Arcee is not the first female Transformer. She had at least four predecessors, but honestly the most I remember of them (Elita One, Firestar, Chromia, and Moonracer) is that they were snogging with their Autobot counterparts on Cybertron. It was a treacly, stomach churning moment. Arcee is the most famous because she was the first one to have an actual personality: a tough, level-headed gal who can hang with the boys.
She was also originally slated to be in the Transformers movie, but was dropped and replaced with Ironhide. So why did the Pink Phenom get the boot?
There are two main reasons. The first is from screenwriter Robert Orci. Here’s an excerpt from an interview conducted on IGN.com:
IGN: Were Soundwave and Arcee the two characters you most would have liked to see in the film? Or who would you have liked to include that you couldn’t?
Orci: Those two were kind of the main ones, but a few different Transformers came in at various points to serve the story, but the story dictated certain other things. But those are the two main Transformers. I would have liked to see Arcee, but the idea of a female Transformer needs its own explanation, and there just wasn’t going to be enough time. It would have been like, “Oh, that’s convenient. They’re trying to appease women with a pink Transformer.” So rather than having that happen, let it just be a straight shot and speak for itself right now.
The second reason, cited on the Teletraan-1 Transformers wiki, was that poor fan reaction, mainly that Arcee wasn’t G1. (OK, technically she was G1; I think the fans meant that she didn’t exist previous to the landmark original animated Transformers movie.)
In the end, I think this was for the best, since the design for Arcee looked downright cadaverous:
Had they run with this character model, Robert Orci had nothing to worry about. This Arcee is simply an asexual robot with a high-pitched voice. (I’m sorry, but I like my female robots to look like they were designed by Hajime Sorayama. Like original Arcee.)
Also complicating matters was that she was supposed to transform into a Buell Firebolt motorcycle. Motorcycles do not make good transformers. It’s why the Gobots lost the Great Robot Wars of the 80’s: the main bad guy was a weak motorcycle-based robot named “Cy-Kill.” Where there supposed to be scenes where Arcee was driving herself? I’m imagining this scenario in my mind right now, and it’s somewhere between embarassing and totally lame.
But although Arcee was a no-go for the first movie, there’s no reason she should be passed up for the second. Here are the reasons why:
I think, though, that the writers should rethink Arcee’s transformation. There’s the riderless motorcycle dilemma, as mentioned above. But there is also the size disadvantage. Her smaller size was supposed to be a plot point, but the whole idea of Arcee striving despite her size sounds hokey, nto to mention somewhat degrading since she’s the only female character.
So, if Arcee’s not going to be a cycle, what should she be? Probably a combination of the following:
Pros: Yes, this car is actually a GM car; being British, will be good excuse for Arcee to sport a nifty accent
Cons: Joe Sixpack can’t typically buy a Vauxhall, so why should GM bother marketing it?; a little anti-Brit grievance called the War of 1812
Pros: Probably has the bulkiness that Michael Bay so desires
Cons: Looks like it’s built for hauling Wonder Bread; wait a minute, isn’t this a thinly disguised PT Cruiser?