With the first Transformers movie premiering in 2007, and Bumblebee in 2018, Optimus Prime and his Autobots have appeared in theaters for over a decade. Initially, the first animated series was made just to sell toys, but now, it's evolved into a multi-genre, multi-million dollar empire, and the Autobots have become the heroes of Cybertron, Earth, and the universe in their many adventures.
While Bumblebee is a fan darling, the true iconic character of the films is Optimus Prime, the lawful leader of the Autobots. Optimus has inspired his warrior bots through decades of battles, trials, and victories as he is singularly made to lead and bring people together. As the last of his kind, it's only right for him to do his best to make a difference in the world. Without Optimus' leadership, all the defeats the Autobots faced would surely have eliminated them. He is able to pull them out of any bind and keep them fighting, no matter what happens. Part of what makes Optimus such a great leader and a fascinating character is his anatomy. That body of his is very unique, even among other giant, transforming, hero robots. Between different transformations, different names, and different origin stories, Optimus remains the best leader they could ever ask for. With that being said, here are 20 Strange Details About Optimus Prime's Anatomy.
20 Made For Leadership
When Optimus Prime was created, his core energy source was the Matrix of Leadership. This matrix gives Optimus more power than the average autobot along with the willpower to lead. However, the matrix isn't just for him. In the event of his passing, the matrix passes on to a new leader (at least in the animated series), and both Ultra Magnus and Hot Rod have used this matrix as well.
In the films, humans used the matrix a bit differently. This time, Sam puts it into Optimus to resurrect him as a better, higher-powered version of himself. The Matrix of Leadership makes Optimus Prime a stronger leader to his people, something vital during their civil war. As a result, it is one of the most important parts of his body.
19 Mixed Relationship With Earth
Though most people think of Optimus Prime and the Autobots as protectors of Earth, that's not always the case. Even in the highly popularized film, by the time he meets Mark Wahlberg's Cade Yeager, Optimus is starting to lose faith in humanity. This heavily contrasts his earlier position, where he considered Earth their new home.
Furthermore, in some of the animated series, Optimus Prime deliberately orders his team not to get involved with humans, or sometimes, any other planets at all. He wants their efforts to be completely focused on re-taking Cybertron. Unfortunately, though, those orders don't always work out. First and foremost, Optimus wants to protect his people, and it depends on the iteration if Earth and humanity are a part of that.
18 Carries A Personal Armory In The Live Action Films
As the transformative part of Optimus in semi-truck form is only the front carriage, writers have gotten creative with what he's carried in the back. Sometimes, it's for battle stations, scout cars, or even transporting other characters better.
However, in the live action films, the writers particularly chose to make Optimus carry an armory. Over the films, he picks up quite a few cannons, swords, and more, so it's not too wild of a choice. This way, Optimus can remain fairly mobile and reactive while still having his more clunkier items nearby. When the leader of the Autobots is just the front end of a semi-truck, there really is a lot of options. Might as well keep him well-stocked.
17 Martial Arts Master
While the Autobots and Decepticons have a lot of guns and cannons, their durability means they end up doing a lot of hand-to-hand combat. Because of this, all of the main characters end up becoming expert melee fighters, with Optimus Prime being adept in martial arts.
This is because not only are they useful in close up battle, but the Transformers series were also released in Japan first, which makes more sense why the characters would know traditional battle styles. With his guns, blades, and martial arts training, Optimus is a formidable foe for any other bot. He's a hard hitter that's even harder to take down; there's a reason why his battles with Megatron are always so epic.
16 Can Spawn Roller, A Scout Bot
Optimus has always had the same personality: a good, moral individual trying to do his best to lead the Autobots. However, other than that, he's had some whacky changes over the series and films. Between wielding blades, having hidden pasts, riding dinobots, and having robot girlfriends, he's evolved a lot, but one of the cutest things that he sometimes has is a scout bot named Roller.
In timelines/series where Optimus is a semi-truck, his back end sometimes houses this adorable, helpful scout, who will go behind enemy lines and try to acquire recon information for the group. With six wheels and nerves of steel, Roller does his best to help, and his attitude very much reflects that of the bot who owns him.
15 Can Fire Elemental Cannons
With all his different versions in different series, Optimus has had a lot of powers; however, something that's been consistent is his use of cannons. Depending on the timeline, he's used water, fire, and laser varieties, which have also been separate weapons or pieces that extend out of his anatomy. The big guy certainly likes his big weapons.
Moreover, though, they do change in context to the situation. He only used fire and water cannons when he was a firetruck, and he used lasers more often when the cannons came out of his arms. Even in a single character, Autobots are diverse and complex beings.
