Rafael Jorge Gonzales Esquivel, or "Raf", is a very intelligent 12-year-old boy that knows how to hack into any technology, which usually comes in handy.
Bumblebee is Raf's guardian and best friend. Raf is very smart, and he is the youngest of the 3 kids who are official members of Team Prime. Raf enjoys playing video games and hanging out with his friends. When the team needs help, Raf tries to be there to help them out.
Raf is the least shown and concentrated on of the 3 human allies of the Autobots as well as the most emotionally gentle and least associated in physical or direct contact with Decepticons.
Rafael has a big family, who are mentioned and made a cameo on a picture in Raf's phone in Out of his head. Rafael was born along with his siblings, which he often feels like the smallest member in his family. Raf is very intelligent when it comes to computer skills, since he had revealed he understood digital code when he was three.
Raf's origin is Hispanic, as it was revealed in The Human Factor since his full name was given out as well as his mother's accent.
In Darkness Rising, Part 1, Raf was seen driving his little toy car near an unfinished highway. Raf's mom called him and asked where he was. Raf told her that he was going home in a few minutes. Suddenly a kid named Jack was riding a motorcycle and landed near Raf. Raf was surprised and Jack told him that he had no idea. Two vehicles appeared and transformed into robot soldiers near them. Jacky's motorcycle transformed into a girl robot, named Arcee. Arcee fought the two robots, known as Decepticons. Another car appeared and transformed into a yellow robot named Bumblebee. Bumblebee helped Arcee fight the two soldiers and helped Jack and Raf escape unharmed. Later, Raf was brought to the Autobot base with Jack and a girl named Miko. They met Optimus Prime, who explained to them who they were. Optimus told them that they are called Autobots and they were fighting a war on their home world called Cybertron.
In Darkness Rising, Part 2 Optimus was still talking to the humans about them knowing the Autobots and that they must stay away from the Decepticons whenever they see them. Raf was there when Agent Fowler came into the base. The kids hide from sight while Fowler talks with the team.
Raf was accepted in the team and works with them after the events in Darkness Rising, Part 5.
In Masters and Students, Jack, Miko and Raf was working on his project for school with Bumblebee. Ratchet offered to help out and ended up doing the children's projects for them despite the kids trying to help.
In Scrapheap, Rafael was the first to see a Scraplet. The Scraplet acted like a pet puppy who became affectionate towards Raf. However, he was forced to kill it when it tried to eat Bumblebee. His role in the episode later became helpful.
In Deus Ex Machina, Raf helped out the other humans and the Autobots in getting the artifact in the museum.
In Sick Mind, Rafael was able to tell that Bumblebee entered what appears to be a replica of the Decepticon capital Kaon back on Cybertron
In Out of His Head, Raf later pursued Bumblebee when his mind got taken over by Megatron.
Raf made a cameo in the ending of Crisscross.
In Metal Attraction, Raf rode in Bulkhead with Miko to the base and stayed with Ratchet, Jack, and June.
In Stronger, Faster, Raf was surprised that Ratchet was working on the Synthetic Energon formula and when Ratchet went to back up Arcee. He was also surprised when Ratchet came back to pick him up and gently put him back.
In One Shall Fall, Raf replaced a photo of Bumblebee on the internet with a funny cat image, which made Ratchet laugh. Later while riding in Bumblebee, Raf was injured by Megatron when the latter shot at Bumblebee's systems, knocking Rafael out cold. Rafael was brought back to the base by Arcee and Bumblebee where he was quickly operated on by Ratchet and June when she had arrived to help out. Rafael was in critical condition, but he was soon healed by Ratchet. As his pulse stabilized, Raf saw Bee and Miko hugged Raf in their success.
In One Shall Rise, Part 1, Raf was recovering from his injuries and said hey to Optimus when he came in. Raf was shocked when he discovered that Unicron is inside Earth.
In One Shall Rise, Part 2, Raf showed his rage on Megatron when he came in the base and was held back by Jack.
In One Shall Rise, Part 3, Raf was there to listen to Ratchet's story and when Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Arcee came back without Optimus.
