Though Transformers has always been a series about robots fighting other robots, humans have populated the franchise since day one. They’ve often been dismissed as getting in the way of the story, yet their presence is necessary for audiences to latch on to the drama of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons.
Even though most of the humans across the Transformers franchise have been dismissed as annoying or completely forgotten, there are a few who have garnered praise from the fandom. Whether it’s due to their charisma, relatability, or something else entirely, these are the following 10 humans who Reddit users have deemed essential to the Transformers franchise.
The protagonist of the first three Michael Bay Transformers films, Sam Witwicky was just a regular kid played by Shia LaBeouf, one who would have led a fairly innocuous life. He often embarrassed himself in front of his peers and showed fright at his surroundings, yet he proved himself a hero in the series.
Despite being considered annoying and unlikeable by several Transformers fans, others find Sam a relatable character considering his circumstances. Redditor lemons7472 in particular liked “sam and his cowardness more than Cade who is a bad * ss and brave.”
In the world of the Transformers comics, there have been numerous human characters who have aided the Autobots or proved a nuisance in their battle against the Decepticons. Redditor Garrow_the_Khajiit in particular felt that “G1 Marvel had some neat humans … like Blackrock and Circuit Breaker.”
Blackrock is notable among Transformers characters and fictional billionaires in that he gains a conscience after one of his workers is paralyzed while defending an oil rig from the Decepticons. This event led him to work with the Autobots to protect human life, and he even created his superhero team, the Neo-Knights, to assist them.
A somewhat controversial character among the Transformers fandom, Agent Simmons is arguably one of the few people in the Bay movies to go through a clear arc, even though he became dumber with each movie. Despite this, Redditor Gecko2002 felt that Simmons was “the best human character in any transformers film.”
In a series where many of the characters were annoying or insensitive stereotypes, Simmons proved reliably funny. The humor was never the finest any would come by, but John Turturro ensured that even the crassest of jokes landed thanks to his zany dedication to the role.
One of the three human leads in Transformers: Prime, Jack was Arcee’s partner and the most put together of the human trio. Though his personality was on the dull side at times, he was also liked by some such as this deleted Reddit user who noted “Jack’s relationship with Arcee was wholesome.”
Jack shined brightest when paired with Arcee. His calm demeanor and curiosity complimented Arcee’s stern outlook on life and helped her comfort when she was confronted by her past trauma. Had the two been paired more often, they could’ve rivaled the popularity of Spike and Bumblebee.
When asked who the best human companion is in the Transformers franchise, Reddit User stretchmymind responded with “Circuit Breaker.” While the character was primarily an antagonist in most of her appearances in the G1 Marvel comic, she undoubtedly stood out.
Circuit Breaker’s disdain for the Transformers is rooted in her paralysis at the hands of Shockwave in “The Worse of Two Evils.” Given the traumatic experience, it’s understandable that she’d go after all robots with her exo-suit in some of the best Transformers comics.
In a thread defending the human characters from Transformers: Animated, Reddit user realKuinor asked “have you considered: Fanzone?” The grumpy police captain was one of the series’ main characters and was unique in his reluctant support of the Autobots.
Known for using the phrase “this is why I hate machine,” Fanzone proved a welcome comedic foil to Transformers: Animated, yet he was not a one-note stereotype. Despite his disdain for all things technological, he was an ally to the Autobots, famously aiding them to fight the most powerful Transformers villains in episodes such as “Survival of the Fittest” and “This Is Why I Hate Machines.”
The main human character in Bumblebee, Charlie Watson is a welcome breath of fresh air for live-action films. Though a teenager like Sam, she isn’t a one-note screamer always scared by her surroundings, instead of conveying a great deal of depth and maturity for her age.
What makes Charlie such a strong character and beloved element of Bumblebee is how integral she is to the plot of the best Transformers movie. Redditor Omni_Keizer noted that “She had a really endearing relationship with Bee, a solid personal arc, and generally created a very heartwarming core of the story.”
The original audience surrogate, Spike still stands out as one of the series’ most likeable characters right up there with his pal Bumblebee. And while this likability did not always translate to usefulness in battle, it still proved an asset for the Autobots.
According to Redditor Marxist_Iguana, Spike proved useful because “he was able to help [The G1 Autobots] understand earth. “Given that the Transformers were public knowledge in the G1 cartoon, it certainly helped to have someone like Spike to ingratiate the Autobots into Earth culture.
A CIA agent assigned to work with the Autobots, Agent Fowler has a somewhat tense and businesslike relationship with the team. Despite this, he still trusts in the Autobots and supports them in all their endeavors, even putting his job on the line to protect them.
What Redditors such as Noma-Caa enjoy about Fowler is his “relatable character with good reason to be involved” in the plot. It’s this facet of Prime’s writing that makes it one of the best Transformers TV shows and why Fowler deserves to appear in live-action.
Though technically not a human, Sari Sumdac is the best humanoid character for a multitude of reasons. Whether it be her independence, the humor she brings to Transformers: Animatedor how fleshed out her character arc is, few compare to Sari Sumdac.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Sari’s personality is her relationship with the Autobots. As noted by Redditor Tesafaye23, the relationship and her growth as a character “never felt particularly forced.” This natural quality lent itself to a character people could relate to, despite her Cybertronian origins.
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