Starscream (Unicron Trilogy)
The Starscream of the "Unicron Trilogy" universe has gone through many notable changes in his personality as his story has progressed. At times he is quite similar to his. Generation 1 predecessor, but on many other occasions has displayed markedly different traits to his namesake, for a variety of reasons.
The Starscream of the Transformers: Armada (Micron Legend in Japan) universe was notably similar yet different from his Generation 1 predecessor. Like him, this incarnation of Starscream loathed his commander, Megatron, but not out of any desire to take command of the Decepticons – simply because of the sheer mistreatment and contempt Megatron heaped upon him. Another notable difference between Armada Starscream and his G1 predecessor was that this Starscream was a formidable warrior and a more serious character, never shying away from battle even when the odds were against him, while the G1 incarnation was rather faint-hearted. He possessed a rivalry with Hot Shot and later information would credit him with the severing of the Autobot Red Alert's hand. He also possessed a samurai-like sense of warrior's honor and he transforms into what resembles a Sukhoi Su-35.
It is often thought that the inspiration for his character came from the Beast Wars-era Maximal Dinobot, who also defected from his initial faction, the Predacons, out of contempt for his universe's Megatron, possessed a code of honor and died a hero while gaining redemption.
In his original body, Starscream transformed into a jet, armed with twin null laser cannons activated by his partner Mini-Con, Swindle (Grid in the Japanese version). In robot mode, his left wing transforms into an energised sword blade, which he wields expertly (at one point, managing to outduel Hot Shot who was using the Star Saber at the time).
Starscream originally came to Earth as part of Megatron's expedition to gain the power of the Mini-Cons alongside Demolishor and Cyclonus. However, Starscream's frustration over having been made the last of the Decepticons to gain his partner Mini-Con led him to be manipulated by Sideways into battling with Megatron, which he promptly lost. A short time later, Starscream was given ownership of the Star Saber as part of a scheme by Thrust to make him the patsy in his plan to steal the Requiem Blaster from the Autobots. This led to him being abandoned on the battlefield. Surviving to return to the Decepticon base, Starscream went on a rampage with the sword and disowned the Decepticons, siding up with the wary Autobots, not out of any desire to do good, but out of sheer hatred for Megatron. After a clash with Hot Shot and a trip to Mars with Jetfire, Starscream befriended the Autobots' human allies, particularly Alexis, and then gave the Autobots access to the Decepticon base, resulting in a raid that freed all the captive Mini-Cons. Starscream's defection was not without difficulty however; he constantly clashed with the Autobots over morals and battle strategies. Nonetheless, he proved to be a capable Autobot. However, Thrust (himself being manipulated by Sideways) then toyed with Starscream, planting seeds of doubt in his mind. This eventually caused him to steal the Skyboom Shield from the Autobots and return to the Decepticon fold, giving the Decepticons possession of all three Mini-Con weapons.
Subsequently, Starscream was among the Transformers injured battling Nemesis Prime, and who then received power boosts from their Mini-Cons. Starscream gained a new, blue coloration that he commented made him look like his contemporary, Thundercracker. Returning to Cybertron, Starscream pursued Thrust into the depths of the planet when the turncoat tactician revealed his treachery by stealing the Requiem Blaster and Skyboom Shield. Starscream took a fatal shot from the Requiem Blaster as he battled Thrust in the subterranean tunnels, but the Mini-Con High Wire used his powers to restructure the timeline, saving Starscream. Thrust escaped and delivered the weapons to Sideways and his master, Unicron, presently disguised as Cybertron's moon. Following Thrust through a warp gate and briefly reuniting with Alexis, Starscream entered the belly of the beast along with Hot Shot and Wheeljack, but the unlikely trio were stymied by Unicron's internal defenses and failed to stop Sideways from using the weapons to begin Unicron's reactivation. Galvatron (the renamed Megatron after the Mini-con power boost) was unwilling to acknowledge Unicron's threat, however, dismissing it as an Autobot trick. Starscream, however, knew the threat was real, and that only united under a true leader like Optimus Prime – whose strength of character and nobility had touched Starscream during his time with the Autobots – could the Transformers hope to stop him. Unwilling to betray his leader, Starscream decided on a new course of action. To show Galvatron the error of his ways, he challenged him to a duel in which he allowed Galvatron to run him through with the Star Saber, and then turned his firepower on Unicron, right after he demands Galvatron to join forces with Optimus Prime to stop Unicron. Unicron promptly obliterated him, much to the shock of both Galvatron and Optimus Prime. It was then Galvatron realized that the danger of Unicron was real. Upon realizing Starscream's reasons of his treachery and rebellion, Galvatron became more than willing to have the Decepticons form an alliance with Optimus and the Autobots to destroy Unicron for good. Other than that, Galvatron also develops a newfound respect for Starscream, even calling him a true soldier for his efforts of proving to the Decepticons that the threat of Unicron is real. Starscream's final action saved everyone and made him the only incarnation of Starscream in the various Transformers universes with a good heart in the end. Alexis, who Starscream had formed a close bond with, was deeply affected by his death. Starscream, or a version thereof, was briefly seen only once more, in a dream that Galvatron had while he was temporarily absorbed into Unicron's mind.
