|“||Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing.||„|
|~ Optimus Prime|
Optimus Prime, sometimes known as Nemesis Prime, is the main protagonist of the live-action Transformers film series. Originally a peaceful Cybertronian scientist and the very last Prime of the Dynasty, Optimus and his team of scientists were studying the mysterious Allspark until they were betrayed by their security unit, the Decepticons, and his twin brother who is now corrupted power hungry leader, Megatron. Naming his squad of scientists as the Autobots, he used his team to fight the tyrannical Decepticons in order to stop them from getting the Allspark's awesome power. He is based off his original incarnation with the same name.
He is voiced by Peter Cullen who also voiced the character in the original series.
Optimus Prime and his Autobots were forced to depart their homeworld of Cybertron thousands of years ago, after the life-giving AllSpark was lost to the far reaches of space. In the year 2007, having received word from Bumblebee that the AllSpark was on the planet Earth, Optimus brought his troops to the small, blue world. After descending through Earth's atmosphere in his transition form, Optimus scanned a passing truck, then quickly learned the planet's languages via the internet. Meeting up with Bumblebee, Prime and his men were introduced to Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes, with whom Prime shared their history and their reason for being on Earth. Prime and the Autobots returned with Sam to his house, so that he could obtain for them a family heirloom: a pair of glasses belonging to his ancestor Archibald Witwicky, which contained the location of the AllSpark encoded across its lenses. Prime had his troops wait outside while Sam and Mikaela searched for the glasses, but the Autobot leader's thunderous footsteps, clumsy attempts to hide, and general impatience made the whole experience quite a trial. Nevertheless, the Autobots managed to keep themselves hidden from Sam's parents long enough for Sam to find the glasses—at which point, the forces of Sector Seven arrived to take Sam and Mikaela into custody. Prime intercepted the S7 convoy, tearing the roof off the SUV containing the two kids and demanding that the organization's director Seymour Simmons release them. Sector Seven back-up soon arrived, however, forcing Prime to hide beneath a bridge, carrying Sam and Mikaela on his shoulders. When the humans slipped, Bumblebee was forced to break cover to rescue them, which resulted in all three of them being captured by S7. Now in possession of the glasses which could tell him the location of the AllSpark, Optimus remorsefully left Bumblebee in Sector Seven's hands despite protestations from Jazz and Ironhide; Prime was unwilling to employ the deadly force he knew would be required to save their teammate, as he knew humanity held the potential to be something great.
Using the glasses to trace the AllSpark to the Hoover Dam, Prime led this men there, but while they were en route, the Decepticons who were also in hiding on the planet launched an attack on the facility. Sam, Mikaela, Bumblebee and the forces of Sector Seven met up with Prime and his team on the road, and they all headed for nearby Mission City to hide the AllSpark. On the way, Prime was attacked by Bonecrusher; a brief but brutal struggle followed, concluding when Prime succeeded in decapitating the hate-filled Decepticon. Joining his men in the streets of Mission City, Prime was met in battle by his twin brother and ancient enemy Megatron, who quickly proved to be superior both in physical strength and in terms of firepower. Realizing that there was only one way to end the fighting, Optimus instructed Sam to push the AllSpark into his chest if all hope seemed lost, which would merge the cube with his own spark, destroying both it and himself. As it turned out, Sam did just the opposite, instead thrusting it into Megatron's chest, killing the Decepticon leader and destroying the AllSpark. Prime regretted the necessity of the action, but knew there had been no other choice.
Though the Decepticons were defeated and their bodies dumped in the Laurentian Abyss by the military, the loss of the AllSpark meant the Autobots were unable to use its power to restore their homeworld. Electing to remain on Earth, Prime sent a message into deep space to any surviving Autobots in the galaxy to come to join them there.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
In the two years which followed the events in Mission City, Optimus Prime and the Autobots—including a group of new arrivals who had responded to Prime's message—became part of a Transformer/human military group called NEST. Together, they hunted down the remaining Decepticons in hiding across Earth. After a destructive clash with Demolishor in Shanghai went awry, Optimus was air-dropped onto a highway and crippled the Decepticon. Demolishor taunted Optimus about the mysterious force known as "The Fallen", who would rise again. Prime ensured that Demolishor would not be around to see it, as he unceremoniously executed him.
