Matrix of Leadership
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The Autobot Matrix of Leadership (sometimes the Creation Matrix) is an artifact of great power, traditionally carried by the leader of the Autobots. By most accounts, it holds a part of the essence of Primus, the creator-god of the Transformers, although much about it, including its exact composition, remains a mystery. It generally appears as a hollow, spherical metal shell with two handles on either side and with a core sphere of bluish crystal at its center. The Matrix is the one thing, the only thing, which Unicron fears.
“ | But one day... an Autobot shall rise from our ranks... and use the power of the Matrix... to light... our darkest hour. | ” |
—A dying Optimus Prime, The Transformers: The Movie |
- Hungarian name: Irányítás Mátrixa
- Polish name: Matryca Przywództwa
Conceptual history
The Matrix and the concepts associated with it have continuously evolved over twenty-plus years, due to different Transformers fiction creating new ideas centered on it, which have in turn influenced its representation in other fiction, and so on, and so forth, and back-and-forth. The current nature of the Matrix as it is understood is beholden to quite a few different sources, and its development is described here to minimize confusion. For the specifics on the different interpretations of the Matrix in various continuities, see the "Fiction" section below.
It is not clear precisely where the "Matrix" idea originated—if, for example, it was a part of the franchise's original treatment or not—but the concept first appeared in the Marvel Comics Generation One continuity, where it was introduced as the Creation Matrix, a computer program housed within Optimus Prime that could bring new Transformers to life. According to legend retold by Shockwave, this Creation Matrix program is encoded into a new Autobot leader once every ten millennia.
The animated series made an attempt at introducing the Matrix concept into its continuity in the episode "Cosmic Rust", but the line, which dated the creation of the Matrix to 4.5 million years ago (which would ultimately conflict greatly with what would be learned of the Matrix in the future), was deleted during production. Subsequently, the animated incarnation of the Matrix, known as the "Matrix of Leadership," made its debut in The Transformers: The Movie, where it was presented as a physical object housed in the chest of Optimus Prime, and passed to Ultra Magnus and ultimately Rodimus Prime.
Nothing of the Matrix's nature was actually divulged in the film, where it was treated as simply a magic talisman of prophecy that was the antithesis of Unicron. It was the mini-series "Five Faces of Darkness" which revealed the key feature of the animated Matrix—it contained the Ancient Autobots, the life-forces of all previous Autobot leaders who had held it, collectively known as the "Wisdom of the Ages," which could be consulted for aid in moments of need.
Having already cannibalized many of the movie's best elements for use in his comic book stories, writer Simon Furman contradicted Bob Budiansky's US comic book stories by presenting the Matrix as it had appeared in the film, as a physical object, in his own UK story lines. Eventually, when Furman began writing the US series as well, the two concepts were reconciled and it was explained that Prime's head had merely contained residual Matrix energy, while the true Matrix had resided in his chest. The "life-forces of previous holders" concept was also adapted into the comics, with the Matrix possessing a genetic memory of those that had held it. Most notably, in both UK and US books, Furman crafted a story to explain the origins of the Matrix, why Unicron was vulnerable to it, and how it could create new life, ultimately revealing it to be the essence of the Transformers' creator-god, Primus.
It was the Beast Machines animated series which made the next big addition to the growing mythology of the Matrix when it introduced the Allspark, the extra-dimensional source of all Transformers sparks living or dead, which was also known as "the Matrix." Although it did not explicitly make any callbacks to the Matrix as seen in The Transformers cartoons or comics, the implication was obvious—rather than contain anything, the physical Matrix object from those continuities was a gateway to the Allspark. Where the animated "Matrix of the Leadership" and the comic book "Creation Matrix" had previously seemed incompatible, this revelation united them conceptually—the life-forces of the dead from the cartoon and the ability to bring new life from the comics could now both be tied to the features of the Allspark dimension.
Fiction
Marvel Comics continuity
Generation One
When Primus created the Transformer race, before entering voluntary systems shutdown, he bestowed upon them a genetic Matrix containing his essence and the majority of his power, which could be used to give life to more Transformers so that the race might grow without his direct involvement. Primal Scream Known holders of the Matrix throughout history included the first Transformer, Prima, and subsequently, Prime Nova, Sentinel Prime, and in the modern era, Optimus Prime. Dark Creation One account mentions a "Primon" as the second holder, but no other sources include him. Reaching the Omega Point
By the time of the war on Earth, the fact that the Matrix was a physical object was generally unknown to all but Optimus Prime himself, who kept it within his chest. Operating under the misconception that the Matrix was a program within Prime's mind, Shockwave captured the Autobots and decapitated Prime, using the residual Matrix energy contained within it to bring life to the Constructicons. The Next Best Thing to Being There! Prime was able to transfer the remaining energy into the mind of the Autobots' human ally, Buster Witwicky, The Worse of Two Evils! thereby preventing Shockwave from animating his newest construct, Jetfire. Brainstorm! Deducing that Buster possessed the Matrix, Shockwave programmed the un-living Jetfire to capture the boy, but Buster used the Matrix to bring Jetfire under his control, thwarting Shockwave's plan and saving Optimus Prime. Buster returned the energy of the Matrix within his body to Prime. Prime Time!
