As this series was done in a way to honor heroes after the Captain America retcon which Marvel had made the mistake of approving, I wanted to bring up a character who is in every single way the moral equivalent to Captain America– and he himself even sports the red white and blue colors. Transformers is a very big staple in the pop-culture scene and is perhaps behind Marvel, DC Comics, and Star Wars as one of the most popular franchises around.
Like Godzilla, Optimus Prime has many different origin stories and all of them are equally true– not counting the Shattered Glass version of Optimus of course, as that version of Prime is a villain. But most of them are largely the same, in that Optimus Prime used to be a Cybertronian by the name of Orion Pax. The version of Optimus Prime I will be talking about is the G1 Optimus Prime, and while there are many G1 continuities out there… I will be talking about the Cartoon G1 continuity as I am familiar with that version of Optimus Prime– since this was the version I grew up with.
Optimus Prime didn’t always live his life as Optimus Prime, at one point he was known as Orion Pax, a dock worker, with a girlfriend named Ariel. Orion Pax lived during a time of strife on Cybertron and he had learned of a new type of Cybertronian that had the ability of flight– this lead to Orion Pax idolizing them for abilities. Ariel, wasn’t so sure as she had heard rumors of the leader of these flying Cybertronians perpetrating an attack on a city. One fateful day, Orion Pax and his best friend, Dion, had been approached by the leader of these flying robots– Megatron. Megatron claimed that he was looking for a place for storage, to keep his wares. Orion showed Megatron the docks, explaining that these warehouses were there to store energy.
Megatron tricked Orion Pax, and initiated his Decepticons to attack and steal all of the energy reserves. Orion took a shot to the shoulder from Megatron, and Ariel had come to his defense, but was sustaining damage after taking a shot from Megatron’s fusion cannon. Enraged, Orion lunged at Megatron but was heavily damaged after taking another shot. As Megatron and his Decepticons were left to pillage the warehouses, Orion and Ariel were gathered by a group of Autobots, the Aerialbots and were taken to someone in hopes that they could repair them. They were taken to Alpha Trion, a Cybertronian blacksmith who had developed a new reconstruction process. Orion Pax was rebuilt with battle ready upgrades to fight on even footing with the Decepticons, and was given the Autobot Matrix of leadership… and thus Orion Pax was reborn was Optimus Prime, and Ariel was reborn as Elita One.
It was soon there after that Optimus returned to the warehouses he once worked at as Orion Pax, and soon confronted Megatron– and thus began the legendary conflicts between Autobot and Decepticon leaders. The Cybertronian wars would continue on for millions of years, even extending to Earth when the Ark was hijacked by the Decepticons and crash landed. The war would not continue until millions of years later into the 1980s, where Optimus would valiantly lead his Autobots against the Decepticons.
Optimus’ most defining moment as a hero would be in the year 2005 in the Autobot City conflict. Many Autobots had been killed in battle, and Optimus realized that Megatron must be stopped… no matter the cost. Optimus would engage in the most grueling battle against Megatron, sacrificing his life to save the remaining Autobots from utter annihilation. In his dying moments, Optimus would pass on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to his second in command, Ultra Magnus, though the chosen one appointed by the Matrix– would be none other than Hot Rod, who would later on become Rodimus Prime.
There is a lot more I could cover about Prime, but I think his origins suits him as to why he was chosen to be a Prime.. and why he is a hero to me. I was introduced to Prime when Transformers: Generation 2 was being marketed by Hasbro and I was blown away by the whole idea of robots being able to transform into vehicles, and these were really G1 re-issues and repaints. And then at the time, the CW (formerly Philly 57 and UPN 57) were airing Transformers G2, which were really G1 episodes with CGI cut-aways.. And then… I watched the 1986 film which… is the film which made millions of fans cry and demand for the return of Prime in later seasons.
To me, Optimus Prime is very much the ideal hero as he often paraphrases: “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings” and he actually does live up to being committed to that phrase. Optimus Prime fights for the well being and best interest of all sentient beings, and even takes diplomatic means to ensure that peace is attained, but when he has to fight, Optimus has no qualms in being on the front lines in the battle field.
