When Sunbow and Hasbro created its Transformers: The Movie, the timeline took a massive jump from 1986 to 2005. From that point forward, all the stories took place in the (then) future. But in 2003, Japan created a story to fill in this large gap. The toyline was called Binaltech (Alternators here in the U.S.) and the hook was that the toys were based on actual vehicles and kept in scale with one another. To help promote the toy, each one came with story pages. Following is a recap of that story, which decided to unite some GI Joe continuities into it!
Read on to learn what the Autobots and Decepticons got up to in the nearly 20 year gap.
Megatron decides to launch a major offense to conquer Cybertron. The Autobots are forced to divide their forces between Earth and Cybertron and are spread thin. The Combaticon Swindle unleashes the Cosmic Rust virus (from a season 2 episode) on the Autobots, ruining their bodies. The Autobots essentially go for product placement, teaming up with brand-name car manufacturers to build new “Binaltech” bodies for those infected. The new bodies are immune to the rust. Those rebuilt include Bluestreak, Smokescreen, Hound, Tracks, and Sideswipe. The Autobots counter attack and drive the remaining Decepticons off Earth.
Meanwhile, a group called “The Concurrence” forms from the various human villains from season 2 of Transformers as well as some of the more obscure GI Joe villains. Their goal is to turn humanity against the Autobots. The Concurrence consists of: Count Von Rani, also known as Iron Klaw in the GI Joe Extreme series; Kreiger, also known as General Blitz, who was an American who switched over to the I.R.O.N. army in the WW2-set GI Joe Sgt. Savage series; Shawn Berger, Jr., the son of the rich villain from the season 2 episodes Megatron’s Master Plan 1 and 2; Lord Chumley, the big game hunter who hunted Autobots (and who attacked the Oktober Guard, the Russian counterpart to GI Joe); and Dr. Arkeville, the mad-scientist buddy of Starscream.
The Concurrence teams up with Starscream and hijacks the Binaltech bodies built for Sunstreaker and Trailbreaker. They download the Stunticon Dead End and Swindle into these bodies. The Autobots fight back by inventing “genetronic translink” tech, which allows one Autobot to control multiple bodies. Smokescreen and Jazz are given this upgrade.
The story then goes in a nutty direction. During Beast Wars, Ravage went back in time in a Transwarp ship. In the current day, a government organization called the Intelligence and Information Institute (Triple I) unearthed its flight recorder which had a copy of the Decepticon’s brainwaves. The Tripe I uploads the time-displaced Decepticon into a Binaltech body. Ravage instantly uses his knowledge of the future to alter history. His sabotage is soon detected by Overdrive. The Autobots raise their alert level and Ravage has to change his plans.
Wheeljack travels to Earth from Cybertron to give Grimlock, who was injured in a fight, a Binaltech body. Ravage hijacks the spaceship on the way back to Cybertron. There, Ravage heads to the Kronosphere time machine and transports Megatron and most of the Decepticons outside of time. Ravage succeeds in changing the timeline, which will leave the Autobots to eventually face Unicron alone. Ravage plans to then retrieve the Decepticons and allow them to easily defeat the weakned Autobot survivors. While the Decepticons are outside of time, Ravage recreates Shockwave in a new Binaltech body.
Wheeljack was given a glimpse of the future by Ravage when his ship was hijacked. Wheeljack escapes and makes it his mission to save the Autobots of the future. He creates the “Body Shop” project to create upgraded Binaltech bodies for the Autobots. He also upgrades himself. When he attempts to transfer Prowl to his new body via subspace, an accident occurs and Prowl’s spark is lost between dimensions. Chip Chase, Spike’s wheelchair-bound computer-loving pal, upgrades his mind to Prowl’s Binaltech body. He and Overdrive then capture Ravage. Unfortunately, Unicron shows up by Cybertron early. In the chaos of his attack, the Autobots engage in a Terminator-esque last-ditch attempt to save the day. They use the time warp on Dinobot Island (remember that?!) and send Skids back in time to undo Ravage’s meddling with the timestream.
Ultra Magnus is able to defeat Unicron with the power of the Matrix in the present. However, Skids’ trip into the past causes the timestream to destabilize and time itself unravels around the Autobots. A spark emerges from the timestream and possesses Nemesis Prime, the evil Binaltech clones of Optimus Prime that Dr. Arkeville built. The spark is known as “The Protector” and it uses its power to stabilize time. He restores history to its proper form and creates a parallel “Binal-time” universe. The Binaltech warriors are said to ultimately lead to the creation of a great force known as “The Alternity.”
Nemesis Prime’s programming is able to override the Protector and forces it out, taking control of his own body. Megatron and his army return from outside of time, defeating the Autobots and conquering Cybertron. In a desperate move, Mirage sneaks into the depths of Cybertron (by using his invisibility) and activates a switch that the Quintessons had created – it shuts down all Transformers. The Binaltech-upgraded Transformers are immune to this, but almost the entire Decepticon army is shut down, so Nemesis Prime takes command.
Prowl’s spark returns to the original cartoon continuity. Bluestreak goes to the Binal-timeline to let the Autobots know what happened to Prowl. The Autobots then fend off a plan by The Concurrence to use Prowl’s spark to power a weapon made from animated electrum. The Autobots then restore Prowl to his Binaltech body and Chip to his human body.
The Autobots build a Binaltech body for the Protector while he guides them to create the “Timaeus Project” which creates the substance known as Alternium. Arcee completes the project but is unable to stop the Decepticons from kidnapping the Protector. It’s part of Nemesis Prime’s plan to create a synthetic Matrix. It’s created by removing human consciousnesses from their bodies. The Autobots are able to intervene and stop the plan. The Protector then merges with Optimus Prime giving him the added strength to defeat Nemesis Prime.