Spark (Transformers)

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This article is about the life source of the Transformers. For Transformers characters sometimes known as "Spark", see Pyro (Transformers). For the Editors song, see All Sparks. For other uses, see Spark (disambiguation).
Spark/AllSpark
Jetfire receives the Autobrand and mentions a "spark" for the first time in Marvel Transformers comics.
Plot element from the Transformers franchise
Publisher Marvel Comics (introduction only)
First appearance Transformers issue #10 (November 1985)
Created by Bob Budiansky
Robert N. Skir
Genre Science fiction
In-story information
Type A "soul" of a Transformer, a round sphere of energy, a cube-shaped object with shape-shifting abilities, a container holding a glowing mass of energy within or the "afterlife" of the Transformers.
Function A "soul" of or the "afterlife" of a Transformer.

Within the narrative of the fictional Transformers universe, a spark is usually the "soul" of a Transformer. Likewise, the AllSpark (Japanese name: Matrix Zone (マトリクスゾーン Matorikusu Zōn) is an ancient artifact or object capable of creating new Transformer life by bestowing machinery with sparks. The term "AllSpark" was created by writer Robert N. Skir, who responded to a fan question about the TV series Beast Machines July 21, 1999 web page.[1] Skir explained that the Beast Machines entity called The Oracle was actually the AllSpark, consisting of "the spark of every transformer who has ever lived, or ever will live". In a November 6, 1999 web page, Skir clarified that the Matrix was something called the AllSpark and was "made up of every Spark that ever was, and every Spark that ever will be".[2]

In the Beast Machines television series, the term "AllSpark" was used for the Transformers' afterlife. Although the concept of the Transformers afterlife was briefly touched upon in the original series and Beast Wars series, it was not until Beast Machines that the concept was explored further. The Autobot Matrix of Leadership, as seen in the original series, was not merely a receptacle for the consciousness of deceased Autobot leaders; it was a gateway that led to the AllSpark, from which all current and future Transformers' sparks came. Possessing a sentience, the AllSpark had sent Sparks out into the world to live. When any Transformers, good or evil, were destroyed, their Spark would return to the AllSpark and share with it all that it had experienced, thereby adding to the timeless fountain of knowledge and wisdom. The facility on Cybertron, which produces Maximal protoforms, was named after the aforementioned Matrix, and was analogous to human's Heaven. A similar Predacon facility also exists, named the Pit, and was analogous to Hell. The Pit was also known as the Inferno until the late-season addition of the character Inferno.

In the Transformers 2007 live action film, the "AllSpark" is a cube-shaped artifact adorned with glyphs and designs which is capable of granting independent life to normal electronic and mechanical objects and is the source of life for all Transformers. The AllSpark was prominently featured in the concurrently released 2007 Transformers Animated series, where it shares a similar history and capabilities with its 2007 film counterpart, but resembles the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.[3]

Conceptual history[edit]

The concept of The Allspark as it now exists has evolved and coalesced over the course of almost all Transformer fiction since the line began, and this article will cover its history to minimize confusion.

Concept and Creation[edit]

The very beginnings of the concept of the Allspark arose with the Generation 1 cartoon, which introduced the Autobot Matrix of Leadership in The Transformers: The Movie. The Matrix was a powerful, ancient talisman, revealed in the episode "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4" to be a vessel containing the life essences of its previous bearers, who stood sentinel over the accumulated "Wisdom of the Ages" within the Matrix, and guided Rodimus Prime through its depths when he sent his own life-force into the Matrix in search of answers about the Transformers' past. In a curious error, the ancient Autobot Alpha Trion was shown to exist within the Matrix in "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2", but also within the mega-computer Vector Sigma, with which he had previously merged, in "The Rebirth, Part 2". Vector Sigma had been shown to be responsible for giving Transformers life in previous episodes.

While the Generation 1 Marvel Comics' had debuted its version of the Matrix, the "Creation Matrix", before the cartoon under writer Bob Budiansky, it was not until after the cartoon introduced these concepts that writer Simon Furman expanded on the nature of the comic's Matrix. Furman revealed it to be a vessel containing the essence and power of the Transformers' creator and God Primus, in addition to explaining that all Transformer life-forces are fragments of Primus' own. It was the Beast Wars cartoon that took understanding of Transformer life to the next level when it established the concept of sparks, the pulsating balls of energy that were all at once a Transformer's heart, mind and soul. Sparks, it was explained, came from "the Matrix", and would return to this realm when they died. Piggybacking on a trail left when Optimus Primal died in a transwarp explosion, Rhinox was even able to enter this "Matrix" and recover Primal's spark. Additionally, the Transformers could often be heard swearing "by the Matrix", indicating its reverential place in their belief system.