The Matrix was also known to have an analog on Cybertron, the Matrix Flame, which burned constantly as long as the Matrix still existed, no matter where in the universe it was. It could also be used to channel the energy of the Matrix, which the Autobots on Cybertron did to bring life to their new warrior, Ultra Magnus. Not long after, however, the Matrix Flame flickered out when Optimus Prime was shunted into limbo by time-traveling Decepticons, leading the Autobots on Cybertron to send Magnus to Earth to investigate. Prime was returned in due time, and the Matrix Flame re-ignited. Target 2006
Having deduced a new means of tapping the Matrix's power, Megatron had Bombshell plant a cerebro-shell within Optimus Prime. Megatron was able to use the shell to channel the energy of the Matrix when Prime used it to give life to the Aerialbots, employing it to animate his own new creations, the Stunticons. Aerialbots over America!
Prime's persistence in keeping the physical shell of the Matrix a secret proved to have been a mistake when the Autobot leader died. In accordance with Cybertron funerary practices, Prime's body was loaded into a funeral bier and launched it into space, unwittingly sending the Matrix with it. Funeral for a Friend! The craft eventually crashed on the distant moon of VsQs, where it lay undisturbed for a time. Left in solitude, the rudimentary consciousness of the Matrix formed from the genetic memory of its past holders began to desire new sensations, and began to hunger for new experiences. Dark Creation
It got a chance at new experience when a dying mechanoid crashed on VsQs and touched the Matrix. The mechanoid was a Deathbringer, which had been dedicated to ending unnecessary suffering, and was warped by the Matrix into a new and very powerful being who sought to destroy all life. Though he left the Matrix in Prime's body, he still carried some of its energy, and the Matrix reveled in the vicarious experience of evil. The Deathbringer found its way to Earth, where it rained destruction down upon a human city. Sensing the Matrix's power within the creature, Optimus Prime (since resurrected) was hesitant to destroy the only link they had discovered to the lost Matrix, but Nightbeat solved the problem by convincing the Deathbringer that since the Matrix's power was eating away at it, it should destroy itself. Deathbringer
Back on VsQs, the Matrix's curiosity found new expression when an insectoid creature crawled into Prime's corpse's chest cavity and became the next recipient of the Matrix's power. Dissecting and studying the beast, the Matrix was fascinated that the creature seemed to be meant to do nothing but destroy, so it re-created the thing into a larger, more powerful predator. Dark Creation The monster attacked a team of astronauts that had set up a research station on VsQs, killing nearly all of them, but at least one escaped and crashed in the seas of Pequod, another planet in the same solar system. His body infused with Matrix energy from the beast that had attacked him, the astronaut was swallowed by a klud, which ingested the energy. Deadly Obsession
Meanwhile, Optimus Prime became aware of the threat of Unicron, and realized that the Matrix would be necessary to defeat the Chaos-Bringer. Search parties were dispatched to track down the funeral barge, which piqued the curiosity of new Decepticon leader Thunderwing, who possessed an affinity with the Matrix and a desire to possess its power for his own. As the opposing teams dodged each other, they eventually set their sights on Pequod, where the klud had been attracting attention because its species was supposed to have been extinct. Thunderwing used his Matrix affinity to psychically link with the Matrix-infused beast and see the memory of swallowing the dying scientist. Recognizing the "VsQs" stamp on his equipment, Thunderwing set out for that moon. Deadly Obsession
Once there, both sides battled the creature the Matrix had created, which had grown to enormous size, with Thunderwing ultimately killing the beast and taking the Matrix. Dark Creation The Decepticon immediately attacked the space-borne Ark, manifesting the Matrix power in the form of a giant, vaguely humanoid energy field around himself. Soon, however, Matrix began to speak through him, delighting in the firsthand experience of evil, and Thunderwing realized he was being possessed. Thunderwing tried to mentally battle the Matrix, to no avail, but the Autobots exploited his erratic behavior to impale him with a harpoon and blow him out the Ark's airlock into space. All Fall Down
The Matrix took time to heal Thunderwing's body, then set out for Cybertron. Coincidentally, it arrived just as Unicron was trying to destroy the planet. The Matrix-creature fought Unicron, but Unicron soon realized that the Matrix had been tainted with evil, and that it was no longer a threat to him, given the infinitely greater magnitude of his own evil nature. Thunderwing was destroyed by Unicron's attack and Optimus Prime was able to recover the Matrix, cleansing it of the taint of evil and restoring its purity. Rocketing into Unicron's gaping maw, Prime released the Matrix's energy within the planet-eater's body, destroying him. On the Edge of Extinction! The explosion should have killed Prime as well, but his devastated body was saturated with Matrix energy, keeping it alive long enough for the suffering Prime to pass on leadership of the Autobots to Grimlock. Still Life! Prime's consciousness, however, was transferred to his Nebulan partner, Hi-Q, who was later recreated into a new Optimus Prime by the Last Autobot, complete with a reconstructed Matrix. End of the Road!
