Once upon a time, the Autobots and Decepticons lived in peace on a faraway planet called Cybertron - even if it doesn’t seem like that was possible. Every comic book, animated series, and live-action movie surrounding Transformers has told audiences that the Autobots and Decepticons are always at one another’s throats. There does exist a place that once knew them as neighbors who managed to get along, at least for a little while, though we haven’t been able to see much of it just yet.
For movie audiences used to watching the Autobots battle the Decepticons on the big screen, Transformers: The Last Knight gives them a bigger look at the home planet of Cybertron (no spoilers!) than they might have been expecting. Five movies into the franchise, Cybertron isn’t exactly a hospitable planet, but we do get hints at what it might have been.
Since 1984, though, fans of the Transformers franchise have been given glimpses at Cybertron in various media. Comics, animation, and live-action versions of the Transformers story don’t always have the same continuity, but they do always feature the techno-organic planet in some capacity. If you’re looking to dig a little deeper into the former home of these robots in disguise, we’ve got 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Cybertron.
16 Cybertron Is Japanese For Autobot
In 1984, Hasbro partnered with Japanese companies and Marvel Comics to bring robotic toys that could transform into cars, jets, and more into the hands of kids everywhere. The toy line debuted just as the animated series landed on television in Japan and Marvel comics published stories in the U.K. and the U.S. But early Japanese stories for the series did not distinguish between the Transformer home planet of Cybertron and the Autobots.
The Japanese word used for both Cybertron and its residents was Seibatoron. That was the name given on toy packaging before the series debuted, and it stuck. Over the next few years, using the same word for both parts of the Transformers mythology would prove confusing for those consuming the media outside of Japan, since the English words were so different. Today, some Japanese versions of the media will use Autobot just for clarification.
15 Marvel Had Other Cybertrons
About two decades before the Transformers made their debut on the pages of Marvel Comics, there was another Cybertron in Marvel’s stories. These Cybertrons actually made their debut in an early X-Men comic book.
In a story released in the late 1960s, the X-Men comic focused on Jean Grey and Scott Summers after the FBI forced the disbanding of the X-Men. The two tried to live a normal life, but with the story featuring a computer by the very clever name of Computo, you know that wasn’t happening. Computo was something of a supercomputer, and it created its own race of beings called Cybertrons. They weren’t robots in disguise, and they didn’t make a huge impression on comic book readers either.
Scott and Jean destroyed the Cybertrons and they were never heard from again, though the living computer that created them would make more appearances.
14 Cybertron Is Primus
Though the details differ depending on if you’re reading a comic book or watching one of the animated series, the truth is that Cybertron wasn’t always Cybertron. Instead, it was a living being named Primus.
Primus and Unicron, in some continuities brothers, in others gods, were opposites. While Unicron consumed energy, Primus gave it life. The two waged a great war in the cosmos as a result of those differences, and ultimately, Primus thought he was able to defeat Unicron. Again, just how he did so depends on which continuity you ascribe to, but Primus believed the fight to be over when he was so weakened that he either hid himself inside planetary material or space junk, and Cybertron grew around him as he shared his energy with the new planet.
Some versions of the story feature Primus as the core of the planet, while in others, he sleeps thanks to his fight being long over, and in still others, Primus is the planet itself.
13 Cybertron Made Living Weapons
In the Marvel comic book version of the story, Cybertron was aware of the possibility of the return of his enemy Unicron, and he took precautions. He didn’t make himself into a weapon, but he did use his energy to create organic weapons on his surface.
Those weapons were the Transformers. Much like Cybertron, which had been created from Primus’ own life force as well as metallic elements in outer space, the same was true of the planet’s creations. The transformers were made from those same metals on his surface, but they were living, breathing, creatures who could grow and evolve. Over time, they did, just not in a way the planet probably expected, as every version of the story leads to war between at least two of the races of Transformers.
12 The Quintessons Made Cybertron A Planet-Sized Factory
This race of beings gets a nod in Transformers: The Last Knight (one we won’t spoil here if you haven’t seen the movie), but the Quintessons originate in one of the seasons of the animated series.
In this version of the story, the Quintessons used the planet of Cybertron more like a factory than a home. They used its organic technology to create two types of Transformers: soldiers (Decepticons) and workers (Autobots). Eventually, the two types of Transformers banded together to rebel against the Quintessons and evict them from the planet.
