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Headscratchers / Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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  • Why destroy the pillars and hence blow up Cybertron? It doesn't seem to serve any purpose once Fridge Logic kicks in. Apparently Sentinel had some sort of plan to deal with the gravity effects of warping a whole planet into orbit (or else he's a staggeringly incompetent moron who doesn't understand basic physics, which he doesn't appear to be). That being the case, there's no reason to actually take out the pillars and destroy Cybertron. If Optimus succeeded in killing Sentinel (and Megatron), the Decepticons would be pretty hosed anyway, and having Cybertron around could be useful, if only to recover metal and relics from. On a more optimistic note Optimus might be able to swing a less horrible version of Sentinel's plan by trading resources and technology to hire humans to fix the place. If Optimus lost, wiping out Cybertron would leave humanity ruled by Decepticons, after mankind had outlived their usefulness. There seems to be no scenario where an intact Cybertron isn't a better option.
    • Physics. Having a giant planet next door to us would wreck havoc with our gravity and thus our environment, hence (if memory serves) why the planet never fully arrived in the first place. Its probably a crucial part of Sentinels' plan that this would happen as well- once our ecosystem is utterly wrecked, our military forces will be crippled along with everything else and it will be easier to enslave the humans still alive.



  • Why is it that Decepticons take prisoners (who were apparently not automatically slated for execution, as Soundwave had to be convinced to do this) and the Autobots just execute defeated combatants even if they plead for mercy?
    • You must have missed the part where the 'Cons were going to execute them. And, indeed, did kill one. By shooting him in the head and then ripping him apart so... yeah.
    • Sentinel Prime appeared to be the one giving the orders in this case, up until they were told outright by the human traitor to just kill the Autobot prisoners, at which point they shrugged and agreed.
    • So Sentinel Prime gave them orders to take the Autobots alive if possible and Dylan was the one that convinced the Decepticons otherwise? Does that mean Starscream's attack on the shuttle was not part of Sentinel's plan?
    • Dylan convinced them to kill the Autobots who had surrendered during the battle. The shuttle destruction happened well before that.
    • What I was getting at was I was unclear just how much of a traitor Sentinel really was. If he killed Ironhide because he was in the way and planned to kill the rest of the Autobots during the shuttle launch to prevent further loss of Cybertronian life when they fought back. Or if he just wanted them gone but wanted the Autobots to live and thus wasn't informed of Starscream's attack. Which would then explain why he ordered the Autobots taken alive rather than killing them as soon as they were caught. Did Sentinel know they were alive when they were captured or was he too busy with the Space Bridge to be told of such things?
    • Going by the novels and comics extra explaination Sentinel ordered the attack on the shuttle but expected Optimus and co to find a way to survive anyway. His reaction when he finds out they live isn't shock like Megatron but basically "I figured they would have" He was only dissapointed they attacked, possibly hoping they'd lay low and let his plan carry out without interfering, or joining him in it.
    • Sentinel thinks Transformers are like gods and wants to restore the race to what it once was. Decepticons aren't exactly the honorable type to rebuild the species. Chances are, when he found out some Autobots were captured, he wanted them kept alive in order to try, one last time, to make some of them see his side and do a Face–Heel Turn.
    • Sentinel Prime is the only character that had 'surrendered' before getting killed by the Autobots, and he had never extended any sort of courtesy to humans or Transformer alike. The moment you commit to a cause that results in the genocide of an entire planet, it's laughable to think anyone should see the other side as a monster for killing you.
    • Sentinel never had any plans for genocide. I don't know where you got that from. He clearly wants the 6 billion humans alive and healthy enough to be slaves. The Chicago massacre is supposed to break humanity's will, not part of a larger extermination effort. Furthermore, he spares Optimus' life in their first battle, so while he doesn't seem to care for humans he does show mercy to Autobots. And I'm not saying that Sentinel didn't deserve to die for what he did, but surely the Autobots have such a thing as due process. It was something you'd expect from Dirty Harry, not Optimus Prime. And especially when you consider how upset he was at the death of his "brother" Megatron in the first movie, his cavalier attitude in executing Sentinel seems particularly jarring.
    • Oh bollocks. He set into motion plans that would result in countless deaths, had no issue with his subordinates killing everything in sight and was an active combatant who had already maimed and crippled his opponent. Let's not turn this into Tai-Lung esque pity fest where people demonise the Autobots, christ.
    • Yeah, enslaving six billion humans isn't any better than committing genocide, so that hardly gets him off the hook. And whether he "planned" it or not, did you miss the bit where the Decepticons ostensibly under his command were just plain murdering every human they came across in the city?
    • Killing some humans—or even a lot of humans—is not the same as killing all humans. And while people can debate whether slavery or genocide is worse until they're blue in the face, the fact remains that they are two different things. And since Godwin's Law doesn't apply when talking about what to do with people who played an active role in slavery and mass murder, the Nazis got trials so why shouldn't Sentinel? His plan was foiled, he was beaten and pleading for mercy, there was no need to kill him right then and there. I don't intend to demonize the Autobots, but perhaps I am too much of a G1'er in my heart to really accept a Darker and Edgier Optimus Prime.
    • The Nazis got trials because they weren't enormous killer machine life forms threatening the entire planet after they had already crippled individuals equal, if not moreso, powerful than they are. Comparing this to any real world situation is absolutely ridiculous.
    • I missed the memo where fiction can't be compared to reality, and upon reading most of the Headscratchers here I suspect most of the tropers did too. But if you'd rather compare fictional examples, let's try Star Wars: was it wrong for Anakin to execute Dooku? The movie implies that it is and yet Dooku's role in the Clone Wars must have killed more people and ravaged more worlds than what happened in Dark of The Moon. In either case, I don't see what Sentinel being a Transformer has to do with not being tried. I can't imagine how Optimus would have decided, "Sentinel is a robot, he doesn't get a trial!"
    • Also, G1 Optimus wasn't really all that understanding either, especially toward Decepticons. In one episode, his first reaction on being told the Decepticons were being mangled by a giant cat alien was "Good!" rather than a probably-expected Enemy Mine.
    • You don't have to kill an entire race to be guilty of genocide; simply killing part of a race is enough, and in fact even non-lethal attempts to destroy a race or ethnic group (eg. stealing their children, forcefully integrating them into another group etc.). This is the legal definition of genocide- so yes, killing a lot of humans, especially as part of a conspiracy to break them as an organized species, absolutely constitutes genocide. Indeed, conspiracy to commit genocide actually legally counts as genocide, so Sentinel and the Decepticons were guilty the moment they even just tried to do that, even before they actually killed anyone. Its all right here.
    • It's one thing to be glad your enemies are getting the crap kicked out of them, it's another when an Autobot (traitor though he may be) is begging for his life and is executed by his former pupil.
    • Alright then, let's look at the original movie. You know, the bit right at the beginning where Megatron is begging for his life and Optimus would have executed him right then and there if Hotrod hadn't gotten in the way? Hell, remember the themesong? "Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons," as I recall. Not stop, not defeat, destroy them. The Autobots want to wipe the buggers out, even in the original show. Sentinel Prime might have started as an Autobot, but he threw in with the Decepticons, and was a traitor. And had been ready to execute Optimus just moments before.

