Warning: SPOILERS below for Bumblebee!
Bumblebee finally delivers a critically-acclaimed Transformers movie full of humor and heart but it also generates some major unanswered questions. In director Travis Knight's prequel/soft reboot, the courageous yellow Autobot designated B-127 is sent to protect Earth by Optimus Prime, but he's damaged in a fight with the Decepticon Blitzwing. With his vocal processors ripped out and suffering a memory core failure, B-127 takes the form of a Volkswagen Beetle and found by a teenage girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld). When she discovers her new car is an amnesiac alien robot, Charlie names him "Bumblebee", teaches him to "speak" by using the radio and bonds with her new friend.
Meanwhile, Decepticons Dropkick and Shatter form an alliance with Sector Seven, led by Agent Jack Burns (John Cena), and manipulate the humans to help them hunt Bumblebee, who they label a criminal. After they capture and torture Bumblebee, who is saved by Charlie, Sector Seven learns that the Decepticons plan to construct a beacon to commence an invasion of Earth. With Charlie's help in destroying the beacon, Bumblebee kills the Decepticons and saves Earth, earning Agent Burns' respect.
While Bumblebee's humor and heart have led to fans and critics labeling it as the best Transformers movie, it does contain some confusing moments that are left unexplained while also conflicting with the Michael Bay movies it's purportedly a prequel to. Here are the biggest unanswered questions Bumblebee leaves behind.
- This Page: Bumblebee Questions About Transformers Canon
- Page 2: Bumblebee Questions About Cybertron & Optimus Prime
- Page 3: Questions About Bumblebee's Story
Why Do The Transformers And Cybertron Look Different?
Bumblebee opens on Cybertron and depicts how the Decepticons gained control of the planet, forcing Optimus Prime to evacuate the Autobot Resistance - but everything immediately looks markedly different from all of Michael Bay's Transformers movies. Chiefly, all of the Transformers are inexplicably now in their Generation-1 designs. They all look great, although the redesign leaves a massive question behind.
Love it or hate it, Bay's Transformers films have established a distinct look for the robots and for Cybertron; Bumblebee simply abandons it, which suggests that this is a reboot or an alternate timeline. However, Bumblebee still goes out of its way in other respects to adhere to Bay's canon and reinforces that it's a prequel to Transformers 2007, which only adds to the overall confusion as to what's going on and why the robots' looks have drastically changed.
Where Are Megatron And The AllSpark Cube And Why Is Sector Seven Different?
Megatron, the evil leader of the Decepticons, is not in Bumblebee nor is he even mentioned. Director Travis Knight originally intended to show Megatron on Cybertron but he realized that this would conflict with the established canon that Megatron is being held captive on Earths in the Sector Seven base beneath Hoover Dam, where he's been since 1931 under the designation N.B.E.-1 (Non-Biological Extraterrestrial 1). While that was ultimately smart, it leaves a lot up in the air; since the robots all look different now, does Megatron in stasis now also have his Generation-1 look?
Bumblebee also never mentions the AllSpark Cube, the device that all of the Transformers are supposed to be scouring space for at this time; Bumblebee's mission to Earth has nothing to do with finding the AllSpark, and the Decepticons following him are hunting Optimus Prime, not the cube (or Megatron, for that matter).
Finally, Sector Seven is very different in Bumblebee. In Transformers, Sector Seven was a top-secret Men in Black-like agency led by Agent Seymour Simmons (John Turturro). (A younger version of Agent Simmons cameos in Bumblebee). However, in Bumblebee, Sector Seven is distinctly a military operation commanded by Agent Burns. Even more of a departure is the fact that Bumblebee's Sector Seven behaves as if they've never heard of the Transformers before - even though the group was literally formed because of the discovery of Megatron. Indeed, Dropkick and Shatter's arrival is described as "first contact".
Does Michael Bay's Transformers History Still Apply?
Bumblebee creates a big plot hole in regards to Transformers: The Last Knight: Bee has already been on Earth in the 1940s. He fought under the designation ZB-7 as part of the Nazi-killing Devil's Brigade. The new film makes no mention of this and seems to imply that B-127 has arrived on Earth for the first time (when Optimus tells him he "found" Earth, B-127 doesn't reply that he's familiar with our world). However, the film does offer an explanation for this omission: during his fight with Blitzwing, B-127 suffers a Memory Core Critical Failure and has his vocal processors ripped out, robbing him of his ability to speak. For most of the film, Bumblebee is an amnesiac so it makes sense he wouldn't have mentioned any prior exploits killing Nazis to Charlie.
However, there's nevertheless the big question of whether Transformers history happened the way it was shown in the Bay films: was our planet seeded with Transformium by the robots' Creators, was the Great Pyramid of Giza constructed to hide the Star Harvester, did the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union happen to explore a crashed Autobot ship on the moon, and is the Earth still Unicron? The Last Knight also revealed that a clandestine society founded by King Arthur's wizard Merlin called the Order of Witwiccans has been keeping the knowledge of the Transformers a secret since 484 A.D. Since Bumblebee didn't directly contradict this, presumably it all remains canon - at least for now.
Page 2 of 3: Bumblebee Questions About Cybertron & Optimus Prime
Why Has Cybertron Fallen To The Decepticons?
Bumblebee drops the audience into the closing moments of the Fall of Cybertron but offers no details as to what transpired leading to the Decepticons' victory. How did the Decepticons overwhelm the Autobots, especially without Megatron in command? Why was evacuation the only option for the Autobots? Why did Prime scatter the Autobots across space instead of sending them all to Earth together? Furthermore, when the Decepticons do give chase and capture Autobots like Cliffjumper, why are they specifically looking for Optimus Prime? After all, if Bumblebee is adhering to the previous movies' canon, he doesn't have the Autobot Matrix of Leadership at this point, nor does Prime know where the AllSpark is.