When the Decepticon Ravage stole the remaining shard of the AllSpark from NEST's Diego Garcia base, Optimus Prime arranged a meeting with Sam Witwicky, who had since left home to go to college, hoping for the boy's help. Sam, unfortunately, was presently focused on having some semblance of a normal life, and was not receptive Optimus's pleas, but Optimus feared that the choice to be involved would soon be taken out of Sam's hands. This soon proved true when Megatron—resurrected by the AllSpark shard—abducted Sam to draw out the wisdom of the AllSpark that was hidden within the human's mind. Optimus and Bumblebee ambushed the Decepticons in the abandoned industrial complex where Sam was being held and managed to whisk the boy away, but Megatron, Starscream and Grindor gave chase, resulting in a ferocious three-on-one battle between Prime and the Decepticons in the depths of the nearby forest. Prime held his own, even managing to kill Grindor, but the underhanded Megatron was able to impale him on his pincer-blade and blast him open with point-blank shot. Although the rest of the Autobots soon arrived and drove off Megatron and Starscream, Optimus Prime was dead.
Prime's body was brought back to Diego Garcia, but was soon covertly transported to Egypt by William Lennox and Robert Epps when they got word from Sam that he had discovered a possible means of restoring the Autobot leader to life: the Matrix of Leadership. In the midst of a battle between the Autobots and The Fallen's Decepticons in the Egyptian desert, Sam plunged the Matrix into Optimus's chest, and his gamble proved successful, as Optimus Prime lived again. To help Prime defeat The Fallen and destroy his sun-harvesting weapon hidden within the Great Pyramid of Giza, the turncoat Decepticon Jetfire sacrificed his life, entreating Prime to use his parts to gain "a power he had never known". Ratchet and Jolt transplanted Jetfire's remains onto Prime's body, upgrading him into a heavily-armed, flight-capable powerhouse. Prime immediately took flight and disabled the harvester, after which he engaged The Fallen in battle. Megatron attempted to intervene, but Optimus overpowered his old enemy and used his own fusion cannon to shoot half his face off. Resuming his fight with The Fallen, Optimus tore the ancient Decepticon's face off, and when the villain attempted to flee, Prime punched through his abdomen and crushed his spark, finally killing him.
On the return voyage home, Optimus thanked Sam for saving his life, as the boy thanked the Autobot leader for believing in him. Following this, Optimus Prime sent another transmission into space, detailing recent events so that the pasts of both races would be remembered, and also declaring that Humanity and the Autobots would face the future together.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Three years after the defeat of The Fallen, the Autobots and NEST took to dealing with human conflicts in the absence of the Decepticons. Optimus's vehicle mode was now complemented by a large transformable trailer, containing an armory of various weapons and flight equipment. While investigating a tip that a piece of Cybertronian technology could be found in the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Optimus and his NEST allies were attacked by Shockwave and his pet Driller, who attempted to steal the component. Optimus drove off Shockwave and his monstrous "pet", but was perturbed to discover that the recovered Cybertronian tech was a piece of the ancient Autobot spacecraft known as the Ark—flagship of his mentor and predecessor, Sentinel Prime, and believed destroyed during the war on Cybertron millennia beforehand.
Demanding an explanation from National Intelligence Director Charlotte Mearing, Prime learned from both her and astronaut Buzz Aldrin that humanity had discovered the ruins of the Ark on Earth's moon in the 1960s. Travelling to the moon with Ratchet aboard the Xantium, Prime discovered the comatose form of Sentinel within the Ark's crash vault, along with a small fraction of the special cargo the Ark had been carrying—five pillars capable of opening a space bridge. Optimus brought his old mentor back to Earth and used the Matrix of Leadership to reactivate him; showing him the peace and beauty of Earth, Optimus expressed his willingness to cede leadership back to Sentinel once more, but Sentinel refused.
