The Beast Wars (also called the Beast Wars of Onderon) was a smaller conflict lasting 350 years that ultimately helped to touch off the Great Sith War.
It began when the atmospheres of Onderon and its moon Dxun touched, resulting in the beasts of Dxun flying to Onderon and settling there. Soon, the Humans of Onderon built a large, walled city that would come to be known as Iziz. All criminals in Iziz were sent out into the wildlands of Onderon, to be killed by the Dxun beasts—though, due to the strong dark-side nature of the royal house at the time, half of these "criminals" were simply those who disagreed with the monarchy. However, many of these learned to tame the beasts, and used them to attack Iziz, thus beginning the Beast Wars of Onderon.
In 4,000 BBY, Jedi Master Arca Jeth had been assigned to the Onderon system. He sent his Padawans, Tott Doneeta and Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, to settle the problem on Onderon. As they arrived in Queen Amanoa's throne room, a group of Beast Riders flew in through the window, and kidnapped Amanoa's daughter, Princess Galia. The Jedi headed for the wildlands to save the Princess, and Tott was able to tame a boma, which led them to the fortress of Beast Lord Modon Kira. The Jedi entered the building, only to discover an ongoing wedding-feast between Galia and Modon's son, Oron Kira.
Ulic attempted to rescue her, but she claimed that she, in fact, wanted to be married. Modon set up a peaceful banquet to discuss things, where the Kiras explained that Onderon was influenced by the dark side of the Force—that Freedon Nadd, a Dark Jedi, came to Onderon 400 years ago, and became king, creating a long line of darkness within the Onderonian royalty. Galia, Oron, and the Jedi headed back to Iziz to speak with Queen Amanoa, having agreeed with Modon that he would launch an attack should they fail.
When they arrived, Amanoa unleashed her dark side powers upon them, forcing them to retreat into a secret passageway. Oron informed his father on the comm that they had failed. And so, Modon's massive gathering of Beast Lords from all over Onderon marched towards Iziz, with the Jedi battling Amanoa's royal guard in the throne room—one of whom used a halberd to cut off Cay's arm, which is later replaced by an arm from an XT-6 droid.
Amanoa attempted to turn the tide of the battle using the dark side, but was thwarted by the newly-arriving Arca Jeth's Jedi battle meditation, allowing the beast-riders to take advantage, and soon Iziz had fallen. The Jedi, Oron, and Galia descended into the deepest levels of Amanoa's palace, to the tomb of Freedon Nadd. Amanoa was killed instantly by the sheer light side of the Force emanating from Jeth's body, ending the dark side's half-millennium hold of Iziz. Galia and Oron Kira were married, uniting the beast riders and Iziz.
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Beast Wars is a Transformers franchise that began in 1996, following the end of the Generation 2 toyline. It was a massive reinvention of the Transformers brand, featuring robots that changed into realistic, organically-styled animals instead of the traditional vehicles or mechanical beasts. It also did the seemingly unthinkable and replaced the original two factions, the Autobots and Decepticons, with the Maximals and the Predacons. Though originally decried by fans, the Beast Wars dramatically reinvigorated the brand, whose sales had been flagging under the Generation 2 franchise.
"Beast Wars" is also frequently used as a catchall term for the Beast Era in which Beast Wars and other series occur.
|“||In the beginning came the beasts, and all that creeps, crawls and flies - but nature lies, they're robots in disguise!||”|
The Beast Wars franchise features the following primary components:
There are several 'expanded' Beast Wars storylines featuring events taking place 'just offscreen' of the cartoon series. Though the events of cartoon series are understood to occur just as had been portrayed, the context may be different, taking place in different time periods, etc. These contradictory stories all co-exist within the vast Transformers Multiverse.
Most of these exist mainly through Beast Wars comics.
The Beast Wars' time period (like its exact location,) was never established during the cartoon's original run. In the years after the cartoon ended several official dates have been given:
Each of these dates applies to a different continuity or "alternate dimension" within the Transformers Multiverse, so they do not conflict with one another. The Maximals and Predacons in those dimensions simply crashed at different times, but had otherwise identical adventures. (Generally with different events taking place 'offscreen' unique ot each each expanded continuity.)
Though Earth's geology and biology seen in the cartoon does not fit any single era, the loose "window" of 70,000-180,000 B.C. seems to represent two extremes that are "about right."
The major change in direction for Transformers followed organizational changes within Hasbro. Hasbro had acquired rival toy manufacturer Kenner as part of their 1991 Tonka acquisition, and in 1995 they transferred their boys' toy lines from the Hasbro headquarters in Rhode Island to Kenner's Cincinnati, Ohio offices. Kenner was asked to revitalize the brand with new ideas, and that is exactly what they did.
Beast Wars was the first complete reinvention of the Transformers brand, discarding the previous setting/characters/factions to create a new story, set several hundred years in the future. Transformers in the Beast Era are much smaller (often human-sized) and transform into 'fleshy' non-robotic animals. Initially met with outrage by many fans (for a variety of reasons) Beast Wars would eventually become highly regarded, largely due to the exceptional quality of the cartoon series. It is now not unusual for even longtime Generation One fans to consider Beast Wars to be their favorite Transformers franchise.