List of Primes and Matrix holders
This is a List of Primes and Matrix holders in the Transformers universe. "Prime" is a fictional rank in the Transformers toy and entertainment franchise created by Hasbro and Takara Tomy. The title is usually given to the leader of the Autobots and bearer of the Matrix of Leadership though there are a few exceptions, the most notable of these was in Transformers Animated, where Prime was not a title, but a commanding rank amongst the Autobots, as indicated by Optimus to Sentinel, and second only to that of Magnus. In Japanese translations of Western Transformers fiction, as well as original Japanese fiction such as Beast Wars II, the equivalent to the Prime rank is "Convoy". For example, "Rodimus Prime" would translate as "Rodimus Convoy" in Japanese, while "Lio Convoy" would translate as "Leo Prime" in English.
Transformers: Generation 1
The evidence for "Prime" being a rank in the original comic and cartoon is weaker than elsewhere, but the case can still be made. The comic would introduce the "Creation Matrix" and portray "Prime" as a religious title, while the cartoons' "Matrix of Leadership" was held by Prime as a military title. Though many Matrix-Bearers are seen, and all are by definition Autobot Leaders, only four are ever named on screen: Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus Prime. Without knowing any other names it is hard to make a concrete case here for "Prime" being a title given only to Matrix-Bearers. Two decades later, the All-Spark Almaniac, revealed the names of all the "Prime's" seen in this continuity: Primon, Prima, Prime Nova, Guardian Prime, Zeta Prime, Sentinel Prime, Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus Prime.
|Primon/Alpha Prime||Primon (Alpha Prime in Dreamwave Productions) is one of the oldest known bearers of the Matrix. As he predated Prima, who is characterized as the first Transformer created on Cybertron, it is conceivable that he predates the planet itself. He is an early robot seen by Rodimus Prime during his journey through the Matrix.|
|Prima||Described as a warrior of light, and the "First Made", Prima is the first Transformer created by Primus, the original holder of the Matrix of Leadership, and wields a legendary sword called the Star Saber. He first appeared in the Marvel Transformers comic books in 1989.|
|Nova/Nemesis Prime||Nova Prime/Prime Nova was the holder of the Matrix before Sentinel Prime. According to Omega Supreme, Nova Prime wanted to expand the Cybertronian race and influence the course of cosmic events. He believed that the Transformers were above other lifeforms and that the universe should be molded in their image. Nova Prime was aboard the first Ark when it disappeared into the Dead Universe. He would later resurface as "Nemesis Prime".|
|Guardian Prime||Though originally referred to as the Pre-Transformer, he was retroactively named Guardian Prime.|
|Nominus Prime||Nominus Prime assumed office sometime after the disappearance of Nova Prime into the Benzuli Expanse. Under his rule, Cybertron was a planet full of corruption, social apartheid, and general oppression: a Cybertronian citizen's role in life was determined by the body he was built in.|
|Zeta Prime||Though originally referred to as the New Narrator, he was retroactively named Zeta Prime.|
|Sentinel Prime||The UK G1 comic series shows a flashback (as recalled by Optimus) of Sentinel Prime dying in the arms of Optimus Prime and passing the Matrix on to him. This is not to be confused by the earlier UK Annual story 'State Games' where Optimus has gone for help leaving an Autobot Leader named Overlord (not Sentinel Prime) who then dies watched by an unhelping Megatron and Sentinel's ex-bodyguard, Ravage.|
