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Shrapnel
2013-06-03, 08:34 AM
Hi,

I was re-reading the "Shadowplay" double header from MTMTE (And rather good it was) the other day and had a few questions concerning the depiction of political strife on pre-war Cybertron.

So, we have "Functionists" - Am I right in thinking these are people that believe in, essentially, a caste system, whereby one's alt-mode determines their position in the society and their job role. One would presume that the keenest functionists would be those that the regime benefits, so I assume this means that people that turn into an aircraft or a sportscar are born into the upper middle classes and will have many more opportunities in life to achieve success in government, science, or sports (Blurr?).

This faction is reasonably self explanatory, the people that turn into drills become miners, and the chaps that turn into dustbin lorries are forced into being bin men whether they happen to be a genius or not. Thus, the genesis of Megatron's rage, building of a secret gang, etc, and war. Though, given that, at times, people seem to change their alt-modes there seems to be certain question marks as to who can or cannot do this. Presumably this is based on wealth, and a low paid manual worker may not have the cash to get themselves converted into a jet plane.

This aside, however, I also saw mention of "Ratioists" - I am at a loss to suss out what this means, has anyone any ideas?

This may have been covered in other issues, I do have a tendency to read some of these in bed when only half of one of my eyes is open.

As a result I seem to keep finding that a lot of this historical stuff is covered very vaguely, where they give us tidbits of information here and there. But again, perhaps I am just not paying enough attention.

All advice greatly received.

Shrap.

Terome
2013-06-03, 09:42 AM
I don't think Ratioism has been really covered but my assumption is that it is something like a more extreme sect of Functionism that involves population control. Perhaps a certain ratio of drill-tanks to sports cars must be maintained?

Don't forget that there are also the Primalists - Cybertronian Christians. They seem to be distinct from guys like Pious Maximus, who are more focused on the Knights.

Shrapnel
2013-06-03, 09:59 AM
So the Primalists believe in the word of Primus, or something?

And has there been any explanation on how Primus felt about functionism? Or does that remain vague? The relationship between religion and state confuses me, it doesn't really seem that religion has much sway at all.

Then again, it probably depends which Prime is in charge at the time and how involved with Primalism they are. With no frame of reference to time periods (also, affectionately, known as "dates") it's hard to always know what era any given flashback is set in when they pop back to "a short time before the war" or other ambiguous terms.

Maybe someone needs to write a history book. :)

Knightdramon
2013-06-03, 11:08 AM
I don't think people could just change alt. modes like that. Even the clinics, which offered body swapping, were for limited time deals only.

Some people got alt. mode exempt based on social status or other deeds, like Senator Momus, who was a buldozer/miner and became a senator, or Whirl, who was left free to do what he wanted even though he was an aerial bot.

A better way, thus far, to differentiate the time eras is by the ruling Prime, but even then, we don't know how long each of them stayed in power. From what we've seen so far, Nominus must have been the longest serving Prime, with Sentinel being runner up for a little time and Zeta for an unknown short time later on.

Presumably the first recorded civil war (the one that Nova ended) left Cybertron devastated and under populated. Perhaps this is what made him use the spark splicing program to inhabit the planet and cover more ground faster.

I believe there's plenty of storytelling for a new comic book, like the Lineage of Primes/Cybertron. Even though we now have a firm grasp of the lineage from Nova to Rodimus, we said that thing years ago and AHM brought us Zeta Prime. And even then, Roberts brought in Nominus. So there's still a gap to insert another one before Nova or even after him, thus bringing new political issues up.

--We've never had a line from Nominus yet, right?

Shrapnel
2013-06-03, 12:16 PM
--We've never had a line from Nominus yet, right?


Not that I am aware. And this, of course, gives the writers more freedom to make up the odd Prime here and there to fit in with whatever historical context is being flashbacked (flashbackised? Flashbuck?) at the time.

"Hmm, we need a fascist dictator?"
"Okay, how's Zeta sound?"
"Oh nice, quite nasty sounding."

Maybe next year:

"We really need a new Prime, some sort of left-wing socialist type."
"Oh right, let me consult the greek alphabet a minute. Where do they fit in the order of Primes?"
"Dunno, is there one?"

I suppose that if they wanted to bring out a book that covered more history like this it would be focused quite a lot on non-toy characters, which I presume becomes a concern for overall sales. One has to presume that there was a time when Orion Pax wasn't involved in every plot or movement taking place and was just a lawman.

It's odd that we've had so much coverage of Starscream and yet I remain intrigued as to what he may have been up to before he met Megatron. Presumably he was aiming for government, or fame by some other means. Though maybe he was just some spoilt, over-privileged aeroplane scumbag.

