Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Transforming Choice

So the greatest brother in the world took me to see Transformers for my birthday. It was a spectacular movie, in the sense of a special effects spectacle. It was indeed a "summer blockbuster" but I think it avoided campiness (by a micrometer or two) and told a good story by itself, all while pleasing long-standing fans like myself.

Inside jokes and reference abounded if you were familiar with the cartoon show and the original movie and some divergence was taken from those sources, but none which was unsettling. One particular divergence which I enjoyed was the relation of Autobots to Decepticons. In the cartoon, the difference was one of substance. Autobots were good and useful machines like cars and trucks and Decepticon were evil and destructive machines like fighter planes and handguns. The movie diverged from this point and made all Transformers have a common creator, the "All Spark," and they were good or bad depending on their choices.

Autobots protected humanity while Decepticons wished to destroy it. The description of the word Autobot could have easily applied to all of the Transformers since it only described their substance, not their allegiance to Optimus Prime. Whereas, the word Decepticon wasn't directly used but it was explained that Megatron deceived the Autobots and seized power. Much like fallen human nature, the choice to protect the weak or to dominate them is the choice that determines which side we are on.

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