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The Correct Order In Which To Watch The Transformers Movies

Based on the Transformers franchise that began as toys in the 1980s, the modern "Transformers" film series started when director Michael Bay released the smash hit "Transformers" in 2007. He transformed the childlike series into an action-packed sci-fi adventure, which has spanned a total of six films in the franchise thus far. Somehow, over the past few years, a story about alien robots fighting suddenly requires more explanation.

With the news of more Transformer films coming our way, the timeline for this franchise is about to get muddled. After the release of 2018s "Bumblee," Paramount Pictures announced that a sequel film has been set to launch in 2023 called "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts." And that's not all. In the same announcement, Paramount also stated that a new animated series would air on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2022, and that a CG animated Transforms film is planned in 2024. With all these new moving parts, we've chosen to compile a list of the correct chronological order to watch these movies to help those who may be a little lost. Buckle up, it's going to be a wild ride.

Bumblebee (2018)

Released in 2018, "Bumblebee" was directed by "Kubo and the Two Strings" director Travis Knight. It was technically the sixth Transformer film to come out of this franchise. However, it's the first in the timeline, as it takes place in 1987, 20 years before the first film. It was highly praised for its action sequences, story, and acting — making it one of the most enjoyable films in the Transformer franchise.

The story begins with an exciting tale on the Transformers homeworld Cybertron, where the Autobots and the Decepticons are engaged in battle. Bumblebee loses his voice and memories when he's sent to Earth, transforming into a Volkswagen Beetle owned by the teenager Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld). The two form a sweet friendship and are able to bring the remaining Autobots safely to Earth.

Thanks to the success of this film, the next Transformers film, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" will continue in the prequel timeline, taking place in the 1990s.

Transformers (2007)

As the first "Transformers" film to come out, this movie introduced audiences to Michael Bay's vision for the iconic Transformers characters. While not the first film based on the property, it was Bay's live-action franchise that made Transformers mainstream for the first time in decades. While his films are not without their criticism, at the time of "Transformers" release, this was one of the most talked-about films. It changed the perspective on the Transformers franchise, which was mainly seen through kids' toys and cartoons.

Bay chose to introduce audiences to the world of the Transformers through the eyes of the everyman character Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). Just like Steinfeld's Charlie, Sam gets Bumblebee as a car and is thrown into the war between Autobots and Decepticons, who are in hiding as cars on Earth. Sam becomes crucial in helping Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and his team defeat the Decepticons leader Megatron. By the end of the film, Earth has become a safe haven for the Autobots, who've taken over as defenders of the planet, refusing to let the Decepticons transform it into their new homeworld.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" was released in 2009 and brought back most of the main cast along for the ride. This film gives some background information on the history of the Decepticons, detailing that there was once a Prime who wanted to harness the Earth's energy back in 17,000 BC. For his crimes, this Prime was imprisoned by the others, and was forever known as "The Fallen." The Decepticons free "The Fallen" (voiced by Tony Todd) and use him to wreak havoc on the world.

While this film was incredibly successful, it's also when the Transformers franchise began to go downhill, as the story was no longer a fun sci-fi action flick about aliens robots. Instead, Bay went into his own lore for the Transformers, detailing that they have been on Earth for centuries. In this film, the Pyramids in Egypt were built by Transformers to hide their harvesting machines. A lot happens in this movie, the most important of which is that Optimus Prime is killed and later brought back to life. By the end of the film, Sam is alive, the Earth is saved, and The Fallen is defeated. Unfortunately, Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving) is still alive — but don't worry team, maybe you'll get him next time!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Three years later, Bay released "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," where he replaced Sam's love interest Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) with Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) after a feud broke between Bay and Fox. This film focused on the now-adult Sam, who desperately wants to work with the government and the Autobots.

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" further rewrites human and Transformers history, as it's revealed that the Apollo 11 mission was created to investigate a Cybertron spacecraft that crash-landed on the moon. It connects to a plot that the Decepticons have been running for years, which will essentially transform Earth into the new Cybertron. They've even enlisted the help of humans who've joined a secret society working alongside them. And when Optimus is betrayed by his mentor Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) the Autobots are, once again, forced to fight for the people of Earth. After a huge battle that devastates the city of Chicago, both Megatron and Sentinel Prime are killed, with the Autobots remaining on Earth, their new home once more.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Released in 2014, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is the first Bay-directed Transformers film not to feature Shia LaBeouf's character Sam Witwicky. LaBeouf told MTV that he left the franchise because he believed there was nothing more for the character to do. This caused a shift in the new films directed by Bay. Instead of Sam being at the center of the human tale, Bay introduced the Yeager family.

Mark Wahlberg portrays Cade Yeager, an inventor who discovers a badly damaged and hidden Optimus Prime. This film takes place five years after "Transformers: Dark of The Moon," where the government no longer has faith in the Transformers and is now hunting them all down, whether they're Decepticons or Autobots. Once the government discovers Optimus with the Yeager family they attack the family farm, causing all the Autobots to mobilize to keep the family and themselves safe. Simultaneously, the Autobots are being hunted by an alien race known as the "Creators." They were responsible for whipping out the dinosaurs after covering the Earth with a metallic alloy called "Transformium."

This film has a lot happening, but one notable moment is that there are dinosaur Transformers that Optimus rides. Admit it, that was cool.

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

"Transformers: The Last Knight" was the last Bay-directed film of the Transformers franchise. It begins in the past, detailing how much the Transformer's history intersects with humanities. This time, audiences see that the Transformers were allied to the legendary King Arthur himself. They provide Merlin with his magical staff, but warn him to hide it, as it would unleash great evil one day.

Back in the present-day, Optimus visit the remainder of his home planet Cybertron, where he's brainwashed and renamed Nemesis Prime by a Cybertronian Sorceress Quintessa (voiced by Gemma Chan). He's tasked with finding the staff and bringing it back to her. Back on Earth, the Autobots are still being hunted because being a hero is clearly a thankless task. Wahlberg's Cade Yeager is back and provides sanctuary for all Autobots he comes across. However, once they learn of the staff's existence, it's all hands on deck to try and retrieve it before the Decepticons do. By the end of the film, Bumblebee and Optimus fight, with Bumblebee finally gaining his voice back to snap Optimus out of his brainwashing. Once they defeat the Decepticons, the Autobots all leave Earth to rebuild Cybertron. However, the ending is left ambiguous, as Quintessa is still alive and on Earth, masquerading as a human.