Prime is a fictional rank in the Transformers toy and entertainment franchise created by Hasbro and Takara Tomy. In most pieces of Transformers fiction, the title is given to the leader of the Autobots (the franchise's primary protagonists) and bearer of the Matrix of Leadership. Notable Primes include Optimus Prime, Rodimus Prime and Sentinel Prime. In Japanese translations of Western Transformers fiction, as well as original Japanese fiction such as Beast Wars II, the equivalent to the Prime rank is "Convoy". For example, "Rodimus Prime" would translate as "Rodimus Convoy" in Japanese, while "Lio Convoy" would translate as "Leo Prime" in English.
- 1 Dreamwave Productions
- 2 IDW Publishing - Original Continuity
- 3 IDW Publishing - Live Action Movie Continuity
- 4 Movie plots
- 5 Books
- 6 Animated series
- 7 References
Primus created a group of thirteen Transformers, each with special powers, to fight against Unicron. This is the basic, communal origin for Cybertron and the Transformers across many continuities. Although the 2009 movie has The Fallen as the main villain, it does not seem to follow the Primus creation story. Like Primus and Unicron, each of the thirteen are multiversal singularities - one entity throughout reality. During their first big battle against Unicron, many of the 13 were killed and the Fallen was drawn into a black hole, where he remained trapped in a lower dimensional level. Each of the Thirteen is a Prime.
IDW Publishing - Original Continuity
In IDW Publishing's The Transformers: Spotlight issue featuring Optimus Prime, there is a character named Nova Prime, who was a holder of the Matrix before Sentinel Prime. According to Omega Supreme, Nova Prime wanted to expand the Cybertronian race and influence the course of cosmic events. He believed that the Transformers were above other lifeforms and that the universe should be molded in their image. Omega suspects that the first Ark was part of this expansion. Nova Prime's Chief Theoretical Strategist was named Jhiaxus and among his experiments was the first combiner, Monstructor. Nova Prime was aboard the first Ark when it disappeared into the Dead Universe.
In The Transformers: Escalation, when Optimus Prime downloaded his mind into his trailer section to avoid death by Megatron, he had a brief encounter with Nova Prime, leading him to seek answers from Omega Supreme. When he learned the truth in the Spotlight issue, he now knows that the Prime lineage is corrupt.
In The Transformers: Devastation, Galvatron is dispatched to Earth from the Dead Universe by an individual he refers to as Nemesis Prime. It was confirmed in the final issue, that Nemesis Prime was in fact Nova Prime, now leading the Ark crew with unknown plans. He also remarked to Jhiaxus that he was aware of Galvatron's ambitions.
IDW Publishing - Live Action Movie Continuity
IDW Publishing published Transformers: Destiny as a comic prequel to the movie. According to it, eons ago, the AllSpark created thirteen beings, the first Cybertronians, who had the ability to move between dimensions. They soon realized that the AllSpark's power, though vast, was not infinite, and required the energy of stars to be replenished. Once a nearby star went nova, the AllSpark created a worker race, the Transformers, who would assist the Dynasty in replenishing the AllSpark. One of the thirteen, later known as the Fallen, believed the AllSpark was talking to him and that it wanted him to harvest any sun, local lifeforms or no local lifeforms, rather than spend ages searching. He harvested the sun of a living world behind his brother's backs, only to be caught and told off. This didn't stop him and eventually, the Dynasty ruled that all seven of them would decide on the harvester's use.
In response, the Fallen assembled his own army, the Decepticons, and deliberately built a harvester on Earth...in order to draw his brothers into a trap. A great battle erupted as the Fallen fought to gain the AllSpark's power for himself. However, once he had destroyed his twelve brothers' sarcophagi, he still had to face the final survivor, Prima, who tricked him into running out of power and then used the remaining power in the Dynasty's corpses to imprison the Fallen in his own sarcophagus. The last Prime then built a tomb for the Matrix out of the corpses and sacrificed himself to close it. Knowledge of the thirteen faded, and the Dynasty of Primes became little more than a myth.
