Starscream (other incarnations)

Starscream

Starscream is the name of several the fictional characters in the various series Transformers universes.

Transformers: Generation 1

Due to his treachery and personality, he has become a fan favorite and has had many future characters within the franchise to bear his name, some of which share his desire to become leader of the Decepticons. Starscream has, at some points, had control over the Decepticons, but his actions usually lead him to being defeated, or overruled by the more powerful Megatron. Starscream makes no secret of his ambition to overthrow Megatron as Decepticon leader. He is more intelligent than the average Decepticon, ruthless, and cruel, but he is also unlikely to directly act on his ultimate ambition without assurance of conditions favorable to his ascension. He considers himself vastly superior to other Decepticons, and looks down on Megatron for being antiquated in his military strategy and tactics. Starscream believes that the Decepticons should rely more on guile and speed rather than brute destructive force to defeat the Autobots, though, even when given the chance to strike out on his own, he is equally as successful as Megatron. Megatron frequently overlooks the potential threat that Starscream represents. However, Starscream often exhausts Megatron's patience quickly; violent-yet-brief verbal and/or physical conflicts are not uncommon between the two. Usually, these result in Megatron treating Starscream in a humiliatingly dismissive manner and in two cases actually resulted in his banishment: once to Guadalcanal in the South Pacific and once to a desolate asteroid in deep space.

Abilities

Starscream can turn into an F-15 Eagle and serves as the Decepticon Air Commander, leading the other Decepticon Seeker jets, many of whom share his physical design. According to his technical specifications, he can reach speeds up to Mach 2.8, and can climb up to sub-orbital altitudes of and nose-dive down to ground level in minutes (the real aircraft has a top speed of Mach 2.5 with an altitude ceiling of , or 12.3 miles). His arm is mounted with launchers (mounted under his wings in jet mode), which can launch two types of weaponry — cluster bombs, each of which can level an area , and his signature weapon, the null ray, which can disrupt the flow of electricity in any circuitry it hits for brief periods, effectively rendering any electronic device or machine (including Transformers) temporarily inoperable.

Animated series

Starscream was formerly a scientist and explorer, working with the Autobot Skyfire (Jetfire), during the Golden Age of Cybertron, shortly before the Autobot/Decepticon war re-erupted. Following the disappearance of Skyfire when the two were exploring a prehistoric Earth, Starscream returned to Cybertron and soon abandoned his scientific pursuits, becoming a warrior in Megatron's Decepticon army as the civil war exploded, considering it "far more exciting".

Acting as second-in-command of the elite troops Megatron took with him aboard the Nemesis, Starscream was among the Transformers trapped in stasis on Earth for four million years after the Decepticons attacked the Autobot craft, Ark, causing it to crash on the planet. When the ship's computer, Teletraan I, was reactivated by a volcanic explosion in 1984, the Decepticons were the first to be reactivated and were restored with new Earthly alternate modes. Before departing, Starscream shot at the Ark as a petty parting gesture, causing a small tremor that knocked Optimus Prime into the path of the reconstruction beam, allowing the Autobots to be restored, and the war to continue on Earth.

As the war continued, Starscream's old friend Skyfire was discovered frozen in the Arctic Circle, and Megatron noted how concerned Starscream was to see Skyfire rescued; Starscream even took control of the revival process and successfully re-awakened his old friend. It was this friendship that initially led Skyfire to join the Decepticons, but when the latter refused to hurt humans, both Megatron and Starscream voiced their disgust. Not long after, several Autobots came to investigate the Decepticon activity and were subsequently captured; Starscream prepared to execute them and Starscream offered to forgive Skyfire if the latter would accept the first shot. Skyfire, disillusioned by his old friend's new warlike ways, joined the Autobots instead, and Starscream no longer gave him a second thought.

During the cataclysmic events that ensued when Megatron transported Cybertron into Earth's orbit, Starscream attempted to use the Decepticons' human ally, Doctor Arkeville, for his own purposes. Starscream forced him to take him to his secret lab, where he destabilized Arkeville's exponential generator, which, when it reached critical mass, would destroy the Earth. Starscream then fled with Arkeville to Cybertron, where Starscream intended to collect the energy released in Earth's destruction. When Optimus Prime and Megatron were forced to work together to stop Starscream's plan, Starscream returned to Earth to investigate why the generator had not exploded. Meanwhile, to remove the threat of the generator, Prime loaded it into Megatron's gun barrel and fired it into space — blasting Starscream out of the air in the process, causing him to fall to Earth and into a vengeful Megatron's clutches. Starscream was a prominent figure in most of Megatron's schemes over the next year, but also made several further plays for power — teaming up with the Triple Changers Blitzwing and Astrotrain to betray Megatron, only to be double-crossed himself; duping the paranoiac Autobot, Red Alert into allowing him to acquire the Autobots' Negavator weapon; destroying Megatron's Nightbird robot to maintain his own position of power; getting drunk on energon, and more. Ironically, given his invariably treacherous nature, he was the first to sniff out Nurgill's treachery when the Decepticons united with the underwater residents of Sub-Atlantica to take over the world. Generally, almost every time that (the virtually indestructible) Megatron sustained even the slightest damage in a battle, Starscream would claim that Megatron had "fallen", and frantically urge the Decepticons to immediately follow himself as their new leader.

