[Transformers] An open letter to longtime Transformers fans

Dear longtime Transformers fans,

A new Transformers movie is coming, as you probably know by now. It’s “Transformers: The Last Knight”.

Along with every new Transformers movie comes a wave of new Transformers fans.

These new Transformers fans won’t necessarily have grown up on G1. They may only have had the Transformers movies as reference points.

These new Transformers fans may have Beast Wars, the Unicorn Trilogy, or even the current Transformers: Robots in Disguise series as their first point of contact with Transformers.

Please, let us be welcoming to our new friends.

They might not have the wealth of knowledge we do. They might not surf TFWiki every day (like I do). They may not have watched every single episode of every single series.

And they’ll get some characters mixed up. They might think that Destron is the planet where the Decepticons come from. They might comment happily on a post and still be learning about Transformers.

They’ll be from all ages, all countries, and all genders.

Please, let us be kind to our new friends as they’re still learning all about the Transformers universe/multiverse (has everything merged or unmerged currently? I’m not sure).

They’re going to start joining groups, getting to know new friends, coming to the bazaars and shops and conventions that we all frequent.

They’re going to see us Transformers fans, not as individuals, but as a homogenous group.

And what we say/do will leave an impression on these young fans.

Please, let us be positive about Transformers, at least while the new movie is here.

Let’s not constantly condemn HasTak for releasing recolours. Yes, their ultimate aim is to make money. But if they don’t re-release Voyager Grimlock, how will new fans get their hands on him?

Remember that they don’t yet know all the different ways to acquire figures. They don’t know what to look out for, they don’t know how many times this figure has been redecoed in how many colours, and they don’t know how much “it used to cost”.

All they see right now is a character that they’re interested in, a character that touched them in a movie, a character that they might grow to love and cherish.

And like all of us, they’d want a toy of that character to relive those memories.

You don’t have to buy these recolours. You might even have five of the same figure.

But they don’t. They’re new fans.

Please, let us be excited about “Transformers: The Last Knight”.

Let me be perfectly clear – I’m a script writer, and I cannot, in good faith, say that the movies are in any way a paragon of marvellous storytelling.

But it doesn’t help to condemn Bayformers, rag on how ugly they look (it’s been 10 years, they’re not going to change the design aesthetic), or comment on how it’s all just explosions (I’d rather explosions than the Autobots having a civil discussion with the Decepticons).

“Transformers: The Last Knight” might not make a lot of sense, but if you’re watching a movie about giant transforming robots, maybe we can be a bit more forgiving when it comes to logic.

If we longtime fans aren’t excited about the new characters like Sqweeks or Hot Rod or Dragonstorm, then new fans are going to look at us and wonder.

Yes, it’s going to follow the same formula as previous Transformers movies and previous Michael Bay movies.

But it’s a new movie. It’s a new piece of fiction. It adds to the mythos of Transformers. We might get Quintessons. I mean, we got The Fallen in the second movie already. Who’s to say we won’t get an esoteric bit of lore appearing on the big screen?

So let’s be excited about the new movie.

And finally, no, I am not sponsored to write this.

It’s just that Transformers has brought me a whole lot of happiness.

It’s taught me about engineering basics, colour schemes, vehicles, and VTOL engines.

It showed me that we all struggle to do good (Starscream from Transformers: Armada, Dinobot from Beast Wars), no matter where we come from.

And I’d like to share that joy with a whole new legion of fans.

Sure, I’m going to be irritated when someone says Starscream is a Destructicon. I’m going to cringe when someone says that Ultra Prime is the best Autobot leader ever. I’m going to sigh when someone says the Combaticons form Devastator.

But I promise I’ll be kind, and I’ll understand that I was once a new fan too.

If I have correct some errors, I’m going to do so in a gentle and kind manner, rather than be brusque and condescending.

And I’m going to focus on bringing the joy of Transformers to our new fans.

Yours sincerely,

Marcus Goh is a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site.

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