Last week a new Decepticon force led by Deathsaurus, who come from something called “The Death Zone” emerged with a plan to attack Earth and steal its energy. Death Zone. Sounds like serious business. However, he sent a really incompetent group of Decepticons called the Dinoforce. They trashed a space station and a lunar base, but they were run off by the newly voted-in “Supreme Commander” Star Saber. It’s a lot of new faces, but if you’ve ever watched Transformers before, this really brings things back to that status quo of bad guys trying to steal Earth’s resources and good guys defending it. But a lot of the action seems to take place in outer space now. Anyway, let’s catch up with the Autobots, who have to deal with the surviving astronauts that just want to get home now, please.
Apparently, the Autobots keep a base near the moon. Follow me on this one, because there’s three levels to it and they all share a similar name. There’s an orbiting platform called Galaxy Base. It has four cargo bays on arms and a central base area. In that central base area is Shuttle Base. That’s kind of the headquarters for the Autobots. A big component of Shuttle base is Galaxy Shuttle, an actual Transformer. He’s essentially a big old space shuttle and turns into a big robot. Kind of like Astrotrain if you remember him but he stays big as a robot and also has no personality. Anyway, the displaced astronauts from Earth’s lunar base are lounging around on Galaxy Base waiting to get home. Oh, and they all seem to have brought business casual clothing when they evacuated because there are no astronaut suits or exo-suits to be found.
Getting the people back home seems to be low on the priority list because we immediately cut to Autobot Stakeout playing videogames with his human friend, Jean. Last week I used Stakeout’s Japanese name, Holi, in the description, but this episode uses Stakeout in the subtitles so that’s who he is from now on. He’s a little police car guy. He and Jean have a friendly but antagonistic relationship. Honestly, if you treated your friend like these guys treat each other, you wouldn’t have friends for long. Stakeout apparently built Jean a videogame that looks and plays a lot like the Atari 2600 game “Space Invaders.” Odd, since this is explicitly set in the year 2025.
Jean is really into the game, though. So either he grew up without videogames (totally possible, since he seems to have been raised by the Autobots) or he’s developmentally disabled (equally plausible because he does not seem to exhibit much intelligence). Apparently, him playing videogames was important enough to waste the first few minutes of this episode. But just so you know, this is total filler. It’s not like Jean picks up a controller in the third act and uses his new skills to fight the Decepticons.
Finally, we get to some decision makers. Star Saber tells Multiforce members Dashtacker and Machtackle to help escort the humans to Earth, since they don’t know when the Decepticons could pop up next. Dashtacker is really worried that their third and final member, Wingwaver, will be left behind because he’s over on Planet V right now. Ugh, more explaining. Okay, so basically some Autobots also defend Planet V. It’s a lot like Earth, but somewhere out there in space. Even though they have teleportation technology, Star Saber calls him up and has him fly between the planets. It doesn’t make sense, but they do this all the time. Sometimes Transformers need a space shuttle, sometimes they can teleport. Sometimes they just fly through space. Don’t worry, Machtackle teases Dashtacker for thinking Wingwaver would be left behind.
Galaxy Shuttle chuckles at this. It isn’t really that funny, but I guess when you’re a space shuttle with nothing much to do, you try to join in where you can. For this, Dashtacker flips out and tells him not to laugh. A real band of brothers, these guys.
Wingwaver gets the Facetime call from his boss and is really excited that he doesn’t have to hang around boring old Planet V anymore. Pal, you’re a soldier. Stop complaining about not having interesting jobs and just make yourself useful!
Star Saber must not be used to these Multiforce guys because he’s a bit stunned at Wingwaver’s reaction. I am, too. If you need some excitement, visit the holodeck or Risa or whatever Autobots do for fun. Probably design Atari games for humans, I guess.
We then cut to The Thunder Arrow. What’s that? It’s the name of the Decepticons’ spaceship and acts as their base of operations. Gotta say, it’s not a very interesting design. Megatron and Galvatron have had big, exotic, purple spaceships, whole planets like Chaar or Cybertron. Even Devil Z kept a cool underwater fortress. But Deathsaurus flies around in a spaceship that could very easily be mistaken for a NASA shuttle. Anyway, he’s hanging out there to give his troops orders.
I could almost call that his “troop” because this guy does not have many soldiers on his roster. Last week we met the Dinoforce, a bunch of Pretenders that look like dinosaurs who wear cyborg pieces. In other words, very unlikely to “pretend” to blend in anywhere. Robots in disguise these guys are not. But Deathsaurus also has his number 2 guy, Leozack, there this time. He doesn’t do much this episode other than act as the go between for Deathsaurus and the Dinoforce, even though the Dinoforce leader, Goryu, is also standing right there. Deathsaurus points out his plan – he wants energy and Earth offers the resources he wants. I swear, the Decepticons should really consider flying to a planet like Mercury which probably has plenty of energy they could harvest from volcanoes without worrying about the Autobots fighting them.