|Alpha Trion||There are no accounts of Alpha Trion ever officially holding the Matrix in the role of Autobot leader - the only certainty is that he kept it safe between the death of the most recent Autobot leader, and the appointment of Optimus Prime. His presence within the Matrix when Optimus Prime consults its wisdom to stop the Hate Plague would suggest otherwise, but later expansions on the fiction of the Matrix illustrate that it is not merely Autobot leaders who inhabit it, but all deceased Transformers, explaining Trion's presence. During the G2 series (under Rodimus/Galvatron rule), he is also seen in an episode where the Quintessons created a time rift, past Alpha Trion (then known as A3) is the leader of the resistance during the early days where the Quints ruled with an "iron tentacle"; he and female Autobot Elita-1 were assisted by present-day Autobots Blaster (with his cassettes Ramhorn, Rewind and Eject), Trax & Perceptor.|
|Optimus Prime||The first archivist to become Autobot leader. As Megatron besieged the Autobot capital of Iacon, the Council of Elders prepared to surrender to the Decepticons. Councillor Xaaron suggested that High Councillor Traachon step down and allow a military officer to assume Autobot leadership. Traachon then used his powers of veto and effectively elected himself out of office, allowing Optimus Prime to assume supreme command of the Autobots. He has had a variety of names in Japan such as Convoy, Star Convoy and Battle Convoy.|
|Buster Witwicky||Prime briefly transferred the Matrix to Buster's mind to prevent Shockwave's use of it.|
|Thunderwing||While the above possessed the Matrix at one point or another, not all became a part of the Matrix. The Matrix was shown to have its own "consciousness" of sorts during the Matrix Quest, where it referred to itself in plural. Prior to the evil being purged from the Matrix, it "spoke" its "contributors": "We are Primus. We are Prima. We are Prime Nova. We are Sentinel Prime. We are Optimus Prime. We are Thunderwing."|
|Starscream||Similarly, in the short-lived Marvel Generation 2 series, Starscream stole the Matrix and took it as a part of himself. The Matrix began turning Starscream away from evil and toward good. It was so powerful that Starscream gave the Matrix back to Prime in order to keep from becoming good and losing his evil nature.|
|Megatron/Galvatron||In the short-lived Marvel Generation 2 series, Megatron took the Matrix from Prime, but he never used it. Following his transformation into Galvatron, he has briefly been able to steal the Matrix on occasion, but has consistently failed to harness its power.|
|Ultra Magnus||Showed no ability to open the Matrix or use its power in the movie, but in Robots in Disguise he could access its power.|
|Rodimus Prime||UK Marvel Comics included Rodimus Prime in their stories, and he once lost the Matrix to a Quintesson General, Ghyrik. He lost it again to the Decepticons at one point while in a vehicular skirmish with Dead End and Wildrider of the Stunticons, where which Galvatron tried to use it (see Megatron/Galvatron). When he couldn't, he ordered Scourge to destroy it; however Scourge saw differently (see below). In Japan, he was known as Rodimus Convoy.|
|Scourge||Scourge displayed amplified physical powers when he held the Matrix for a short period, suggesting an affinity for it. However, Scourge's physical structure was monstrously mutated when he was filled with the Matrix's power.|
|General Hawk||A veteran artillery officer with a lengthy combat record, General Clayton M. "Clay" Abernathy, codename Hawk, leads G.I. Joe, a United States military taskforce dedicated to stopping the terrorist organization Cobra. He briefly possessed the matrix in the G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers crossover comic book series.|
It's only passingly touched on, but may be noteworthy that the phrase, "Who died and made you Prime?" was used by Maximal characters in Beast Wars, implying that, to them, "prime" was roughly equivalent to "leader". They also used the word to mean "great" or "good" in the phrases "That's just prime," (said sarcastically), and "Feeling prime." The Beast Era would introduce a number of "Convoy" characters that would later become "Primes" when introduced into American fiction. Many of these Convoy figure were Maximal leaders who carried their own versions of the Matrix of Leadership.
