Transformers: 5 Things To Know About Beast Wars Ahead Of Rise Of The Beasts

The Maximals

I’m going to reveal one of my deepest, darkest secrets. Are you ready? Ok, here goes. Even though I was born in the early ‘80s, I was never into the original G1 Transformers. I know, I know. Heresy, right? That said, while I didn’t care about the early Transformers, I was really into Beast Wars in the ‘90s. So, when I heard that the seventh film in the Transformers movie franchise was going to be Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, let me tell you, I did a colossal Optimus Primal roar.

And, that’s because Beast Wars is awesome! I honestly cannot stand any of the Michael Bay Transformers movies, aside from maybe the first one. I thought Bumblebee, which was directed by Kubo and the Two Strings director, Travis Knight, was a step in the right direction, and I’m even more pumped for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which will be directed by Creed II director, Steven Caple Jr. Sure, you probably already know all about the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, because there have been plenty of movies about them, but do you know all about the Beast Wars? If not, then you’re about to find out.

A tiger Predacon on the right

Beast Wars Debuted In 1996 And Was One Of The Earliest Computer Generated TV Shows

Computer generated cartoons are common these days. My kids love Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, and you’re probably just as likely to find shows in this format as you’ll find hand-drawn animation. Back in the ‘90s, though, this form of televised cartoon was very uncommon. The first computer generated cartoon was Insektors back in 1994, which predates Toy Story, as that debuted on the big screen in 1995! ReBoot was soon after Insektors, as it also debuted in 1994, and in 1996, we got Beast Wars: Transfomers.

Now, let me tell you. Even back then, Beast Wars looked kind of rough. Look no further than this opening intro. That said, I don’t know if I would have even given Beast Wars a shot if it didn’t look so different from practically every other show at the time, because, again, I was never into Transformers (I was always more of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kind of guy). However, by having such a distinct style, Beast Wars definitely made itself stand out. Sure, the older, ‘80s cartoon now looks far better in comparison since early CG paradoxically looks even more ancient than hand drawn animation, but Beast Wars has that CG legacy. It was one of the first, baby.

Optimal Prime

Variations Of Optimus Prime and Megatron Are Both On Beast Wars, But They're A Gorilla And A Dinosaur, Respectively

Everybody knows that Optimus Prime transforms into a truck and that Megatron transforms into a gun (Or a jet, depending on what version you get). In Beast Wars, this version of Optimus Prime, known as Optimus Primal, transforms into a gorilla, while this version of Megatron transforms into a dinosaur.

Before the Beast Wars community comes out in droves to pelt me with Hasbro merchandise, I am well aware that Optimus Primal IS NOT Optimus Prime. Optimus Primal is a descendant of Optimus Prime, and only took on the title as a way to pay respects to the OG Transformer. The same goes for this universe’s Megatron. So, yes, these are two different characters. I know. You don’t have to message me on Twitter.


Beast Wars Takes Place 300 Years After The Original Transformers

Okay, so you might be wondering how Beast Wars takes place AFTER the original Transformers, but it has like, dinosaurs and stuff. Well, yes, Beast Wars does take place 300 years after the first series, but it also exists in a wormhole dimension as their space battle blasted them off into a distant time and onto a mysterious planet.

This planet has a substance called Energon on it, which is toxic to both warring factions. So, to preserve their energy, they take on alternate forms that replicate the animals living on the planet, since the Energon is too great for them to be in robot form for too long. Honestly, I always kind of just kept that in the back of my mind when I was a kid, but it does come up often on the series. Especially when it comes to the stasis pods that come down to the planet, as it introduced more new characters. Because you know, merchandise.

More Maximals

The Maximals and the Predacons Are Descendants Of The The Autobots And Decepticons, Respectively

The war for Cybertron is long over, but that doesn’t mean that the fight has ended. For Beast Wars, that fight is between the Maximals, which are descendants of the Autobots, and the Predacons, which are the descendants of the Decepticons. This change from Autobot to Maximal and Decepticon to Predacon is known as “The Great Upgrade,” which sounds like an Apple update more than anything else.

The Maximals are mostly mammals, while the Predacons are mostly reptiles. Besides that, though, the only major difference between the Autobots and the Decepticons and the Maximals and the Predacons is that one group turns into vehicles, while the other group turns into animals. That might not seem like much of a difference, but it is, because it means fights are different, and I feel they are much more engaging in Beast Wars. Like, a dinosaur biting a gorilla just feels a whole lot cooler to me than vehicles shooting at each other. It almost feels like a rematch between King Kong and that one dino in the first movie, which is why I might like Beast Wars so much. It makes me think about King Kong!

Scourge the Terrorcon

The Terrorcons, Which Will Appear In The Movie, Are Not From The Beast Wars TV Show, But Rather, The Transformers Comics

And, finally, I was kind of confused when I heard that the Terrorcons would be featured heavily in the new movie, since they are not even in the Beast Wars TV show. In fact, as of right now, it looks like the Terrorcons will be the main antagonists of the film, which has me quite befuddled, as the Terrocons are basically zombie Transfomers.

The Terrocons debuted in the Marvel Comics “Headmasters” miniseries, and they too have an Autobot-equivalent antagonist in the Technobots, who can combine to form one big robot like Voltron. I don’t know if this will play a role in the new movie, but just keep that in mind for now. Terrorcons = zombie Transfomers.

There you have it. As I mentioned at the top, I’m pretty excited for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. But, what do you think? Are you done with Transformers altogether now, or do you think that Bumblebee changed the game? Well, if you’re in the latter camp, then check out our list of upcoming Transformers movies, and if you’re just interested in 2021 movies in general, make sure to stop by here often.

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Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.