Starscream would return in the follow-up series, recreated by Alpha Q with raw Energon. He still transformed into a jet, and was now equipped with Hyper Power missiles and a colossal Energon sword. Additionally, Starscream (now renamed Nightscream in Japan) is suffering from memory loss (deliberately done by Alpha Q), at one point querying Scorponok as to why he kept calling him Starscream.
Ten years after Starscream's death, a revived Megatron seized control of Unicron's body by ousting its former occupant, the alien being Alpha Q. The evicted extraterrestrial needed an assassin to eliminate both Megatron and Optimus Prime (who controlled the Autobot Energon deposits) so that he could return to his original task of recreating the worlds destroyed by Unicron. Using what little Energon he had left, Alpha Q recreated another victim of Unicron – Starscream. However, Alpha Q ran out of Energon before the process could be completed, leaving Starscream's body unstable, constantly shifting from a physical to an ethereal form, able to teleport by "ghosting" from location to location (in homage to G1 Starscream and his return as a ghost). Alpha Q unleashed Starscream upon Ocean City, where he battled Optimus Prime (nearly killing him) and then tracked Megatron back to Unicron's body. Even his awesome new abilities proved no match for the Decepticon leader, himself recreated through Unicron's power. Megatron used the Chaos-Bringer's power to wipe Starscream's mind, turning him into his right-hand man and most loyal subordinate. Rather ironically, Megatron now treated Starscream with far more respect than previously, even entrusting him with some of the most difficult missions. However when Shockblast joined Megatron he seem to respect the Decepticon criminal as defends him from Megatron's wrath and follows his order to listen to him.
Later, when Megatron became Galvatron through immersion in a subterranean reservoir of Super Energon on Cybertron, Starscream was allowed to do the same as a reward for his loyalty; the influx of power stabilised his physical form, while allowing him to retain his teleporting powers. When Primus later used the Super Energon to create a sun, Galvatron plunged himself into it in order to contain Unicron's spark at its core, and Starscream seemingly sacrificed himself alongside his leader.
In the Energon dub, all of the characters react to Starscream's return in an uneventful way. This is because in Super-Link, the Japanese original counterpart to Energon, Starscream is never referred to by his former name, yet is only recognized by Grand Convoy and Galvatron as being Starscream, from the previous series. He is quickly acknowledged as a soldier who once served Galvatron, and is christened "Nightscream", related to a poetic moment in the darkness when Galvatron formats his spark. In Super-Link, the characters would refrain from ever recognizing that this being was once Starscream, being that his spark signature had changed, as well as his voice, appearance, and personality. Nightscream, for all intent, was completely free of his former persona.
Starscream returned once again in Cybertron as a darker, more ruthless character. A decade after the events of Energon, when Primus's plan to contain Unicron's spark at the core of the Energon sun failed, the sun collapsed, becoming a deadly black hole that threatened Cybertron. Freed from his imprisonment in the sun by Megatron as a reward for his loyalty during the events of Energon, Starscream's mind was his own again, and his body was refurbished into yet another new form. Transforming into a new style of Cybertronian jet craft, Starscream retained his standard array of null ray weapons (located on his arms and chest turrets), he could now call upon a Cyber Key to unlock twin blades in his arms to bolster his melee combat. Once enhanced by the power of the Cyber Keys, Starscream displayed abilities such as being able to channel blasts of raw energy, teleportation and the ability to increase or decrease his mass.
Megatron began his campaign to acquire the legendary Cyber Planet Keys by stealing the map that showed their locations from the ancient Transformer, Vector Prime while Starscream, serving as his right-hand man, created a diversion that kept the other Autobots busy. During the fight, Starscream sent Landmine tumbling into the black hole, but Vector Prime saved him at the last moment, opening a dimensional gate that teleported him to Earth. The Autobots and Decepticons followed, and when it was deduced that the Cyber Planet Keys' focusing device, the Omega Lock, was hidden somewhere on the planet, Megatron charged Starscream with locating it while he focused on acquiring the Cyber Planet Key of Velocitron, the Speed Planet.
