Ravage

The last character who appears in the Bumblebee trailer is another old acquaintance: Ravage, the panther-like Decepticon, who this time sprouts directly from Soundwave‘s chest plate. This oversize cat already appeared in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (albeit with an eye only), where he’s sent by Soundwave on Earth to retrieve the Allspark fragment, and to guide the Constructicons to the fallen Megatron to resurrect him using the shard. He later resurfaces during the final battle in Egypt, trying to maul Bumblebee assaulting him from behind as the Autobot is battling Rampage, but he’s brutally killed as Bumblebee rips his spine off, and uses his tail as a whip against his main adversary. We don’t know how much he’ll be present in the prequel, but we can of course take a look at his backstory.

Ravage was born in the city of Tarn, on planet Cybertron, and he inhabited it long before the civil war erupted. He was a warrior, and was hired as a bodyguard by the Overlords, the rulers of the planet. Their millennial empire was coming to an end, and the best they could think of was to institute gladiatorial games to distract the population from the shortage of fuel and from the spreading corruption in the bureaucracy of the empire. It was inevitable that the social tension eventually deflagrated, and a war started between Tarn and another city, Vos. The war claimed many victims, including several Overlords, and Ravage escorted to safety the last one along with his partner Nightstalker and two champion gladiators, Optimus Prime and Megatron. As they were escaping the fallen city, however, the Overlord constantly slowed them down: he was now but a weak parasite, who needed a refuel every few steps. During the escape, Nightstalker self-destructed to defend the Overlord, and Optimus Prime raced to find help… leaving Ravage alone with Megatron and the Overlord. The ruler asked for more fuel, this time some of Megatron’s one, but the gladiator refused to feed a useless parasite who had brought the planet on the brink of destruction. Inspired by Megatron’s refusal, also Ravage abandoned the Overlord, and let him starve. From that day, Ravage became Megatron’s first follower, a loyal founder of the Decepticons, who had seen his leader’s strength and wanted to help him rule a mightier and more righteous Cybertron. Of course, there was somebody opposing this grand design, first of all Optimus Prime, who had wanted to save the Overlord: he founded the Autobots, believing in another, softer idea of justice, and the two factions came to a devastating civil war.

Ravage was one of the few Decepticons who fought for nothing even slightly similar to a personal gain, but truly believing in the cause, and it was only natural that he joined forces with somebody just as loyal as he was: Soundwave, Megatron’s Communication Officer. He became a spy for Soundwave, even forming some sort of symbiotic relationship with him and living in his chest plate. When, during the Decepticons’ attempt to hijack the Ark, Autobots and Decepticons alike were strained on Earth, where they remained dormant for millions of years, Ravage was among the group on the little alien planet, and reawakened along with the others eons later. On Earth, Ravage assumed a form that would have allowed him to go unseen among humans: since Soundwave was a cassette recorder, he (as well as the other spies) turned into a cassette tape, needless to say, the one with the soundtrack of Cats. As the Decepticons found themselves on shortage of fuel on the alien planet, Ravage was sent by Megatron to investigate the Harrison Nuclear Power Plant, looking for energy. It was Ravage the one that, disguised as a cassette, learnt that the ruling species on the planet were not the mighty vehicles, as the Transformers had thought, but rather the puny organic operators. Knowing how weak their enemy was, Ravage reported to Megatron, and the Decepticons immediately attacked and conquered the Power Plant, using it to refuel themselves. On spy duty again, Ravage followed one puny human, going by the name “O”, and through him he learnt that the Autobots had found an ally in an alien specimen, Buster Witwicky. Also this time, Ravage called in reinforcements for a new attack, aiming at Witwicky’s home. It was fundamental to teach humans what the consequences were in taking sides against the glorious future of Cybertron.