14 Has Multiple Transformations
The most iconic version of Optimus Prime is easily when he's the front-end of a semi-truck, but that's not his only transformation. In some unique series, he's also transformed into a firetruck or a Pepsi truck. Depending on the scenario or the brand deal, he's been altered a bit.
When the writers do this, though, they do their best to keep Optimus Prime's integrity and character intact. He's still a heroic figure whether he is in a firetruck or a semi-truck, and despite the branding, his classic colors of red, blue, and silver are kept. Writers know better than to mess with his personality as fans and Autobots alike look to him as a pillar of justice and morality, no matter what form he takes.
13 He's Gone By Several Different Names
Before Optimus was the Prime he is, he went by other names. For example, in some stories, Optimus Prime was once the average autobot, Orion Pax, who had a girlfriend and a normal life before everything changed for him. Over time, he evolved into Optimus Prime, leader and hero, instead of remaining who he once was.
Also, in Japan's version, Optimus Prime sometimes had an entirely different name. There, he went by Convoy, likely referencing the fact he's a semi-truck and he's leading the “convoy” of bots. Quite the clever name if one thinks about it. No matter his name or anatomical changes, this Prime bot is willing to put everything on the line to save his people in any situation.
12 Consistent Color Palette Over Multiple Series
Each different Transformers series puts its own spin on the characters. Even between Michael Bay's Transformers series and Bumblebee, the design of the Autobots have shifted. The complex and flashy looks of Bay's Transformers have been traded for simpler, more aesthetically pleasing ones.
Regardless of this kind of change, though, mostly all iterations have remained true to the Autobots' color palettes. No matter if he's a firetruck, a first generation leader, or a movie star, Optimus Prime sticks to those classic blue, red, and silver colors. There are a few deviations to this, though, but they are so few that it's not worth mentioning. Some were even just special toy promotions. Otherwise, this big blue and red guy has stayed pretty consistent.
11 In Some Universes, He And Ultra Magnus Are Brothers
In Transformers: The Movie, the Autobots' first foray into film, Optimus Prime takes a surprising hit and passes away. Before he goes, though, he passes leadership onto Ultra Magnus, a brave soldier who Optimus trusted to lead well.
Things get complicated, though, in Transformers: Robots In Disguise (a different version of the series). In this one, they aren't just good friends, but in fact brothers. Magnus is jealous of Optimus becoming the leader and tries to take his matrix and leadership away from him. Though the pair eventually come together to become even stronger, it causes a lot of tension among the Autobots. Here, it wasn't Magnus who thought he was just a good soldier, it was their creators as well.
10 His Morality Is His Greatest Strength
All of the Autobots are pretty flashy on the outside, but what matters most is what's on the inside. As sentient robots, they now have a lot of space to grow personalities and moral codes. When it comes to Optimus Prime, their fearless leader, his morality is his greatest strength as it is what inspires and drives his fellow cybernetic warriors when faced with injustice.
Without the goodness in Optimus, the Autobots may not have helped Earth, win so many battles, or even survive the Decepticon insurgence on Cybertron. Even when he's weak, he's a guiding light for the bots. Moreover, he's always willing to sacrifice himself to save others and always tries to see the good in people.
9 Brainwashed By Quintessa
During Transformers: The Last Knight, Optimus Prime goes on a quest to find his creator. In his travels, he comes upon Quintessa, a wicked entity that masquerades as the maker of Cybertron. After capturing him, she brainwashes him into thinking Earth is the enemy and he must eliminate it. Only the desperate pleas of his closest friend Bumblebee stop him from causing excess havoc.
As one of the most lawful characters in the series, Optimus' corruption is monumental as it means that even his determined and good mind can be swayed. In a world full of robots, that's very dangerous, especially in the hands of a malevolent being. However, that same goodness is exactly how he was able to break her control.
8 Blades Can Appear Out Of His Arms
Ever since Michael Bay's first Transformers movie, Optimus has had a pretty cool set of weaponry. From blasters to hooks, he's one dangerous soldier. However, one of his most iconic and impressive additions are his Energon blades. In the first film, he sports one that comes out of his arm, and in the second, he's equipped with two Energon blades. These dual swords are laser sharp and impossibly hot, cutting through the tough metal of his Decepticon enemies with ease.
While the blades are great to see in action, they also make for great posters. Visually, they are stunning, and in practice, they are fatal. Optimus is not a bot to be messed with, especially with these hiding in his forearms.