Starscream would make use of his old scientist profession in the future, particularly when he and several other Decepticons were temporarily displaced in time to medieval England. When the weapons of the time-displaced transformers ceased functioning, Starscream knew how to use available materials to create gunpowder as a substitute for himself and the other Decepticons. He was also able create an electric dynamo to replenish their depleted energy.

In 1985, Starscream was responsible for the creation of the Combaticons by liberating their imprisoned personality components from a detention center on Cybertron and installing them into five World War II vehicles left over from the Battle of Guadalcanal. He changed them into more modern vehicular forms (for example, he made Vortex the helicopter out of a crashed World War II fixed-wing aircraft). He intended them to be his own private army after he was exiled from the Decepticons for attempting to betray Megatron one too many times. Although the Combaticons had defeated Devastator and had Megatron relinquish control of the Decepticons to Starscream using their combined form, Bruticus, they were defeated by an intervening Menasor.

Megatron subsequently had Astrotrain relocate Starscream and his giant ally Bruticus to an asteroid in deep space. Finding himself once again in exile, Starscream vowed revenge.

Despite the promises of revenge on Megatron from his creations, Starscream abandoned the Combaticons, blaming them for his failure to take over the Decepticons (where in reality they had helped him succeed). In mix of cabin fever and boredom, took his chances venturing into outer space. Ironically, the Combaticons ended up taking control of Cybertron and altered the space bridge to push the Earth into then sun, achieving revenge on Megatron, the Autobots, the Decepticons, and the Earth. Starscream arrived on Cybertron and tried to reclaim his leadership over his creations, but was imprisoned by the Combaticons along with Shockwave.

The Combaticon take over forced another uneasy alliance between the Autobots and Decepticons, who fought Bruticus and ultimately defeated him thanks to a weak spot revealed by Starscream in exchange for Megatron not killing him on the spot.

In "2005", (the storyline year for the events of the 1986 release The Transformers: The Movie), Starscream finally got his long-awaited chance to dispose of Megatron — who was severely damaged following his final battle with Optimus Prime — by jettisoning him from Astrotrain, into the endless void of deep-space. After this, Starscream won the surviving Decepticons' battle to decide a new leader. Starscream's long-dreamt-of reign didn't last long, however — as he was crowning himself leader/king of the Decepticons, Galvatron arrived, deriding Starscream's coronation as "bad comedy." Just as Starscream realized that Galvatron was actually Megatron in a new, more powerful body (provided by Unicron), Galvatron obliterated him, literally turning Starscream's body to ashes with a single blast while in his cannon mode.

Starscream's spark (the core of each Cybertronian that contains their soul/consciousness — referred to as a "laser core" in the original animated series) survived, however, apparently confined to the Decepticon crypt on Cybertron, and he continued to exist in a ghost-like form. When the Decepticon turncoat, Octane, sought refuge from his pursuers in the crypt, Starscream's ghost seized control of Cyclonus's body, and worked with Octane to turn Galvatron over to the Autobots and take leadership of the Decepticons for themselves. Galvatron evaded capture, and returned to blast Starscream (literally) out of Cyclonus -- only for the ghostly Decepticon to quietly take up residence in a Sweep. A short time later, he possessed Scourge and entered into a bargain with Unicron, performing three labors for the planet-eater in exchange for getting his body back. Acquiring the eyes of Metroplex and the Transforming Cog of Trypticon, Starscream's body was restored so that he could comprise the final connection between Unicron's head and Cybertron, allowing the planet to become the chaos-bringer's new body. However, now that he had what he wanted, Starscream reneged on the agreement. At that point, an explosion instigated by the Autobots hurled Starscream and Unicron's head off into space. Starscream was last seen tumbling out of control through space, as Galvatron opened fire on him which pushed Starscream far into space.

After the animated series ended in the U.S., Starscream appeared in animated form in the commercial for the Classic Pretenders.

The precise reason for Starscream's ability to survive after death was never revealed in the original animated series, but would later be covered in Beast Wars. (see below)

Marvel Comics

Again serving as one of Megatron's elite troops in the attack on the Ark, the Marvel Comics incarnation of Starscream possessed the desire to take leadership of the Decepticons, but in the early days of the war on Earth, he limited his actions to making snide remarks about Megatron's capabilities, and did not accomplish any notable acts apart from nearly getting scrapped by Megatron after one snide comment too many. When he participated in an attack on the Ark with several of his fellow Decepticons, Starscream was deactivated by Omega Supreme, and sealed in a stasis pod in the Ark for a prolonged period of time.