Ravage is a brutal and feral warrior, but also one who knows honor and loyalty, and there’s nothing able to take away his blind faith in the Decepticon leader, Megatron. As a Cybertronian, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, as well as superhuman speed; he can transform into a cassette tape, but his regular form is much more menacing: a mechanoid panther with steel jaws and fangs, an extremely agile combatant who can also count on a pair of missile launchers mounted on his sides. A master saboteur and a stealthy spy, Ravage hides in the shadows, waiting for the best moment to strike: few are the ones who survived his grim attacks, and his surgical accuracy makes him one of the most precious warriors in the lines of the Decepticons.

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Soundwave

In the trailer for Bumblebee we learn that a number of scenes will be set on Cybertron, granting us a look to some of the Autobots and Decepticons sporting their iconic G1 look. One of these is Soundwave, a character we already met before: he’s the Decepticon voiced by Frank Welker who, in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, hijacks a satellite and uses it to gain information about the Autobots and their allies and coordinate the Decepticons’ actions. He also appears in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, where we learn that he’s been plotting since the 1970s with some human allies to keep the Ark‘s existence a secret and to scavenge it, setting the basis for the Autobots’ fall. This time, he joins the land forces, but he’s swiftly killed by Bumblebee during the final battle. Just as in the movies, also in the comics he’s Megatron‘s right-hand man, the only Decepticon the big bad trusts, and one of the most dangerous leaders of the evil Transformers. Let’s see together.

Soundwave was born on planet Cybertron, during the neverending civil war that put Autobots against Decepticons. Unlike many other Transformers, from both sides, who only believed in the power of raw strength, Soundwave, always a Decepticon, saw in data and information an unexplored territory, and used his formidable memory to gather, collect and obviously use an incredible amount of data on both sides’ combatants. Massive in size and with a remarkable physical strength of his own, Soundwave formed a symbiotic-like relationship with some smaller Decepticons, who became his spies and who lived within his body until they were summoned: Laserbeak, Ravage, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, Ratbat, Slugfest and Overkill, advantaged by their small size and by their stealth capabilities, swarmed Cybertron, collecting information and delivering them to Soundwave, who made the best use of them. Knowledge meant power, and power was exactly what Megatron, the Decepticons’ leader, was after: because of his unique and massive database, Soundwave climbed his way to Megatron’s side, soon becoming one of his most trusted subordinates, and eventually his Communications Officer. Besides spying on the Autobots and using those info to gain the upper hand in the war, Soundwave also spied on his fellow Decepticons, reporting to Megatron any subversive talk or birthing conspiracy, blocking them before they could be put in act. Because of this, he obviously became the most hated officer in the Decepticons’ army, but he was also Megatron’s most trusted ally: this way, no matter how many Decepticons wanted him dead, he would have always been protected. He had found quite a safe place for himself, one that would have ensured his survival throughout the entire war.

As inseparable from Megatron as he was, Soundwave was among the Decepticons who ended on Earth, a small blue planet eons away from Cybertron, and reawakened along with his master and his fellow Transformers to continue the war on the alien world. As usual, Soundwave served Megatron, but when his master was overthrown by Shockwave, he didn’t hesitate in offering his loyalty to the new Decepticon leader, knowing far too well that his position was irreplaceable nevertheless. Under Shockwave, Soundwave attacked and conquered Blackrock Aerospace Plant, and using the resources and data he found there he built the Constructicons, who in turn helped him build a massive antenna he used to send a message to Cybertron on Shockwave’s behalf. When also Shockwave went MIA, it was only natural for Starscream, the eternal second-in-command, to finally take the lead… if it wasn’t for Soundwave, who assumed the leadership and deeply enjoyed frustrating his rival’s ambitions. Soundwave proved to be quite a remarkable leader, able to launch a massive attack against the Autobots, to manipulate Sludge into battling Grimlock and using the following turmoil as a distraction to steal an incredible amount of fuel, ending the day leaving the Autobots Bluestreak, Huffer, Sideswipe, Windcharger, Gears and Cliffjumper badly injured. This victory was more than enough to earn Soundwave the respect of the other Decepticons, but then his spies informed him that they had found Megatron in Wyoming, blocked in a coal mine and unable to move due to the lack of fuel. Apparently, Soundwave was truly loyal to Megatron after all, and he sped there to revive his master. Now, he would have helped him regain control against the returned Shockwave, as usual using his spy skills to lend his master’s a tactical advantage against the overpowering rival.

