The Big Picture

  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts introduces the Transwarp Key, a mystic artifact that Unicron needs to fuel himself and move through space. The Maximals sacrifice themselves and hide the key on Earth to save the universe.
  • Optimus Prime’s mission is to find the Transwarp Key and revive the fallen Bumblebee. Humans and Autobots form an alliance to stop Unicron and destroy the key, with sacrifices made along the way.
  • The ending reveals a surprise crossover with G.I. Joe, as Noah is recruited by the secret government agency to join the fight against world destruction and take care of his brother’s medical bills. A new era of crossover begins.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts burst into theaters and streaming services this year, bringing the robots in disguise back for a thrilling adventure inspired by the fan-favorite Beast Wars storyline. As expected, Rise of the Beasts introduces a fair share of new Transformers as allies and enemies, all of which take part in breathtaking combat set in New York City and Peru. However, Rise of the Beasts has much more to offer fans than pretty explosions and high-octane set pieces. As the first chapter of a new trilogy, the latest Transformers movie dumps a lot of information about mystic artifacts, deadly enemies, and potential crossovers. And just before the credits roll, Rise of the Beasts reveals the robots in disguise are not alone in their fight against darkness. So, let’s break down that ending and explain what it all means for the franchise’s future.

Transformers Rise Of The Beasts Poster

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

During the ’90s, a new faction of Transformers – the Maximals – join the Autobots as allies in the battle for Earth.

Release Date
June 9, 2023

Steven Caple Jr.

Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Domenic Di Rosa


127 minutes

Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure

What Is the Transwarp Key in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’?

Many centuries before the events of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the Maximals’ home planet is attacked by Unicron (voiced by Colman Domingo), a dark god of the Transformers who devours celestial bodies rich in Energon to fuel himself. The Maximals’ planet is targeted because this heroic faction of Transformers keeps the Transwarp Key, a mystic artifact capable of creating portals through space and time. Unicron needs the Transwarp Key to move his gargantuan body through space, targeting new planets to devour. And that’s why the Maximals sacrifice themselves and their world to save the universe from this unstoppable threat.

The leader of the Maximals, Apelinq, stays behind to hold off Scourge (voiced by Peter Dinklage), the most dangerous servant of Unicron. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal (voiced by Ron Perlman) leads the Maximals through a time-space portal, determined to hide the Transwarp Key from Unicron. As a result, Unicron is left stranded near the Maximals’ planet. And while the dark god devours the Maximals’ home, he knows he’ll starve for eternity if he doesn’t find the Transwarp Key. That is why he orders Scourge and his Terrorcons to scour the universe in search of the artifact.

The Maximals who escape with the Transwarp Key make a new home on Earth, where they split the artifact into two parts and hide them on opposite sides of the globe. Since sculptures and ancient drawings depict the Maximals, we know they’ve been on Earth for over five thousand years. Unfortunately, in 1994, the human archeologist Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback) finds half of the Transwarp Key and inadvertently activates it. As a result, the Terrorcons come to Earth, leading the Maximals and Autobots to join forces against Unicron.

Who Dies in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’?

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts leads the Autobots and their allies into a globetrotting adventure while they search for the second half of the Transwarp Key. Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) wants to use the Transwarp Key to take the Autobots back to Cybertron, where he hopes to turn the tides and win the war against the Decepticons. As Prime reveals, the Autobots have been stranded on Earth for seven years, since the events of Bumblebee, which takes place in 1987.

Prime’s mission becomes more urgent when the Terrorcons kill Bumblebee after they get the first half of the Transwarp Key. The fan-favorite Autobot can only be revived if he receives a surge of Energon energy, so Prime must take him to Cybertron as fast as possible. However, Prime’s search for the Transwarp Key turns Earth into a target for Unicron. Because of that, Elena and former soldier Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) think it’s best to destroy the key, forever trapping Unicron in a far corner of space. That’s why the two human heroes and the Autobots forge an unstable alliance for most of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ runtime.

