When Optimus Prime forgets who he is following the use of the Matrix, he becomes a librarian again and a ploy used by Megatron to defeat the few remaining Autobots on Earth. Megatron’s defeat of the Autobots and his conquest of Earth is such that he captures several ancient Cybertronian relics and use them to revive Cybertron. But is the only thing standing between Megatron is the treachery of his former first lieutenant Startscream?
The second season had another set of epic stories starting with the memory loss of Optimus Prime, followed by a wild goose chase for old Autobot relics by both the Decepticons and their Earth-bound Autobots. The conclusion to the chase of relics which exchanged hands a few times, thanks to the deviousness of Starscream and the human-based threat called M.E.C.H. headed by human-turned Decepticon Cyborg Silas, is a new chase for keys that will allow the Transformers to revive Cybertron. In previous incarnations of the Transformers, there often was a wild chase for ancient artifacts. In fact, it was the plot point for the first two Transformers feature movies by Michaeal Bay. Here, instead of being another useless chase, the quest for artifacts is rendered with lots of suspense and twists. Starscreams betrays Megatron, again but so does Arachnid.
If like me, you’re not a fan of the human kids in this series, enjoy, as they occupy less screen space in the second half of the series, although they do appear often and are a major plot point in the conclusion of the series. Aspects of the series I didn’t like was how Starscream became a sycophant lackey without any backbone and a major coward. These traits had always been part of the character but Starscream was also a daring and skilled fighter, the best flyer of the entire Decepticons. Though Starscream was not able to fly for much of the series, his characterization transformed him into more of a caricature of himself.
I really like Megatron’s personality here. He’s less neurotic than in past series. It feels like the writers were inspired by his depiction in IDW Publishing’s All Hail Megatron series. Some of his backstory developed in that comic book series, as a gladiator on Cybertron made within the cartoon to good effect. I had not seen Wheeljack in the first season, because I never watched it entirely, so I was surprised to see that his personality had changed so much. But Wheeljack is not the only whose personality changed. Smokescreen joins the Autobots, adding some needed muscle to the team but with a completely new personality. Instead of being the gambling schemer of the Autobots, he’s presented as a young and inexperienced recruit that some people have compared to Hotrod. His face looks like Prowl’s which is fine, but his colours are more reminiscent of Jazz. Part of his demeanor is similar to Bluestreak. While I didn’t mind Wheeljack’s new personality as it made him more interesting, I’m not as found of Smokescreen. At one point, I thought he would pull a Hotrodimus and turn into Rodimus Prime. Something like this was hinted at several times.
I wish the series could have more new Autobots and Decepticons. To some extent, Dreadwing was a new character based on the same character design used by his twin brother Skyquake. I wish Hasbro and the production team had renamed the twin Decepticons Thundercracker and Skywarp instead. The original Dreadwing and Skyquake were relatively unused and obscured Generation One Decepticons. In a similar vein, I wish that the episode featuring the multiple clones of Starscream would have turned out as the entire seeker clan as was done a few years ago in Transformers Animated. It would have been a good way to introduce Skywarp, Thundercracker, Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet back into the Decepticon fold.
Although the series is highly entertaining, I would say many opportunities such as not reusing more popular older characters’ names and personalities in favour of more obscure ones. I get it that some of those obscure characters should have a chance to shine and become new stars of their own. However, I suspect the real reason is that Hasbro is trying to use older trademarks to protect them.
The animation was better towards the end of the series. Now, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next season which should debut shortly on television. This series seeks to become the new main timeline / version of the Transformers’ franchise. I think Hasbro has a good shot at doing this and pushing Generation One off once and for all. However, in order to do this, more characters will have to appear and the series should rely less on the generic Vehicons. I like that death seems to be permanent in this series, as can be seen in the case of Cliffjumper. But after a while stories with the same cast and the kids tend to get old.
This collection of Transformers Prime episodes contains a few
episodes seen in Transformers Prime – One Shall Stand collection
released in July 2012. I recommend getting season one and the
compilation I’m reviewing instead. One Shall Stand has episodes from
both seasons and much less material. All 26 episodes of Transformers Prime Season Two are collected with additional interviews by the show's creators.