Soundwave is a terribly smart and clever Transformer, possibly the most intelligent Decepticon ever, who however is fiercely loyal to Megatron. As a Cybertronian, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and he can shapeshift transforming into a microcassette deck; he has a photographic memory, and is able to store a nearly infinite amount of data in the magnetic discs in his chest compartment, along with his microcassette spies, and he can detect, intercept and jam transmission throughout the entire energy spectrum; despite he seldom enters a fight, he’s a terrific warrior, fighting with his shoulder-mounted laser cannon and a concussion blaster. One of the top-ranking officers in the Decepticon army, Soundwave has eyes everywhere, and is the most feared intelligence agent on both sides of the war: one sentence from his monotone voice, in fact, is enough to unleash all the power of Megatron on everyone he denounces…

Blitzwing

These are the days for posters, promos and trailers, and also Bumblebee hits with an unexpectedly good-looking trailer, and with a bunch of new characters to speak about. One who’s very hard to miss is the mean-looking Decepticon who can transform into a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom jet, and who many (myself included) mistook for Starscream in the first pics: that’s Blitzwing for you, another flying Transformer. Voiced by David Sobolov, this seeker will be sent on Earth after Bumblebee, and he clearly doesn’t have good intentions. He’ll also ally himself with gullible humans to complete his mission. In the comics, he’s cruel enough to make even his fellow Decepticons uncomfortable, so future (past?) doesn’t look too bright for the fan-favorite Autobot

Blitzwing was born on planet Cybertron, but his early life is pretty much unknown. What we know for sure is that, during the centuries-old war on the planet, he fought on the side of the Decepticons, and he distinguished himself as one of the most cruel and efficient assassins of his time. He wasn’t a regular Transformer, though, as he was a Triple Changer, an extremely rare kind of Transformer who could turn into two vehicles rather than one (during his time on Earth, these forms were a Type 74 battle tank and a MiG-25 jet fighter): the only other Triple Changers in the Decepticons, along with him, were his friends Astrotrain and Octane, who matched the Autobots Broadside, Sandstorm and Springer. Blitzwing lived during the Decepticons’ rule over Cybertron, and specialized in hunting down and killing the members of the Autobot resistance led by Emirate Xaaron, the last surviving member of the Council of Elders, relics from the old government. Blitzwing was one of the most feared Decepticons on the planet, and that’s why he was selected as one of the critical ten targets of Operation: Volcano, an Autobot plan aimed to reclaim control of Cybertron. Blitzwing, along with Astrotrain, Octane, Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet, Macabre and the three Insecticons (Bombshell, Kickback and Shrapnel), were to be lured in a trap, with Emirate Xaaron himself acting as bait. As soon as they fell for it, they would have been attacked by Impactor and his Wreckers and by Ultra Magnus, the Autobots’ strongest combatants, while the other members of the resistance would have led a planet-wide uprising. Things would have probably gone bad for Blitzwing and the others, if it wasn’t for Megatron, the long-departed leader of the Decepticons, who summoned his best fighters on a small, blue planet: Earth. This way, Blitzwing avoided the trap, and lived to fight another day.

