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Sam
6th January 2008, 04:07 PM
Hey all,

I know very, very little regarding Beast Wars and the stories beyond it (e.g. Beast Machines).

So I was wondering if you could give me a list of recommended viewing and/or reading because I'd like to find out more about the lore behind it.

So far, I am thinking this is what I should watch first:

- Beast Wars series
- Beast Machines series

Are there any Beast Wars and/or Beast Machines comics (apart from the IDW ones) that you think I should be reading?

Also, I think there may be some Japanese Beast Wars and/or Beast Machines episodes somewhere (I raised this point because I saw that the IDW Beast Wars sourcebooks seemed to refer to some Japanese characters)?

Finally, if you know of a good summary article on the Internet regarding the plot behind Beast Wars, please also point me to it. Thank you.

STL
6th January 2008, 04:19 PM
I'm not the most knowledgeable of BWs lore yet but definitely start with the cartoon. People's objections (mine initially) wth BWs is their alt modes and the setting. Having watch the cartoon (season 1 and a bit of season 2), I've warmed to the cast far more. And that's the wonder of the BWs. You actually warm to characters b/c of their personality traits.

In G1, you warmed to a character b/c of some random reason or oneliner they cracked or a particular episode they starred in. There wasn't as much reason for it. I like Prowl a lot for example but for the life of me, he's never been fleshed out in character as much as the majority of BW characters.

Beast Machines is far more infamous though it does has its supporters.

GoktimusPrime
6th January 2008, 05:01 PM
The watch list you have there is pretty good - watch Beast Wars first, then Beast Machines.

It's up to you if you want to watch the Japanese series - they're an expansion on the Canadian series but aren't totally vital to the overall Beasties lore. Whereas Beast Wars is written with adult viewers in mind (even though it's still primarily aimed at kids), BWII and BW Neo are written exclusively for kids and consequently doesn't have as much appeal to adult audiences as Beast Wars. If you really want, go ahead and watch it - but if you just want to watch the more important bits of BWII and BWNeo I would recommend watching...
1/ The Beast Wars II movie - my favourite part of BWII continuity and it also ties the Canadian and Japanese continuities together. Chronologically speaking, this movie "takes place" at the "time" of the Season 1 episode "Chain of Command."
2/ The last few eps of BWII (although the beginning of BW Neo will recap these events)
3/ The last few eps of BW Neo - basically from when the Blentrons come in. BW Neo actually gets quite interesting from that point until the end. Before then it's pretty bland.

Comic-wise, none of them really tie in that strongly with the TV series, but "Reaching The Omega Point" has ties with other stories, like Beast Wars: The Ascending. Not an essential tie, you can happily read BW The Ascending without ever having seen BWII, BWNeo or having read "Reaching The Omega Point," but having seen/read those other stories does make you appreciate it more. :)

Beast Machines is far more infamous though it does has its supporters.
Beast Machines created controversy regarding a few areas which I won't go into until you've at least started watching it. I like it though. :)

Adzma
6th January 2008, 05:26 PM
Beast Wars is certainly a very good series to watch. I don't know about others, but I personally find it "easier" to watch than the G1 cartoon, by which I mean in some cases, G1 makes me cringe when hearing some lines, (eg. "FAT CHANCE FAT HEAD!" and "Prepare to blast off!" to name a couple) because they seem a little childish (don't get me wrong though, the show still rocks), whereas BW seems much more fluid and young adultish. Beast Machines on the otherhand... well all I can say is if you want to absorb all of the BW universe, go ahead and watch it.

GoktimusPrime
6th January 2008, 05:58 PM
Beast Wars works well in appealing to children and engaging older audiences at the same time - whereas the G1 cartoon was primarily geared to appeal to children (and consequently was quite camp). Beast Machines is on the complete other end of the spectrum and only holds appeal for adults (I would be quite amazed if any child could properly appreciate/comprehend the themes in that show). Beast Wars was a good balance of being fun and action-packed enough for kids to enjoy whilst having a story that was written at a level high enough for older audiences to appreciate.

Both Beast Wars and Beast Machines tie into G1/G2 continuity and are loaded with G1/G2 references for the old school fans. :)

IMO Beast Wars is the best story ever written for a Transformers television series and the second best Transformers series written other than the G1/G2 comics.

