The Dinobots (Transformers Movie)

Transformers Movie Dinobots

Autobot faction symbol
Name: The Dinobots
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Legendary warriors
Timeline: Movieverse (Second Transformers Live Action Movie Trilogy)


Legends from times of old often speak of mystical treasures in far off lands, guarded by strange monsters. Little does humanity know that some of these legends are true - but that the creatures of the far off lands were no mere monsters, but Dinobots! Their story begins millions of years ago, when the aliens known as the "creators" seeded the Earth with Cybertonium, petrifying many dinosaurs in the process. Those petrified remains lay within the ground until 12,000 years ago the Allspark crashed into the Earth and released a pulse of energy that reacted with the Cybertronium-infused fossils, and granted them life! Acting on basic instinct imparted by the Allspark's energy, the newly-forged Dinobots became the guardians of the cube, using their ferocious strength to guard it against any and all foolish enough to venture near. The Knights of Iacon would later try to train the Dinobots to assist them in guarding the Quintessa's power staff, but the Knights ultimately decided that the Dinobots were too wild and a danger to the Knight's mission - thus, with a heavy heart, Knight Captain Stormreign gave the order to seal away the Dinobots. The Dinobots would remain sealed for hundreds of years, until they were discovered Lockdown, who'd journeyed to Earth in search of the Knights of Iacon and Optimus Prime. Lockdown mistook the Dinobots for the Knights, and imprisoned them aboard his ship. Now liberated by Optimus Prime, the Dinobots have been freed to roam the Earth once more and to find a new purpose following the destruction of the Allspark: defending humanity alongside the Autobots from the Decepticons, the "creators", and their servants.

Each of the Dinobots are fearsome warriors, each individually as strong as a dozen regular Cybertronians, and significantly more durable. They are loosely allied with the Autobots, but many of the Dinobots don't agree with the Autobots' values. Some are extremely animalistic, while others lack humility or feel the Autobots' failure to preserve the Allspark in 2007 is unforgivable. This leads to them being wildcards, who cannot be relied upon to follow orders or help the Autobots - some of the more antagonistic Dinobots in particular are far more interested in causing mayhem or following their base instincts. The Dinobots for the most part follow Grimlock's lead; while Optimus Prime was around Grimlock's respect for Optimus Prime meant he kept the Dinobots in line for the Autobot commander. With Optimus Prime departing Earth shortly after the defeat of Lockdown, the remaining Autobots have struggled to keep the Dinobots under control.

The Dinobots are made up of the following members:

Transformers Movie Grimlock Grimlock
Transformers Movie Slug Slug
Transformers Movie Strafe Strafe
Transformers Movie Scorn Scorn
Transformers Movie Slash Slash
Transformers Movie Snarl Snarl
Transformers Movie Slog Slog

Author notes:

The Dinobots in the Movieverse are a group that I have a love-hate relationship with. I love seeing the Dinobots on the big screen and I like the designs (especially the absolutely monstrous look of Grimlock), but I dislike how they're barely there in terms of the overall plot of the movies. You could remove the Dinobots from the movies, and all you'd lose are a few set-piece scenes which could easily be reworked into Optimus Prime and the other Autobots arriving in a 1986 style cavalry charge. They're sorely under utilised for such great characters in the wider lore.

I can't fix the Dinobots' role in the movies, but I can tie their origins into the wider lore of the movieverse in a way that makes sense (to me). The logical places to start were the opening scene of Age of Extinction. The movie makes a point to show us the dinosaurs getting bombed by the mysterious alien race, and makes a point of showing us a Transformium-infused fossil shortly thereafter. To me that felt like a setup that never paid off - so I'm working that into my origin story for the Dinobots. The logical way to pay it off was to use the Allspark - we know it crashes on Earth at some point after this, and based on how machinery came to life when Sam dropped it in the first movie, it makes sense when it hits the Earth, it'd release a big energy pulse. Put that together with the fact that Age of Extinction explicitly says Transformium "is what they are made of" and it makes complete sense that the Allspark energy pulse should animate Transformium-infused dinosaur fossils in the immediate area. The Allspark tie goes back to what I understand was a concept for the Dinobots back in the early stages of Age of Extinction - that they would be guardians of the Allspark. That particular connection makes more sense to me now after watching Transformers Cyberverse Season 2 and seeing how Cheetor came into being. It's even sort-of alluded to in the movie by a throwaway line to the Dinobots being "ancient warriors".

The inclusion of the Knights in the origin is mainly to tie together the fact there is a second group of Cybertronians on Earth with robot modes that look like knights - the way I see it, the Dinobots wouldn't have known they could transform until Stormreign and the others taught them to do so, and perhaps that influenced the robot modes of the Dinobots. It's an important connection to establish however you explain it because the mistaken identity is how I get these guys as prisoners on Lockdown's ship.

It's not the most perfect expansion of lore - the Movieverse is so loose in its story telling that putting these things together is rarely straightforward - but in my mind this helps to explain some of the story elements around the Dinobots and tie them into the mythology of the movieverse.

You've probably noticed that I changed the material from Age of Extinction from Transformium to Cybertonium, the latter being a material from the Generation 1 cartoon episode "Desertion of the Dinobots", and in those episodes was a key ingredient in how Transformers transform. I personally felt Cybertonium was a better fit for the lore of Transformers, while keeping the plot point about being the secret of how Transformers transform intact (Cybertonium has the added benefit of being a less cringe-worthy name). I see Transformium still getting used in universe. It's what humans would call the material, since they'd not know any different and would be too busy killing Transformers to ask them what the actual name is.