Optimus Prime

Real Name: Optimus Prime

Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (Cybertronian) Sentient Mechanical Being/Robot

Occupation: Leader of the Autobots

Affiliations: "Sparkplug" Witwicky, Spike Witwicky, Daniel Witwicky, Chip Case, Alpha Trion, The Autobots, Wreck-Gar and the Junkions, the Nebulons

Enemies: The Decepticons, the Quintessons, the Sharkticons

Known Relatives: None (possibly inapplicable)

Aliases: Orion Pax

Base of Operations: Metroplex on the planet Earth; formerly utilized Autobot City and the Ark on the planet Earth; formerly Iacon City on the planet Cybertron and staging grounds on Moon Base I and Moon Base II

First Appearance: The Transformers, "More than Meets the Eye" (September 17, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: As a native Cybertronian, Optimus Prime possesses the various natural abilities and capabilities of all inhabitants of the planet. The average Cybertronian are sentient mechanical beings which bestows upon them extraordinary strength and durability that far surpasses most organic life forms. Optimus Prime however is considered to be one of the more powerful representatives of Cybertron, thus his strength and durability far exceed even the most average Cybertronians. It is estimated that he can lift weights in excess of over 100 tons (200,000 pounds) and is highly resistant to damage.

Like all members of his race, Optimus Prime is also extraordinarily long lived having been in activation for centuries. Theoretically, all Cybertronians are practically immortal; providing that they have access to sufficient energy that maintains their life functions and barring any accidents or suffering from catastrophic or irreparable damage to their mechanical bodies. In fact, Cybertronians can sustain surprising levels of damage, even the near total destruction of their bodies and can be effectively be restored to full function as long as some critical circuitry and components are not destroyed.

Optimus Prime is extremely intelligent and is regarded as a great inspirational and charismatic leader. He is also one of Cybertron's finest military commanders and is an expert in strategy and tactics. He is also an exceptional hand to hand combatant and a talented marksman with his personal weapon, a powerful laser cannon rifle.

Like all Cybertronians, Optimus Prime possesses the ability to reconfigure himself from a humanoid robotic form into another alternate mode. He was reconfigured to transform into an Earth style semi-truck cab. He also has a tractor trailer that attaches to him in his vehicular mode. This tractor trailer can convert itself into a mobile command station and possesses advanced communications stations, repair bays, and dual missile-launchers. The tractor trailer/mobile command station also carries a small reconnaissance module called Roller that he can control from over 1,200 miles away. He possesses a mental link to his other two components (the mobile command station and Roller) which enables him to control them but it also makes him vulnerable that he feels the pain if either of these modules are damaged.

Optimus Prime is also in possession of an ancient Cybertronian artifact known as the Matrix or alternatively the Matrix of Leadership. The Matrix, which apparently only responds to its true wielder possesses tremendous powers and abilities, not all of which are completely understood. It is said to contain the wisdom of former Leaders or "Primes" and may very well be the source from which Cybertronian life first evolved from.  

History: Forged in the fires of the Great Cybertronian War, Optimus Prime emerged as the key leader of the Autobots, the main resistance force against Decepticons. Despite his remarkable skills as a soldier, he is firmly dedicated to peace. He is one of the most honorable, compassionate, and noblest Autobots and is absolutely committed to the defeat of the Decepticons and his arch nemesis, the evil Megatron.

After centuries of combat, Optimus Prime believed that Cybertron and their race was doomed without a new source of energy and he specifically chose a small group to accompany him on a mission to locate such a source on a massive space vehicle known as the Ark. His mission was interrupted by an ambush by the Decepticons who boarded the Ark. Both sides were in the middle of a fierce struggle when the Ark crash landed on prehistoric Earth approximately four million years ago.

Like the other occupants, Optimus Prime was left immobilized and insensible for nearly four million years until in the 1980s, when a volcanic eruption reawakened the Ark which repaired and reformatted the various occupants into new Earth style transformation modes to disguise themselves on this new planet. Both Autobots and Deceptions immediately began their war anew on modern day Earth. The Autobots would befriend a family known as the Witwickys who would become one of their greatest allies on Earth, aiding them in adapting to this new planet and culture.

Optimus Prime would eventually become a casualty himself of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons and was thought permanently destroyed. But not even termination could halt this unstoppable warrior who was eventually rebuilt and reactivated, still firmly dedicated to opposing the Deceptions and protecting not only the planet Earth and its inhabitants but the entire universe. Resuming leadership of the Autobots, Optimus Prime continued to champion the cause of justice and freedom as his creed, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." And those who oppose those freedoms had better be prepared to face him.

Comments: The character of Optimus Prime and the Transformers themselves were created by Hasbro which released an extensive toyline in 1984. The Japanese version renamed Optimus Prime as simply called "Convoy".

Due to the different various series that Optimus Prime has appeared in; from the toys, comics, television series, he (and most the Transformers and their history) are not only convoluted but occasionally contradictory.

In the original TV series which lasted for 98 episodes, it was claimed that Optimus Prime was originally a peaceful and naïve Cybertronian known as Orion Pax who greatly admired a new group known as Decepticons. At least until he was critically injured by Megatron. His damaged body was brought to the Leader of the Autobots, a being known as Alpha Trion who it is said repaired and upgraded him into a powerful warrior and champion who was renamed as Optimus Prime and eventually succeeded Alpha Trion as the Leader of the Autobots. Prime was later damaged beyond repair in a fierce struggle with Megatron in the year 2005 on Autobot City on Earth in the events established in "Transformers: The Movie".

Before passing on, he relinquished the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus who he named as his interim replacement. Another Autobot, Hot Rod would ultimately be chosen as the new Leader of the Autobots and the Matrix transformed him into a new and more powerful form and he was renamed as Rodimus Prime who defeated Unicron, a planet sized Transformer who sought to eat Cybertron to power itself.

However the fans were outraged at the death of Optimus Prime. The outcry convinced Hasbro to have him ultimately resurrected in the TV series (returning Rodimus Prime back to simply Hot Rod) and returned to lead the Autobots once more (or at least until the cancellation of the original series).

He was voiced by Peter Cullen in the United States and Tesshou Genda in the Japanese version.

The Marvel comics version was almost identical to the TV series. At least the basic story of the Transformers; the Great War and the Autobots and the Decepticons. In the comic version however Optimus Prime and the other Autobots did not leave Cybertron in search for a new energy source but rather to intercept and destroy a series of asteroids that would have destroyed Cybertron had they impacted. Drained, the Autobots were recharging when they were ambushed by the Decepticons and crashlanded on Earth. It was shortly after awakening that the Autobots encountered "Sparkplug" Witwicky and his son, Buster.

Buster would play a much greater role in the storylines than in the TV series which his counterpart, Spike seemed to be more like a cheerleader for the Autobots. Also, his father "Sparkplug" became distrustful of the Autobots and would have preferred to stay far away from them after he suffered a heart attack. The Autobots were temporarily defeated by the Decepticons and Optimus Prime was forced to take the drastic step of transferring the Creation Matrix to Buster. The Creation Matrix was a master program that bestowed the spark of sentience to mechanicals, without it Cybertronians would just be robots, empty shells. The Creation Matrix bestowed life and a personality to Transformers. Later when Spike became binary bonded to Fortress Maximus in the toyline, he was retroed into the continuity of the comics as Buster's older brother.

