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In Michael Bay's BOOM BOOM POW WHOOSH Tranformers 4, I'm confused about what happens near the end. The bounty hunter Lockdown wants to lure Optimus Prime to him, so he opens a large orifice on the bottom of his ship that starts sucking Hong Kong into it.

What IS this thing? I'm guessing it's some sort of black hole or gravity drive, but it just shows up out of the blue with no explanation, and we haven't seen any similar technology in the franchise so far. Has any commentary or related material explained what is going on here?

All that stuff has to be going somewhere... unless it's a singularity and stuff is passing through it.

Lockdown’s ship sucking up bits of Hong Kong

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    What if the ship is really Unicron, and it's just devouring planets very-little by very-little? – phantom42 Jun 17 '15 at 2:43
  • I think this question could apply to any part of any of the four movies. I mean, really, WTF is Bay doing? – BBlake Jun 17 '15 at 11:49
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It’s just a big magnet.

The most explicit confirmation of this is a behind-the-scenes video, Big Giant Magnet Attack, which shows a little of how the stunts were performed. Quoting one of the people in the video:

The spaceship is a big giant magnet, and it’s lifting all these metal things.

It doesn’t suck up anything – just objects with lots of metal. Lockdown is picking up anything that looks plausible, giving it a quick scan, and dropping anything that isn’t Optimus Prime. In this clip, we see several large objects, including a ship, get dropped back on the city.

At one point, Cabe actually mentions a magnet, but it’s so quick that it would be easy to miss.

This is an order-of-magnitude more powerful than most terrestrial magnets, but constructing a magnet this powerful probably isn’t beyond the bounds of plausibility.

The film’s soundtrack also has a track called That’s a Big Magnet.

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