Is 'GI Joe' Connected to 'Transformers'? 'Rise of the Beasts' Seems to Think So (SPOILERS)

Is 'GI Joe' connected to 'Transformers at all? The two popular toy-based media franchises are being drawn together following 'Rise of the Beasts'.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jun. 9 2023, Published 1:14 p.m. ET

(l-r) Optimus Prime and Snake Eyes
Source: Paramount Pictures

Live-action versions of popular Hasbro characters from 'Transformers' and 'GI Joe'

Spoiler alert! This article contains plot details for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

On June 9, 2023, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was released in theaters. It takes place in 1994 and follows electronics expert Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) as he becomes caught up in a battle between Autobots, Maximals, and the evil Terrorcons and Predacons for the fate of the world.

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Though the film is ostensibly the seventh film in the franchise, it's also a soft reboot that tries to distance itself from the oft-maligned Michael Bay-directed installments. As such, it takes several steps to carve out its own identity, similar to how the 2018 Bumblebee movie managed to tell an original standalone story to critical and commercial success.

Interestingly enough, finding its own niche also includes drawing a surprising connection to another toy-based film franchise, GI Joe. Are the two actually connected?

'GI Joe' logo
Source: Hasbro

The 'GI Joe' Logo

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Is 'GI Joe' connected to 'Transformers'?

Most will recognize both GI Joe and Transformers as their own separate entities. GI Joe is a toy-based media franchise in which the eponymous elite special ops military force combats the evil COBRA terrorist organization. Since the early 1980s, the original toy line has been adapted into several shows and movies, including a live-action film series that kicked off in 2009 and was later rebooted in 2021.

Similarly, Transformers was conceived with similar intentions. Based on the line of toys in which robots can change their physical forms into vehicles and other pieces of technology, Transformers tells the story of an intergalactic war between the just Autobots and the nefarious Decepticons, with factions of other Transformers and humans joining the fray.

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The two franchises are technically connected, though not through their innate lore. Both of them are properties of the toy company Hasbro, which continues to support both franchises in toy sales to this day. The Joes and the Autobots have met before in a number of comic book mini-series over the years, but they aren't typically paired together in a substantial format.

At least, not until Rise of the Beasts came out in theaters.

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The 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' ending, explained. Is the film also streaming?

The ending to Rise of the Beasts teases a very interesting prospect for the future. After the Autobots and Maximals prove victorious against the Terrorcons and Predacons, Noah attempts to return to a normal life, albeit while trying to repair his Autobot companion Mirage (Pete Davidson). He goes to appear at a job interview, but is actually approached by a representative of a secret organization that wishes to recruit him in the midst of a new conflict. The organization is soon revealed to be GI Joe.

Because no movie studio is immune to the cinematic universe craze, Rise of the Beasts sets itself up for a theatrical crossover with the Joes in a bid for a Hasbro Cinematic Universe. As of this writing, details for the event are currently scarce, especially given that the last GI Joe-based live-action film reboot from 2021 was considered a box office bomb on release. It's possible that we could be looking at yet another reboot for the Joes while tying it into Transformers.

If you want to judge the ending for yourself, the film is only available in theaters. It is currently not streaming anywhere, but IGN theorizes that the film could be available on Paramount Plus as early as July 24.

In any case, a crossover between Transformers and GI Joe may bring the two franchises closer than ever before.

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