- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts breaks tradition by not featuring Decepticons as villains, instead focusing on Unicron and his Terrorcons and Predacons.
- The movie initially had a deleted scene where Optimus Prime fights a Decepticon named Transit, showing his anger and history of hunting down Decepticons.
- While the director wanted a darker tone initially, the decision to remove the Decepticon scene was made based on audience reactions, resulting in a more focused Maximal origin story. The Decepticons should return in Transformers 8 for an engaging conflict.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts initially had a major Decepticons scene — here is why it was deleted from the movie’s final cut. Despite adopting many unique narrative devices, Transformers: Rise of Bests shares many similarities with its predecessors. For instance, at its core, the movie shows how a group of humans and the Autobots gradually start trusting one another to join forces and defeat a common threat. Although the character designs in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts are significantly different from the ones featured in Michael Bay’s movies, Optimus Prime is still the Autobots’ leader.
However, despite these similarities, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts sets itself apart by highlighting how Optimus Prime is still in his early years of leading the Autbots and often struggles to prioritize morally right decisions over his team’s wellbeing. Apart from that, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is also the first movie in the live-action franchise to emphasize so much on Mirage’s character. Unlike all the previous Transformers movies, the seventh installment in the franchise also surprisingly does not include the Decepticons as villains.
Rise of the Beasts Is The First Transformers Movie Without Any Decepticons
Long before Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie introduced the Decepticons in the live-action franchise, highlighting their prowess by featuring a one-sided battle between them and the US military in Qatar. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen marked their return by continuing their hunt for the Matrix of Leadership under the Fallen’s command. By featuring the Decepticons as the primary villains of its storyline, Transformers: Dark of the Moon walked through their plan of reviving Cybertron.
With what followed, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight became the fourth and fifth movies in the franchise to bring back the Decepticons as antagonists. Although 2018’s Bumblebee rebooted the franchise’s story and timeline, it included many Decepticons like Shatter, Dropkick, and Blitzwing. Strangely, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts broke this tradition by only hinting that the War for Cybertron between the Autobots and the Decepticons is still on but not involving any Decepticon characters in its overarching storyline. Instead, it featured Unicron and his Terrorcons and Predacons heralds as the main villains.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Cut An Optimus Prime vs Decepticon Fight Scene
In an interview (via Collider), Transformers: Rise of Beasts‘ director Steven Caple Jr. said that the movie initially had a Decepticons scene. While narrating the details of the additional scene in Transformers 7‘s director’s cut, he recalled how the film had a prologue where Optimus Prime duked it out with a Decepticon named Transit. Frustrated that he and his fellow Autobots are stuck on Earth, Optimus Prime gets infuriated when Transit says that the Decepticons are only on Earth to kill them and Cybertron is already under their rule.
Out of pure spite and Rage, Optimus Prime kills Transit in the deleted Transformers: Rise of the Beasts scene and dumps his body in the Hudson River. This is the moment where the movie reveals how Optimus Prime has been hunting down the Decepticons for years, and Transit was not the first of his kind to get murdered by the enraged Autobot leader. Given how Transformers: Rise of the Beasts portrays a different version of Optimus Prime by putting his anguish towards the War for Cybertron on full display, the deleted opening scene would have been narratively coherent with the rest of the movie.
However, as Steven Caple Jr. explained, people felt it was too dark when they first screened Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Although the director wanted to create a relatively darker Transformers film, he realized that the audience reaction during the screening was justified. As a result, he started focusing more on including a Maximal origin story in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ prologue, which eventually made it to the movie’s final theatrical cut. Although the time travel elements of the Beast Wars mythology had to be simplified for the film, the opening Maximals origin story lightened Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ overall tone.
Why The Decepticons Need To Return In Transformers 8
Towards Transformers: Rise of the Beasts ending, not only did the Autobots stop Unicron from consuming Earth but also destroyed his army. Scourge, too, met his doom when Optimus Prime brutally decapitated him after chopping off his arms. While Unicron could remain the franchise’s overarching antagonist in the upcoming Transformers sequels, the planet eater will need a new set of minions to overpower the Autobots and successfully consume the energon-rich Earth. Since the Decepticons have already proven their worth by winning the War for Cybertron, it would make sense for Unicron to join forces with them.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts dropped several references to the brewing war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, setting the stage for an all-out battle between the two forces. If the Decepticons do not return in Transformers 8, the sequel might disappoint audiences since both Bumblebee and Transformers 7 have paved the way for their arrival on Earth. Not to mention, given how the Autobots will likely have the Maximals and even the G.I. Joe on their side after Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ ending twist, Transformers 8 needs to have an equally formidable enemy like the Decepticons to create an engaging conflict between the franchise’s good and evil forces.