Revenge of the Fallen

TransformersTwo years ago Transformers came out and swept the box offices raking in millions of dollars and reintroducing a Hasbro toy from the generation before to today's kids.  The movie was nothing short of fantastic, taking the characters we'd come to love from the toy aisle and memorable cartoon and spicing them up with flashy CGI graphics.  Additionally our hero was your every day run of the mill geek, nothing too spectacular in Sam Witwike and yet everything spectacular.  In the end the Autobots prevailed, Megatron died and then was buried in the depths of the sea.  Supposedly condemned to an icy grave, the credits rolled and we catch a glimpse of Megatron's second in command, Star Scream zipping off into the sky.


When I saw the first movie I knew there would be more to come by the way it ended.  In the cartoon Megatron and the other Decepticons built a base in the depths of the sea and it was from there that they conducted their campaign against humanity, so this seemed to me the perfect setup for a sequel.


The sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, is undoubtedly good, though perhaps I would say that about any movie which animated my favorite childhood toys.  Yet the movie does deserve some criticism.  Unfortunately the  amount of foul language in this installment is excessive.  When the writing seems to be missing something in terms of substance, they try to make up for it with crass jokes, sexual innuendos or downright tasteless language.  That takes what could be a family friendly movie and instead earns a PG-13 rating.  If you're a parent or youth group leader thinking about taking your kids to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen be warned, it's not the cleanest flick at the box office this summer. Now onto the movie itself...

Spoilers to follow...

 

Revenge of the Fallen opens with the Autobots having formed an alliance with the humans and battling a league of Decepticons which continue to ravage the earth in a last ditch effort to claim the fragment of the Allspark and enslave all of humanity.  This alliance is kept under the radar though, with apparent doubt from the current presidential administration at its success when a Decepticon is stopped in Shanghai and the coverup is less than clean.  

Meanwhile our hero, Sam Witwike is getting ready to go off to college and leave his faithful Camaro Bumblebee behind.  His parents are struggling with the departure--maybe it's just his mother--and his girlfriend is battling the difficulty of maintaining a long-distance relationship.  Just before Sam leaves he finds a fragment of the Allspark on the t-shirt he wore on that fateful day when he defeated Megatron.  Havoc breaks lose, and the Witwike's get a wonderful opportunity to remodel their home!

While Sam is at college the Decepticons are out to get him, knowing what Sam does not know, that when the Aallspark was destroyed it imprinted upon his brain special information for the location of some sort of star-eater which is capable of extracting energy to help make new transformers.  The Decepticons bring Megatron back from his watery grave and he goes to battle Optimus Prime in order to seize Sam and claim the star-eater for himself.  A fight ensues and with Optimus Prime out numbered it appears that he does not stand a chance.  Optimus sacrifices himself to overcome the Decepticons and is finally  murdered by Megatron providing opportunity for Sam to narrowly escape.

With Optimus Prime dead, hope seems to be lost, the Autobots are banished to their secret island military base, and Sam goes into hiding.  While in hiding Sam learns about the Allspark's mark on his brain and begins to put together the puzzle pieces of what is going on around him.
With the final descendant of the Primes dead (that would be Optimus) Megatron's master leaves Cybertron to take charge of the effort to claim the star-eater machine which has been hidden somewhere on planet Earth.  Sam eventually learns the whole of Megatron's plans and sets out in search of the key which unlocks the star-eater in order to bring back Optimus Prime from death.
Great tribulation presents itself to Sam who eventually finds the key, only to die himself in a bloody battle between the humans and Autobots on one side and the Decepticons on the other.  The story doesn't end there though because the key seems to resurrect Sam who then resurrects Optimus Prime and with the added help of an elder Autobot super-powers his transformer self for a final battle against Megatron's Master.  Optimus Prime slays Megatron's Master and Megatron disappears into hiding and thus only through Optimus Prime's death and resurrection is humanity delivered from "the Fallen".

In the movie "the Fallen" refers to Megatron's Master an ancient transformer who was part of an elite seven given to govern over the rest of the transformers.  This particular transformer went sour though and decided to use his power for evil instead of good.  The remaining "Primes" end up sacrificing themselves to prevent the Fallen from doing harm, and thus begins a great and long period of silence in the Autobot history.  

The Fallen is Satan, someone close enough to the throne of God at one point to have been numbered as an angel.  Optimus Prime is a picture of Christ, being the hero of the day and ultimately having to die in order to deliver humanity.  As Optimus Prime is slain by Megatron, who is really nothing more than a pawn in the Fallen's game, the Fallen believes he has achieved victory.  Just like Satan was fooled by our Lord's crucifixion.  The story doesn't end there though. Optimus Prime - like Jesus, is raised from the dead and in so doing overcomes sin, death and the devil (the Fallen).  Only by the grace of God and in the resurrected flesh of Christ are the chains of the Fallen's hold on this world - death - broken free from humanity so that they might live in peace.
Our Lord Jesus Christ took on lowly flesh, our flesh and descended for life apart from His home to dwell amongst us humans.  The Godhead joined flesh in order that He might deliver us from our own iniquity.  Through His death and resurrection He freed us from the snare of the devil and set us free to walk in newness and live in Him.

Only by death could Jesus free us from death.  Jesus likes to turn things upside down and do them better.  He takes things which make no sense to us and uses them to deliver the forgiveness of sins to poor miserable sinners like us.  He takes water and uses it as a medium to deliver righteousness.  He takes every day ordinary bread and wine and makes them vessel of His own life giving body and blood.  He takes human flesh and conceals within it all the power of the Godhead in order to deliver humanity from its own sinfulness.  He takes the sinfulness of death, even death by crucifixion and He flips it around in order to save all of humanity.  He saves by dying.  God the all-knowing all-being ever-present, almighty and immortal dies, so that the fragile mortal bodies of men might be raised up to life on the last day to walk with Him in righteousness. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, like all stories, ultimately shows bits and pieces of the Truest Story, the saving of sinners by the Son of God.

Going Further
Bible Study Discussion Questions

1. In Transformers the battle against humanity is at first a hidden battle. Against whom does St. Paul say that our battle is in Ephesians 6:12.


2. How is Satan's kingdom brought down in the world today? See Luke 10:1-20. What does the Lord send his disciples to do? 


3. The idea of a person laying down their life to help others is common in many stories. By laying down their life, a person is usually able to save someone else. Read John 10:11-17,27-29. Why does Jesus lay down His life? What does it mean for us that He does so? 


4. The Transformers are a race of beings from long ago and far away. Is Jesus just one more angel who saves us from the evil angels? Read Hebrews 1:1-6 for the answer. 



5. Sometimes it seems as if the powers of good and evil are equal. How do we know that Christ is stronger than the Devil and truly wins the final victory? See Ephesians 1:18-23.  

Created: July 2nd, 2009