The Maximals also suffer a brutal casualty while fighting against the Terrorcons. To ensure his subjects will always be faithful, Unicron corrupts the souls of his soldiers, binding them to his will. Using the same power, Scourge attacks the Maximal Airazor (voiced by Michelle Yeoh), twisting her mind. Airazor’s unwilling betrayal forces Primal to take her dear friend down. And while everyone is distracted by Airazor’s unexpected attack, the Terrorcons manage to snatch the second half of the Transwarp Key.

Does Unicron Die in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’?

During the final battle of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Scourge uses the Transwarp Key to open a portal and summon Unicron to Earth. Since the dark god is so colossal, the portal takes some time to open enough to let Unicron pass. The heroes use this opportunity to attack the Terrorcons and save Earth. Putting their differences aside, humans, Autobots, and Maximals remember the most important thing is to keep the darkness at bay, so they should all fight together. And fighting as one, all the heroic factions of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts devised a plan to stop Unicron.

It’s impossible to destroy the Transwarp Key, as the explosion would create a suction event that would kill everyone around it. So, the heroes decide to use an old safety code to turn Scourge’s machine off. The humans are sent through small duct pipes to reach the Transwarp Key control panel. Meanwhile, Autobots and Maximals attack the Terrorcons’ base, creating a distraction. Things don’t go as planned, as Unicron uses the time-space portal to send reinforcements to the Terrorcons. Scourge also refuses to leave his station, keeping close to the control terminal of the Transwarp Key.


‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Rolls Out Alternate Opening & Ending for 4K UHD, Blu-Ray, and DVD

The upcoming release will include over an hour of special features and bonus content.

To give Elena and Noah the opportunity to shut down the Transwarp Key, Mirage (voiced by Pete Davidson) fights Scourge alone. The leader of the Terrorcons is too powerful, and it doesn’t take too long for Mirage to fall. But instead of dying, Mirage uses his body parts to create combat armor for Noah, turning the human into a warrior that can fight against the Terrorcons. The forces of good receive another backup when the Transwarp Key’s activation wakes up the inert Energon grave where Bumblebee was kept, reviving the warrior and bringing him to fight alongside his friends.

One by one, the Terrorcons are destroyed, and Elena manages to input the kill code on the Transwarp Key control terminal. However, with his last breath of life, Scourge destroys the terminal, making Unicron’s arrival unavoidable. Optimus Prime orders a retreat, staying behind alone to destroy the Transwarp Key, giving his life for the cause. The Key’s destruction closes the portal, trapping Unicron in space. However, Optimus Prime is sucked through the portal. At the last moment, Prime is saved by Noah and Primal, who also stay behind to save their friend. Together, they can escape the destruction’s radius.

With the Transwarp Key destroyed, the Autobots and Maximals don’t have the means to leave the planet. However, Prime is determined to protect Earth together with Primal. They know Unicron is still alive and might come back for revenge, so they should be ready for when the time comes.

Wait, Is G.I. Joe Canon in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’?

Agent Burke (Michael Kelly) wearing a white dress shirt and tie, sitting down and raising his hand in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Image via Paramount Pictures

Before Transformers: Rise of the Beasts ends, the movie has one last surprise in store for fans. After returning to New York City, Noah is still trying to get a job as a security officer. His latest job interview takes a wide turn when he is questioned about his adventures in Peru. The interviewer tells Noah he’s part of a secret government agency fighting a war to keep the world from being destroyed, and both Noah and his new friends would make excellent additions to the team. As a reward for saving the world, this agency will even take care of Noah’s younger brother’s medical bills for life, giving him the treatment he deserves.

Before the credits roll, we get to see the business card Noah received during the interview. The agency is G.I. Joe, another Hasbro line of toys with a long and complex history with the Transformers. So far, Hasbro had invested in a G.I. Joe cinematic franchise that ultimately failed to bring fans to theaters. So, Hasbro and Paramount are taking a different route by adding G.I. Joe characters into the Transformers universe and moving forward with a highly-unexpected crossover.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is available to stream on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Watch on Paramount+

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