Early usage[edit]

Beast Wars writers Bob Forward and Larry DiTillio did not have the precise concept of the Matrix as they had employed it fleshed out, envisioning it variously as a mysterious facility on Cybertron, from which Maximal protoforms emerged, or as the nebula that was home to the cartoon's enigmatic aliens, the Vok, thus making those creatures responsible for Transformer life in the Beast Era. The latter idea was never used (and has since been pushed well out of the realm of possibility by subsequent fiction) while the former would later be officialized over a decade later in the Transformers Collectors' Club story "The Razor's Edge". Regardless, it was Beast Wars own sequel series Beast Machines that was first to expand on what this "Matrix" truly was, forging it into the central concept of its own storyline. What Beast Wars had called the "Matrix", Beast Machines called the "Allspark", establishing it to be the realm from which all Transformer sparks "that ever lived, or ever will live" come from, cementing the vast majority of the details covered in the top section of this article.

A vague reference to the Allspark was later made in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, when Vector Sigma was dubbed "the Allspark of Cybertron" in "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion!", the first linking of the Beast Era's handling of Transformer life to the Generation 1 cartoon. Later still, in Dreamwave Productions' More Than Meets The Eye guidebook, the concepts of the Beast Era were brought together with the Generation 1 Marvel comic's concept of Primus, to first form the idea of the Allspark as it has been known since. And the end of this tale, then, we are able to return to that original error from the Generation 1 cartoon regarding Alpha Trion, and retroactively gloss it away by understanding that he was not within either the Matrix or Vector Sigma, but within the Allspark, which was merely being accessed by these two items. With the concept firmly in place, the Allspark was not particularly touched upon in fiction for the immediate future, with the entire Unicron Trilogy going by with only an occasional name-drop, such as characters swearing by "the Allspark of Cybertron", or, in the episode "Trap", Starscream referring to death as being sent to "meet the Allspark". In 2006, the bio of the e-Hobby exclusive "Laser" Ultra Magnus figure touched upon the Allspark again, taking a moment to explain why the Autobot leaders from the Generation 1 cartoon had appeared as individuals within the Allspark when Beast Machines had established this should not be the case: those who had held the Matrix of Leadership were exempt from this rule, and retained their individuality within the Allspark.

Modern Establishment in fiction[edit]

It was not until the advent of the Transformers 2007 live action film that the idea of the Allspark was thrust back into the fore, as its name was given to the legendary object that drove the film's plot, the huge cube that was the source of Transformer life in this continuity. Takara's World of the Transformers website then created the idea of the "God item", grouping Vector Sigma, the Matrix and the movie's AllSpark together as items capable of bestowing Transformer life, and by logical extension, connections to the Allspark realm. Transformers Animated followed the live-action movie's lead, featuring a physical AllSpark object responsible for bestowing Transformer life, which was identified as another sacred implement by the guidebook Transformers Animated: The AllSpark Almanac II. To spare confusion, when the afterlife is discussed in the Animated cartoon, it is referred to not as the "Allspark", but as "the Well of All Sparks", after a location introduced in Dreamwave's comic which was itself another connection to the Allspark realm. By this count, then, the Allspark is known by three different names, each of which is in turn also the name of one of the objects used to access it. Is it any wonder this is confusing?

In the Transformers: Prime universe, the Allspark, along with Vector Sigma, the Matrix of Leadership, and the Well of All Sparks, are portrayed as separate entities. The Allspark is referred to as an "afterlife", where a fallen Cybertronian spark departs to after its body has died, often referred to as "becoming one with the Allspark". Primus used the Well of All Sparks to create the original thirteen Primes. Not much information is presented in this continuity about the Well of All Sparks, except that it is wholly separate from the Allspark. It would stand to reason that if a Spark departs to the Allspark in death, the source of any and all Sparks, their birthplace, would be the Well of All Sparks, though this has not yet been confirmed in the series. The Matrix of Leadership is a device that is bestowed upon a Cybertronian, by the Counsel of the Primes (who are not Primes themselves), whom they deem worthy to carry the title of Prime. In fact, the Counsel's denial of Megatron's demand for the Matrix is what started the Great War, and the schism between Autobot and Decepticon. The Matrix itself, is stored within the Prime's body. In dire situations, the Prime may call upon the power of the Matrix, as Optimus did to contain Unicron. However, in doing this, the Matrix reverts the Prime to their pre-Prime state, as the Matrix acts as the vessel of the "Wisdom of the Primes". If the Matrix is the vessel of the Wisdom of the Primes, to be carried by the Prime, then Vector Sigma would be the backup drive of the Matrix. Should the Matrix be emptied of its power, it can be reloaded by Vector Sigma, through the use of the Key to Vector Sigma. However, the Key is only granted to the current Prime, or one chosen by a Prime. The key scans the current owner's bio-signature, and will only function if in the possession of that life form.

