Last summer I was excited to watch the new series, Transformers: War for Cybertron: Siege. I grew up with the toys and cartoon series, which was appointment viewing after school each day. Transformers: The Movie arrived in theaters the year after my father died; I recall being in the theater with my mom when Optimus Prime died. I was nine-years-old, and there are some moments that just sorta hang around in your brain….
So I was excited when the franchise was rebooted through live-action films though those quickly became a mess of computer-generated effects and flashes that resembled little of the characters I knew so well from childhood. I was pleasantly delighted by Bumblebee, which toed a similar line to Cobra Kai by updating a franchise from the 1980s for the modern world; it’s a fun movie, and worth your time if you haven’t caught it yet.
I never delved into the comic book versions of Transformers, so maybe the War For Cybertron series on Netflix closely aligns to that content; I would not know and I acknowledge my ignorance of the comic stories. As a fan most familiar with the animated series and toys, Transformers: War For Cybertron: Siege is a tough watch. The show is dark in every way imaginable from the color palette to the content. The show begins with the Autobots near extinction and running out of options. Energon is scare on Cybertron and the Decepticons are searching for a means to deliver a final blow to win the war. I cannot properly do justice to the grimdark setting of the show, though I’ll briefly try.
Ultra Magnus leaves the Autobots in hopes of convincing Megatron to end the war; Magnus is tortured repeatedly and dies. Bumblebee is not an Autobot but a freelancing energon scavenger; a fend-for-yourself mercenary that Prime pleads with to join the Autobot cause. The show elects to give the robots very mechanized voices, which makes sense considering they are robots AND it is extremely disruptive to trying to figure out what the characters are saying. It reminded me of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises; it’s a struggle to comprehend what is happening at times. The leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, is beleaguered and running on fumes and desperation. His confident (and maybe love interest though it’s never quite defined) is Elita-1. Of all the challenging things to endure during War For Cybertron, the incredible negative of Elita-1 was the most difficult.
I even make a joke about it!
Captain Panaka (better known in my brain as Captain Pessimism) is a minor character in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace who brings such encouragement as:
Your Highness, this is a battle I do not think we can win.
If we can’t get the shield generator fixed, we’ll be sitting ducks.
You can’t take Her Royal Highness there. The Hutts are gangsters. If they discovered her…Captain
I somewhat chuckled at the negativity of Elita-1 and wrapped up War For Cybertron deciding, “Eh, that wasn’t for me and that is fine.” My stronger reaction to Elita-1 would creep back into my mind from time to time. Why did this show and – specifically this character – irritate me so much? Is this a sexism thing on my part? Would I have a similar reaction if Prime’s second-in-command was a male character with the same lines? Is it partially because the voice for Elita-1 is purposely shrill (and again, way too robotic sounding)?
It nagged on my mind so much that I decided to test my assumptions by going back to War For Cybertron to write down every line she has in the first six episodes. I know War For Cybertron has another season on Netflix, and I’ll likely give that season a watch at some point to see if it becomes a little less grimdark.
In the meantime, here is every line from Elita-1 from Transfomers: War For Cyberton: Siege:Continue reading “Was Elita-1 in Transformers: War For Cybertron That Irritating?”