Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Last Knight

Warning: SPOILERS for Transformers: The Last Knight are ahead!

Even though the Transformers series just released its fifth installment this week and has more on the day, 2011's Dark of the Moon marked the end of an era, as it was the last time we saw the series' original main human protagonist, Sam Witwicky. The character made it out of the third Transformers movie alive, but Shia LaBeouf decided to depart the series afterwards, and there was no mention of Sam in Age of Extinction. There was a brief nod to him in The Last Knight, but upon closer inspection, we can't help but wonder if Sam was killed off sometime after Dark of the Moon.

About halfway through Transformers: The Last Knight, Laura Haddock's character, Vivian Wembley, learns from Anthony Hopkins' Sir Edmund Burton that she is a descendant of Merlin, the infamous wizard of Arthurian legend who was given Quintessa's staff by the Knights of Cybertron. An organization called the Order of the Witwiccans was later created to protect Merlin's bloodline in case enemies ever came looking for the staff. As Burton, a member of the Order, is delivering exposition, a picture of Sam Witwicky is shown. Here's where things get interesting. Burton then tells Vivian that he is the last of the Witwiccans left, meaning that it's up to him to make sure that Vivian, Merlin's last descendant, is protected.

Sam Witwicky in Transformers: Dark of the Moon

For those who haven't seen the earlier Transformers movies in a while, there was no mention of Sam Witwicky and his parents being connected to a secret organization. Sam's first encounter with the robots in disguise was in the 2007 movie, though he later learned that his great, great grandfather Archibald accidentally came across Megatron over 100 years earlier. Until Sam met Bumblebee, the Witwicky family was just living a normal, suburban life, free of any obligations to Merlin and alien robots. Regardless, the similarity in names is more than just a simple coincidence, so now that begs the question of just how connected Sam was with the Order of the Witwiccans.

Just because his last name is Witwicky doesn't necessarily means Sam has been directly affiliated with the organization following Dark of the Moon. So when Edmund Burton said he was the last member left, he could have just been talking about individuals who directly contributed to its efforts, meaning that Sam could still be alive and kicking, albeit still distanced from the robots in disguise. However, if he was fulfilling his Witwiccan duties, then that means he is indeed dead, though that still doesn't explain when he died and how. Considering that Shia LaBeouf hasn't expressed any interest in returning to the Transformers series, the only way we'll know for sure what's happened to Sam Witwicky is if Transformers 6 or a later movie directly mentions him. Still, at least now we know his connection to the Transformers extends beyond what was shown on screen years back.

Transformers: The Last Knight is now playing in theaters, and following 2018's Bumblebee spinoff, Transformers 6 will continue the main series on June 28, 2019.

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