Generally, I'm not a Michael Bay fan, especially not a fan of his Transformers series. I grew up watching Transformers every Saturday morning. While the first movie was decent and exciting, everything that came after that has just been boring and not well thought out. I do, however, give praise to the animators. So when my kids said they wanted to see Transformers: Age of Extinction, I wasn't exactly thrilled to spend three hours watching Bay show us more pointless action, pretty humans filmed with pretty lights, and was looking forward to a good three hour nap.
However, Age of Extinction got me excited. Yeah, the movie was essentially more of the same, but it hinted at a lot of things that got me excited.
Let's face it, we will never see the awesomeness that was Transformers: The Movie that came out between seasons 2 and 3 of the original series way back in 1986. When I was a kid, that was the most badass two hours of all time. Even today, it still gives me thrills while watching it. We see the penultimate battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron that leads to the death of Prime (he stayed dead when the series resumed, although he did come back as a zombie for an episode and eventually was rebuilt), favorite characters get killed, Orson Wells in his final film role as Unicron, other various Transformers species, the rise of Galvatron, and perhaps the most 80s song ever, "The Touch." Which is why I get so disappointed when I watch one of these movies. After that original movie, the bar was set high.
The previous trilogy was wrought with plot holes, horrible characters, Bay's heavy-handed approach to destruction, too much concentration on humans, and just not enough awesomeness. Bay himself, when being handed the franchise, admitted to disliking Transformers. While this movie is no different, there are some things us fans of the original series will recognize and hopefully, have something to give us something to look forward to. Let me explain.
First off, there's Lockdown. While his presence is just there to give us a plotline and a badguy, he keeps talking about how he is doing "The Creators' work." In the original series, the Quintessons created the Transformers. The Quintessons had five heads, four heads featuring different emotions with the fifth being a death's head. The Quintessons originally created the Transformers to be emotionless slaves, but the Transformers eventually grew emotions and rebelled against the Quintessons, banishing them from Cybertron. (In the Marvel comics series, Primus created the original thirteen transformers to help him imprison Unicron, but to keep things from getting too confusing, I'm sticking with the cartoon version.) Are these "The Creators" that Lockdown is working for? Could he be "collecting" worthy beings for the Creators to help fight off Unicron?
Secondly, the Quintessons are guarded by the Sharkticons. The Sharkticons were mindless and emotionless and served just to be the Quintessons' guards. The dog-like beings, credited as Steeljaws, that Lockdown uses are similar in appearance to the Skarkticons. Could they be the guardians of the Quintessons in this movie version and Lockdown had a few to assist him?
Thirdly, the appearance of Galvatron. In both the movie version and the original, Galvatron is the rebirth of Megatron. In the movie, Galvatron is created using Megatron's memories and copying Optimus Prime's body. While in the original cartoon movie, Galvatron is created after a defeated and near death Megatron encounters Unicron, who he then makes a deal with for a new body, becoming Galvatron. The two storylines are different, but they are basically the same.
After Optimus Prime leaves Earth to find the Creators, will we see the Quintessons and the Skarticons? Will we get introduced to Hot Rod? Will Prime (either Optimus or, I'm hoping, Rodimus), be forced to team up with Galvatron to defeat Unicron? Will we get Weird Al returning as the Junkbots leader? Hopefully, Bay is on the way to fazing out the human element in his movies and bringing us to something more resembling the original Transformers. Maybe there is hope for those of us that remember how awesome the Transformers used to be.