Meanwhile, however, on the other side of the Atlantic, the U.K. offices of Marvel Comics were producing their own storylines which were interspliced throughout the U.S. material. Here, Starscream came into his own under writer Simon Furman, who portrayed the character's scheming and ambition with more subtlety than the animated series, making Starscream more intelligent and cunning than clownish. As one of the more interesting Decepticon characters, he was often the focus of his own stories, including a notable Christmas special based around Starscream's misery at being stranded on Earth. In this story and in many others penned by Furman, Starscream had a noticeably British sense of humor, often coming across as wry and sarcastic. He was one of the most formidable warriors in the Decepticon army and adversaries were often shown to be visibly intimidated by him before he had even begun to fight. At different points in the series, he has been shown to best fellow high ranking Decepticons Ravage and Soundwave in combat, as well as the Autobot Brawn.

In these U.K. tales, Starscream was briefly revived from his stasis prison to participate in the events of the Target: 2006 mega-serial, where he teamed up with future Decepticon leader Galvatron. Galvatron tolerated his service with amusement, aware of the irony in the situation — Starscream thought that working with Galvatron would ensure his future, but thanks to Galvatron, Starscream had no future, since he was destined to die at his hands in 2006 (in the comic's alternate-future rendition of The Transformers: The Movie). When Autobots from the future duped Galvatron into turning against Starscream, a repainted Skywarp stood in for Starscream, who Galvatron then blasted. Believing that he had altered his timeline by killing "Starscream", Galvatron returned to his future, while the future Autobots returned the true Starscream to stasis.

Some time later, back in the U.S. stories, Starscream was liberated from his imprisonment by the new Decepticon leader, Ratbat, who appointed him second-in-command of his operations — a foolish move, as Starscream would immediately return to form, learning of Ratbat's plan to acquire the power of the Underbase, and orchestrating a massive battle between the Autobot and Decepticon forces that allowed him to seize the colossal information bank's energy. Now imbued with the Power Cosmic, Starscream immediately turned his attention to Earth, and deactivated scores of Transformers who attempted to stand against him. As he steadily mutated into a gigantic being, Starscream was stopped by Optimus Prime, who tricked him into absorbing more of the Underbase's energy — more than his body could handle, destroying him.

At this point, Simon Furman began penning the U.S comic book as well as its U.K. counterpart, and quickly returned Starscream to the fold. In the UK comics, Megatron had Dreadwind and Darkwing locate Starscream's shattered body, only to find that it still possessed some of the Underbase's power, and drained it away by their Powermaster partners, leaving the body lifeless. Megatron then had Autobot surgeon Ratchet reconstruct Starscream as a Pretender, and had him attack Optimus Prime and Scorponok's forces on Earth. Ratchet disobeyed Megatron's request to reprogram his mind, however, and Starscream's original cowardly personality soon re-emerged.

Issue #248 of the Marvel U.K. Transformers comic featured a story called "Fallen Star", where Starscream began to doubt himself, despite being of the most powerful Transformers. Soundwave, Mindwipe and Weirdwolf feared Starscream would attack, but Starscream thought they were laughing at him behind his back. Leaving Starscream came across the Autobots Chainclaw, Cloudburst and Getaway, who were assigned by Optimus Prime to spy on him. Starscream soundly defeated all three Autobots and regained his self confidence.

The U.K. comics then began a breakaway storyline that diverged the continuities, centering around the exploits of the Earthforce, the Earth-based Autobot sub-team. Through a team-up with Soundwave, Starscream succeeded in deposing Megatron and Shockwave briefly, before they returned seeking vengeance. Starscream, however, had some unlikely protectors — the Autobots needed him alive so that his compatible systems could boost those of the Dinobot Snarl, who was dying from the rusting disease, Corrodia Gravis.

Issue #279 of the Marvel U.K. Transformers comic featured a story called "Divide and Conquer!" where Soundwave lead the bulk of the Decepticon forces on Earth against the Autobot Earthforce headquarters while Starscream attacked an oil tanker. Sent into battle by Prowl, the Dinobots routed the main Decepticon forces while Springer lead the Autobot Survivors, Broadside, Inferno, Skids, and Carnivac to defeat Starscream.

In the U.S. comics, Starscream went on from his rebirth as a Pretender to join up with Shockwave in instigating the Decepticon Civil War, and was transported to Cybertron along with all the other Transformers in preparation for the battle against Unicron. Following the Transformers' victory, Starscream and Shockwave fled the planet in a restored Ark. On the way the two discovered some unlikely company — Megatron and Ratchet, both restored by Nucleon. Starscream found Ratchet and prepared to kill him. However, in a fit of rage at Starscream's casual attitude to murder, Ratchet defeated the Decepticon. In order to prevent Megatron and Galvatron escaping to threaten the universe once more, Ratchet crashed the Ark on Earth.

