For over 35 years, Transformers has been one of anime’s (Transformers is anime! Fight us!) longest running franchises, and it looks like it’s not going away anytime soon with its most recent installment, War for Cybertron. Like the original G1 series, War for Cybertron is FULL of continuity errors. If you remember in the original G1 series, all Autobots were capable of flight like the Decepticons, but shortly after, it was ONLY the Decepticons that were capable of flight (unless an Autobot could transform into a plane). That tradition still continues to this very day and we would like to point out some continuity contradictions immediately introduced in the first edition of War for Cybertron, Siege.
If you know your Transformers mythology, the Planet Cybertron is home to the titular robot race. Not only do the Transformers come from a galaxy far, far away, but from a long time ago. In the G1 series, the Autobots and Decepticons crash into Earth during the age of the dinosaurs, and lay in suspended animation until the modern day. On Cybertron, the Transformers could transform into alien-like vehicles. For example, the Seekers (such as Starscream, Thundercracker and Sky Warp), could turn into UFO-like planes, but when they’re on Earth, they transform into F-15 fighter jets so they can blend in. The fact that the Seekers transform into UFO-like planes on Cybertron is consistent.
As for other characters, most notably the Autobots, they transform into regular Earth vehicles. Optimus Prime turns into a semi-truck like he does on Earth. Considering that the Transformers have yet to reach modern Earth, how can Prime turn into a modern day semi-truck? It makes about as much sense as Chewbacca the Wookie living on Endor! In addition, Megatron can turn into an M-1 tank! How is that even possible?! Yes, the argument might as well be “it’s just an anime” or “it’s just to sell toys,” but fans deserve a story that makes sense!
Another contradiction that this prequel series has with the G1 series are the origins of Jetfire. Like in the original G1 series, he and Starscream had a prior relationship and he is a Decepticon-turned-Autobot. However, they’re portrayed in different ways. In War for Cybertron, Jetfire is introduced as the leader of the Seekers, and has an uneasy relationship with Starscream, and joins the Autobots after disagreeing with Megatron over exterminating the Autobots.
In G1, he and Starscream were best friends as scientists that once visited Earth and Jetfire (then called Skyfire since the name had to be changed for legal reasons), and Jetfire was stranded and frozen. He initially joins the Decepticons out of his friendship with Starscream, but joins the Autobots when he realizes their ways are wrong.
First introduced in the 1986 movie (then voiced by Robert Stack, famous as the host of Unsolved Mysteries), Ultra Magnus plays an important role in War for Cybertron. In the middle of the 1986 movie, he is blown to pieces by Galvatron, but is immediately repaired by the Junkticons. In War for Cybertron, it is consistent that Prime and Magnus are old friends but have an uneasy relationship. Prime wants to keep fighting but Magnus wants to make peace. War for Cybertron adds new information that he and Megatron were once friends, which was NEVER alluded to in any of the G1 installments! Half-way into the series, Megatron kills Ultra Magnus. So, does Ultra Magnus eventually get repaired in a future installment of War for Cybertron again like in the movie? If so, he’s probably the Tupac of Transformers!
For those that aren’t familiar with Transformers from a Japanese perspective, some of the characters’ names are different. While Starscream, Bumblee, and Megatron retain their names in the Japanese version, others have different names. For starters, Optimus Prime is named Convoy, the Autobots are named the Cybertrons, the planet Cybertron is named Seibertron, and the Decepticons are called the Destrons. What’s strange is that when you watch War for Cybertron in Japanese, it keeps the American names. For example, Optimus Prime is STILL Optimus Prime in Japanese, and not Convoy. Was this the decision of Hasbro? Takara? Whoever did it, why make these changes?
Another notable change is the origin of Bumblebee. Since this part of War for Cybertron ends when they leave for Cybertron, it gives Bumblebee a new backstory. In the G1 series, Bumblebee is already an established member of the Autobots. In War for Cybertron, he’s just a regular Cybertronian citizen scouring the planet for energon, and is hired by Wheeljack to help him find some. Upon the death of Ultra Magnus, he inherits the code of the Alpha Trion proticles, thus making him a key member of the Autobots, and this characteristic is fresh. We suppose this is a tie-in trick to emphasize that Bumblebee is fresh from having his own movie.
Lastly, how the Transformers leave the planet Cybertron in comparison to the G1 series contains several differences. While the Ark, the Autobots’ ship, does play a major role in going to space, it plays a different role. Like in G1, space bridges also play a role in getting the Transformers (most notably the Decepticons) between Earth and Cybertron. While the Ark just simply goes into orbit in G1 to escape Cybertron, the Ark in War for Cybertron travels through a space bridge at the end of the first installment of War for Cybertron to take the Transformers to Earth.
We know we’re just nitpicking and we acknowledge that Transformers has ALWAYS had continuity errors. We just think at this point, the writers should be kept up to date with the unique mythos of Transformers and make something consistent. On the other hand, we suppose that the continuity errors are what contributes to the charm of Transformers as a whole. What do you Transformers fans think? Please give your thoughts in the comments!