Optimus rolls out to fight for his homeworld.
GIF: Bumblebee

Itā€™s not quite true Gen 1. Itā€™s definitely not Bayhem-induced visual noise. But itā€™s an interesting marriage that really, really works.

A new featurette for Bumblebeeā€”focusing on the filmsā€™ nostalgic nods to the classic Transformers designs, as well as its ā€˜80s settingā€”just dropped, with plenty of little snippets of new footage.

But it gives us a lot more than just John Cena waxing lyrical about his vivid memories of transforming his toys. Outside of the context of a few brief scenes flashed in trailers of action on the Transformersā€™ homeworld of Cybertron, it gives us our clearest look at the filmā€™s take on the classic design of Optimus Prime:

Lookinā€™ good, Mr. Prime.
Image: Paramount

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And god, itā€™s just incredibly goodā€”and I say that as a child of the ā€˜90s, who didnā€™t really have the nostalgic context of the beloved animated Transformers cartoon growing up (my giant robot childhood was of the more Mobile Suit variety, honestly). Itā€™s not really, as much as the team behind Bumblebee would like you to assume, just the first generation Optimus design made new. It obviously borrows a heavy amount of inspiration, with its clean lines, chunky shapes, and bright colors, and the head section in particular is pretty much spot on. But beneath the chunky panels thereā€™s a tone of cool, enhanced details that fall more in line with the mechanical details of the Transformers reboot films, showing all the buzzing and whirring little connections that make these robots in disguise tick.

It keeps that mechanical intricacy that made at least aspects of the reboot designs look really out there and alien, without sacrificing the iconic silhouette of the characters that fans know and love. Which also means that even in the darkly-lit action scenes on Cybertron, you can pick out Optimus in the middle of an all-out Transformer-on-Transformer war really easily...and when you do, he looks pretty damn awesome.

Bumblebee transforms and rolls out into theaters December 21.


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