InformationG1 Optimus Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers franchise. He is the main protagonist and leader of the "heroic" faction (primarily the Autobots) in most of the various Transformers continuities. After his ship crashed on Earth, he remained unconscious for millions of years, then an earthquake on Tuesday, May 8, 1984, awoke the ship's repair system, which then repaired him and adapted him to have the ability to transform to an Earth vehicle. He is the leader of the G1 Autobots, a faction of heroic Transformers from the planet Cybertron who wage their battles against the evil forces of the G1 Decepticons. G1 Optimus Prime is depicted as a heroic, brave and compassionate character who puts all his talent to use to improve the universe around him. G1 Optimus has a strong sense of justice and righteousness, and has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of Earth; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve.
The original G1 Optimus Prime transforms into a cab over truck. The truck's cab transforms into the robot mode of G1 Prime himself, with vast strength and armed with a laser rifle. Contained within his chest is the mystic talisman known as the G1 Autobot Matrix of Leadership (or Creation Matrix, depending on the continuity), carried by all Autobot leaders and passed down through the ages. The comic book continuities tend to claim that G1 Optimus' direct predecessor as G1 Prime and thus bearer of the Matrix was G1 Sentinel Prime, a fact which is part of the Dreamwave comics canon. In the cartoon continuity, it is unknown from whom G1 Optimus inherited the talisman, as G1 Optimus is already named as a Prime when G1 Alpha Trion rebuilds him from his former self—which appears to indicate that G1 Alpha Trion may have given G1 Prime the Matrix at that point, just after the transformation of Orion Pax into G1 Optimus Prime. This change is depicted in the episode War Dawn. The truck's trailer disconnects and transforms into the Combat Deck, a mobile battle-station/command headquarters with an "Auto-Launcher" robot armed with assorted artillery and beam weapons. It can also serve as a radio antenna for battlefield communications between the G1 Autobots. The Combat Deck can launch G1 Prime's third component, Roller, a mobile scout buggy that can easily slip behind enemy lines. G1 Optimus' senses are tied into Roller's, and can perceive what Roller does. Injury to one component is felt by each of the others, and while G1 Prime could survive the destruction of either, despite the slight degree of autonomy they possess, the Combat Deck and Roller would not be able to survive without him.
Additional powers included in the animated series and comics are short-range optic blasts, holographic map projections and deployable hydro-foils designed by G1 Wheeljack which allowed G1 Prime and the other G1 Autobots to traverse bodies of water with ease. One of G1 Prime's abilities was the ability to retract his right hand unit and replace it with a glowing axe.
Across the assorted continuities of the original Transformers universe, there have been various interpretations of G1 Optimus Prime. One of G1 Prime's most notable characteristics in any form was his adamant commitment to leadership by example, and avoidance of any hypocrisy in his command, but beyond this, the animated series leaned towards G1 Optimus Prime as a straightforward, wise and essentially upbeat battlefield general. The Marvel Comics series, on the other hand, in addition to these more obvious characteristics, suggested a G1 Prime secretly plagued by self-doubt and, more importantly, a conflicted sense of pacifism that often made him an extremely reluctant warrior. It was occasionally implied that the conflict with the G1 Decepticons lasted as long as it did primarily because of his unwillingness to take a more aggressive stance.
The animated series revealed other minor details about G1 Optimus Prime's personality and personal life — for example, his dislike of rap music ("Blaster Blues" and "Quest for Survival"), which set him at odds with music-loving characters like G1 Blaster and G1 Jazz. G1 Prime also enjoys televised sports, most notably basketball which he even plays ("The Master Builder"), as well as setting up a basketball court outside the Ark. Though G1 Prime's personality is like that of a human man age 40-50, he is not above watching afternoon soap operas (in the episode "Prime Target", he is heard groaning out loud when the soap opera he is watching with the other G1 Autobots gets interrupted for a news report).
The Transformers: Robots in Disguise version of Optimus Prime is the fictional protagonist of this respective branch of the Transformers universe. Based on the character of the same name, Fire Prime leads the RiD Autobots in a secret campaign. His voice actor, Neil Kaplan, does his voice in a style reminiscent of Peter Cullen's voice of the original Optimus Prime.
Hidden in plain sight on Earth as common, everyday vehicles, the RiD Autobots are forced to emerge when Giga Megatron and his RiD Predacons arrive and wreak havoc in their attempts to attain the power of Earth's varied energy sources.
Fire Optimus Prime transforms into a fire engine. The front section of the vehicle detaches and becomes Fire Prime himself, armed with his Blaze Blaster cannons (his lights, also known as the Fire Flash attack) and Gyro-Strike leg wheels, while the rest of the vehicle transforms into a mobile battle station/refuelling port/communications array, and can combine with Fire Prime as additional weapons and armor, forming his super mode (Optimus Prime Battle Mode). The ladder/hose section houses Fire Prime's Power Stream water cannon, capable of shooting freezing streams of water, also called his Blizzard Storm, and also contains a quartet of rocket launchers. His super mode feet contain missile launchers than can mount to the shoulders of his regular robot mode. He can fire his super-mode fists for his Flying Fist attack. Fire Prime is also holder of the sacred Matrix.
The "Unicron Trilogy" version of Optimus Prime (based on the character of the same name) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of this branch of Transformers lore. Appearing in "Transformers: Armada", "Transformers: Superlink" and "Transformers: Galaxy Force" (known as the aforementioned trilogy), Armada Optimus is the leader of the heroic Autobots. He often converted to his super combat mode. In the dub, Armada Optimus' English voice actor is Gary Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines. Grand Optimus Prime's Japanese voice actor is Katsuyuki Konishi and Galaxy Optimus Prime's Japanese voice actor is Taiten Kusunoki.
In the live action films Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Live-action Optimus Prime was present as the leader of the Autobots. Prime now transforms into a conventional Peterbilt cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. Also straying from the G1 design, Live-action Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body (à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor), often incorrectly rumored to be inspired by NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon's current paint scheme at the time. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that no "mass displacement" occurs when they transform, thus requiring Live-action Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form. Michael Bay stated Live-action Optimus stands 28 feet, but in an interview, ILM's Scott Farrar stated "The movie's Optimus Prime is 32 feet tall and made of 10,108 parts - and every single one had to be modeled and painted when they came within camera range. This puts him on the same height as the movie's Starscream and 2 to 4 feet shorter than Live-action Megatron as well in the film.
Although redesigned to some extent like the other characters in the film, some classic design elements remain in his robot mode, including a predominantly red torso, primarily blue legs, the presence of windows in his chest, smoke stacks on his shoulders, and a head design influenced by the original, featuring the iconic faceplate and ear finials. This faceplate is able to retract to reveal a mouth. His weapons include an energy rifle that unveils from his back, two retractable energon blades that extend from both forearms (a homage to Prime's energy axe in the Generation 1 animated series), Ion cannons on both of his arms, as well as two retractable energon hooks on both of his forearms. In the later IDW comics he displays the ability to produce a holographic driver mentioned in the early versions of the script. The appearance of this driver seems to be based on Peter Cullen himself.
It was publicly announced at San Diego ComicCon 06 that original Optimus Prime voice actor Peter Cullen would reprise his role for the film. Cullen has commented that Live-action Prime is basically the same, and retains the same basic personality.
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