"And it was written in the Covenant of Primus...that when the 47 spheres align a perpetual conflict will culminate upon a world forged from chaos. And the weak shall perish in the shadow of a rising darkness."
With these ominous words recited by Optimus Prime, a truly epic adventure begins for the brave Autobots who defend the Earth from Megatron and his minions, the Decepticons in "Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand," a special DVD release from Hasbro Studios and Shout! Factory. This disc offers the final 4 episodes of Season One of the "Transformers Prime" TV series as well as the 3 premiere episodes of Season Two, but showcased in an edited form for the viewer to enjoy as a 150 minute feature-length tale. The original episode titles were:
"One Shall Fall"
"One Shall Rise (Parts 1,2,3)"
"Orion Pax (Parts 1,2,3)"
"One Shall Stand" marks a critical time in the ages-old conflict between the opposing "robots in disguise." The malevolent Megatron has become more and more obsessed with achieving his ancient desire for conquest. His long-time adversary, Optimus Prime, senses this and comes to a grim but inevitable conclusion:
"I have been foolish not to see what history has proven over and over again: that Autobots and Decepticons will never mend their ways. If there can be no diplomatic solution to this 'perpetual conflict,' then I must not allow more darkness to fall on this or any planet. Megatron must be destroyed!"
Thus, Prime challenges Megatron to a one on one battle of the ages...but this clash of robotic titans becomes just a prelude to a far mightier threat to the adopted world of the Transformers with the stunning resurrection of Unicron, "the chaos bringer;" a godlike being with cosmic ties to Cybertron, the homeworld of the Autobots and Decepticons...and more. As this immense "force of nature" grows more and more powerful, to defeat Unicron, Optimus Prime is confronted with an uneasy choice, a choice that will cost him and the heroic Autobots he leads more than they ever imagined.
"One Shall Stand" is a story of immense proportions...but also one of truly emotional proportions as well. Like much of the "Transformers Prime" TV Series, this tale harkens back to Transformers adventures of the past even as it showcases this saga for a new audience. In particular it offers a new interpretation of Unicron, a character first introduced in 1986 in The Transformers - The Movie (20th Anniversary Special Edition). But at the heart of this epic adventure is the character of Optimus Prime. This is a story of who he is, who he was, and how this noble figure affects the lives of those around him, friends and foes alike.
From an animation stand point, "One Shall Stand" is just another example of the impressive work being done by the talented computer animators who help realize this excellent TV series. The Transformers are characters born to be imagined with computer graphic imaging technology and they have rarely looked better than in "Transformers Prime."
This DVD acts as a bridge between Seasons One and Two of the ongoing "Transformers Prime" show. Its movie length version of the series' First Season finale and Second Season premiere can be enjoyed as a self-contained story but it also introduces and continues plot points that will only deepen as the TV series progresses. The most interesting story development for me is Optimus Prime's darker view of the conflict between him and his fellow Autobots, and their enemies, the Decepticons and their master, Megatron. This character evolution of the Autobot leader is a distinctive hallmark of the "Transformers Prime" series. How Prime will resolve his seeming growing sense of pessimism regarding the centuries-long civil war is something I look forward to seeing as the show continues.
The "One Shall Stand" DVD also includes 2 bonus features: a round table discussion with members of the "Transformers Prime" writing staff about the challenges of scripting stories for the series and an "animatic" or test version of the episode "One Shall Rise (Part 2)."
"One Shall Stand" is a thrilling tale and comes highly recommended.
Long live Optimus Prime!!