Paulbot
6th January 2008, 06:57 PM
Since nobody actually explicitly said it yet, I just want to add that Beast Machines is a direct sequel to Beast Wars. It's basically series four and five of Beast Wars so it doesn't make a lot of sense if you haven't seen Beast Wars first.

kup
6th January 2008, 07:22 PM
Beast Wars is a great series and if you watch it as a G1 fan then it enhances both your apreciation and enjoyment of both G1 and Beast Wars as the series support and enrich each other when it comes to concepts and lore.

Beast Machines on the other hand is drastically different to Beast Wars in story telling and style although as Paulbot mentioned, it so happens to be a direct sequel but aside from the first few episodes, it is mostly its own unique series.

Beast Machines is the type of series that there is a chance you may hate if you are a Transformers fan as they move radically away from the core concept of what makes Transformers..well..Transformers :P. Its a good series by itself if you watch it as a non Transformers fan but it could leave you a bad taste in the mouth if you happen to be one, particularly at the end.

Beast Wars despite the realistic animal altmodes; it follows traditional Transformers concepts and enriches them without crossing the line, Beast Machines on the other hand doesn't and many TF fans (Including hardcore Beast Wars fans like myself) do not like Beast Machines very much because of that.

To put it simply, don't expect the same storytelling style or dynamics of the Beast Wars series when watching Beast Machines. Try to treat it as a separate series, even separate to Transformers if you want to enjoy it for what it is.

Beast Wars on the other hand will not only make you a bigger G1 fan but also enriches many of the already stablished concepts touched upon in not only the G1 cartoon but the G1/G2 comics too while giving you great apreciation for the series itself.
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GoktimusPrime
6th January 2008, 11:00 PM
Try to treat it as a separate series, even separate to Transformers if you want to enjoy it for what it is.
But that goes against what Beast Machines is meant to be - as Paulbot said, it is supposed to be a direct continuation from Beast Wars... a sequel and essentially the fourth and fifth seasons of Beast Wars.

Yes, it is a massively major departure from the more orthodox perspective of what Transformers is in some regards (not all), and like it or not, that doesn't change the fact that Beast Machines is part of Transformers - specifically it is part of G1/G2/BW continuity. That is a canonical fact whether you like it or not.

Saying something like "Beast Machines is more enjoyable if you ignore the fact that it's Transformers" is like saying, "Olympic Taekwondo is good martial art if you ignore the fact that they can't fight" or "smoking isn't really bad for your health if you ignore the various diseases associated with it." For better or for worse, Beast Machines is part of Transformers.

And I submit to you that accepting Beast Machines as Transformers is a LOT easier than accepting Animorphs as Transformers! :D

http://www.tomart.com/images99/animorphsmarcopackagedl.jpg "Gah! What's the word 'Transformers' doing on top of 'Animorphs'?!"

kup
6th January 2008, 11:33 PM
Sorry I didn't make myself clear on the previous post.

When I said try to treat it as separate series I didn't mean for him to ignore that it is canon because it is even if I don't like it. I just meant not to expect or feel disapointed when the series takes such a radical departure from traditional Transformers concepts and story telling.

The departure from 'traditional' Transformers is a huge culture shock and if you can't see passed it then it ruins the series for you even though the series is reasonably good despite this. The changes made to some of the BW characters also causes a big shock but if you don't see passed it, it can make you feel bitter.

I am not saying to ignore canon I am saying to treat the show as its own creative effort without expecting a continuation of the same story structure or characterizations that we saw in Beast Wars as well as regular transformer concepts. After you get over the culture shock after the first few episodes where they begin to distant themselves from any references of what happened before, it becomes its own series and arguably enjoyable.

What I meant as a separate series it was more of in 'mindset' than canon.
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Sam
7th January 2008, 01:40 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. :)

1orion2many
7th January 2008, 08:04 AM
:)I personally enjoyed both Beast Wars and Beast Machines but like most people I was dissappointed with the end of Beast Machines as it left the story line no where to go unfortunately:(.

