'Transformers: Armada (Revisited)' is a fanfiction series, strongly based upon the Unicron Trilogy and related aspects of the Transformers storyline, mostly written by William Rendfeld. Work began on it in July of 2003 and is currently ongoing.
The storyline is divided into four thirteen-part arcs, for a total of fifty-two planned installments. As of August 2010, the first three arcs are complete, and work is underway on the fourth arc.
In late 2008, Rendfeld announced his intention to take a temporary hiatus from the series in order to focus on other projects. The hiatus will start with the conclusion of Arc Three and will last for an indefinite period. In June of 2009, Rendfeld announced his intention to re-edit some of the earlier installments, and will be occupying his time with this project as well as overall planning for the fourth and final arc. The first re-edit was posted in late July 2009, the second following in February 2010 and the third and fourth in May and June of that year.
Inspiration and Development
The major inspiration for this series was the original "Armada" series itself, which Rendfeld, among other members of the fandom, found fault with due to its numerous dubbing and animation errors. Finding other writers online had made similar efforts towards doing a different version of the series in fanfiction form (and had since abandoned their efforts for assorted reasons), he opted to begin work on his own version of the storyline, primarily drawing from both the "Armada" television program airing on Cartoon Network and the comic book published by Dreamwave.
As time progressed and further Unicron Trilogy storylines were presented, Rendfeld opted to incorporate elements of these series into the fanfiction. By the time he was able to devote significant time and effort towards the project, the entirety of "Energon" and a fair amount of "Cybertron" had been released. He's also incorporated characters and concepts from other storylines, from Generation One to the 2007 motion picture.
Since early 2007, Rendfeld has been working with the assistance of an editing partner, lonegamer7, who has written two small stories taking place within this storyline centering on original character Wirejack. Both are considered canon.
While maintaining many elements from the original source material, this fanfiction series has many divergent elements, giving reference to the original material but not remaining fully accurate.
Among the more prominent differences...
-In addition to characters from the Unicron Trilogy proper, characters are included from "Generation One", both iterations of "Universe", "Classics" and the 2007 live action film.
-While only mildly referenced in "Energon", Quintessons are included as part of the origin story of the Cybertronians. Alpha-Quintesson eventually appears as the last of his race, and is seemingly slain.
-The Mini-Cons, presented in the "Armada" television series as creations of Unicron, are full-fledged Cybertronians just as the Autobots and Decepticons are, differentiated by them only by size. This interpretation is in keeping with the comic book and the presentation of the Mini-Cons seen in the "Cybertron" television series.
-The Cybertronian Civil War is presented as a conflict between two factions of Decepticons rather than between the Autobots and Decepticons. The legitimate faction of Decepticons, initially led by non-canon character Straxus and eventually led by Starscream, is supported by the Autobots, while its opposition is led by Megatron. Mini-Cons end up supporting all three factions, however.
-In the animated programs, the Transformer presence on Earth varies from total unawareness on the part of humanity to acknowledgement and alliances. Here, the Autobots and their allied Mini-Cons form secretive alliances with Earth governments, eventually revealing themselves to the world.
-Unlike the animated programs, where their presence isn't even hinted at for some time, Unicron and Primus are mentioned and spoken of in the early part of the series. Consequently, the quests for the Mini-Cons and the Cyber Planet Keys take place concurrently.
-Where the original programs made reference to Transformer influence on early human civilizations, this series expands on those concepts, going so far as to suggest that figures from ancient Greek and Roman myths were inspired by Transformers.
-In addition to Transformers-related products, the series also includes nods to outside influences, predominantly the "Stargate" and "Doctor Who" franchises.
Also, non-canon characters are included in the storyline. Among them are...
-Diana Masters, a human character. Diana was intially presented as a teacher to the familiar kids from "Armada", and became the first adult human to encounter the Transformers. It was eventually revealed that she was also the maternal aunt of Chad 'Kicker' Jones, and attended college with Lucy Suzuki (a minor character from "Cybertron"). She was created by the author.
-Talon, a female Autobot tutored by Scavenger. Talon possesses a fragmented spark, consequently giving her a split personality. While normally cheerful and creative, she becomes a dark and malicious warrior called 'Darkwing' when placed in high-stress combat situations. Her alternate mode is a Harrier jet. Talon was created by an artist on DeviantArt, Storm Blue, and included by request.
-Terrablast, a female Decepticon serving and obsessed with Megatron. She led a small number of his forces, maintaining order with the threat of violence. Terrablast was known for being mentally unstable, both fearsome and frightening but prone towards panic. Her alternate mode is a Cybertronian tank. Terrablast was created by an artist on DeviantArt, MegsnTerra, and included by request.
-Headline, a female Autobot journalist. She is driven by two things - a dedication towards the pursuit of the facts, and guilt over the loss of her partner in newsgathering during the War. Her alternate mode is a futuristic news van of similar design to Energon Tow-Line's vehicle mode. Headline was created by Newsy, an established fanfiction writer and former moderator at the Allspark, and included with permission.
-Wirejack, an Autobot computer programmer and hacker. Something of a social outcast, Wirejack is nervous around other Transformers but comfortable with computers. Jetfire has taken him under his proverbial wing, however. He resents being referred to as an 'Autobot Seeker'. His alternate mode is an F-14 Tomcat. Wirejack was created by lonegamer7, a fanfiction writer and editor for the storyline, and included by request.
Other characters have been included, borrowed from other Transformers storylines but subtly altered. Among them...
-Straxus, a Decepticon dictator working under Megatron from the original Marvel comics, appears here as a weak-minded Decepticon politician in opposition to Megatron. He was ultimately killed by his advisors Tankor and Obsidian under Megatron's orders.
-Minerva, a female Autobot-aligned character from the Japanese series "Masterforce", appears in the storyline as an ancient Autobot created on Earth. Unlike other characters mentioned in this section, her character has a toy counterpart in the form of a Japanese exclusive recolor of the Chromia/Thunderblast toy from "Cybertron".
-Josie Beller, known as Circuit Breaker in the Marvel comics, appears in the storyline. While lacking the superpowers of her counterpart, she still serves as an antagonist in the role of a United States Senator, even referring to herself by the pseudonym while campaigning.
-Jhiaxus, the leader of the second-generation Decepticons from the Marvel comics for "Generation 2", appears here as the original leader of the Decepticon faction. Unlike his counterpart, this Jhiaxus is a peaceful ruler, more inclined towards pacifism than the vicious and seemingly cold character from the comics. He was slain at the start of Megatron's rebellion by Megatron himself. Rendfeld imagined his design as one based on the "Universe" version of the character.