|“||Optimus Prime, you destroyed your home. Do you seek redemption?||„|
|~ Quintessa to Optimus Prime.|
Quintessa, also known as The Great Deceiver and The Prime of Life, is a major antagonist in the Transformers Cinematic Universe, first appearing as one of the two main antagonists of the 2017 film Transformers: The Last Knight (alongside Megatron). She is a Cybertronian sorceress, and one of the Creators of the Cybertronian race, revealing to be the creator of Optimus Prime as she planned to use him to restore Cybertron by destroying Earth.
She was voiced by Gemma Chan, who also portrayed her human form, Ya Zhou in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and will soon portray Minn-Erva in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel.
Quintessa started off as cool, collected, imperturbable, and benevolent, as she considers Optimus Prime to be one of her finest creations and revered by much of the Cybertronians. However, she turns out to be extremely cold-hearted, uncompromising, opprobrious, wrathful, diabolical and manipulative, as she has no qualms in draining Earth's energies to restore Cybertron, even at the cost of killing life on Earth.
Being a powerful sorceress in general, Quintessa is shown to be deluded, sarcastic, and treacherous, as she believes that her actions are at best for the survival of Cybertron. She also blames Optimus for the war between the Autobots formally led by Sentinel Prime and Decepticons that ravaged much of Cybertron; even when a furious Optimus pointed out that Megatron (the former apprentice of The Fallen and current leader of the Decepticons) is the one responsible for causing the war in the first place, Quintessa angrily disagrees and proceeds to pin the blame for Cybertron's destruction on Optimus before brainwashing the latter into doing her bidding.
Her true goal is to destroy Cybertron's ancient enemy, Unicron, which she believes to be Earth's true form. She will do anything to kill him.
Being a ruler of Cybertron alongside the other Creators, Quintessa builds herself up to become a seemingly benevolent figure for the Cybetronians and that she plans to destroy their ancient enemy, the notorious giant planet eater Unicron. However, twelve Cybertronian Knights learn that she is not what they seemed to be and that she plans to drain energy from Earth to restore Cybertron with a machine utilized by a powerful staff, as Quintessa believes that the Earth is nothing more than the dormant body of Unicron. Unwilling to let the life on Earth suffer from the Creators' wrath, the Cybertronian Knights rebelled against Quintessa. They stole the technology before hiding it away on Earth and branded her as a deceiver, much to Quintessa's fury.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Qunitessa doesn't appear in the film, but she and the other Creators are mentioned by Lockdown, who was sent by Quintessa to capture Optimus while all Transformers (both Autobots and Decepticons) are being hunted down by the world authorities due to the Chicago incident caused by Optimus' former mentor Sentinel Prime. However, Lockdown and his conspirator Harold Attinger end up being killed by Optimus, who decides to travel to outer space to confront the Creators in order to spare the Earth from the Creators' wrath.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Quintessa made her first appearance in the film after hearing of Lockdown's death. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Quintessa uses the space bridge technology to transport herself, her soldiers (known as the Infernocons), and the dead planet Cybertron to Earth. Upon Cybertron's arrival on Earth's orbit, a comatose Optimus Prime crash-lands into Cybertron, awakening from his stasis. Awaiting Optimus' arrival, Quintessa has Optimus chained and berates him for his war against the Decepticons before using her magic to brainwash Optimus into doing her bidding. With that in mind, Quintessa dubs Optimus as "Nemesis Prime" and orders him to destroy Earth, saying that it's the dormant body of Unicron.
As the plot goes, Cade Yeager and a young girl named Izabella (who was orphaned during Sentinel Prime's attack on Chicago) learned of the ancient Cybertronian technology that existed on Earth ever since medieval times, and that it was located in the bottom of the ocean. They also learned that the ancient staff (hidden by the Cybertronian Knights during King Arthur's reign) can be used to activate the technology, and that Quintessa plans to use it to revive Cybertron by colliding it into Earth. After the Autobots locate the staff before engaging into a fight with the Cybertronian Knights, Optimus (having followed them in secret) managed to steal the staff and fly off just as the machine arises from the ocean. During the battle on the machine, Optimus attempts to kill Bumblebee, who eventually managed to snap Optimus out of his trance. Unfortunately, Megatron managed to steal the staff from Optimus and formed a deal with Quintessa to revive Cybertron so that the Decepticons and Creators can rule it, as Quintessa anticipated that Optimus would break free from her control.
The Autobots then team up with the Cybertronian Knights to fight against the Decepticons and Infernocons, right before they used Lockdown's ship to stop the collision on Earth. Following the deaths of many Decepticons and Infernocons, Optimus was able to finish off Megatron by sending him off flying back to Earth, but Quintessa uses her magic to restrain Optimus, angrily swearing to kill him for ruining her plans. However, Quintessa is seemingly destroyed by Bumblebee while Viviane deactivates the machine by removing the staff from it, saving both Cybertron and Earth from colliding with each other.
In the end, the Autobots return to rebuild Cybertron as it is now in orbit with Earth, but they are unaware that Quintessa has survived her encounter with Bumblebee and has taken refuge in Earth. Disguised as a human, Quintessa meets with a group of scientists who have discovered a giant ancient spike (which happens to be a part of Unicron). She tells the scientists not to touch the spike, saying that he doesn't like it. Quintessa then says that she can tell them how to destroy the planet eater (Unicron). After that, she starts to show her true form. It is unknown what happened to her afterwards, though it's likely that she revealed who Unicron was, and possibly his past as well.
|“||I am Quintessa, the Prime of Life.||„|
|~ Quintessa introduces herself to Optimus Prime.|
|“||You destroyed your world, YOU FOOL!||„|
|~ Quintessa blames Cybertron's destruction upon Optimus|
|~ Quintessa before being defeated by Bumblebee.|
|“||(Scientist: Are you lost?) I wouldn't do that. Don't touch him. He doesn't like it. (Scientist: He doesn't like what?) Unicron? 'Cause I can show you how to kill him.||„|
|~ Quintessa (in her human disguise) talking to one of the scientists about Unicron.|
- She is known to be the first major villain in the Transformers film franchise to have female traits. The only female villains in the film series before Quintessa were Alice and the female human collaborators of Dylan Gould in Dark of the Moon.
- On another note, Quintessa is the second Transformers villain to disguise herself as a human (the first being Alice).
- She has a resemblance of Medusa in Greek Mythology.
- Given the fact that Quintessa is revealed to be the employer of Lockdown and the creator of Optimus Prime, it might be possible that she may also be the creator of Megatron since both Optimus and Megatron considered themselves to be brothers before their feud.
- Since Quintessa believes Earth to be Unicron, she could've attempted to evacuate the entire human race (and the plants and animals, if possible), and then test it to see if it is true. However, she took it way too far to the point of attempting to destroy Earth without even thinking about all of the people living on it; thus, she counts as a villain as well.