Origin is the fifty-first episode of Armada. It first aired in the United States on October 02, 2003 on Cartoon Network.
After the kids discover that the Mini-Cons were cast in the name of Unicron, the Transformers learn the big origin of Unicron. Meanwhile, Sideways attempts to negotiate Unicron's absorption of Optimus, questioning if Optimus is not guilty of enjoying the millennia of conflict.
Red Alert survives the cave-in that trapped him while he was dropping off the kids at the underground portal to Unicron. Above the ruined landscape, he can see Unicron battle against the combined forces of Autobots, Decepticons, and the giant Mini-Con duplicate of Unicron. Inside of Unicron, the kids explore, searching for Optimus and Galvatron. The two leaders stand in the same chamber of Unicron's core, where the three Mini-Con weapons are plugged into the behemoth. From the core of the monstrosity, Sideways emerges to welcome the two. Through Sideways, Unicron explains how he increased his power by leeching energy from the war between the Autobots and Decepticons that had lasted for so long. When Galvatron complains that Unicron has become long-winded, Unicron suspends the two leaders in black tentacles, absorbing Galvatron's very essence. Unicron continues to question Optimus's own motives, suspecting that Optimus enjoys the thrill of the conflict. Outside, Side Swipe blasts open a hole in Unicron's throat, letting a team of fliers inside. The small group of jets fly through the tunnels of Unicron's interior, trying to avoid being destroyed by the shifting terrain, but their efforts to combat Unicron actually feed their enemy the kind of energy that powers him. As soon as his attackers escape out his mouth, he astonishes them by healing all the damage they have inflicted against him. In Unicron's core, High Wire objects to Unicron's deconstruction of Optimus. The Street Action Team approaches the Sideways figure, while outside, the glowing "Mini-Cron" leaks its component Mini-Cons into Unicron. Unicron laughs and reboots the personalities of the Mini-Cons, returning them to their loyal, drone-like state. With the Mini-Cons out of the way, Unicron captures the kids and continues trying to convince Optimus to merge his essence willingly into Unicron. Rad awakens in his bed, apparently on Earth. After a second, the location blurs into the desert where the Autobots and the Decepticons first battled, where he meets up with Alexis and the other kids. The background shifts again to the part of Unicron that is Galvatron's fantasy of dominance. Alexis uses her own mind to move the kids to a more pleasant delusion, but the kids are still aware of Unicron's devouring of Cybertron. Rad sets out to locate High Wire, but Unicron takes control of the mindscape. Rad's cries for help reawaken High Wire's true, friendly personality. All the Mini-Cons move against their evil creator, freeing the three Mini-Con weapons. With Unicron disabled, Sideways tries to lash out at High-Wire, but Optimus defeats the shell with the Requiem Blaster. With Unicron no longer a threat, Galvatron challenges Optimus.
In the episode
English dub changes
- Characters (in order of appearance): Red Alert, Unicron/Sideways, Hot Shot, Optimus Prime, Galvatron, Rad, Alexis,Carlos, Billy, Fred, Street Action Mini-Con Team, Hoist, Jetfire, Wheeljack, Side Swipe
"How foolish to battle in the name of peace...how absurd. You were programmed for war, Optimus. Without it, you would be just another Autobot. You are exactly the same as Galvatron, only you claim your objective is for peace. How does engaging in war translate into peace?"
"As long as hatred exists, I shall remain impervious to attack."
- —Unicron does his best Sith impression
Galvatron: "What happened?"
Optimus Prime: "The children awoke the Mini-Cons who were under Unicron's spell."
Alexis: "EXACTLY. Now don't you think a simple 'Thank you' would be kind of nice, huh, Galvatron?"
Galvatron: "...ah, thank you."
- —Galvatron learns a few manners.
"...I'll have my revenge."
- Sideways/Unicron's explanation that the two are actually different incarnations of the same evil entity doesn't perfectly line up with Chase, when Sideways expressed fear of Unicron. In fact within the episode, Sideways says to Optimus that if he had "just listened to Unicron, none of this would have happened" just after being shot.
- Although not explicitly stated, it can be assumed Unicron released the Mini-Cons for the purpose of exacerbating the Autobot/Decepticon conflict. Likewise, this means Sideways' activities on Earth were meant to heighten the conflict.
- Within Galvatron's fantasy, Starscream was present (despite being killed by Unicron in "Cramp"), but Thrust wasn't.
- Optimus finally receives his Powerlinx colors after being freed from Unicron's grip.