Optimus Primal, stalwart leader of the Maximals and captain of the spaceship Axalon, transforms into a mighty Gorilla in his beast mode. His fierce rivalry with the Predacon commander, Megatron, fuels epic clashes in the battle for supremacy. Named in homage to the legendary Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, Primal underwent a transformative evolution into a Transmetal, assuming the formidable identity of Optimal Optimus and towering as a Giant Ape.
In the expansive realm of the Hasbro Cinematic Universe, Optimus Primal retains his iconic appearance, donning shell armor reminiscent of a gorilla's hair. When he shifts into his beast mode, a hyper-realistic gorilla emerges, ready to combat Megatron and his Predacons. Primal's noble mission extends beyond mere conflict; he valiantly defends the environment and its inhabitants, standing against poachers to safeguard endangered species from the brink of extinction.
A champion for nature, Optimus Primal encourages fellow Maximals like Lio Convoy and Big Convoy to unite their forces and establish a new base, fostering a resilient alliance. Delving into his history, the initial concept of Optimus Primal as a bat was proposed by the Axalon computers, but Primal, driven by a quest for power, ultimately chose the commanding presence of a gorilla. Intriguingly, the comic hints at Primal's new form as the intended body for Optimus Prime even before the Beast Wars series commenced, adding a layer of complexity to his legendary legacy.
In Transformers: Rise of the Beast Movie:
In the heart of a distant jungle world, where the thick foliage concealed their every move, Optimus Primal, paying tribute to the legendary Optimus Prime, commanded a small band of Maximals. Together, they stood against the relentless onslaught of Unicron, the Terrorcons, and their army of Predacon drones. Their mission: to reach Apelinq, the guardian of the Transwarp Key—an artifact that served as a conduit, allowing their race to traverse the vast expanse of time and space. With Scourge, the menacing leader of the Terrorcons, hot on their heels, Apelinq entrusted Optimus with both leadership and the pivotal artifact. Armed with the Transwarp Key, Optimus and the remaining Maximals narrowly escaped their imperiled world just before Unicron devoured it.
The quartet of survivors—Optimus, Airazor, Cheetor, and Rhinox—sought sanctuary on ancient Earth, establishing a covert base in the depths of southern Peru. Initially hidden away in a secret tomb, the fate of the Transwarp Key took a turn as the Maximals forged alliances with the humans in the region, ultimately placing the powerful device in their trustworthy hands.
For eons, the Maximals remained concealed, until 1994 when the accidental discovery of the Transwarp Key on Earth set off a chain of events. Autobots, accompanied by their human allies Noah Diaz and Elena Wallace, found themselves entwined in the jungles of South America. Following a tense encounter between Airazor and Optimus Prime, Primal agreed to assist their mission, guiding them to a village where the key's latest guardians dwelled.
However, the following morning brought a tragic twist as Airazor fell victim to Scourge's corruption—a consequence of a prior encounter's corrosive infection. In a heart-wrenching decision, Primal was compelled to terminate his infected comrade. This skirmish, however, played into Scourge's hands, enabling him to seize both halves of the Transwarp Key and unleash Unicron upon Earth. A united effort unfolded, with Autobots and Maximals joining forces to reclaim the key and seal the portal. In a fierce confrontation, Primal obliterated Battletrap, securing victory for his allies.
Even though Optimus Prime succeeded in defeating Scourge and destroying the key, an imploding transwarp portal forced Primal and his comrades into a strategic retreat. Miraculously, Primal intervened just in time to rescue Optimus Prime from the portal's clutches. With the immediate threat neutralized, the three remaining Maximals opted to stay in Peru, forming an alliance with the departing Autobots, ready to face the potential return of Unicron in the future.
Reverberating through the voice lines of Ron Perlman, Optimus Primal emerges as a distinctive character, echoing his previous portrayal in the Power of the Prime Series. Originally envisioned for Transformers: The Last Knight, his Rise of the Beasts incarnation undergoes a substantial transformation, drawing inspiration from Furio Tedeschi's untapped concept art from the aforementioned film.
In a departure from the AOE/TLK Optimus Prime aesthetic, Primal sheds the helmet, integrates organic elements, and showcases a striking palette of brown, black feathers, fur, and piercing green eyes. His chest, adorned with the Maximal insignia, adopts a more anatomical form. While the initial concept envisioned him towering at 50 feet, the AR statue app confines Primal's beast mode to a more modest 13'2".
Director Steven Caple Jr., cognizant of the need for expressive dynamism in Primal's beast mode, collaborated with the graphics team. They ingeniously divided the face into myriad slivers, enabling fluid movement of the mouth and eyebrows while preserving the illusion of a robot in disguise.
In a narrative twist, Optimus Primal discloses his nomenclature origin to Optimus Prime, underscoring the hierarchical timeline where Optimus Prime predates Optimus Primal, revealing a depth to their intertwined histories.
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