      Added to that, this version of Prime's lines when they begin the battle in Chicago are "Today, we take the battle to them," and "We will kill them all." He states his intentions pretty clearly, he's had enough of this Decepticon bullshit, and he's not gonna let any of those mofos get away with their lives if he can help it.
    • Also You have to remember who sentinel was. Sentinal was Prime's mentor, who he seemed to trust almost to the point of a father figuire. He is the one who taught Optimus the Catchphrase "Freedom is the Right of All Sentient Beings". Sentinel's betrayal is a major blow. In just about any other story I have ever heard of, a betrayal like that would have sent the protagonist into rut of self-doubt and depression. Of course, since we are discussing Optimus Prime, the avatar of robo-badassedness, it just makes him REALLY pissed, enough so that he might be a teensy bit less fair to Sentinel.


  • If the Decepticons have been on the Moon since the 60s, why did they wait another 50 years before coming to attack Earth instead of striking when our technology was less advanced? And why did they need a space bridge to get from the Moon to Earth when the tactic of arriving through the atmosphere in protoforms seemed to be a pretty effective tactic in the first two films?
    • The Decepticons appeared to be mostly dormant and looking for Megatron, waiting for him to give them the go-ahead to launch the more complex plans. There's also no outright indication that the Decepticons had always been there; for all we know they landed a few days before the events of the film began. As for using the light bridges, the intro to the movie notes that the human armies were maintaining a careful watch across the globe with energon detectors and long-range scanners to keep an eye out for incoming Decepticons. Any obvious Decepticon landing via the usual method would be met with immediate Autobot/NEST/local military counterstrikes.
    • All of the Decpeticons there were mooks who, if you've ever seen a Transformers series with mooks, are easily killed by Autobots.

    Sentinel and the Matrix 

  • If Sentinel Prime had already made a pact with the Decepticons to betray the Autobots, why did he refuse to take the Matrix when Optimus Prime offered it to him? Seems like being able to bring soldiers back to life would have come in handy. Plus if he had accepted taking command like Optimus suggested he could have spared Ironhide by having told him to go on patrol or something earlier in the day.
    • Implications are that he let Prime keep the Matrix because if Prime was in charge, he would accept his apparent failure in trust and command more absolutely and thus choose to leave Earth more easily. It was a Batman Gambit, and it seemed to work.
    • Also, the Matrix only activates for a true leader. Sentinel had already prepared his betrayal, so it would have clued Optimus in when it didn't work.
    • Actually I don't see how the matrix wouldn't have worked for Sentinel. In ROTF, right after Optimus was revived with the Matrix of Leadership, The Fallen quickly snatches it and uses it to activate the Sun harvester. Plus, The Fallen was a prime and an evil one at that. So why should it be different for Sentinel?
    • It's different for Sentinel because he still believes that only the worthy and "true leader" should wield the Matrix. Even though he's ending the war, he still did it by betraying the Autobots, making him unworthy of it (in his own opinion).
    • And if Sentinel had took the Matrix and accepted command of the Autobots, much of the horror could of have been avoided. The way I see it, if The Leaders of two warring sides had come to mutual agreement and understanding, the war is pretty much over.
    • Except the plan the leaders had would have resulted in the destruction of the human race. The Autobots would probably have mutinied rather than allow that.
    • I think Sentinel still cares for Optimus, and hopes that Optimus will join him when the plan is completed. (Why else would Sentinel hold back from killing Optimus the first time they fought?) Giving Optimus the Matrix was a way of expressing trust and care. (Though the other listed reasons might have played a role, too.)
    • It's also possible Sentinel was still thinking about whether he wanted to follow through with the betrayal. He seemed to have some appreciation for the beauty of Earth at least in that scene and if the humans willingly became subordinate to the Autobots he might have worked with them. It wasn't until getting fed up with the human government treating the Autobots as an inconvienence and disrespecting them (when he believed the humans to be their inferiors) and Optimus allowing the Autobots to be pushed around, that he decided to go with the plan, at which point it was too late to demand leadership.

    Optimus and Cybertron 

  • Why does Optimus Prime not care about Cybertron or Transformer life at all? At the end of the film he guarantees the at least partial destruction of Cybertron when the Autobots destroy the Space Bridge. Is Cybertron populated exclusively by Decepticons at this point? The entire thing is made even more jarring when you look at how G1 Optimus handled this exact same dilemma:
    Megatron: If you don't [finish activating the Space Bridge] you will be responsible for Cybertron's destruction!
    Optimus: Destruction? But there are still many inhabitants—friends—on Cybertron...Very well, Megatron. You win.
Did Optimus just decide to save the most lives and calculated the population of Cybertron as less than Earth and just sided with Earth, or what? I'm bugged by the fact that an 80s kid's show addressed the moral quandary of that choice more than a big budget film (yes, even a Michael Bay one).
  • Its established Cybertron is a DEAD world. Most people assume a DEAD world has only DEAD things on it because it is DEAD.
  • Is there any life left on Cybertron at this point? From what the planet showed when it was being teleported in, the planet was dead, with no lifeforms at all on the surface. Besides, if there was anything left on the planet, it would doubtless be Decepticon, considering the Decepticons won the war. And at this point, Optimus seems to have been given up on reviving Cybertron, after the Allspark was consumed and destroyed; the only way that the species is going to be continued is through Megtron's breeding/creation/construction/whatever program. There's also some indication that Optimus has effectively given up on his own species, considering that the majority of them have either been killed or turned to the Decepticon side and want to conquer the universe and enslave humanity. Not to mention that Sentinel's betrayal seems to have deeply affected his mental outlook.
  • It's stated a few times that Cybertron is now a dead planet, so who's left to kill? Corpses that are already dead?
  • I think Optimus hasn't given up on his species, since the Matrix can ignite Sparks, apparently providing Energon to do so, so it seems they can repopulate, but he just gave up on reviving Cybertron. And why not? After all, it's a dead world and now they've got Earth to inhabit.

