Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ post-credits scene changes the game

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a bit of an oddity as a Transformers movie. It’s mostly a reboot for the franchise, though it follows directly on from 2018’s Bumblebee, and briefly references that film in passing. It continues to portray Optimus Prime more as a bloodthirsty (oil-thirsty? Energon-thirsty?) villain than the noble hero he usually is outside of live-action episodes.

It brings in the Maximals characters from Beast Wars, but it’s not much use to it other than looking cool in battle and partly countering the more autocratic Prime (heh, carcratic) tendencies. It treats Transformer’s death with the same notorious nonchalance as that of 1986 The Transformers: The Movie — several of his sentient machine characters die on screen, which becomes little more than a “That’s tragic and I’m sad. Anyway, moving on…” of their companions.

Maybe that’s because Transformers are so hard to kill permanently. Towards the end of the movie, viewers will probably want to stay in the theater to see if there’s another wrinkle in the character deaths in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, because they seem so casual and fleeting it’s hard to believe they’re not all temporary. Here’s how that plays out in the movie.

[Ed. note: Spoilers ahead for deaths and other details in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.]

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts mid-credits scene

Photo: Jonathan Wenk/Paramount Pictures

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts does have a mid-credits scene where it turns out that former soldier and full-time tech Noah Diaz (In the HeightsAnthony Ramos) has repaired and revived his new Autobot friend Mirage (Pete Davidson). Granted, you may have had to look closely to realize that Mirage was meant to be dead in the first place – he takes a great beating from Scourge (Peter Dinklage) in the final battle, then donates some of his parts to a mecha suit for Noah. But it never really feels like he is away – just reconfigured.

In the scene, Noah’s neighborhood friend Reek (Tobe Nwigwe), who tried to turn Noah into a professional car thief in earlier scenes, apologizes for leaving Noah with the police in an earlier scene. Then he makes fun of Noah’s latest construction project, a junk-looking car put together from random parts Reek bought him. “It’s a complete waste of your skills and my expertise,” shouts Reek. “This car is a jigsaw puzzle made of garbage!” But then the car transforms and reveals itself as Mirage. “Your boy is back!” he exclaims – much to Reeks’ surprise, as it is his first encounter with a giant sentient robot that is also a car at times.

Who dies in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?

Optimus Prime aims his big gun hand at Optimus Primal as two people stand between them in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Image: Paramount Pictures

But it’s worth noting that while Bumblebee dies in the first act of the movie, and is then resurrected by a power surge, and Mirage apparently dies (??) in the fight in the third act and is resurrected by Noah’s clumsy human repair job, Rise of the Beasts has no post-credits scene and never goes back to the movie’s other big death. Airazor (Everything everywhere at once star Michelle Yeoh) is corrupted by Scourge, attacks her friends and then encourages her leader, Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman), to kill her so she won’t hurt anyone else. Which he apparently does by squeezing her really hard.

Airazor seems as ripe for a comeback as Mirage did – her body is damaged after Scourge’s attack, but it’s much less broken than Mirage’s. And her OS, or whatever Transformers has that passes for one, was apparently corrupted by Scourge, but it looks like a reboot and some good alien virus protection could handle it. But don’t wait for a post-credits sequence that deals with her fate, or the future of the franchise. As far as Rise of the Beasts worries, Mirage is the only dead Transformer worth repairing.

Will there be a GI Joe/Transformers crossover movie?

Detail of an alternate cover for IDW's Transformers/GI Joe crossover comic Revolution, featuring Megatron charging forward surrounded by other characters from the GI Joe and Transformers franchises

Image: John Barber, Cullen Bunn, Fico Ossio/IDW

As for all the further teasing about where the franchise could go from here, the meeting at the end of the movie between Agent Burke (Michael Kelly) and Noah tells as much of that story as we’re going to get at this point. Given that Agent Burke works for GI Joe, he’s probably a reference to the James Bond-esque super spy who appeared in an episode of the eighties GI Joe animated series — there’s every reason to believe that Paramount is planning a GI Joe/Transformers crossover movie. That team first happened in the comicsand it’s a natural pairing since both properties are owned by Hasbro, and both originally came to TV to promote existing toy lines.

But you won’t find that out by waiting for the credits to end – the mid-credits scene with Noah and Mirage is all for now. Poor Airazor.