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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Throwback Corner: ‘The father-son relationship that grew because of ‘Transformers’

The first Transformers movie released in theaters on July 3, 2007.
Photo from printmag.com
The first “Transformers” movie released in theaters on July 3, 2007.

July 3rd, 2007.  

 

For anyone else, it was likely just a regular day before the 4th of July. However, to my dad and I, it meant a lot more because the first “Transformers” movie was released in theaters that day.  

 

Growing up, I was never a huge fan of the Transformers. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed until the movie was released in theatres. On the contrary, my dad has always been a huge fan.  

 

He grew up in Jamaica with a select number of cartoons that he was able to watch, with those early iterations of the Transformers cartoons in the late 1980s being one of them. From a love that he had as a child in the 1980s, here my dad was, 23 years later, to share that love and passion he had for the franchise with me and my mom.  

 

This wasn’t the first movie that I’ve ever seen, but it was the first to play such an important part in my life and here’s why. Growing up and to this day, my parents always loved watching superhero movies with me. In fact, there is no superhero movie that we all haven’t watched together. However, this time it was different when we all watched because of what it meant to my dad.  

 

When he watched superhero movies with us, such as the Fantastic 4 or Iron Man, he wasn’t deeply knowledgeable about characters from the comics like my mom and I were. The one hero he fully recognized was Spider-Man because this mainstream hero transcends people’s knowledge of the comics. 

 

However, when he took us to watch “Transformers,” the roles were reversed—he was the one excited to watch a movie from a franchise he loved as a child, while we didn’t know much. He couldn’t have expected me to know much anyways because I was only 4 years old at the time. 

 

After I watched the movie, I also began to love the “Transformers” franchise, which made my dad’s world, as he was able to pass something on to me that he enjoyed as a child. I grew fond of the Autobots, specifically Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.  

 

In the years after the film, I remember my parents would take me to Toys “R” Us to buy a Prime helmet, so I could be just like the leader of the Autobots, as well as many other “Transformers-” themed items. I also remember being jealous during Christmas one year because my cousin, Calvin, got a Bumblebee toy car from Santa Claus and I didn’t, which made me terribly upset. 

 

Nonetheless, my dad and I both bonded over that first Transformers movie and we have integrated so many lines from it into our day-to-day interactions, such as him always telling me “This is as real as it’s ever going to get,” a callback to Jon Voight’s line as the Secretary of Defense in the film. Another one of our favorite lines came when United States Air Force Tech Sergeant Epps, portrayed by Tyrese Gibson, said “Left cheek! Left cheek! Left cheek!” in response to Josh Duhamel as Captain William Lennox frantically asking him where his wallet was during an ambush. 

 

To anyone else, “Transformers” is just another movie, but to my dad and I, watching it together was a pivotal father-son bonding moment that I will remember and cherish forever. 

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Brandon Fairweather
Brandon Fairweather, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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