    Everything on Earth 

  • I don't know if it was ever stated outright, but I assumed the Maguffins in the various movies coincidentally were located on or near Earth. But that doesn't seem likely if it happened three times in a row. Let me see if I have the timeline straight: The Fallen randomly shows up on an unremarkable backwater called Earth thousands of years ago and meets humans. He decides then and there he hates them so much he's going to fly back to Cybertron and get the materials and blueprints to build a Harvester here just to kill us (and the added bonus of energon). Around the same time, the Allspark is sent into space in the direction that the Autobots must have known the Decepticons have traveled. A little later the Ark is sent to Earth (no way it randomly crashed right next to the other two artifacts that can determine the future of Cybertron). I guess my question is why was Earth considered so important a destination for Autobots and Decepticons hundreds of thousands of years before we could ever play a part in their conflict?
    • This actually made sense to me... basically, Earth isn't that special, except for the role The Fallen played. When he tried to destroy it, he made it special. In the distant, distant past he came to Earth and was stopped by the other Primes. Simple enough, just chance that he came here. Then the Allspark itself came. Now, the Allspark is implied to be at least somewhat sentient, it would make sense that it came to the ONE planet in the galaxy that already had a Solar Harvester constructed, just in case. The Ark, however, bugged me... until I saw the movie where it's implicitly said that it is transported not just through space, but through time as well (The ship wasn't there in 1959, but was in 1963 according to the Russians, and we saw it land in 1961). The Allspark summoned the Ark (alternatively, the space bridge was meant to home in on the Allspark so it came as close as it could).
    • And here I was thinking that perhaps it was all a massive gambit by Sentinel, after seeing DotM:
      Sentinel's and Megatron's plan was to bring both the Allspark and the space bridge to Earth so Cybertron could be rebuilt with the material and labor resources (which he knows about thanks to the Fallen, and the Allspark can't do it by itself). Sentinel knows the Autobots wouldn't cooperate, and Megatron saw a chance to have absolute dominion over Cybertron, so they worked together in secret. Sentinel sends the Allspark in a "random" direction, tips off Megatron who goes ahead to secure it, then Sentinel the business with the space bridge and Ark, which ensures that each only has half the plan. But Megatron crashes into the arctic, a delay which allowed the Autobots to catch up with the Allspark, and results in the battle that destroys it. Sometime after being revived, Megatron discovered the wreckage of the Ark and figures the whole plan is shot, so he's okay with serving the Fallen and his zany schemes again. Then he sees the power of the Matrix, and after the Fallen gets whacked, Megatron figures that if he can lead Optimus to Sentinel, they still have some chance of success, Allspark or no, and so the third movie is on, with the Decepticons retrieving most of the pillars then waiting for Optimus to take the bait.
    • All of this is partially explained(including why there is such a large Deposit of uncharged energon in Earth) by The last knight, anything Cybertronian is drawn to earth because it is actually Unicron!


    Physics of a planet 

  • How is it that a race of sentient hyper-advanced robots with a mastery of space travel don't seem to understand the repercussions of transporting a giant planet right next to another one? Ignoring the simple problem of WHERE it's going to go (not even half the planet was out and it was significantly larger than earth), the fact that there is now a giant planet hovering over earth is going to wreak massive havoc with both the orbit and the gravity of earth. Rule of Cool it is.
    • Cybertron appears to be mostly lattice work with vastly more empty space than anything else. Despite being physically larger than earth, it's mostly hollow honeycomb-like structure suggests that it may actually be extremely low on actual mass.. This may actually make the huge robots reasonable, if they're used to a low gravity world massive construction and huge sizes make a lot more sense than on a high-gravity world where all that mass will work against them. Granted it's still way too close in the shot but space scenes never take the actual distances involved in space into account.
    • It could be that's exactly what they're counting on. Once again, G1 thought this one out better than Michael Bay.
      Doctor Arkeville: But the gravity of your planet will create earthquakes, tidal waves! It will devastate my planet!
      Megatron: Ah, but that devastation will create a tremendous flow of energy. Energy which [our] slaves will collect into energon cubes. The cubes will then easily be shipped to Cybertron for our use.
    • But that still doesn't explain how two planets occupying almost the same basic area of space are going to manage to maintain a stable orbit. Sure, it explains how the terrible things that happen to earth are actually intentional, but you can't expect a planet as massive as Cybertron to manage to maintain Earth's current orbit. It should either fly off into space or plummet into the sun, most likely taking Earth with it.
    • With the sufficiently-advanced tech that the Autobots/Decepticons regularly use, and the implications that Cybertron is an entirely artificial world (unless planets that appear to be made of latticeworks of metal are natural nowadays) it is entirely possible that Cybertron itself could have maintained a stable orbit with Earth through gravity manipulation. What else we've seen of their tech, including gravity manipulation, teleportation technology, implied time travel, and so on indicates to me that Cybertron could have pulled it off.
    • Compensating for the sudden increase/decrease in mass and gravity to an area caused by the arrival/departure of an object through the Space Bridge must be an integral part of how the device functions. Maybe that's exactly why the Decepticons waited for Sentinel to be reactivated rather than try to set up the pieces themselves. Only he could get the calculations right to prevent something going horribly wrong on either end.

