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By Heinrad

"Destiny has one great test in store for us all... has mine already come? And have I failed it?... A deed, once done, cannot be undone. But perhaps... it may yet be mitigated!"
-- Dinobot, "Code of Hero"

Percentage of vote: 41.2%
Average ranking: 11.0

Strangely enough, this one is kind of hard to write. I mean, how does one really view Dinobot? Getting a quote helps a little, one we ignore all of his Hamlet quotes. Which are, sadly, his most memorable.

He's not the first to switch sides (that honor goes to Jetfire/Skyfire), and the only reason he did it was because his attempt to wrest control from Megatron failed. He didn't really fit in with the Maximals, basically being the Worf to their Starfleet - okay, more like McHale's Navy - crew.

"Though not the first bad guy to see the light, definitely the most interesting and in-depth portrayal of the trope in TF media."

-- Warcry

So of the three big side switchers (I'd include Octane and Blitzwing, but that was only for the cartoon), what makes the overgrown stinky iguana stand out?

Again it comes down to characterization. Skyfire was a scientist, Drift was..... uh, whatever Drift was. But Dinobot? Dinobot was a warrior. He had a true sense of duty. Of honor.

His sense of honor was so strong, in fact, that it was technically coded into his CNA sequence.

"The greatest turncoat of all, showing how a warrior from the evil faction could actually be respectable and find a path to redemption."

--Patrick Anguirus Stinson

Over the course of his arc in the show, he underwent a change. He realized what Megatron was planning, and what the consequences would be if his plan succeeded. The warrior wants to be on the winning side. But the honorable warrior would rather win honorably.

Which leads, in Dinobot's case, to his death.

Code of Hero is the best episode of Beast Wars, possibly the best episode of any and all incarnations of Transformers on television, yet it works on such a simple premise: Do you stop what is about to happen, knowing that you'll likely die in the process, or do you just let it happen?

As all the Predacons would attest to, they wish he'd taken the 'ignore what we're doing, nothing to see here' route. Dinobot saves the future human race at the cost of his own life.

"THIS DUDE, THOUGH. I was tempted to fill in all thirty slots with Dinobot. Easily the most well-characterized character in this entire list, Dinobot's character arc, struggling with his allegiance, honor, and doing the right thing... well, Dinobot is a goddamn awesome hero who I cannot describe adequately in 500 words. The rest is silence."


This is his defining moment. Everything his arc had been building up to. Live with honor, die with honor, get cloned by the enemy, and possibly die with honor again. Okay, cloning may not have been there initially, but the fact that the original Dinobot managed to resurface just from the cellular coding in the clone is pretty cool.

Or did he? Resurface from cellular encoding, that is. Let's take a quick look at Dinobot II.

Megatron creates Dinobot II for a few reasons. The first of his new troops (or a way to upgrade existing troops), a way to control that pesky Rampage, and vengeance on Dinobot.

And at first, in fact for most of the third season that he was in, it worked. Dinobot II was a very effective warrior, everything Megatron could have hoped for, right up until the moment Rampage died in Nemesis part 1.

In terms of exactly what happened.... We're not exactly sure. Dark Glass plays an important part in what happened. Maybe.

(Of course, you've never seen it. It never got made, heck it never made it past the first draft script stage. But what happened to Dinobot II makes a lot more sense when you include it. In a nutshell, Rattrap, missing his friend far more that he'd want to admit, discovers a backup copy Dinobot made of his mind and figures this would be the best way to restore the original Dinobot. He manages to upload the datatrax into the clone, but the results aren't what he'd hoped for. Without being connected to a spark, the data based Dinobot can only fight a losing battle against the Rampage fueled clone's mind, also realizing that when he loses, the clone will have his memories. So Dinobot does the only thing he can, attacking Megatron in a desperate attempt to get the clone destroyed. And while the clone isn't destroyed, it is knocked out. Given the fact that the clone wasn't very talkative to begin with, and Megatron may not have known what Rattrap did, the question may never have actually come up.)

But whether Dinobot II being taken over at the end was due to datatrax that had been put in him by Rattrap resurfacing or by his cellular data starting to reassert itself(me, I think it's a mix of both), what matters is this: Dinobot is a hero, and the rest....... is silence.

"Alas, poor Tarantulas. I knew him, Cheetor! This is the leg that stalked so many victims. That it should come to this..."

"To be or not to be; that is the question. These disks I hold, are they a record of what will be, or only what may? For if, the future is indeed imutably foretold, then my demise is but moments from the confirmation. For I, I could not live if not the master of my fate. But if the future can be changed, if these disks record merely one path of all the myriad ways the cosmos might conform, then their power is infinite, and yet, still limited. For they could be used but once, and in that change be rendered fiction, forevermore. I could destroy them! But no. T'would be a coward's answer. I will know the truth instead. Then, it will be either them, or me, that face oblivion. Till then!..."

Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The silence."

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