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Transformers: The Last Knight Trailer #3 Emphasises its Cinematic Universe Reinvention

Fourteen movies… there are going to be fourteen more of these things. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. The idea of the Transformers franchise starting a cinematic universe is an exciting one, but considering its first four instalments all fall into the rank of mediocre to bad. However, I am an optimist and I hope the fifth film, Transformers: The Last Knight will break the tradition and open the gates to a better film series. However, there are lingering doubts.

The third trailer for the film at least looks promising, but then again, they always look promising. Visually spectacular and preparing to tell a story of biblical proportions, the trailers always turn out to be misleading and the actual films are bogged down by mountains of plot holes, bad jokes, and the usual crap provided by the maestro of mayhem Michael Bay. If you look closely in the trailer, the trademarks of Bay’s directing style continue. The explosions, of course, but his love affair with the US military, and the women looking like they had a bad day at the tanning salon.

However, let’s try to piece together the possible story for the film. We know that the history between mankind and the Transformers now extends to the dark ages and the Arthurian legends. Some interesting footage shows the Knights of the Round Table had a few alien additions, namely Transformers who could transform into three-headed dragons. Presumably, these blokes are related to the order that Optimus Prime and the Dinobots are related to if anyone recalls in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Still no idea how this all connects to the ongoing war between humans and the Transformers, whatever the hell the Decepticons are doing, or Optimus flying off into space to find his enigmatic Creators.

Speaking of the big rig, Optimus appears to find his makers. In an early scene in the trailer, Optimus is seen chained and speaking to a female character named Quintesa, clearly based on the Quintessons, who created the Transformers in several continuities. She bares a resemblance to the Borg Queen too, asking Optimus if he wants redemption for destroying Cybertron. Prime agrees and his eyes turn a sinister purple. I had assumed Optimus was to be brainwashed, but instead, it looks like he is jumping off the slippery slope and doing a complete one-eighty from his need to protect others.

Anthony Hopkins’ character indicates via narration that the Creators are planning to do something evil to Earth, judging by the arrival of possibly Cybertron (ruling over Unicron) into the solar system. We see it passing over the moon and trashing the Ark from the third film, and sending numerous pieces of Cybertron across the planet. Meanwhile, Cade Yeager (Mark Walberg), the surviving Autobots, and a group of orphans led by Isabela Moner are at war with the Decepticons, led by Megatron, and will likely become involved in the plot connecting King Arthur, the Transformers, and the Creators.

Isabela appears to have a major role in the film, protected by an Autobot refugee named Canopy, who specialises in camouflage. However, it is likely he will die and Isabela’s character will seek revenge against whoever kills him. My money is on the ‘Cons. At least it will give them something to do in the film, though clips later on in the trailer show the humans appearing to form an allegiance of sorts with Megatron to either rescue or take down Optimus, both great enemies clashing. The trailer ends in a series of dramatic shots, culminating in Optimus appearing to fight the Cybertronian knights/dragons, and then coldly telling newcomer Laura Haddock that “For [his] world to live, [hers] must die.”

This film’s purpose is to open the door for the cinematic universe, and the big question is what will become of Optimus. Is this his last appearance, leading to his death (again), or a chance at redemption? Bumblebee is getting his own prequel spin-off next year, and it would not surprise me if the title of Autobot leader was passed onto him. Though, it has been confirmed that Hot Rod will be making an appearance in the movie…

If the Transformers franchise wishes to join this slowly growing new market, it is going to have to up its game in terms of quality and storytelling. Those are what has made the MCU so successful, and hopefully the DCEU will adopt the same things in the coming year. This trailer looks promising and exciting, but I am taking it with a pinch of salt. The film will likely be a box office success, but my concern is whether or not it will act as a worthy gateway into a bigger universe. Fourteen movies is one hell of an ambitious plan, and let’s hope this new plan is worth the effort.

What were your thoughts on the new trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight? Excitement, despair, or a mild “meh”? Leave a comment below or on our Twitter feed.

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Mark Russell