In the alternate future timeline of Earth-120185, a dying Optimus Prime passed the Matrix to Ultra Magnus in 2006, and it was then used by Hot Rod to destroy Unicron, in the process transfiguring Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime. Transformers: The Movie Subsequently, in 2008, Unicron attempted to engineer his resurrection, but Rodimus Prime trapped his mind within the Matrix. The Legacy of Unicron!
Later in 2008, the Quintesson General Ghyrik was able to steal the talisman from its owner at that time, Rodimus Prime. Ghyrik used the power of the Matrix to enhance his strength as he battled Hot Rod, but was duped by some impromptu ventriloquism from his opponent and soon lost the talisman. Space Pirates! Later, in 2009, Rodimus and several other Autobots traveled back in time to 1989. Optimus Prime was again shunted to limbo, but Rodimus used the power of the Matrix to allow Optimus to communicate with the other Autobots. When Rodimus was then defeated in battle, Optimus risked the security of the space-time continuum to use the Matrix as a stepping stone to return to reality, battling Galvatron. Time Wars
Returning to Cybertron after their time-travel adventure, Rodimus and the Autobots found that the disruption of space and time had altered their future, and that Galvatron was waiting for them. Galvatron attempted to force Rodimus Prime into a savage battle, hoping to corrupt the Matrix. Eventually, Rodimus realized Galvatron's plan and stopped, but the corruption of the Matrix had already begun... Aspects of Evil!
Later, Rodimus and the Autobots were on a hyperspace trip to Earth when they discovered that their craft's guidance systems had been damaged. During the flight, Rodimus Prime vanished The Void!, and Kup discovered that he was the saboteur, Edge of Impact deducing that he had been corrupted by an evil force from within the Matrix. Shadow of Evil Inside the Matrix, Rodimus battled with the essence of Unicron, trapped there since the events of 2008, until Kup wrenched the Matrix from his chest, freeing him from the chaos-bringer's influence. But now, Rodimus knew that the evil of Unicron would be waiting for him within it... White Fire and in 2010, Unicron's essence succeeded in taking over Rodimus's body, transforming it into a duplicate of his own and attacking Cybertron once more, until Rodimus was able to defeat him from within and re-seal him within the Matrix. Aspects of Evil!
When last seen, in the far future of 2356, Unicron's essence remained sealed within the Matrix, causing Rodimus's body to steadily wither and weaken. Aspects of Evil!
Generation 2
Requiring the Matrix to bring the new warriors created by Bludgeon to life, Megatron defeated Optimus Prime in battle and tore the Matrix from his body with an energy siphon. The Gathering Darkness The Matrix's energy was then used it to give life to the Laser Rods and Rotor Force New Dawn, and subsequently, Starscream used the power of the Matrix on himself, merging himself with the Warworld and reshaping the interior of the ship. However, unlike with Thunderwing, Starscream found his own evil being subverted by the Matrix's goodness, and he returned the Matrix to Prime, for fear of being changed beyond recognition.
When Prime was consumed by the Swarm, he channeled the Matrix's purity and goodness into it, completely reversing the nature of the Swarm. Suddenly transformed from a destructive force into a force for life, it re-created Prime and departed into space. A Rage in Heaven!
American cartoon continuity
The Transformers cartoon
The origins of the Matrix of Leadership are almost entirely unknown. Some rather unusual evidence suggests that it may be linked in some way to the assistant of the ancient genius Primacron, who created Unicron (see the character's own article for details), but even if that is true, it is wholly unknown how it came to be held by the Autobots and how it was elevated to the position of power it is known for.
Traditionally carried by the current Autobot leader, it serves as a receptacle for the life-forces of past holders, known collectively as the "Wisdom of the Ages." Virtually all of its holders have been unnamed, but are known as the "Ancient Robot," the "Powerful Robot," "Brooding Robot," the "Pre-Transformer," the "New Narrator" and the "U-Haul Robot." Many other Autobots have been seen within the Matrix, but their identities are unknown.
