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Transformers 101

What you need to know about the hit robot franchise

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A SMALL-SCREEN START
The original ”robots in disguise” were a popular ’80s toy line and cartoon (see review) about the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime. They battled the evil Decepticons.

TRANSFORMERS 2007
Director Michael Bay’s first ‘bot film followed geeky teen Sam (Shia LaBeouf), who’s the key to the whereabouts of the All Spark cube, which can turn any machine into a Transformer.

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN 2009
With the All Spark in fragments, Decepticon leader Megatron deep-sixed, Sam in college, and his girlfriend (Megan Fox) still hot, all seems well — until one of those fragments goes missing.