing details about “Dark Glass” that won’t be resolved because Hasbro won’t throw us a bone.
6 Brawn Dies, Lives, Dies, Lives, and Becomes a Decepticon (sort of)
This one is more of a joke within the fandom. Many fans didn’t believe that the Napoleonic Brawn was killed in the movie because he was only shot in the arm and was not in the Autobot crypt in “Dark Awakening” (though Huffer was, oddly, apparently killed off-screen. It’s sad. He always wanted to open a shop called Huffer’s Paint).
Thanks to AKOM’s error-laden animation, Brawn would appear several times after his death in wordless action scenes, sometimes even fighting for the Decepticons (and alongside both the Combaticons and Bruticus which they combine to create; AKOM really is the worst).
While it’s more of a joke than an earnest theory, you could make the argument that Brawn was a traitor all along. In the cartoon, he was extremely gung-ho against the Decepticons to the point of protesting too much, and he even tried to get the other Autobots to believe Mirage was a traitor. In the movie, perhaps he leaked the shuttle location to Megatron and was shot in the shoulder while the others were killed to help keep his cover, which he eventually abandoned when Megatron was killed during the Battle of Autobot City.
All things considered, it requires fewer mental gymnastics than some of the others on this list. Speaking of insanity…
5 Michael Bay's Transformers are Illuminati Propaganda
Time to break the fourth wall for a second: sometimes you’re given material that makes you, as a writer, so damn happy you want to cry. This is one of those moments.
According to some people possibly related to Dale Gribble, The Transformers movies are a means for a shadow government to instill in us its oligarchical and occult beliefs and make us receptive to a fascistic, military-led government that would extend beyond America, seeing the undermining international jurisdictions with impunity at the behest of the New World Order (not led by Hulk Hogan) and using a lame duck president as a figurehead.
The Transformers are created by the All-Spark, which resembles Saturn from paganism, while their transforming abilities also relates to paganism. The use of pyramids and occult symbols signify the rise of the Anti-Christ and the reference to “The First Seven” is a nod to the Rothschilds. Why is Michael Bay doing this? To condition us into being the Illuminati’s soldiers against God during the coming rebellion (naturally).
4 Teletraan-1 was Destroyed to Spite Casey Kasem
Casey Kasem was the voice of Cliffjumper and the Autobot computer Teletraan-1 in the original cartoon series. However, during the production of season 3, Kasem quit the series because of the script for the in-production “Thief in the Night” which Kasem, a man of Arabic descent, felt was racist. The villain in the episode was a thinly veiled Muammar Gaddafi parody called Abdul Fakkadi who identified himself Supreme Military Commander, President-for-Life, and King of Kings of the Socialist Democratic Federated Republic of Carbombya.
Kasem wasn’t so much upset by the stereotyping—it was the fact that all the Arabic characters in the episode were either shady or downright evil. Without the balance, and with the writers being unable to change anything since the episode was already in production, Kasem quit.
When the third season premiered, Teletraan-1 was destroyed by Trypticon. The moment was sudden and without build-up. To fans, it looked like an insult. However, none of the actors, producers, or writers involved ever responded to the accusation, and it remains a rumor to this day (or a hysterically spiteful move, if true).
3 There's a "Rated-R" Cut of the 1986 Movie
When the 1986 movie came out, Hasbro took full advantage of the PG rating. Suddenly, guns and bombs hurt people. A ton of Autobots and Decepticons were killed ingloriously so that new toys characters could be introduced. Due to the many edits to the film overseas and alterations made during its initial theater run in America, there exist many different versions. In fact, some fans believe that there is an “R-rated” cut of the movie that’s even more unsavory.
Rumored to be filled with more swearing, and substantially more violence, fans used to go to conventions looking for this hallowed but rare copy.
It never existed.
An alternate version of Ultra Magnus’ “death” (in which he was drawn and quartered) was storyboarded but was never filmed because it was too violent, though the blueprints of the scene were released a few years ago.
The only rumor that may hold water involves Optimus Prime’s death. Reportedly, he turned black, as he did in the original cut, only to then crumble to dust; this was changed mid-release because kids responded with horrified tears. While, again, this has never been confirmed, the track for the scene on the album is ten seconds longer on the record than it is in the actual movie. No footage of the crumbling has been viewed since the initial screening.
2 The Many Origins of the Vok
As great as Beast Wars was, it’s surprising to find out just how much of it was improvised. The Vok—the mysterious aliens that were responsible for the weirdest events in the show—were, like the aforementioned Tarantulas, never given a direct origin. Series creators had differing opinions of who the Vok actually were; Larry DiTillio considered them to be the next evolution of the Swarm from Generation 2 wanting to make amends for destroying the Earth in the future, while Bob Forward believed them to be the evolutionary endpoint of all sentient life.
The Vok themselves appeared in several comic stories after the show ended, adding more to the mystery but never providing answers. We never learned the nature or reason of Tarantulas’ hatred for the aliens, and were never given a canonical (or even a direct) answer as to who or what the Vok were meant to be. Guides and magazines like Beast Wars Universe have claimed the Swarm origin is canon, though the book is unlicensed, and it's based on translated interviews that are well over a decade old.
And you people complained about The X-Files…
1 Transformers 4 is About the Death of the American Dream
Whether intentional or not, a popular reading of Transformers 4 sees it as director Michael Bay’s attempt to come to terms with the death of the American Dream.
Cade and Lucas are talented engineers. Both are unemployed due to a failing job market. They’re the hardworking Americans who have suffered at the hands of a large, overreaching government they can no longer trust. It’s rife with corruption, incompetence and broken promises; a post-9/11 world where our heroes have failed to keep us safe and failed to provide us a brighter future. No longer can you work hard and succeed. You’ll work hard and probably do worse than your parents did for the first time in American history.
Even the stock corrupt government bad guy Harold Attinger isn’t a mustache-twirling villain; after decades of service to the government, he can’t even afford to retire, so he goes to immoral and traitorous lengths to obtain what he feels he earned.
The story shifts to China in its final act. Arguably the current most powerful and influential country on Earth, the Autobots believe it is a place they can thrive. That’s the sad irony of it: the communist dictatorship seems like a viable option compared to America, which no longer represents freedom or opportunity.
This is all heavy, relevant stuff. Good thing we had all those ‘splosions and the oddly detailed treatises on Romeo & Juliet laws.
What new theories will arise when Transformers 5 releases in 2017? Are the Transformers part of an Illuminati plot? Do you know any more Transformers theories? Have any of your own? Let us know in the comments!