ROCKS 1E: Transformers - Dark Awakening-The Return Of Optimus Prime Parts 1-2

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this. It’s going to be an enjoyable ride!

    We're concluding our discussions of the original 1984 series of Transformers on this thread, with the season 3 episodes:

    - Dark Awakening
    - The Return Of Optimus Prime (parts 1 & 2)

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.

    As this is the last Transformers discussion, I'll let you know here and now that the next show under discussion in ROCKS will be "Defenders Of The Earth".
    Mark M likes this.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    As I said in the movie discussion thread I did not grow up seeing the movie so I had to piece together my knowledge of the storyline through the little segments at the end of some of the episodes on the VHS tapes which briefly explained Rodimus inheriting the Matrix etc.

    In 1995 I got the VHS of The Return of Optimus Prime and was able to get a better understanding of the story arc as it joined up the season three episodes with the season four episodes The Birth 1-3 which was one of the first if not the first Transformers cartoon I saw. Also the Return...VHS had some stunning artwork borrowed from the back of the 1988 toys packaging which prominently showed the new Power Master Optimus Prime toy (I still have my original of that toy) so it was a really good choice for packaging of the VHS.

    In 2000 a friend I used to play guitar with and I got chatting about Transformers and our love of the toys and cartoon and he had some tapes of the G1 cartoon and a lot of Beast Wars tapes recorded off TV so we regularly hung out and watched the tapes. Of course neither of us had internet so we spent time looking at old bit of products leaflets and picture in magazines and catalogues talking about which ones we would love in our collections LOL. What a rock star life style. Listening to metal and trying to learn bits of the songs on the guitar then watching cartoons and looking at old toys. :D

    Seeing his tape of Dark Awakening helped me make sense of The Return of Optimus Prime.
    Of course Dark Awakening then made me wonder how Optimus died and the events that lead to Dark Awakening. Little did I know that several months later I would find the VHS of Transformers the Movie. :D

    I really enjoyed Dark Awakening and liked the interaction with the characters and thought Rodimus was really good in this episode.

    The Return of Optimus Prime has always been a favourite of mine, mostly because of Optimus' return but there was quite a lot of things I enjoyed in the episode like Galvatron and Optimus' scenes, Bumblebee becoming Goldbug and the overall storyline.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Dark Awakening - Evil Optimus Prime! When Mark explained his reasoning for picking this episode as a sort of distant setup for the season finale, I figured fair enough. Basically it's just to show where Optimus Prime's body ended up. Rodimus/Hot Rod was naturally eager to give the mantle of leadership (or in this case, literally Matrix of Leadership) back to the person who he felt it belonged to by rights, only to find soon after that it was a mistake. I sympathise entirely.

    The Return Of Optimus Prime 1-2 was part of my introduction to Transformers in 2002, along with the movie. I was actually surprised at how much more I remembered about it than I thought. The "hate virus" concept is surprisingly good. The prejudices felt by the scientists at the beginning only serves to create the problem, and it makes me think of a quote by (I think) Maya Angelou - I may not have it word perfect but the gist of it is thus:

    "Hate has caused many problems in this world, but as far as I know, it hasn't solved one yet."

    By getting the Transformers to all turn on each other, they only succeed in unleashing a plague of aggression on the whole planet. Anyone touching someone infected becomes infected themselves, and the whole thing spirals out of control, like the zombie apocalypse that is typically portrayed in horror movies, only with more violence.

    Because friends become enemies, it follows naturally that to save the day, enemies must, however temporarily, become friends. The assistance of the Quintesson works very well here. Prime is given new life, and has to forge a brief truce with Galvatron to get the protective alloy to immunise himself from the virus. I'm not entirely sure about the pacing of the second part, it did seem like some characters fell victim to the plague a little too soon, compared to the first part, where Rodimus managed to do everything necessary before he succumbed.

    I liked the bit where Wreck-Gar started talking Star Trek. "I'm a doctor, not a forklift!" "His engines canna take the strain!" "He's dead Jim!"

    What I liked less was the Matrix being the solution. It was a little too Sword-of-Omens-y for my liking, but at least it came with a cost. By opening the Matrix to cure the plague, all its magical wisdom was emptied, thus ensuring that it couldn't be used as a fix-all again. And I liked Prime's line of "maybe we're all a little bit wiser now". It's like "this thing just magically saved the day but it will never do so again."
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Like I said this is the only time after the movie that the Matrix was used to solve a big problem. It had to stop a hate plague that spread throughout the galaxy. And they waited to use it at the very end of the season. The Matrix lost the vast majority of it's power in doing so it couldn't be done again. The writers never resulted to using it as the easy fix like the Eye of Thundera.
    If the lazy writers from Thundercats had been involved Rodimus would have been using it in nearly every episode and ''now light our darkest hour'' would have been his catch phrase.
    LiamABC likes this.

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