Generation 2

Starscream had been deactivated in the crash of the Ark, but Megatron, who had also been on board, was the only survivor and over the next few years restored the Ark, entering into a deal with the human terrorist organization, Cobra, which helped him obtain a new body and weapons. Desperate for troops and in spite of his own misgivings about doing so, Megatron then reactivated Starscream (Considering his only other choice was Shockwave, Megatron still felt he had made a good decision). Starscream served Megatron with at least a semblance of loyalty, ferrying him to his showdown with Bludgeon. But when he realized Megatron was going to eliminate him after his new Matrix-created army was up and running, he (predictably) betrayed him by alerting the forces of the Cybertronian general Jhiaxus to the location of the joint Autobot/Decepticon base.

Starscream was subsequently able to acquire the Creation Matrix (previously stolen from Optimus Prime by Megatron), and used it merge himself with the Decepticon craft, the Warworld, turning himself into a living weapon. However, Starscream found his mind affected by the innate goodness of the Matrix, and rejected it in order to preserve his own personality.

Starscream appeared in his Generation 2 form in the short lived U.K. Generation 2 comic series. This series also printed a bio for Starscream where he had the new motto "I have a code of conduct — victory at all costs!"

Fun Publications

Based on the Transformers Classics toy line, the Timelines 2007 story is set 15 years after the end of the Marvel Comics story (ignoring all events of the Marvel U.K. and Generation 2 comics). Megatron survived the crash of the Ark on Earth, reformatted himself into a new form and now leads Ramjet, Skywarp, Soundwave, Starscream and the Constructicons. Optimus Prime has also returned to Earth commanding Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Jetfire, Mirage and Rodimus (formerly Hot Rod).

In Transformers: Timelines volume 2 #2, "Games of Deception" Megatron detects the arrival of Bugbite's ship on Earth and sends Starscream, Skywarp and Ramjet to investigate. The three Seekers are then taken over by Bugbite's cerebro shells (with Starscream swearing to painfully dismember Bugbite for it). When the Autobots eventually jam the shells to facilitate their own rescue of Mirage, Starscream is freed and battles Bugbite's faction. Whether he survived the battle is unknown. He seems to retain his usual second-in-command status in this story.

Transformers Battle Circuit

The Classic line appeared in a simple Flash-based video game on the Hasbro web site. In this one-on-one fighting game you press the right and left arrow keys to try to overpower your opponent. In the game you can play Rodimus, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Jetfire, Starscream, Astrotrain, Trypticon or Menasor. Optimus Prime and Megatron each appear as the boss you must defeat to win the game.

Books

Starscream was featured in the 1985 Transformers audio books Autobots' Lightning Strike, Megatron's Fight For Power, Autobots Fight Back and Laserbeak's Fury, as well as Galvatron's Air Attack from the 1986 series.

Starscream appeared in the 1986 story and coloring book The Lost Treasure of Cybertron by Marvel Books.

Beast Wars

Although the 1990s Transformers series, Beast Wars, officially occurred in a universe/continuity that contained aspects of both of the Generation 1 animated series and Marvel comic, the show most commonly displayed its lineage with references to the animated series. To that end, Starscream's ghost made a brief but memorable appearance in the first season episode, "Possession". His spark wandered to prehistoric Earth (probably through the same transwarp gate the Maximals and Predacons traveled through, although the exact details remain unknown) and ended up in the Darkside's computer console. Taking control of Waspinator's body with Terrorsaur watching, Starscream went about his standard backstabbing ways, acquiring the trust of Predacon leader Megatron, telling him that he was defending Galvatron against Unicron and was destroyed, with his spark enduring. In reality, he was planning to overthrow Megatron. When his true intent was discovered by Blackarachnia, who knew he was really scrapped by Galvatron for betraying him, Starscream took her under his wing to teach her the ways of treachery —inevitably (and somewhat ironically) resulting in her betraying him. Caught in an energon explosion engineered by Optimus Primal, Starscream's spark was forced out of Waspinator's body and set adrift in space once more, vowing vengeance on both sides. In the episode, Starscream was voiced by Doug Parker.

At the time "Possession" was written, the idea that Beast Wars took place in the past had not been cemented, hence it was not precisely explained how Starscream's spark was able to travel back in time, aside from a qualifier in the form of Starscream's indistinct claim that his spark was "...beyond the reach of time itself". Although no specifics were intended by the writer, fans generally speculate that his spark hails from a point in time that post-dates his final appearance in the Generation 1 animated series, since he was last seen tumbling through space — a predicament he is also in, sans his body, at the beginning of "Possession". Starscream, successfully commandeering the Axalon, was the first male to be attracted by Blackarachnia.

In the second season of Beast Wars, the reason for Starscream's ability to survive beyond death was revealed — a mutation in his spark had rendered it indestructible. Maximal experiments to replicate this effect resulted in the creation of the insane monster Protoform X, later called Rampage.

Starscream's original body was seen, lying in stasis lock, in the last episode of season two when Megatron entered the Ark.