In Orion Pax, Part 1, Raf saw Ratchet working on the Ground bridge and he was there when Jack told the others about his plan for getting Optimus back.
In Orion Pax, Part 2, Raf used one of his toy cars to help Ratchet with the Ground bridge and later he was there to see Jack take off for Cybertron, which he asked Jack to bring him back a souvenir. Raf and Miko gave each other a high five when Jack reported to the others that he and Arcee made it to Cybertron.
In Orion Pax, Part 3, when Optimus entered the base with the other Autobots and Jack, Rafael questioned Optimus and Optimus kindly said "Hello Rafael" to Raf, which made Raf happy that Optimus remembered him and the others.
In Operation: Bumblebee, Part 1, Raf was thrilled when Bumblebee brought back a relic but he was sad that Bumblebee lost his T-Cog to MECH. Ratchet had picked up Rafael from school and Raf listened to Ratchet's story about how Bumblebee lost his voice.
In Operation: Bumblebee, Part 2, Raf tried to cheer Bumblebee up and he was thrilled when Bee got his T-cog back, thanks to Ratchet who fixed it.
In Nemesis Prime, Raf was there when Optimus was framed.
In Flying Mind, Raf helped out with Jack and Miko to stop the Nemesis.
In Triage, Raf helped Ratchet with downloading the Iacon database from Laserbeak. Raf was there when Bulkhead came flying in with a severe injury.
In Toxicity, Raf and Bulkhead told Miko and Bumblebee to look after their opposite partners before Raf stayed at the base and when Bulkhead flew in the base injured.
In Hurt, Raf made another cameo to see Ratchet working on Bulkhead.
In New Recruit, Raf deleted a photo of Bumblebee from the Internet and met Smokescreen.
In The Human Factor, Raf was grounded by his mom for flunking a couple of tests which prevented him from going to the base. Agent Fowler, Miko, and Jack groundbridge themselves to Raf's room where Fowler convinced Raf to help them. When Fowler had to use the bathroom, Raf complains to Agent Fowler that he is so frightened by his mother's stern eye on him that he doesn't even trust Fowler's agent tactic skills in sneaking through the house without Raf's mom noticing. Raf hacked into and re-routed CYLAS's Project Damocles from causing destruction towards both Autobots and Fowler, Jack, Miko and himself. His mom heard his friends talking and they quickly positioned into a "study group" all holding the same type of book sitting on the floor as Raf's mom comes into his room.
In Legacy, Arcee revealed that Agent Fowler helped Rafael and his parents relocate to another home.
In Regeneration, Raf was there when the Autobots were thinking about going back to Cybertron. Raf, Miko and Jack were captured by Decepticons as bait to exchange the Omega Keys from the Autobots.
In Darkest Hour, Raf was safely exchange by Bumblebee from Soundwave. Raf left with Bee when the team splits up to leave the base.
In Darkmount, NV, Bee was given a new paint job by Raf.
In Scattered, Raf and Bumblebee found Ratchet in a junkyard but Raf was unable to convince Ratchet to come along. However, Ratchet worked with Bee in the Harbinger with Raf and gave a smile at Raf.
In Prey, Jack and Miko hugged Raf when they reunited with him and the other Autobots, along with Ultra Magnus.
In Rebellion, Raf helped Team Prime infiltrate Darkmount and they reunited with Optimus and Smokescreen in a new base.
In Project Predacon, Raf ground bridged Ultra Magnus and Wheeljack back to the new base. Raf fell asleep with Jack and Miko while the others worked.
In Plus One, Raf ground bridged Wheeljack back to the base and hanged out with Jack in some parts of the episode.
In Minus One, Raf, Miko and Jack saw as Ratchet was repairing Ultra Magnus' right damaged hand. When Soundwave was captured, Miko, Jack, Agent Fowler and Raf speculate on Soundwave being in the base.
In Persuasion, Rafael noted that he has learned a lot about decoding and mechanics from Ratchet. He quoted, "Miko, I need that!" when Miko apparently broke a wire connected to their mission. Raf worked with Wheeljack in making Chip.