Unfortunately, it would soon transpire that Sentinel was in league with Megatron, when he murdered Ironhide and brought the pillars to Washington, D.C.. A shocked and disillusioned Optimus confronted his mentor at the National Mall reflecting pool, pleading with him to stop, but Sentinel was unmoved, and opened a space bridge through which at least 200 Decepticon troops launched a vicious assault on the city. In the chaos that followed, Optimus tried to fight Sentinel; Sentinel defeated him, but spared his life in the belief he would come around to his side eventually. Naturally, Optimus refused, which led to Sentinel publicly denouncing him and his Autobots as rebels, falsely leading humanity to believe that their planet would be spared if they exiled Optimus's team into space aboard the Xantium. Appearing to willingly comply, Optimus suspected Decepticon treachery—and he was right, as Starscream fired upon the Xantium soon after launch, destroying it. To all watching, it appeared Optimus and the Autobots had been destroyed, but in actuality, Prime had had his men hide within one of the ship's booster rockets, which had detached before the vessel's destruction.
Optimus's team headed for Chicago, which had been conquered by the Decepticons in their absence, and arrived just in time to rescue Sam, Epps and a team of former NEST soldiers from a Decepticon fighter ship. Venturing into the heart of the city, the Autobots were ambushed by Shockwave and the Driller, and Prime was separated from his trailer in the brawl. Leaving his Autobots to battle on without him, Prime quickly recovered the trailer and donned the flight tech within, which he used to slay the Driller. Unfortunately, he was then blasted by Shockwave and wound up tangled in the cables of a construction crane, temporarily taking him out of the fight.
By the time the Wreckers cut Optimus free, Sentinel had activated his space bridge and begun teleporting Cybertron itself into Earth's Solar System. Prime went on a rampage, slashing through the Decepticons on the main battlefield on his way to a final confrontation with Shockwave; after killing the cyclopean Decepticon, he used Shockwave's own cannon to blast the space bridge's control pillar, stalling Cybertron's transportation. Optimus then demanded that Sentinel face him; his one-time mentor complied, and the pair engaged one another in a battle which Optimus initially dominated, but in which Sentinel eventually got the upper hand when he sliced off Prime's right arm. Before Sentinel could deliver a killing blow, however, Megatron himself intervened, attacking the elder Prime from behind and heavily damaging him, having realized that he would never be able to remain in power as long as Sentinel was at large. Megatron then tried to deceive Optimus into thinking that he wanted peace, but Optimus saw through the ruse and attacked Megatron, plunging his energon axe into the Decepticon leader's head and tearing it from his shoulders, killing his eternal foe once more. The damaged and helpless Sentinel begged for mercy, claiming that all he ever wanted was their race's survival, but Optimus refused, claiming Sentinel didn't betray the Autobots, but rather "himself". With bitter regret, Optimus executed his treacherous master with Megatron's shotgun.
With Cybertron now apparently destroyed by the deactivation of the space bridge, Prime and the Autobots accepted Earth as their new home, and Optimus declared that the Autobots would never forsake the defense of the planet or its people.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Following the battle in Chicago and the dissolution of NEST, the US government continued granting Optimus and the other Autobots asylum on Earth, in spite of the negative reputation the Autobots had gained. The White House believed that Harold Attinger was working alongside Optimus Prime to hunt down the last of the Decepticon fugitives; what the President didn't know was that Attinger's Cemetery Wind taskforce had began hunting down Autobots and terminating them. Learning of the betrayal, Optimus broadcast an urgent message to the Autobots on Earth, ordering his troops to cut off all contact with humans and go into hiding. Optimus successfully evaded Cemetery Wind for several years, but was eventually pinned down in Mexico, caught in an ambush set by Attinger's lieutenant James Savoy and their Cybertronian ally, the bounty hunter Lockdown. Though badly wounded, Prime threw off his pursuers by scanning a dilapidated cab-over truck, and fled north to Paris, Texas, where he hid in an abandoned movie theater and succumbed to statsis lock induced by his grevious injuries.