Following the death of the U-Haul Robot at the hands of Megatron, the ancient Autobot Alpha Trion kept the Matrix safe and hidden away, until a damaged young robot was brought to his workshop. Trion recreated him as Optimus Prime, new leader of the Autobots, and gave him the Matrix. Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4
The Matrix of Leadership's first documented appearance in modern times occurred in 2005, when a dying Optimus Prime passed it and leadership of the Autobots to his chosen successor, Ultra Magnus. Before passing away, Prime spoke of a prophecy—that one day, "The Chosen One" would rise from the ranks of the Autobots, and use the power of the Matrix to light the Transformers' darkest hour. That darkest hour soon came upon Cybertron in the form of the world-eater, Unicron, who knew that the Matrix's power was the one thing that could destroy him. Recreating Megatron as Galvatron, he dispatched him to steal the Matrix, but when Galvatron obtained the talisman, he tried and failed to use its power against Unicron. Ultimately, the Chosen One who could open the Matrix proved to be the youthful Hot Rod, who reclaimed the Matrix and was transformed by its power into Rodimus Prime, before opening it within Unicron and releasing its power, which tore Unicron apart from within. The Transformers: The Movie
Later, when injured in battle, Rodimus's consciousness briefly entered the Matrix itself and witnessed a vision that led him to believe that the answer to the mystery of the alien Quintessons currently plaguing the Autobots was held within it. Five Faces of Darkness, Part 2 To find his answer, Rodimus deliberately short-circuited himself and entered the Matrix a second time. Guided by the ancient Autobots within, Rodimus was shown the history of Cybertron and discovered the Quintessons' role in the creation of the Transformers. Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4
The Matrix weighed heavily upon Rodimus, and he was all too eager to return it to Optimus Prime when it seemed that the Autobot leader had returned from the dead in 2006. It transpired, however, than Optimus had only been reanimated as a robotic zombie by the Quintessons, but the Matrix overrode the evil intentions the aliens had programmed him with, and he returned it to Rodimus before apparently sacrificing himself again. Dark Awakening
At one point, Rodimus was ambushed by the Stunticons, who stole the Matrix from him and brought it to Galvatron, who attempted to use its energy to power his cannon, only to be tormented by the spirits of the Autobots within it. Galvatron instructed Scourge to dispose of the Matrix, but Scourge understood the true nature of its power and placed it within his own chest. Warped by its power, Scourge took control of the Decepticons and led them in an attack on Earth, only to be bested by Hot Rod, who reclaimed the Matrix once more. The Burden Hardest to Bear
When Optimus Prime was at last truly resurrected, he was forced to battle the Hate Plague-infected Rodimus in order to reclaim the Matrix from him, in hopes of consulting the Wisdom of the Ages to find a cure for the disease. Communicating with the mysterious It, he learned that the only way combat the madness of the plague was with wisdom, and opened the Matrix, expelling all of the wisdom within it to extinguish the disease (in the process claiming that this was also the Autobots' "darkest hour"). Although the Matrix was emptied, leaving only a shell, Optimus claimed they would have to start filling it with wisdom again, from that moment on. The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2
In 2007, Optimus Prime used the shell of the Matrix as a substitute key to access Vector Sigma, where he consulted Alpha Trion on the mystery of the Plasma Energy Chamber. The Rebirth, Part 2
Madman Transformers comic
The significance of the Matrix to the Autobots was such that when Optimus Prime prepared to lead the Autobots in an evacuation of Cybertron in the year 2001, he hid the Matrix in a bunker at the construction site of the future Autobot City. Unfortunately, Soundwave had monitored the Autobot leader's meeting with Ultra Magnus, and moved to steal the Matrix for the Decepticons. Fate intervened in the form of Hot Rod, who defeated the Decepticons and took back the ancient Autobot relic, and at the same time received a vision of his future as the Autobot who would light Cybertron's darkest hour. Madman Transformers Comic
Japanese cartoon continuity
The Transformers cartoon
When Primacron and his assistant (also known as the "Oracle") were attacked by the rebelling Unicron, the assistant's body was destroyed, but his life-force persisted. Sealed within a protective shell, the Oracle's life-force fled to a dead world at the center of the galaxy, which the Oracle used his powers to transform into a lush, green world. In time, however, the alien Quintessons came to the Oracle's world and were able to bring him under their power, transforming him into the mega-computer, Vector Sigma. Using the Key to Vector Sigma, the Quintessons cyber-formed the Oracle's world into Cybertron, and the Oracle's life-giving powers were harnessed to produce a race of robotic slaves. The shell which had contained the Oracle's essence became the Matrix, but precisely how it came to be held by the Quintessons' consumer goods robots (later known as the Autobots), or even why the Quintessons would allow their creations to possess such a powerful item, is unknown. Kiss Players Transformers timeline
The Headmasters cartoon
