Vector Prime (Transformers)
Knight Warrior of Cybertron and Defender of Spacetime
|Sub-group||Micro Vehicles, Voyagers, Primes, Thirteen Primes|
|Function||Dimensional Guardian, Guardian of Time and Space|
|Partner||Safeguard, Dynasty of thirteen primes, and Optimus Prime.|
|Motto||"For honor, for glory, for Cybertron!" (Hasbro)
"Time transcends the person who does not know the limit of oneself." (Takara)
|Alternate modes||Ancient Cybertronian Spacecraft|
|English voice actor||Richard Newman (Transformers: Cybertron)|
|Japanese voice actor||Sho Hayami|
Vector Prime is a fictional character from the Transformers: Cybertron toyline, animated series and comics. In fiction he is an ancient Autobot, one of the first ever created, with powers over time and space, and turns into a spaceship. He was voiced by Sho Hayami in the Japanese anime series Transformers: Galaxy Force, and by Richard Newman when the show was dubbed into English as Transformers: Cybertron. He was also the central character in the early Transformers comics by Fun Publications.
A singular entity within the multiverse, Vector Prime is one of the Original Thirteen Transformers created by Primus to combat the threat posed by his eternal foe, the Chaos-Bringer, Unicron. He is an old and wise Autobot.
The creation of Vector Prime was no easy task. Born from the living material of the very multiverse itself, Vector Prime was appointed the guardian of space and time by Primus, and is uniquely attuned to its flow. Within his clockwork frame hum the subtle mathematics that govern all that is, from the spin of galaxies to the movement of sub-atomic particles. Vector Prime possesses the power to control, with some exertion, the flow of time, displaying the ability to wind it back and alter events, but he rarely activates his Cyber Key Power.
Vector Prime’s perceptions are not limited to one linear pathway in time – thanks to a temporal mechanics analyzer, he is able to observe all possible pasts, presents and futures within his sensor range, giving him the opportunity to select optimum courses of action. He wields the mighty sword Rhisling (called the "Cyber Caliber" in his instructions), constructed from ethereal supermatter and shaped to an edge so sharp that it can slice open the fabric of reality, opening portals to anywhere in time, space, or other dimensions. He transforms into an ancient Cybertronian spacecraft, armed with gauss cannons and a “probability torpedo,” a weapon that disrupts causality when it detonates, causing a target to experience the varied effects of differing realities. He is partnered with the Mini-Con Safeguard ("Roots" in Japan), who transforms into a small blaster/ship that mounts to Vector Prime’s nosecone or arm, and is also the guardian of the Mini-Con Team, who he encountered on his dimensional travels.
Appearing in the skies over Cybertron, Vector Prime immediately made contact with Optimus Prime and his Autobot team, making them aware of the Cyber Planet Keys and how they could stop the black hole. As Vector Prime then synchronised his map of the keys’ locations to the current arrangement of the cosmos, he was approached by the evil Megatron – unfortunately, Vector Prime’s nature as a Transformer who originated from an era before the division of the race into Autobots and Decepticons (coupled with his diminished memory of the events he had seen across the multiverse due to his advanced age, as specifically noted in his Fun Publications bio) and Megatron's own smooth charisma led to him handing the map over the Decepticon leader, realising his mistake too late. As the Autobots attempted to fend off Megatron and his lieutenant Starscream, toughened Autobot Landmine was caught in the black hole’s gravitational pull and Vector Prime opened a portal to save him, transporting him to Earth.
Vector Prime joined with Optimus Prime’s Autobots in relocation to Earth in pursuit of Landmine, who had been befriended by three human children. Upon meeting these humans, Vector Prime recognised a symbol decorating the t-shirt of the female, Lori, as the pattern of the Omega Lock, the device that focused the power of the Cyber Planet Keys, and deduced that it lay in hiding somewhere on Earth. Further studies of duplicate patterns around the world failed to locate it, but did yield the co-ordinates of Velocitron, the Speed Planet, resting place of the first Cyber Planet Key.
It was around this time that Vector Prime returned to Cybertron, as seen in the Fun Publications comics. His return accelerated the search for the Omega Lock, which appeared to come to a head when the lock was apparently discovered buried in the desert; the battle had catastrophic consequences when a Decepticon attack killed the Mini-Cons, and Vector Prime drew on his powers for the first time in ages to rewind time and save their lives. The lock in question was proven to be a fake, but the genuine article was soon discovered and acquired by Vector Prime, the Mini-Cons and the humans aboard the Atlantis – an ancient Cybertronian spaceship that had crashed on Earth and inspired the legend of the sunken continent.
