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run interference for

Astrotrain

Astrotrain is the name of two fictional characters in the various Transformers universes.

Transformers: Generation 1

Astrotrain's Marvel and Dreamwave bios both state that he loves using his Triple-Changing abilities to create confusion among his enemies, enjoying the fear in their eyes in the moments before he destroys them.

Animated series

Astrotrain first appeared in season 2 and was a part of Megatron's forces on Earth. Although typically a secondary character, Astrotrain was a main player in two episodes. In the episode "Triple Take-Over", he and fellow Triple Changer Blitzwing froze Megatron and Starscream and took leadership of the Decepticons for themselves. Leading an army of drone-like locomotives, he was defeated and forced to return command to Megatron at gunpoint.

Astrotrain was seemingly let back into the Decepticons after this, being sent alongside Blitzwing in "Prime Target" to forge an alliance with the big-game hunter Lord Chumley, although Chumley had no interest in the Decepticons, merely wishing to hunt the ultimate prey, Optimus Prime.

Like other Transformers in the animated series, Astrotrain's size changed greatly in his various forms. His primary role was transporting Decepticons as a space shuttle or train. However, in robot form, he was no larger than an average-sized Transformer.

One of Astrotrain's most prominent actions appeared in the episode "God Gambit". The Autobot Cosmos discovered an energy source on Saturn's moon Titan, but was shot down by Astrotrain and disabled. Upon discovering a large deposit of energy crystals, Astrotrain (accompanied by Starscream and Thrust) persuaded Titan's inhabitants, the Talarians, to worship him as a god, subsequently using them as slaves to mine the crystals. The disabled Cosmos, being held prisoner, managed to contact the Autobots, thanks to a Talarian rebel who reactivates his communicator. Omega Supreme, with Perceptor and Jazz aboard, arrived and eventually drove off the Decepticons but not before Astrotrain destroyed the crystals, proclaiming if he can't have them, nobody can.

In The Transformers: The Movie, Astrotrain was also present at the Battle of Autobot City but was not wounded. He transported the defeated Decepticons back to Cybertron following their defeat by Optimus Prime. It would turn out he was not strong enough to carry them all. Several of the weaker Decepticons were literally thrown off of him, only to be found and changed by Unicron. Of note, his shuttle size changed greatly from moment to moment - Starscream is shown as being nearly as high as his door (which is nearly to the ceiling), but less than a minute later, Devastator is able to stand inside him. After they arrive on Cybertron, Astrotrain is shown to be the one crowning Starscream during the coronation scene, although it seems that he is slightly shorter than Starscream. Like the rest of the Decepticons, Astrotrain accepts Galvatron's leadership without question.

He would continue to make sporadic appearances throughout season 3.

Marvel Comics

Astrotrain would first appear in Marvel's The Transformers series in the Target 2006 arc of the U.K. comics. Along with the other Triple Changers, the three Insecticons, Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet and Macabre, they are the Decepticons' most feared killers and must be taken out before a major Autobot uprising can take place. Megatron inadvertently scuppered the plan by summoning the Insecticons to Earth.

Astrotrain would first appear in the U.S. run in issue #29. He was sent to Earth along with Blitzwing and Octane to retrieve a crashed shuttle which was carrying fuel for one of Ratbat's operations. However, the shuttle's pilot was infected with Scraplets — a plague of sentient micro-robots that devoured metal — and the dying pilot then accidentally infected them. After battling with Blaster and Goldbug the Autobots became infected as well. Goldbug eventually found the cure — water, but Blaster refused to let Goldbug spray them, reluctant to save the Decepticons. The Scraplets took matters out of his hands, however, and merged into one huge creature. Options spent, Goldbug cured all four Transformers and let the heavily-armed Decepticons deal with it. The three Triple-Changers then escaped with their cargo.

Astrotrain was part of Ratbat's Earthbound forces, battling Scorponok's Decepticons when they arrived and later the Autobots. He was then deactivated by the Underbase-powered Starscream over Buenos Aires.

