Transformer Metaphor

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For many decades, the US military has, engaged with Hollywood’s movies by giving permission to their production crews to use their military machines and techniques. Black Hawk Down was about the US military, Top Gun was about the Navy, and Iron Man was about the Air Force (McMillen). These kinds of movies are regarded as joint-military force movies, and one of the largest joint-military movies is Transformers, which was released in 2007. The third series was recently released, which is now being processed into a 3D version to be released in the coming months. The movie series includes Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and Transformers: The Dark of the Moon (2010). All three movies have tapped into the common fear of war, because the period of the movie production was during the long war between the US and the Middle East (2003-2008). These movies reflect on and promote the US military’s actions by lauding pro-war political views and depicting how the US can defend itself against enemies (McMillan). The Movie use specific real world’s facts, not only detailing new high-tech machines but also detailing political issues to the audience. The relations between China, North Korea, Iraq and the US manifest symbolically in the movie. The first three countries are the countries with which the US is facing its main military problems, so the movie series aims to further the US agenda with regards to these countries. Therefore, the US military fully supported the movie and in 2008, Department of Defense allowed director Michael Bay and his crews to access the army’s New Mexico missile range, the Air Force’s fighter planes, and the Navy’s aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (ANI). Influenced by such big support from the military, the Transformers movie series shows the US Army’s ideal of protecting the nation, as the army is personified in the movie as one of the superheroes, or the good Transformers (Autobots). They are pitted against the evil Transformers, or the Decepticons. The movie’s plot depicts the United States Army having a pivotal role in the war against the evil Decepticons; the United States Navy deployed to the Arabian Gulf and the Yellow Sea to defend the US against potential enemies and to defeat the Decepticons. These plot devices indicate that the US military is using Hollywood as a political tool for advertising and promoting their strength, for justifying the war, and the ability of the US military to defend itself against enemies, reflecting the occupation in Iraq (2003-2008). The Transformers series assuages the people’s fear of the war, and the first movie was released (2007) during the US and Iraq war which the war started in 2003. The military power of the US dominates the scenes of the movie as it protects its own country as well as other countries from the Decepticons. The metaphor behind this movie is that US military is generally acting as the world’s police, which reveals the US military’s Imperialist mode. In Transformers 2, when the Decepticons have landed, the US military decides to send in Black Ops helicopters with a team of elite troops and Autobots to deal with the situation. In this decision, the US military ignores China’s official decision to close off its airspace, and sends in the troops, anyway. In reality, a dangerous affront like this could be one cause of war between two countries, since the US Air Force would be entering China’s airspace without permission. In other words, this scene shows that the US military governs other countries’ military systems in an imperial manner. The US military does not merely affront China in the movie; it also demands access to the airspace of its Egyptian and Jordanian client states, generally acting as “planetary police force” (Ely). US military imperialism is depicted as a positive force in the whole movie, acting as a noble guardian of all that is good in the world. Part of the movie is set in Deigo Garcia, a US base on a...
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