The Transformers movie timeline has grown more dense and complicated throughout Michael Bay's five-film saga and the addition of Bumblebee has called many aspects of it into question. When Bay launched the live-action Transformers franchise in 2007, it was already clear that the "robots in disguise" had been hiding on Earth longer than most humans were aware. As the story progressed in each succeeding film, the history of the Transformers on Earth also went further and further back, until it was revealed that the origins of the planets Earth and Cybertron were intertwined.
In the 2007 Transformers that starred Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, the Autobots and Decepticons brought their eternal war to Earth as they sought a device called the AllSpark, a cube that had the power to grant life to machines. The sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen revealed that the Decepticons were on Earth in 17,000 B.C. and the Great Pyramid of Giza was built around a weapon they left behind called the Star Harvester. Transformers: Dark of the Moon then dropped the bombshell that the Apollo 11 moon landing and the cause of the Space Race itself was so that the United States could be the first nation to get to the moon to investigate a crashed Autobot ship.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the first of the two films starring Mark Wahlberg, showed that Earth was seeded with Transformium, the living, programmable metal the Transformers are made of, 65 million years ago. Meant to soft reboot the saga with a new story arc, Transformers: The Last Knight saved the biggest shock for last: the Earth itself is a Transformer called Unicron, the ancient enemy of Cybertron, which tied the fates of humans and Transformers together.
The critical and box office failure of The Last Knight canceled plans for Transformers 6 and left the story of Earth-as-Unicron hanging, perhaps permanently. Michael Bay vacated his role as the primary auteur of the franchise and now, director Travis Knight's critically-acclaimed Bumblebee has arrived as a prequel set 20 years before Transformers 2007 and as a new soft reboot that could retcon much of the history established by Bay's films; we'll note the divergences in the following timeline.
There are also numerous comic books and ancillary spinoffs that fill in a great deal of the history of Bay's saga, but for the purposes of this timeline, we will restrict the events to what was shown in the feature films only. Here's the basic timeline of the Transformers movies and what years they are set in :
- 1987: Bumblebee
- 2007: Transformers (with flashbacks to 1897)
- 2009: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (with flashbacks to 17,000 B.C.)
- 2012: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (with flashbacks to 1961 and 1969)
- 2017: Transformers: Age of Extinction (with flashbacks to 65 million years ago)
- 2018: Transformers: The Last Knight (with flashbacks to 484 A.D. and World War II)
Bumblebee is a self-contained adventure set in 1987 but its depiction of Cybertron and the Transformers in their Generation-1 designs contradicts the way the robots looked in Bay's films and it also contradicts a plot point that Bee himself was on Earth in the 1940s. Bumblebee's ending seems to set up Transformers 2007 in some aspects but it also conflicts what was seen in Bay's original film by showing the Autobots arriving on Earth 20 years earlier than before. Unless Bumblebee's sequels definitely alter Bay's chronology and launch a new sequence of events, Bumblebee does slide into the established timeline, albeit somewhat awkwardly. All in all, here's our detailed breakdown of the major events in Transformers movie history:
- This Page: An Overview of the Transformers Timeline
- Page 2: Transformers In Ancient History
- Page 3: Transformers In The 20th Century and Bumblebee
- Page 4: The Shia LaBeouf Transformers Films
- Page 5: The Mark Wahlberg Transformers Films
Page 2 of 2: Transformers In Ancient History
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018