It's fascinating for me to have more coverage of the strife that led up to the war and the general feelings that led society to the creation of groups such as the Decepticons. Whilst they were regarded by some as terrorists, others saw them as the group that spoke to their needs, sometimes just from a unionist/worker point of view, and at other times from "sick of corruption in government" aspect. There are many mirrors to many real life situations here. It never sat nicely with me as a kid to think of the war as something that "just happened" because Megs was a lunatic that for some reason people got behind.

Still, I think it would be nice to tell some more of these stories. The sadness for me is that some of the history focused books we've already had, such as "Megs: Origin" and "Autocracy" seem to really lack for good writing and coherency. The ending of Autocracy was cringeworthy.

Course, the reason i usually don't post on here is because I end up banging on like this. :)

Red Dave Prime
2013-06-03, 01:04 PM
I think the problem with Autocracy (and its sequel Monstocity) is you get the feeling that the writer is trying to shoe horn his ideas into a universe which doesnt exactly fit with them.

For those not reading it, one of the plots in Monstocity involves the dinobots having beast modes engage when they get too angry - this might have fit the sunbow cartoon but its massively out of place with the more serious take that IDW have generally gone for.

Also, its such a big thing, you would have imagined it should have been always a part of their character and shouldnt be something added in later.

From what I've read, Meg:Ori was meant to be part of DW continuity so at times it feels very odd to whats come since but I think Roberts and barber have generally done a good job of making it more interesting than it actually is.


I don't think Ratioism has been really covered but my assumption is that it is something like a more extreme sect of Functionism that involves population control. Perhaps a certain ratio of drill-tanks to sports cars must be maintained?

Makes sense but also sounds like how Hasbro should design their toy lines - a certain ratio of non-bumblebee toys to bumblebee toys for example.

Terome
2013-06-03, 03:57 PM
Some more Primes or Prime-less gaps before Nominus would be nice. The problem with the timeline right now is that Nova Prime's era seems to be ancient and remote but more and more folk seem to have been around for it. Putting some change and texture in that gap might help things.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-05, 01:57 PM
I still want to know where Zeta got his big hat from.

I'm actually kind of glad they haven't filled in every gap and explained every reference, having more room free for exploration later creates less of a straight jacket for future writers.

plus, a full list of Primes would have everything to do with keeping the wiki people happy and nothing to do with good storytelling.

Red Dave Prime
2013-06-05, 01:59 PM
Still not even sure exactly what a Prime is. Sentinal is an enforcer, Nova was a leader, Optimus was a matrix bearer.... its a little confusing.

Terome
2013-06-05, 02:03 PM
Robots In Disguise #84-92: THE ANSWERS YOU'VE BEEN CRAVING.
NOVA PRIME, one-time despot ruler of CYBERTRON. You know the story of his rise, but what about his HAT? Deep beneath the planet's surface, a senses-shaking quest unfurls, secrets are revealed and your preconceptions about NOVA PRIME'S HAT will be torn to pieces by jackals.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-05, 02:07 PM
Still not even sure exactly what a Prime is. Sentinal is an enforcer, Nova was a leader, Optimus was a matrix bearer.... its a little confusing.

That's what happens when you have a system of government based on doing what a magic glowing ball made of God tells you.

Robots In Disguise #84-92: THE ANSWERS YOU'VE BEEN CRAVING.
NOVA PRIME, one-time despot ruler of CYBERTRON. You know the story of his rise, but what about his HAT? Deep beneath the planet's surface, a senses-shaking quest unfurls, secrets are revealed and your preconceptions about NOVA PRIME'S HAT will be torn to pieces by jackals.

Sounds like it'll be full to the brim. No doubt we'll be bowl-er-ed over by it.

Terome
2013-06-05, 02:11 PM
Whoops, of course I ruined that poor joke by dropping in the wrong evil Prime.

Still not even sure exactly what a Prime is. Sentinal is an enforcer, Nova was a leader, Optimus was a matrix bearer.... its a little confusing.

I quite like that though, each has a different flavour. They seem to be honourary presidents with degrees of power that depend on the circumstances. Nominus was an enemy of the Senate, Sentinel was the Senate's bully-boy, the Senate was kind of dead by Zeta's time and completely dead by Optimus'.

Interesting though that Optimus is the most overtly religious role of them all, with possibly the exception of Nominus.

Dalek: My insider sources tell me that the arc will guest-star The BFG to make all the hat puns we could need.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-05, 02:14 PM
Whoops, of course I ruined that poor joke by dropping in the wrong evil Prime.


Shhhhh, you got away with it.

Terome
2013-06-05, 02:18 PM
[QUOTE=inflatable dalek;730124]That's what happens when you have a system of government based on doing what a magic glowing ball made of God tells you.

The sad thing, I guess, is that they'd moved away from that whole idea with the Senate but then embraced it fully when times got tricky.