Thursday, May 10, 2012

Case Study No. 0313: Orion Pax/Optimus Prime

New Transformers Prime Season 2 Orion Pax Part 1 Trailer
New Transformers Prime Season 2 Orion Pax Part 1 Trailer
Tags: New Transformers Prime Season Orion Pax Part Trailer
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Transformers: Prime ep 27
"Orion Pax, Part 1"
Production company - Hasbro Studios
Airdate - February 18, 2012
Written by - Nicole Dubuc
Directed by - Vinton Heuck
Animation studio - Polygon Pictures

With the Autobots back at base after Unicron's defeat, Ratchet grimly outlines the situation and speculates that Optimus has reverted to Orion Pax, his pre-Prime self.

On the Nemesis, Megatron makes a ship-wide announcement that Orion Pax is to be treated as a guest. Airachnid doesn't think it's wise to let an Autobot on board, but Megatron isn't concerned and has his own plans for Orion. Elsewhere on the ship, Knock Out affixes a new Decepticon insignia to Orion's shoulder.

Fowler wonders why they can't just track down Optimus's signal, but Ratchet says it hasn't been on their sensors since they left the Earth's core. They must find some way to track down Optimus regardless, so they can somehow restore his memory. The best bet seems to be to use the Key to Vector Sigma, but the problem is, Vector Sigma's on Cybertron.

Megatron begins to fill Orion Pax in on what's been happening, spinning a yarn about how Orion has been a captive of the Autobots, who are led by the Warlord Ratchet. Orion is shocked at the images Megatron shows him of a war-ravaged Cybertron.

June announces that there's no way Jack is going to Cybertron, but Ratchet says only Jack can use the key to access Vector Sigma. The point's moot anyway, as they don't have any way to get to Cybertron. As Raf points out, the GroundBridge barely made orbit, though Miko wonders why Ratchet can't just "turbo-charge" it.

With Megatron finished "informing" Orion, the latter vows to help the Decepticons overcome Ratchet and the Autobots. Megatron has Soundwave remove any incriminating evidence from the ship's data core so Orion can be put to work furthering the Decepticon cause without any risk of him finding anything embarrassing.

Sierra turns up at KO Burger to visit Jack as he works at the drive through, confused that she never sees him outside school. Their discussion is interrupted by Arcee picking him up as his shift ends. Sierra jumps to the obvious conclusion after hearing the female voice, and seems unconvinced by Jack's claim that it's his mother. Arcee reports that they haven't detected Optimus yet.

Megatron discusses their new comrade with Knock Out, specifically his task to decrypt records stolen from the Iacon archives near the end of the War. Knock Out wonders if they shouldn't beef up the security, but Megatron feels that Orion will work better if he feels he is not under threat. In any case, Orion's workstation has been located close to the energon storage, which is under heavy guard.

Back at base, Ratchet is "tinkering" with the GroundBridge.

Orion has managed to decode some of the data from the Iacon archives, giving coordinates on Earth of stashed Cybertronian technology, possibly weapons. He is puzzled by the absence from the Nemesis of Starscream who is mentioned in the documents as being Megatron's second-in-command, but Megatron claims Starscream is dead. Megatron returns to the bridge, where he tells Soundwave he's concerned that Orion will soon learn the truth.

Fowler contacts the Autobots to let them know that the Decepticons are attacking one of the military bases they hit two months before. Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Arcee respond, finding Knock Out and Breakdown in the process of stealing a power source. As the pair GroundBridge out, Arcee races through after them and begins speeding through the Nemesis, bashing Vehicons and hunting for Optimus. Soundwave soon relays her presence to Megatron, and though Airachnid offers to deal with it, Megatron sends Soundwave to ensure the Autobot is escorted off the ship. Alerted by the fighting, Orion emerges from his quarters, but Soundwave manages to GroundBridge Arcee off the ship just before Orion can see her.

Deposited somewhere Arctic, Arcee is soon back at base admitting she didn't succeed in determining the location of the ship or whether Optimus was even aboard. Fowler makes a brief call to yell at them for the human casualties at the base, and tensions among the Autobots soon spill over into arguing. Jack, however, believes they can commandeer the Decepticon space bridge once it's complete, and use it to reach Cybertron. The Autobots are doubtful, but determined to try and find the space bridge.

Meanwhile, Starscream sneaks back on board the Nemesis to steal a stack of energon cubes. Though he deals with the Vehicons guarding the energon storage, more are on their way, and he's forced to duck into a nearby room. His relief is momentary, as he finds himself face to face with Optimus Prime.



In the continuity of the 2011 "Transformers Prime" cartoon series, Optimus Prime was known as Orion Pax during the war for Cybertron eons ago, a historical archivist in the Iacon library. He became inspired by a gladiator taking the name of one of the thirteen original Primes, Megatronus. Megatronus attempted to start a revolution to overthrow Cybertron's current leadership. However, Orion preached a different ideology and thus, Megatronus changed his name to Megatron and severed ties with Orion, starting the Great War that destroyed Cybertron. Orion soon ventured into the core of Cybertron and was bestowed with the Matrix of Leadership, becoming Optimus Prime. After Cybertron became barren and lifeless, he and Megatron took their war to Earth, after which Megatron disappeared for three years. With Ratchet, Arcee, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, and Cliffjumper under his command, the Autobots were granted asylum on Earth by the US government if they kept the Decepticons at bay. However, in "Darkness Rising", the Decepticons return, killing Cliffjumper and target Jack, Raf, and Miko, three children who were seen with Arcee and Bumblebee. Optimus requested they be brought to base and know the full story, much to Arcee and Ratchet's dismay. Megatron returned soon after, wielding Dark Energon and nearly killing Optimus and Ratchet with a horde of reanimated Cybertronian corpses. Optimus later fought Megatron on the latter's space bridge, which Megatron intended to use to bring forth an army of undead to conquer Earth. Though Optimus is nearly killed by Megatron, he is able to gain the upper hand, and leaves Megatron to his apparent destruction when the Autobots destroy the space bridge. However, Optimus later confided in Ratchet that he still mourns Megatron's death, as he had a small glimmer of hope he could be turned to good. However, he does not underestimate Megatron's successor, Starscream.

