Drift (Transformers Movie Profiles)

Transformers Movie Drift

Autobot faction symbol
Name: Drift
Aliases: Deadlock
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Ronin
Timeline: Movieverse (Second Transformers Live Action Movie Trilogy)

Loyalty is but a flower in the winds of fear and temptation.


Transformers Age of Extinction Drift robot mode
A former Decepticon warrior, Drift is something of a brooding loner. One of the more spiritually inclined members of the Autobots, Drift can usually be found attempting to master his "processor over matter" meditation when not called into battle. Drift says the purpose of the meditation is to "calm the fire within, so I may unleash the warrior without", although most Autobots feel Drift is just making stuff up, given that his "meditation" consists of balancing in improbable poses on a sword he's driven into the ground, and for all his meditation, he never seems to get any calmer or more self-controlled. Drift has a relatively short temper, and habitually responds with anger if someone annoys him or interrupts his meditation time - Crosshairs is particularly good at finding ways to get under Drift's skin. "For such a supposedly zen guy, Drift spends a lot of time angry. And he's scary when he's angry." Bumblebee once commented, while safely out of range of Drift's audio receptors. The truth of the matter is that Drift would be all too happy to be left alone to meditate / brood. He doesn't see eye-to-eye with the other Autobots because he feels that as a former Decepticon, he'll never be accepted as one of them; nor does he want to be accepted. During the fall of Cybertron and the period that followed, Drift was one of the deadliest Decepticons, ruthlessly hunting down members of the Autobot resistance and slicing them into tiny pieces with his blades. Drift's zeal for executing Autobots often got him into trouble with his commanders, who wanted Drift's targets alive so they could be interrogated for clues to the location of Optimus Prime and the Autobot resistance. Eventually, a pair of Drift's fellow hunters concluded that Drift's kill record must have been a ruse, and that he was really helping his Autobot marks fake their deaths so that Optimus Prime and his Autobots could remain hidden. They tried to execute Drift by shooting him in that back - something that Drift denounced as cowardly - and spread news of Drift's "duplicity". Finding that the majority of the Decepticons believed the lie, Drift reached a decision: if the Decepticons were so convinced he was a traitor, then he'd go ahead and be a traitor. Drift dedicated his blades to the destruction of his former allies, and eventually was taken in by the Autobots. Although he is an uneasy part of the Autobot team, and professes to not care about his new comrades, Drift knows - and secretly appreciates - that unlike the Decepticons, the Autobots will have his back in a battle. This knowledge brings a little peace to Drift's troubled spark, and in turn he gladly fights to protect his allies in his own way.

Bugatti Veyron mode:

Transformers Age of Extinction Drift Bugatti Veyron mode

Author notes:

Writing movie Drift, I wanted to make sure that I didn't just make him a copy of the other versions of Drift who had an epiphany and turned good. The movieverse really didn't strike me as the kind of timeline where that sort of thing could happen quite like it did in the comics. So here instead, I decided that what happened to Drift was he was - like in IDW - a guy who enjoyed killing too much. I made an assumption that a version of the events of the Bumblebee movie took place in the backstory of the Michael Bay live action movies, and that like Dropkick and Shatter, Drift was hunting Autobot survivors. Except because Drift was a violent psycho, he had a habit of killing his marks, which eventually got mistaken as helping Autobots fake their deaths to get off the Decepticon blacklist and led to Drift getting shot in the back. This betrayal - and the fact the rest of the Decepticons bought the story - led Drift to say "fine. Guess you all think I'm an Autobot, so I'll be an Autobot". This time, there is no grand epiphany - just a betrayal and a guy who doesn't care about clearing his name. I decided that was just a little too edgy, though, and added on at the end that yes, Drift does truly appreciate the other Autobots after all.

I skirted around it in the backstory on purpose, but in my head, it would have been Shatter and Dropkick who made the accusations and eventually shot Drift in the back. I wanted to establish those two within the main movieverse and give them something more to do before their big moment in Bumblebee's movie, but at the same time I wanted to keep a small amount of distance in case later stories contradict that bit of theorising. But in my head, Drift really wanted his revenge on those two, and when he finds out Bumblebee took them down, Drift's reaction would have been a mix of animosity (you killed my prey!) and respect ("well done, 'Bee").

Something that I did throw in was a tiny bit of the goofy humour of the movies. Drift is supposed to be this meditative, controlled character, but the way he's written in the movies that really doesn't seem to come across very much. So what if he simply says he's doing that but has no idea what he's doing? He'd be like the guy who says he's meditating, but actually he's just sleeping sitting up. I could see that being very much in line with the movie series' sense of humour.

Toys of Transformers Movie Drift

Transformers Age of Extinction Drift

Transformers Age of Extinction Drift with swords, posed Transformers Age of Extinction Drift with swords, alternate pose Transformers Age of Extinction Drift with swords, alternate pose 2
Transformers Age of Extinction Drift with sword and dagger Transformers Age of Extinction Drift with sword and dagger, alternate pose Transformers Age of Extinction Drift Robot mode, posed Transformers Age of Extinction Drift Bugatti Veyron mode alternate angle
The Age of Extinction Drift toy is quite fun, and one of the better releases from the 2014 Age of Extinction line. I think it is telling that while most of the rest of the characters who returned for The Last Knight got new and updated toys, Drift used a remold of this toy instead. It's a good toy, with a nice amount of detail although the transformation doesn't do anything new or surprising. I do like the four swords and how they attach onto Drift's back in a way that evokes his lesser seen helicopter mode. I also like the colours, which I feel work better than the red and black Drift switched to in The Last Knight. I've never felt the need to pick up a TLK colours version of Drift, partly because I prefer this deco and partly because this toy does a good job of representing the version of the character with the most screentime.

More information on Transformers Age of Extinction Drift at TFW2005

See more Transformers Age of Extinction toys in my collection.