Animated Series[edit]

Nearly all Transformers series after Beast Wars have made use of the term "Spark" (though usually just in passing mention, often the result of dubbing). Of all the new continuity elements introduced by Beast Wars and Beast Machines, the Spark is unarguably the one concept which has been embraced the strongest by the fandom, with the vast majority of fans happily retroactively using it in reference to the older stories.

Generation 1[edit]

The original 1984 animated series, was more prominent for introducing "Energon cubes", which are energy storing devices created by the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth.[4][5] For all practical purposes, energon functions as fuel or "food" for the Transformers; in some episodes, Decepticons are depicted as literally drinking from Energon cubes. In the 1986 film The Transformers: The Movie, Optimus Prime sends a shuttle from Cybertron Moonbase One to Earth to collect Energon cubes for an assault on the Decepticon forces on Cybertron. Energon is later established in Transformers: Prime to be the life-blood of Primus, but here, it was simply depicted as being artficially created by Decepticons using fuels from Earth and converting it to a purple liquid.

Beast Era[edit]

It was the 1993s Beast Wars animated series which truly introduced "the Spark" as it is now known today. All Cybertronians have a Spark, regardless of their heritage of allegiance - rendered as a glowing sphere of incandescent life, a spark dies or "extinguishes" when the body that houses it suffers fatal damage. Should a Spark be threatened in this way, Transformers are equipped with emergency protocols that shunt them into Stasis Lock, a state of still-living involuntary deactivation, in order to prevent further damage and to allow repairs, thereby safeguarding the Spark. This function can be overridden as was the case with the death of the Maximal known as Dinobot. Rhinox first explains the concept of a Spark when operating on the "Protoform" ("basic frames" of a Cybertronian placed in stasis until a suitable form can be found) that would become Airazor. He describes the existence of such an item by explaining: "When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps." Although the term was never used in the original cartoon and comic, Beast Wars established that these older-era characters all too had Sparks (or their historical equivalent, nomenclature aside), a perfect example of this being the immortal spark of Starscream (Starscream's immortality coming from a mutation in his spark), which the Maximals tried to duplicate only to end up creating the murderous Protoform X).

Sparks as shown in Beast Wars normally appear as a sphere of an ever-changing pattern of "electricity" – like blue lines with a pulsating center composed of smaller red spheres. Several of the Maximals are shown with different colored sparks such as yellow, white, red, purple (possibly expressing their individuality and/or a special connection to the Matrix/Allspark). Megatron had a blue spark but after he spends centuries trying to purge the organic elements from his body, Beast Machines shows that his spark has become a violent shade of red. The sequel series, Beast Machines explored the concept on a much deeper level. Sparks, it explained, are fragments of the Matrix," the "well of all sparks" that currently exist, have existed, or ever will exist. Sparks leave the Matrix upon the birth of new Transformer life so that they may learn, grow, love and truly experience life, and then, with the passing of the Transformer, the Spark returns to the Matrix, assimilated back into it to share all the knowledge it has gained with the whole but their individuality is not extinguished.[6]

In knowing this, it can be taken that the object known as the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, long stated to hold the wisdom of the ages, is a gateway to this realm, where the amassed knowledge it contains can be consulted (where the sparks of those who have formerly held the Matrix retain their individuality and can be communed with). Similarly, this link explains the object's ability to create new Transformer life in the Marvel Comics, via the transferral of a Spark from the Matrix. Vector Sigma, was also revealed to possess a connection to the All spark, thereby explaining its ability to bestow life. Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo, a pair Japanese exclusive series based on Beast Wars, included the Spark concept and introduced a variation: Angolmois energy, which would prove to be the life force of "Spark" of Unicron himself, dispersed by his defeated in The Transformers Movie. This energy empowered Predacon leader Galvatron, and later revived Unicron in Galvatron's lifeless body before taking possession of Vector Sigma and turning Cybertron into Unicron's new body. Fortunately, the heroes of the two series joined forces to expel Unicron once again.

Beast Wars: The Ascending featured Angolmois energy as well, serving as a sort of drug for Transformers that increased strength and aggression. As in Neo, Unicron's minions attempted to resurrect Unicron by gathering Angolmois energy, this time using the Predacon Shokaract as a vessel. However, Shokaract later rebelled upon learning what his fate would be and destroyed himself, while Unicron's minions perished at the hands of Angolmois-infected Maximal Razorbeast.

