For years, Star Wars fans have celebrated May 4th as an international day of recognition for a franchise that has sparked entertainment for generations of science fantasy fans. Not many fictional universes can be as unique with a billion dollar film franchise, countless expanded adventures through books, toys, and cartoons, and amazing iconic characters.
There is another science fantasy franchise that embodies the characteristics of Star Wars, except instead of lightsabers and midichlorians, it has giant robots that turn into cars, guns, and dinosaurs.
The Transformers, which first debuted in 1984, is a franchise that has been practically non-stop in its development of fantastic action figures, cartoons, and comics. The Dreamworks-produced and Michael Bay-directed films reenergized the franchise and is bringing new generations into the amazing universe of Cybertronians waging a civil war for millions of years. With an annual convention celebrating the franchise, and award-winning and record-breaking media continually being produced worldwide, Transformers is a franchise that deserves an international day of recognition just like Star Wars.
But, out of the 365 days of the year, why August 1?
Part of it is a play on words. An iconic line from the original Transformers film, “‘Til All Are One” was first uttered by Optimus Prime (voiced by the invincible Peter Cullen) as he lay on his death bed and passed the Matrix of Leadership to his successor, Ultra Magnus.
This same line would later be used during the climax of the movie, and be repeated throughout the years in various Transformers media. Much like “May the Fourth Be With You” is a play on the famous Jedi saying, August One is the closest date on the calendar in the English language to match the Autobots’ rallying cry.
Beyond that line, August is a very significant month for the Transformers franchise. In August 1986, the original Transformers film debuted in theaters. In August 2011, Dark of the Moon hit $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts, the first Transformers film–heck, the first Paramount film–to do so, a true landmark for the franchise.
Probably the most significant reason August is important for the franchise is that on August 19, 1984, the very first newspaper advertisements for the Transformers toyline appeared.
If nothing else, Grimlock, the leader of the Dinobots, considers August 23 to be his birthday. All hail the king, baby.
2014 is the 30th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. The latest blockbuster film, “Age of Extinction”, will debut next month, featuring the long-requested showcasing of the Dinobots in live-action. IDW Publishing’s excellent Transformers comics just launched in a stunning new direction, with Megatron leading a team of Autobots on a quest through space and Optimus Prime returning to Earth to unlock new mysteries. A new cartoon from Hasbro Studios will be debuting soon. And a slate of excellent new toys are hitting the shelves in across the globe, celebrating 30 years of robots in disguise.
What better way to celebrate than with the inauguration of the first international Transformers day?
‘Til All Are One!