In "Scrapheap", Optimus and Arcee journey to the Arctic on a reconnaissance mission, but due to an infestation of Scraplets at the base, they are prevented from returning. Optimus and Arcee are nearly frozen to death by the hostile Arctic conditions, but, thanks to Jack, Raf, and Miko, they are saved.

In "Sick Mind", Optimus is infected with the life-threatening Cybonic plague, prompting Arcee and Bumblebee to infiltrate the Nemesis to find a cure for the virus Megatron himself created. As Optimus grows weaker, he learns of Megatron's survival of the space bridge explosion. It was Bumblebee entering Megatron's mind via cortical psychic patch and retrieving the cure that saved Optimus. In the next episode, "Out of His Head", Optimus is, surprisingly, saved by the revived Megatron when he intercepted Starscream's attempted nosedive to kill him.

During the three-part "One Shall Rise", Optimus uses the Matrix of Leadership to defeat Unicron. Unfortunately, in doing so, he not only emptied the wisdom of the Primes, but lost his own memories as a Prime, believing himself to be Orion Pax once again. Megatron took advantage of this to manipulate Orion into deciphering Iacon records the Decepticons have stolen from Cybertron. Eventually, Orion figures out the truth and escapes. Jack is later able to restore Optimus' memories after downloading the wisdom of the Primes from Vector Sigma into its key which Optimus gave him before he left to stop Unicron.



Ratchet: In hindsight, we accomplished what was required. With Unicron's awakening, extreme measures needed to be taken. Enemies became allies, allies became confidants. And, with the Matrix of Leadership, the planet Earth was saved. Though at immeasurable personal cost ... When Optimus surrendered the Matrix, he'd lost more than the collective wisdom of the Primes.
[flashback of Optimus Prime and Megatron facing a group of Autobots]
Optimus Prime: Who are they?
Megatron: Our mortal enemies!
[flashback ends]
Ratchet: He lost himself.
Arcee: That doesn't follow. Optimus knew Megatron!
Bulkhead: They were like BFFs!
Ratchet: If Optimus did not know his own name, perhaps it is because the title of Prime hasn't yet been granted to him.
Agent William Fowler: Huh?
Jack Darby: What?
Miko Nakadai: Say again?
Ratchet: With the power of the Matrix no longer within him, it would stand to reason that Optimus has reverted to his pre-Prime state ... The historical archivist, Orion Pax.
June Darby: You mean, in his mind ...
Agent William Fowler: Are you telling me Prime thinks he's some kind of ... librarian?! And a Decepticon?!


Optimus Prime: One question, Megatron ... Why are we called "Decepticons?"
Megatron: Another craven Autobot scare tactic. The name was meant to demonize us. Instead, we wear it as a badge of honor. For if speaking the truth is deception ... then we are gladly guilty. Now please, Orion, there will be plenty of time for catching up. You must rest.
Optimus Prime: Megatron! I will do my part to stop Ratchet's unspeakable crimes of aggression. This I vow, with all my Spark!
[Megatron leaves and speaks with Soundwave]
Megatron: It seems we have successfully achieved control of Orion's Spark. Now, to put his mind to work ... Have you sanitized the data core?
Soundwave: [nods]
Megatron: Excellent! Our new archivist will require unlimited access to our files. It would be counterproductive for him to stumble upon any ... sensitive information.


Megatron: When we stormed the Iacon Hall of Records in the waning days of the war for Cybertron, we acquired highly classified files. Files written with Autobot codes, which we have been unable to decipher.
Knock Out: Autobot codes, which the Iacon archivist Orion Pax should have no trouble cracking! Considering what's at stake, shouldn't we beef up the security around here?
Megatron: Knock Out, I believe that Orion will perform most effectively if he does not feel threatened or confined in any way ... However, it is no coincidence that Orion's work station is located in direct proximity to the Energon storage vault.
Knock Out: Which is under constant surveillance ... Well played.


Megatron: Orion! How fares "Project Iacon?"
Optimus Prime: I am a bit rusty, I fear. I've only managed to decode three entries.
Megatron: And what do these entries comprise?
Optimus Prime: They were logged by Autobot archivists during the war, after I entered stasis. My only knowledge of their content so far is that they are coordinates, targeting locations on this very planet. I surmised that they could indicate hiding places for vessels shuttled from Cybertron for safe keeping.
Megatron: Such as ... historical documents or cultural artifacts?
Optimus Prime: My greatest fear would be weapons of mass destruction ... hidden away, for later use.
Megatron: All the more reason it is essential that we do everything in our power to keep said vessels from Autobot reach ... We are fortunate to have you on our side, Orion Pax.
Optimus Prime: Lord Megatron ... I am puzzled by one particular finding. I have discovered several historic references to Starscream as your second-in-command. Yet I have not seen him aboard the ship.
Megatron: Sadly, Commander Starscream is dead.
[Megatron leaves and speaks with Soundwave]
Megatron: Orion asks many questions ... A valuable trait in an archivist, but not in a Decepticon. It is a matter of time before he unravels our fabrications, and his innate sense of right and wrong rises to the surface. I only hope that Orion will complete "Project Iacon" before I am forced to destroy him once and for all.

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