The planet Cybertron is well known to fans of the Transformers franchise, as well as the loyalists who grew up with the cartoon version of the alien robots. The vision of the dead planet that was used to magnificent, CGI-inspired effect in the Michael-Bay-directed blockbuster hovering above the Earth was enough to send the newest and youngest fans scurrying to the search engines to find out as much as they could about the Home-World.
In the version of the Transformers mythos, in which the planet Cybertron was once the Light-God Primus, the very first Transformers that the imprisoned Primus created were the mightiest planet-bound creatures in the entire galaxy. Don't ask how they knew that for sure; it's rude.
They fashioned the planet Cybertron into the spiraling mechanical perfection it was before the evil Decepticons sprang up from the Abyss and the two sides, just like their father and uncle before them, began warring. To keep a long story short, Cybertron was devastated by their ceaseless fighting, which scarred the planet and depleted the Energon.
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Eventually, a great leader rose from the ranks of the good Transformers, which were called the Autobots. This leader would make a previously unthinkable sacrifice to save the Universe, for the Decepticons were hell-bent on obtaining the All-spark and using it rule the Universe, subjecting other life forms to their will.
He would escape his humble beginnings in the meager workforce of Cybertron to become the greatest champion the planet had ever known, valiantly driving the Decepticons back time and again from battle, though they were always back for the war. His name was Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime saw that the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, was just as driven in his evil ways, as Optimus was set in his unwavering good ways. As such, this could only end either with the death of the other, or with the placing of the coveted instrument of power out of reach during their War for Cybertron.
Optimus, ever the preserver of life when possible, chose the latter. Calling on a faction of his Autobot forces to distract Megatron and the Decepticons by battling them on a distant moon, Optimus Prime made the fateful decision to jettison the Cube into the vastness of space, to a known point that would use astrophysical processes to place it even further out-of-reach.
Cybertron the planet was powered entirely by the creator-god Primus' life-force, and had no need of a star. Thus, when the All-Spark was jettisoned, the planet began to die and the Transformers that hadn't been killed in the civil war had to leave. The All-Spark, itself, ended up finding the planet Earth, which was filled with the kind of creatures that can read I'm writing. Both the Autobots and the Decepticons, led by their, um, leaders, chased it here in order to secure it first. The Autobots finally won something, and are under constant attack by the Decepticons as price for this seemingly temporary victory.
The rich history of Cybertron notwithstanding, it ended up a dead and barren world, although that didn't happen for some time after Megatron left it behind, under the watchful gaze of the one-eyed powerhouse Decepticon, Shockwave. Indeed, the entire overriding plot of the Dark of the Moon movie was to bring the barren world into Earth orbit, gravity-be-damned, so that the Earthlings' resources and manpower could be used to rebuild the lost world.
It is the greatest testament to the Transformers' champion, Optimus Prime that he balked at this personally-beneficial result, believing it to be fundamentally wrong, and killing both his brother and his teacher to prove the mettle of his resolve.