Robots in Disguise[edit]

The Allspark played a small role in Transformers: Robots in Disguise. As revealed in "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion!", Optimus Prime was chosen by Vector Sigma, "the Allspark" of Cybertron, to carry the Matrix of Leadership and lead the Autobots. This series also featured the ideas of energon, sparks and protoforms.[7]

Unicron Trilogy[edit]

Armada and Energon both showed a few Transformers sparks (as orbs of light) transferred to new bodies after their old bodies were too badly damaged to be repaired or destroyed completely. Primus and Unicron's sparks were also shown in Energon, Primus as a very large glowing orb and Unicron as a small black/green orb. One can suppose that a Transformer himself can send his own spark away sometimes or even use it as a kind of weapon. Transformers: Energon also shows both the Autobots and Decepticons having made an alliances with the humans to find Energon, a fuel source which can be mined on Earth, Mars, and the Moon. In Cybertron, the cyber planet keys are said to be fragments of the spark of Primus, divided and sent to the four corners of the universe to share the wisdom of Primus. The four master keys (colored gold in the toy line) need to be gathered and inserted into the Omega Lock to awaken the spark of Primus and transform the planet Cybertron. In the toy line the Omega Lock is needed to completely transform Primus, however it does not require the insertion of any of the cyber planet keys. At the end of the Cybertron series, it was decided that the unified planets should join together and bring the once again divided keys to other destinations in the universe to spread the knowledge of Primus even further. Hence, again putting Primus into stasis lock within a reformatted, renewed Cybertron.

Transformers Animated[edit]

In Transformers Animated, the AllSpark plays a similar role to its 2007 film counterpart. It is the source of all Transformers' life (In the episode "Blast From the Past", Ratchet states that the Cybertronian race is over 10 billion solar cycles (years) old). Megatron states he shall use its power as an ultimate weapon to crush the Autobots. In order to end the Great War (shown in the series debut as 'historical' clips from the 1984 G1 series), the Autobots cast the AllSpark into a space bridge network gate to a random destination somewhere in the galaxy, thereby preventing the Decepticons from getting it. This ends the war, and finally allows the Autobots to drive the Decepticons off of Cybertron and into exile. Unlike the live-action film, it is in the shape of a round sphere, rather than a square cube. By the series finale, when the Lugnut Supremes are reprogramed by Starscream to activate their self-destruct protocols, Prowl and Jazz used Processor Over Matter to reassemble the AllSpark, hoping to use its power to contain the explosion. However, they would only be able to make it half way, as Prowl decides to use his own spark to complete it, sacrificing himself and dying in the process. The completed AllSpark is later seen around Optimus' neck, in a container resembling that of the Matrix of Leadership. In addition, Starscream mentions "The Well of All Sparks" in one episode, implying that the afterlife from Beast Machines still exists in this continuity.

Transformers: Prime[edit]

In Transformers: Prime, the Autobots and the Decepticons are in a race to retrieve deposits of Energon from Earth. Energon is used as a power source and as ammunition. Energon is also revealed to be unsafe for humans. Energon itself is made from the essence of Primus. It is also revealed that the reason the Energon deposits are on Earth in the first place is because they were hidden away on Earth and other planets during the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons on Cybertron. A darker version of Energon called Dark Energon (also known as the Blood of Unicron) is also known to exist. Megatron is the only major user of Dark Energon, though Starscream once embedded a shard in his own Spark and used it to reanimate Skyquake. The power can bring dead Cybertronians back to life as zombie-like Terrorcons. Dark Energon can also strengthen a Transformer like it did with Megatron. It is revealed at the end of season one that Earth's mantle is really made of Dark Energon. In "Flying Mind," Megatron used Dark Energon to automatically heal the Nemesis. A side effect of this awakened the Nemesis' dormant personality, Trypticon, and use its stasis guns to freeze the Autobots and Decepticons. Once the Dark Energon was drained from the Nemesis by Jack, Miko, and Raf, the Nemesis' artificial intelligence went dormant. In "Alpha: Omega," Megatron exhumed the arm of a Prime and used the Forge of Solus Prime to forge a shard of Dark Energon into the Dark Star Saber. Dark Energon is the lifeforce of Unicron and produced by his Anti-Spark, the dark counterpart to the AllSpark (possibly based on Beast Wars Neo's Angolmois energy). Dark Energon is also featured in the books, but it's role does not match up to the animated series; it is still the blood of Unicron, but it used by Decepticons other than Megatron and Starscream and is not known to reanimate the dead. Curiously, Exodus indicates that when a Dark Energon fueled Transformer dies, the Dark Energon seeks out the nearest Transformers using it and merges with that Transformer's supply. In Transformers: Retribution, Dark Energon is trafficked by various Cybertronian gangs due to the scarcity of natural Energon.