Astrotrain made one last appearance in an alternate universe as part of Galvatron's forces. In this alternate universe, Unicron had destroyed Cybertron, and Galvatron and the Decepticons ruled Earth.

Transformers: Generation 2

Astrotrain had a brief appearance in a crowd scene in the Generation 2 comics before the Decepticons fought Jhiaxus. As the battle was a rout, it is not clear if he survived.

He appeared in the Earthforce stories as part of the Decepticons of Megatron and Shockwave's forces, in one notable instance leaving Octane to be blasted by the U.S army after it was revealed he had simply been chasing a car out of sheer spite — unaware that the car was actually Jazz.

Fun Publications

The Transformers Classics comics published in the Official Transformers Collectors Club magazine is set in the Marvel Comics continuity, but in a timeline where the events of Generation 2 did not occur. Astrotrain appears among Megatrons troops.

According to his Classic bio printed in the Transformers Collectors clob comic Megatron spent nearly 10 years rebuilding Astrotrain on Earth. Soundwave used human agents to recover parts of Astrotrain from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Once online, Astrotrain was sent to find other deactivated Decepticons, using the records of Starscream's rampage as a guide. Astrotrain serves faithfully, but is bored with his work and hated the humans who infested the Earth. Although his time in orbit was his only get-away, he became enraged one day when he discovered a human space station. The humans were invading his only refuge. He destroyed the station and hundreds of satellites.

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 came 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.

Dreamwave Productions

The Triple Changers would appear again in Dreamwave's reinterpretation of the Generation 1 universe — this time with a greatly expanded origin. Astrotrain first appeared during Shockwave's attack on Iacon city along with Blitzwing, Bludgeon, Brawl, Chopshop, Dirge, Octane , Onslaught, Ramjet, Tantrum, Venom and Vortex.

Astrotrain would later appear as part of Starscream's Predacon faction. Shockwave envisioned a Transformer with multiple alternate modes, studying Astrotrain and Blitzwing. However, the Great Shutdown meant his plans could go no further — until Unicron's servant Scourge located Cybertron and reactivated Shockwave for study. When Shockwave was attacked by Sharkticons Scourge saved his life, only to be shot in the back by Shockwave. Shockwave then proceeded to examine and study Scourge, and used the secrets gleaned to create first the Duocons and then the Triple Changers — Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Octane, Sandstorm and Broadside. Interestingly, in the Micromasters mini-series by Dreamwave, Blitzwing and Astrotrain are suffering from severe physical changes. As this is before the Great Shutdown, it might imply that the change was a natural one rather than a result of experiments.

The Triple Changers later served as Shockwave's bodyguards, accompanying him to Earth to capture Optimus Prime and Megatron's troops, with Blitzwing taking down Megatron, leaving him vulnerable for a follow-up attack by Shockwave. They were unable to prevent him from being stopped by Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus back on Cybertron, but Astrotrain and Blitzwing accompanied Shockwave on his exile in the wastes of Cybertron, where his experiments resulted in Sixshot. However, when Megatron and the Predacons arrived, Megatron severed Shockwave's gun arm and the rest of Shockwave's troops surrendered, including Astrotrain. Blitzwing refused and was killed by Razorclaw.

Devil's Due Publishing

In the third crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers from Devil's Due Publishing, Astrotrain appeared as part of the Decepticon air attack on the Autobot Capital City, led by Sixshot, but was driven off by Omega Supreme. After Omega's defeat he attacked Autobot civilians , but was beaten into the ground by Optimus Prime himself.