The peace between the two groups was short lived after that, as the Decepticons and Autobots then had a civil war. The idea of these two groups being so different from one another (despite their shared origins) and not being able to compromise on how to exist on the same planet creates the backbone for their story.
11 Cybertron Can Move
Most planets orbit a star, so there is precedent for them moving through space. Most planets, however, do not freely move across solar systems and into new galaxies, which Cybertron has been known to do.
In fact, in different versions of the animated series and miniseries, Cybertron appears to move through space of its own accord, drifting away from where it was originally located. Sometimes, it’s very close to Earth, while other times, it’s on the opposite end of the universe.
In the comics, Cybertron had a more fixed location, orbiting its star with its moons, in turn, orbiting the planet. But the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons caused so much turmoil that the groups knocked the planet right out of its own orbit!
10 The Golden Age of Cybertron
It may seem like Cybertron has only ever experienced war and a bleak atmosphere, but that isn’t entirely true. The animated series even allowed the planet a brief Golden Age - or at least, it was mentioned in the show.
Sometime after the Quintessons were kicked off Cybertron and before the Autobots and Decepticons went to war with one another, the planet prospered. Instead of the metallic blues and blacks seen in the animation and the comics, the Golden Age of the planet was reflected in the surface actually appearing gold.
The closest the comic book stories have come to that is using golden hued tones on some of the buildings on Cybertron, though with IDW, the current publisher of Transformers comics, there’s always a chance that idea could be revisited.
9 Cybertron Has No Renewable Resources
Unlike Earth, where wind, water, and more can be harnessed to use to power our electricity, Cybertron doesn’t have those kinds of renewable resources to keep the planet going -- according to the animated series, anyway.
In fact, in the animated series, it isn’t the planet being knocked off course or an attempt to guide it through an asteroid field (which is what happened in the early Marvel stories) that cause the Transformers to leave Cybertron. Instead, it’s the Autobots and Decepticons seeking out new resources to aid them in their fight against one another that has the groups leaving their planet behind and winding up in Earth.
In comics and movies, this idea seems to depend on who is doing the writing. In the live-action movies, for example, it’s the AllSpark that provides the Transformers with their life force, and while it is immensely powerful, it’s not limitless either.
8 Size Doesn’t Matter
Throughout the different media, the size of Cybertron doesn’t stay consistent. In the Marvel comic book version of the story, the planet was said to be the size of Saturn, and it’s appeared close to that size throughout other print versions. In animation, the planet shrinks down in size to roughly the size of Earth’s moon, a huge difference in scale compared to the comics.
Some fans have provided their reasoning for the inconsistency across the mediums other than simply having different artists involved. Fans have given the explanation that Primus, creator of Cybertron, is essentially a god, so he could easily make the planet whatever size he wants it to be at any given time -- even if he’s not conscious of it.
The live-action movies do provide one reason for Cybertron’s size change. When the planet is targeted in Transformers: Dark of the Moon with the hope of bringing it closer to Earth, the bridge between the two worlds is closed, forcing the planet to collapse inward, making it appear smaller.
7 Iacon Was Cybertron’s Largest City
Before war ravaged the planet, Cybertron was made up of cities and territories just like any other inhabited planet would be. Iacon was the largest.
Iacon has been mentioned in various media, but in the comics, it’s known for two very big pieces of information: it was the home base of the Autobots, and it was Optimus Prime’s actual home.
6 Seizer, Legonis, And Octus Tried To Rule
Unlike the movies, which have seen Cybertron almost totally abandoned as the Autobots and Decepticons are scattered throughout space, the comics saw only a small faction leave the planet behind. The rest of the Transformers were still on Cybertron.
In the Marvel U.K. comic book line, the tide turned in the war on the planet, and the Decepticons were in a position of power. The trio of Seizer, Legonis, and Octus (parodying the classical trio of Caesar, Lepidus, and Octavius) attempted to rule the planet while Megatron was occupied fighting Autobots on Earth. The three were lazy in their approach, thinking they could rule without doing any of the work, though they did organize gladiator-like arena fights between Decepticons and their Autobot prisoners.
That lasted until a clone of Megatron returned to the planet and convinced the rest of the Decepticons that they actually wanted to go back to war.