In "T.M.I." and "Stronger, Faster", it was at one point indicated that a synthetic version of Energon existed. The formula for creating Synthetic Energon was partially recovered, and an attempt to produce it was made by Ratchet. However, it proved to have detrimental effects on his mental state even while it enhanced his physical capabilities. Ratchet stated he would continue in his attempts to produce a stable, non-harmful version of it, but no further references have been made to his attempts. The selfsame episode also indicated that Decepticon medic Knock Out may have gotten a hold of a sample of the Synthetic Energon substance. He managed to replicate in "Thrist" where he tested it on Cylas, whose mental stability decreased. After Starscream's disastrous attempt to mix Synthetic Energon with Dark Energon, Megatron ordered Knock Out to hand over his work to Shockwave. In "Evolution" and "Minus One" the Decepticons discovered that after being mixed with CNA of the Predacons, the Synthetic Energon formed pure cyber matter, the same material that was used to create the Darkmount fortress. Megatron decided to use this information to rebuild the Omega Lock and in order to stabilize the Synthetic Energon formula he decided to capture Ratchet and force him to complete the formula. In "Synthesis" Ratchet manages to do that thanks to the Decepticon technology.

A type of Energon called Tox-En debuted in "Toxicity." It is a poisonous version of Energon, for which prolonged exposure is lethal to all Cybertronians. Megatron once used a refined version to decimate an army of Autobots. A container that was filled with Tox-En was among the artifacts from the Vault of Iacon, which was found somewhere in the Equator. Another type of Energon called Red Energon debuted in "New Recruit." It is a type of Energon which can give the user hyper-speed. After being dug up by humans, Starscream managed to claim a sample of Red Energon during a fight against the Autobots.

The Allspark itself appears in Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising, and is the source from which all Cybertronian life is generated. During the war for Cybertron, Alpha Trion created an indestructible container to hold the Allspark, which was a vessel of pure energy, and was sent by Optimus to the deadliest star system imaginable: Theta Scorpia, to protect it from Megatron. Optimus Prime ends up retrieving it from the star system and bringing it back to Cybertron. When Unicron attempts to destroy it, Optimus uses the empty container to capture Unicron's energy form, freeing Megatron (whom he had possessed) from his evil and defeating the dark god once and for all. Optimus then explains to his comrades that he placed the Allspark within the Matrix of Leadership and must sacrifice himself to restore it to Cybertron's ability to create life as his own Spark is now merged with it. After a fond farewell, Optimus flies into the planet's core and becomes one with Primus and the Allspark, allowing it to restart life on Cybertron. Among the new sparks it releases, Optimus' spark is seen one last time as he tells them not to mourn him, calling it merely another transformation.

Comic Books[edit]

A spark is best described as the "soul" of a Transformer – while they have programmable computer minds that house their personality, the Spark is that indefinable, indescribable energy that makes them truly alive, more than mere machines.

Marvel Comics[edit]

Throughout the original Marvel Comics Transformers series, there were references to similar concepts such as the "spark of life" or "life spark", while the animated series spoke of "cybernetic personalities" as the source of a Transformer's life, bestowed by the mega-computer Vector Sigma, and a central life-source called a "laser core".

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

When Dorling Kindersley published Transformers: The Ultimate Guide, the concept of Primus and Unicron as brother heralds created by an extra-dimensional entity, called the "AllSpark", as per the Armada trading card, was again referenced. Additionally, however, the book claimed that there was one, singular Unicron and Primus across all dimensions, retroactively adding these elements to the original Marvel Comic origin. This revised origin concept is now treated as the official take on the character by Hasbro, and has formed the core of the story in the Transformers: Cybertron comic book exclusive to the Transformers Collectors Club.

IDW Publishing[edit]

According to The Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook energon cubes were invented during the "golden age" of Cybertron.[8] Protoforms were a major plot point in the Beast Wars cartoon, appearing in multiple episodes.[9][10][11] The plot of the 2006 IDW Publications mini-series Beast Wars: The Gathering centers around the fate of the protoforms not recovered in the cartoon. At the conclusion of the series, all the protoforms are accounted for.[12]

In the revised Transformers: Generation 1 based storyline, Sparks once arose naturally from hot spots dotting Cybertron and its moons, ignited by energy pulses from Vector Sigma. These sparks would be harvested, nurtured, and matured before being placed into a body. But Vector Sigma's pulses had grown increasingly less frequent by Nova Prime's era, so to bolster the Cybertronian population, he instituted a process called spark splicing, which used the energy of existing sparks to ignite new ones. The Fecund Moon That, however, was a cover story for what Nova was really doing: harvesting the Matrix of Leadership to create thousands of new sparks daily.