A key distinction between the Matrix in this continuity and its sister timeline is that in addition to containing the Wisdom of the Ages, it is a source of exceptionally pure energy. It was this energy which was released by Optimus Prime to cure the Hate Plague. In order to recharge the emptied Matrix, it was hidden in an Autobot energy-gathering facility, steadily absorbing the pure, natural energy of Earth. Unfortunately, Prime had not foreseen the one great side-effect of releasing the Matrix's energy—it caused Vector Sigma to become unbalanced, putting all of Cybertron in great danger. The Decepticons took this opportunity to invade the planet, hoping to take control of the unstable computer and by extension, the planet itself, and Optimus Prime headed for Vector Sigma's chamber to try and rectify the situation. Four Warriors Come Out Of The Sky The Matrix, however, remained hidden on Earth, with no-one but Prime aware of its precise location. Hot Rod led the Autobot Headmasters in a search for the Matrix, but although they successfully recovered it, it was still not fully recharged. Nevertheless, they brought the Matrix to Cybertron, where the ghost of Alpha Trion re-energized it fully, transforming Hot Rod back into Rodimus Prime. Before Rodimus could use the Matrix to stabilize Vector Sigma, however, Optimus Prime sacrificed himself by merging with the computer to bring it back under control. A Dream is Born, Double Prime
When Cybertron was subsequently devastated thanks to the machinations of Decepticon Headmaster leader Scorponok, Rodimus Prime voyaged into space to search for a new home world for the Transformers, taking the Matrix with him. Cybertron is in Grave Danger, Part 2 On his many travels, the power of the Matrix and the energy of Earth now dwelling within it in gave him strength, and opened his eyes to the beauty of Earth and humanity, convincing him that humans and Transformers must live and work together to move forward and evolve. The Headmasters issue 8
No known subsequent Supreme Commanders held the Matrix, and its precise fate in this universe is unknown. By the time of the "Beast Era," Supreme Commanders were known to carry with them similar but entirely different objects known as Energon Matricies.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Seeking to use the Matrix to power the planetary turbine engines he had discovered beneath Cybertron's surface, Megatron attacked and killed the current holder of the talisman, Sentinel Prime. Tearing his victim open, however, Megatron discovered that the Matrix was gone, having already been given by Sentinel Prime to the Council of Ancients for unknown reasons (perhaps having foreseen his own death). The Council subsequently chose a data archivist named Optronix to be the new bearer of the Matrix, and brought him to the Oracle Tank, in which both he and the Matrix were immersed. Optronix was enlarged and strengthened by the Matrix, and transformed into Optimus Prime. The War Within issue 1
Soon after, Prime was attacked by Megatron, who cracked open his form and exposed the Matrix. A blinding flash burst from the Matrix, showing Prime and Megatron visions of future conflicts on Earth and Nebulos, but it was implied that Optimus somehow used the Matrix to force Megatron to forget these visions, though how much knowledge he himself retained is unknown. The War Within issue 5
After their war on Earth, the Transformers were set to return to Cybertron aboard the Ark II in 1999, at which point Optimus Prime gave Spike Witwicky a piece of the Matrix with the promise that he would be back. The Ark II proved to have been sabotaged, however, and exploded in mid-flight, leaving the world to believe that the Transformers were dead until 2002, when the terrorist Lazarus recovered several of their bodies and reprogrammed them for use as weapons that he would sell on the black market. The American military recovered the body of Optimus Prime and General Hallo drafted Spike to help in restoring him to life by replacing the portion of the Matrix he had removed. Thus restored, Prime proceeded to use the Matrix to bring his fellow Autobots back on-line. Prime Directive
When the Autobots and Decepticons were finally able to return to Cybertron, a chain of events ultimately led Optimus Prime into a confrontation with Shockwave in the chamber containing Vector Sigma. Blasting Prime's chest cavity open, Shockwave claimed the Matrix for himself and used it to access Vector Sigma's databanks as part of a complex plan, the implications of which were never fully revealed. Shockwave was defeated by Ultra Magnus and the Matrix returned to Optimus Prime, but not before its activation caused an energy beam to be broadcast out into space, drawing the attention of Unicron. Revelation (comic issue) The forceful removal of the Matrix from his body combined with the long period of time spent without it caused a great deal of trauma to Optimus Prime's systems, necessitating an extended session in a CR chamber to recover. DW G1 ongoing
It appears that this Matrix does not hold the wisdom of past Autobot leaders, as another datatrak contained its wisdom.
IDW Continuity
Something that appeared to be The Matrix was carried by Nova Prime as revealed in Spotlight: Hardhead, and if this was the Autobot Matrix then it was as a result lost in the Benzuli Expanse. However, this glowing artifact could have actually been The Darkness that Nova talks about, and he reveals it as he realizes he must deal with his successor Optimus Prime himself. However recent All Hail Megatron story developments hint that Prime's physical status is tied into the status of The Matrix, and Spotlight: Blurr reveals a pre-Primed Optimus character. With this in mind, it would be logical to assume that The Matrix did not enter The Dead Universe and at some point was passed onto Optimus.
