In Age of extinction, in the scene where Optimus is on the road with Cade and Tessa (after they take refuge in the broken down gas station), he transforms into a shiny new Western Star 4900 Phantom truck just by 'scanning' a similar truck that was passing by. One should remember that Optimus was pretty beat up and in terrible condition when Cade found him initially.

So all it takes to fix a transformer is a vehicle nearby that it can 'scan' and transform into? Or is this just more Michael Bay crap?

My issue is not with the scan and transform part. Optimus was almost falling apart when Cade found him. He had bullet holes in him and he could barely stand up. Even if he did transform by scanning the truck, how did he repair himself?

  • Though not an answer: it's always safe to assume the latter. :)
    – Walt
    Jul 8, 2014 at 10:12
  • Remember, Bumble Bee did the same basic thing (no scan, but transformed nonetheless ... who knows, he could have already scanned the vehicle he transformed into) in the first movie. There is precidence. Jul 8, 2014 at 10:27
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    @Paulster2: He did scan a Camaro in the first movie.
    – bobbyalex
    Jul 8, 2014 at 11:49
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    @BobbyAlexander ... I guess I was too interested in Megan Fox licking her lips and didn't remember that part. Jul 8, 2014 at 12:08
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    Related: movies.stackexchange.com/q/588/49.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 8, 2014 at 14:49

4 Answers 4


Optimus got that missile in his body which make him unable to do self-repair or morph to a better vehicle. However once Cade remove that, he can do it again. How can he morph to another and better vehicle? Well, they were call Transformer for god sake and they have Sparks, their source of life which allow them to do all those self repair, morphing, transforming etc.

Since movie one, all of the transformers got beaten, thrown, shot with missle etc, and they always return to their initial condition. They are made with this superb metal call Transformium and with the power of the Sparks inside them, they can morph to anything they want, by just scanning and imprinting animate object around them.

  • "they can morph to anything they want" -- can you provide examples for this? Transformers are biological beings. I do not remember any scene where an Autobot, primarily having land borne transformation, decides to scan a jet plane or a bird and become air-borne suddenly.
    – 26749
    Oct 12, 2015 at 21:06
  • "they have Sparks, their source of life which allow them to do all those self repair, morphing, transforming" - actually, Sparks are more like a transformer's Soul, their ability to transform is possible thanks to Transformation Cog ;) tfwiki.net/wiki/Transformation_cog
    – lukaszkups
    Apr 23, 2019 at 8:31

Well, while Optimus certainly "was pretty beatup and in terrible condition when Cade found him initially", you also have to keep in mind that Cade already repaired him quite a bit, up to a degree where Optimus didn't need his fellow transformers to repair him anymore. This is also evident from his rather agile and more or less fully functional behaviour during their escape from the farm.

So Optimus already had been repaired up to normal standards by Cade. The rest of his rather rusty appearance was just part of his current appearance as this old truck model and not due to his previous "injuries". Whyever he had that appearance (most likely as disguise to evade the current anti-Transformer pogroms), he didn't see any need to uphold it anymore and switched to a more comfortable/modern appearance as soon as the possibility arose. In addition to that, the correlation between the Transformers' vehicle appearance and their "humanoid" appearance is not entirely clear anyway, as evident from this related question.

So to sum up, he didn't repair himself by scanning that vehicle but simply changed his appearance, as he already had been repaired to acceptable degrees by Cade earlier.

  • Apart from that, I guess one could also just say "Forget it Bobby, it's Transformers". ;-)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 6, 2014 at 0:34

In a bit of exposition in the first one, Scorponok's tail was said to be healing/regenerating (except for the bits hit by the sable? rounds). It could be that once reactivated, Optimus began to heal, but given the extent of damage it would have been quicker to be 'fixed'. As for his rusty appearance (except for bullet holes of course), my guess is it was just the form he had been using to evade the cia and not a direct result of damage.


During the First movie, this exact thing happens with Bumblebee:

He scans another Camaro, and takes its likeness by doing so. It's such an integral aspect of the franchise, there is even a Toy of the Camero Mid-Scan. enter image description here

As Paulster tried to say above, there is absolutely a Precedent for this... ;)

  • John, I have added some more information to the question. The issue is not with the transformation but how he fixed himself.
    – bobbyalex
    Jul 8, 2014 at 11:52
  • What is the difference between what happened with Bumblebee and what Optimus did? Bumblebee was a battered old Camaro and 'fixed' himself into a newer model, without damage. Its the exact same principle. They both transform into something without damage: you're issue is the difference in perceived damage, why would you assume this is a factor in this process? Jul 8, 2014 at 12:04
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    My problem is in the film Optimus clearly states he needs to get to his fellow Autobots so they can fix him up, and then after the fight with Cemetery Wind on Cade's farm 10 minutes later he scans the truck and oh boy, he's all better! He went from explicitly saying he needed help to repair himself, to literally doing it with a single scan of a shiny new truck.
    – MattD
    Jul 8, 2014 at 13:47
  • Also if this was the case, they could just scan a nearby vehicle every time they are in a fight!
    – bobbyalex
    Jul 8, 2014 at 14:51
  • @MattD - I presumed that he was still damaged after scanning the new truck. And when they met up with the other Autobots they fixed him off screen. As you are right, he was damaged and needed Autobot help to fix him but this was never screened.
    – Jared
    Jul 31, 2014 at 0:23

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