IDW Publishing

Astrotrain appeared in the IDW Publishing G1 relaunch miniseries The Transformers: Infiltration as one of the Decepticons stationed on Earth under the command of Starscream. He, along with Runamuck, Runabout and Thundercracker stands down and surrenders when Megatron finally arrives to deal with the rebellious Starscream personally. He reappeared in the subsequent series The Transformers: Escalation, explaining the properties of ore-13 to the Decepticon leader and accepting that no further insubordination would be tolerated. He was summoned by Megatron along with Skywarp to deal with Optimus Prime's Autobot unit, using Skywarp's teleporting power to transport themselves straight into battle and run interference for their human facsimile. However, as Astrotrain lined up a killing shot on Prowl, he was badly damaged by Hardhead, and was unable to come to Skywarp's assistance. He was not seen again in the battle, but later appeared repaired, protesting Megatron's decision to bring Sixshot to Earth.

Astrotrain also appeared in the mini-series Evolution: Hearts of Steel. In this Industrial Revolution-themed series, Astrotrain was not actually a Transformer, but a new creation of the Decepticons. He was created to pull the Decepticon train convoy to New York, but was presumably destroyed when John Henry and Bumblebee sabotaged the railway line and sent the Decepticons plummeting into a chasm.

Toys

  • Generation 1 Astrotrain (1985)

Originally a Diaclone mold; in Transformers, Astrotrain appeared in three different color schemes. The Hasbro version was colored light gray, purple, and black. The Takara version, being white and black was later reissued in Japan in 2004. Also in 2004, eHobby offered a dark gray and purple "anime-accurate" color scheme as shown in the cartoon and box artwork.

  • Transformers Classics Astrotrain (2006)

Astrotrain is one of the toys in the first series of the Transformers Classics line, which debuted in the last quarter of 2006. As before, he is a triple changer, turning into a space shuttle and a train. The shuttle has "kibble" — visible remnants of the other modes — above the wings, and his train mode now resembles a bullet train. The color scheme is mostly white, with some purple and red applications. Classic Astrotrain's biography was featured in Transformers Club Magazine #14.
This toy was featured on page 21 of the book Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future by Erin Brereton published by Triumph Books.
Astrotrain was sold individually in the United States, but later sold in a two-pack with Classics Bumblebee in Japan.
A Chinese made bootleg of Classic Astrotrain was released in 2007, which was slightly simplified and enlarged making him more the sized of a Voyager class toy.

  • Transformers Henkei: D-03 Astrotrain (2006)

In 2008, Takara-Tomy released their version under their Transformers Henkei line. This version was done in dark grey and purple, making him more accurate to the character from the 1980's show. The spaceship mode's rear jet boosters are chromed, along with Astrotrain's chest panel.

  • Transformers: Universe Spacewarp (unreleased)

A proposed homage to Astrotrain, called Spacewarp, was created in prototype, but never released. Spacewarp was a repaint of Transformers: Armada Jetfire as a Decepticon. It was to ship with the Mini-Con Commetor and 3 other Mini-Cons, repaints of the Mini-Con Space Team. This toy was remolded into Cybertron Astrotrain with different Mini-Cons.

Transformers: Timelines

A second character named Astrotrain was released as a Transformers Collectors Club exclusive in 2007.

Astrotrain's bio indicates that, unlike the original Astrotrain, he had his own agenda in joining the Decepticons. A fearsome bounty hunter, he and his partner Mini-Cons transport the Decepticons in their quest for the Cyber Planet Keys.

Fun Publications

Astrotrain appeared in the storyline, "The Black Sea of Sandokan".

Toys

  • Timelines Astrotrain (2007)

This Astrotrain is similar to the canceled Transformers: Universe toy Spacewarp although Astrotrain had a different paint job and a new head sculpt. The new head is based on a design by artist Dan Khanna and resembles the head of the original Generation 1 Astrotrain. The character is not related to the original Astrotrain and is based in the Transformers: Cybertron series. Astrotrain's Mini-Con is a repaint of the Mini-Con Comettor named Starcatcher.
In November 2006 it was revealed that they were changing Astrotrain to be a member of the Transformers: Timelines toy line, and it would include 4 Mini-Cons. The original Mini-con partner is repainted as Starcatcher, and the new Giant Planet Mini-Con team repaints are named Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, and Astro-Sinker.

External links

References

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