|Optimus Primal/Optimal Optimus||Like his ancestor Optimus Prime, whose name he took in reverence, Optimus Primal was not originally a warrior. He transforms into a Silverback Gorilla. In Japan, he has been known as Convoy, or Beast Convoy to differentiate himself from the original Optimus Prime. He was also known as Metals Convoy when he upgraded into Transmetal form and subsequently Powered Convoy when he became Optimal Optimus.|
|Lio Convoy/Leo Prime||Leo Prime, also known as Lio Convoy, is a Maximal commander who leads The Pack. His alternate modes are a White Lion, Mechanical White Lion, and Mechanical Lion. Originally a brave and noble Maximal commander, after his ship was attacked by a group of Predacons led by Galvatron, Convoy was dispatched to pursue the Predacons and bring them to justice.|
|Big Convoy||A One-man-army who became the teacher of the Maximal cadets. Beast-mode is a wooly mammoth with a tank-like mode.|
|Great Convoy||Great Convoy was apparently the Supreme Commander of the Council of Convoy, and in the Beast Wars II manga it is he who appoints Lio Convoy to go after the Predacons.|
|Crow Convoy||Member of the Council of Convoys. The Council of Convoys is actually the Maximal Council of Elders: the Maximal Equivalent of the Tripredacus Council during the Beast Wars era, specifically the Japanese-exclusive 1999 anime Beast Wars: Neo .|
|Primal Prime||Written into a special edition comic book was a character by the name of Primal Prime. Appearing only in this book, he is a side character to the Beast Machines story and was later written into the toy lines of both Beast Machines and Transformers: Universe.|
|Soundblaster/Logos Prime||In Beast Wars: Reborn, a text story set after the events of Beast Machines, a new character known as Logos Prime was introduced. Abducting Optimus Primal and Megatron, he let them wander his temple in the hopes that one of them would prove a worthy successor to his power. He was subsequently confronted by the arriving Vector Prime, who recognized Logos as a former comrade.|
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
In Transformers: Robots in Disguise, the Autobots are the main race on Cybertron, and fought in a series of Cybertronian Civil Wars against their enemies, the Predacons. The Allspark, Vector Sigma, chooses which Autobot is to be granted the Matrix and thus the position of commander-in-chief. The Autobots were already on Earth when the Predacons arrived, having taken the form of Earth vehicles to work as camouflage and established a global space bridge network and a central base monitoring the entire planet. In the original Car Robots series, there is not one singular Matrix, but multiple ones, each held by high-ranking Autobot commanders. Magnus already possesses a Matrix, and simply seeks to steal the power of Fire Convoy's to increase his own, with the overspill of energy resulting in the supercharging of the Autobot Brothers.
|Optimus Prime||Leader of the Autobots, bearer of the Matrix and brother to Ultra Magnus, Optimus Prime transforms into a fire engine. The forward portion of the truck transforms into Prime himself, while the rear portion can form a mobile weapons platform/communications array/recharging station, or combine with Prime as additional armor and weapons in Super Mode. Optimus Prime was named Fire Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Scourge||Scourge was originally one of six unidentified Autobots sent to Earth to reactivate Fortress Maximus. In present time, Megatron came to Earth with the intent of harnessing Maximus's power and steals the six protoforms, taking them to a nearby military base to scan vehicle modes and infusing them with a part of his own spark energy to transform them into Decepticons. Scourge was born when Megatron scanned a tanker truck, Optimus Prime, truck driver Kelly, and an infusion of his own spark energy. While Scourge was not actually a Prime in the American series, he was named Black Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Ultra Magnus||Ultra Magnus, known as God Magnus in the Japanese 2000 line, Transformers: Car Robots, owed his name and alternate mode to Ultra Magnus (and also to Godbomber, an earlier character from the G1 "Super-God Masterforce" anime, who disassembled to form armor for his Prime-styled partner, Ginrai), so when the series was released in the US, the name change was obvious, and Ultra Magnus returned to TV screens for the first time since the G1 series. Ultra Magnus transforms into a car carrier capable of transporting other Autobots such as the Autobot Brothers. While Scourge was not actually a Prime, he did bear a Matrix in the Japanese version of the series. It is also implied that he could be somehow sharing the energy of the Matrix with Optimus as he had an outburst of energy that supercharged the Autobot Brothers. Magnus can combine with Optimus to form Omega Prime, but wiether or not this somehow makes Magnus a Prime himself is debatable among the fandom.|
|Omega Prime||When his brother, Optimus Prime, was chosen to carry the Matrix, Ultra Magnus felt passed over, and was left carrying a grudge against his brother that eventually exploded into violence when he arrived on Earth with the intention of taking what he believed was rightfully his- by force, if necessary. Severely injuring Prime, who refused to fight back, Magnus tracked him to a desert island, where he pretended to offer him the hand of friendship, only to attempt to absorb the Matrix for himself, forcing the brothers into the powerful combined form of Omega Prime. Omega Prime was named God Fire Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
The Optimus Prime of the alternate universe of Transformers: Armada also possesses a Matrix (Much like the original Matrix, it serves as the symbol of the Autobot Commander). "Prime" is indeed a title given to leaders and Matrix-bearers in the Unicron Trilogy universe, as evidenced by both Vector Prime and Optimus Prime, but no other Primes are ever named. In Galaxy Force, Override (Nitro Convoy), Scourge (Flame Convoy), Evac (Live Convoy), and Metroplex (Megalo Convoy) all hold the title of Convoy as leaders of their respective planets, but this scheme does not carry over into the western translation, and so the Prime appellation does not apply. Likewise, in Super Link, the Japanese version of Energon, Rodimus is known as "Rodimus Convoy", hearkening back to the name of his G1 predecessor. But again, this does not follow through in Hasbro's materials. Interestingly, Vector Prime is not known as Vector Convoy in Japan, but Vector Prime, while Optimus maintains the traditional Convoy title as Galaxy Convoy.