In the episode, “Prime Target”, there was even a Cold War allegory present when a British huntsman by the name of Lord Chumley assaults and steals a Russian jet fighter– and the Soviet Union initially blames the United States for this transgression. Optimus stops what could’ve been a war between the two superpowers by participating in Chumley’s hunt as prey, and succeeds in defeating Chumley while returning the jet to the Soviet Union with Chumley tied to the nose of the aircraft. The fact that Prime went out of his way to not just save his Autobots, but two countries from engaging in war is simply admirable.
Optimus is a hero in that he is a leader– a true and bonafide leader. When I hear the word leader, I immediately think of Optimus Prime. He is the leader who makes the noble choices and the hard choices while keeping everyone’s best interest in mind. He also possess the wisdom and intelligence which a leader should have, putting his Autobots and the well being of all sentient life above himself.
Interestingly enough, Peter Cullen, the definitive voice of Optimus Prime, took the personality of his brother who was in the military and used the inspiration which his brother had given him to create the voice and personality of Optimus Prime. Cullen even talks about this frequently when asked about how the voice of Optimus came to be.
To me what makes Optimus one of my heroes is that he is a true leader… a courageous, kind, and very strong leader.
Hi Everyone! This must be pretty strange how long ago this is, but here are some of the pictures from my first ever pax trip! I just want to thank so many people for making this happen. Despite my condition, so many people were willing to help me and so many people were kind to me! Thank you so much. I could go on a whole hour long speech about this, but I have so much to write about.
My siblings have been absolutely the best to me this trip. They, as well as God, made this happen and I’m so thankful for that. I had been worried the whole time about if I was even capable of going, but because of my siblings’ help, as well as their friends’ help, I really made it through. Thank you all.
Now, I want to talk about these lovely photos. @bristlee1 had been so kind enough to take these group photos. She is a lovely person and it was great being able to meet the person behind all those amazing photos here on tumblr. I had been feeling nervous at one point and started tearing up, and she comforted me. It had been one of the nicest gestures a person I had just met had done for me.
As the line started opening, they let the people who had medical badges go up first. The look on people’s faces had been happiness and joy that had really made me happy to be here. To see first hand how much Mark, Jack, and Wade had affected their lives. It felt surreal too, because I was their first hand, seeing it. I felt really happy at that moment. A sort of indescribable happiness that stayed for the whole of that weekend.
My sister and I had wanted to wait until my brother and his company went up so we could all take a picture together. Mark jokingly said something along the lines of “It’s now or never” and it kinda calmed me down. I had thought in my head over and over how I would speak. Would I be nervous? Would I break down and cry? Would I be so tongue tied that I wouldn’t be able to utter a word? It had made my heart race and the line started to move. Then it was my brother’s company’s turn. They had exchanged a lot of silly banter and it was great. They even sung to Mark.
Here is the clip VVVV (NSFW a song about eating butt)
And then it was time for me to go up. I shook with nervous but i got up. My cane felt wobbly and I wasn’t sure what my mind was going to tell me what to do. As the first picture shows, I curled. I was pretty nervous and my body was kinda acting on its own. I remember the first thing I did was say how happy I was, and asked for a group hug, hence the second picture. I remember talking and saying to Jack about how I initially didn’t like him or his videos, and he responded “I understand. I wouldn’t like my videos too” or something along the lines. I didn’t really get to tell him, but It was my little brother that got me to buck up and watch his videos, despite me not liking him initially. I remember I talked to Jack first. My trip had another purpose. Along with meeting them, I wanted to give them something. Something that meant more than the world to me and that would have been better than anything I would have been able to make for them. I was able to speak about it. I remember that moment. My voice became shakey, but I was able to speak. This was so important to me and this is something I need to emphasize.
These people care so much about us.
People can say otherwise, but Mark, Jack, and Wade care so much about us.
The whole time I spoke to them individually, they kept their focus on me and the words I had to say. This made it so real for me, that I had been shocked afterward. They care so much for us and it was truly evident in the way their speech and their action. They looked me straight in the eyes as I spoke. It was overwhelming to be honest, because I was never good with eye contact. I think most of the time I spoke with them, I averted my eyes because I was so nervous. But the were so focused and I thank them for it. They made this whole trip worth it. All the pain that I had to go through and all the insecurities I had about being there. The time I spoke to them made them wash away, even if only for a moment.