5 Primus Brought Transformers Back To Cybertron
In the U.K., the story of Primus and his mortal enemy Unicron was published in Marvel Comics before it made its way into the U.S. stories. There were slight variations in the history, but ultimately, the two used the same through line: Primus calling the Transformers home for battle.
Infighting in the core of Cybertron awoke Primus from his billions-of-years-long-nap, and when it did, he cried out, waking Unicron in another part of space. It was then that the purpose of the Transformers - to fight Unicron for him - was revealed, and he began to call them home. One by one, Transformers and their allies disappeared from wherever they were across the universe and returned to Cybertron, something not everyone was happy about, since they were still in the midst of civil war.
Even Optimus Prime, who had already died and been resurrected, wasn’t too keen on being used as a pawn in someone else’s fight, but he also wasn’t willing to let Unicron destroy the universe.
4 A Space Bridge Connects Cybertron And Earth
No matter the differences amongst the spins on the Transformers mythology, there is one thing that always seems to take place at some point: a space bridge is used to connect Cybertron to Earth.
The first instance of the space bridge technology being used was in the 1984 animated series. Shockwave constructed one in order to send supplies from Earth to Cybertron for the Decepticons that were still there. It acted like a teleportation system, able to transport matter across time and space.
Since then, the idea has also been used in the Marvel comics, additional animated series, the IDW comics, and in the live-action movies. It is almost always a plot devised by the Decepticons in order to get technology or reinforcements from one of the planets to the other, though rare story occasions have seen Optimus Prime spearheading the space bridge in order to establish connections between allied worlds.
3 Optimus Prime And Megatron Ruled
At this point, everyone is well aware that there is no continuity between the different versions of the Transformers story. Even though different groups led Cybertron in the comics and the animated series, the live-action film had other groups in charge of the planet at different points in the history that have been revealed, providing yet another tidbit of information for fans.
Megatron and Optimus Prime seem like the worst of enemies in all of the Michael Bay movies, but once upon a time, the two Transformers shared ruling duties. IDW published a prequel to the 2007 movie which revealed that the two enemies actually worked in tandem. Fittingly, Megatron was head of the planet’s Defense Force, while Optimus Prime was head of the planet’s Science Division.
Megatron eventually became corrupted by power and ancient forces, and he sought to get control of the AllSpark, leading Optimus to send it away for safekeeping, kicking off the civil war between their groups and the events of the film franchise.
2 Cybertron Wasn’t Supposed To Be A Transformer
Even though the Transformers story featured Primus at the center of a planet, over time creating Cybertron around himself, he was not initially conceived as a Transformer, and neither was Cybertron.
Unicron was a being who physically transformed himself into a robot-like creature, and the Transformers were modeled after him in the comic book backstory, so why didn’t Primus have that same path initially? We don’t know, but we do know that one fan theorized about Cybertron being a Transformer during the initial run of the comics in the U.K., and even wrote in asking about the possibility.
The U.K. publishing team answered fan letters as though they were actual Transformers, and Blaster was the bot who was asked whether or not Cybertron was a robot in disguise as well. Blaster informed the readers, “No. More likely it will turn into a rapidly expanding ball of component molecules, the way things are going at the moment!”
1 Transformers: Cybertron Revealed The Planet Was A Transformer
More than two decades after Transformers debuted in Marvel Comics, it turned out that Cybertron was a Transformer after all. The reveal played out on screen in 2005’s Transformers: Cybertron animated series, though it was also hinted at in a comic book guide the year before.
In this animated series, Unicron has already been defeated, but a black hole threatens the destruction of the universe, and the Transformers discover the existence of objects called Planet Keys, ancient artifacts that can stop it. These keys, or at least one of them, are used to wake up Primus in Cybertron, and he transforms the entire planet into his body, fighting against some of the Decepticons who are after the same keys.
Could Cybertron transform itself in the future of the live-action films? We’ll have to wait and see what the Transformers movie universe has in store for fans!
Did you learn something knew about the Transformers’ home planet? Are you hoping to see more of Cybertron in the movies? Let us know in the comments!
Check out Transformers: The Last Knight in theaters now, and get ready for plenty more of the Transformers universe as there is a sixth movie in the series as well as a Bumblebee spinoff on the way.