Related: All of the Decepticons In Bumblebee
How Did Optimus Prime Know About Earth And Why Do The Autobots Go There?
Optimus tells Bumblebee he "found" Earth and orders him to go there to protect the planet, but why did the Autobot Leader choose Earth at this point? While it's possible Prime understood that Earth has sufficient technology that would allow the Autobots to disguise themselves and hide from the Decepticons, it's still not clear how Optimus expected Bumblebee alone to defend the entire planet.
Nevertheless, Optimus did follow Bumblebee to Earth because he appears in the mid-credits scene, although he apparently arrived too late to help Bee fight Shatter and Dropkick. Then seven more Autobots are seen arriving from space; the film doesn't identify them, although Wheeljack, Ironhide, Arcee, Brawn, and Ratchet are seen during the Fall of Cybertron so it could be them. While the Autobots coming to Earth now contradicts that they came to Earth in 2007, there is an unexplored 20-year time gap between Bumblebee and Transformers so a sequel (that could possibly be set on Cybertron) could easily explain that the Autobots left Earth in the interim years prior to returning in 2007.
Page 3 of 3: Questions About Bumblebee's Story
How Did Bumblebee End Up In Hank's Junkyard?
After the severely damaged B-127 suffers a Memory Core Critical Failure, he scans a nearby Volkswagen Beetle, takes its shape and shuts down. The next time we see him, he's in Hank's junkyard where Charlie Watson discovers him. It's not clear how much time elapsed in between B-127 turning into a Volkswagen and his ending up in the junkyard, but it was long enough that not only was the Autobot rusted and filthy but bees formed hives in his bumper.
It's safe to presume B-127 was considered as an abandoned vehicle and towed to the junkyard, but he's also lucky he wasn't demolished and turned into scrap metal. On that note, there must not have been enough left over of Blitzwing for Sector Seven to salvage for parts when B-127 destroyed him at the start of the film, because otherwise, they would have already had even more access to Transformers tech even before Shatter and Dropkick arrived.
Why Did Bumblebee's Taste In Music Change?
Bumblebee takes advantage of its 1987 setting by packing its soundtrack with hits from the '80s, including an in-joke where Bee plays Stan Bush's "The Touch" from the animated Transformers: The Movie. But when Charlie and Bee were first getting to know each other and she installed a new radio in his chest, she inserted a cassette of The Smiths' "Girlfriend In A Coma". Bee rather aggressively rejected her taste in music - he even ejected the cassette tape right at her face. Later, however, Bee came around to Charlie's alt-rock tunes and she was delighted to find out he now likes The Smiths. He must have been going through her record collection and refining his musical preferences in the many hours he was stuck in her garage.
Related: How Much Did Bumblebee Cost To Make?
Why Didn't Bumblebee Help Charlie And Memo Get Together?
Bumblebee behaves very differently with Charlie than he did when Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) was his owner. In Transformers, Bee worked inexplicably hard to make sure Sam and Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) got together. He played romantic songs to prompt Sam towards Mikaela and he even transformed into a sleek, newer-model Camaro because it would impress her. But in Bumblebee, he didn't try to nudge Charlie towards her next-door-neighbor Memo (Jorge Lendeborg, Jr.), even though Memo was clearly hoping she'd let him take her on a date. Maybe Bee was just extra protective of Charlie, his first human friend, but he was much more like a bro and wingman when it came to Sam Witwicky.
Why Didn't Bumblebee's Nighttime Prank Have Any Repercussions?
To get revenge on Tina (Gracie Dzienny), a mean girl who insulted and humiliated Charlie, Memo suggests taking revenge by toilet papering her house and egging her prized BMW her daddy bought her. They try to teach Bumblebee these classic pranks but it goes completely awry when Bee completely destroys Tina's car in her driveway. Charlie, Memo, and Bee run off as Tina realizes someone smashed her ride. Unbelievably, there are no ramifications for this; despite the ridiculous amount of noise Bumblebee made smashing Tina's car - somehow no one in the house or on the street heard or saw anything.
How Did Charlie And Memo Know Where The Decepticons Were Holding Bumblebee?
When Sector Seven and the Decepticons capture Bumblebee, Charlie is knocked unconscious but Sector Seven makes sure she's brought back home. After she wakes up, Charlie recruits Memo and her little brother Otis to help her save Bee. Except how did she know Dropkick and Shatter were interrogating Bumblebee at McKinnon Air Force Base? Charlie also packed wire cutters as if she knew she had to break through a fence, but how did she know to do this? After all, it's 1987 and Charlie couldn't very well Google "Places Near Brighton Falls, CA Alien Robots Might Use As Base" (even though the Decepticons may have been the reason the Internet was invented).
Do Charlie And Bee See Each Other Again?
At the end of Bumblebee, Charlie and Bee part ways since she realizes he has a greater mission that she has no part of. Before he leaves, Bee transforms himself into a 1977 Chevy Camaro, to Charlie's chagrin: "You mean you could have been a Camaro this whole time?!" It seems to be the end of Charlie and Bumblebee's friendship - but will they really never see each other again? Not that Charlie needs Bee to be her car anymore; she finishes restoring the convertible she and her late father worked on together and we see her triumphantly driving her new ride. However, if Bumblebee is a hit and scores a sequel, it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't involve Charlie Watson and her beloved Autobot reuniting.