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ABC Family (ended 1987)

Autobots can't fly?

  • Avatar of TVvuer69

    TVvuer69

    [1]Jan 11, 2011
    • member since: 04/23/05
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    It seems to be established (particularly late) in the G1 series that Autobots can't fly. But yet in the pilot and several season 1 episodes, they could. They were flying when they first met Spike and Sparkplug, rescuing them from the oil rig when the Decepticons attacked. Ironhide flew when he launches an attack on Skywarp. The Dinobots certainly flew just before they were first used to rescue the majority of the Autobots. Wheeljack flies to aid Skyfire when the Insecticons made their first appearance. These are among several examples of Autobots being able to fly. But from season 2 on, they would only be seen flying if they were wearing rocket packs, like when they went to Dinobot Island. Frankly, I would have liked for one episode where Optimus Prime in vehicle mode would say "Autobots, transform and fly out!"

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  • Avatar of djboy77

    djboy77

    [2]Feb 23, 2011
    • member since: 06/26/10
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    If you're looking for a logical in-universe reason, you better think again. TV shows are retooled all the time, especially after a pilot.


    Characters are re-cast, added or dropped, facts are altered, the whole thing can shift. The pilot for The Nanny had a straight staircase going down the left side of the foyer; a staircase that curved around to the right appeared during the rest of the show's run. The new Bionic Woman had a sister who was deaf; the part was recast and changed into a more conventional brat. The unaired Buffy pilot had a much different set for the Library, and an entirely different actress for Willow.


    What you've got here is just a retooling of the show; one that was haphazard with continuity at the best of times (Megatron, Constructicons; who made whom?). Don't forget, at the end of the pilot all the Autobots were getting ready to leave and return to Cybertron with Spike and Sparkplug. What happened with that?

    Edited on 02/23/2011 8:34am
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  • Avatar of TVvuer69

    TVvuer69

    [3]Feb 28, 2011
    • member since: 04/23/05
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    djboy77 wrote:


    Don't forget, at the end of the pilot all the Autobots were getting ready to leave and return to Cybertron with Spike and Sparkplug. What happened with that?


    What happened there was that the Decepticons became a threat again after the assumption they perished when their ship crashed in the ocean. When they returned, the Autobots couldn't leave Earth in order to continue their battle.


    I do understand about all the recasting, retooling, and redressed sets for live shows. The Cosby Show had a different living room and stairway set for its pilot. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper debuted by reusing the Growing Pains set for its pilot. And long before Sarah Chalke replaced Lecy Goranson as Becky on Roseanne, a different kid actually portrayed DJ in the series pilot. And remember Gary Unmarried? The same girl who portrayed his daughter Louise in the pilot episode (and was replaced afterward) was the same girl who portrayed the daughter in Back to You before getting replaced after several episodes just before that series was eventually cancelled.


    But here, we're talking about an animated series. It just seems strange that they would have the Autobots flying in several early episodes before declaring they couldn't.

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  • Avatar of djboy77

    djboy77

    [4]Apr 19, 2011
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    TVvuer69 wrote:
    What happened there was that the Decepticons became a threat again after the assumption they perished when their ship crashed in the ocean. When they returned, the Autobots couldn't leave Earth in order to continue their battle.


    Umm.. no.


    At the end of "More Than Meets The Eye", Optimus Prime is saying "ready to go?" and Spike is saying "next stop: Cybertron". At the start of "Transport to Oblivion", the first post-MTMTE episode, the Autobots are just hanging around on Earth; the Decepticons haven't shown up again, and most of them believe them to be done. Optimus Prime has reservations, but they haven't made themselves known ("Teletran, survey the local power stations." then "Megatron lives..!").


    TVvuer69 wrote:
    I do understand about all the recasting, retooling, and redressed sets for live shows. The Cosby Show had a different living room and stairway set for its pilot. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper debuted by reusing the Growing Pains set for its pilot. And long before Sarah Chalke replaced Lecy Goranson as Becky on Roseanne, a different kid actually portrayed DJ in the series pilot. And remember Gary Unmarried? The same girl who portrayed his daughter Louise in the pilot episode (and was replaced afterward) was the same girl who portrayed the daughter in Back to You before getting replaced after several episodes just before that series was eventually cancelled.


    But here, we're talking about an animated series. It just seems strange that they would have the Autobots flying in several early episodes before declaring they couldn't.



    The Transformers was produced on a massively rushed schedule. Look up interviews with Flint Dille or any of the other writers or directors. They knew about animation errors and such but they didn't have the time to go back and fix them, they were pushed to just release the episodes.


    And at the time, they had no idea that Transformers would last for 6 months, let alone 3 decades. They simply produced the pilot and then had to create a series after that.


    It was an immature segment of the industry, and like the first explorers, they kind of "roughed it", with animation errors, lack of continuity (the almost Simpsons-like reset at the end of each episode), and a lack of developed mythology to underpin the whole thing. The cartoon lasted 3.5 years, the toyline was stretched to 8, with Generation 2, and that was where it almost just wound up for good, until Beast Wars kickstarted the whole thing again.


    Which is all simply to say again, there's no real in-universe explanation for the problems. There's personal fanon, rationalizations and there's popularized excuses, like the whole trailers-disappearing, mass-shifting, security-guard-carrying-Megatron-and-Soundwave, subspace things. But none of those things actually existed in-universe (at the time - some have been retconned decades later). They were just fans trying to explain everything. But at some point you just have to say "the reason is, it's a cartoon".

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