GoktimusPrime
7th January 2008, 08:41 AM
The changes made to some of the BW characters also causes a big shock but if you don't see passed it, it can make you feel bitter.
Actually I find some (not all) of the character changes more difficult to accept than some of the other changes made... character change is a good thing and important for driving a story... but it needs to be done logically. The problem with some of the character development in Beast Machines is that they took an illogical departure from Beast Wars. Some didn't, and were done well, but others just didn't make sense.

When we develop a character in a story there needs to be a logical progression. e.g. Anakin Skywalker...
1. Innocent well-meaning boy who is born in a world of incredible injustice and yearns to somehow bring justice and free his mother.
2. Becomes an impatient but still well-meaning heroic Jedi apprentice. Finds difficulty separating emotional desires from his sense of duty - death of his mother leaves him feeling incredibly impotent and gives him his first taste of the Dark Side (a taste that he dislikes). His battles with Asajj Ventress and Count Dooku (he is a Jedi Knight by this stage) during the Clone Wars also gives him more tastes (but he still dislikes it).
3. His emotional desires change to overwhelming greed, allowing the Dark Side of the Force to consume him and becoming Darth Vader.

Beast Wars always had a logical character developmental process - in the transition to Beast Machines, whilst some characters continued to logically develop, others didn't... and in some cases, their characters became entirely contrary to their BW selves, which isn't a bad thing but needs to be logically explained but sadly wasn't.

i_amtrunks
7th January 2008, 09:41 AM
Well put Gok!

And Sam, one quiet and wet Weekend is all you'll need to catch up on Beast Wars, and another for Beast Machines!

Of all finished mediums, Beast Wars is second in terms of story, and characters/character development only to Marvel G2 Comics.

I hope you have some $$$ stashed away somewhere, the Beast Wars shows were/are very good toy ads!:p

Bartrim
7th January 2008, 03:16 PM
I hope I don't get shunned by the community for what I am about to say:p

I got caught up reading STL's journey into beast wars so much that I went and bought the 1st season. I liked it at the start. It was fresh and different to what I had watched before. I just started disc 3 and I'm starting to find it a chore to watch. Character wise there are some good characters but some that absolutely annoy me to no end (I'm secretly hoping Ratttrap becomes a Pred so I can feel justified hating him). I also am starting to dislike the animation. The characters just glide across the ground and the scenery looks nice initially but once things start getting blown apart it looks pretty poor IMHO.

I'm not trying to cause a storm in a teacup with these comments I'm just voicing my opinion. That being said I'll probably end up buying the whole series eventually although my purchasing of the Energon series (I found it off they guy that put animated on you tube) is of a higher priority to me then season 2 of Beast Wars:)

Paulbot
7th January 2008, 03:58 PM
Only shunned by some! ;)

I talked STL into watching Beast Wars series and while he's enjoyed watching every episode, in my mind there's a quite a lot that's not very good in the first series. I wanted to give STL a list of key episodes to watch for the major plot developments and if you're interested I'll give you that list. That way you can watch the best episodes and the ones important to the story and skip over the filler and maybe enjoy it more?

Series two has fewer filler episodes, the animation does gets better (but granted it's still 10 years old computer animation) but if you disliked Rattrap now you're probably not going to like him anymore. Personally I can't see how you'd prefer the whining of Ironhide and Kicker in Energon over Rattrap.... but then I stick up for Wheelie and think Animated is good so who am I to judge? :)

dirge
7th January 2008, 04:19 PM
Who's Bartrim? d:

The animation has dated somewhat, but for me the characters and storyarc are what make the show enjoyable. BTW I love Rattrap's character.

Bartrim
8th January 2008, 08:30 AM
Who's Bartrim? d:

BTW I love Rattrap's character.

Ouch Dirge. I don't get what people like about him. I find him so annoying I just want to hit him...hard.


Only shunned by some! ;)

I talked STL into watching Beast Wars series and while he's enjoyed watching every episode, in my mind there's a quite a lot that's not very good in the first series. I wanted to give STL a list of key episodes to watch for the major plot developments and if you're interested I'll give you that list. That way you can watch the best episodes and the ones important to the story and skip over the filler and maybe enjoy it more?