    Decepticons and the gambit 

  • The Decepticons' Evil Plan. Their plan, which they have apparently been working on since the late 60s/early 70s, is to leave Sentinel Prime and 5 of the space bridge pillars in the Ark, so that when the Autobots find them Optimus will reactivate Sentinel Prime with the Matrix and he can operate the space bridge for the Decepticons. The problem of course being: Optimus didn't get the Matrix until Rot F! Nobody even knew it existed until then!
    • When Starscream was talking with Megatron about their plan after Sentinel had pulled his Face Heal Turn, I don't think they specifically mentioned the Matrix. I think they just said they needed Optimus to revive Sentinel. Probably at the time the Decepticons made their original plan, there were other ways to revive a bot in stasis, but from the dialog it sounds like the other ways to revive Sentinel were Autobot specific technology.
    • The plan with Sentinel wasn't a Gambit Roulette. It was a backup plan. Megatron's previous two plans failed, so he's resorting to his backup plan. Ideally, he never would have needed to resort to Sentinel Prime at all; after all, Sentinel is still an Autobot and only an ally of the Decepticons through convenience. He'd rather not rely on him, and lo and behold, Sentinel beats the crap out of Megatron and leaves him by the wayside once he's no longer useful.
    • There is some Fridge Brilliance here: Had Megatron gotten the All Spark in the first movie, he could have used it to awaken Sentinel himself. Without it, he had no way of doing so. So he serves the Fallen and the Matrix, which can awaken Transformers, is uncovered. Plan A is back on track.

    Cybertron at the end 

  • At the end of the movie when Cybertron is blown up, wouldn't the remains of it fall on Earth, exterminating all life or even destroying it (or, sucking in the Earth)?
    • It would, if Cybertron had actually blown up, instead of apparently collapsing back into the portal that it was being teleported to.

    Energon detectors 

  • Why didn't the N.E.S.T. Energon detectors pick up Sam's wristwatch?
    • Either nonsapient animaloids like the watch use small enough amounts of energon to not set off the detectors, or Sam just always sets off the detectors due to all the time spent in proximity to Bumblebee.
    • Or it was mostly in sleep mode at the time.
    • Or it was specifically engineered to emit as little Energon radiation as possible, like a stealth plane has a greatly reduced radar/thermal profile.
    • With energon detectors being triggered by Decepticons all over the planet, its likely they were shut off or ignored for the rest of the film.


  • This has been bothering me ever since I first saw Dot M. There are at least two separate moments where Sentinel Prime says to Optimus "We were gods on Cybertron" or something along those lines. Every time Sentinel said that, I kept wondering...gods of what?!?
    • Well, the Primes specifically seemed to be the ruling class on Cybertron. Plus, he's talking about in comparison to their current status on Earth.
    • Alternatively, he was referring to Movie-verse Minicons or some alien race that worshiped the Primes or Transformers in general. Or maybe he's just off his proverbial rocker and we're not meant to take him seriously.
    • I think he meant the Primes were seen as extremely powerful and important beings, being a dynasty descended from the original primes. I think it was also that he'd lost it and wasn't thinking straight.
    • It's possible he meant Gods in the sense that humans are "Gods" of the planet Earth. Highest on the food chain, civilization spanning the globe, superior technology etc. When Sentinel was in charge Cybertron was one of the greatest planets in the galaxy and the Transformers were dominant species on it with all the perks there of. On Earth they are basically considered by most humans to be high tech war machines, to be rolled out when there's Cons to kill, and confined to military hangars most of the time. Most of the human governments simply want them out of sight and mind except when its convientent so they can go about their day to day human busniess. Combined with the fact that Cybertronians are far superior to humanity as a species, and it's almost understandable why Sentinel is so quick to turn on them.
    • Also, Sentinel's nuts.
    • Let's not forget, these are alien robots. Has anyone considered the possibility that "Gods" is simply the best English translation for whatever Cybertronian word Sentinel meant?


    Sam's job 

  • Sam clearly wants to do something of vital importance, and his area of specialty- and of greatest personal interest and investment- is in working with the Autobots. So, why exactly is he looking for corporate work, rather than enlisting in the army, going through boot camp and basic training, then leveraging his personal history and connections into a transfer to NEST? That way he'd be working a job he's passionate for, enjoys, will be doing anyway, and will this way get proper training and preparation for? Apart from anything else, it'd mean more time with Bumblebee and actual financial compensation for the alien fighting he is, again, going to be doing whether he joins the army or not.
    • Indeed. And worse yet, from the government's position: this is a guy who's in pretty tight with the aliens you're working with, at least a couple of whom LIVE with him, who's been directly involved with saving the world with said aliens, and was well known enough for it for the government to pay for his Ivy League education and the President to award him a medal...and you leave him desperate for employment and idealistically wishing to make a difference in the world again? That's a political and intelligence nightmare just waiting to happen—just put him on the payroll! If for some reason you don't actually trust him with sensitive security matters, just keep him busy moving boxes from one side of the secret warehouse to the other, or detailing Optimus' door art, or doing goodwill tours with one of the useless comic relief autobots in the USO or the Peace Corps. Anything.
    • Yeah but if he signs up for the military he's got no say in where they send him. That and he'd rather not leave his extremely hot girlfriend behind...
    • Girlfriend thing, yeah, but he has far from no say. Apart from anything else, he has the respect General Morshower and Optimus Prime, the latter of whom even considers him a friend, and both of whom would pull strings to make sure he went to NEST if he enlisted, to say nothing of his standing among former sector 7 agents (including the very public Seymour Simmons), Cnl. Lennox, etc. It'd take an incredibly skilled and highly placed conspiracy to get him anywhere besides working with the Autobots- he might end up traveling a lot with NEST, but he WOULD be with NEST for the duration, based in and spending most time in their DC headquarters by the time of TF3.
    • NEST is military (hence why nobody at NEST but Lennox and Epps respected him, as he was a civilian) so to work for them, he'd need to enlist. Of course that's what he should have done in the first place after college. With a degree he'd make officer easily, and his higher up friends can only help him climb in the ranks. Since Carly disaproved of him getting into any danger at all (because her brother was military and died) presumably she'd give him a hard time about it and that's why he didn't do it.
    • The lady in charge of NEST admits she was wrong about Sam, without coercion. He's probably got a job there for the next movie, if in an intel/investigative role; he's a bit...squishy for frontline work. And now that the Cybertronians are out, thanks to Sentinel, he could easily become a celebrity. And they did have him on the payroll, in a sense; they were paying his rent on his rather nice apartment.
    • Here's a thought: Maybe Sam wants to do something important, but he doesn't want to fight. Sam's proven that when the chips are down he can handle himself in a combat situation (and definitely proves it in this movie), but that doesn't mean he wants to actively participate in the fighting part of the war. Sam has never, ever been shown as being enthusiastic about the lasers-and-punches aspect of the Autobots' war, so it makes sense that he'd want to do something important and help the world without actually being involved in the fighting.
    • In which case, why didn't he go for the State Department and diplomatic corps, to formalize his already-bloody-obvious de facto role as ambassador to the Autobots? No fighting, doing what he's basically already been doing but with a salary...
    • Because while that's not fighting it's still being involved in the war. He wanted to have an identity beyond "Sam, that guy who knows the Autobots."
    • ^Precisely. Sam wanted to forge his own identity, instead of constantly being dragged into the Autobot/Decepticon fracas and nearly (once, actually) getting killed. But his time working with the Autobots made him see the world in a different light, and a dead-end cubicle-bound job just wasn't going to satisfy him. And Sam's never really been a physical type, odds are he would have washed out of basic training very quickly. He wants to do something important, he just doesn't have the foggiest idea what that might be, like a lot of people in their mid-twenties with fresh college diplomas who end up asking themselves "okay, now what?"