Prime remained inert until aspiring roboticist Cade Yeager visited the theater for salvage. Hoping to strip the seemingly ordinary truck and sell the parts, he purchased Optimus and towed him home to his workshop, whereupon his examination of the truck's unusual inner workings led him to realize he had discovered a Transformer. Though Cade's daughter Tessa and partner Lucas wanted to turn Optimus in for a cash reward, Cade argued against it, wanting to increase his technical expertise by studying Optimus' systems further. To prove that the Transformer was "dead" and unable to retaliate, Cade opened the truck up and discovered a live missile from the truck's inner workings. When the missile was removed, Optimus suddenly awoke and transformed into robot mode. Confused and disoriented, Optimus threatened the humans, but Cade was able to calm him down, and offered to help repair him as best he could. Before he could get very far, Savoy's forces stormed the farm, forcing Optimus to hide underneath the barn, but when Savoy threatened Tessa's life, Optimus burst from concealment to aid his new human friends. A running battle with Lockdown ensued, culminating in an abandoned factory, where Prime regrouped with the Yaegers and Tessa's boyfriend Shane Dyson and escaped.
After confirming that they had shaken their pursuers, Optimus summoned the surviving Autobots to a rendezvous point in the desert, scanning a passing truck on the way to adopt a new alternate mode and repair his injuries. Reuniting with Bumblebee, Drift, Crosshairs, and Hound, an angry and embittered Prime announced his intent to break his long-held vow and kill the humans responsible for the Autobots' suffering. With Cade's help, the Autobots learned that the bodies of their fallen comrades were being taken to Kinetic Solutions Incorporated in Chicago, where they were being melted down for raw material to produce KSI's own Transformers. Enraged to learn that Ratchet had recently suffered this gruesome fate, Optimus led the Autobots in a furious attack on KSI, but stopped short of killing company head Joshua Joyce when the human shamed him by declaring the mankind had advanced past the Transformers. The Autobots pulled out, but Attinger ordered KSI creations Galvatron and Stinger to be sent after them; Optimus faced off against Galvatron, but before the battle could conclude, Lockdown shot down Optimus and dragged him away.
Imprisoned aboard Lockdown's ship, Optimus learned that the bounty hunter had been hired by the Transformers' mysterious creators to round up their renegade creations, starting with the ancient "knights" to whom the ship had once belonged, a group that Optimus himself had apparently once been part of. Optimus was soon rescued by his fellow Autobots, and they escaped by detaching the section of the ship they were in from the main body without Lockdown's notice. After the team regrouped, Brains revealed that Galvatron was, in fact, a rebuilt Megatron, and was planning to detonate a cyberforming seed—given to Attinger by Lockdown—in Hong Kong. Though Prime lacked a strong reason to defend humankind after his recent experiences, Cade petitioned him to have faith in, if not humanity itself, then in their potential to be better.
Arriving in Hong Kong, the Autobots' stolen ship was shot down by Galvatron's forces and crashed in the Wulong Valley. In need of reinforcements, Optimus took a shield and sword from the ship's armory and freed the other captive knights aboard the ship, the Dinobots, and proposed that they let him lead them into battle. Their leader Grimlock was not receptive to this idea, and challenged Optimus, but the Autobot leader triumphed over him, and offered Grimlock freedom under his leadership, or death under his foot. Grimlock conceded defeat, and allowed Optimus to ride him into battle in his massive Tyrannosaurus rex mode. The Autobot-Dinobot alliance decimated Galvatron's army, forcing the Decepticon to retreat, but just when it seemed the day was won, Lockdown returned. Optimus disabled Lockdown's ship's tractor beam in order to allow his comrades to pull back while he faced the bounty hunter alone; during the course of their one-on-one fight, Optimus was forced to briefly break away to save Cade's life by shooting Attinger. Unfortunately, this distraction allowed Lockdown to impale Optimus on his own sword, immobilizing him, but Bumblebee and Cade intervened to hold off Lockdown while Shane and Tessa freed Optimus, enabling him to finally kill Lockdown. Optimus set off one of Lockdown's grenades to finish off Galvatron's remaining drones, and flew the humans to safety as it detonated.
