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Author Topic: Tranformers Rant
Juxtapose
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[Dont Know]

EDIT - Curse you, new page, for ruining my not-so-clever joke!

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TL
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I still thought it was funny.
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suminonA
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When there are two rationally indistinguishable ideas, and we slam one, we slam the other. Stop slamming fiction! Seriously.

A.

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Juxtapose
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There's really no "we" here right now. You're the only one trying to do that. Erosomniac's statements, taken together, make it very clear what his point was.

As a fellow atheist, please, let this one go.

Edited for some spelling.

[ January 30, 2008, 08:27 AM: Message edited by: Juxtapose ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
When there are two rationally indistinguishable ideas, and we slam one, we slam the other.
suminonA, If you can find no rational distinction between religion and speculative fiction, it demonstrates the severe limits on your rational abilities and nothing more.

Thank you Juxtapose. I've known many secularist, rationalist and atheists who find no need to dis religion at every possible juncture. Most who I know personally are very respectful of religion and the religious although they themselves do not believe.

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Juxtapose
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Now if we could just get back to tearing each other new ones over what REALLY matters....

Robots. Possibly with lasers. [Smile]

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Eaquae Legit
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Big smashy robots!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
It just seems to me that someone came up with these cool toys that could transform from being robots to being cars, planes and insects and other cool and then built this story to go around them as a marketing tool.
Um, that's exactly what happened. If you don't want to see a movie with that lineage, don't go see Transformers. I didn't.

I didn't go to see it either. It was shown on a nearly interminable plane flight.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Well, then I think you should sue for damages.
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suminonA
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
There's really no "we" here right now. You're the only one trying to do that. Erosomniac's statements, taken together, make it very clear what his point was.

As a fellow atheist, please, let this one go.

Ok, I'm sorry. My bad.

A.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Well, then I think you should sue for damages.

How much do you think I could get? Would it be enough to pay the lawyer?
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mr_porteiro_head
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No.

But don't let that deter you. It's the principle that matters!

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The Rabbit
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You forget that I'm an engineer and we engineers are at heart very pragmatic people. We don't sue on principle.
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brojack17
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Rabbit, what kind of engineer are you?
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mr_porteiro_head
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I'm pretty sure that sometimes we do.
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The Rabbit
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There are exceptions to every rule.
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suminonA
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All rules have exceptions, except this one. [Wink]

A.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
Rabbit, what kind of engineer are you?

I am a scientist with a thin veneer of engineering. By degree and title, I'm a chemical engineer. In practice I'm much more of a chemist/physicist.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Personally, I didn't have my own transformer toys, although I coveted them tremendously.

We had several "generic" Transformers toys. I found it interesting to morph them; my brothers fought battles with them (and I think their cowboys and Indians might have taken sides too -- we only had 3 or 4 "Transformers"). The funny thing is that even though we had never seen the cartoon (we were only allowed to watch PBS and the Cosby Show), we knew the theme song.

I still think I win for being traumatized by an airline movie. When I was 16, a friend and I flew the red-eye to NY. One of the Indiana Jones movies was being shown. We did not pay for headphones, but every so often we would look up at the screen. Once, rats everywhere. Another time, snakes. And then there was something with falling boulders . . . . We stopped looking up!

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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
I don't think anybody would claim that Transformers is good science fiction.
I would. Beast Wars is a Transformers series that aired 1999-2002 and was eminently watchable by both kids and adults. I actually interviewed one of the Story Editors, Larry DiTillio, who also was a Story Editor on Babylon 5.

It was a great show.

I like the 1984-1986 original series too, but that has a lot more nostalgia talking.

But in any event, it was real science fiction. There was a plot and everything. There was even emotional turmoil in many episodes, as well as more adult messages that were probably lost on the kids, like love stories and enviornmental awareness.

I haven't seen the recent movie, it looked like it was probably going to be rubbish, so I won't comment on that.

But the G1 show and especially Beast Wars were awesome.

Although the 1986 movie was WAAAAAAY too violent.

