The Witwickys are your average family from Oregon. Patriarch (and widower) William "Sparkplug" Witwicky and son Spike Witwicky witnessed world history when their oil rig was attacked by the Decepticons. Sparkplug briefly thought about volunteering to help the Autobots, but the fear of losing another family member a mere three years after losing his wife led him to let someone else handle the new alien visitors.
The three Witwickys continued to live the life of upper-lower-middle class residents. The near-death experience of the oil rig attack helped Sparkplug forge a closer bond with his eccentric son, Buster. Spike, after briefly experiencing what life would be like helping an alien race, only to have those hopes quickly dashed away, retreated from his father and resented the new family dynamic. However, after years of standard teenage rebellion, Spike eventually took over operations at his father's mechanic shop, where he continues to run a successful business. His younger brother is currently working on a five-book science fiction series.
Impact to the Autobots
To any of you Witwicky lovers and sympathizers out there - sorry to disappoint, but the Autobots got along just fine without them. Much of the events in the "normal" universe lay out in very similar outcomes, minus some personal implications to humans and Autobots here and there. The biggest impact to the world and the Autobots was that because Spike and Sparkplug didn't meet up with the Autobots so quickly, the Autobots resumed their efforts to stop the Decepticons in the events depicted in More Than Meets The Eye with virtually no human interference. After the Decepticons were stopped, the Autobots then had the time to assemble a sort of "best and brightest" campaign on Earth. During this time, the Autobots made careful alliances with world leaders, and intellectual elites from fields in cultural studies, military, astronomy, physics, and computer technology. This resulted in a fruitful partnership. However, because of this, an overwhelming majority of the human population felt a distance with the Autobots, feeling they were not part of an exclusive club that only accepted the best and brightest.
Witwicky "What-If" Timeline
1984: Spike and Sparkplug are rescued from certain death on an burning, collapsing oil rig by the Autobots. Sparkplug almost volunteers until he sees a few oil rig workers being treated for third-degree burns, broken bones, and other internal injuries - while the Autobots titans are essentially unscathed. Worried about his son's safety (as well as his own - if he goes, Spike and Buster have no one to raise them) - he leads his son away from the Autobots, much to his son's dismay.
1985: Sparkplug finds a job back in Oregon and begins to save up to open a store of his own.
1986-1994: Witwicky Automotive opens. Sparkplug deals with two angsty, adolescent sons. Buster feels alienated from Sparkplug because the two have little to nothing in common. Spike struggles with school and repeatedly blames his dad for sentencing him to a mundane existence. Intimated by Buster's literary achievements in high school, Spike opts not to pursue journalism or English and opts to go into construction management in college.
1996: Sparkplug suffers a major heart attack at his job. At his side, a worried Spike apologizes for years of blaming his father. He drops out of college (telling dad it's just for a semester) and begins to work at Witwicky Automotive full time.
1998-current: Sparkplug recovers and resumes his duties at Witwicky automotive. Spike turns into an ace mechanic and an apt manager, enabling Sparkplug to begin to transition ownership of Witwicky Automotive to his son. After work, Spike tended to either head to the bar with coworkers, or at home in front of the TV. He fell for Angie, a bartender. The two routinely went out, but their dates usually involved heavy drinking and partying. Spike kept pining for Angela, saying she was his soul mate, though Angela just thought of Spike as a "drinking buddy" with benefits.
After months of pursing, Spike finally wore Angie down and the two married. Within a decade, the two have three kids. In 2013, Spike and Angie end up having to schedule date nights to fit it into their busy schedules. The two remain close, but their day-to-day exhaustion leave little left for alone time. Buster continues toward his PhD in <comparative lit?>. As a PhD candidate and a professor, he is well-liked among his students. In 2013, Buster publishes his first Science Fiction novel. A beaming Sparkplug forces a slightly-resentful Spike to Buster's book signing, which only draws a few dozen people, mostly Buster's students. Spike secretly relishes Buster's lukewarm success, but still harbors some jealousy as Buster got a book deal, published a book, and despite the lukewarm reviews, it was notable enough to GET reviewed in papers like the Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Times. In 2014, Buster signed a contract to finish his series for an undisclosed lucritive sum.
Sample Reviews for Buster Witwicky's first book
"An exciting new voice in Science Fiction has arrived. Can't wait for the next installment." - Publishers Weekly
"A tepid, overstuffed debut offering. Too often, it seems like Witwicky is afraid this will be his last book, so he stuffs his debut novel with so many concepts, plot tangents, and ideas that he forgot to invest that energy into the characters" - The Village Voice
"An admirable effort. Yes, Buster Witwicky's debut novel stumbles when it should stride, sprints when it should walk, and leaves too little to the imagination, but his ambitions keep you coming back. Now that his first novel is done, here's hoping with a little editing guidance and a more concentrated effort to flesh out his characters, Witwicky will add his name to the peers he so wants to emulate." - The New York Times
"An overall impressive debut novel. In an overcrowded Science Fiction genre, Buster Witwicky does an admirable job in crafting a world that's both believable and ambitious." - Library Journal
- What If...Sparkplug said "No"? : Sparkplug makes a quick decision to not help the Autobots after getting rescued by the Autobots. Sparkplug stands by the decision, but his decision has lifetime implications for Spike.
- The Author and The Mechanic : The repercussions of Sparkplug's decision not to thelp the Autobots comes fast and furious in the Witwicky household. Spike drifts away from his dad, and begins to mess up at his father's work, which gets him in hot water with Sparkplug. Years pass, Spike gets his act together, successfully continues his father's business, but a book signing shows Spike's accomplishments pale in comparison to his little brother.