After being betrayed by one of the their brothers, the Autobots were led into a trap and practically slaughtered. Against the Decepticons new weapon, Devastator they were not match. As Optimus lay badly damaged, Megatron takes his chance to tear the Matrix from his chest. He then uses it for his own gains. All Hail Megatron
Beast Era
Beast Wars
Several enigmatic references were made to the Matrix at various points, though it is never precisely clear if they refer to the Matrix of Leadership, the Allspark dimension, the protoform production facility on Cybertron that also goes by that name, or some theoretical conglomeration of any of the above that the Beast Warriors only speak of out of misconception.
When Rhinox voyaged into the Allspark to recover Optimus Primal's lost spark, the image of the Matrix of Leadership could be seen floating in the void. Coming of the Fuzors (Part 2) Later, when the body of Optimus Prime was fatally wounded by Megatron, Optimus Primal opened his chest compartment to take his spark into his own body for safety. Prime's spark was shown to be contained within a holder shaped just like the Matrix of Leadership, and Rhinox remarked that Prime's spark had "the Matrix with it." Optimal Situation
Universe
The confusion surrounding the Matrix-like holder in Prime's chest and its relation to the actual Matrix of Leadership was clarified when it was revealed that the Matrix was actually concealed in a compartment beneath Prime's own spark. This was established when, after the end of the Beast Wars, the deceased Tarantulas was resurrected, intending to use his new Vok powers to steal the Matrix and warp reality to his liking. To protect the time stream, the Vok took the Matrix of Leadership from the unconscious Optimus Prime residing within the Ark, used it to create Primal Prime, then gave the Matrix to their new creation. Primeval Dawn Part 1 In the following battle, however, Tarantulas was able to overpower Primal Prime and rip the Matrix from his body. Primeval Dawn Part 2
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Robots in Disguise
Optimus Prime was chosen by Vector Sigma to carry the Matrix, leaving his brother, Ultra Magnus, with a serious microchip on his shoulder. About halfway through Prime's campaign against Megatron on Earth, Magnus arrived on Earth, intent on taking the Matrix from Prime for himself. Ultra Magnus When he attempted to steal the Matrix, however, a bizarre fusion occurred instead, merging the two brothers into Omega Prime, revealing that the intention had always been for them to share the energy of the Matrix between them. Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion Magnus later inadvertently used this link to channel the energy of the Matrix into the Autobot Brothers, supercharging them. Power to Burn!
In the final battle against Galvatron, Omega Prime would wield the Matrix Blade. The Final Battle
Unicron Trilogy
Cartoon continuity
When Megatron threatened to destroy the Earth with the Hydra Cannon, Optimus Prime, not expecting to survive the battle ahead, tried to pass the Matrix on to Hot Shot before entering the conflict. Hot Shot refused, not feeling himself worthy, and Prime subsequently died throwing himself into the path of the Hydra Cannon blast meant for Earth. Prime's body was reduced to ashes, and the Matrix was all that remained, clung onto by his Mini-Con partner Sparkplug, floating helplessly until rescued. Crisis
Not long thereafter, as the Autobots and Decepticons battled in space on their way back to Cybertron, Sparkplug and Perceptor presented the Matrix to the large armada of Mini-Cons who had joined the Autobots on their journey. Many Mini-Cons plunged themselves into the Matrix, using their powers to recreate Prime's body and restore him to life. Miracle
Some time later, in the midst of the Transformers' battle with Unicron, Optimus Prime was confronted by the evil demigod with the suggestion that, on some level, he enjoyed the thrill of combat as much as Megatron did, and that the only difference between the two leaders was the Matrix in Prime's chest. Origin Following Unicron's defeat, when Megatron (now Galvatron) challenged Optimus to one final battle, these words led Prime to discard the Matrix, that he might battle Galvatron not as the leader of the Autobots, but as himself, and as his foe's equal. Prime flung the Matrix through Unicron's hide, out into space, where it later drifted by the two combatants as their fight moved to Unicron's surface. Soon, however, it became apparent that Prime and Galvatron's fight was sustaining and re-energizing Unicron, and Galvatron allowed himself to die into order to destroy the chaos-bringer. As the battered Prime hung in space afterwards, the Matrix floated past him. Prime turned to look at it, but, having reveled in his battle with Galvatron and in a way proven Unicron correct, shifted his glance away, pronouncing himself unworthy to carry it. Mortal Combat
Prime did not return to his fellow Autobots immediately, as Cybertron was now at peace. Apparently, he embarked on some sort of soul-searching space voyage, and at some point over the next ten years, he did eventually come to consider himself worthy of the Matrix, and returned to reclaim it. Despite this, however, its power was employed but once during the war for energon of 2020, when Prime was badly injured by Starscream during a battle on Earth's moon and fell unconscious. When Prime was infused with a massive jolt of energon in an attempt by the Omnicon Skyblast to revive him, his chest compartment sprung open and the Matrix generated a beam of light out of which the Energon Blaster materialized. Starscream the Mysterious MercenaryA further ten years later, during the quest to stop the Unicron Singularity, Optimus Prime used the Matrix of Leadership in concert with Vector Prime's sword to open dimension gates to the various colony worlds that held the Cyber Planet Keys. Additionally, the Matrix would often glow with energy when Prime poised himself to unleash powerful combat moves; during his final battle with Galvatron, the golden glow of the Matrix surrounded Prime's entire body. Unfinished
Transformers Animated
An AllSpark container hanging on the neck of Optimus Prime resembles the Matrix. Endgame, Part II.