For anyone who saw the 1986 Transformers film, check out the Radio Play Parody done by Radio Free Cyberton (the now defunct Transformers Internet Radio show).

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mackillian
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...does anyone who grew up with Transformers who never got an Optimus Prime still want an Optimus Prime?
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MattP
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Yes.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Yes.
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Mucus
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Indeed.
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Juxtapose
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suminonA,
Thanks for being reasonable back there. I appreciate it, and I'm sure others do too.

quote:
...does anyone who grew up with Transformers who never got an Optimus Prime still want an Optimus Prime?
Badly. Life-size, if possible. And power steering.
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TL
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quote:
But in any event, it was real science fiction. There was a plot and everything. There was even emotional turmoil in many episodes, as well as more adult messages that were probably lost on the kids, like love stories and enviornmental awareness.
None of these things -- plot, emotional turmoil, or adult messages -- make a thing real science fiction.
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dean
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I dated a boy who had collected transformers for years, and we werne't allowed to touch any of them. I think he spent a hundred dollars on an Optimus Prime recently. I really wanted to play with them, but I was never allowed.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I didn't want to disrupt the Obama thread with a response to this statement, so I've started a new Thread.

quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
The Transformers are bigger than Jesus.

Perhaps it is because I am old enough to blaim the Transformers for introducing the idea of usings cartoons as an excuse to aire a 30 minute long advertisement for a pre-existing toy. Perhaps it is because I saw the transformers movie on an overfull, delayed airline flight (A bit redundent, eh?) Or perhaps its because I lack a Y chromosome.

But for whatever reason, I simply cannot understand the popularity of the transformers. Don't get me wrong, I understand the popularity of toys that can tranform from robots into other cool mechanical things. What I can't understand is how anyone on the planet can tolerate the cartoons, let alone how this was spun into a movie.

I mean, this is THE STUPIDEST science fiction premise ever. A god like super race of Robots that transform into cars, helicopters, trucks and stuff. Seriously.

Your wrong...? Does that answer the question? When we were kids that cartoon was one of the best availiable on television, then when we were older and more demanding we got CGI with Beast Wars, and then the movie, I won't mention Beast Machines as apparently I'm the only human being on the planet who can tolerate the show.
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Risuena
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I actually had an Optimus Prime - which made my brother insanely jealous. I actually still have Bumblebee around somewhere.
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brojack17
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by brojack17:
Rabbit, what kind of engineer are you?

I am a scientist with a thin veneer of engineering. By degree and title, I'm a chemical engineer. In practice I'm much more of a chemist/physicist.
I thought you might have been a Mechanical Engineer and was turned off at the impossibility of the mechanisms used to transform. [Smile]
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The Rabbit
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quote:
I thought you might have been a Mechanical Engineer and was turned off at the impossibility of the mechanisms used to transform.
As a chemist/physicist/chemical engineering I could have been turned off by that as well but was more disturbed by the apparent violations of the laws of conservation of matter and energy.
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rivka
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Pfft. Movies violate THAT all the time!

It's comic book physics.

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The Rabbit
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I should add to that the physically impossible, including conservation of matter, gets violated by shape shifters in science fiction all the time and in many cases it doesn't interfere with my ability to suspend my disbelief in the story.

I guess the real issue is that a good story makes me want to believe it, even if its unrealistic. Nothing in the Transformers movie made me want to believe. I think the movie relied entirely on a fan base who loved the toys and cartoons as children and so already wanted to believe the story. As a result, it did nothing to draw in the viewer who hadn't already bought in to the central premise.

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katharina
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On the flight to Spain, they showed a Hilary Duff movie.

I was sitting with my 24-year-old brother, and we alternated between watching out of sheer boredom and mocking each other for it.

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The Rabbit
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rivka beat me to it.

I should also add that I've always thought the toys were really cool. They definitely speak to my inner engineer even if I find the story built around them to be contrived. I'd be delighted to have an optimus prime myself even though I couldn't tell you off hand which toy that is.

