Summer wouldn’t be complete without a big budget blockbuster and they don’t come any bigger than the Transformers. June 24 will see the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Like any good toy line, a new movie brings a new set of characters that will line the toy aisles and Transformers 2 is no different: we’ll see a host of new Autobots and Decepticons as well as a few familiar faces. To bring you up to speed on these robots in disguise, Mania has compiled this helpful who’s who filling you in on each character’s robot and vehicle mode.
Vehicle Form: Peterbuilt truck
Motto: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.”
Guided by a strong sense of righteousness and justice, Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots. He’s straightforward and noble and leads by example: there’s no hypocrisy circuit in Prime and he when you’ve earned his trust, he won’t let you down. His vehicle form, as in the first film, is that of a big blue semi with red flames painted on the sides because nothing says “honest, hard-working and all-American” like a big ol’ truck, right?
Video: Watch Optimus lay some heavy on Sam (who screams like a girl)
Vehicle Form: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Motto: “The least likely can be the most dangerous”
Cautious yet brave, Bumblebee is the first Transformer to make human contact when he befriends Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), the young man who purchases Bumblebee at a used car dealership in the first Transformers film. Traditionally, Bumblebee has been depicted as a VW bug, but for the purposes of the films, he is a Camaro. While he isn’t nearly as adorable as a Camaro, he’s about a thousand times cooler, so we’ll let that one slide. He also retains his familiar yellow paint job with some sweet black racing stripes.
Bumblebee is known as a bit of a wisecracker, but he is loyal to a fault and is constantly striving to prove himself in the eyes of those whom he respects, such as Optimus Prime. In the second film, as in the first, Bumblebee’s voice has been damaged and he uses radio soundbites in order to communicate.
Video: Here Sam crushes the hopes and dreams of Bumblebee
Vehicle Form: GMC Topkick
Motto: “High tech circuitry is no replacement for guts!”
Ironhide is Prime’s oldest friend and is the weapons specialist for the Autobots. He’s known as a battle-hardened old warhorse, a tough-as-nails soldier who’s sustained more than his share of injuries and victories on the battlefield. Ironhide was a red minivan of some sort in the old cartoon. We think being a Topkick is a huge improvement. Minivan says “soccer mom” while a truck has more of a “warrior” quality to it.
Video: Ironhide flexes his muscles in this clip from the first movie:
Vehicle Form: Search and Rescue Hummer H2
Motto: “Peace may triumph over war.”
Ratchet is the Autobot’s medical officer. He is a healer first and a warrior second and the kind of guy who believes that any disagreement can be solved peacefully. This doesn’t stop him from carrying out Prime’s orders though, and he’s proved himself in battle time and again.
In his original depiction, Ratchet was an ambulance, which makes more sense in terms of his job description, but much like Ironhide, the ability to transform into a Hummer seems a bit more practical on the battlefield. Once again, we’re going to come out in favor of this alteration.
Vehicle Form: SR-71 Blackbird
Motto: “Victory lies in the conquest of unknown mysteries.”
One of the coolest Autobots of all time, Jetfire will be introduced to moviegoers in Revenge of the Fallen. Throughout the years and many different depictions, there has always been one constant with Jetfire: an early alliance with the Decepticons before switching sides. In this film, he is portrayed as an aged Decepticon who, upon feeling the aches and pains of one too many injuries, decides to change teams and join the Autobots in the fight against evil before going to that big junkyard in the sky. Better late than never, right?
Vehicle Form: Buell Firebolt motorcycle
Motto: “Looks are always deceiving.”
The lone female Autobot was intended to be featured in the first movie, but time did not allow for an adequate explanation of Cybertronian sexes and reproduction, so she was dropped. Apparently there will be a sex education portion in the new film. When she first appeared in Transformers: the Movie (the original 1986 animated feature), Arcee was depicted as some sort of futuristic Cybertronian car but in Revenge of the Fallen, she’ll be one of three female motorcycles including a blue one (Chromia) and a purple one whose name has yet to be revealed.
Vehicle Forms: a red Chevrolet Trax and a green Chevrolet Beat
Also known as “the twins”, Mudflap & Skids are the little brothers of the Autobot team. Director Michael Bay compared them to the bumbling protagonist of “The Little Engine That Could”. Mudflap is hyperactive while Skids is the more mature of the two, though that term probably doesn’t apply to either. They begin the movie combined and disguised as an ice cream truck – not too handy in a firefight, but awesome when you’re relaxing post-battle.
Vehicle Form: Corvette Stingray concept
Motto: “I don’t break rules, I just bend them – a lot.”
Sideswipe has generally been depicted as a brave, if somewhat rash warrior. In the animated series, Sideswipe was one of the original Autobots who crash landed on earth and was often shown fighting in conjunction with his brother Sunstreaker. The film version of Sideswipe was originally intended to be a Lamborghini (which is what he was in the original cartoon and toy line) but Michael Bay had his way and went with the Stingray concept instead. We’re going to call this change more of a lateral move, as both cars seem to be about equal in the coolness department.
Vehicle Form: Chevrolet Volt
Motto: “Live fast, ride hard and leave a great looking chassis!”
Jolt was originally depicted as a purple hotrod but for the purposes of the film he will be a Volt (which is sorta cute ‘cause it rhymes). He’s chaotic and impulsive and always seems to find a way into the midst of battle. Being an electric car, he is outfitted with a pair of electric whips as weapons, which is pretty sweet. Also, kudos to the Autobots for caring enough about our environment that they’d start making the switch to electric cars. Oil isn’t going to last forever, folks.
Vehicle Form: R/C monster truck
When he first appeared in the animated Transformers movie, Wheelie was an annoying sidekick-type character who transformed into a little futuristic car. Thankfully that’s all been thrown out the window for Revenge of the Fallen. This version of Wheelie is a radio-controlled monster truck who is bullied into working for the Decepticons as a spy. After developing a friendship with Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), Wheelie gains the confidence to dump the Decepticons and fight the good fight alongside Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots.
Come back tomorrow when Mania calls out the Decepticons, and be ready when 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' arrives in theaters June 24th.
Bonus Video: GM Shows off the cars behind the new movie!