G1 Plot Holes That Need To Be Fixed Part One – Can Autobots Fly Or Not?

There are still parts of the Transformers Universe that I have yet to explore, but I’m gradually getting there. I used to be a G1 and G1 only guy when it came to Transformers, but over the years I’ve learned to enjoy exploring other iterations such as Armada and Prime.

It was when watching Transformers Prime, and really getting hooked on it, that I had to ask myself a very scary question: “is this better than G1?” There are probably many reasons for me to answer this with an emphatic “yes” but as much as I loved Transformers Prime, it still has to sit very slightly behind G1 in terms of which is my favourite.

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, G1 started it all, without G1, we don’t have anything that has come after it. Secondly, the marketing machine that is G1 meant that we got a massive breadth of characters to love as Hasbro tried to entice us to buy more and more robots in disguise. In contrast to this, I was always watching Prime wishing for more characters to be introduced. Thirdly, there are some simply fantastic story lines, I love the fact that back stories were created for the characters and the whole race of Cybertronians. Some of my favourite episodes are those that delve into Cybertron’s past, show us glimpses of what Cybertron used to be like and where the Transformers came from. Lastly, and most important for me, G1 brought us Transformers the Movie, but if you’ve read issue 17 of The Cybertronian Times, then you already knew I liked that!

However, this doesn’t mean that I think that G1 is perfect, I realise that my love of G1 has a lot of sentiment attached to it. Despite my love of G1, it still has the ability to baffle me (more than meets the eye – maybe this was their plan all along?) all of these years later. There are a number of plot holes, which I’m going to ask for your help in sorting out for me. With so many different writers working on the show, it’s no surprise that there’s a lack of continuity throughout, but I wish they could have at least tried to explain a few of these things. As they haven’t though, it’s down to us!
So let’s start with the plot hole that maddens me the most: Can the Autobots fly or not?

Example One: More Than Meets The Eye parts 1-3

Ahhh, the three parter that started it all. In the early goings of their time on earth, the Autobots seem to have no trouble flying with the greatest of ease, Ironhide and Bluestreak take off to follow the Decepticons, Trailbreaker flies around the fire at the oil rig in order to use his forcefield. However towards the end of the show, when Optimus wants to chase Megatron’s escaping ship, he asks Sideswipe for his Rocket Pack. What? There was no mention of these flying devices earlier in the show either verbally or visually, why does Prime need one now?

Example Two: Dinobot Island Parts 1-2

Simply put, the Dinobots fly to Dinobot Island with seemingly no equipment (a feat they replicate in Transformers the Movie either side of “kicking Unicron’s butt”), however when the rest of the Autobots want to fly there, they have to strap on their jetpacks.

Example Three: War Dawn

War Dawn is probably my favourite G1 episode. However when you’re looking at the whether or not the Autobots can fly or not scenario, it adds to the mystery. When the Aerialbots travel back in time, we see Orion Pax and his chums marvel as the Decepticons fly through the air – it’s clear that the soon to be Autobots are marvelling at Megatron and his crew because they can fly – an ability that no-one else has.

Example Four: Forever Is A Long Time Coming

In the opening scene of this episode, and throughout the show, the Autobots can be seen flying through space, unaided by any external equipment. Huh?

Example Five: The Return of Optimus Prime Part 2

Galvatron is leading Optimus Prime and the other Autobots to find the stolen alloy which will be used to coat Prime and help him to recover the Matrix without being infected by the hate plague. However, when they encounter a dangerous situation, Galvatron is able to take off in order to avoid it, whilst the autobots seem to be left to their peril. Galvatron comments as his laughs “Autobots can’t fly”.

So there we have it, a short summary of the inconsistencies regarding the Autobots and their flying abilities. Obviously I’m not including those that are able to fly naturally due to their alt mode such as Powerglide, Aerialbots, Omega Supreme etc.

How can this be explained? Is flying an ability that the Autobots inherently have, but are only able to access at certain times, under certain circumstances? Does the climate on earth affect whether or not an Autobot can fly? What about in space – can Autobots only fly at certain times of the year?

How about the back story? Did the Autobots manage to engineer a way to copy the Decepticons aerial abilities, only to find that over the long term their bodies could not sustain the demands of it? If Autobots and Decepticons are different factions of the same race, what is it about making the choice to be a Decepticon that enables you to have the ability to fly, or the choice to be an Autobot that inhibits your ability to fly? Did Wheeljack and Ratchet give the Dinobots the ability to fly? If so, why don’t they use this ability more often? Was Dinobot intelligence sacrificed in order to give them this ability to fly?

It’s down to you, we need your help to explain this. If you have any ideas of how this can be explained, please email us at contact@autoassembly.org.uk and outline your ideas. If you’re feeling creative, why not write in the form of a short story and we’ll publish it in The Cybertronian Times. We’d love to hear from you, so please get thinking and write in.

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