A very small number of naturally-occurring sparks are Point One Percenters, glowing green instead of the normal blue. Those who possess these sparks are usually a tier above regular Cybertronians, and include such prominent figures as Optimus Prime and Shockwave. The spark is part of Rossum's Trinity with the brain module and the transformation cog. The Chaos of Warm Things The light from a spark provides the natural color of a Transformer's optics. There appears to be at least eight known sparktypes in Cybertronians. Twenty Plus One It is possible for a healthy Cybertronian to 'jumpstart' the faltering spark of another with the same type, in a similar manner to blood transfusion.

Kup's sparkhousing was unstable due to age and radiation poisoning. He finally experienced sparkcore stabilizer failure, which threatened to blow him up. Trailbreaker saved him by extending a forcefield around the crashing spark. Later, Kup recovered in a CR chamber, fitted with a placeholder powercore to maintain his spark. The Autobots kept some prisoners at Garrus-9 in spark stasis, which entailed actually removing the sparks from their casings, separating the spark from the body. This process was not possible for Monstructor since the Autobots couldn't break through the destructive programming far enough to rehabilitate/reform the sparks (as per Optimus Prime's orders), and as such, haven't pulled the sparks from the frames. Arcee found this limbo peaceful, but was later reunited with her body. To control her behavior, a "g-force crush" device was installed on or in her spark casing and could be operated via remote control.

Fun Publications[edit]

In the "Shattered Glass" universe, where the Decepticons are good and the Autobots are evil, the Transformers possess "Embers" instead of sparks. The Shattered Glass universe seems to be much more of a departure from the "regular" realities in the multiverse. In it, the semi-mystical ball of energy that gives the resident Transformers their lifeforce is an electron-charged "Ember". Aside from the polarity, there's no other difference noted from the positron-charged Spark that Cliffjumper brings into that universe.

Live-action film series[edit]

All-Spark
Detailed view of the AllSpark.
Plot element from the Transformers franchise
Publisher IDW Publishing (introduction only)
First appearance Transformers (July 2007)
Created by Bob Budiansky
Robert N. Skir
Genre Science fiction
In-story information
Type A cube-shaped object with shape-shifting abilities or a container holding a glowing mass of energy within.
Function Creates life from raw materials or technology, the source of life for a Transformer.

In the 2007 Transformers live-action film, the AllSpark (spelled as two words in the movie) is able to bring mechanical and electronic objects to life, essentially turning mundane objects, as long as they are electronic or mechanical, into Transformers. The Autobots and the Decepticons seek the AllSpark throughout the film. The Autobots intend to use the AllSpark in an attempt to rebuild Cybertron and end the war, while the Decepticons desire to create an army of robot soldiers to conquer the universe. The movie's AllSpark is a combination of the Creation Matrix and the Underbase from the US Marvel Comics series, and Vector Sigma from the animated series.

The AllSpark takes the shape of a gigantic metal cube with Cybertronian runes carved into it, but is converted by Bumblebee into a smaller form that a human can carry in his hands (described as football-sized in the Alan Dean Foster novelization). During the conversion, the AllSpark is shown to be composed of numerous smaller cubes, which fold inward upon each other to shrink the whole. In the novelization and early movie scripts, the AllSpark is referred to as "the Energon Cube". It is also referred to as "the Cube" several times in the film itself.

Reception[edit]

IGN described the AllSpark saving the day as one of the worst moments of the Transformers movie.[13]

Origin and history[edit]

In the prequel comic book, the AllSpark is described as being of unknown origins, and the reason of existence of the alien race and its planet Cybertron. It is also described as a sacrosanct object that gave them life, sustenance, and kept their society in complete equality and peace. Optimus Prime is shown sending the AllSpark away from Cybertron to prevent the Decepticons from controlling it. The comic book shows, and Megatron alludes to, a wormhole in orbit that the AllSpark is heading towards and then travels through. If it is assumed that the wormhole deposits the Allspark not only spatially but also chronologically (four million years in the past) along with Megatron, this could explain why the Allspark has been on Earth for four million years while the 13 original transformers in Revenge of the Fallen do not appear until 17,000 BC.

The prolonged absence of the AllSpark causes Cybertron to die, and forces both sides of the conflict to search the galaxy for it. The AllSpark is revealed to have landed on Earth, in the future site of the Hoover Dam. The AllSpark and Megatron are later hidden inside the Dam by a (fictional) Men in Black-like Federal agency called "Sector 7". In the prequel novelization and film, it is revealed that the Autobots and Decepticons have been seeking the AllSpark for millennia, following transmission signals released by the AllSpark once every thousand years. The Autobots seek it to rebuild Cybertron; when they have become desperate, however, Optimus decides to destroy it rather than let it fall into Megatron's hands. Optimus believes that a new home world can simply be rebuilt by means of the AllSpark once Megatron is no longer a threat. The Decepticons are looking for the AllSpark and Megatron, intending to dominate all life with the use of one and under the leadership of the other.

