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Ingestor and victory!

Yikes, how many weeks has it been without a new blog entry? I didn’t exactly mean to give the impression I’d died or gone textually mute or something, but I didn’t exactly have anything worth saying, either.

Regarding site updates… keep dreaming, I guess! I just haven’t really had the time to make any proper original content, as most of what I’ve got for future updates is stuff like reviews for Games I Own and so on. I’ve spent more time worrying about a future redesign than content, actually; I admit my train of thought is “I’m hardly going to be updating the site much in future, so it may as well look nice while it stagnates.” It’s a harsh thing to say, but I won’t deny it’s what I’m thinking! I could probably have worded it in a more polite manner, but I think I lost that talent years ago.

If it means anything, I am working on a mildly secret project that might be ready by Christmas if all goes well, but I don’t want to get your hopes up.

Am I not updating because I’m busy? I wouldn’t quite call myself busy, but I have got my hands in a lot of pies at the moment. I’m redesigning the site (which I wouldn’t expect to be ready for a while), there’s that secret project (which, if all goes well, may be an ongoing thing!), I’m very slowly learning a bit of Python, a few accomplices and I are going to be working on a radio production through January and February, and there’s probably other projects I’m forgetting. I have no intention of abandoning the site (I still like it, after all!), but I will admit I’d like to dedicate more time to being productive in other ventures, y’know.

I’m sure words like this would mean more if I’d actually made a good update in the last four months.

In slightly less frivolous news, the Transformers community have gotten their hands on an early draft of the 1986 Transformers movie script, written in Spring 1985 by Ron Friedman (the man behind the totally ludicrous 90s Iron Man cartoon)! There was an even earlier script being auctioned that they missed out on, sadly, but it went for something like $2500 to $3000, so it’s not like they didn’t try. RQ87 and I spent last night reading it and commenting on it, and… it’s interesting! There’s some wildly different stuff taking place, especially during the attack on Autobot City, and the stint on Quintessa features all the same elements but used in different manners, though a lot of it is close enough to the final revision.

It’s hard to exactly pinpoint the tone of the script. I mean, people remember the movie as dark because a huge amount of the 1984 cast are killed callously yet casually, but there’s still nonsense like Wheelie’s presence and everyone dancing to Weird Al. This early draft has gruesome deaths galore (Ironhide and Ratchet are melted together; Gears and Windcharger are bombed to pieces with their body parts raining down on Blaster; Megatron is violently shattered by a falling statue; Sharkticon heads are exploded en masse… need I go on?) and due to spending more time at Autobot City after the opening battle, the attitude feels a little more bleak. And then, completely contrasting this, we’ve got Unicron (or Ingestor as he’s called) making straw slurping noises when consuming energy, the Dinobots acting like Beavis & Butthead, and lots and lots of weirdness. I know the finished movie has tons of mood whiplash, but holy crap.

Most interestingly, “Life Sparks” play an important role in the story. The Matrix is totally absent, so Magnus becomes leader after Optimus gives him his Life Spark (which is described as a tiny ghostly image of whoever the spark belonged to), Galvatron steals it from him at Ingestor’s command (at least, I presume he commands it – the dialogue is often so terribly written I just tuned it out, especially when half of Ingestor’s speeches are just him going “aaaaaahh!!” for no good reason), Hot Rod becomes Rodimus after winning it back, and then Optimus’ spark uses the last of its energy to destroy Ingestor. Rather than Megatron and the other Decepticons’ bodies being used to make Galvatron and his homies, Megatron’s Life Spark and those of ancient Decepticons stored in the Hall of Heroes (where Starscream’s coronation takes place) are merely given new bodies and names. I’m very thankful they changed it, as not only is it incredibly silly to think of a tiny ghostly Megatron crying about his demise to Unicron, but it’s just a bit hamfisted that Prime’s spark is the only thing capable of beating Ingestor. Also it’s just… weird. It’s really creepy imagining Megatron being crushed until he’s splintering into a thousand pieces, and seeing a tinier ghost version of him contained inside his torso. The dudes can’t even die in peace, they’ve got to float around for a bit before they dissipate into nothingness. What a really miserable existence.

It’s an interesting and imaginative script, but it ain’t perfect, and aside from nice little extras like seeing more of the 1984 Autobots (Wheeljack and Sunstreaker survive!) I think the finished product is better overall. I get the impression Friedman is a good guy for ideas, but not so good at actually writing them; a lot of the action scenes come across as hard to follow, and a lot of his dialogue is just plain bad – I don’t think Optimus Prime says a single memorable line! There’s also the fact everyone referring to Arcee as a weak ol’ fembot, and not much is done to try and disprove that (does she actually do anything in this script?), and Daniel’s presence is never explained at all; Spike isn’t in this so there’s not even the relation to justify his existence, and it’s just really weird having a young little kid tagging along into deep space and all. Then again, this is the only participation Friedman had in the Transformers series as far as I’m aware, so I guess one can try and excuse the faults. It’s not like this version was actually used for the finished film or anything.

To a non-Transformers fan there’ll literally be nothing but nonsensical nonsense that’s not even a good read (I still think the first Super Mario Bros. movie draft is good to read on its own), but to a follower of the series I’d say it’s worth checking out for the curiosity value.

No doodle today. Sorry, bro.

5 Comments

  1. Even though the script was shitty, I cannot help but want to see this version, even if it was told in a comic book. I want to see the Anibots as much as I want to see Perceptor karate chop two Sweeps in half at the same time.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  2. greybob wrote:

    Holy crap, can you imagine Orson Welles making straw slurping noises?

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 12:17 am | Permalink
  3. MightyKombat wrote:

    Hearing about Ratchet being melted with Ironhide made me remember a comic storyline in which a teleporter accident fused Ratchet and Megatron together. Gross shit, too.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Ragey wrote:

    @RQ87: Heck, just make a four-issue limited series comic entirely about the battle of Autobot City and they could cram just about anything in there – the origins and disappearance of the Anibots (oh noes the Decepticons stoled them to maek the Predacons!!!), the fates of all the 1984/85 Autobots, that ridiculous Earth-exploding-in-48-hours plot if they’re pressed for space. Given how much excessive pandering there is to the G1 fans these days I’m almost surprised they haven’t tried something like this.

    @MightyKombat: That’s probably one of my favourite story arcs in the Marvel Comics, both because I love gross stuff happening to characters I like (comics Ratchet is a party dude!), but it also highlights the beliefs of the various Autobots – Optimus is optimistic and hopes they can separate Ratchet and Megatron, even if it does come with sacrifices, but Kup just thinks they should pop a slug in the monstrosity’s head and put it out of its misery (and hey, killing the former Decepticon leader won’t hurt either). I can’t remember how it’s actually resolved, but I know Unicron shows up not long after so I guess everyone has bigger things to worry about.

    @Greybob: They didn’t get Orson to make munching sounds in the final film, sadly, so they would probably have just used stock sounds. Boring. But man, Unicron would’ve been so much awesomer if he were played totally blotto, like Welles in that commercial where he was sloshed. What better voice for a malevolent planet-sized deity than a ranting drunk?

    Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  5. MightyKombat wrote:

    Said comic had The Amazing Insane Unkillable Galvatron as well.

    I swear there was once a comic in which Megatron tells himself off for letting Starscream rejoin the Decepticons, his reasoning being “Because I’m an IDIOT, that’s why!”

    Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Permalink