Little did Megatron suspect, however, that Starscream had evolved a new ambition – where in Armada he had sought little more than Megatron's respect, now he sought to oust Megatron and become the leader of the Decepticons, then the universe. Unlike his similarly-styled G1 predecessor, however, Starscream was smart enough to keep his intentions to himself, quietly working to achieve his goals through subtle means. While on a brief mission to attack Red Alert on Velocitron, Starscream was able to secretly switch Megatron's map with a copy that would play an important role later, and in an attempt to acquire more troops loyal to him, recruited the disillusioned Autobot Mudflap into his service on Earth.
In episode 20, "Ice", Starscream and Mudflap confront the Autobot's human allies at the North Pole, but are opposed by Scattorshot. Although Scattorshot gets the better of Mudflap initially, Starscream uses water to freeze up Scattorshot's systems. The humans and Mini-Con Recon Team use Mudflap's dropped gun to signal the other Autobots, who come to their rescue.
He later crossed paths once again with the mysterious Sideways, who saw in him the best chance to achieve his own goals.
With the Autobots having successfully acquired the Omega Lock and the Cyber Planet Keys from Velocitron and the Jungle Planet, Starscream realised it was time to step up his agenda. His duplicate planet map led Megatron and the other Decepticons to a dead sector of space and sealed them within a metal sphere, freeing Starscream to search for the third Cyber Planet Key, from Earth itself. Encountering the Autobot monster-hunter, Crosswise – one of the ancient Transformers whose ancestors had come to Earth with the Cyber Planet Key eons ago, who had recently been reactivated – Starscream discovered a vast underground holding cell in which Crosswise had imprisoned the ancient Decepticons of his time. Liberating them, Starscream took command of their forces and began a planet wide search for the Cyber Planet Key, fighting back the Autobot and human military resistance. The Autobots had Crosswise's ally Evac recover the key from its hiding place in preparation for a retreat to Velocitron, but Starscream fought his way through the entire Autobot army and confronted Optimus Prime himself, successfully purloining the lock and all three keys by endangering the Autobots' human allies and drawing Prime out of the fight.
Retreating to a small volcanic island in the South Pacific, Starscream attempted to harness the power of the Cyber Planet Keys. Megatron, meanwhile, had been freed by Scourge, and immediately sought retribution, only to wind up clashing with the Autobots first. The extra time this afforded Starscream allowed him to tap the power of the keys and harness a fragment of the spark of Primus, growing to a gigantic height and besting Megatron in combat. He then gave himself a crown whose design is an homage to the crown the original G1 Starscream wore in the 1986 Transformers movie. With an extra power boost courtesy of his combination with Wing Saber, Optimus Prime was able to defeat Starscream, but Sideways teleported his body away to the ancient starship Atlantis to recuperate.
Subsequent events would see him battling Primus himself and attempting to absorb his Spark, although he lost. Attempting to force Thunderblast to steal the Omega Lock, he was driven off by the Autobots and Thunderblast betrayed him by refusing to steal it. He clashed with Primus again when he interfered with Primus' reactivation sequence and grew to the size of a planet, although Primus defeated him once more and returned him to normal size. Thanks to the Autobots and humans, Starscream lost once more. Subsequent battles on the Gigantion ship Muriaé and with a Cyber Key empowered Landmine made Starscream ever more desperate. Despite this, Starscream remained a serious threat to both the Autobots and the Decepticons still loyal to Megatron.
With his options spent, Starscream eventually challenged Galvatron (Megatron's new form) to a final battle after his former leader had acquired the Omega Lock. Starscream nearly defeated Galvatron with his mastery of the planet forces he absorbed such as his null-ray cannon and changing size, but Galvatron stubbornly refused to lose to his former lieutenant. The two combatants powered up for one final strike, with Galvatron's blow finally defeating Starscream. So incredible were the energies released during the battle that space and time itself was rended by the final explosion, and Starscream was hurtled into to another dimension along with Sideways and Soundwave. At the end of the episode, Starscream's crown is seen floating in space.
He would appear for one final time before a defeated Galvatron, his spirit reaching out across the dimensions to encourage him to fight on. Starscream's crown also somehow floated to Galvatron's location, motivating Galvatron even more as he crushed it in his hand. This, ironically, led Galvatron to his demise at the hands of Optimus Prime. At the conclusion of the series, however, Wing Saber – departing from the rest of the Autobots to continue with his "loner" lifestyle – radios Cybertron to inform Optimus that he had found a lead on Starscream's trail and was pursuing it. Landmine and Mudflap are dispatched to aid him, and in the montage of still images that runs through the closing credits, it seems their mission to locate him is a success.