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rivka
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Y'all need to bring books, PDAs, and/or laptops on your flights. I don't watch airline movies unless I want to.
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The Rabbit
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I always have at least one book on the flights. I also bring knitting and a laptop. Its never a problem on the short flights, its the long international ones where I end up watching the movies.

I saw the Transformer movie on a flight from Japan that lasted ~14 hours. Its amazing the what you will watch after you've been strapped into a tiny seat for 7 hours and are looking at another 7 hours ahead of you.

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rivka
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I've flown to Israel. The last time, IIRC, I read two books, played games on my Palm until it ran out of juice, did stuff on my laptop until its battery died, and slept. The movies were all dreadful -- I think I watched about 10 minutes of each before giving up.

I'd rather read the darn in-flight magazine than watch a movie I hate.

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katharina
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quote:
Y'all need to bring books, PDAs, and/or laptops on your flights.
We were traveling light- everythhing stuffed into a backpack. There was no room for any (more) books and there's no way I was lugging around a laptop for two weeks, and neither of us owned a PDA.

The look of rapt intensity on my brother's face as he watched a "getting pretty" montage was all worth it.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
We were traveling light- everythhing stuffed into a backpack.

I can't/won't do that. Well, I can travel light. Just not that light.


quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
The look of rapt intensity on my brother's face as he watched a "getting pretty" montage was all worth it.

[ROFL]
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The Rabbit
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I just wanted to note that this may be the most popular thread I've ever started. It hit the second page only 83 minutes after I first posted, hit the third page in under 18 hours and on the forth day, it's still on the front page.

Next time I'm feeling neglected, I going start a rant against baseball and apple pie.

[ February 01, 2008, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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MattP
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I put a bunch of movies or tv show episodes on my phone and watch those on the long flights. Audiobooks are great too - just close your eyes and enjoy the book. If you fall asleep, that's a bonus!
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Next time I'm feeling neglected, I going start a rant against baseball and apple pie.

What, so now you're siding with the terrorists?
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The Pixiest
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quote:
I guess the real issue is that a good story makes me want to believe it, even if its unrealistic. Nothing in the Transformers movie made me want to believe. I think the movie relied entirely on a fan base who loved the toys and cartoons as children and so already wanted to believe the story. As a result, it did nothing to draw in the viewer who hadn't already bought in to the central premise.
QFT.

My hubby made me see this movie with him and I'm not sure I'll ever completely forgive him.

The transformers themselves appear half way through the movie and take it over from the kid we've spent the first half of the movie attempting to like. We get no character development from them, they state their the good guys and we believe them. When one of them dies, we're supposed to feel sad, even though he had, what, a dozen lines? prior to his death.

For comedic relief, we're treated to cringe-comedy, urination jokes, and "hide the anthropomorphic mack trucks in the yard" humor.

This was an incredibly poor movie.

And it didn't seem like anyone else in the packed house noticed that.

Maybe if I was a car person.. or a robot person.. or a car-robot person, I'd get it. But I'm not and I don't.

So those of you who love this movie, knock yourselves out. I'm happy for you. I'll go watch War of the Worlds which all y'all hated. But it at least had some child-parent growing together moments to make me care if they lived.

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Enigmatic
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quote:
When one of them dies, we're supposed to feel sad, even though he had, what, a dozen lines? prior to his death.

If you count each word he spoke as a separate line then maybe there were a dozen of them. [Wink]

--Enigmatic

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The Pixiest
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enigmatic: Sorry, it's been a while since I saw it. Really what I remember most about that movie is what my watch looked like in the dark.
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Earendil18
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Never was into TF when I was a kid, so when I watched the movie it was the first I'd been exposed.

Yeah, plot and characters bad. Robots? Nice...I was more impressed by the immense amount of work that had to be done for some of those sequences.

I mean...putting 40 foot tall robots in a front yard with humans...in the same FRAME...

Just a little bit of "sleight o'hand" being performed there. [Smile]

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Dan_raven
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Part of the appeal is that men and boys like buttons on their toys. We love to open them up and move them around and basically learn via touch.

