Transformers: Rise of the Beaststhe seventh Transformers episode set to hit theaters in 2023 will finally correct an offensive Airazor flaw. Three hundred years after the Transformers timeline, Beast Wars, the popular franchise’s first computer-generated show released in 1996, introduced Airazor towards the end of the first season. Given the limited female characters in the Transformers universe, it is important to note that Airazor was a woman, not a man.
Airazor’s animal form was a falcon that provided aerial reconnaissance for the Maximals, the good guys, in battle against the Predacons. In the Japanese dub of the Beast Wars series, however, Airazor was mistakenly turned into a boy in hopes of increasing toy sales. By doing so, it wiped out one of the rare female characters who actually played a major role in the franchise, and created a host of problems. With the casting of Michelle Yeoh in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts to pronounce Airazor, the film finally reinstates that two-decade-old decision.
The Japanese Dub Of Beast Wars Created An Airazor Mess
The gender swap not only changed Airazor’s character, but also created another problem. Beast Wars episodes had already been completed and in post-production when the show’s Japanese dubbers decided to switch Airazor’s gender, causing awkward storyline issues. Airazor developed a bond with Tigatron in the Beast Wars series, which appeared very subtly in the first season. However, what the Japanese dubbers didn’t see coming was that in season two Airazor and Tigatron had developed something deeper and even showed affection for each other, suggesting a romantic relationship.
Airazor’s romantic relationship with Tigatron was not made intentionally to be canonically a homosexual relationship. Japanese dubbing of the show clumsily identified their band as more of a peer-mentor dynamic to avoid what is in the conservative country in the Beast Wars franchisee. One thing is clear, regardless of their gender or orientation; Airazor and Tigatron definitely had a romantic storyline. It became hard to ignore the fluttering eyes and hand-holding when both were abducted by the Vok aliens in Beast Wars season 2, episode 6, “Other Visits.” The Vok eventually fuse their bodies and sparks into one being known as Tigerhawk, which is arguably the most poetic character arc for both Airazor and Tigatron.
What Michelle Yeoh’s Casting Says About Rise of the Beast’s Airazor
Michelle Yeoh is one of the few A-list female Asian actors represented in Hollywood, much less as an industry woman with a long body of work in the boys’ club of action, sci-fi and fantasy genres. Add hair to Transformers: Rise of the Beasts encourages much-needed representation in American cinema. Her career has proven she has an exceptional level of tenacity as an actor, from stunt work to understanding how to deliver a performance audiences crave. From her awkward, wacky portrait of an immigrant mother turned fiery superhero Everything Everywhere All at once to her portrayal of a wise and tender mystical warrior in Marvel’s shang-chi, Michelle Yeoh has warmed the hearts of the public with many iconic roles.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts making the decision to cast Michelle Yeoh as Airazor says they can deliver the depth the character has and not be overshadowed by misconceived storylines. Airazor is fast and efficient as an aviator and fighter with an unwavering love for the Earth. She is also characterized as fearless through and through with a distinctive dry humor and Michelle’s impressionable portrayal of Philippa Georgiou from Star Trek Discovery immediately comes to mind. Airazor is positioned as a strong leader in the Transformers franchise, and it’s been a long time.
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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts