Transformers. Yes, really.
I am a movie geek, total nerd, and was raised on a steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons, sword and sandal epics, action movies and sci fi. To this day, not much ranks higher than watching a Star Wars/Indiana Jones/martial arts-esque movie with my Dad.
So, it should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of Optimus Prime. That I adored the first Transformers movie is a given. Even though Shia has since gone rogue, I still love the movie because of the silliness of its jokes, the special effects and especially Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime leads his crew effortlessly, and he is dedicated to building peace and respecting all life on Earth. Even with those who are afraid of Autobots or who have decided that he’s an enemy. He protects those guys too, because they just don’t know any better. This is about where I go weak in the knees.
But wait, there’s more. Optimus Prime is wise and speaks in these clunky heroic sentences. “Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.” “I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars. We are here. We are waiting.” I get positively giddy at the sound of Peter Cullen’s voice. Sometimes I hear that deep voice in my head as the sound of moral righteousness. Or just as a way to get moving in the morning, “Autobots! Roll out!”
And then there’s this ultimate sense of right and wrong. Optimus Prime never falters when making a decision. He knows immediately what it right, and he’s not afraid to fight for what he believes in (one helluva fighter too). His moral code, his sense of honor, is unwaivering. Uncorruptable. True. He’s always aligned with the greater good. His decisions always benefit all species. And I want to be that way.
In a world where Decepticons are easy to spot and will be destroyed…
In a world where the geeky guy gets the fantasy girl…
In a world where right and wrong are so easy to tease apart…
In a world where you fight for what is right…
In a world that is less complicated than this one. The movie world is black and white, while I live in one with endless shades of grey. (Not that kind of shade of grey.)
Luckily, I haven’t met too many Megatrons in my life though I know they are out there. The low level Decepticons I have met are hard to spot because they don’t go around growling with a menacing look in their eye. Most of them are just lost, suffering people. And how do you fight suffering people? You can’t.
So what’s a wanna-be Optimus Prime to do? If his wisdom only comes along with the synthetic intelligence from planet Cybertron I’m SOL. But, I think wisdom can be built. I’m trying to build it, one icky feeling at a time, one mistake at a time, one intuitive hit at a time, one hour spent volunteering at a time. Though I fail much of the time, I wish to be a Transformer.
Transformers, more than meets the eye.