17 December 2007

Blue-eyed Autobots and Red-eyed Decepticons

I watched Attack of the Autobots from the Madman Generation One Complete Collection DVD set this morning while having pancakes. It inspired some thoughts... below.


Someway into Season 1, it dawned on me that all Autobots have blue eyes and all Decepticons have red eyes. I could differentiate the good from the bad by their insignias and by their eye colour as well.

This consistency is singularly one of the most beautiful G1 ideas to me. I love the consistency; I also love the consistency of Autobots having yellow gunfire and yellow based equipment and the Decepticons having pink gunfire and purple based equipment, but I digress.

The Blue-eyed Autobots & Red-eyed Decepticons (BEA + RED) idea became one of the most significant elements of the Season 2 episode Attack of the Autobots. The impact of that episode, to me, resonates till this day- when an Autobot turns evil, his eye colour changes to red.

Optimus Prime and Hound turns evil (note eye colour change)

When young, I was so obsessed with BEA + RED that I went about and painted all my Transformers’ eyes the ‘correct’ colour. Autobots would have sky blue eyes; Decepticons would have malevolent red eyes. I can confidently say I am not alone in my obsession and I have to look no further than the Lukis brothers (aka Unicron.com) to proof it.

For example, the Lukis brothers painted blue eyes for Sideswipe, Jazz, Trailbreaker, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Slag and Blaster; and red eyes for Starscream, Rumble, Reflector, Scorponok, Apeface and Abominus. As should be the way it is.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that I get really agitated when the colourists for the now ongoing Transformers comics series’ cannot get simple eye colour right. With a few exceptions (Thrust has yellow eyes; Swindle purple; Unicron green; Shockwave golden/yellow; and etc), all Autobots should have blue eyes and all Decepticons should have red eyes.

As if using colours other than blue and red is not enough, these colourists add insult to injury by giving certain Autobots red eyes, completely destroying the beauty and precedence established in G1 and in Attack of the Autobots.

According to Dreamwave's MTMTE profiles, the Autobots are in trouble because the Dinobots are all evil, they have red eyes!

Come on people, get the colours right, please.

On a blue day, I don’t wish to see red in the wrong eyes.


  1. Gotta disagree with ya. I think any TF should be able to have any eye color. The cartoon convention is just that: a cartoon convention.

    Green eyes! Black eyes! White eyes! Yellow eyes!

  2. Autobots = Blue Eyes
    Decepticons = Red Eyes

    The way it should be.. always and forever

  3. This hypothesis is true to some degree since most creators of genres use some small elements to differentiate factions from another, even to a silent, subliminal effect. Most Jedis for example, also have blue-bladed lightsabers and the Sith have red, though some Jedi/Sith of varying principles (QuiGon Jinn, for example) emanates a green blade from his LS, and Mace has purple. The same can be said about the phaser fire emanating from Federation starships (blue)from that of either Klingon (red), or Romulan (green).

    1. i do like small elements to differentiate factions. makes it a little more black and white, erm.... or blue and red...

  4. Thrust had yellow eyes in the cartoon, most likely because he was already red.

    1. hi Hubert, good pick up that Thrust has yellow eyes in the cartoon.
      I did mention it in the text above too... there are other "aberrations" besides Thrust: "With a few exceptions (Thrust has yellow eyes; Swindle purple; Unicron green; Shockwave golden/yellow; and etc)..."

  5. so how do you explain powermaster optimus prime

  6. So why does Hotspot have red eyes? He's an autobot. Does Blitzwing's eyes change when he defects in season 3?

  7. um so how about this...maybe they were once decepticons reformed into autobots? eh?? possiblity?

  8. Perhaps their eye color is a reflection of their mental/emotional state.


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