|Optimus Prime||The Transformers: Armada incarnation of Optimus Prime (known as Convoy in Japan) has the ability to transform into a semi-truck as well as combine with Jetfire to form Jet Convoy or Overload to form Magna Convoy. He can also combine with both of them to form Magna Jet Convoy. In Transformers: Energon, Optimus Prime (now called Grand Convoy in Japan) has the to combine with Wing Saber to form Wing Convoy or Omega Supreme to form Omega Convoy. In Transformers: Cybertron, Optimus Prime (Galaxy Convoy) has the ability to combine with Leobreaker to form Liger Convoy or Wing Saber to form Sonic Convoy.|
|Nemesis Prime||Nemesis Prime only ever appeared in one Transformers: Armada episode called "Puppet" as an evil clone of Optimus Prime created by Unicron. He is known as Scourge in Japan, possibly as a homage to the character of the same name from Transformers: Robots in Disguise who was also an evil clone of Optimus Prime.|
|Rodimus||Rodimus is a great military commander and a superior warrior, yet strives for peace and freedom. First at odds with Optimus Prime for his conduct of the war against the Decepticons, Rodimus eventually became Optimus' right-hand man and de facto commander of the Autobots when Optimus himself was unavailable. While never actually called "Rodimus Prime", he was referred to as "Rodimus Convoy" in the Japanese version of Energon, hearkening back to the name of his G1 predecessor.|
|Override||Long-time ruler of Velocitron, Sonic Commander Override's life is dominated by racing, to the extent that she would not impart information, or even hold a conversation with anyone if they did not face her in a race. While Override was not a Prime in the American series, she was a male character named Nitro Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Scourge||Scourge is the brutal and very powerful ruler of the Jungle Planet. He views any display of kindness, compassion or generosity as weakness, and he hates weakness. While Scourge was not a Prime in the American series, he was named Flame Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Evac||Guardian of Earth's Cyber Planet Key, Aerial Commander Evac has existed secretly on the planet for many years, repeatedly switching alternate modes and aiding humans in danger. While Evac was not a Prime in the American series, he was named Live Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Metroplex||Metroplex is the leader of the Gigantion, where Transformers are much bigger than traditional sizes and the main way of life involves constructing new cities on top of the old ones. While Metroplex was not a Prime in the American series, he was named Megalo Convoy in the Japanese version of the series.|
|Vector Prime||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. Interestingly, Vector Prime is not known as Vector Convoy in Japan, but as Vector Prime in both versions of the series.|
Thirteen Original Transformers
In the fictional narrative of the Transformers universe, the Prime linage began with the Thirteen Original Transformers created when the universe began by Primus to aid him in his battle against Unicron. They went on to become the foundation of life on Cybertron. The story concept of the Original Thirteen, as well as three of their members (Prima, Liege Maximo and The Fallen), were created by comic book writer Simon Furman.
Live-action film series
In the live action film series, the Dynasty of Primes are the first wielders of the Matrix and used it to power a Sun Harvester. After learning that Earth contained intelligent life, they refused to use it and The Fallen fought them over it. He was too powerful for them so they stole it and sacrificed themselves to hide it. Sam Witwicky found it but it crumbled to dust in his hands. However, in a vision, the Dynasty gave it to him to wield as he proved worthy of it, telling him that the Matrix is something that must be earned not found. He used it to revive Optimus, but The Fallen took it before it completely healed Optimus. Used to power the Sun Harvester, it survived and was given back to Optimus after he destroyed the harvester.
