RODIMUS OF NYON
Fragment of a discussion from Talk:2017-06 Question Meme
How does Rodimus feel about the crew's confidence in him right now? Obviously his confidence in their confidence took a blow after the vote, etc, and previous events, is he going into this badge removal thing preparing for the same thing, or does he think that it will blow over? Does he think that, even without the reveal, he's come to prove himself as Captain right now and stick it to any (AI) parties that say he's not doing a good job?
Even before Magnus's complete failure to understand why he would want to do this, Rodimus was pretty sure that there would be portions of the crew that would feel like this is a bigger betrayal than stashing Overlord on board. At least they had Overlord on board so that they could tease secrets out of him that would further the Autobot cause, amirite? But this...!
So, he's braced for it to get a little ugly. He is not, however, going to be putting anything up to a vote. The Autobots will still have Hound and Ultra Magnus (sorry, Drift, you don't count for this) to look to as Autobot leaders in command. The ship will run the same in every other respect: by Autobot rules, in the name of Autobot values (which aren't that different than Decepticon values in THEORY; it's the rules where they really differ). The code of conduct isn't changing. Just the figure at it's head. But -- that can mean a lot to people, so he expects people are going to ignore how everything ELSE is all the same and focus in on how he's ABANDONING the CAUSE. (Or them. Looking at you, Mini.)
But he also has confidence in the crew, despite that. They are facing maybe their biggest challenge, literally and metaphorically what with Unicron being the size of planet and EATING PLANETS. So even if they are pissed at him, that's not going to stop them from doing what has to be done.
His sense of offense where Anialus was concerned was less about any sense of personal insult and more that he's mad at the AI for sassing a crew which has done everything they can and for mostly the right reasons. Because he DOES believe in them. He's proud of the Lost Light. It's not that he's proved himself, it's that his crew has.
He does also think he's proved himself to be, if not a good leader now, then capable of becoming one. He's still learning -- every day, all the time -- but you see in small ways and in large ways that he's Trying To Lead. People fall back on old ways of thinking of him as much based on player's OOC as character's IC patterns of thinking, I think. It's always hard to change, and people will always think of you first as you were instead of looking at what you are doing now.
Rodimus has never been a terrible leader, in my opinion. (I'm biased.) He's personally reckless, but he's far from careless with his crew. (Not like he used to be. AHEM, OVERLORD.) Even when he totally ignored datapads that crossed his desk, he always trusted that anything that was truly critical would be brought to his attention by his command staff, and he checked in with area heads frequently. This is still true, but he's slightly better about getting at least an abbreviated overview of what hits his desk. Magnus was -- and is -- an incredibly good influence on him. I've basically been pouring Rodimus's XP straight into command for like the past year to reflect that.
Side bar: I've talked about how some people out there in the universe headcanon Rodimus's struggles with the busywork of command in comics as an issue of dyslexia, which is not a headcanon I hate, by any means, but one I've decided not to retroactively apply. BUT I AM FOND OF IT. I think there is very strong support in canon for Rodimus not being that great with words. Drift writes his best speeches and Rodimus misuses words and phrases TERRIBLY. ALL OF THE TIME. He doesn't have a strong vocab. He was raised dirt poor -- rust poor, maybe; the area in Nyon we first see is literally called the Rust Narrows -- and I think he lacked an education before he hit the Autobot Academy. He undoubtedly struggled to keep up and probably did the equivalent of graduating with A+s in PE and Theater and C-s in English and History and Ds Math and Science. Smart, but he never had the chance to catch up, and anyway this is who he is now.
I think Rodimus keeps a pretty close eye on what happened on Cybertron -- with Starscream being in charge -- and takes it very much to heart as a warning. If the combined goodness of Bumblebee and smarts of Prowl couldn't stop Starscream from taking over--
As has been said -- as he told Magnus -- the Autobots won the war but they are going to lose the peace.