Why Rise of the Beasts’ Wheeljack Is Different To Michael Bay’s Transformers Movies


  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts introduces a new and radically different version of Wheeljack, with a fresh design and optimistic personality.
  • The voice cast for Rise of the Beasts includes both returning actors and A-list newcomers, adding star power to the film.
  • Unlike Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, the post-Bay films like Bumblebee and Rise of the Beasts give more depth and personality to even minor characters like Wheeljack, highlighting their uniqueness and relatability.

The version of the Wheeljack character seen in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is very different from the one seen in Michael Bay’s earlier Transformers films, but the filmmakers had a good reason for shaking up his characterization. Set in 1994, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts sees an artifact researcher and an ex-military electronics expert being roped into helping the Autobots and the Maximals track down a precious MacGuffin to protect Earth from the arrival of Unicron. While it takes place in the same continuity as Bay’s Transformers movies, this one is very much its own (pardon the pun) beast.

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The voice cast of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts sees various returning actors, like Peter Cullen reprising his iconic role as Optimus Prime and John DiMaggio now playing Stratosphere, as well as some A-list newcomers, like Michelle Yeoh as Airazor and Pete Davidson as Mirage. Ron Perlman plays Optimus Primal, the leader of the Maximals, and Peter Dinklage plays Scourge, the leader of the villainous Terrorcons. The movie casts Ted Lasso’s Cristo Fernández as a radically recharacterized Wheeljack. This Wheeljack is practically an entirely different character than the one seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

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Why Dark of the Moon’s Que Is So Different From Transformers 7’s Wheeljack

Wheeljack smiling in Transformers Dark of the Moon

Wheeljack gets a fun role in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts that is virtually unrecognizable from the Wheeljack previously seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. That incarnation of the character didn’t even go by Wheeljack; he was better known by his nickname, Que. Both film versions of Wheeljack are Autobot mechanics, but the similarities end there. Rise of the Beasts’ Wheeljack transforms into a brown and white 1970s Volkswagen Type 2 panel bus, while Dark of the Moon’s Que transforms into a blue 2009 Mercedes-Benz E550.

Rise of the Beasts’ Wheeljack has a totally different design than Dark of the Moon’s Que. With his snappy suspenders, the new Wheeljack looks like Steve Urkel. Que was voiced by George Coe, best known for playing Woodhouse in Archer, who played him with a rich, deep, soulful voice, whereas Fernández’s performance in Rise of the Beasts is much more cheerful and upbeat. Fernández’s take on the character leans into the eternal optimism and infectious glee of his Ted Lasso character, Dani Rojas.

Rise Of The Beasts’ Wheeljack Is So Much Better Than Michael Bay’s

Wheeljack wearing glasses in Transformers Rise of the Beasts

The titular robots in disguise in Bay’s Transformers movies were let down by thin characterization. The characters were given one-note personalities and zero depth. In the post-Bay movies, Bumblebee and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, even a minor supporting character like Wheeljack is given a lot more personality. Dark of the Moon’s Que skewed too close to the tough characterization of the other ‘bots to stand out, but Rise of the Beasts focuses on what makes this character so unique and relatable: his nerdiness.

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