Prime is still a rank in the Transformers Animated continuity, but (uniquely) it is distinctly lower than commander of all Autobots (that would be Ultra Magnus — the "Magnus" refers to his rank). This is revealed when Sentinel Prime attempts to give an order to Optimus Prime. Optimus is able to disregard this order because regardless of Sentinel's standing on the Cybertron Elite Guard, they are both still Primes of equal rank. The Elite Guard members, Ultra Magnus and Sentinel Prime, have bars on their forearms, with more bars present for the superior officer. Optimus Prime lacks these, and as such it is unknown if they are only present on the Elite Guard. The rank of Prime seems to be roughly equivalent to the human naval rank of captain.
|Longarm Prime/Shockwave||Shockwave has the ability to change his body, using this power to assume the guise of Longarm in order to creep up the Autobot ranks and serve Megatron incognito.|
|Optimus Prime||Instead of being leader of the Autobots, Prime was actually a washout from the Elite Guard. Despite no longer being a member, he maintains his military ranking of "Prime".|
|Rodimus||Rodimus Prime/Minor is a character who appeared in season 3 of the Transformers Animated series. He is an homage to the Generation 1 version of the character Hot Rod.|
|Sentinel Prime||Sentinel Prime is a hotheaded member of the Cybertron Elite Guard. Sentinel's main weapon is a shield called the Skyboom Shield, that is able to generate force fields and can be used offensively when thrown. He also wields a laser lance, and can activate a battle mask when needed.|
In the "Aligned Continuity" (which includes the video games Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, their tie-in novels Exodus, Exiles and Retribution, and the television series Transformers: Prime), the Prime rank is similar to its portrayal in the original series. "Prime" is the name given to the leader of the Autobots and holder of the Matrix of Leadership, which is passed down to a successor at the end of the current Prime's reign. Characters shown to be part of the Prime lineage in this continuity include Optimus Prime and Sentinel Zeta Prime (referred to as "Sentinel Prime" in the novels and "Zeta Prime" in the video games).
|Optimus Prime (formerly Orion Pax) was a veteran military commander and second in command who wields an ion blaster and a double bladed energon axe. He became the leader of the Autobots after Zeta Prime fell in battle, but is not certain he wants the responsibility. The war with the Decepticons was going badly, and it looked like there was no end in sight. He vowed to himself and to the warriors under his command that he would never surrender, never retreat, and never stop fighting until the Decepticons were defeated.|
|Sentinel Zeta Prime||Sentinel Zeta Prime, who appeared Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Exodus, is Optimus Prime's predecessor as Autobot Commander and bore the sigil of Vector Prime. He was portrayed as the former Autobot leader in the game, however in the book, he wasn't an Autobot at all since the factions weren't formed until later. His death would lead to Optimus becoming the Autobot leader.|
While he didn't hold the Matrix, the Autobot's human ally, Jack Darby, was entrusted with the Key to Vector Sigma, thus he was entrusted with the fate of the Matrix of Leadership and was even referred to as an "honorary Prime" at one point by Miko Nakadai. The Autobots and Megatron discovered that Unicron's spark dwelt at the center of the Earth and Prime emptied the full power of the Matrix into Unicron's spark upon travelling there. After Unicron was successfully returned to stasis, the Matrix was drained its energy, Optimus lost not merely the wisdom of the Primes, but all of his own memories since becoming a Prime. Fortunately, it was revealed that the key allow the Matrix to be refilled, and Optimus's memory restored, via the mega-computer Vector Sigma on Cybertron. Jack and Arcee travelled to Cybertron to load the key, then returned to Earth in the midst of a battle between Orion and Megatron. Though the archivist was hesitant at first, Jack convinced him that he was in fact worthy and used the key to restore the Matrix's power and Optimus's memories.
In season three, Smokescreen was chosen by the Matrix to succeed Optimus Prime. However, Smokescreen used to Forge of Solus Prime to restore Optimus to life and therefore doesn't end up becoming a Prime or holder of the Matrix.
- "We are Primus. We are Prima. We are Prime Nova. We are Sentinel Prime. We are Optimus Prime." - "We are THUNDERWING!" (from Marvel US issue 65, pages 25 (panel 5) & 27 (panel 1))
- TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE Returns! Hasbro Launches Product Line Based on Original '80s Theme; Fox Kids Series to Debut September 8th. Business Wire September 5, 2001
- Transformers Animated.com - First Images of Animated Rodimus, Strika, Blackout and Spittor
- Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster (August 15, 2009). Transformers Animated: The Allspark Almanac. Idea & Design Works Llc. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-1-60010-487-9.
- The disambiguation list of Prime in the Transformers Wiki
- The article on the Prime rank in the Transformers Wiki
- The disambiguation list of Convoy in the Transformers Wiki