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The God Gambit

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God Gambit title shot

Religion in an 80s cartoon, Transformers did it again, kids!


The Decepticons scheme to conquer a race of primitive humanoids by exploiting their religious beliefs.


  • Japanese title: "Sky God"


Summary

The people of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, are slaving under the tyrannical rule of Jero, the High Priest. The time has come for the harvest offerings and the Titans bring their contributions to the feet of the statue of their "Sky God."

Gambittitans&cosmos

Roll out... the barrel!

Talaria, a rebel who believes in "reason and common sense," leads a revolt, shatters the statue, and exposes Jero for using the Sky Gods as an "excuse for high taxes and harsh laws".

At the same time, Cosmos is being chased through space by Astrotrain, with Starscream and Thrust aboard. Cosmos calls Autobot headquarters on Earth and tells Optimus Prime about energy data he gathered. During the transmission he gets hit and falls towards the surface of Titan.

Gambitastrotrain&scream

Well, since Megatron isn't here, someone has to do it.

The Titans have gathered around a fire while Talaria tries to convince her people that the Sky Gods are an illusion. At that very moment, Cosmos crashes nearby, and Jero, tied up along with his high priests, uses the strange event to reclaim his place as leader.

Astrotrain, Starscream, and Thrust land in front of the temple, overhearing the struggle between Talaria and Jero. Astrotrain spontaneously decides to pretend to be the Titans' supreme god in order to enslave them. Starscream protests, but relents without much effort.

Starscream and Thrust prop up the unconscious Cosmos in the temple as a new idol in place of the shattered statue. Astrotrain then removes Cosmos' data storage, and points out a disconnected cable that prevents the Autobot from calling for help. He fails to notice that Talaria has been watching him. Unseen by the Decepticons she slips to Cosmos' side and reconnects the cable, re-establishing the communication to Optimus Prime on Earth. Prime tells her how to activate Cosmos' homing beam. In that moment, the Decepticons notice her, but she escapes, thanks to Cosmos who woke up just in time to fire at Starscream. Cosmos is, however, quickly disabled again by Astrotrain.

Gambitastro&crystals

Ooh, pretty...

Back on Earth, Optimus Prime orders Omega Supreme to take a team to Titan and rescue Cosmos. Omega informs Prime that the trip will use up 97% of his energy, which will leave him unable to transform. The team includes Perceptor, who will discover what the energy source was, and Optimus himself intends to go. However, Red Alert warns Prime that as the leader of the Autobots, they cannot afford to let Prime be killed or captured. Jazz goes in Prime's place.

On Titan, Jero leads the Decepticons to a cave full of energy-rich crystals. Astrotrain forces the Titans to harvest crystals and carry them to the temple.

In the meantime, the Autobots arrive, with Omega crash landing on the edge of an abyss. Jazz and Perceptor leave in search of Cosmos and his energy source. They meet with Talaria, who takes them to the temple and to Cosmos.

Gambitsacrifice

"Now lie still while I try and remove that tooth."

Before they can repair Cosmos, they are attacked by Starscream and Thrust. Jazz quickly gets the upper hand on Starscream. But Astrotrain has the Titans fire the crystals at the Autobots, and they have to retreat, leaving Talaria to be captured by Astrotrain. Astrotrain orders her to be sacrificed as a means to further intimidate the rest of the Titans.

Jazz and Perceptor soon find the crystal cave, where Perceptor notes the instability of the crystallized energy, as did Starscream earlier. They meet a group of Titans there who tell them about the sacrifice. While Perceptor takes some of the crystals to refuel Omega Supreme, Jazz heads for the temple to rescue Talaria.

He is successful, and he manages to hold off the Decepticons long enough for Omega and Perceptor to arrive.

The Decepticons flee after realising that they can't fight Omega Supreme. Before they leave Titan, however, they blow up the crystals, starting a chain reaction that will destroy the temple and the surrounding area.

Omega Supreme helps the Titans to escape over the abyss that surrounds the temple mount, and the Titans thank the Autobots for their help. Jazz expresses relief that the Decepticons won't be messing around with the Titans' religion again.

Stats

Original airdate: October 28, 1985

Production number: 700-41

Written by: Buzz Dixon

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans Others
Regulars


Guests

Notable quotes

"These fools worship Transformers!"

Astrotrain unknowingly describing every Transformers fan.


"Here's the church. Here's the steeple. Open the doors and where are the people?!"

Starscream, playing the role of Wheelie


"We're not gods and never claimed to be."

Jazz


"Sarcasm, not appreciated."

Omega Supreme to Jazz's remark that he should stay put after the larger Autobot crash lands on a precarious cliff edge.


"Not the slightest sign of Cosmos, but there is a native in that tree shooting arrows at us."

Perceptor isn't that concerned about Talaria's attack


"A heretic. What more fitting end than to be sacrificed."

Astrotrain needs Talaria's blood in order to be appeased.


"Sorry to bust up your revival, but the Lady ain't got her heart in it."

Jazz while saving Talaria from being sacrificed.


"Mighty Astrotrain, what about me?!"
"Die, like the worm you are!"

Jero learns that he shouldn't have worshipped Astrotrain


"They started the chain reaction!"
"Don't ya just hate sore losers?"

Perceptor and Jazz are not amused by the Decepticons actions.

Other Notes

  • Notes

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • When Starscream lands upside down on the temple floor in his jet mode, he's incorrectly colored with a canopy-like yellow section on the underside of his fuselage. It does disappear the moment he begins to transform, though.
  • When Talaria tries to escape from Astrotrain's grasp, her top keeps changing from a tube top to a t-shirt.

Continuity errors

  • Omega Supreme can go to Cybertron and back without recharging, but a one-way trip to Saturn will use up 97% of his energy? Of course, he just may not be at his maximum energy level from the start, but that isn't mentioned anywhere.

Transformers references

  • References

Real-world references

  • References

Notes

  • Astrotrain seems out of character in this episode, especially with him ordering Starscream around. It would seem that this episode may have been originally written for Megatron in the Astrotrain role and quickly re-written in order to feature Astrotrain (who was, not coincidentally, a new toy at the time). This would explain Starscream's deference (and apparent fear) of Astrotrain, plus Astrotrain's Megatron-esque dialogue.
  • Strangely, the existence of a primitive humanoid civilization on Titan was never brought up again in official TF fiction.
  • This was one of several episodes subjected to the MSTF treatment at BotCon 1999.

Keywords

(separate by commas and link each one so a page can be created for it if it does not already exist)

Religion, Slavery

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