Old news, but USA Today ran a poll to see which Transformers fans would most likely see in the sequel. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the winner was Soundwave (20% of the vote). He was followed by Devastator (16%), Grimlock (16%), Jetfire (11%), Ultra Magnus (9%), and Shockwave (also 9%).
But how should each character be translated as a movie character? Bay’s stance against mass shifting has proven problematic for some of the characters. Megatron, originally a gun, was turned into a weird looking Cybertronian jet. (It really wasn’t too radical of a chage, though. It sorta reminded me of both Galvatron’s space gun transformation and the Beast Wars dragon transformation.) Well, for what it’s worth, here’s my take on how each character should pan out:
Soundwave: He’s a popular guy, star on a YouTube video where he’s an out-of-work actor. He’s got the voice, he’s got the cool pets, and — as the G1 Transformers show proves — he’s got the chicks. The problem is that he’s so popular, it’s hard to define him within the movie’s parameters. He was originally going to be the helicopter; fans complained and the copter was renamed Blackout. He was going to be the radio, but the part was given to Frenzy. Fans have suggested a spy plane or an AWACS. Bob Budiansky suggests an MP3 player. Me, I think that by the time the next movie comes out, fans will have gotten used to his form in the Transformers Animated series: a Scion XB. Guitar-form Lazerbeak should definitely be stowed in the back somewhere and dispatched at a moment’s notice.
Devastator: A bit problematic since he already appeared as a tank in the first movie, right? Thanks to Bay’s hubris, Devastator will probably have to be renamed (as Constructicon, maybe?), or the DVD will have to be re-edited. Anyway, a poster at SomethingAwful.com envisioned a great scenario: Megatron, who has now be infused with the power of the Allspark, arises from the ocean and happens upon a construction site. With his newly acquired powers, he brings the construction vehicles to life and bids them to arise. And thus, Megatron’s new army on earth is born.
Grimlock: An animatronic dinosaur form? One of those Truckosaurus machines they have at the monster truck shows? I think it’s best that they stick with the comic book origin: Grimlock (and the other Dinobots) arrived on Earth millions of years ago, and they disguised themselves in the forms of the dominant life form of the time. Perhaps, if they do use Grimlock in the movie, the Autobots find out that he’s alive after paleontologists discover a giant robots among one of their recent digs.
Jetfire: I have no reason how Jetfire got so popular lately. Maybe it’s because, at least in the earlier seasons, he was the only Autobot that could actually fly. On the cartoon he was portrayed as a fighter jet, only ridiculously much larger than the F-15s that formed the Decepticons Seeker contingent. (And it didn’t help that he looked exactly like a Robotech mecha.) Still, if Jetfire somehow makes it into the next movie, what better alt mode than a B-1 Bomber? The B-1 looks like an oversized fighter jet, so it scales comparably to Starscream’s F-22 form. Also, there just aren’t enough bombers in the Transformers mythos.
Ultra Magnus: Logically, the guy should probably be a Peterbilt like Optimus, since both are the same vehicle in the cartoon. That would be boring, though, and in reality I never really liked that Ultra Magnus was basically a white Optimus in a suit of armor. Oh, sure, there’s that car-carrier in the back, but movie Optimus doesn’t have a trailer; why should Magnus? I think Magnus should be the same vehicle that I was playing around with if Huffer ever got a movie role (yeah, fat chance): that of a medium duty truck. Unfortunately, Ironhide already picked up the coolest looking medium-duty in GM: the GMC Topkick. So, just to be different, UIltra Magnus should probably take the form of another medium-duty: The GMC W-Series. Just because those trucks are pretty damn cute.
Shockwave: The guardian of Cybertron. The guy with one eye. The guy who can’t shoot worth sh*t. He transforms into a Cybertronian gun. Since mass shifting is out, and Megatron already has the whole Cybertronian space jet thing covered. So what should be the alt form for a robot with a fearsome Cyclopian visage and what Bob Budiansky describes as a Decepticon “guided by pure logic in its most cruel and calculating form”? The only obvious solution: a Magic 8-Ball.