Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
The first trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight arrived one week ago, along with our coverage from a set visit that happened over the summer up in Michigan (find out what we learned right here). However, last week was chock full of a bunch of stuff, including the teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, first trailer for The Mummy, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the first trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes. So we thought maybe we should swing around to Transformers to try and assess exactly what the hell is going on in that first trailer.
One of the big questions following the trailer’s debut is why Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were fighting (and some theories have been proposed), but there’s much more to dive into in this trailer breakdown, and we’re trying to make sense of it all in our Transformers The Last Knight trailer breakdown after the jump.
The first thing to notice overall from the Transformers: The Last Knight trailer is this:
That’s right, the Transformers: The Last Knight trailer has eight different aspect ratios. As we learned on set, that’s because they’re shooting with a bunch of different formats. Director of photography Jonathan Sela explained to us that Michael Bay likes to mix up the format quite a bit. The cameras on set include the Red 6K Weapon Dragon, the Alexa 65 IMAX rig and the IMAX Phantom 65, all of which are 3D cameras. In addition, there are several 2D cameras, some with spherical optics, some GoPro footage and also some stuff shot on film. So prepare to see the aspect ratio change a lot throughout the movie.
All right, let’s get down to the actual footage in this insane teaser trailer.
The trailer opens with somber piano music and a close-up on a sword that appears to be coated with blood. Is it human blood or Transformers blood? Do the Transformers actually bleed? We’ve seen liquid spew from them when they’ve been run through or dismembered by blades, but I’m not sure if that’s their own blood or maybe oil that runs through their mechanics. Anyway, it seems likely to be human blood when we see…
These two shots from medieval times. There are knights charging with flags and swords, riding horses, showing that this is clearly from the flashback sequences we previously heard about involving Liam Garrigan as King Arthur.
Another shot seemingly from this same time period. A man on horseback rides along the edge of this picturesque landscape as what appears to be a three-headed dragon Transformer comes in for a landing. It appears Transformers have been part of human history longer than we previously knew, and perhaps the mythology of dragons came about because that’s what Transformers used to change into before vehicles such as cars, trucks, and jets existed.
Back on the battlefield, knights light up arrows with fire, explosions rock the warriors. Are the Transformers involved in this battle somehow?
Flash forward centuries to World War II, when Nazis were terrorizing Europe. This looks to be part of the controversial sequences that had citizens of the United Kingdom upset that Winston Churchill’s home was being draped with Nazi flags as set dressing for the movie. It’s a quick shot and it’s all we get from that time period, giving us no real clue as to how that time period ties into Transformers mythology.
Flash forward again and this appears to be a present day shot of soldiers caught up in some explosive action. Exactly what they’re up against, we can’t be sure, but it could be a shot that has a part in another action sequence that pops up later in the trailer.
A wide shot of a football stadium shows a gaping hole in the side of it, and there’s debris like this everywhere. Is this where a Transformer ended up after being blasted out of the sky in Transformers: Age of Extinction? Since there is still some smoke and fire lingering, this looks like something that just happened moments ago, but what caused this destruction? That appears to be a jet engine there in the middle, so maybe it’s a plane crash that will have more visual effects put in later?
Meet Isabela Moner, our young new heroine. She plays a character named Izabella (go figure) who becomes a key part of the story. On our set visit, we learned she was orphaned during the Battle of Chicago, and she’s been living on and off the streets for a little while, even hiding out with Transformers, one of which we’ll see a small glimpse of a bit later.
Here’s our first shot of a Transformers in its alien form, but who is that? The yellow color indicates that it might be Bumblebee with a bit of a makeover. Maybe he changed his form so he’s not as recognizable? That seems unnecessary since the Transformers Reaction Force is taking out any and all Transformers on the planet.
Now what the hell is this? When looking at the possible answers of why Optimus Prime is fighting Bumblebee, the possibility of Unicron manipulating the Autobot was floated, and that surface with a giant hole in it looks like it could easily be the planet-sized Transformer. On the other hand, we know that there’s some kind of big underwater sequence involving a massive anomaly and a submarine Transformer, and these shots look like they could be deep in the ocean, especially the way those vehicles are circling.
A close-up of a dirty, busted Optimus Prime floats in space until we get this shot from farther out. Voiceover from Anthony Hopkins reiterates that Prime left us behind, reminding us of how he blasted off into space at the end of Transformers: The Age of Extinction to look for The Creators (who we have been told we’ll be meeting in this movie).