|“||This is the end of the road Galvatron!||„|
|~ Rodimus Prime Facing Galvatron.|
|“||Now light our Darkest Hour!||„|
|~ Rodimus Prime|
|“||Let this mark the end of the Cybertronian war as we march forward to a new age of peace and happiness. Til' All are One!||„|
|~ Rodimus Prime|
Hot Rod (later known as Rodimus Prime) is the protagonist of the 1986 animated film, "Transformers: The Movie", and the third season of the Generation One television series (Up until the two part season finale, "The Return of Optimus Prime", in which Optimus Prime resumes command of the Autobots and goes back to being the series protagonist).
Hot Rod is often portrayed as energetic, yet brash and headstrong, with an overwhelming self-confidence that borders on arrogance. As Rodimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, he is significantly more mature, physically powerful and instilled with the wisdom of the previous holders of the Matrix Of Leadership. Regardless of this, Rodimus is plagued by lack of confidence and often doubting his own decisions and feeling he is in the shadow of previous leader, Optimus Prime.
Hot Rod and Rodimus have displayed the ability to shoot lasers out of their forearms, as well as having a retractable saw blade.
Hot Rod first appeared in the American animated series during the events of The Transformers The Movie, where he was one of the many Autobots stationed at Autobot City. He fought in the Autobot city battle and saved the autobot city for if he had not attacked Megatron, he would have destroyed the city. Due to his attempted intervention in the battle between the Autobot leader and Megatron. He fled the city with Kup and the Dinobots when Galvatron, a recreated Megatron, attacked the city after being reformatted by Unicron. After meeting up with the other Autobots after a series of adventures on the planets Quintessa and Junk, Hot Rod returned to the other Autobots and rushed to Cybertron to save it from being eaten by Unicron. After facing Galvatron inside Unicron's body, Hot Rod was able to get his hands on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, as the voice of Optimus Prime was heard saying, "Arise, Rodimus Prime". The power of the Matrix reformatted Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime, with a larger body, deeper voice, and different vehicle mode. It also destroyed Unicron's body, bringing the events of the film to a close with Rodimus Prime as the new Autobot leader.
After the film, Rodimus did not have time to rest on his laurels as commander, immediately finding himself and the Autobots targeted by the Quintessons, who lured him to their planet of Quintessa and detonated it in hopes of destroying the Matrix. Rodimus and the Autobots survived, however, and Rodimus proceeded to voluntarily short-circuit himself to allow his life-force to enter the Matrix, feeling that the answer to the mystery of the Quintessons' identity lay within it. His hunch proved correct – the Quintessons, he discovered, were the Transformers' creators, and Rodimus knew that the future would be a difficult time for the Autobots.
Rodimus had a notoriously unheroic moment in the episode fight or Flee, where he destroys Paradron, a planet inhabited by pacifistic Autobots. Although he does it to prevent the Decepticons from controlling the planet, Rodimus never questions the morality of destroying an entire planet; and when Sandstorm mourns the loss of his home, Rodimus mocks him for it. The hypocrisy of such actions is never pointed out even when it is blatantly obvious to the viewers.
At this point in the future, the Autobots had become something of a group of peacekeepers among the many races in the galaxy, and Rodimus would attend many meetings, parties and conferences to this end, most notably chairing the peace conference between the planets of Xetaxxis and Lanarq. Despite the brave public face he wore at these events, his own doubts continued to plague him, and he was particularly fazed by Galvatron’s threat of an "ultimate weapon", though the revelation that this was a bluff stirred him to action. Later still, Rodimus was among the Autobots who had their minds transferred into synthetic human forms by crime lord Victor Drath, who used their Transformer bodies to commit crimes. While Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer tackled this problem, Rodimus returned to Drath's compound where he was aided by Drath's mole, Michelle, between whom a spark of romance seemed to bloom, until she betrayed him to Drath. Through a combined effort, however, Drath was brought to justice and the Autobots regained their bodies.
Hot Rod only appeared three more times: once when he gave the Matrix to a Quintesson-controlled Optimus Prime. When he lost the Matrix, Rodimus was forced to face down his fears once and for all when the Decepticons began a series of attacks on Japan. Overwhelmed by the different responsibilities and directions he was being pulled in, Rodimus went joyriding and was attacked by the Stunticons, losing the Matrix in the ensuing crash, which was acquired by the Decepticon Scourge. While Rodimus became Hot Rod again – and was not eager to change back – Scourge was warped and enhanced by the Matrix and led another attack on Japan. Counselled by a martial arts master on giri – the burden hardest to bear – Rodimus realised that the Matrix was his burden, and that he had been chosen to bear it; battling Scourge, he recovered the Matrix and resumed his role as leader, and finally when Optimus Prime was resurrected and Rodimus Prime was able to return to being Hot Rod for good. In all three occasions, his return to Hot Rod took place because he lost or passed the Matrix to someone else.
In the 3-part finale to the American Transformers animated series, "The Rebirth", Hot Rod became a Targetmaster.
Note: The Headmasters series is told in the US series, and is referenced in the UK comics, indicating that these events occur regardless of timeline.
The young Hot Rod was among the Autobots led by Fortress Maximus on Cybertron, who fought against Scorponok's forces. While Hot Rod was in high spirits after successfully rescuing many Autobot POWs, Maximus, weary of the war, announced he was going to abandon the war to the peaceful planet Nebulos. While initally shocked, Hot Rod and the others agreed to join him. However, on Nebulos, they were left facing the somewhat hostile natives. Hot Rod and ten of his teammates marched toward's Nebulos' capital city, where he surrendered his weapons as a show of good will along with with the rest of the group, and a ceasefire was brokered.
However, the Autobots still had enemies, such as Lord Zarak, who secretly discovered Cybertron's coordinates from a machine Hot Rod was working on, and summoned Scorponok to Nebulos. Technological advancements developed during the conflict saw Nebulans being bio-engineered into partnerships with the Transformers. Hot Rod became a Targetmaster, and was bonded to the Nebulan sharpshooter, Firebolt, who transformed into his gun. When Hot Rod tried to protect the Nursery, he and the others ended up demolishing it. Hot Rod received a signal sent Earth by Goldbug, and the Autobots headed there.
Marvel's The Transformers (UK)
The events seen in the UK comics are initially seen as the definitive future of the series, until time travel rewrites the timeline to become a potential future.
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Marvel's The Transformers (US)
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See main article: Rodimus (IDW Comics)
Transformers Cinematic Universe
See main article: Hot Rod (Transformers Cinematic Universe)