Last night we finally got our first look at Transformers: The Last Knight but what we saw didn't look good for Optimus Prime. It looks like he may actually be the villain of the new film, but something else we see in the new trailer may tell us why. We see early in the trailer that Optimus Prime is floating in space, apparently dead, but then later he's alive, but he's also not himself. There's a precedent for exactly this setup within Transformers lore, and it comes from the original animated Transformers: The Movie and a couple episodes of the animated series which followed.
Over at Cosmic Book News, they've pieced together a few of the shots from the trailer and they think the new movie may be taking some cues from the old series. In Transformers: The Movie, an animated film that takes place during the original animated series that launched the franchise, Optimus Prime is killed by Megatron, who we know will be back, during a massive battle between Autobots and Decepticons. He passes on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership a device that Prime had apparently been keeping inside his own body all this time, which is eventually taken by Hot Rod, a character who we know will be appearing in the new film.
There are, in fact, two points in the cartoon series where Optimus Prime is brought back to life. At one point, a race called the Quintessons resurrect Prime as part of a plot to steal the Matrix of Leadership. Hot Rod willingly gives it back to Prime, not knowing that he's under the control of others. Once Prime has it, he turns on the rest of the Autobots. This could be where we see him attacking Bumblebee. In the cartoon Prime is able to eventually overcome the control, so we know the real him is still somewhat conscious, which could explain Prime apologizing to Bumblebee during the attack.
While there's no evidence that Quintessons could appear in Transformers: The Last Knight, there are a couple of shots that might indicate other related aspects of the story. First of all, there's the possibility that this could be the Matrix of Leadership
In addition, there's a shot of something that could possibly show evidence that Unicron, the planet eater, might appear in the film. Unicron is the primary antagonist of The Transformers Movie, though he's not directly related to anything that happens to Optimus Prime. Still, since the last time we saw Optimus Prime he left earth for space, who knows what he ran into out there?
Do you think Transformers: The Last Knight will be borrowing from the animated series? Let us know your theory for why Prime has gone bad in the comments below.