In the past few days, the latest animated series in the toy franchise Transformers has been gaining a lot of attention from the fanbase and the internet at large as a whole. The first non-binary character, Nightshade, has been added to the bots’ arsenal, proving its plot is more complex than it appears. The identity of Nightshade has been confirmed through a few screenshots which have been made public online. They made their debut at the end of Transformers: EarthSpark‘s first season, which premiered on the Paramount+ streaming service in November of this year. The show also features a family of interracial characters, the Maltos, who adopt Twitch and Thrash, the main autobots of the series.
The show depicts the story of the Malto siblings who accidentally spark the creation of new Earthborn Transformers. Consequently, the family makes a promise to keep these new bots as safe as possible. At the end of the series, Nightshade appears and is introduced as they/them, specifically noting their pronoun usage. It is explained in the episode that pronouns such as “He” and “She” do not accurately describe who they are. After apologizing for misgendering them, Optimus Prime corrects the error and moves on.
There are 26 episodes in this animated series, introducing a brand-new generation of robots. As far as the Transformers franchise was concerned, it was originally divided into two distinct groups – the Autobots and the Decepticons. In this new series, we are introduced to the Terrans, who are the first Transformer robots born on Earth. As a result, they work in collaboration with humans in order to redefine the value of family as a whole.
This next-generation Transformers have changed the game when it comes to robot fights, but they have also redefined what it means to team up with other species.
The New Formula for Transformers: EarthSpark
Throughout the decades, there have been many versions of the Transformers toy franchise. With all the new concepts introduced since 1984, the meaning of being a robot in disguise has evolved.
The series is streaming on Paramount+ and introduces Nightshade, the first on-screen non-binary Transformer who uses they/them pronouns. Social media platforms and online networks have since celebrated the adoption of this new character, especially among the LGBTQ+ community. Many have hailed the new approach as a positive one, especially for a children’s animated show. Other cartoons like Steven Universe and She-Ra have introduced more LGBTQ+ characters in recent years.
As the franchise progresses, EarthSpark introduces revised concepts regarding sexuality and gender. Using this formula, characters can do more than just turn into vehicles, appliances, and animals.
Having kids familiarize themselves with the concept of gender identity is unquestionably a good thing today. By adding more characters such as Nightshade, young viewers can be taught how to treat each other respectfully.
Hasbro’s Entertainment One and Nickelodeon Animation Studio co-produced Transformers: Earth Spark, and Paramount+ premiered the first 10 episodes of the series this month.