‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ trailer: Optimus Prime goes rogue

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It looks like Optimus Prime will be the Autobots’ biggest foe in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Paramount released the newest trailer for what will be the fifth toy/cartoon inspired “Transformers” movie, directed by Michael Bay and arriving in theaters June 23.

The trailer begins by showing that the Transformers had a knight-like presence in medieval times of King Arthur’s rule, building a trusting relationship with humans during that period. Something vital to the existence of the Transformers (Energon? A secret transformer that can be revived?) was left behind during those days and is connected to the Transformers’ frequent visits to Earth. Whatever that secret object is, some Transformers are not concerned with the fate of humanity as they attempt to get it back.

Leading that attack on Earth to reclaim it is Optimus Prime, who is/was the essence of what it means to be a good Transformer willing to work with humans to protect the existence of both groups. Optimus Prime’s purple eyes give the feeling that he is not himself. Is this bad-guy Optimus Prime a real threat, or just a way to lure us in into yet another “Transformers” movie that gives us more of the same from this franchise?

Rogue Optimus Prime does more damage than Decepticon villain Megatron in this trailer as he looks to rip apart his trusty right-hand robot, Bumblebee, with human Autobot ally Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) standing between them and refusing to believe Optimus Prime has gone dark.

Could this be the end of Optimus Prime? Will the Autobots have to take Prime down permanently?

That is a question that makes the presence of the Autobot Hot Rod all the more interesting. Those old enough to have seen the original “Transformers” animated movie of the 1980s might remember how Optimus Prime died and Hot Rod took over as leader of the Autobots. Is that why Hot Rod — seen very quickly zooming around in this trailer in his Lamborghini Centenario form — is here?

That wouldn’t seem like the most natural passing of the leadership torch with Bumblebee always serving as the Autobots No. 2 robot, but then again, who expected Optimus Prime to be the bad guy? Anything is possible.

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