During the battle between Optimus and Megatron, the AllSpark is ultimately driven into Megatron's chest by Sam Witwicky, destroying both the Decepticon leader and the AllSpark. A shard of the AllSpark remains, which is claimed by Optimus Prime before handing it over to the U.S. government for safekeeping on their behalf.

Later appearances[edit]

Two years later, however, Ravage steals the shard and gives it to the Constructicons so they can revive Megatron with it. Megatron's master, the Fallen, reveals that the Cube was essentially a vessel, and that its power and knowledge, thought lost with its destruction, can never be destroyed, only transformed, therefore, there was a chance to retrieve it.

The second film also reveals another smaller AllSpark shard that was on Sam's jacket the day he killed Megatron, which transfers the knowledge of the location of the Matrix of Leadership in the form of visions of Cybertronian symbols directly into Sam's mind. Sam entrusts the shard to his then-girlfriend Mikaela Banes, who places it within her father's auto garage. The shard is then later used to reactivate the ancient Seeker Jetfire, who assists the Autobots and their human allies in locating the Matrix of Leadership.

In the film, the Fallen had created a device called the Energon harvester, which collected Energon by destroying a sun. In Transformers: The Reign of Starscream (the comic book sequel to the first film), Starscream uses the knowledge gained by Frenzy while inside the Hoover Dam complex from Sector 7 to build a new cube. He then sacrifices several transformer (three or four Autobots and one Decepticon) "traitors" in order to use their sparks to jump-start the cube. Various Autobots are shown throughout the comic as working on the cube - including, at one point, using a hammer and chisel to engrave new glyphs on the new AllSpark. Other than this engraving and activating process, little is shown of the construction of the AllSpark.

Effects and Abilities[edit]

Protoform Jazz after hard-landing, as depicted in the 2007 film.

In the film, exposure to the AllSpark can repair Transformers (as shown when it heals Frenzy during the film) and convert Earthly machines into feral Cybertronians. A Nokia N93i cell phone, a Mountain Dew vending machine (named "Dispensor" in the Robot Heroes toy line), the airbag compartment in a sport utility vehicle's steering wheel, and an Xbox 360 are all shown being converted in this way. The cell phone robot is destroyed following the demonstration, but the fates of the other feral Transformers remain unknown and it is presumed they have been dealt with. In Revenge of the Fallen, even as a sliver of its former self, the AllSpark's power is potent, as it brings all of the appliances from Sam's kitchen to life - one of which was a pyromaniac toaster bot, named Ejector in the toy line, among others.

Just like the first film, they are seen forming instantaneously and immediately upon contact with the AllSpark's power and then furiously attacking the things nearest to them, armed with a full arsenal of diverse weapons. The kitchen robots, as well as Sam's room, are destroyed by Bumblebee. The energy output of the AllSpark is cited in the prequel comic as having a greater power output than the entire city of Chicago at its time of discovery. According to the comic, the Three Mile Island accident was caused by a failed attempt to extract energy from the AllSpark. On the basis of the second film, it must also be assumed that the AllSpark has a finite maximum power output, about equal to that of a star. In Transformers: The Game, the Autobot Campaign and the Decepticon campaign will determine the fate of the AllSpark. If the player completes the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime will use the AllSpark to kill Megatron. If the player completes the Decepticon Campaign, Megatron will become one with the AllSpark and use its power to turn Earth into his own empire by converting all machines into his Decepticon army.

Other Media[edit]

The AllSpark, Energon cubes, Protoforms, and Sparks have been featured in numerous Transformers expanded media, such as, video games, books and toys.

Books[edit]

Energon cubes are used in the 1985 book and audio story Megatron's Fight For Power by John Grant as well as the 1986 Find Your Fate Junior book Autobot Alert! by Judith Bauer Stamper.[14]

In Transformers: Exodus, "Protoforms" are the robot modes of Transformer's and the AllSpark resides in the "Well of All Sparks" on Cybertron, where it carried out the will of Primus by creating every Cybertronian life. When the Autobot/Decepticon war erupted, however, the AllSpark briefly ceased to produce life in a seeming act of divine rebellion, only to apparently change its mind and create one final generation — including Bumblebee—who entirely joined the Autobots. As the Decepticons besieged Iacon, Optimus Prime made the decision to eject the AllSpark into space. After the war had drained Cybertron of energon, forcing the Autobots and Decepticons to depart the planet, the Autobot Ark emerged from the space bridge to an unknown spiral galaxy, and detected the energy of the AllSpark nearby.