Live-action film continuity
The Matrix of Leadership is created by the Dynasty of Primes. The Matrix can only be properly utilized by one who shares the lineage of the Primes or earns it through their actions, such as Sam Witwicky. The Matrix is required to operate the Solar Harvester. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers film
The Matrix was mentioned in passing. Sector Seven
Revenge of the Fallen film
In order to keep The Fallen from activating the Solar Harvester, the rest of the Seven Primes sacrificed their lives to merge their bodies together in order to hide the Matrix.
Sam Witwicky tries to find the Matrix in order to bring Optimus back to life. Sam first found the Matrix after Skids and Mudflap break a wall, leading to the Tomb of the Primes where the Matrix is kept. Sam finds the Matrix in the hand of one of the Seven Primes. But upon picking it up it then turns to dust. When Sam is on the verge of death he has a vision of the Primes, and he discovers that the Matrix is not found, but earned. After that, the dust of the Matrix reassembles, and Sam uses it to bring back Optimus Prime, unfortunately, The Fallen once again claims the Matrix as his own. The Fallen uses it to power the Harvester. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Dark of the Moon film
“ | It's the great Matrix of Leadership. He holds the only thing in the universe that can re-power a Transformer's spark. | ” |
—Lennox explain the Matrix to Mearing. |
Its revealed that the Matrix wasn't destroyed by Optimus's attack on the Harvester, and is now carried by Optimus inside his chest. He uses it to revive Sentinel Prime, who is low on Energon and in stasis. Optimus later offers the Matrix to Sentinel as he feels that Sentinel is the rightful leader of the Autobots, but Sentinel refuses, saying that they were no longer on their world and he was no longer Optimus's teacher. Dark of the Moon
Exodus
The Matrix is the jewel on the hilt of Prima's sword.
War for Cybertron
The core of the planet Cybertron gives a portion of its spark to Optimus Prime in the form of the Matrix.
The three difficulty settings depict the Matrix in three stages of being opened corresponding to the level. Easy being closed, medium being slightly open, and hard being fully open and shining.
Prime
Megatron, a Kaon gladiator and later politician, wages war against Cybertron after being denied Prime status in favor of Iacon archivist Orion Pax, vowing to claim the Matrix of Leadership and poisoning Cybertron from within as a result. When Orion travels to the core of Cybertron to attempt to reverse the effects of the poisoning, he comes across the spark of Primus. Sensing the potential nobility inside Orion, he bestows upon him the Matrix of Leadership, turning him into Optimus Prime. One Shall Rise, Part 3
On Earth, as the chaos bringer Unicron is awakening, Optimus journeys to Earth's core (actually the slumbering Unicron) and releases the energy within the Matrix at his spark chamber to put Unicron back into stasis. However, doing so costs him the collective wisdom of the Primes and causes him to be stripped of his memories of being a Prime. One Shall Rise, Part 3 Later, Jack Darby uses the Key to Vector Sigma to obtain the knowledge in the Matrix of Leadership from Vector Sigma itself and uploads the knowledge into the Matrix, restoring Optimus Prime's memory. Orion Pax, Part 3
Toys
Generation One
- Convoy (New Year Special) (2002)
- He comes with the Matrix of Leadership! (He also comes with a chain, so that the collector can wear it, Galvatron-style!)
- Reissue Galvatron (2005)
- He comes with the Matrix of Leadership on a chain! It's gold. Solid!
- Galvatron II (2005)
- He comes with the Creation Matrix on a chain! It's green.
Robots in Disguise
- Optimus Prime (2001)
- Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime has a little door on his chest that hides a sculpted Matrix. It cannot be removed.
20th Anniversary / Masterpiece
- Optimus Prime (2003/2004)
- Japanese ID number: MP-01
- 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime includes a removable vacuum-metalized Matrix of Leadership that can also be pulled open.