    Piloted fighters 

  • The Decepticons having piloted fighters bothers me. I can understand the larger transport ship as being something of a energy saving measure, dropping off troops fresh for battle. But the fighters being piloted craft instead of just a bunch of Decepticons sharing a vehicle mode (which the movie had already done) just seems odd. Heck, even if it had been a Headmaster style set-up it would have come across as making more sense, at least to me.
    • Having separate machines probably allows for much greater firepower, armour, etc, without compromising the 'body' of the pilot.
    • Also, if they get shot down, they're not automatically dead. They can jump out and try to fight.
    • A Headmaster type set-up where a smaller unit plugs into a larger combat frame that they can eject from if its too damaged still makes more sense for a race of mechanical life forms than a piloted craft with physically manipulated controls (which is how Wheelie and Brains got the one they 'borrowed' up to the transport ship).
    • We're discussing mechanical life forms, so I think what makes 'more sense' is rather up in the air.
    • Maybe it's like riding on horseback for them. I will agree that having some Head/Target/Powermaster thing would have made it cooler, though.
    • Cooler, yes, but less efficient. There are lots of 'Cons, and they can't all have the same drivers. It's easier and more resource-efficient to build, maintain, and ensure compatibility with mechanically operated systems than it is with some sort of system link.

    Giant worm 

  • What was the giant worm with all the tentacles? It shows up for like two scenes and never gets any explanation. Also, who was the one-eyed robot that rides it and looks like it controls the worm? It doesn't look like either one transforms into anything.
    • The giant worm was Driller, and it's controlled by Shockwave, said one-eyed robot...who Optimus explicitly calls "Shockwave" the first time he shows up.
    • Yeah, I just realized it was Shockwave, but I thought he was in the other movies and had two eyes.
    • Nope, this is his first appearance. You might be thinking of Soundwave, though.
    • Also, Driller is a Cybertronian predator (as identified by Optimus, again in the first scene they appear), apparently it's an apex preadator outside the transformers. Shockwave just demosticated that one.
    • Picture a human riding a tame Great White Shark into battle, and you begin to get a picture of Shockwave's badassitude in this film.


  • If the Autobot shuttle can carry at least 9 transformers and the Matrix can bring dead transformers back to life, why didn't they load the shuttle with all the other dead Autobots in the Ark? They said Sentinel was in some kind of sleep mode, as though he was only "mostly dead" while the others were dead dead and hence why they only brought him back. I'm pretty sure, though, that in Rot F Optimus Prime wasn't just "sleeping" so if they could revive him, why couldn't they revive the others?
    • Most of the other 'bots on the Ark were shown to be more dead than Sentinel (missing parts, shot up, etc...). Maybe the plan was to wake up him first (being a Prime) and, after dealing with the current Decepticon problem, go back up and see if any others could be saved.


  • Sentinel Prime, on the enslavement of humanity to serve Cybertron: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." There are not seven billion Cybertronians. I suppose he could have meant all future inhabitants of the revived planet, and assumed that the humans would die out sooner rather than later... Or did I mishear, and it was actually said the other way around?
    • ...or perhaps he considered humans a non-entity and was a on a power trip, completely ignoring hard fact in favour of rhetoric? I dunno.
    • Well he was speaking directly to Optimus when he said that, wasn't he? Maybe he meant the needs of the many Transformers and Decepticons who intend to revive Cybertron outweigh the needs of the few Autobots who wish to protect humans rather than revive their home planet. As the above troper said, he probably didn't consider humans among the many whose needs were to be considered, what with all that talk about how Transformers used to be gods before their race was destroyed by war.
    • Actor Allusion. Sentinel Prime is voice by Leonard Nimoy, after all.
    • Taking into context, it's probably read thus "The needs of the many Decepticons outweigh the need of the few Autobots Sentinel doesn't see the humans as a factor, because they are not cybertronian, he is like Megatron as he is a Cybertronian Elitist. As the main human villain said we are resources to them nothing more.

    Rail gun 

    • It's still on a ship stationed in the middle of an ocean. There wasn't exactly time to get it to Lake Michigan in time to do any good.

    Proving Decepticons are crazy 

  • During his speech before the battle for Chicago, Optimus explains that the Autobots held back in order to prove to the world that Decepticons are crazy and you can't negotiate with them. So if I'm understanding this right, Optimus let who-knows-how-many-people in Chicago be killed in order to prove a point.
    • No, he said they faked their leaving Earth for that. They landed out somewhere in the pacific ocean and were declared dead. Thus, to get to Chicago without losing the element of suprise, which they seriously needed given the situation, they probably had to move from wherever they came ashore at to Chicago without getting detected, which would take awhile, especially with the Wreckers.
    • Optimus faked leaving because he knew the Decepticons would not keep their promise. Most likely, he thought the Autobots would just stay hidden until they could track down Decepticons. He had no idea where the attack would be (nor its full scope), or else he would have tried to prevent it.

    Cutting down the skyscraper 

  • Why did the Decepticons stop cutting down the skyscraper the group was in? That seemed like a rather fullproof plan.
    • Maybe because Optimus was...I don't know, shooting at the thing, and by the time he was gone the humans had already gotten to safety.


  • When Chicago was taken, planes were shot down moments after they entered the airspace, and the Army had no vision or long-range targeting due to jamming. So what happened to the former when the choppers came in, and what happened to the latter with the Tomahawks?
    • With the former they mention that they ran a decoy operation on the south side of the city while the choppers came in from the north, so the bulk of the air defenses were on the wrong side of the city. As for the latter you see several soldiers with those aiming lasers, which are used to direct the Tomahawks (the same thing they use in the climax of Battle LA).