In Synthesis, Raf and Wheeljack launched Chip with Optimus following it to the Decepticon warship. Raf cheered when Ratchet contacted the base.
In Deadlock, Raf was surprised when Bumblebee got his voice back and he was sad when Bumblebee and the other Autobots left for Cybertron. Raf was there to see Optimus give a last glance at the humans.
Being a pre-teen and the youngest of the group, Raf is understandably timid but he is loyal and dedicated to the Autobots, especially his friend and protector, Bumblebee. When the situation calls for it, he can muster the courage he needs to complete the task at hand. His kind and pure demeanor has an effect on those around him, particularly the strict Ratchet, who states, when Raf is almost killed by Megatron, "[He has] grown to need him."
Despite his young age, Raf is a skilled computer expert, hacker, and well-informed of various subjects, which comes in handy from time to time for his friends and the Autobots, and he has sometimes assisted Ratchet in mechanical engineering while also using his hacking skills to delete pics or articles on conspiracy sites regarding the bots or cons. One of his crowning achievements was designing a source-code and virus for Ratchet to download into Laserbeak that copied the entire Iacon Database into the Autbots' computer mainframe, right under Soundwave's metaphorical nose, a feat of hacking for which Ratchet praised Raf as a genius.
On a side-note, he is the only human shown thus far capable of understanding Bumblebee.
Main: Raf Relationships
- "Leave him alone!" (Darkness Rising, Part 1)
- "Thank you."
- "Proximity sensors." (Darkness Rising, Part 2)
- "Uh keyboard." (Darkness Rising Part 3)
- "Shouldn't I be doing the work?" (Masters and Students)
- "The Autobots never said anything about pets." (Scrapheap)
- "Which one is the real Wheeljack?" (Con Job)
- "It's Soundwave." (Deus Ex Machina)
- "Miko is correct. We do not know." (Speed Metal)
- "He said thanks." (Out of His Head)
- "Jack my glasses!" (Shadowzone)
- "Hey Ratchet. Is that Synthetic Energon?" (Stronger, Faster)
- "Bee.." (One Shall Fall)
- "The blood of Unicron!" (One Shall Rise, Part 1)
- "You!!!" (One Shall Rise, Part 2)
- "Megatron was an Autobot?" (One Shall Rise, Part 3)
- "You know there's this thing in gym class where you have to climb a rope. All the way to the ceiling. It's really hard and I've never been able to do it. But when I told Bee about it, he believed in me, which made me practice a ton. Finally just a couple of weeks ago, I made it to the top." (Orion Pax, Part 2)
- "Optimus?" (Orion Pax, Part 3)
- "Hey Bee wanna play a video game?" (Operation: Bumblebee, Part 1)
- "Just drive." (Operation: Bumblebee, Part 2)
- "But they're innocent!" (Nemesis Prime)
- "It's a turkey stuffed in a duck stuffed in a - never mind." (Triage)
- "Removing Bumblebee and replacing him with *tap dancing monkey*" (New Recruit)
- "Study group." (The Human Factor)
- "Too close. But your paint job did the trick." (Darkmount, NV)
- "There is no one else Ratchet. Just us, just the team." (Scattered)
- "Miko! I needed that!!!" (Persuasion)
- "Bee!?" (Deadlock)
- "I know Bee. You don't have to say anything."
- The TV series never explained on how Raf was able to understand Bumblebee when he was only able to communicate through sounds, but regained his voice in the series finale.
- Raf told his mother that he joined the Computer Club to explain where he goes after school all the time.
- Although Bumblebee would later return to Earth and spend several months there, hunting escaped Decepticon prisoners before being appointed as an ambassador to the planet, he appears to have made no effort to contact Raf in any way, despite the bond they once shared.
- It is unknown why Raf didn't change height despite sounding like a teen in the latter-half of the show.
- Optimus still owes him the snowball he promised to get him.
- Jack also owes him a souvenir from Cybertron.
- Raf is the only human child who hasn't offlined an Insecticon.