Thousands of years later, the Science Division discovered the Fallen's sarcophagus and the remains of the other Twelve's sarcophagi. As the Fallen influenced Lord High Protector Megatron, the members of the Science Division, under the direction of their leader Optimus Prime, studied the remains of the other relics and discovered the symbol of the Primes. This was the first proof that they had found of the Dynasty, and what's more, the symbol was etched on the head of the Science Division's leader, who was soon dubbed Optimus Prime by his fellow scientists. After the Autobots refused to follow Megatron's Decepticons, the term Prime came to denote Optimus as leader of the Autobots.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, there were seven original Transformers who formed the "Dynasty of Primes", scattering throughout the galaxy looking for planets where they could build Sun Harvesters. These Sun Harvesters, powered by the Matrix of Leadership, were capable of harvesting a sun's energy to produce Energon. The Dynasty of Primes had one rule: Sun Harvesters were not to be used in solar systems containing life. The Fallen, ignoring this rule, arrived on Earth 17,000 BC and started building a new Sun Harvester with other Cybertronians. This sparked a war, with the Fallen defeated by the rest of the Dynasty of Primes as they sacrificed themselves to seal the Matrix. When Sam dies, he has a vision of the Dynasty and they tell him he has earned the Matrix and this was always his destiny. The Dynasty then resurrects Sam, who in turn uses the Matrix of Leadership to bring back Optimus Prime. Optimus then kills the Fallen. Sentinel Prime is briefly mentioned in the rambling speech given by Sam Witwicky while under an All Spark fragment-induced trance, with Sam mentioning a "mission" Sentinel led.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
In Transformers: Exodus, the following of the Thirteen were mentioned - Prima, the Liege Maximo and Megatronus. Alpha Trion was the only one still remaining on Cybertron. The Matrix of Leadership was once the jewel in the hilt of Prima's Star Saber, and Sentinel Prime once bore the sigil of Vector Prime.
In Transformers: Exiles, the following members of the Thirteen were mentioned - Solus Prime, Nexus Prime, Megatronus, the Liege Maximo, and Amalgamous Prime. Optimus meets with a holographic representation of Solus Prime, before meeting with Vector Prime in a pocket dimension created by said Prime, and later encounters Nexus Prime, who briefly gives him the Star Saber so that he can battle Megatron's forces, who had come to briefly possess the Requiem Blaster. Alpha Trion's chronicles in the Covenant are interspersed throughout the novel, detailing events occurring on Cybertron since the departure of Optimus and Megatron into deep space as they search for the All-Spark. He is also responsible for Nexus Prime's brief reappearance, sending one of his component bodies, an Autobot named Chaindrive, to meet with a number of others who then recombine into Nexus.
|Japanese name||American name|
|Ancient Robot||Primon/Alpha Prime|
|Brooding Robot||Prime Nova/Nova Prime/Nemesis Prime|
|Pre-Transformer||Guardian Prime/Nominus Prime|
|New Narrator||Zeta Prime|
|U-Haul Robot||Sentinel Prime|
|Alpha Trion||Alpha Trion|
|Convoy/Star Convoy/Battle Convoy||Optimus Prime|
|Ultra Magnus||Ultra Magnus|
|Rodimus Convoy||Rodimus Prime|
The evidence for "Prime" being a rank in the cartoon is weaker than elsewhere, but the case can still be made. Though many Matrix-Bearers are seen, and all are by definition Autobot Leaders, only four are ever named; 2 Primes, 2 not: Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus Prime. Without knowing any other names it is hard to make a concrete case here for "Prime" being a title given only to Matrix-Bearers. It is of note though that if it were, then "Prime" in this continuity would be a military/political title (since it is the "Matrix of Leadership"), rather than the religious title of the Marvel Comics. In the All-Spark Almaniac, "Prime" is a title/rank similar in use to Marvel Comics. There is a nearly complete linage of Matrix of Leadership bearers taking the rank. They are: Primon, Prima, Prime Nova, Guardian Prime, Zeta Prime, Sentinel Prime, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus Prime.