    Using Autobot technology 

  • Probably the answer to this one is "Because the US Military will not assist you with this movie if you don't", but after Optimus Prime proclaims in ROTF that, in effect, he doesn't want Autobot technology used against non-Decepticon targets, he consents to that same Autobot technology being used against human targets? Even if you take the big leap that an "illegal" nuclear reactor in Iraq is an Acceptable Target, this either makes the Autobots out to be liars or cat's paws.
    • He never said he isn't willing to help them himself, he said he won't give them technology. He's perfectly willing to help... on his terms, where he and his advisors can say no at any time, analyze the situation to see if they approve, and so on. What he doesn't want is to give humans the specs for energy weapons or whatever that we can then use without his input.
    • Exactly, and his reason why is very sound. If the ones who invented the weapons couldn't stop themselves from wiping each other out with them, how can a race thousands of years younger be trusted with them?


  • So here's one. After they escort Sentinel to base they order Ironhide to take him inside. It turns out he's a traitor, and he goes on slowly revealing this for about 30 seconds before shooting Ironhide in the back. Sam and Lennox clearly see where it's heading as you can see the wheels turning in their head as Sentinel talks, but Ironhide just stands there with his back to Sentinel motionless for this whole scene, not reacting to Sentinel saying about how he needs to do something horrible to save their race, nor following the order given to get him inside. Is he having a senior moment? He just stands there waiting Sentinel to shoot him like he knew it was coming and didn't care. That seems really poorly portrayed there.
    • He probably was keeping a lookout for Decepticons, and thought he could trust his former leader.
    • He probably realized it, but never suspected Sentinel would shoot him in the back, as Sentinel used to be an honorable person. And he was probably, as mentioned before, looking for Decepticons, which in his mind would be something to keep on the look out for at the time.
    • I just bought the DVD today, and it doesn't take as long as you seem to recall. The scene played out something like this:
      Sam: We gotta protect Sentinel, he's the key to this all.
      Lennox: Ironhide, guard Sentinel.
      Ironhide: Consider it done.
      Sentinel: [transforms from his altmode] Yes...I am the key to this whole thing. You see, my Autobot brothers, we were never going to win the war. A deal had to be made... *reaches for gun* ...With Megatron. [turns around and shoots Ironhide as soon as he finished talking]


  • In Chicago, they find that one drone and inform home base that we've got to destroy the control pillar, and they give the pillar's location. Why don't the people back at base just shoot a bunch of missiles at the control pillar? The entire planet is at stake here. Eventually they send a few tomahawk missiles, but even then they seem to be targeting deceptions rather than the all-important objective they were earlier informed about. If I were the president, I'd point every weapon in the country at that pillar. (Heck, if it really comes down to it, even a nuke is preferable to the enslavement of the human race and/or the destruction of Earth due to a new planet suddenly showing up.) Surely they're aren't enough Decepticons to shoot down that many missiles all at once. So why didn't they even try? Why leave everything to the infantry?
    • That being said; it is possible that any attempt to fire anything towards the city would be met with resistance in a similar way to the predator drones and what looks like smaller missiles being blown out of the sky in the final battle. This would also explain why the guy with the rocket launcher drops it, to avoid the extra time taken to explain that this is why it wouldnt work.

    Autobots on Earth 

  • Aside from the first film, the sequels and comics are inconsistent as to which Autobots are on Earth. In the first film we have Prime Bee Ratchet Ironhide and Jazz, and Jazz dies. Ok fair enough. In Revenge of the Fallen Optimus mentions new Autobots have arrived and joined NEST, but when the group of all the Autobots are shown only Sideswipe, the Twins and the Arcee sisters are shown as the new arrivals. Yet Jolt later appears out of nowhere. Where'd he come from? In Dark of the Moon the Twins are there at the beginning yet disappear, but when the Autobots leave only 9 are mentioned to be leaving (Prime, Bee, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Mirage, Wheeljack, and the 3 Wreckers). Well what about the twins? They were supposed to die with Ironhide, but they didn't, yet are written into oblvion anyway. Not being specific about 9 Autobots could have fixed this. And this isn't even counting all the Bots in the comic tie ins that aren't in the films. A ton of them were killed in Rising Storm, but a few of them survived, yet weren't in DOTM.

    Carried guns 

  • Not an actual gripe, but something that just bugged me (for once): The sudden change from built-in weapons to everyone carrying their guns in their hands.
    • Prime carries his guns in his hands in both the first and second movie, so it's not a "sudden" change so much.
    • Ironhide and Sideswipe have new handheld guns but that's about it and they've still got their built in weapons too. Bee still uses his built in cannons, and Prime's handheld swords are new weapons. If you look closely you see he still has his flip out swords too as he uses them briefly when charging through the Decepticon forces to Shockwave.
    • Supposedly, like why Bumblebee has his "combat" vehicle mode in this film, is Michael Bay saw some of the tie in toys from ROTF, liked them, and wanted to add what he saw into the film.
    • Or Hasbro insisted new features be added to the Transformers in this film to support a new toy line.

    Attacking Sentinel 

  • So if Megatron was in league with Sentinel, why order an attack on him on the highway? The other cons would seem to not know he was a traitor which means they'd attack him for real, which would cause serious problems if they'd captured him before he got the other pillars from the NEST base, or worse, killed him. Why not just let him return to the base at his leisure and sneak them out? Or if they wanted the attack to draw other Autobots away, so Sentinel could move freely, why not let him get back to base, then start attacking nearby while Sentinel attacks from inside the base? It's not like a few days would have mattered.
    • Among all the Transformers, Authority Equals Asskicking. It takes both Optimus and Megatron to actually take down Sentinel; Megatron probably thought that three grunt Decepticons weren't going to be able to actually kill Sentinel even if they got past his Autobot guards. And hey, you might be able to kill a couple of those pesky 'bots while you're at it.
    • True, but it also risked killing the Dreads, which is what happened. Although with his forces on the moon they were probably expendable. Still a lucky shot could have ruined everything.
    • They needed to make the Autobots think Sentinel was on their side so no one would suspect the truth. Plus, it seemed only Megatron really knew Sentinel was on the Decepticon's side.
    • Fair enough. Although come to think why was Sentinel not at base to begin with? Why the heck is with he with Sam's group? He could have gone with Sam to investigate the Russian's with Sideswipe and Mirage (of course it's also odd why they go with him) but he's not shown with them before, and it doesn't seem likely he'd go and hang out with a human while he tries to make himself do something important. He could have still been out with his drive with Optimus, but that scene seemed to have hours, if not a day before that. And he was last with Optimus in that scene, and at that point Optimus is so far away he misses on both the chase and the aftermath. So Optimus just left him to drive around by himself on a planet he just arrived on/Sentinel went out driving randomly on his own?

