There are hundreds of different characters in the “Transformers” franchise, which is simply too numerous to ever be included in a film series, not even one that has seven different sequels. Nonetheless, one of the most enduring absences is also one of the most perplexing mysteries. Despite its generally constant appearances throughout the series, the Autobot Prowl has not yet made an appearance in a live-action film.
Why a Very Notable Autobot from the Transformers Movies Has Yet to Make an Appearance
Prowl was a character who transformed into a police car and was a part of the first toy line, which was released in 1984 and is now known as “Generation One.” Prowl had one of the most distinctive character designs among the Autobots, from his “door wings” to his car-hood chest to his contrast-heavy color scheme. According to the character profile, he was Optimus Prime’s right hand and a military strategist who held the belief that “intelligence is the ultimate weapon.
” In the animated series, Prowl was never given a significant amount of screen time; but, in the contemporary Marvel comics written by Bob Budiansky, he was a more prominent character and even took over leadership of the Autobots when Optimus Prime was rendered unable to function.
In subsequent versions, Prowl has been rethought and improved. The animated series “Transformers: Animated” portrayed him as a contemplative, nature-loving “cyber-ninja” who turned into a motorbike. This gave the character the stoicism of the original version while also adding a fresh flavor of spiritualism to the mix.
Nick Roche, author of the comic mini-series “Final Stand of the Wreckers” and the one-off “Everything in Its Proper Place,” pushed “G1” Prowl’s character to the inevitable next step in his development as a character in his writing. Roche’s Prowl was a deceitful and brutally pragmatic schemer who crossed moral boundaries in the purpose of fighting the Decepticons. He was a member of the Autobot faction. The representation of Roche’s Prowl in subsequent “Transformers” comics published by IDW Publishing was modeled off Roche’s Prowl.
Why does Prowl not make an appearance in the “Transformers” movies yet he does so often in the comics and cartoons? It all goes back to a choice that was made during the production of the first “Transformers” movie in 2007.
Making a Barrier for Prowl to Pass Through
There is a Transformer in the movies that can transform into a police car; however, that Transformer is not Prowl, and the reason for his absence is because the vehicle mode is redundant. Roberto Orci, co-writer of “Transformers,” engaged in conversation with fans on the website boards.transformersmovie.com, which has since been taken down. In a post dated June 7, 2007, he revealed the reasoning behind why he and his co-writer Alex Kurtzman considered including Prowl but ultimately decided not to do so: “It seemed to us that the notion of a Decepticon in disguise as a police vehicle was too good to pass up for ‘TF-1,’ so there is no Prowl in this one.”
Barricade is the name that was finally given to the Decepticon police car that was once known as Brawl. In the concluding film, he undergoes a transformation into a Ford Mustang police cruiser. His characterization by Kurtzman and Orci was that of a “camouflaged hunter.” In point of fact, his starring moment comes when he entices Sam Witwicky, played by Shia Labeouf, to come to him and then exposes himself once he has the human in his grip. Barricade made the most of his screen time (he’s the only Decepticon that communicates, outside Megatron and Starscream), but becoming a celebrity was a complete fluke for him.
In the movie that came out in 2007, Barricade was last seen pursuing the Autobots along a highway with another Decepticon named Bonecrusher. Once Bonecrusher transformed into an enemy robot and attacked Optimus Prime, Barricade vanished. Barricade’s death at Prime’s hands during this scenario was included into the original screenplay, at least according to the novelization and the comic book adaptation of the show. This was cut from the final cut of the movie for reasons that are unclear to me.
Fans were left to speculate about his fate, which only served to make his character more popular (the comic sequel “The Reign of Starscream” retconned that Ironhide rammed Barricade off the road while Optimus was fighting Bonecrusher, and then Starscream retrieved his injured minion after the battle had concluded). This hiatus also provided an opportunity for Barricade to make a comeback, which he did in both “Dark of the Moon” and “The Last Knight,” which were both sequels.
This monitor is not large enough to accommodate both of us at the same time.
The live-action “Transformers” character Barricade is still one of the franchise’s most known faces. Subsequent iterations of him have always been based on the movie’s “bad policeman” incarnation, and his reappearance in “The Last Knight” after presumably dying in “Dark of the Moon” testifies to his popularity. In addition, later versions of him have invariably been based on the movie’s “bad cop” iteration. Granted, this is only guesswork, but given that Barricade is still there, it is safe to assume that Prowl’s redundancy has not been eliminated. It is not necessary to confuse the viewer by having two different characters, who are already on opposing sides, shift into the same kind of automobile.
Indeed, a Decepticon that is disguised as a police cruiser is a witty concept, and the movies have a good time playing with it. Instead of “To Protect and Serve,” the sticker on Barricade’s vehicle mode reads “To Punish and Enslave,” which is, paradoxically, a more honest representation of what the job of a police officer entails.
It is tempting to believe that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were attempting to make a political statement when they described a police vehicle as a “camouflaged hunter,” but their rationale doesn’t read that way at all. Rather, it seems that their train of thinking was that the cops are plainly nice men, thus a Decepticon donning their appearance contributes to the notion of “robots in disguise.”
Despite said, the growing public consciousness over police violence in the United States may make it much more difficult for a live-action Prowl to make an appearance.
There is virtually no way to portray a police vehicle as a hero without having people interpret it as a support of the Blue Lives Matter movement. That is, unless the movies take a leaf from IDW Prowl, which is very unlikely given that four-quadrant blockbusters often don’t include genuine ethical flaws in the protagonists of their stories.