Video games[edit]

In the 1986 video game The Transformers the player must collect four pieces of the Energon cube to complete the game. Energon cubes unlock hidden content in the 2007 PlayStation 3 video game Transformers: The Game.[15] Energon cubes are collectible in the 2009 DS video game Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, in both the Autobot and Decepticon versions. Energon cubes appear in the 2010 video game Transformers: War for Cybertron as items used to power-up players. [16]

In Transformers: The Game, the Autobot Campaign and the Decepticon campaign will determine the fate of the AllSpark. If the player completes the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime will use the AllSpark to kill Megatron. If the player completes the Decepticon Campaign, Megatron will become one with the AllSpark and use its power to turn Earth into his own empire by converting all machines into his Decepticon army. In addition, the AllSpark creates small bug-like transformers called "Energon Drones" whenever Energy is expelled from the AllSpark.

Toyline[edit]

  • Generation 1 Insectron Clone Army (multi-pack, 2004)
All three toys were packaged together. The Insecticon Clones, Shothole, Zaptrap and Salvo, are Ehobby exclusive recolors of Kickback, Shrapnel and Bombshell, respectively. They were later repurposed for their respective original clone Shattered Glass counterparts. All three toys come with three little purple plastic energon cubes.

Marketing[edit]

Two entire lines of toys were marketed after the release of the film in late 2007, which played on the idea that the AllSpark granted life to human machines after being exposed to its mysterious power:

  • AllSpark Power - While the majority of the transformable toys were merely repaints (ex: Autobot Cliffjumper), several new designs were introduced based on vehicles- but not characters- that appeared directly in the film (ex: Autobot Landmine). The AllSpark Power line is recognized by neon blue plastic and paint applications being added to the toys; some select repaint toys have slightly different parts such as visors covering their faces. The neon-blue coloring is to denote that they have the power of the AllSpark flowing through them. The Japanese versions of these figures included miniature AllSpark cubes that can be held by most Transformers figures.
  • Real Gear Robots[17] - A completely original line of transformable toys shaped like common modern-day electronic items; cell phones, portable multimedia players, digital video camera, video game controllers, etc. However, none of them are functional like their real electronic counterparts. There were seven original toy designs released, with later ones being repaints. None of these toys carry hand-held weapons, and are advertised merely as spies for their respective faction (Autobot or Decepticon). While none of the Real Gear Robots appear in the film, some of them are homages to earlier Transformers characters, the most notable being a portable media player (Decepticon Booster X10) being colored and shaped similarly to the animal robot character Laserbeak, who acted as a spy/partner for the larger Soundwave.

Other merchandise[edit]

In the board game Monopoly: The Transformers Collector's Edition Energon cubes replace the houses.[18]

A company called TFClub has manufactured an unofficial replica of the AllSpark. The cube is molded in translucent green and fits on a base that lights it up when plugged into a USB-based power source.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Transformers: Beast Machines Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (1999-07-21)". Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  2. ^ "Transformers: Beast Machines Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (1999-11-06)". Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  3. ^ Transformers: more than meets the ear. Japan Times; September 19, 2007
  4. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2010). Totally Tubular '80s. Krause Publications. p. 115. ISBN 1-4402-1282-1. 
  5. ^ Transformers and Philosophy by John R. Shook, Liz Stillwaggon Swan, 2009
  6. ^ Transformers: the fantasy, the fun, the future, Erin Brereton - 2006
  7. ^ Episode 14, Decepticons, air date September 22, 2001
  8. ^ The Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook, page 194 by Don Figueroa, Simon Furman, Ben Yee, 2008
  9. ^ Episode 7, Fallen Comrades, air date September 30, 1996
  10. ^ Episode 28, Coming of the Fuzors, Part 1, air date November 2, 1997
  11. ^ Episode 36, Transmutate, air date March 10, 1998
  12. ^ Beast Wars: The Gathering #1-4 (February - May 2006)
  13. ^ http://movies.ign.com/articles/117/1177006p1.html
  14. ^ Autobot Alert! by Judith Bauer Stamper - 1986
  15. ^ http://ps3.gamespy.com/playstation-3/transformers-2007/795990p2.html
  16. ^ Autobots stand tall! New Straits Times; August 23, 2010; by Bruno Dieter Chan
  17. ^ Real Gear | CollectionDX
  18. ^ http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/transformers-monopoly-or-how-i-never-want-to-type-the-word-monopoly-ever-again- Transformers Monopoly, or how I never want to type the word Monopoly ever again...
  19. ^ TFSource.com - TFC-002R Illuminated Spark Cube with USB Base

External links[edit]