7 During Transformers: Robots In Disguise, He Gets A Wicked Twin
Scourge is a Decepticon that's been around since Gen 1, but in Transformers: Robots In Disguise, he got an upgraded backstory. Instead of just being one of Megatron's minions, he's now Optimus Prime's sinister clone. Megatron stole an autobot body, refit it with Decepticon programming, and then had it scan Optimus to take his attributes (except for the goodness, though). The result of that was Scourge, a ruthless, ambitious bot with all of Optimus' strength and none of his compassion.
However, Megatron did cause a bit of a problem for himself: much like Optimus, Scourge felt obligated to lead, and though he was a sinister bot, he constantly had plans to dethrone Megatron as leader of the Decepticons.
6 He's Had Several Attached Battle Stations
As the leader of the Autobots, Optimus has to take initiative when it comes to battle tactics. Even if someone else makes the plan, he needs to execute it. As a result, his attached trailer at several points has been a battle station for him and his comrades, which allows them to strategize within it after they've set up shop.
Cybertron was losing an enduring civil war when they left, and despite being on Earth, making moon bases, or fighting their way back home, the Autobots needed plans and leadership to get them there. Quite literally, Optimus does his best to be a great leader in mind and body. If he can use a part of himself to prep his warriors better, of course he'd do it.
5 He Cannot Turn Into A Gorilla
One of the most well-known Transformers series is Transformers: Beast Wars. In this animated tale, robotic beasts can turn into hulking cybernetic beings. However, despite their similar names and personalities, none of these characters are the ones fans know well. For example, Optimus Primal, their leader, is not a derivative of Optimus Prime; he is a gorilla robot that just decided to name himself after the legendary leader.
Understandably, this can make it very boggling for fans as they probably think that this is just an alternate universe version of the lawful leader. Instead, both Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal exist in this world, which is even more confusing. When it comes to Transformers: Beast Wars, it's best not to think about the complex lore of it all.
4 In Transformers: Animated, Optimus Can Turn His Body Parts Into Tools
Many of the most highly regarded Transformers shows were early on in the toys' series run, but that doesn't mean the Transformers have ever stopped appearing in animated series and films. In late 2007, Disney Channel showed Transformers: Animated, a Transformers iteration about the Autobots protecting Detroit after crash landing there.
In these stories, Optimus has a new, cool ability: he can transform various body parts into useful tools. For example, he can create a cybernetic axe, can add a jetback to his parts, and more, making the already powerful bot all the more versatile and clever. These attachments can be made himself, or by his brilliant buddy, Ratchet.
3 Fused With Jetfire
During Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, The Fallen himself comes back to try to take over the universe. As a disciple of Primus, the bots' “god,” he's one of the oldest and most powerful beings, and because of this, only another Prime can defeat him. With Optimus Prime as the only available Prime, it becomes vital for them to resurrect and empower him.
As an old Decepticon turned Autobot, Jetfire sacrifices himself to give his strong, older parts to Optimus and secure his resurrection. After all, the Matrix of Leadership revived him, but he didn't have full strength. While he could have accumulated it over time, they needed him at his best right away to destroy The Fallen. As a result, the combining of Jetfire and Optimus made the Prime all the more powerful and helped saved the universe.
2 He's Perished In Several Timelines
Throughout multiple stories in Transformers, Optimus Prime has met an untimely end several times, but his first passing didn't happen until 1986, in the first series' first movie. This end was a surprise to fans, as it was unexpected, early in the film, and a serious loss for the group. However, since then, Optimus Prime has lost his life over 20 times.
One of the most impactful is easily his battle in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Optimus unwisely turns his back on Megatron and the sinister Decepticon takes advantage. Megatron tears the leader apart, his blue eyes fade, and he falls to his demise. Fortunately, though, in a lot of these scenarios, Optimus never stays gone for long. Particularly in Revenge of the Fallen, he's resurrected with the Matrix of Leadership.
1 Last Of The Original Thirteen Transformers
In the Transformers universe, all bots derive from their creator-god, Primus. At first, Primus only started with a handful of beings known as the Thirteen. These Thirteen were designated with the name “Prime” to show their status. By the time of most Transformers series, Optimus Prime is the last of the Thirteen alive.
Not only does this mean he's powerful, but also quite old. Furthermore, these thirteen were specifically created to have special abilities that helped them battle Unicron. Optimus is known as the mediator Prime, the one able to bring everyone together. This lore concept only reached the Transformers universe in the late 90s, but has become a huge element of their stories since then.
Were there any odd parts of Transformers' Optimus Prime that we missed? Let us know in the comments down below!