Just as Marvel Comics produced a companion comic for the Generation 1 toy line and cartoon, so too did Dreamwave Productions for the 21st century cartoon and toyline that was different from the animated continuity.
In these comics, the Armada incarnation of Starscream had a much smaller role, but was written in a fashion much closer to the original treacherous G1 character – a trait that would ultimately lead to his seeming demise when the Energon comic book began. He still possessed elements of the animated Armada Starscream, such as an unwillingness to shy away from battle.
Starscream would first appear as part of Megatron's strike squad that conquered Cyber City. With a set of Mini-Cons boosting their powers, they easily drove off the Autobot defenders. However, the Mini-Con leaders were able to commandeer a ship, allowing most of the Mini-Cons to escape.
Over the next million years the Decepticons managed to conquer virtually all of Cybertron. When a signal from Earth revealing the location of the Mini-Cons was detected, Starscream was among the Decepticons assembled by Megatron to travel across the Spacebridge to find them. It was here he gained an Earthen alternate mode of a fighter jet and was also responsible for Megatron's reformatting into his Earth mode – a gigantic tank. Tracking down the Mini-Cons, the Decepticons engaged in battle with the Autobots, also recently arrived over the Spacebridge. Starscream and Cyclonus battled Hot Shot, Scavenger and Red Alert, winning due to their Mini-Con enhanced power, until the rest of the Mini-Cons arrived and bonded to the Autobots, forcing the Decepticons to retreat.
Starscream would appear in many of Megatron's subsequent schemes, including capturing Swindle, attempting to capture Mini-Cons for his own use and launching an attack on the Mini-Con base on the Moon. His next mission would not turn out to be so fortunate – while battling a group of Autobots both sides were ambushed by Gen 1 Galvatron, one of the Heralds of Unicron, barely escaping with his life. Escaping to inform Megatron, he then participated in an assault on the Autobot base, in which he blasted Red Alert before getting attacked by Galvatron. He was later seen when the Autobots and Decepticons teamed up to defeat Unicron. When Megatron was killed by Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Scavenger, Starscream was seen fleeing from Unicron.
His next appearance would be 10 years after Unicron's defeat. When Starscream gatecrashed a meeting of the Terrorcons – renegade Decepticons who were unhappy with the peace between Autobot and Decepticon that had emerged in the wake of Unicron's defeat – at an energon plant, his mistake soon became apparent when he discovered that they had struck a deal with Unicron and gained new "Hyper Mode" powers. When their leader, Scorponok, arrived, Starscream was unable to talk himself out of trouble and was blasted into the plant's machinery by Scorponok, seemingly dying.
True to form, Starscream soon proved that he was not that easy to kill. The raw energon in the plant reacted in some mysterious way, giving him a ghostly body of pure energon (like the cartoon Energon version, this was also a homage to the ghost form of the original Starscream). In this form he ended up attacking Demolishor and draining him of his energy. Due to the collapse of Dreamwave, further tales of Starscream would remain untold, but it is known that issue #33 of the Energon comic would have had him battling the Omnicons.
Although the Cybertron stage of Dreamwave comics was not reached due to Dreamwave's closure, the Cybertron comic strip available exclusively through the Transformers Fan Club indicates that at some point in the future of the comic continuity, Starscream would have killed the Mini-Con, Over-Run.
- Armada Starscream (2002)
- The Armada toy was the first new-mould Starscream figure since 1990, and it clung to tradition with a jet alternate mode and a robot form featuring many callbacks to the original Starscream figure, such as shoulder-wings, air intakes on the shoulders, a cockpit in the chest, and a headsculpt designed to look like the original animated character. When the Mini-Con port on his backpack is pulled back and held, an electronic jet-take off noise is made. Attaching his Mini-Con partner Swindle to this port, however, unlocks his shoulder-mounted null laser cannons, and changes the sound to a repeating laser blast. Swindle can also mount under the jet-mode nosecone – by pressing the cockpit, Swindle is dropped to the ground with an accompanying electronic noise, while a press without Swindle attached yields more noises. In robot mode, Starscream's left wing can detach and unfold into a sword for him to wield.
- Armada Starscream is supposed to be 19 feet 7 inches tall according to the Armada video game (597cm) and the toy is 19cm tall. So that's a scale of 1:31.