Image Comics

Genesis: The Art of Transformers, while by no means a primary source of story information, does contain several illustrations of Starscream. One of them is perhaps the only official illustration of his Machine Wars form besides the toy's box-art. Machine Wars Starscream is seen standing on a dais, wearing a purple cape and holding Galvatron's torn-off cannon. The artist, Matt Kuphaldt, based the setting on the coronation scene from "The Transformers: The Movie," only golden to indicate a post-"Rebirth" timeframe. Kuphaldt intended the illustration to be a sequel to his fan-art of Starscream's ghost possessing the body of a fallen Decepticon and becoming his Machine Wars self on a similarly-golden battlefield.

Dreamwave Productions

In the 21st century reimagining of the Generation One universe by the comics company Dreamwave Productions, Starscream remained his treacherous, power-hungry self. In the early days of the war on Cybertron, he devastated Iacon with a terraforming process, and went on to form his own faction called the Predacons when Megatron vanished in a spacebridge experiment. When the other splinter factions attempted to reconcile their differences, Starscream's Predacons attacked the ceremony, although their bombing occurred concurrently with the return of Megatron, who immediately subjected Starscream to physical torture for stealing his glory.

Winding up in stasis aboard the Autobot spacecraft, the Ark, along with the other Decepticons when it crashed on prehistoric Earth, Starscream was reactivated in 1984 with the other Transformers. When the Autobots succeeded in defeating the Decepticons in 1999 and they all attempted to return to Cybertron aboard the Ark II, the ship exploded as it exited Earth's atmosphere, and the Transformers were believed destroyed. In actuality, many of their bodies were appropriated by the terrorist, Lazarus, including Starscream's. Bumblebee, Frenzy, Grimlock, Laserbeak, Prowl, Ravage, Soundwave and Starscream were forced to attack the Smitco oil refinery in the Arctic to display their power for sale to the highest bidder .

When Megatron liberated himself from Lazarus's control in 2002, the other Decepticons were soon freed, and Starscream and the other Decepticon jets passed some time by dismembering the Autobot Mini-Bots before joining in an attack on San Francisco, during which they attacked Superion, forcing him to separate.

The following year, Starscream was offered the opportunity to return to type when Shockwave — who had unified Cybertron in their absence — arrived on Earth to arrest Prime and Megatron as war criminals. Seizing an opportunity to remove his main obstacle to power, Starscream blasted open the cargo hold of the ship taking them back to Cybertron, setting Megatron's damaged body adrift in space.

With the aid of Soundwave, he subsequently liberated the Combaticons from imprisonment, and returned with them to Earth, where they attacked the Ark in an attempt to acquire parts to make the Decepticons' space cruiser flight-worthy. With Bruticus defeated by the arrival of Starscream's Shockwave-spawned, super-powered clone, Sunstorm, Starscream fled and brought online Jetfire, who the Decepticons had previously uncovered frozen in ice. Operating together, they deduced Sunstorm's clone nature, and fashioned a power siphon to drain his energy; but Starscream turned the tables on everyone by freeing Sunstorm, who then took him to a mysterious Cybertronian seal beneath the ocean's surface. Sunstorm claimed that only Starscream could open the seal, which he proceeded to do, unlocking an underground reservoir of a powerful, energy-rich liquid, which Sunstorm planned to use to empower his "brother," so that they could achieve his goals together. Starscream turned on Sunstorm, who fell into the liquid, which reacted with his own powers and destroyed both him and Jetfire.

Starscream escaped the conflagration and returned to the Decepticon base, only to discover that Megatron and Shockwave had returned in his absence, and to receive the beating he had earned from his former leader. Starscream hinted that he had discovered some of the secrets in the Transformers' history that Megatron and Shockwave had learned in the past, but unfortunately, Dreamwave went bankrupt and closed its doors before resolution to this storyline could be offered.

Transformers/G.I. Joe

Starscream also appeared in Dreamwave's Transformers/G.I. Joe miniseries, set during World War II, plotting with Destro to overthrow Megatron and Cobra Commander using a fusion of Cobra and Decepticon technology called Bruticus. However, he was himself betrayed and destroyed by Destro and the Baroness. In this series, Starscream and the other seekers had alternate modes based on P-51 Mustangs. He reappeared in a second G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover set in continuity with the first, but over 40 years later. Here, he had his familiar alternate mode of an F-15 Eagle. His ultimate purpose was left unknown, as Dreamwave's closure meant the series was left unfinished after just one issue.

Devil's Due Publishing

In this crossover from Devil's Due Publishing, the Ark was discovered by the terrorist Cobra Organization, and all the Transformers inside were reformatted into Cobra vehicles remotely controlled by the Televipers. In this storyline, Starscream turned into a Cobra Nightraven and was used as Cobra Commander's personal transport. Predictably attempting to betray Megatron when the Transformers broke free of Cobra's control, an animosity developed between Starscream and G.I. Joe member Snake-Eyes. Starscream (controlled by Cobra Commander) was responsible for Snake-Eyes disfigurement in the initial Cobra attack. Snake-Eyes got his revenge when he confronted Starscream in the final issue, cut out Starscream's eye with his sword and shoved a hand-grenade in the empty socket. When the first series ended Starscream ended up making a deal with Cobra Commander to remove the grenade (which hadn't exploded) from his eye socket in return for transport to safety.