- Ultra Magnus
- Japanese ID number: MP-02
- He had it too.
- Convoy Perfect Edition (2006)
- Japanese ID number: MP-04
- He still had it here.
Armada
- Optimus Prime (Super Base, 2002/2003)
- Japanese ID number: MC-01
- The large version of Armada Optimus Prime has a non-removable Matrix of Leadership behind the grill on his chest. This feature was kept for the various redecos of this mold.
KT Figure Collection - The Transformers
- Convoy (KT Figure Collection, 2004)
- This small plastic bust had opening chest "doors" activated by a button/leaver thing on its back, the mechanism of which also pushed the Matrix inside forward. This Matrix was also removable.
- Convoy "Revival version" (Figure-Oh exclusive, 2004)
Cybertron
- Optimus Prime (Leader, 2005)
- Japanese ID number: GC-01
- Cybertron Optimus Prime has a removable Matrix of Leadership in his chest. This feature was kept for the "Galaxy Force Optimus Prime" redeco.
Hybrid Style
- Galaxy Convoy (2005)
- Series number: THS-01
- This tiny figure had a weeeeny little version of the full-size Cybertron Optimus' Matrix.
- Convoy (2006)
- Series number: THS-02
- This teensy G1 Matrix is not much bigger than a large drug capsule and is sculpted to more closely resemble the squarer, oblong-handled Marvel comic depiction than the more ovoid animation model.
- Hybrid Style Convoy Black Version (2006)
- Japanese ID number: THS-02B
- The same.
Classics
- Optimus Prime (20th Anniversary DVD Edition, 2006)
- Yep, this version of the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime mold still has the Matrix.
Mega SCF
- Hot Rodimus (2002)
- Series number: 04
- He comes with a Matrix accessory (in grey plastic with orange applied to the central casing and metallic silver to the core). It can be held (sort of) in his optional open-palm hand set, most easily in a "catching" pose.
- Rodimus Convoy (2002)
- Series number: 06
- He comes with a Matrix accessory (the same one from Mega SCF [1] Hot Rodimus). Like Hot Rodimus, he can support it in his open palms, such as in a "here, take this, I don't want it" pose.
Revoltech
- Convoy (2007)
- Series number: 019
- He comes with a Matrix accessory which does not open or store inside his chest.
Transformers (2010)
- Battle Blades Optimus Prime (Voyager, 2010)
- This version of live-action film series Optimus Prime comes with a small removable Matrix, despite it's size Optimus can still hold it.
Merchandise
- Autobot Matrix of Leadership (2006)
Diamond Select Toys produced a human-scaled replica of the Matrix. Weighing six pounds, it was sculpted by Robert Lee and is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. The Matrix can be picked up off its Autobot-symbol base, and held by the finger holes in the handgrips--and while it does not open, it can "light your darkest hour," with internal electronics that make the central crystal orb pulse in blue, green, red, yellow, and pink. The base also has a removable Key to Vector Sigma accessory.
Notes
- When asked about the visual design of the Matrix in an interview, Floro Dery's reply was, "The inspiration for the Matrix of Leadership is a thermonuclear bomb."^{[1]} "Light our darkest hour," indeed.
- Over the course of its history, the Matrix has been stolen from its bearers many times. Rodimus had it stolen from him by Optimus Prime and Wildrider in the cartoon and General Ghyrik in the UK comics, Optimus has had it stolen from by Shockwave in the G1 comics, Megatron in the G2 comics, Shockwave again in Dreamwave, and Serpent O.R. in Devil's Due, and the newly resurrected Optimus Prime had it stolen from him by none other than The Fallen. All of the thieves also had it stolen from them, either by the Autobots or one of their "allies". Thus far, the only person to successfully hold the Matrix without it being stolen is Buster Witwicky. Score one for the fleshlings.
- It seems that only a prime or those destined to bear the matrix know how to open it in the G1 continuity. Ultra Magnus and Galvatron simply pull it apart, while Hot Rod knew to place his fingers in the holes of the handles.
- It's still possible that only a prime could open the Matrix.
- An event that would've been known as the "Ceremony of the Unending Circuit" would have been held by the Autobots every ten millennia to remember the passing of the Creation Matrix from one Autobot leader to the next, according to Autobot Law. However, the idea for this event never came to pass.
- A copy of the Matrix of Leadership from Revenge of the Fallen, was auctioned and sold. It was made of resin and painted with silver.^{[December, 2009]}
- In Armada, unlike the 1986 movie, the Matrix wasn't used to destroy Unicron.
- In Dark of the Moon, Optimus does not hold the Matrix directly it simply floats in front of or above his hands.
- This is similar to how Sparks behaved in Beast Machines.