Vector Prime subsequently journeyed to Velocitron to observe Hot Shot win the world’s Cyber Planet Key in a racing tournament, and then to the Jungle Planet, where he counselled Optimus Prime in his battles with world leader Scourge, leading to the acquisition of the second Cyber Planet Key. The third key, from Earth itself, was soon discovered, and then all three keys and the Omega Lock were stolen by Starscream. Megatron promptly stole them from his traitorous second-in-command, but was beaten in combat by Optimus Prime within his own pocket dimension, and Vector Prime used his portal-generating abilities to collapse the dimension in upon itself, apparently destroying Megatron. Megatron’s Unicronian armor sustained him, however, and he returned to Cybertron just as the Omega Lock was put in place and the planet transformed into Primus’s robot mode.
Vector Prime’s studies eventually revealed the location of the fourth Cyber Planet Key, on the Giant Planet of Gigantion, which had slipped through a space/time vortex into another universe. Both the Autobots and Decepticons raced for the key, but the Decepticons ultimately prevailed thanks to Megatron’s transformation into Galvatron, leaving the Autobots stranded on Gigantion. The vortex would not open again for a year, and despite the protestations of his friends and allies Vector Prime made the decision to use his powers to rewind time and open the vortex again – even though a feat of such magnitude would end his life. Before performing this decisive action, Vector Prime passed on to the young human Bud his planet map, and parted from Safeguard to spare him his fate. As the Autobots passed through the vortex, Vector Prime’s overexerted body dissolved, and he became one with time.
From behind the veil of time, Vector Prime’s spirit reached out to bolster Optimus Prime in his moment of need within the black hole, as he finally reacquired the Cyber Planet Keys and Omega Lock, enabling Primus to finally seal the threat. Galvatron, however, was not yet defeated, and during his final one-on-one duel with Prime, Vector Prime appeared before Optimus once again to assure him that he would always watch over him, and bestowed upon him a gift – Rhisling, with which Optimus Prime defeated and destroyed Galvatron once and for all.
He re-appeared for a final time as a ghostly image as Optimus Prime and his team while departed on a new Space Bridge construction project, as a reminder and encouragement to Optimus to not give up his cause and mission.
In the montage of images that fill the closing credits of the final episode, Vector Prime is seen beyond time, battling the spirit of Galvatron, a symbol that the conflict between good and evil will always go on.
Within the Cybertron animated series itself, Vector Prime is simply portrayed as an ancient Transformer. The additional fictional materials produced for Hasbro, however – such as his tech spec bio and the extended profile and comic strips available exclusively through Fun Publications’ Official Transformers Collectors Club – flesh out his history to establish him as a key figure in Transformers lore.
After Unicron was defeated in battle with the original thirteen Transformers, Primus entered into a deep sleep, and the Transformer race began to grow. As existence continued to run its course, the weight of time began to build up within Vector Prime, and eventually, he chose to remove himself entirely from the linear universe, withdrawing the void outside of time. From this timeless existence, he observed events in different dimensions across the multiverse – from the outbreak of the Hate Plague to the co-opting of the Creation Matrix by Shockwave – but would only intervene in the event of truly dire threats to the continued stability of the timestream, as he did during the Beast Wars when the era’s Megatron attempted to kill Optimus Prime. Eventually, in one particular universe, Primus was accidentally awakened, inadvertently alerting Unicron to his presence in space and time. Unicron renewed his vendetta against his ancient enemy, and travelled across several different dimensions in various attempts to destroy him. In his task to safeguard existence, Vector Prime pursued Unicron across reality, doing his level best to heal the damage to space-time that Unicron’s very existence caused.
When Unicron’s body was subsequently destroyed by the united forces of the Transformers in a war that raged across the Transformers: Armada and Energon series, his spark was sealed within a sun by Primus in an attempt to contain it. The plan failed, however, when the sun collapsed into a massive black hole in the year 2020 AD, and Vector Prime was summoned back to Cybertron in an effort to save the planet from its deadly pull.
The events surrounding Vector Prime’s return to Cybertron were chronicled in the Transformers: Cybertron animated series, and he would subsequently travel to Earth with Optimus Prime’s Autobot force to search for the Cyber Planet Keys that would restore Primus’s lost power and enable him to seal the black hole. Early on in this quest, Vector Prime briefly returned to Cybertron to update the ancient Autobot Alpha Trion on their progress. During this visit, however, they were attacked by Ramjet and Nemesis Prime, heralds of Unicron who sought to orchestrate their master’s rebirth by destroying Primus. Vector Prime engaged Ramjet, but was unable to prevent Alpha Trion and the mega-computer Vector Sigma from being damaged. While Sentinel Maximus battled Nemesis Prime in the planet's depth, Vector Prime and Ramjet duelled in the skies above the planet; Vector Prime was able to claim victory despite some interference from the Velocitronian Transformer Skyfall. With the heralds' plan foiled, Vector Prime took Skyfall to Alpha Trion's chamber for repairs, and then (apparently inadvertently) returned to rejoin Optimus Prime’s forces on Earth.
Vector Prime has notably broken the fourth wall of Cybertron’s fiction by “appearing” on Hasbro’s Transformers website to answer viewer questions about the show and toys. In this short-lived section of the website, dubbed “Ask Vector Prime,” he has attested to have once held the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, and often offered comedic remarks, such as his comment on the existence of a disco-ball Mini-Con.
