3.10.2015

Me, Grimlock: The Emotional Intelligence of a Robot Dinosaur.

The year is 2005 and everyone is dying. 

As some of you may know, THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE was a oil-bath of destruction. Having lost Windcharger and some other noble warriors (whose names escape me at present), the remaining Autobots had to quickly gather themselves to defeat Galvatron and his planet-eating patron, Unicron.

Sharkticons of the world unite!

Amidst all of this survivor's guilt, there was one robot who's indomitable spirit went largely overlooked because of his primitive speech patterns- the Right Reverend, (King) Grimlock.


To understand Grimlock, we must examine his origin.  This robot-who-would-be-king was created by Wheeljack and Ratchet to fulfill Ironhide's paleo curiosity.  Born from a morally questionable endeavor, Grimlock was poorly received by his Autobot family when he clearly (and correctly) determined that the war into which he was born lacked a strategy for victory.  Thankfully, the Autobots established a detente with Grimlock and his family of robot dinosaurs (henceforth "Dinobots") but despite their non-aggression pact, the two groups remained forever distinct from one another.

That division was never more clear than when the Autobots got their robo-asses handed to them by the Decepticons. As Hot Rod, Springer, Arcee, Kup, Ultra Magnus, Blur (seriously, who are these guys?) and Daniel grieve over the losses to their ranks, the Dinobots look on curiously at all of the weeping. Initially, many assume that the Dinobots are unaware of their circumstances, but it's essential to pay more thought to their reactions.  Do Dinobots fear death? Nothing in their behavior indicates such, but they do care about how they live. And their code of honor, friendship, and survival is the strongest among the Autobot organization.

Indeed, Grimlock and his comrades are curious about their surroundings. They want to "hear good parts" of stories, they don't suffer double-speak (read: beryllium baloney), and by Primus, do they love a challenge. The Dinobots ask of nothing from their Autobot counterparts, they gladly perform their duties and the Autobots wisely give them free reign. And that's an essential aspect of the Dinobot philosophy- they seek #freedom from oppression and they despise the subjugation of others by a ruling class.

Case in point: Kup and Hot Rod are sentenced to death by the kangaroo court of the Quintessons, an ancient forum for galactic injustice. As our heroes futilely fight their Sharkticon executioners, it is only Grimlock's wisdom that prevails. Grimlock sees the primal underpinnings of the Sharkticon struggle. They literally work for their own food, and fight one another in a pit of filth to grab even the most meager helpings. Instead of adding to their misery by fighting them, Grimlock tells the Sharkticons to execute their oppressors, and a storming-of-the-Bastile takes place. 

If the Dinobots are primitive beasts, then it can be said that liberty is an essential element to basic happiness. Alternatively, if you view the Dinobots as quietly sophisticated, then you can point to their veneration of liberty as evidence of their enlightened view of the universe.  A warrior-philosopher once said that "(f)reedom is the right of all sentient beings," and Grimlock, the self-anointed king, remains the embodiment of that maxim.

1 comment:

  1. This is the most inspiring thing I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete