Since its Easter Monday, I'm going to do a sort of holiday special of sorts, and talk about Christ... well not really. Christ figures.
Literature, comics, movies, all forms of story telling all involve Christ figures. Heroes that die a martyr, and return in a time of great need. Some obvious, well known ones are, Superman, Aslan from Narnia, and Harry Potter. Some seldom thought of Christ figures are E.T, John Connor and OPTIMUS PRIME! Who will be the main focus of this all.

I don't know why Christ figures are used so often. Its very possible that its simply a easy to go to story convention for a epic, like the standard formula to a love story. They meet, they love, they hate, they love. Perhaps its just an easy way to give your story some depth, or steer up some controversy.

The strange thing is, I honestly feel like most people don't look for depth in what they watch or read. People just want to enjoy, not think critically. Thinking critically is what you do when you're writing a book report, not during a pleasure read. How many people finished watching 'T2: Judgement Day' and related it to the bible? Not many I bet, even though the allusions to the bible are smack dab all over the thing, beginning in the title.
Anyway, before I go way off topic, I just want to summarize what this is all about. I don't understand why we use Christ like figures. I just know that my favourite story of death and return is Optimus Prime baby!

Disney had certainly prepared me for inevitable off screen deaths of my parents. But nothing had ever prepared me for the death of a hero, nothing truly ever made me aware of my own mortality, until... The death of Optimus Prime.
Most cartoons would falsely kill off their leads in the climax, only to have it revealed that they were only momentarily incapacitated. Its a pretty simple trick, a gasp of disbelief by the audience, followed by at thunderous applause of triumph! Tell me if this scene sounds painfully familiar and cliched.

Our bland hero and the evil step mother that happens to be a dragon, are locked in combat on the edge of a cliff! The hero gets the upper hand, and is about to deal the killing blow! But being that hes the hero, he refuses! Seeing this moment of weakness, the evil step dragon attempts to sucker punch Prince Bland! And just as the blow is about to be delivered, the cliff edge gives out and they both appear to fall!
The heroes friends, who have acted as spectators during the fight, all let out a gasp, and instantly begin to mourn the hero... But then! A hand grabs onto the cliff edge! And the hero throws up his arm, a soft smile on his face. “Can I get a hand?” He ask.

Its a lame trick, since its really a 'Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame me.' type of thing.
We wised up on the gag, and realized “Our parents are fucked, but the hero (we) always come out on top.”
Then I rented 'Transformers the Movie'. The first few minutes of this movie feature Prime kicking ass and taking names, in a action scene that trumps all of Bay's... Until a rookie dick by the name of Hotrod, interferes as Prime is about to take the kill shot on Megatron. This results in Optimus being fatally wounded.

All of that happens before the movie hits the ten minute mark. Having already caught on to the faking a death trick, I wasn't shocked at all. Prime would be transforming and rolling out in no time... but then this happens.

“Okay, you got me. Now hit him with a few volts and revive him, we still have a hour left of this movie... He's not coming back is he?” Then came the tears.

Prime was dead until a season three, two part epic, co-written by comic book legend Marv Wolfman, 'The Return of Optimus Prime'.
In Optimus Primes absence, leadership of the Autobots and the protection of Earth was left in the hands of Hotrod, now known as 'Rodimus Prime'. If you remember, it was Hotrod's fault that Prime was killed in the first place...

He wasn't the first choice to be leader, don't think he was even the second or third. I remember that Ultra Magnus was the first choice, then it probably would have been Kup, and then Bumblebee.
To me, they're kind of the Peter, Luke and Matthew of the Autobots. Hotrod was more like... Judas. You know since he kind of fucked Optimus over.

Anyway, through a series of events Hotrod becomes Rodimus Prime, and through his leadership, the earth becomes rapidly infected, by a terrible disease caused by space spores, called 'hate'. It causes everyone to not only be a jerk, but glow seizure inducing red.
With the majority of the Autobots now acting like ass holes (Rodimus the dumb fuck included) there is only one solution, Optimus must return.

This is actually pretty close to how it goes down.

Being resurrected Optimus takes little time for himself, he jumps straight to renaming Bumblebee without even asking. Cause it doesn't matter what you think your name is, what ever Prime calls you, that's your identity.
Optimus Primes plan is simple, find Rodimus and rip the fucking matrix out of his chest. What the fuck is the matrix you ask?

The Autobot Matrix of Leadership (sometimes the Creation Matrix) is an artifact of great power, traditionally carried by the leader of the Autobots. By most accounts, it holds a part of the essence of Primus, the creator-god of the Transformers, although much about it, including its exact composition, remains a mystery. It generally appears as a hollow, spherical metal shell with two handles on either side and with a core sphere of bluish crystal at its center. - Transformers Wiki

Part of the matrix is the combined wisdom of all who have ever possessed it. Using it, Prime is able to heal all the hate in the world using the knowledge contained in his heart! A simple feat for him since you know... He has the touch.

There are some certain parallels between Christ and Prime in the fact that they die and return in a time of great darkness. But their are some glaring differences, like one of them is giant robot that transforms into a truck, and the other is a scrawny Jewish guy, and Jesus apparently died for our sins, and Optimus died so they could... sell new toys. Beyond that though, I think you'd really need to nitpick.

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