After releasing the Dinobots from his command, Optimus prepared to depart into space, to both remove the seed from Earth, and to investigate the mystery of his creators, who still had a price on his head. His innate faith in humanity reignited by Cade and his family and friends, Optimus entreated the humans to think of one of the stars as his soul, and instructed the Autobots to guard the Yeagers, their allies, and all the humans they could. As he left the planet, Optimus sent a message to the Creators: leave Earth alone, because he was coming for them.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Optimus' decision proved to be a foolish one, however, as he exhausted his Energon in the vicinity of Jupiter and fell into stasis lock, drifting through space. When Cybertron entered the solar system, its gravitational force affected Optimus and caused him to crash land on his home and its atmosphere revived him. Optimus awoke and despaired at the state of Cybertron, the planet having condensed in size with its continents precariously attached to its core. It was at this point that Quintessa made herself known to Optimus and claimed to be his creator. Optimus cared very little for that and demanded to know what she'd done to Cybertron and tried to attack her when she refused to answer him, only to be overwhelmed by her powers and her troops called the Infernocons.
Quintessa accused Optimus of destroying Cybertron, but Optimus protested that Megatron had started the Great War. Quintessa, however, claimed Optimus was responsible for Cybertron's state as he had been the one to launch the Allspark. With Prime in chains, Quintessa explained her plan to him and why she needed him. She revealed to him that the Earth had formed around the body of Unicron and that she wanted Optimus to retrieve her staff from the Knights of Iacon on Earth. With the staff, Quintessa would drain the life out of Unicron and use his energy to revive Cybertron. Brainwashing Optimus into "Nemesis Prime", she sent him back to Earth to complete the task.
Nemesis Prime arrived back on Earth in the Knights' ship and slew two of their number before demanding that Vivian Wembley hand over the staff. His former ally, Cade Yeager, tried to reason with Optimus, but Nemesis reasserted his identity and claimed to fight only for Cybertron and its people. Once Vivian had handed over the staff, a TRF soldier (futilely) opened fire on Nemesis who swatted them aside and exited the ship. On the surface, Nemesis was assaulted by Bumblebee whom Prime easily bested in combat before the sound of Bumblebee's voice allowed Optimus Prime to return. The moment was short lived as Megatron flew in to steal the staff and the Knights arrived to slay Optimus for serving "Quintessa the Deceiver".
While Optimus offered no resistance, viewing his execution as a proper atonement, Cade managed to activate the Talisman sword to stop the Knights. Optimus then allied with the Knights and they flew off in the Autobot ship to confront Megatron and Quintessa on Cybertron. Optimus engaged his old foe once again who tried to reignite their old brotherhood and offered Optimus the chance to stand beside them as they restored Cybertron. Optimus rebuked him and he was forced on the defensive before his fellow Autobots intervened and Prime kicked Megatron out of the ignition chamber. Optimus then distracted Quintessa so Bumblebee could slay her when her defenses were down until Vivian removed the staff, stopping the collision between Cybertron and Earth, but leaving the two planets connected to one another. Despite this, enough of Unicron's life force had been transmitted to Cybertron that it could again support its people. Optimus reflected that both humans and Cybertronians would have to work together to rebuild their worlds before he sent out a call for all Autobots across the galaxy to return to Cybertron so they could begin rebuilding.
