Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nerd Life Mid-Week: A True Hero

"A True Hero" or "Everthing I Know About Being a Man I Learned from Optimus Prime"

Two years ago, some kid sat in a movie theater, bouncing up and down, clapping his hands when Optimus Prime first appeared on screen.

That kid was me.

Inside every grown man beats the heart of an 8-year-old.

Transformers were not just a part of my childhood, they WERE my childhood. The series premiered on American TV during my formative years. If you do not understand just how awesome cars, trucks and planes turning in to giant robots and doing battle is, I feel very sorry for you. To a very young child in the 80s, life could not have been any better.

The first true hero I ever worshiped was the leader of the brave Autobots, Optimus Prime.



He was strong, brave, intelligent, honorable, dependable and selfless. As a young boy growing up without a father, Optimus Prime was everything I needed in my life.

At the age of 5, I was treated with a trip to see Transformers: The Movie in theaters. Early on in the film, the Autobots are on the brink of defeat. Many soldiers have fallen, and the Decepticons are about to take Autobot City and end the war.

Then, Optimus Prime enters the battle.



Stupid Hot Rod, getting in the way, allowing the Decepticons to escape. That's OK, Prime will recover and lead the counterattack!



...

I was inconsolable. I cried through the movie. I cried on the way home. My hero, my idol, had fallen. Life would never be the same.

I grew up a lot that day.

Sure, they would realize how bad they screwed up and bring Prime back, to lead all Cybertronians into the Golden Age. But things would never be the same.

Now that I'm older, I understand that the movie was nothing more than a marketing tool, used to end one version of the toy line and launch another. As such, Transformers would see many iterations over the years. Optimus Prime would see many incarnations over the following 20+ years, giving future generations of little boys a hero they could be proud of.

1 comments:

Suz said...

It sounds like your childhood story is a common one. It's funny that a fictional robot is a hero to an entire generation of people the world over. I enjoy the character quite a bit.

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