The second series from Devil's Due involved a plot by Starscream and Cobra Commander to get technology from Cybertron by breaking into their space bridge system. However, the intervention of both Ultra Magnus' Autobots and Shockwave's Decepticons complicated this plan, forcing Cobra and G.I. Joe (inadvertently teleported with them) to make a hasty truce to defeat the machinations of Shockwave and recover time-displaced Autobots and Decepticons, including Optimus Prime and the Dinobots. As Starscream tried to weasel his way out of being destroyed by Shockwave, he was instead eliminated when Cobra Commander activated his parting gift: 45 pounds of plastic explosives he had secretly placed in Starscream's housing during repairs.

Transformers: Robot Masters

Starscream also appeared in the Japanese exclusive Transformers: Robot Masters series. When Megatron disappeared, Starscream quickly seized command, only to be forcibly dethroned by a time-lost newcomer — the Megatron of the Beast era. Plotting all the while behind his new leader's back, Starscream nonetheless served him against the Autobots, battling another time-lost Transformer, Star Saber, and losing, before destroying a large chunk of New York City to uncover solitarium. He was shot down by the mysterious Reverse Convoy — who quickly revealed himself as Megatron in a new body.

IDW Publishing

After Dreamwave's closure, the rights to the Transformers comics were taken up by IDW Publishing. Their version of the Generation One universe begins with a miniseries called The Transformers: Infiltration. His alternate mode here is that of an F-22 Raptor, foreshadowing the events of the 2007 live action movie.

Chronologically, Starscream first appears in #3 of The Transformers: Megatron Origin series, which details the rise of the Decepticons. He is specifically sent to Megatron by Soundwave due to his flight capabilities; pledging complete allegiance, he is sent to launch a terrorist attack on Autobot Senator Decimus. It is later revealed that Megatron has asked him to carry out a task, one Starscream doesn't understand the purpose of but is told it is to "send a message". Shortly afterward, the Decepticons are captured by the Autobots. As part of Megatron's plan, Starscream swiftly becomes an Autobot informant. Starscream informs the senators they bear responsibility for the current situation; afterward, he and Soundwave massacre the Senate. After freeing Megatron and the prisoners, Starscream gives Megatron his fusion cannon, helping the Decepticon leader in his battle against Sentinel Prime. Although his robot mode is different and bears more resemblance to his original G1 incarnation, his alternate jet mode is the same as that seen in The War Within. It was also revealed in The Transformers: Devastation that Starscream also spent some time as Megatron's bodyguard.

By the time of Infiltration, Starscream is in command of a small group of Decepticons on Earth, including Skywarp, Thundercracker, Astrotrain, Blitzwing and the Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck. Megatron, as stated in #6, believes the two of them have grown past the backstabbing and posturing of their mutual past. However, on Earth Starscream discovered a variant ore of energon on Earth that was the Transformer equivalent of steroids, making him bold enough to advance their infiltration phase ahead of schedule. As a result, the humans seemingly obtain evidence of the Transformers' existence, causing Starscream to desperately bump off everyone who has seen the evidence. (The evidence-gathering turns out to be a plot by the Machination to locate a Transformer base. )

Learning of this though, Megatron comes to Earth and duels with Starscream, battling physically and verbally. Even Starscream's supercharged power isn't enough, and Megatron ends the duel with the statement, "You're going to take your punishment like a Decepticon" before blowing a hole clean through Starscream's torso with a blast of his arm cannon at point blank range. Despite the immense damage he took, Megatron's commands to Runabout and Runamuck indicate that Starscream had survived. In issue #1 of The Transformers: Devastation, Megatron's increasing instability forces the other Decepticons, led by Astrotrain, to consider reviving Starscream, who is seen in a stasis tank repaired. He makes his return during the midst of a pitched battle between the Reapers (an army of living weapons) and Sixshot. Sixshot, upon seeing Starscream, defects to the Reapers, but Starscream takes him out with a shut-off code learned during his time as Megatron's bodyguard. He then attacks the Reapers single-handedly, forcing Megatron to lead the other Decepticons in assisting him. The two managed to put their differences aside, with Starscream stating that he was still loyal to the Decepticon cause, and the Decepticons defeated the Reapers (unknowingly aided by Galvatron).

G1 Starscream and G1 Pretender Starscream received a cameo on the cover of Spotlight: Galvatron. G1 Starscream, standing with his back towards the reader, can be seen with a hole in his stomach (similar to that in Infiltration) among the creatures that attacked Galvatron. Starscream's pretender shell can be seen beside him. A Sharkticon can also be seen.

