A Tribute to Arblus. You Know... Arblus?
You remember the classic film The Transformers the Movie, right? Of course you do. How could anyone forget the last film that cinema god Orson Welles ever made? What a fine tribute to a master filmmaker. For his final role he got to play a freakin' planet. An ENTIRE freakin' planet.
Well, since I'm assuming you've all seen the movie then you all know who Unicron is. But this article isn't about Unicron. This article is about someone you probably never have even heard of. This article is about Arblus. Who? Arblus. Let me explain:
Remember at the very beginning of the film when Orson Welles eats a planet of robots? Well, that planet was called Lithone. Amid scenes of mass destruction/robodeath we get to see the attempts of a couple robots trying to escape from Orson Welles. They both get in little escape pods and blast off. One of them breaks free from Orson Welle's massive sucking power. His name is Kranix. We will see him again later in the movie. The other one doesn't break free, and Orson Welles eats him as he screams like a little girl. This is Arblus:
Remember now? Hey, I'm gonna go on a tangent now, so bear with me. One of the things that I really loved about the Transformers universe after the movie came out was the fact that aparently humankind is the only organic life in the universe. All the planets we ever get to see other than Earth are inhabited by sentient robots. Isn't that awesome? What a fascinating universe. Humans must be the total freaks of the neighborhood, like that one kid that lived at the end of the block and only talked in grunts and handcrafted his own blowgun, then developed diabetes and later joined the military. Nobody like that on your block? Oh, well, mine neither.
I'm back from the tangent. We'll get to see Arblus later in the movie as well, as he gets killed. So in all, he only has like two lines of dialogue, and we never really get to know what he was like before his planet and himself and every single member of his robotic race gets destroyed. The only times we get to see him are when he's convinced that he's going to be killed (and he's right), which isn't really the best judge of a man's character. What was he like in his everyday life? How could one go about finding out?
I started doing my research by looking him up on the Internet Movie Database. I selected "Character" typed "Arblus" into the search engine, and sure enough he popped up. He is voiced by Norman Alden. Oh, Mr. Alden also voiced Kranix so it's pretty safe to assume that everybody on Lithone had Norman Alden's voice. Imagine a planet of robots all with the same man's voice! I love the Transformers Universe! Normal Alden was born in the 20s and has been in gobs and gobs of stuff, most notably in Back to the Future where he played the guy behind the counter when Marty McFly tries to order a Tab (they hadn't been invented yet!). He also played Maj. Truman Landon, B-17 Flight Leader in Tora! Tora! Tora!, one of best WWII movies ever made. He was also the voice of Aquaman in The All-New SuperFriends Hour (1977), so you know he's got some credentials under his belt. Mr. Alden seems like a very respectible person chosen carefully to play this specific, tragically doomed robot.
But it still doesn't tell me what Arblus was like.
You know, I had been thinking about the Transformers Universe for a while now when it struck me: wasn't there a four-part comic book series called "Transformers Universe" that was just page after page of descriptions of all the Transformers? Didn't I own them all? Is it at all possible that Arblus is in one of them?
Yes. Yes. YES!
There, in the back of the fourth, final issue of "Transformers Universe" is an entry for Arblus. Holy crap, look at this!
Arblus could transform into some kind of a jet plane/spaceship thing! Great gravy! This guy was a true marvel. Poor, doomed soul. If only you had had time to transform, perhaps you could have escaped Orson Welles and his voracious appetite. Well, "Transformers Universe" seems to be the end of my quest. Let's see what Arblus was really, really like, shall we? The Character Description:
Oh, my god! The guy was a complete ass! Well, no wonder he screamed like a girl when Orson Welles was eating him. What a prick! I'm glad he died, now! Jeez, here I was thinking it was a shame that this guy had to die an horrible death. They make it sound like if everyone else on the planet wasn't such a nice guy that Arblus would have been stoned to death long ago for being such a weenie. And this jackass lasts longer than anybody else on the planet! That just pisses me off. Rest in peace, Arblus, as long as that peace is in RoboHell, where all cowards go to be continuously beaten by their angry peers who actually had some guts but did something else evil to end up in RoboHell.