I got to talk with them and I remember blurting out that Mark was surprisingly small in person. I corrected myself in saying he was slimmer. He looks so muscular in his videos, but in person, he seemed slimmer. But I did think maybe it was bc I was so big so idk. At this point, my mind whirl winding pretty much. I talked to jack and I talked to Wade last. As I was leaving, he said to me, “See you next pax.” and it made me smile. I told him how my brother made this all possible and he said that my bro was cool. We started to walk off. My brother’s friend helped me as I was walking and my mind was absolutely in a daze. I thanked my bro multiple times, starting to tear up.
It was a very good day.
The next day was when the panel happened. It was pretty nice. They had accommodations for those with medical issues and I have to say that the Pax staff and organizers are absolutely the kindest people I’ve met at a con. NYComiccon was a stark contrast to this, but that’s a conversation for another day. Anyway, Pax enforcers, thank you. You all were very kind to me and friendly. I couldn’t believe it bc it felt like the tension of an employee at an organized event wasn’t there. They were fun to hang around with. They were stern when they needed to be, but they were pretty outgoing and kind.
We filed in first for Mark, Jack, and Wade’s panel. We got to sit pretty close up front, so we had a good view. At the time, my brother was with me. We exchanged funny jokes as they were getting ready for the panel. I tried to snap some photos but my camera wasn’t doing so well in dimly lit places. I did this dumb thing where i flipped up the flash but covered it with my hand so I didn’t blind anyone. The pictures actually came out really nicely. The panel was filled with laughter, heartfelt speeches, and love. Like, their were so many people from different places, and different experiences, but some of us in the crowd were experiencing this for the first time. We felt the love and the cheers and the laughter and the passion.
Around the last 15 minutes, Mark stopped the card game and announced that they were taking questions. He also talked about how their were 6 families from the Make-A-Wish foundation. That was really cool how so many families were their to make their child’s wish come true, and that it was to see them. It made me super happy. Mark said he wanted to give this time to them for them to ask their questions. I thought to myself that I wasn’t going to be able to ask my question at all, but I was sort of ok with that.
I couldn’t remember all the questions, but one girl’s question stood out to me. I was actually really impressed because no one really asks this kind of question.
It was a girl with a flower piece in her hair. She asked
“If there was one wish that you could make with no restrictions, what would it be?”
And she handed the mic back to the enforcer.
Now here’s where this part gets fuzzy. I wasn’t able to hear what the answers were and had to go and watch the stream of it when I got back to NY. Here’s why.
As I looked at the girl, astounded by her question, I looked at the enforcer, and she looked at me. She asked if I had a question.
I was stumped. I waved no, but I guess it was halfheartedly, since she asked again. I motioned for her to come over on my side since the girl who asked the question was in my row, but on the other side.
I told the enforcer that I have a question, but I wasn’t a part of the Make-A-Wish foundation. I wanted to make that clear since I would hate it if their was a big misunderstanding.
She assured me it was okay, and that most of them didn’t have a question anyway. She handed me the mic, and walked away.
I was shocked. I sat there, trying to gather my thoughts. Unlike the day before when I met them, I didn’t have months to really think about it. Or rather, I didn’t dwell on it since I Didn’t give it priority. I became nervous and everything around me seemed to buzz. I was so flustered I had to snap myself back into focus so I could calm myself down and try to hear their answers. Silly me was so zoned, I missed most of it.
Mark went last to answer and when he was done, he motioned to see where the mic was. I was absolutely scared, to be perfectly honest!
I took a deep breath and tried to coherently ask my question.
Now I don’t know if it came out like this, but I was supposed to say,
“Speaking on the topic of branching out and doing new things, do you have new ways of branching out to fans, as well as working with other content creators?”
Now I honestly don’t know if it came out like that but who knows.
They all answered me with lots of zeal. Jack started first, talking about this year was his year for branching out. Wade talked about how he always is happy to work with other youtubers and continues to do so. Mark talked about how he aims to work with people who make him think outside he box, who push him to do above and beyond. He said “Don’t be afraid to be surrounded by those who are smarter than you. Because you have the most room to grow.” or something along the lines.
I think that this Pax taught me a lot of things. Don’t be afrait to reach out and talk to someone. In many contexts, but I was so happy that I did because I talked and met a lot of people and they made me see things that I never would have seen if I stayed home. I’m thankful for that.
I was also able to meet @wiishu and she was absolutely nice to me. We spoke about art, and pax and a bunch of other things. I was so glad because I didn’t want to seem creepy, but I was able to talk to her.
Her eyeliner was too fabulous guys. I hope one day my eyeliner skills are that on point.