In this storyline, Optimus Prime was apparently destroyed as well although the circumstances were much different. He agreed to a bargain between himself and Megatron where they would fight in a video game. For Megatron, it meant that their battle would not damage a critical and extremely delicate piece of machinery that he had come to steal from the humans. For Optimus, it meant that there would be no human lives lost. The side that lost would depart in peace. In order to keep it realistic however, Megatron slyly arranged that the loser would be destroyed by a self-destruct keyed to their defeat. Megatron however cheated in having arranged for a "backdoor" into the video program that would enable him to briefly take control of the video game. Having lost, the self-destruct was triggered and Optimus Prime was apparently destroyed. The Autobots would ultimately discover that Prime's consciousness had survived the destruction of his body as a program in the video game and had a new body constructed to house his consciousness. This new version of Prime (based on a new toy model released by Hasbro) belonged to a subgroup of Autobots known as Power Masters. Optimus now had a Nebulon partner known as Hi-Q who transformed into his engine and greatly augmented his energy levels and further more, his new trailer could transform into a formidable battle station but could even transform into a set of "body armor" for Optimus, increasing his power even further with an arsenal of double-barreled particle cannons, laser rifles, and a new more powerful cannon. Optimus Prime would be destroyed during the Marvel Comics run and even return AGAIN.

Optimus Prime would also play a minor role in the 1996 to 1999 3D computer graphic cartoon released by Mainframe Entertainment known as "Transformers: The Beast Wars". The leader of the Maximals named Optimus Primal who named himself in the honor of Optimus Prime temporarily merged his soul (referred to as a "spark") with the soul of his hero who apparently increased his powers and gaining new transforming capabilities.

Later during the Japanese TV series "Transformers: Car Robots" in 2000, the character of Fire Convoy was based on Optimus Prime (although his alternate mode was a fire engine) and was even retitled Optimus Prime in the American translation. According to the revamped history, Optimus Prime (or Fire Convoy) and his brother Ultra Magnus (God Magnus in Japanese) were two great Autobot warriors. They had a falling out when Optimus was chosen to inherit the Matrix and with it, leadership of the Autobots. Ultra Magnus felt that he was more deserving of leadership and thought he had been cheated. Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime later gained the power to combine and form a tremendously super-powerful robot known as Omega Prime (God Fire Convoy in Japanese). This version of Optimus Prime was voiced by Neil Kaplan (U.S) and Satoshi Hashimoto (Japan).

A new version of Optimus Prime would appear in the "Micron Legend" in 2002 to 2003 as well as its sequel, "Superlink" in 2004. In Micron Legend, his name was Convoy but strangely enough, in Superlink he was called Grand Convoy. In Micron Legend/Armada; Optimus Prime would join in an alliance with the Mini-cons against the Decepticons who would enslave several Mini-cons of their own to use against the Autobots. Optimus would become partners with a Mini-con known as Sparkplug and could combine with Jetfire or Overload (or both) to form an augmented robotic form. Optimus was later destroyed at the end of Micron Legend although he was resurrected by the Matrix and the Mini-cons to lead both the Autobots and the Decepticons against a common enemy, the planet destroyer Unicron. In Superlink/Energon; Optimus would gain four new components; a driller, a helicopter, a submarine, and a fire engine that would combine with him to form Super Optimus Prime. He led the Autobots to prevent the resurrection of Unicorn but failed; instead he later combined with Omega Supreme to form Optimus Supreme to defeat Unicron.

Optimus was voiced by Gary Chalk in both U.S. versions but respectively was played by Toru Okawa in "Micron Legend" and Katsuyuki Konishi in "Superlink".

The most recent TV series released in 2005, "Galaxy Force" has his name as Galaxy Convoy.

In the latest version of comics produced by Dreamwave Productions; it states that the actual leadership of the Cybertronians are passed down to one hand-picked being who would inherit possession of a powerful and mysterious artifact known as the Matrix which has in recent years been called the Matrix of Leadership. The Matrix would usually reformat the possessor, charging them with incredible power and would also inherit the title of Prime. When the previous leader, Sentinel Prime was destroyed in battle with Megatron and his Decepticon movement, the Matrix chose a humble data archivist known as Optronix to assume leadership of the Autobots. Reformatted into a new and much more physically powerful form, he was renamed Optimus Prime.

Profile by Michael Higuchi

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

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