Leozack announces the plan he’s come up with for Deathsaurus: Leozack himself will attack Star Saber while the Dinoforce creates a distraction by assaulting the Galaxy Base. Leozack may seem kind of brave here, but he’s actually kind of in the Starscream mold. He wants to prove that he’s the one that should be leading the Decepticons. He even transforms into a fighter jet, a F-14 Tomcat.
Goryu wants a cooler job, but when Deathsaurs asks if he has a problem he backs down pretty fast. The show does not want us to take these guys seriously. In the next scene, Goryu has to wake up his team because they’re all taking a nap. Like robots do.
As the Dinoforce flies off to attack Galaxy Base, they bump into Wingwaver, who is on his way there as well. Because outer space is the kind of small area where things like that happen. Wingwaver “presumes” the Dinoforce are Decepticons. Great guess, Genius. He announces to them that he is the leader of the Multiforce as though that’s supposed to impress them.
Not only does it not impress them, Goryu asks what kind of a “waver” he is again? Then he calls him a punk. And then all 6 guys start beating up on Wingwaver.
We also get a “hilarious” bit of comedy as Kakuryu flies in first and causes some confusion. For his mistake he gets clubbed right in his learning-impaired head by his boss. That’s not gonna help his processing power at all.
Oh, and Wingwaver defends himself by using his Multiforce gimmick of splitting into a jet and a boat. Did you think that a boat wouldn’t be useful in outer space? Wrong! It flies around and shoots lasers as good as a jet because of course it does.
Meanwhile, back at Galaxy Base, Dashtacker and Macktackle drop in on the Brainmasters to see what they’re up to. Laster is apparently the “smart one” and has invented something he calls the “Flasher.” You can have two guesses what it does and the perverted guess doesn’t count. Yup, he’s invented a really bright light. Dashtacker asks what it does and Laster hands it to him and tells him what to do. It goes off.
Dashtacker is surprised that the Flasher blinded him. But once his vision clears he thinks it’s pretty cool and asks if he can have it. Since he was the guinea pig, Laster says it’s his. He probably also could have just said what it did, but that probably wouldn’t have been as much fun. I can’t wait until Laster invents a taser.
Jean is really impressed by the Flasher and says that Laster is the Autobots’ number one technician. That just makes me miss dudes like Wheeljack and Perceptor who at least had personalities. So far none of these guys have distinguished themselves except for Stakeout who has an adversarial one-upsmanship relationship with Jean. The rest of the Autobots are very interchangeable.
Speaking of Stakeout, he pops in to let everyone know Wingwaver is being attacked by the Dinoforce. And he’s really freaking out about it. So I guess he also cares about his fellow troops. One more personality point to his charisma stats.
The Multiforce dudes want to go help their teammate, but the Brainmasters shut that down. They point out that the Multiforce guys are “rookies” and they should just sit back and watch what Brainmasters do in a fight. It’s very condescending, really. And it makes me wonder what everyone’s history is that some of these guys who are all new to us are experts and others are newbies. But the show will never explain any of that, so there’s your fanfic material. Go nuts.
The Brainmasters show up right away and all that’s happened to Wingwaver is that his arm hurts a little. Not too bad for one on six! Laster, Blacker and Braver tell Wingwaver to continue on his way to Galaxy Base while the three of them taken on the Dinoforce. It’s about as sensible as Transformers ever gets, so I really can’t be snarky about that. It hurts me.
What follows is a pretty generic battle with the one exception being Goryu whispering an unheard plan to his Pretender shell. Every Transformer this season has at least two parts. Pretenders, Multiforce, Breastforce, Brainmasters. Who knows what’s controlling what or how it all works. The toy is a bit too gimmick heavy, and the show is doing everything it can to keep the story straightforward.
The Dinoforce shells separate and the robots continue battling the Brainmasters while their shells fly off somewhere else. Oh, and Kakuryu cries when Goryu yells at him some more. There are four other Dinoforce members, but they haven’t had any lines or been given names yet. Honestly, be grateful. It means less names to remember.
At a certain point, the Autobots point out to their leader that the Brainmasters are still outnumbered two to one and maybe they should offer them a little more backup. Star Saber may not be as slow as decision maker as Cerebro was, but he’s close. He ultimately decides he himself will go help them since he’s a Brainmaster, too. This probably would have all gone a lot faster if he’d just let the other two Multiforce also go along originally. Then it’s six on six. I guess you could argue that Star Saber places more importance on keeping the people at the base safe. Stupid people. Oh wait. I’m a people.