- Micron Legend Starscream Super Mode (2003)
- A repaint of the Starscream toy in blue, grey and red coloration reminiscent of the original Generation 1 Thundercracker toy. While the American toyline opted to present this toy as a different character (actually named Thundercracker), the Japanese released it as "Starscream Super Mode," an upgraded version of Starscream himself. The change was reflected in the animated series, which necessitated an extra line being inserted into the English dub where Starscream compared himself to Thundercracker. Swindle, now grey and blue, was redubbed "Spark Grid" for the Japanese release, while he became a new character as Thundercracker's partner, Zapmaster.
- Armada Happy Meal Starscream
- Released as a McDonalds Happy Meal toy, Starscream was a pull back toy with automatic transformation that was more than a little like the Generation 1 Jumpstarter toys.
- Armada Built To Rule Starscream with Swindle
- A building toy kit.
- Energon Deluxe Starscream (2004)
- Starscream's Energon toy is based heavily on the Generation 2 figure Smokescreen, although the belief that he is simply a repaint of remould of the figure is incorrect – the mould of the figure is completely different, even though the transformation is nominally the same. Cast partially in translucent plastic to represent his status as an "energon ghost," the toy retains such traditional design features as a cockpit chest and shoulder intakes, with the familiar headsculpt. It features two Hyper Power missile launchers under his wings, which can be rotated over his robot mode shoulders, and an energon sword and blaster, which can be combined together to form a massive energon blade.
- Energon Sam's Club Starscream (2004)
- Available exclusively at Sam's Club stores in a two-pack with Red Alert, this Starscream is a redeco of his Armada toy, in the color scheme of his Energon one. The package listed his Mini-Con partner as Zapmaster, the name of the Mini-Con formerly packaged with Armada Thundercracker. It should be noted that the Hasbro web site posted this Sam's Club exclusive as a Transformers: Universe toy.
- Energon Deluxe Energon Starscream (2005)
- A repaint of the standard Energon Starscream figure, representing Starscream after his immersion in Super Energon. It now features an "Energon" prefix in its name (effectively making the toy "Energon Energon Starscream"), and is cast in solid plastic, as he is no longer a ghost, while the color scheme is a homage to the original Generation 1 Starscream. The toy's Japanese counterpart, "Nightscream Reverse" , is actually still made with clear blue plastic, still giving the suggestion of ghost traits.
- Galaxy Force Voyager Starscream (2005)
- Starscream's new body for the third installment of the Unicron Trilogy was based directly on the design created for the original Starscream in the Dreamwave comic book series, Transformers: The War Within, by artist Don Figueroa. The insertion of the toy's Cybertron Cyber Key causes twin blades to pop out from under his wings/arms, and it also includes a firing blaster than can mount under the jet-mode nosecone.
- Cybertron Supreme Starscream (2005)
- The figure comes with both a Cybertron Cyber Key and the Earth Cyber Planet Key, which can unlock his arm weapons – one blade, and one firing missile launcher. Pressing the button on the toy's shoulder causes missile firing noises and LED lights, while moving his arms activate accompanying sound effects. Although the toy has one main point of articulation that the smaller version does not (rotating midriff cannons), overall, it is little more than an upsizing on the smaller figure, with no increase in articulation to bring it up to the levels of other Supreme-sized toys.
- This version of Starscream comes with a crown meant to represent his upgrading by the power of the Cyber Planet Keys.
- Cybertron Voyager Vector Prime vs. Voyager Starscream (2005)
- Hasbro finally released the Voyager class Starscream figure as part of a two pack with Vector Prime, exclusively to Toys R US. The figure was not rendered in the character's standard color scheme, however, appearing as mostly burgundy with some grey, reminiscent of the Generation 1 character, Thrust.
- Cybertron Legends Starscream (2005)
- A miniature version of the Starscream toy, transforming in almost precisely the same way. Notably, the figure is based on the "Supreme" version of the toy, as it features both a sword and a gun, rather than two swords. This toy was repainted as SDCC Skywarp, BotCon Ramjet, Dairycon 2006 The Leader and later as Micro Sunstorm.
- Attacktix Starscream (2006)
- A small non-transforming Starscream looking like his Cybertron form was released as a figure in the Attacktix collectible game.
- Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003 page 872
- "Transformers – Galaxy Force Secret Special DVD!". TV Magazine. February 2006. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvsjngLBR54.
- Cybertron war spreads as robots invade Earth. The Washington Times, June 19, 2004
- Atari Begins the ``Ultimate Conflict with Worldwide Release of 'TRANSFORMERS' Video Game, Business Wire, May 12, 2004
- Transformers, Australian PC World; August 1, 2004, by Allen, Danny
- Starscream with Swindle