(Some spoilers ahead for “Bumblebee”)
The “Transformers” franchise appeared to be on a downturn after 2017’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” dramatically underperformed at the box office. Enter “Bumblebee,” which currently holds a 95 percent fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, easily the best mark of the series.
Travis Knight’s prequel, set in 1987, cost less than any of its predecessors and looks to revitalize the “Transformers” brand this holiday season. It also sort of resets the stage a little bit by doing away with the endless retcons of the Michael Bay sequels. This is not a franchise that has anything resembling airtight continuity, but “Bumblebee” nonetheless is still a part of that continuity, and is geared to get the franchise back on its feet.
Given that “Bumblebee” is the sixth movie in the series and Paramount surely would hope to keep this train rolling, you can’t help but wonder if the film sets up further movies in the series — either a direct sequel to this movie or by looking further down the line — with a post-credits scene. The trope is so prevalent that even “Transformers: The Last Knight” adopted the practice, really the first time a “Transformers” movie had openly considered what the next movie might hold.
So there’s precedent for a post-credits scene in a “Transformers” film, but does “Bumblebee” itself have one?
Sort of. “Bumblebee” features an epilogue scene that might set a record for how soon a movie has served a stinger after the credits begin — the movie only lists one credit (for director Travis Knight) before jumping into the bonus scene. This scene reveals that Optimus Prime has arrived on Earth and shows Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) saying goodbye to Bumblebee. In the sequence, the movie also sets up the original 2007 “Transformers” film a little bit, with Bee turning himself into the Camaro form that Shia LaBeouf’s character buys from Bernie Mac in that movie.
So nothing too earth-shattering here — this is pretty much just a normal epilogue rather than a tease for the future, though of course with more Autobots arriving on Earth there’s certainly potential for more “Transformers” adventures in the two decades between when “Bumblebee” and the original 2007 film are set. We’ll see!