Evolutions: Hearts of Steel

Starscream is also a major player in the mini-series Evolutions: Hearts of Steel, which takes place in an out-of-continuity 19th century. Starscream and the other Seekers are reconfigured as Wright Brothers-esque early aircraft and Starscream plans the familiar concepts of taking over Earth and destroying Megatron. This version of Starscream is less impetuous and has thought his plans through, even using humans to help. Unfortunately his plan was still thwarted by John Henry and Bumblebee, who were able to redirect the railway so that the Decepticon train convoy was dropped into a chasm .

Kiss Players

The Japanese-exclusive Transformers: Kiss Players toy line features the somewhat unusual concept of Transformers who attain power-ups through being kissed by young women, in a universe that branches off from the original animated series. Set in 2006 (one year after Starscream's death in The Transformers: The Movie, but four years before the third season of the show, which in Japan occurred in 2010), the Kiss Players radio drama sees Starscream's ghost possess Earth Defense Command (EDC) operative Atari Hitotonari, and forced her to seek out his old ally, Doctor Arkeville. Arkeville constructed a new body for Starscream (meant to represent his Masterpiece toy) out of a stolen fighter jet, and Atari transferred his spark into it with a kiss. Transforming into his new robot mode, Starscream was only able to enjoy it for a few minutes before EDC Autotrooper robots blew it up and sent his spark flying back into space.

Other media

  • Starscream appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Junk in the Trunk". He was seen at a dam piling up with Energon cubes with his fellow Decepticons until the Autobots arrived and attacked them. Starscream is the only Decepticon who appears to survive the attack, but then receives a severe beating from the Autobots.
  • Starscream appears on the Family Guy episode "Prick Up Your Ears" when Stewie Griffin fears that the Tooth Fairy will attack him so he put toys around him as bodyguards. One of the toys was Starscream, though his coloring makes him look like Sunstorm.
  • In the song "Industrial Revolution" by rapper Immortal Technique, there is a lyric that goes "Cuz you got jealousy in your voice like Starscream"

Toys

  • Generation 1 Starscream (1984)

The original Starscream toy was originally part of the Japanese Diaclone toy line and was imported to become part of the Transformers toy line by Hasbro in 1984. In jet mode, the toy is 21 cm long (a scale of 1:93, suggesting that Starscream's 14 cm robot mode would be about 13 m tall). In what is considered to be a major drawback to the toy, the majority of its parts have to be removed for transformation, and it is rare to find a totally complete one, since neither mode can hold all the parts. The toy was later re-issued in Japan in 2001, with black-and-gold and translucent "ghost" variants, and again in 2003, redecorated into a more cartoon-accurate color scheme. He was also reissued in the west in 2003, with extended missiles to comply with safety regulations. Japan re-released Starscream once again in 2007 for their "Encore Series".

The Starscream mold was redecorated to create Thundercracker and Skywarp and released concurrently alongside them, but a production errors saw the tech spec numbers for Starscream and Skywarp swapped, incorrectly suggesting that Skywarp was higher in rank and intelligence than Starscream (the Japanese version of the toy always included the higher rank, but featured a lower skill). Some packages had an attempt at a correction where Starscream instead had Thundercracker's tech spec numbers which also incorrectly indicated the rank and intelligence of the character. On the profiles of most subsequent releases of Starscream figures, it is these inaccurate numbers which are used due to the manufacturers simply copying the old profile without realizing there was an error. The mold was later modified to create the 1985 jets, Ramjet, Dirge and Thrust, and much later, recolored into the 2002 eHobby exclusive Sunstorm.

  • Generation 1 Pretender Classic Starscream (1989)

Starscream was shrunken and redesigned for his rebirth as a Pretender, with twin guns that became his tailfins in jet mode. His tech spec numbers remained much the same, but with slightly decreased speed.

  • Generation 1 Legends Starscream (1989)

The Pretender figure was released without his shell at Kmart retailers in the U.S. as Legends Starscream and in Japan as part of a subline called "Legends".

  • Generation 1 Action Master Starscream (1990)

Starscream's non-transforming Action Master figure was nominally supposed to bring the toy closer in appearance to the animation incarnation, but was actually based on his Pretender figure, yielding a rather inaccurate color scheme, lacking the defining shoulder-wings. His toy included a "Turbo Jet", which transformed into a battle station. In keeping with tradition, the Action Master Starscream figure was later redecorated into the European-exclusive Action Master Thundercracker in 1991.

  • Generation 2 Starscream (1993)

For the Transformers: Generation 2 toy line, Starscream's original 1984 toy was re-released, now redecorated in gray and salmon pink, with the addition of spring-loaded missile launchers and an electronic sound pack that mounted on the figure's back. As before, the toy was also remolded into Ramjet. Oddly, the new Generation 2 character Windrazor, leader of the Sky Scorchers, was a new jet that sported Starscream's original colors.

