July 08, 2011 11:17am PT by Daniel Levinsohn
Why 'Transformers 3' Plays a Role in Atlantis Space Shuttle Launch
What do mega-blockbuster Transformers 3 and the Atlantis Space Shuttle launch have in common?
Tweeted Paramount on Friday, shortly after the last NASA-sanctioned shuttle mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.: "Did you watch the final #spaceshuttle launch today? If you've seen #TF3, you know the space program is important to Transformers history!"
SEE: 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' Moscow Premiere Gallery
That's because the third film in the series, which has earned over $200 million domestically and an additional $286 million internationally, features the Apollo 11 space flight in a pivotal plot point.
When a Transformer space craft crash lands on the dark of the moon, President Kennedy authorizes NASA to investigate, disguising the operation as America's attempt to best Russian aerospace technology. Thus the film's official full name, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
It seems Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind was actually also a huge step in defending humanity from robots.