Ahead of the release of VIZ Media’s The Art and Making of Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, written by Mike Avila, Movieweb had an opportunity to take a seat down with Mike and showrunner F.J. Desanto. The ebook, scheduled for release on October eleventh, is an in-depth take a look at all of the tales that went into creating the story that audiences acquired to take pleasure in when the sequence appeared on Netflix. Filled with chapters in regards to the characters’ in-depth tales, wealthy and distinctive backdrops, toys, and extra, the ebook is mostly a must-read for followers of the sequence and maybe Transformers on the whole.

Mike Avila, an award-winning TV producer, has penned many works. Wolverine: Creating Marvel’s Legendary Mutant, The Art of Making Aquaman, The Man in the High Castle, and plenty of extra. F.J. Desanto wrote the foreword to the ebook, and it’s not his first dive into the waters of Transformers. He co-wrote and govt produced Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy earlier than getting the decision to be the showrunner for Transformers: War for Cybertron. F.J. himself is an professional on Japanese Manga, being the primary particular person to talk on the topic at a presentation on the Smithsonian Institute.


When we first sat down, the interview instantly acquired off to an excellent begin when the 2 seen my show shelf with a number of Transformers figures and a show of a number of Kentucky Derby-themed bottles of Kentucky Bourbon. It actually opened up the dialog with the 2 males. I allow them to know that the work on the present actually did produce no less than two definitive figures for collectors: Cyclonus, who will not be within the sequence, and Jetfire. Both figures are held in excessive regard amongst collectors.

The Foreword

I began issues out with F.J., whose ahead felt like a love letter to G1, and he felt the identical method, that it was speculated to be a love letter encompassing the just about 40 years (on the time of manufacturing) of the franchise.

We spoke on the most important wrestle of becoming these virtually 40 years into 18 thirty-minute episodes. He defined that whereas a few of it’s dictated by the toy line and Hasbro, that they had to determine when and tips on how to convey sure characters into it. He described it as being that love letter to all the franchise that that they had hoped by placing collectively the best staff.

The Timeline

I wished to make use of Machinima’s Prime Wars Trilogy simply to set the tone for the War for Cybertron by way of timeline, noting that the previous is known to happen in a unique universe however the same G1 timeline, one the place Starscream’s physique was by no means destroyed and the place the Dinobots realized to mix. Even although that universe is completely different, you type of view it as a sequel to G1. To that impact, F.J. famous that this installment is actually a prequel to G1, particularly the primary two chapters, Seige and Earthrise.

“The third chapter, and it was Hasbro’s idea, and not ours, of introducing the Beast Wars characters at this particular point basically contradicted G1 as we knew it and subsequently Beast Wars as we knew it.”

He went on to notice that as showrunner, “Seige and Earthrise are happening in G1 and when they enter the Dead Universe, all bets are off. The inspiration was like J.J’s Star Trek, which did a great job of incorporating Leonard Nimoy and if you watched this show for 40 years, all this happened, and then it twists it in another direction.”

He chronicled the story of a inventive debate he had with Hasbro once they wished the present to finish with G1. “I needed to say, guys, you are those that wished the Beast Wars characters to point out up within the third season, you have inherently negated G1 as we all know it.”

He defined the relentless method for Hasbro to make use of the Beast Wars characters because of the twenty fifth anniversary developing, in addition to the brand new movie: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. “It was always my intention to show this as a different version of G1, one where there is no Ultra Magnus, and Elita is dead, Chromia is dead, Jetfire is dead, and see what that world opens up into. It was my intention for someone to come after me and tell that story.”

He additionally chronicled concern in regards to the “black hole” that Marvel is falling into now, particularly declaring the Marvel Multiverse that could be onerous for them to get out of. They wished to do a G1-centric multiverse, they usually wanted that as a result of that they had a “kill list” consisting of characters they may kill by season and people who needed to survive.

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They have been advised initially they could not use Bumblebee.

“Hasbro was concerned that with the movie coming out, there may be an over saturation of the character. They saw how the movie was doing and came back and asked if we could have Bumblebee hiding on the Ark. But I can’t just have him hiding in the closet. Finally, they saw how well the movie was doing and said ‘ok, you can have Bumblebee.’ So, we retroactively kind of created his own arc, the Han Solo arc. The guy who wasn’t invested in the war at all and is sort of brought into it.”

Rich Backgrounds

In the ebook, Mike brings up Dunkirk and Saving Private Ryan and compares it to the background. “It’s key to the story of the show. You see what life was like before the show happens, the culture. I then found out the detail of this world that would get wrecked on screen.”