    Truck alt-mode 

  • Why did Megatron give up his extremely powerful Cybertronian mode for a crappy truck form?
    • Hiding. Both times previously he's only been on Earth during active campaigns, not needing a disguise. As for why such a crappy disguise... he isn't in the best of health, you'll note; he probably isn't up for being disguised as high-end military hardware at this point.
    • The game adapatation explains this. Megatron's refit after the beating Prime gave him in Fallen, removed any vehicle forms he currently possessed. When the Autobots raided their base (and old Nuclear storage facility) and Megatron needed a alternate mode to escape, tanker trucks were his only option. And he immediately went into hiding, where nothing better was available.
    • Also, the alt-mode doesn't determine how powerful they are. Remember that Optimus Prime's alt mode was an entirely unarmed truck, and he trashed three 'Cons who transformed into some of the best military hardware on two planets.


  • Why was Wheelie still with Sam? I mean, through most of ROTF he practically worshiped Mikaela as his "Warrior Goddess," so why wouldn't he side with her when the relationship between her and Sam went sour?
    • The commute to NEST-Autobot HQ, where he WILL probably want to go in the event an attack or other such situation (or he just needs resources, or to see another Cybertronian besides Brains), is considerably more convenient from Sam's DC flat than Mikaela's, which is probably in another state entirely. Location, location, location.
    • It's also possible Mikaela just wanted nothing to do with Transformers anymore and wouldn't take him.
    • Well, Wheelie was less worshiping and more acting out of fear because the woman burned his eye out with a blowtorch. I dunno about you, but I'd kinda want to stay away from someone who did that to me.
    • Isn't the Matrix pretty much the only thing left that can give the Transformers a ready, lasting supply of Energon by the start of DOTM? I'm no expert in Transformers lore, but if there's no other sources of Energon outside of Optimus' control, then it makes sense to me that Wheelie would want to stay near what is basically the only source of food for his kind.
    • The real world answer, of course, is that in the original script Sam and Mikaela never split up, it being a patch job after Megan Fox was fired.


  • Why did Megatron spend most of the film wearing that hood? I mean, what practical purpose could it possibly serve? Don't say that it acted like a bandage, because it CLEARLY did not. Remember those Cybertronian maggots crawling around in the wound?
    • Pretty sure those things were doing repairs on him, actually. That's what it looked like to me. Anyway, I imagine he wore the hood because he didn't want people to see how badly he was still wounded.
    • Maybe he was self-conscious of his looks.
    • He was probably hiding the wound. Walking around with a massive wound visable in your head with humans trained to combat your kind is a BAD idea.
    • And it looked cool too.
    • The "maggots" clearly look like Scalpel/The Doctor from Revenge of the Fallen, thus they were repairing him.
    • He most likely used it to protect his wound from the elements of the Sahara. Sand in an open wound is seriously painful to humans, after all.


  • How the humans were able to bring the Ark back to earth?
    • ...What? They didn't. Where did you get that idea?
    • The Ark remained on the moon. Components from it were retrieved and brought to Earth in order to be analyzed by Sector Seven (or be misused by the Russians, as Chernobyl demonstrated), but the actual ship was still up on the moon. The ship the Autobots used to leave Earth is the Xantium, the same one they used to get to the moon in the first place.

    Sam and NEST 

  • Why is Sam completely cut off from NEST? He's been a Decepticon target twice now, so it's likely he could be again. You'd think they'd give him a password or something if his life is in danger to tell to the guards so they let him in immediately instead of laughing him off. I mean they already told him where the secret base was anyway. And the guards. I mean I know classified and all that, but if I was guarding a secret facility that contained the only hope against a massive global threat that was also secret and some weird guy showed up procceding to know exactly what was at the base, the names of both commanders and mention the secret threat precisely the way it is..... Well I wouldn't just let him in but I'd certainly check with higher ups about the guy that apparantly knows everything about the base, he could even be a threat. They just laughed him off.
    • Probably just because he's a civilian and don't want him involved. Furthermore, as above has stated earlier, it seems the only people that respect Sam at Nest is the Autobots, Lennox and Epps...the other guys don't know much about Sam and clearly don't care.
    • Sam's also made it pretty clear many times that he wants a regular life. And really, he's been through so much chaos from being with the 'Bots and getting involved with the government, that it isn't much to imagine that he wants to have little to do with them. I feel that it's a nice alternative from the usual convention of the human sidekick always wanting to be involved.

    Fire Truck 

  • One thing I've never understood - how is it that Sentinel can transform into a fire truck? He's never seen scanning one, and as I recall he's already in the right colour scheme and regalia while in stasis aboard the Ark, even though when he crashed he had only just come from Cybertron and, presumably, has never been to Earth before.
    • Him appearing to already have the form before even getting to Earth is either an error, or the staff intentionally not caring about that detail, or alternatively since many of the previous films features on T Fs was changed to be more like G1 in DOTM (space ships instead of comet modes, and handheld weapons instead of built in ones) his alternade mode on Cybertron was just very similar to the fire truck and he looked the same (as were most G1 characters in the first episode). Either way he was presumably provided with the fire truck form by NEST (like the Twins in ROTF) before he went out on his drive with Optimus.
    • Having watched the DVD in better quality his form on the moon is apparantly just whatever he looked like on Cybertron. You'd need to look very very close to see this but he some Rosenbauer (the company that his truck mode is licensed from) emblems on him, and has "07" on his kneecaps, but only after his inital scenes. He first sports them during his chat with Optimus in the outback.
    • Would've been nice to see that. In the first film, they made it a point to show that the Autobots scanned nearby vehicles for camouflage, and showing Sentinel scan a fire truck could be done in a small amount of time and without dragging the narrative down.
    • Would have been nice yes, but we don't always get to see everyone getting their alt mode. Sideswipe and the new DOTM Autobots were never shown, and we only get to see Megatron acquire his truck mode in the DOTM game.
    • Micheal Bay actually sticks closer to G1 than people give him credit for. In the original cartoon, The Ark found vehicle modes for Autobot and Decepticon alike to disguise themselves from the humans. It's possible that it did the same for Sentinel in the movie timeline.

