“You fighting this alone, or are we in it together?”
With those words, Noah Diaz encourages his little brother Kris, who has been struggling with chronic pain in his hand. Around their mom, Kris has kept a brave face, but Noah can see through the facade. He knows that Kris is having a hard time, and he wishes he could help.
Money is tight for the Diaz family, and Kris’s medical expenses have become too much. Despite this, Noah has hope that he will be able to support his brother. Noah has been told that he is the perfect candidate for a job; however, when he arrives for his interview, he abruptly discovers that he has been rejected.
To wreck Noah’s hope further, not only does the potential job let Noah down, but so does Kris’s doctor’s office. One of the nurses informs Noah that Kris can no longer be cared for until overdue bills are paid.
On the way home, afraid to break the news to their mother, Noah despairs. Kris attempts to cheer him up, but Noah is too burdened to accept such kindness.
“We’re alone in this,” he mutters. “No one’s coming to save us.”
As I watched this movie in the theater, this line struck me. As someone in the audience, on the other side of the screen, I knew that Noah’s bitter declaration wasn’t true. I knew that, one way or another, he would run into the Autobots (namely, the lively Mirage), and find support from them. Of course, I did not know how the Autobots would go about helping Noah and Kris; but there was no doubt in my mind that, in spite of Noah’s disbelief, there was indeed someone coming to save him—and they were coming soon.
It’s always easier to notice hope on the outside of a situation than it is to see the crisscrossing threads from the inside of the plot.
But plot threads do crisscross; and hope does exist, whether you can see it or not—much like a glorious beacon tearing through the night sky, visible only to alien eyes.
After such an alien beacon is unwittingly activated—alerting Autobots, Maximals and Terrorcons alike to its existence—Noah is thrown headlong into the Autobots’ conflict. Henceforth, Noah is never alone. Though his focus shifts gears from unemployment and debt to “way-bigger-than-a-planet” problems, Noah’s goal is still the same: He wants to help his family. If that means protecting Earth from alien threats, so be it.
Noah’s new mission not only connects him with the Autobots and his fellow human ally, Elena; it also introduces him to threats he has never dreamed of facing. An ancient being known as Unicron, who consumes planets in famished greed, has sent his right hand, Scourge, to Earth. When the Autobots first run into Scourge, they behold the harsh reality—Scourge is too powerful for any one of them to face alone.
Yet, in this dark moment, when the Autobots’ hope is snuffed out before their eyes, the Maximals finally arrive and offer aid. This newly forged alliance between humans, Maximals, and Autobots carries the three groups to the final battle, where the connections they have made are truly tested. As Scourge’s Terrorcons descend, Scourge opens a portal for Unicron, and the team makes its final stand.
The team’s unity jumpstarts one chain reaction after another—and Noah gets a front-seat view.
When Mirage cannot hold back Scourge on his own, Noah “takes the wheel” to relieve him, stepping into Mirage’s robotic armor as though wearing a powered battle suit. The humans are already tiny compared to most of the robots; however, the massive Scourge dwarfs them all. When he sees Noah coming for him, Scourge laughs and mocks the audacity of this tiny human. “Are you going to fight me all alone?”
Before Noah can respond, a great, regal form appears directly behind him. Optimus Prime thunders onto the scene.
“He is not alone!”
The dauntless shout of the Prime blasts across the battlefield, pierces through the movie screen, and shoots its way right into your very core.
None of them fight alone; they are all in it together.
With Mirage’s strength, Kris’s encouragement, and Optimus’ support, Noah fights Scourge, buying precious time for Elena to shut down Unicron’s portal. In the end, Scourge’s defeat and Unicron’s banishment are a group effort.
Ultimately, because of Noah’s service to save Earth alongside the Autobots, the military commends him—even going so far as to grant medical support for Kris.
The hope that Noah could not see at the beginning comes to meet him in the end. Relief floods his face as he hears the words, “Your brother is going to be just fine.”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I have moments in my life where I desperately wish that an Autobot army would roll out side by side with me, confronting all my struggles head on. Sometimes, I wish a mighty Prime would rise up behind me, transforming with a flash of metal and a whirr of gears, standing tall at my back to help me face my trials. While this particular scenario has not happened to me (yet), I need to remind myself what Optimus Prime declared so boldly for Noah.
I am not alone.
The more years that roll by, the more I can see: I have countless brothers and sisters in arms who kindly take my hand like Noah takes Kris’s; who joyfully give me fist bumps like Mirage gives Noah; who protectively pull me away from danger like Noah does for Optimus Prime. Because of my faith, I can even say that I do have a leader standing behind me, faithful and gentle and mighty and fierce, truly “Prime” in His own right.
And from the bottom of my spark, I say this: the same is true for you.
You are not alone.
I know that it might not feel like that sometimes. However, even if you have not met them yet, I promise you that they are out there—friends whose paths will crisscross with yours, like Mirage’s and Elena’s lives intersected with Noah’s and transformed it for the better. Siblings who will radio you exactly what you need to hear, when you need to hear it. Supporters who will gladly skydive into your life to aid you at a moment’s notice. Their real names might not be “broadcast over the airwaves yet,” leaving their identities a mystery for now, but you will learn who they are soon. They could be hiding in plain sight, so keep your eyes open.
You are not fighting this alone.
Stay safe, soldier. Hope is coming.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (1984 NIV)
“The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”