|Japanese name||American name|
|Convoy/Beast Convoy||Optimus Primal|
|Metals Convoy||Transmetal Optimus Primal|
|Powered Convoy||Optimal Optimus|
|Lio Convoy||Leo Prime|
|Big Convoy||Big Prime|
|Great Convoy||Great Prime|
|Crow Convoy||Crow Prime|
|Primal Convoy||Primal Prime|
The Council of Convoys is actually the Maximal Council of Elders: the Maximal Equivalent of the Tripredacus Council during the Beast Wars era, specifically the Japanese-exclusive 1999 anime Beast Wars: Neo . Each one resembled Optimus Prime; and each may have been Prime at one time. One of the Convoys is known as "Great" Convoy, another was known as "Crow" Convoy. Great Convoy was apparently the Supreme Commander of the Council of Convoy, and in the Beast Wars II manga it is he who appoints Lio Convoy to go after the Predacons.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
|Japanese name||American name|
|Fire Convoy||Optimus Prime|
|God Fire Convoy||Omega Prime (Optimus Prime + Ultra Magnus)|
The Autobots are the main race on Cybertron, and their enemies are the Predacons. The Autobots fought in the Cybertronian Civil Wars, presumably against the Predacons. Vector Sigma, the Allspark, chooses which Autobot is to be granted the Matrix and thus the position of commander-in-chief. The Autobots were already on Earth when the Predacons arrived, having taken the form of Earth vehicles to work as camouflage and established a global space bridge network and a central base monitoring the entire planet. Note that in Car Robots, there is not one singular Matrix, but multiple ones, each held by high-ranking Autobot commanders. Magnus already possesses a Matrix, and simply seeks to steal the power of Fire Convoy's to increase his own (the overspill of energy resulting in the supercharging of the Autobot Brothers).
|Japanese name||American name|
|Convoy/Monster Convoy||Optimus Prime (Transformers: Armada)|
|Jet Convoy||Jet Prime (Optimus Prime + Jetfire)|
|Magna Convoy||Overload Prime (Optimus Prime + Overload)|
|Magna Jet Convoy||Overload Jet Prime (Optimus Prime + Overload + Jetfire)|
|Grand Convoy||Optimus Prime (Transformers: Energon)|
|Wing Convoy||Wing Prime (Optimus Prime + Wing Saber)|
|Omega Convoy||Optimus Supreme (Optimus Prime + Omega Supreme)|
|Galaxy Convoy||Optimus Prime (Transformers: Cybertron)|
|Liger Convoy||Savage Claw Mode Optimus Prime (Optimus Prime + Leobreaker)|
|Sonic Convoy||Sonic Wing Mode Optimus Prime (Optimus Prime + Wing Saber)|
|Vector Prime||Vector Prime|
Prime is indeed a title given to leaders and Matrix-bearers here, as evidenced by both Vector Prime and Optimus Prime, but no other Primes are ever named. In Galaxy Force, Override (Nitro Convoy), Scourge (Flame Convoy), Evac (Live Convoy), and Metroplex (Megalo Convoy) all hold the title of Convoy as leaders of their respective planets, but this scheme does not carry over into the western translation, and so the Prime appellation does not apply. Likewise, in Super Link, the Japanese version of Energon, Rodimus is known as "Rodimus Convoy", hearkening back to the name of his G1 predecessor. But again, this does not follow through in Hasbro's materials. Interestingly, Vector Prime is not known as Vector Convoy in Japan, but Vector Prime, while Optimus maintains the traditional Convoy title as Galaxy Convoy.
The most notable exception was in Transformers Animated, where Prime was not a title, but a commanding rank amongst the Autobots, as indicated by Optimus to Sentinel, and second only to that of Magnus.
|Optimus Prime||An elite guard Dropout, Given command of Omega supreme by Ultra Magnus. Alternate mode is a Fire truck.|
|Sentinel Prime||Warrior who blames Elita-1's Death on Optimus. Alternate mode is a Snowplow.|
|'Longarm' Prime||Actually Shockwave in disguise. alternate mode is a crane.|
In the "Aligned Continuity" (which includes the video games Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, their tie-in novels Exodus, Exiles and Retribution, and the television series Transformers: Prime), the Prime rank is similar to its portrayal in The Transformers. "Prime" is the name given to the leader of the Autobots and holder of the Matrix of Leadership, which is passed down to a successor at the end of the current Prime's reign. characters shown to be part of the Prime lineage in this continuity include Optimus Prime and Sentinel Zeta Prime (referred to as "Sentinel Prime" in the novels and "Zeta Prime" in the video games).
