WARNING: Spoilers for Bumblebee.

Bumblebee's post-credits scene reveals that the movie is really a retcon of Michael Bay's Transformers franchise. A spinoff to the live-action Robots in Disguise movies, Bumblebee has been one of the biggest surprises of 2018, reimagining the militaristic action series as How To Train Your Iron Giant, with the story focus on the relationship between a teenage girl Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) and her car, a Volkswagen Beetle that's actually a Cybertronian on the run.

At first glance, Bumblebee is a prequel to the Michael Bay Transformers movies. The film avoids including Megatron because he's supposed to be frozen in the Hoover Dam in 1987, and at the end Bee remakes himself as a Chevy Camaro, the form Sam Whitwicky first discovers the Transformer. However, look deeper and there's a lot of contradictions: the AllSpark, the cube that drove the Cybertronian war in the 2007 movie, isn't mentioned at all, and Decepticon Shatter and Dropkick's involvement with Sector Seven contradicts previous presentations of first contact.

Related: Every Plot Hole Bumblebee Makes With Michael Bay's Transformers Films

It's in Bumblebee's after-credits scene where things really get messy, however. Technically, this stinger is very near the start of the credits, coming just after director Travis Knight's name and before the cast and rest of the crew, but it clearly serves the same purpose as Nick Fury approaching Tony Stark in Iron Man or Thanos smirking at the camera in The Avengers. This is about the future, and it isn't the future that Transformers fans were expecting.

Bumblebee's Post-Credits Scene Sees More Autobots Come To Earth

Technically, Bumblebee has two credits sequences, one after the other. The second sees Charlie finally fix her father's convertible. This was her primary goal long before she got involved in the Autobot cause, making it a proper end to her grieving character arc. Indeed, it's the sort of thing that could have slotted into the movie proper, but was sidestepped to keep the focus on Charlie's relationship with Bumblebee.

It's the preceding sequence that's of real interest to our continuity discussion, though. Picking up from the movie's ending, which saw B-127 driving alongside a truck that looked suspiciously like Optimus Prime, it sees Bumblebee and the Autobot leader walking together through a forest. Optimus says to his trusted lieutenant that there is more to be done in the battle, before turning to the sky to see seven more Autobots burning through Earth's atmosphere. For a short scene that exists primarily to give Peter Cullen some more time in the recording booth, it's a pivotal moment showing that Optimus Prime has arrived on Earth and sent out a call to the other Autobots. Bumblebee's events are evidently the start of something bigger.

Which Transformers Could Be Coming In Bumblebee's Post-Credits Scene?

The first query from Bumblebee's post-credits scene is who exactly is arriving on Earth. In the opening sequence on Cybertron, we saw Arcee, Wheeljack, Brawn, Ratchet and Ironhide all evacuate the planet on Optimus' orders (Cliffjumper was also there, but he was killed shortly after by Decepticons). It would make sense for at least some of those five to be amongst the new seven, although that still leaves several unknowns. Given how many Autobot characters there are across Transformers media, the new arrivals could be just about anyone.

Related: Every Transformer That Appears In Bumblebee's G1 Cybertron Battle

To narrow it down, you may think we can use the known future of the franchise and look at who turned up in similar circumstances during Michael Bay's Transformers. However, this creates an immediate contradiction; in the 2007 movie, just three other Transformers - Jazz, Ratchet, and Ironhide - came to Earth along with Optimus. And that's just the beginning of a major retcon Bumblebee is making...

Page 2 of 2: How Bumblebee's Post-Credits Scene Retcons Transformers

Bumblebee's Post-Credits Scene Contradicts Transformers (2007)

In Transformers, the Autobots first come to Earth in 2007 after being called by Bumblebee. The new quartet arrives late at night in the middle of Los Angeles, where they adopt new forms and converge on Bee, Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes. None of this is true of Bumblebee's presentation of the event: the year is 1987, the location is woods outside San Francisco; Optimus Prime is already on Earth with Bumblebee; there are seven new arrivals; and Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are nowhere to be seen. There's no way that this is a similar-but-earlier event either; Optimus hadn't been to Earth before 2007, and the parallel iconography of shooting star Transformers arriving is clearly intended to evoke this event.

Of course, Transformers as a franchise is hardly renowned for its great sense of continuity. With each new movie, Bay kept going further back in time - by Transformers: The Last Knight, robots had been involved in the pyramids, the Moon landing, the extinction of the dinosaurs, King Arthur, and, eventually, the planet's very forming was said to be around Unicron - creating a myriad of increasingly confounding contradictions in terms of the grand Transformers timeline.

Related: Bumblebee's Biggest Unanswered Questions

All that said, there was still a general consistency in Sam's (and later Mark Wahlberg's Cade Jaeger's) story. Bumblebee's post-credits change is thus a pretty striking retcon, one that puts some serious distance between the new movie and what has come before in live-action.

Bumblebee's Post-Credits Scene Confirms The New Transformers Reboot

In the year leading up to Bumblebee's release, there had been persistent rumors that, following the relative box office underperformance of Transformers: The Last Knight and cancelation of Transformers 6, Travis Knight's film had been subtly retooled to further distance itself from the Bay era. It would essentially function as a soft reboot. That's definitely true of the movie as a whole, which can slot into the Bay continuity if you squint but visually and tonally takes a totally unique direction.

This final scene, with the Autobots on Earth continuing their battle with the Decepticons twenty years earlier (and without any AllSpark conspiracies) doesn't just line up with that behind-the-scenes thinking, it takes it further. It outright moves Bumblebee into starting a new timeline, one that fits the broad iconography audiences have come to expect from live-action Transformers but has no narrative continuity with it. If that were the intention, it would likely mean this was a scene added later in production once a conscious decoupling from Bay had been decided on. But even if it's not intended outright, the simple fact that the movie diverges shows connecting to the past is no longer a concern.


Ultimately, Bumblebee's post-credits scene is about setting up more Transformers movies in the vein of what Travis Knight has achieved in his critical smash, something it teases in an effective way. The Michael Bay era is unavoidably over, and so minimal lip-service is only to be expected. Simply put, canon is not the key concern (but this is nevertheless surely the start of a much bigger retcon).

Next: Bumblebee Is A Remake Of The Original Transformers (But Much Better)