  • Generation 2 ATB Megatron and Starscream (unreleased)

Starscream was originally intended to receive one further Generation 2 toy, in the form of a repaint of the Advanced Tactical Bomber Decepticon, Dreadwing — the Dreadwing toy itself would have been Megatron, while the partner figure, Smokescreen would have become Starscream. The figure was not released, but later became the new characters BB and Starscream for the Japanese series Beast Wars II in 1997.

  • Machine Wars Starscream (1997)

A redecorated version of the European figure Skyquake in grays and blacks, Machine Wars Starscream was, like the rest of the toy line, available only through KB Toys in 1997. Armed with vast amounts of launching missiles, the figure was later recolored into 'King Atlas for Transformers: Universe in 2004.

  • Smallest Transformers Starscream (2003)

The first figure representing the original G1 Starscream in years, the "Smallest Transformer" incarnation of the character is simply a shrunken version of his original 1984 toy, and was remolded to create Smallest Thrust.

  • Robot Masters Starscream (2004)

Starscream's original body finally received an upgrade with modern toy-design technology to create a more poseable figure with less removable parts for the Japanese-exclusive Transformers: Robot Masters toy line. Armed with clip-on, non-functional, chest-mounted missile launchers, tradition saw the figure redecorated as Skywarp and Thundercracker, released together in a two-pack.

  • Titanium 3-inch Starscream (2006)

Starscream received two different toys in the Transformers: Titanium line. The first was a three-inch tall non-transforming representation of him in robot mode from Generation 1.

  • Classics Starscream (2006)

Starscream's original body received another re-imagining with modern technology in the first wave of the Transformers Classics toy line. His appearance is loyal to the original figure, but his transformation is similar to the Robot Masters version, without the need to remove as many parts as his Generation 1 counterpart. This toy was initially sold by itself, and later in a value pack with Classics Rodimus.
This version of Starscream again had his tech spec stats switched with Skywarp.
Although close to the original Starscream's animated shape, the details were slightly different, leading to fan-made sticker sets being created to make this the most show-accurate Starscream toy made to date. This toy was later repainted as Classics Skywarp and Thundercracker.
A Chinese made knockoff of this toy was released in 2008 under the name Blaze Warrior.

  • Atari-Scream (2006)

A slight redecoration of the PVC figure of Atari Hitotonari from the Transformers: Kiss Players line, this figure has a black uniform and a Decepticon symbol on its armband. Exclusive to Dengeki Hobby magazine, it represents a Starscream-possessed Atari.

  • Masterpiece Starscream (MP-3) (2006)

This Japanese-exclusive product by Takara Japan and designed by Shoji Kawamori, part of the same line as the Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-1), is a highly-detailed, intricately designed version of the character which represents his new body from the Kiss Players radio drama. To date, it is the closest to the real world F-15 Eagle. It transforms into his classic jet and robot modes, with a new, flatter color scheme to more accurately represent the F-15 Eagle. It includes a stand that can support the figure in mid-air, with additional spots to clip any unused accessories. Although fairly close in appearance to the G1 Starscream, the toy was even more like the character in its earlier design stages, until it was later modified in ways that created differences, such as the mounting of the jet-mode tailfins on the robot-mode hips. The head also has two interchangeable faces - a standard face and one that has Starscream smirking.

  • Titanium 6-inch Starscream (2007)

Starscream received two different toys in the Transformers: Titanium line. The second was a transforming 6-inch tall representation of him in his Transformers: The War Within Cybertronian mode, and was repaint of the 6-inch War Within Thundercracker toy. The mold was also repainted as Sunstorm.

  • Masterpiece Starscream (2007)

This redecoration of the Takara Masterpiece Starscream is repainted in accurate Generation 1 colors with Classics-style packaging. His tech spec actually reflects his correct tech specs, not those swapped with Skywarp. Though highly praised by fans for being true to the original G1 style, Masterpiece Starscream was criticized for a lackluster weathered effect and a silver nose cone that did not match the overall color scheme. It was revealed, however, that the nosecone was actually molded in blue; thus, stripping the silver paint off the nose cone has been a popular alteration on this toy. An additional criticism of this toy is related to a weakness in the joints that allow the wings to fold up onto the robot mode's back. These joints are prone to breaking and should be treated delicately.

  • Henkei Starscream (2008)

A repaint of Classics Starscream in G1-accurate colors, this version of Starscream is possibly the most accurate representation of G1 Starscream in terms of design and deco. .

  • Universe Legends Class Starscream (2008)

A redeco of Cybertron Legends Thundercracker was first displayed at the 2008 New York Toy Fair.

  • Universe Deluxe Class Starscream (Unreleased)

A reissue of Classics Starscream, but with a more G1 accurate color scheme.

Other incarnations of Starscream

As the Transformers franchise has grown, more continuities separate from the original series and its subsidiaries have come into existence, with some continuities featuring a unique version of the ruthless Decepticon Starscream, see:

Starscream (Unicron Trilogy) for the Starscream of Transformers: Armada, Energon and Cybertron.

Starscream (other incarnations) for the Starscreams from various Transformer continuities.

References

External links

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