The Original Thirteen Transformers
The Thirteen Original Transformers (sometimes referred to as the Thirteen Primes, the Dynasty of Primes, or simply the Thirteen) are a commonly used creation story in Transformers fiction. When the universe began, the Transformer creator god Primus created the Original Thirteen to aid him in his battle against Unicron, and they went on to become the foundation of life on Cybertron. The story concept of the Original Thirteen, as well as three of their members (Prima, Liege Maximo and The Fallen), were created by comic book writer Simon Furman.
- Prima - Described as a warrior of light, Prima is the first Transformer created by Primus, the original holder of the Matrix of Leadership, and wields a legendary sword called the Star Saber. He first appeared in the Marvel Transformers comic books in 1989.
- Megatronus Prime/The Fallen - Described as the guardian of entropy and a warrior of darkness, Megatronus Prime was cast out of the group after murdering Solus Prime, and afterwards was referred to as "The Fallen". The Fallen first appeared in the Dreamwave comic book series Transformers: The War Within in 2002, and later appeared as the primary villain in the 2009 film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
- Alpha Trion - An archivist who writes down historic and future events in a book called the Covenant of Primus. He first appeared in the second season of The Transformers in 1985, and for many years was portrayed merely as a wise and elderly Autobot with no connection to the Thirteen. This was until Hasbro retroactively made him a member in 2010, for the Aligned Continuity.
- Nexus Prime - The original Combiner, capable of separating his body into several smaller Transformers which can function individually from each other. He first appeared in the Fun Publications Transformers comic books in 2009, and later appeared as a major character in Transformers: Exiles. In the Fun Publications comic books, Nexus' components are called Heatwave, Skyfall, Landquake, Topspin and Breakaway, while in Exiles their names are Clocker, Pinion, Cannonspring, Chaindrive and Mainspring.
- Vector Prime - The guardian of time and space. He weilds a sword named "Rhisling", and is able to travel across time and between dimensions. He first appeared in the animated television series Transformers: Cybertron in 2005.
- Amalgamous Prime - The first Shifter, a rare type of Transformer able to transform into anything. As of 2013, Amalgamous has not appeared in any Transformers toy line or fiction.
- Liege Maximo - Considered to be the ultimate evil and a natural counterforce to the heroic Prima, Liege Maximo plotted against the Thirteen and tried to overthrow them, but he failed and was cast out. He first appeared in Marvel's Transformers: Generation 2 comic books in 1994, in which he was the original Decepticon.
- Solus Prime - The only female member of the Original Thirteen. She is a weapon-smith who crafted many of the groups weapons, and wields a mystical hammer called the Forge of Solus Prime, which is capable of crafting weaponry and Transformer body components from basic machinery. While Solus' only appearance in fiction as of 2013 is in Transformers: Exiles, the Forge features prominently in the second and third seasons of Transformers: Prime.
- Alchemist Prime - As of 2013, Alchemist Prime has not appeared in any Transformers toy line or fiction, and all that is known about the character is detailed in Transformers: Exiles. In the novel, Alpha Trion reveals he and Alchemist oversaw the development of early civilisation on Cybertron, but Alchemist eventually left the planet to track down Liege Maximo for his crimes.
- Micronus Prime - The first Minicon.
- Onyx - The first Transformer to transform into a beast.
- Quintus Prime - A scientist and the creator of the Quintessons. While Quintus himself has yet to appear in any Transformers toy line or fiction, the Quintessons first appeared in The Transformers: The Movie in 1986, and featured as recurring villains in the third season of The Transformers.
- "Thirteen" - The thirteenth and final member of the group created by Primus. He is described as a great motivational speaker, who kept the Original Thirteen together as a group and settled internal disputes.
- "We are the 13, the first, the forgotten, each of us serving a function vital to the survival of the universe. Each of us designated a 'Prime' and given a function to serve during the long march of infinity." --- Vector Prime
- Chris Mowry (w), Carlos Magno (p), Moose Baumann (i). Tales of the Fallen issue 3 Transformers: Tales of the Fallen issue 3 (October 21, 2009), IDW Publishing