Optimus is benevolent, caring, selfless, serious, highly intelligent, calculating and wise. He has a strong sense of justice, honor and good morals. On the battlefield, he is a great fighter, leader and tactician. He can be cold and ruthless towards his enemies, but he also has a sense of compassion for enemies who were turned from the right path.
Optimus is very mature, calm, level-headed and patient, as he rarely loses his temper. Despite humanity's primitive state compared to his own race, Optimus often defends them by arguing that he sees their potential to be better rather than focusing on their flaws (even if this faith experienced some knocks after humanity rejected the Autobots following the destruction of Chicago).
Optimus shows great love for humanity as he cares deeply for humans and made a vow to himself, along with the Autobots not to harm humans at all. He swore to protect the planet Earth from threat and the Decepticons at all cost, as he did not want the planet to have the same fate as his destroyed planet Cybertron did.
Powers and Abilities
- Cybertronian Physiology: As the last of the Primes, Optimus is one of the most, if not the most powerful Cybertronian, with seemingly only Megatron and Lockdown being on par. His powers and abilities include:
- Cybertronian Strength: Optimus has immense superhuman strength, far superior to that of almost any non-Prime Cybertronian, with him even able to take down Shockwave with ease.
- Cybertronian Speed: Optimus has considerable superhuman speed, superior to that of an average Cybertronian, as he was shown to outrun helicopters on foot, and to even outrun Sentinel Prime when the latter was in vehicle mode.
- Cybertronian Durability: Optimus is extremely durable, practically immune to human weaponry, and usually sustaining only minimal damage while battling fellow Cybertronians. Indeed, the only way to truly slay Optimus (as Megatron temporarily did) is to pierce the spark in his chest, which only Megatron's Cybertronian blade was shown to be capable of doing.
- Cybertronian Healing: Optimus' body is composed of living transformium metal, which allows him to heal from serious wounds at superhuman rates, with the only known exception being a pierced spark (which is a fatal wound).
- Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Optimus is shown to be an exceptionally formidable hand-to-hand combatant. In fact, the only ones that have been able to defeat him in combat are, Megatron, Lockdown, and Sentinel Prime (though most of Megatron's victories were only because Optimus had already been worn down after prolonged prior fighting, while Megatron entered the battle fairly fresh).
- Master Swordsman: Optimus is shown to be an immensely formidable swordsman, as he was able to down Bonecrusher, the Fallen and even Lockdown with his blade.
- Master Axe Combatant: While Optimus usually favors swords or bare hands, he is shown to be highly proficient in combatively wielding a battle axe, with him taking down Megatron and Sentinel Prime with one.
- Master Marksman: Although he prefers hand-to-hand combat, Optimus is extremely proficient in the use of firearms, as he is shown to aim his weapons at any Decepticon or even the Control Pillar with Shockwave's gun directly without missing.
- Expert Driver: Optimus is shown to be a highly skilled driver in vehicle mode, with him notably able to do a swift u-turn, while driving at a high speed and able to transform at a high speed in mid-air, even with a trailer attached to him.
- Gifted Intelligence: Optimus Prime, due to being an alien from the highly advanced planet Cybertron, and due to being many centuries old, is highly intelligent.
- Master Tactician: Optimus' exceptional tactical skills are displayed when he leads the Autobots into battle.
- Master Leader: Optimus is shown to be an excellent leader, with his fellow Autobots always obeying his orders in battle.
- AllSpark: Optimus could be slain if the AllSpark was placed into his chest, much the same way Megatron was (though notably not permanently).
- Damaged Spark: Optimus was temporarily slain by Megatron when the latter pierced his chest and the spark within it.
- Quintessa's Brainwashing: Optimus, due to having possibly been created by Quintessa, was vulnerable to her brainwashing, with her thus forcibly converting him into the ruthless and malevolent persona of "Nemesis Prime." Only hearing Bumblebee's voice again made Optimus snap out and regain his former persona.
- Optimus Prime is voiced by his original voice actor, Peter Cullen since the Generation One series. With his reception warmly received by fans and critics alike, he continues to voice the character from now on.