So you hand us a toy truck that we can make into a robot by moving things around, and we are thrilled.

Then someone asks, "Why is my truck a robot."

Now some writer has to come up with a reason, and marketing wants that reason to accomidate a lot more vehicle/robot combos (and eventually non-vehicle/robot combos and even triple changers) and they come up with some lame explanation.

And we buy it because we can then play with our toys. But we watch the show because there is little else to watch that isn't lame or adult or a game show. We watch and we ever so slowly buy into that story and remember it fondly in its simplicity when the rest of our life gets complicated.

Then when we are driving somewhere, perhaps riding strapped in our child seats unable to move, or even as adults strapped into the drivers seat unable to move, and a Mac Truck pulls up behind us on the highway, for a few minutes we begin to wonder, to ask ourselves "what if...."

Is that so bad?

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porcelain girl
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I love Transformers.

I love robots.
I love robots from space.
I love robots from space that have a code. Not code like programming, but code like bushido.

I love sad robots.
I loved/was traumatized at the death of Optimus Prime in the animated movie. My brothers and I used to observe a moment of silence when we got to that part of the soundtrack.

I love robot villains that fight robot heroes
I love imagining that I am the human sidekick to a robot hero, or a human hero with a giant robot sidekick.
I once had a dream where I turned into Starscream. It was awesome. I was 26.
I love robot heroes that fight robot villains among puny humans, or even better, FOR the puny humans.

I think to get Transformers you have just have to accept the Giant Robot genre in general.

It may not be great sci fi from a critical standpoint, but from the perspective of my puny human heart it is beautiful. *sigh*

Oh, and the character design was BRILLIANT.
------

Binary

i take my eyeliner
and draw on your chest
where a heart would be
had you been human
had you come equipped with guilt
grief
compassion
perhaps jealousy
anything to hint at emotion
cellular reproduction
organic thought.
you do not blink in the rain
your cheek does not warm my hand
you are one
and i am zero.

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DevilDreamt
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The Oldest Debate

Iím watching the 1986 Transformers movie with my roommates. We get to the part where Optimus Prime is dying, and he passes the Autobot Matrix to Ultra Magnus. The Matrix falls from Optimus Primeís hand, and Hot Rod catches it.

Mike: So much could have been avoided if that idiot Hot Rod hadnít caught The Matrix!

Me: What? No. Dude, thatís foreshadowing, it has no bearing on the function of the universe.

Mike: Yes it does! The first Autobot to touch the Matrix bonds to it and becomes the leader. If Hot Rod wasnít there, Ultra Magnus would have been the first to touch it, and he would have been able to unleash the Matrixís power.

Me: *pauses movie* You canít be serious. Itís clearly foreshadowing. Itís not a game of ďWhoever touches the Matrix first wins.Ē Leadership was passed to Ultra Magnus, he just lacks the balls to be the leader and get it to work. When Hot Rod catches the Matrix as it falls, thatís foreshadowing the role he will play in Autobot history, itís the writers hinting at his destiny. Itís story telling at its finest.

Mike: No, any Autobot can use the Matrix, so long as theyíre the leader.

Me: No they canít. Point in case: Ultra Magnus.

Mike: Heís not the leader!

Me: Seems like he would have known that. Besides, youíre assuming that Optimus Prime has a choice in who the next leader will be. Maybe the Matrix has a mind of its own, and it knew that Hot Rod was the correct one to lead.

Mike: But Hot Rod lacks experience! And heís annoying!

After about four minutes of back and forth, everyone else in the room got annoyed enough to make us shut up and watch the movie. This debate never got resolved.

So then, is Hot Rod just some annoying punk kid who got lucky and became the leader of the Autobots, or was it fate? If Hot Rod hadnít caught the Matrix, would Ultra Magnus have been able to activate it?

How can this not be considered great fiction?

I also enjoyed Beast Wars. Thereís an episode where one of the Decepticons has his brain scrambled (probably from an EMP or something) and goes around claiming to be Wonko the Sane. Clearly, any childrenís show that subtly references The Guide wins.

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