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Dion was an earnest dock worker and best friend to Orion Pax. His is a simple life of manual labor working in an Energon warehouse and does not believe that there is a war coming despite what his friends have said. He is interested in the new Decepitcon robot which can fly until he meets Megatron who promptly kills him while trying to help his friend Orion Pax.
The Transformers cartoon
Nine million years ago, near the end of Cybertron's Golden Age, it was Dion's job to haul energy and supplies in and out of the dock in which he worked. There were murmurs of attacks from new, flying robots, but he didn't believe those rumours.
Dion was honored to meet the leader of these enigmatic warriors, Megatron, until Megatron revealed his plan to rob their dock of its energon stockpiles and ordered the Decepticons to attack. Witnessing Megatron strike down Orion and Ariel, another friend and Orion's girlfriend, Dion ran (seemingly straight towards the attacking Decepticon warriors for reasons unclear), but was quickly mowed down by a shot in his chest.
The time-traveling Aerialbots carried Orion Pax to Alpha Trion for repairs, and Dion's friend was rebuilt into Optimus Prime. Drones were sent back to retrieve Ariel, but Dion's ultimate fate is uncertain.
Who is Dion?
Orion Pax and Ariel were rebuilt into Optimus Prime and Elita One respectively, so many fans have speculated that Dion was also rebuilt into a familiar character. However, there are no hints within the episode itself, other than that Dion was Orion's best friend. Regardless, the fandom loves its patterns, and thus the most popular suggestions are Ironhide and Ultra Magnus.
Some think the debate is irrelevant, believing Dion most likely dead and inconsequential, and possibly a casualty that hit close to home in Optimus Prime's early years as Autobot leader. After all, no specific mention is made of him in the episode after he is shot, but Ariel is mentioned repeatedly. Furthermore, writer David Wise did not intend for Ariel to be rebuilt as Elita One when writing "War Dawn". Given this, it seems unlikely that he had any resurrectional plans in mind for Dion, although this gets into the realm of author intent.
Ironhide could easily be Optimus Prime's oldest friend, and so he would seem like a good fit.
One theory that's more recent is that Dion later became Huffer. He has the same color scheme as Dion, and when Optimus and Elita were created, they retained their previous color schemes from Orion and Ariel.
Ultra Magnus is a popular suggestion among the fans. One argument is that Magnus' cab, as toy and in the fiction of later continuities, turns into a white version of the original Optimus Prime body design. It would stand to reason that if Alpha Trion rebuilt both of them at roughly the same time, they would have similar designs. However, it should be noted that within the cartoon, the cab did not become a separate, Optimus Prime-like robot. Another argument is that Optimus calls Magnus "old friend" when he passes the Matrix of Leadership to him in the movie (but, really, Optimus calls everybody that).
To many, Ultra Magnus, being a large, powerful character with a Latinate name in a leadership role, seems a fitting completion to a potential triumvirate of Optimus Prime, Elita One, and Ultra Magnus as the first modern Autobots built by Alpha Trion.
It is particularly unlikely that the writer of the episode, in case there were resurrectional plans for Dion, intended him to be Ultra Magnus, as several writers for the The Transformers cartoon have stated in interviews that they did not write any episodes with the upcoming movie and third season in mind.
In later years, various hints and references in subsequent Transformers stories have implied that Dion was Ultra Magnus.
- In the Robots in Disguise animated series, it's stated that Alpha Trion built both Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus, a likely nod to the original episode.
- In the IDW comics continuity a robot that is a hybrid of the "Orion Pax" and "Optronix" designs appears listening to Sentinel Prime's speech at the funeral of Bumper and Fastback. Standing with him are Elita One, Alpha Trion, and a white version of himself. This is clearly a reference to the proposed Orion-Ariel-Dion/Optimus-Elita-Magnus identifications.
- In the Dreamwave More Than Meets The Eye reference books it is mentioned in Alpha Trion's profile that he shares a "special bond" with both Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime. This is possibly a hint that he rebuilt Ultra Magnus as well, given that his bond with Optimus began when he rebuilt him and as a result, Optimus looked up to him as a father figure.
However, because all of these Easter eggs take place in different continuities from the The Transformers cartoon series, they are not directly relevant.
- Orion Pax and Dion (E-Hobby, 2005)
- Japanese ID number: 67
- Dion is an extensively-painted redeco of the Mini Vehicle Wheelie, and came packaged with Orion Pax and Barrelroller. He transforms into a yellow and blue Cybertronic car (which looks NOTHING like his actual alternate mode). His windshield is cast in transparent plastic.
- The Transformers Collector's Club announced that the 2010 free figure would be Dion, and would relate to the Wings of Honor Sub-ark. The figure uses the Universe Hot-Shot mold, which looks nothing like Dion and everything like the Wheelie repaint. This Dion will be a member of the Autobot Elite Guard. It is a redoubt of the Japan's Hotshot mold. With a blue minicon redo of Jolt.