Series two has fewer filler episodes, the animation does gets better (but granted it's still 10 years old computer animation) but if you disliked Rattrap now you're probably not going to like him anymore. Personally I can't see how you'd prefer the whining of Ironhide and Kicker in Energon over Rattrap.... but then I stick up for Wheelie and think Animated is good so who am I to judge? :)

Believe me I loathe Kicker and Ironhide. It's just I prefer some of the other characters in Energon over the Beast Wars characters (Check my Avatar for example:)). Not saying I hate all the Beast Wars characters. I like Megatron, Rhinox and I even like Cheetor. Apart from Rattrap I think Scorponok is a dead set tool. He would fit in well at the place I work:p Tarantulas is just creepy and I'm getting sick of Dinobot. Yes I get it! You are only a Maximal because you hate Megatron you don't have any of the other Maximal beliefs, please move on. Apart from that none of the other characters do much for me yet.

i_amtrunks
8th January 2008, 08:48 AM
Rattrap may grow on you if you like smart alec's.. otherwise you're always going to hate him. :p

The animation has not aged well, even season 3 which is far and away superior to season 1 (shows the advancements made in only 4 years), but believe me for the time, and most certainly for the budget and time constraints Beast Wars is one sexy looking show.

1orion2many
8th January 2008, 10:49 AM
Let's face it everyone has different tastes which means Beast Wars isn't for everyone. Beast wars is my favourite series and I don't think this will change in the near future, certainly not with TF animation being released, I dislike this cartoon but other people on this board have said they like it, each to thier own. Watch the series and make up your own mind, it will either appeal to your tates or it's not for you, enjoy it for what it did which was the revival of Transformers to a larger audience once again.

kup
8th January 2008, 12:04 PM
Yeah Beast Wars isn't for everyone and Bartrim has expressed his own oppinions withoutbeing hostile or trying to put down those who do so its cool.

I personally hate all the Energon characters but that's my opinion.

So no storm in a tea cup here.
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GoktimusPrime
8th January 2008, 11:26 PM
Ouch Dirge. I don't get what people like about him. I find him so annoying I just want to hit him...hard.
You have to remember that unlike the Autobots - and the Maximals in BWII and BW Neo, these Maximals are not warriors. They're explorers who got thrown into this war. Rattrap is a very vocal conscious objector to the war. But he's a lot like Huffer or Gears, only way more of a smart-a$$ - although he complains a lot, he is extremely loyal and in "Chain of Command" it was Rattrap who held the Maximals together when the slag hit the fans in Primal's absence. Rattrap becomes more accepting of his role in the Beast Wars later on... even relishing it at times. What becomes more interesting is his relationship other Maximals (e.g.: Dinobot, Silverbolt)

I think Scorponok is a dead set tool. He would fit in well at the place I work
Yeah, he's meant to be. :p

Tarantulas is just creepy
If you've only seen Season 1 you ain't seen nothing yet! Tarantulas just gets creepier and creepier! I dare say he's easily one of the creepiest Transformers - EVER! And believe me, there's a LOT more Tarantulas than meets the eye! Unless you've gone and found spoilers somewhere, I'm willing to bet that you have no idea what he really is. ;)

and I'm getting sick of Dinobot. Yes I get it! You are only a Maximal because you hate Megatron you don't have any of the other Maximal beliefs, please move on.

Erm.. he doesn't really hate Megatron per se... he has doubts about the Predacon cause and doubts about Megatron. He also has doubts about the Maximal cause too... it'll all make sense in Season 2, but he is easily a very cool character. He's like what Thundercracker should have been in G1 crossed with Bludgeon! :)

Apart from that none of the other characters do much for me yet.
Scorponok and Terrorsaur are a pair of goons. But don't let that bother you.
Megatron.. yeah, there's more to him than meets the eye... wait until you find out more about his true agenda.
Optimus Primal gets cooler. He's still learning how to be a military leader - so Season 1 Primal is still wearing his training wheels. He takes them off in Season 2 and by Season 3 he has his driver's licence. ;)
Tigatron and Airazor... ah yes... umm... let's talk more about them after you've finished watching all of Beast Wars. ;)

...and how can you not LOVE Waspinator?!? He's like the Transformers equivalent of Kenny from South Park!

"Why universe hate Wazzzpinator?" :D :D