He then emphasised that is how they felt it was necessary to point out the viewers that there was a world that occurred earlier than the conflict, one thing they’re preventing for. He then introduced up a “fun fact” they drew the world to scale.” That’s slightly spectacular when you think about robots which can be 20 ft tall and taller.


It was then that we turned our sights to a selected character within the present: Shockwave. We chronicled Shockwave’s comics arc as being proven as equal and generally extra highly effective than Megatron and the way, on this present, his thoughts is so twisted that it even frightens Megatron himself, particularly the idea of Shockwave’s reformatting instrument, which might have basically turned all of the Autobots into Decepticons by power.

“We were fascinated by Shockwave. He’s a bigger badass than some people realize. Somewhere it was written, and if our producer Matt were here, he would know, but it says that Shockwave is the only Decepticon that Megatron himself is afraid of. There was a point where Megatron snapped at Shockwave and pushed him against the wall, and Hasbro made a big stink out of it and said they can’t touch, you can’t do that.”

Diving extra into Shockwave’s insanity, we touched on Optimus’ inaction with the All-Spark and if it was presumably a red-herring to Shockwave’s power gadget in what brought about the last word nuclear winter on Cybertron. F.J. went on to say that the facet story of Shockwave, Elita-1, and Jetfire on Cybertron wasn’t at all times within the playing cards.

It wasn’t till later that they realized how wealthy the story on Cybertron may very well be, which might have included the misery name that Shockwave despatched out to have all Transformers meet within the enviornment and for him to make the decision to go in and accumulate the power himself.

“He doesn’t care about the Autobots or Decepticons, he only cares about his own survival. When the arena explodes, you don’t know what happens to him, but in my mind, he would digitize his conscience and his new body would have been the old Radio Shack ‘Shackwave’ (What a throwback!) and he’d be the sole survivor of Cybertron. Then, and I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this before, but when you see all the spark ghosts at the end of Kingdom, all the others that died were there, and he isn’t there. He’d figure out a way. In my mind, Shockwave survives.”

Fun Tidbits

Diving right into a spirited dialogue about Bumblebee, with F.J. saying as soon as once more that he was a reluctant member of the conflict of their story, however he turns into a information to the bearer of the matrix, a task that Ultra Magnus held till he was killed by Megatron on the Tarn-Hauser Gate. Another enjoyable reality: the Tarn-Hauser Gate is, actually, a reference to Tarn, the chief of the Decepticon Justice Division mixed with Mike Hauser, an exec at Hasbro studios. From there, we acquired into one other enjoyable reality, this time about Scorponok and his use in Earthrise. ” We knew we wanted to do an Alien-like episode and we wanted it to be about Scorponok. The problem was, how do you introduce him? The idea was someone didn’t want Scorponok getting out, just like Alien.”

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The Love Story

For the present, F.J. needed to make a name on tips on how to get a feminine Transformer on par with Optimus, which actually led us to the connection between the 2: What precisely is the paradigm for the connection?

“She’s someone who is smarter than Optimus and maybe should have been leading the Autobots. These two, when she was Ariel and he was Orion, they had two different paths in life.”

He wished Elita to be the particular person to get into Optimus’s face and to be the person who may actually take him to activity. “When he finds her dead, that is when he turns into the hardened leader.” It was stunning to be taught that for as necessary as she was to the story, that they had a very open canvas to make use of her.

The Controversies

Controversy is vital. To wrap it up, we spoke on the voice forged as a critique and the way followers had an issue with some voice casting, however in his eyes, they made the best name.

“To get Peter Cullen to come and do 18 episodes of Transformers, I have to cut a check and then cut 75% of the other characters out. Some of these voices like Elita-1 though weren’t heavily featured before but to do a prequel when the other actors are 40 years older, didn’t make a lot of sense.”

The massive critique of the present, F.J. lashed out towards, saying he heard the critique however did not get it: Beast Wars Megatron cowering G1 Megatron when his plans in Beast Wars have been arguably extra profitable.

“I don’t get that critique. I’ll tell you why. He is a guy that named himself Megatron. His ulterior motive is to save G1 Megatron from becoming Galvatron because he knows Galvatron is a scourge on his world, but he’s the ultimate fanboy.”

He goes on to say, “He’s deceptively cowering to Megatron to take steps to prevent him from becoming Galvatron. He’s a history student, and he knows more about Megatron than Megatron knows about himself.”

Is it the End?

Legacy was passed on by Netflix, however is there hope?

“My team, while still in production on Kingdom we developed alongside Hasbro an entire three-season Legacy storyline set in the War for Cybertron universe, and Legacy would have been a sequel to G1. It would have been colorful and fun, but real stakes and real drama.”

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