In the fiction Beast Wars: Reborn, Vector Prime appeared in the same role he had in Cybertron, appearing to investigate the unexpected revival of Optimus Primal and Megatron following the events of Beast Machines. He soon encountered the mastermind behind these events, and was stunned to recognize him as Logos Prime, a being whom Vector knew as a former comrade.
In this continuity, Vector Prime is also one of the Thirteen Primes. His associated artifacts were the Blades of Time, which allowed passage into a pocket universe into which he withdrew, growing tired of the endless warfare among his brothers.
In Transformers: Exiles, it is said that Vector Prime was the moral exemplar of the Thirteen, and that his faith was forever shaken by the betrayal of the Liege Maximo. Following this betrayal and Megatronus' murder of Solus Prime, which Vector was more understanding of, Vector Prime created a pocket dimension that he entered in order to escape the warfare between his brethren. Eventually, Optimus Prime visited him in this universe, and was informed by Vector that the time of the Thirteen had passed.
Transformers: The Covenant of Primus reveals that, like his Cybertron incarnation, this Vector Prime had the ability to warp himself to different locations at will.
- Galaxy Force Voyager Vector Prime with Roots (2005)
- Like most toys sold in the Galaxy Force toy line by Takara, then later in the Cybertron toy line by Hasbro, there are small paint differences between the two versions of the toy. The Hasbro version has a code number on the back of his Cyber Key, while the Takara version has no number on his Force Chip.
- The Takara release of the Vector Prime figure was notably different in color, moulded in a magenta-brown and pearly off-white, as opposed to the high-contrast chocolate-brown and stark white of the Hasbro figure. The Japanese toy also features more intricate paint applications that bring out the multitude of details sculpted into the toy. Oddly the box of the Hasbro Vector Prime toy has pictures of the Takara version on it.
- Cybertron Voyager Vector Prime with Safeguard (2005)
- As the only figure from the first wave of Transformers: Cybertron figures to be moulded with Mini-Con ports to which the small figures can be attached, Vector Prime was packaged with Safeguard. Rhisling is included, and stores in the side of his ship-mode nosecone, which fires a single spring-loaded missile. Moving the figure’s right arm activates electronic laser noises – inserting his unique Cyber Key (bearing the insignias of all four planets) into the slot in his chest activates a humming engine noise, and moving the arm while the key is in place yields sword-slashing noises. Vector Prime’s face is based upon the Autobot faction symbol, to specify his ancient connection to the Transformer race (early concept drawing shown at Botcon 2006 showed Vector Prime with a retractable mask which was an Autobot symbol).
- This toy was repackaged as Vector Prime vs. Starscream in 2005 exclusive to Toys R Us. While the Vector Prime figure was unchanged from the normal retail version, the Voyager class Starscream figure was only available in Hasbro markets in this form, decorated in a different color scheme to that of the animated incarnation of the character.
- Cybertron Legends Vector Prime (2006)
- Available in the third wave of the Legends of Cybertron toyline, this figure is a greatly simplified "Micro" size-class version of the larger Vector Prime figure. It actually adheres closer to the Japanese figure and animated appearance, rendered in a lighter brown and off-white, but is still lacking in several paint applications – most notably, Vector Prime’s helmet is left unpainted. This is one of the few Micro-sized Transformers never to be repainted by Hasbro. A double sized knockoff of this toy made in China and packaged in a box the Deluxe sized Excellion toy.
- Cybertron Galaxy Force Vector Prime with Safeguard (2006)
- This black, gold and orange redeco of the Ultra sized Vector Prime figure is not to be confused with the Japanese toy (as the Cybertron series is known as Galaxy Force in Japan). The toy’s tech spec and the Fun Publications biography explain that he is one of many temporal echoes of Vector Prime that were seeded throughout time and space to give him the appearance of omnipresence. Although Vector Prime may die in one incarnation, as long as time exists, these copies will exist, and Vector Prime will always be there to continue in his to watch over all of creation. Comes with a similarly repainted Safeguard Mini-Con; the color scheme is believed to have been inspired by the comic character "The Last Autobot."
- Universe Cybertron Series Vector Prime with Safeguard (2008)
- A redeco of the Voyager class mold. The figure still comes with safeguard and a cyber planet key, although the code has been removed from the back of this. Also, all of the electrics have been removed from the figure so there are no longer any sound effects, (although the battery door is still visible on the nosecone the screw has been replaced with a rivet) and because of this, the cyber planet key serves no purpose at all.
- Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 657. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8.
- Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: Volume 1 by Vincent Terrace, 2008
- "Transformers - Galaxy Force Secret Special DVD!". TV Magazine. February 2006.
- Transformers and Philosophy by John R. Shook, Liz Stillwaggon Swan, 2009
- Forest Lee and Dan Khanna (w), Forest Lee (p). Transformers: Cybertron: Balancing Act 1 (April 2007), IDW Publishing