    Shooting down the Ark 

  • If Sentinel Prime was going to meet with Megatron, why exactly did the other Decepticon fighters shoot the Ark down? Furthermore, it was clearly seen that there were other crew members aboard the ship, who apparently were trying to defend the ship. If they were in on this scheme too (which seems logical), why did they fight back?
    • In fact, Megatron and Sentinel were probably the only ones who were in on the plan. The more people who are in on it, the higher risk that word will get out.
    • According to a comic, Starscream didn't know, and attacked the ship despite Megatron ordering him not too.
    • Added to that, the ship was leaving during a battle. It'd be very suspicious if a ship carrying not only the leader of the Autobots but also super duper Space Bridge technology was allowed to just leave the planet totally and completely unmolested.

    Pillar technology 

  • Optimus claims that if he had the pillar technology in the Last Battle of Cybertron he would have won. In the beginning of the movie he claims that the Autobots are outgunned and outnumbered. How would the pillars have won them the war?
    • By getting a small but organized strike team into Decepticon headquarters and bases and carrying out assassination and destruction of key infrastructure. Same way any small outgunned force wins a fight when given the ability to effectively be anywhere within a couple A Us at any time.


  • Laserbeak, according to Dylan, single-handedly shut down the Apollo program by threatening to kill the relevant bureaucrats if they didn't toe the Decepticon line. So he's had his beak in the corridors of power for forty years, for all practical purposes. This is a ruthless, immortal (by human standards), flying, shape-shifting, extremely dangerous super-hacker who has nothing to do for four decades but manipulate American government to Decepticon advantage. He should have been ruling the world from behind the scenes before Optimus' team ever arrived.
    • Lack of initiative could have stopped him. While he was very good at what he did, chances are his aspirations didn't go much further than the more immediate goal.
    • It's also potentially a matter of practicality. Remember, most (sane) humans tend to get touchy when they hear phrases like "absolute power" when it's connected to government. Trying to unite the world into one government he could rule would have just caused rebellions, uprisings, or more likely never getting off the ground in the first place. Subtle manipulation to do a few key things is much easier and more reliable.

    Robot hair 

  • Ok, rudimental facial features I can understand, since the Bots interact with humans and it is easier to talk to somebody who has at least a semblance of a face, but hair? Hell, that annoying scientist robot even had a balding head (and glasses). Wha't the point? Are alien robots now suceptable to following human stereotypes? Granted, it's not as bad as...those two guys, but still bizzare. And Sentinel, who'd never met with humans, has the most human face of all up to facial hair. What's up with that?
    • All of that was from a deliberate decision by the film makers to humanize the Transformers as much as possible, so they would come across as living beings rather than as machines.
    • Call it fashion sense on Cybertron. Some of the characters features because of style or individuality, and to us it looks like "a human face" or "hair and a balding head" because we're kind of self-centered like that and try to find things that look like ourselves in whatever we're looking at.
    • Uhm, no. The Einstein-bot had glasses, and the Soldier-bot in "Extintion" had a cigar - you cannot confuse those things with anything else.
      • In the very first film, it's established that Transformers can pretty much get info straight from the internet into their heads. (Let's face it, if we had computers for brains we probably would, too!) so they could easily pick up on human culture and/or fashion trends that appeal to them and incorporate it into their alt mode. Einstein-bot may have wanted humans to associate him with intelligence and thus added glasses. Soldier-bot may have caught the Smoking Is Cool vibe. And so on.

     Sentinel's Plan 
  • Part of Sentinel's plan is to use the human population as slaves to rebuild Cybertron. Cybertron is several times larger than Earth. How are the humans going to even stand up, much less work? And how does Sentinel plan to watch over billions of slaves with less than a hundred Cybertronians?
    • As pointed out earlier on this page, Cybertron in this continuity appears to be largely a hollow honeycomb structure, so it may actually be ''less' massive than Earth, having a lower gravity. Humans wouldn't have much trouble operating under those conditions. As for controlling the slaves. . . assuming the space bridge doesn't negate the gravity effects of Cybertron entering Earth's orbit, a large part of humanity would have been wiped out, and Cybertronian technology could easily manage the rest (witness Sam and his wristwatch.)
    • Good answer. Next question: Even though roughly half of the Cybertronians nearby also object to the plan?

    Why Earth? 

  • Why Earth? It's not the only planet that has incredible mineral resources, and most of those other planets don't have a native population that will object strenuously to their planet being strip-mined, and, as stated above, the plan to enslave its population only brings more problems. Cybertron doesn't need organic resources, so why does it have to be this one planet?
    • It's stated that the Decepticons don't just want mineral resources, but slaves as well. They don't want to do the rebuilding work themselves. Thus, Earth's native population is a feature, not a bug.
    • Although as Bobsheaux points out, using humans to rebuild cybertron would be like trying to rebuild Manhattan with an army of squirrels. At bit of a size difference there.

     You already have everything you need to rebuild Cybertron 
  • I'm basing this off of a couple of assumptions, so let me know if they're faulty. 1) The Allspark was needed to rebuild society on Cybertron. 2) The solar harvesters from the second movie can be used to make a new Allspark (or enough Energon to stand in for the Allspark; can't quite remember). Conclusion: all the Autobots need to do to rebuild Cybertron is find a star with no inhabited worlds nearby, and use harvesters to make a new Allspark. Bam. Done. No need to invade or pillage Earth. Why didn't anyone think of this?
    • The second movie implied there was only one Harvester, which Optimus blew up. And with the original Primes now dead, there's no one with the knowledge to repair it.

     Everything humans know about Cybertron has been shared with Optimus 
Why does Optimus get angry when the American paramilitary unit that is NEST finds a fuel cell in Ukraine that no one told him about? It's been in Soviet and then Ukrainian possession and he can't expect American intelligence to have detailed and exhaustive info on what Cybertronian tech other countries might possess. Especially former Eastern Bloc countries where US intelligence couldn't penetrate for the entire duration of the Cold War.

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