Transformers: The Last Knight is in theatres now, and there are some characters appearing in the movie who hadn’t been seen in the trailers. Let’s start with the recurring ones…well, sort of, as they are all dead to begin with. When Daytrader arrives at the Autobots‘s hideout, one of the “treasures” he tries to sell is the severed head of StarscreamMegatron‘s former second in command (Megatron himself retrieves the head, and has a brief Hamlet moment with it). Starscream has been a prominent member of the robotic cast since the first movie, where he led the Decepticons in freeing and resurrecting Megatron (and ending up being the only survivor of the group). In Revenge of the Fallen he resurrects Megatron once again and comes back to his side, and the two flee as soon as the Fallen is killed; he’s finally killed in Dark of the Moon during the final battle in Chicago, having his head blown up by Sam Witwicky. His picture also appears in Age of Extinction, but it’s unlikely we’ll see this treacherous Decepticon again…so let’s take a mourning look at this living Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet.

Starscream was born on planet Cybertron, where he was trained as a warrior since his early life. He attended the Cybertron War Academy and, according to his own claim, he turned out to be their most skilled student ever, obtaining the rank of Air Commander and surpassing every previous standard. In the centuries-long civil war that was tearing Cybertron apart, Starscream joined the faction of the Decepticons, and he was put in charge of the elite squad of the Seekers, an aerial commando specialised in swift attacks. His skill as a leader allowed him to get close to the Decepticons’ master, Megatron, who took him under his wing and made him one of his most trusted men. Unfortunately, Starscream wasn’t to be considered “trusted” at all, as all his successes had created quite an ambition in him, and he dreamt of taking Megatron’s place as the Decepticon leader, believing that was what he was destined to be. Despite Starscream believed to be the most cunning plotter ever born, however, Megatron knew far too well what his true ambitions were, and he kept him close in order to keep an eye on him, all the while exploiting his and his team’s skills. While planning his mutinee, however, Starscream played the part of the loyal follower, and he obeyed Megatron’s orders in the conflict against the Autobots. Being Megatron’s second in command, he was selected to be part of the assault squad that attacked the Autobots on the Ark, their sentient ship, but the battle proved to be the beginning of a new life for Starscream and all the others involved: the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, seeing his forces defeated, had the ship crash on a remote and primitive planet, Earth, in the hope of destroying his enemies along with himself. As a result, instead, all the Transformers participating to the battle fell into a state of suspended animation, and they awoke only millennia after their arrival, in the planet’s 1980s. Starscream found himself stranded on an alien planet, but a new, unhoped for situation was in front of him: now, only a few number of Decepticons were present to defend Megatron, and he had the perfect chance to take his place.

As soon as the Decepticons woke up, however, the difference of power between Megatron and Starscream became immediately blatant: Starscream dared to question Megatron’s decisions, and the latter nearly reduced him to scraps. Barely surviving the experience, the treacherous officer understood he had to use subtler ways to mine Megatron’s leadership. In his first attempt to overthrow him on the alien planet, he lured the Autobots to him during Megatron’s absence, so that he could lead his teammates in the following battle showing his commanding skills to them and undermining Megatron’s charisma. Things didn’t go as planned, however, as another Decepticon extremely loyal to Megatron, Ravage, discovered his plan, and threatened to reveal everything to the others. A fight ensued between the two, and the Autobots arrived (as planned…) just as Starscream was trying to kill his rival. Inevitably he was caught, but as a prisoner he demanded trial by combat in his defense, a right that was granted to him. His chosen adversary turned out to be Brawn, a remarkably strong opponent…but Starscream managed to defeat him, and was released. Ravage, however, had been following him, and he attacked him taking advantage of his weariness: he deactivated him, blaming the Autobots as he came back to the base. As a result, Megatron gathered the Decepticons in an attack against the Autobots, obtaining exactly the opposite of what Starscream had intended in the first place. He was later reactivated and resumed serving Megatron, first, and Shockwave, later, but when both the Decepticon leaders were gone he finally said out loud he wanted to be the new leader: Soundwave, however, had different ideas, and he took the leadership for himself; in the following battle with the Autobots, Starscream was deactivated once again by Optimus Prime. He was reactivated just in time for a battle against the titanic Autobot guardian Omega Supreme, but he just got deactivated for the umpteenth time. Failure after failure, Starscream finally allied himself with a time-travelling Decepticon, Galvatron, who offered him a chance to get rid of both Megatron and Shockwave…not knowing that he was helping the guy who, in the future, would have been responsible for his death.

Starscream is a clever and deceiving warrior, crippled by an overflowing ambition, an unlimited arrogance and an embarassing cowardice, traits that bring him to always attempt to betray this or that leader, but never to be able to directly face his opponent despite his remarkable power. As a Transformer, he possesses superhuman strenght, durability, stamina and longevity, but he’s also incredibly fast, actually one of the fastest Transformers ever; he can transform into a jet, obtaining the power of flight and increasing his speed to an impressive Mach 2.8; he’s also functionally immortal, as his mutated Spark is able to survive even outside his physical body. Armed with blasters, missiles and bombs, a ruthless fighter and a treacherous plotter, Starscream could be the intelligent and charismatic leader he had always dreamt of, if he only had enough courage to fight his own battles and to inspire his men on the battlefield…



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