The Multiforce are, for the most part, happy to be reunited. They spout a bunch of exposition explaining what we literally see happening. It’s like Stan Lee wandered in and decided to narrate their lives.
Meanwhile, the Dinoforce reveals a new ability you’d never be able to guess unless you read the episode’s title – they are also a combiner and they merge to form Dinoking. He’s pretty cool looking although Goryu probably oversells it when he says that Dinoking has “limitless” power. That’s just asking to be taken down a peg or two!
In fact, not even Jean is very impressed by this development. He calls Dinoking nothing but a big robot. Ouch, Jean. You’re standing right next to a bunch of big robots. Star Saber decides he should really get going now.
As soon as Star Saber leaves, the Dinoforce’s Pretender shells fly up to the Galaxy Base. That was Goryu’s uber-secret plan! They begin trashing the base while the Multiforce and Jean and Stakeout each man one of the cargo bays’ defensive lasers. Things are heating up.
The Brainmasters don’t really intimidate Dinoking. In fact, he aggressively suggests they “swallow this.” It’s not quite “eat this” as far as insults go, but it’s very close. At least I think it’s supposed to be tough talk. It would be very strange if he suddenly wanted sex instead of battle. I’m sure he meant something in terms of battle. Yeah. Pretty sure.
The Dinoforce isn’t really held back by the Galaxy Base’s defensive lasers and eventually begin breaking through the base and really tearing it up. They punch through the hull like Kool Aid man on a hot summer’s day.
The Autobots have the people get into the Galaxy Shuttle because the base has had it. Wingwaver and the rest of the Multiforce hold the Decepticons back, although Stakeout and Jean’s cargo bay loses its integrity and they’re blown out into space. While Jean was sitting around in his clothes that he never changes in the first scene, he is in an exo-suit when he flies into space. So… I dunno, just don’t worry about them.
Star Saber finally flies up to the fight with Dinoking and sends all the Brainmasters back to the base. Lots of back and forth. Sometimes I think the Transformers would be happiest just playing a game of musical chairs for the right to control the galaxy.
And then Star Saber transforms from his big jet mode. But he does NOT transform all the way into his ultimate robot form. Instead the the Brainmaster part of the jet turns into a robot which in turn becomes the chest and face of his middle robot form. The back half of his jet doesn’t change much. You’ll see in a sec. Leozack is really blown away by this mode but Deathsaurus is thoroughly unimpressed. I’m with Deathsaurus.
Because this mode is basically just a dude in a hunk of nothing. He flies it around like it’s a go-kart or an old timey biplane. It doesn’t destroy Dinoking, that’s the important part.
The people all get into Galaxy Shuttle, which detaches from Galaxy Base which is pretty much ruined. They’re really scared of the Decepticons. Not scared enough to unfold their arms or anything, but they certainly are not going to give this experience a good review on Yelp.
Along the way, Machtackle uses the Flasher on the Dinoforce, blinding them. He’s glad it came in handy. So glad he uses Chekov’s rarely used dramatic rule: if you see a gun on a shelf in the first act, it must be not only used but commented on how you just used it by the final act. He’s real happy about it despite the fact that their entire base is a lost cause at this point.
So the Shuttle Base detaches to take the humans back to Earth. But the Galaxy Shuttle? The part that looks like it would take them back instead of the glorified launching pad? It transforms into a robot and blows the Dinoforce shells away with his feet. Because his rear jets end up on his feet. The Dinoforce shells get blown away through the vacuum of space.
And Dinoking? He doesn’t fare any better. Star Saber realizes there’s not much time left this episode and stops dicking around. He transforms, pulls out his lightsabre sword thing and slashes Dinoking across the chest. He first tells him that if his sword can’t forgive evil but if he can survive it, he should. Ok? Dinoking takes the hit and separates into his six Dinoforce components as he tumbles away into the distance.
And that’s that. Oh, also the Multiforce and Stakeout have apparently never seen Earth even though they have secondary modes based on Earth vehicles. Because when they look at Earth they act like it’s brand new. I thought Star Saber just told them all that Earth is beautiful last episode that ended with them all looking down at the planet. Do these guys wipe their memory every day or something?
Okay, even though the episode is over, I want to share a piece of the closing credits song with you. It’s pretty weird.
It mostly has Jean dancing with Stakeout but also has Chibi versions of Star Saber asking if he was bad as a kid, by doing stuff like stealing fruit? Cut to adult Star Saber shaking his head “no.”
Did Star Saber WET HIS BED when he WAS A KID? Star Saber again shakes his head no.
But was he once, in fact, a kid? Star Saber nods his head “yes.” So there you have it. Transformers apparently are kids that grow up. Mind. Blown.