The first assignment on Earth, where the war between Decepticons and Autobots was continuing, wasn’t exactly as glorious as the Triple Changers hoped for. While the Insecticons reached Megatron in person, the Triple Changers were sent to Ratbat instead, who was studying new ways of exploiting the local aliens, humans, hypnotizing them with his Wash and Roll car-wash franchise. The fuel for his newest operation, however, had gone missing, and it was up to Blitzwing and his companions to retrieve it. If this wasn’t humiliating enough as a mission, the very moment the trio approached the crashed cargo they were attacked and infected by Scraplets, the worst kind of parasite a Cybertronian could meet. The Scraplets, tiny robots that multiplied themselves infinitely, could consume an adult Cybertronian in a matter of hours, and there was no known cure for the infestation, apart from a legendary chemical that had never been proved to be real, on Cybertron. Luckily enough, also Blaster and Goldbug, Autobots, had been infected, and they found out that the chemical that didn’t exist on Cybertron was actually one that on Earth was present in abundance: water. Against Blaster’s judgement, Goldbug sprayed even the Triple Changers with water, thus saving them… a debt that Blitzwing honored by escaping with the cargo, without scrapping the two Autobots as he would have normally. Following that, Ratbat and his master Shockwave were pleased with the trio, and Blitzwing became part of the regular force at disposal of the powerful Decepticon. At Shockwave’s orders, Blitzwing led many bloody raids against the Autobots, against distinguishing himself for his cruelty, until a huge battle occurred on the Moon. Here, the powerful Decepticon crossed swords with an even more powerful Autobot, Grimlock, who sliced him in half with his Energo-Sword. Saved and repaired by Scorponok time later, Blitzwing was even more blood-lustful than before, adding revenge to natural cruelty…

Blitzwing is a full-fledged psychopath, an incredibly cruel and blood-thirsty warrior who remarks his obnoxious actions with a dark humor that puts even his fellow Decepticons in distress. As a Cybertronian, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, he can transform into either a tank or a battle jet, thus gaining the ability to fly and superior speed (in the latter form) and a terrible firepower; he’s a formidable assassin, not only an infallible marksman but also a lethal swordsman, wielding the all-cutting Electron Scimitar. Definitely not a soldier devoted to a cause, but rather a mass-murderer devoted to carnage, Blitzwing is a sociopath madman who’s avoided even by his teammates, uncomfortable with him around… and nobody able to make a tyrant like Megatron feel uneasy can be good news for anyone crossing his path…

Unicron

The last character in Transformers: The Last Knight is one we’ve been waiting for for a while now, albeit he appears in an oddly different look… and not even entirely. While brainwashing Optimus Prime, the evil Quintessa reveals to him that Earth is actually what in Cybertron‘s legends is called Unicron, an evil nemesis to Cybertron that must be destroyed. From Earth, in fact, six giant spikes emerge, and at the end of the movie a disguised Quintessa offers her knowledge on how to kill the creature they belong to. Unicron is not a planet in the original continuity, rather a devourer of planets, some sort of evil version of Galactus from the Marvel Universe. His presence in the movie continuity may hint at interesting future developments, let’s see together why is that…

At the beginning of space and time, there was only The One, a creature in which Chaos and Order coexisted. The only inhabitant of a newborn multiverse, the One wanted to explore and know it, so he split in two different beings: Unicron and Primus, each one of them the embodiment of a different primordial principle (chaos and order, evil and good), each one of them unique in every universe. Unicron could cross any reality, perceiving them all and constantly analyzing them all, while Primus inhabited them all at once. While Primus wanted to embark in his original mission of exploring the cosmos, however, Unicron only wanted to destroy it, wishing to be the only living being ruling over the Void, the dark emptiness that existed before reality (or realities) did. Primus tried to stop his twin brother, but Unicron proved to be stronger than him: the duel between the two siblings continued across realities, and eventually Primus understood he had to outsmart the stronger opponent. He moved the fight to the astral plane, and Unicron followed him there, believing he was trying to flee from him; when he followed him back to the physical world, however, Unicron found his essence trapped into a mechanical planetoid, falling into his brother’s trap. Although Primus hoped that the trap could hold his brother (and himself) forever, Unicron kept trying to break free, until he understood he didn’t have to destroy the planet: he could make it part of his own. His essence “possessed” the world, so that he was now a living planet free to move in the universe; the same did Primus, so the conflict between the two started again. Unicron learnt to control the metal he was now composed of, and he became able of transforming himself into a gargantuan robotic warrior, a humanoid the size of a planet; taking the idea of transformation from his brother, Primus, who was now the planet Cybertron, created some mechanical warriors who could change shape as well, and he gave them the mission of destroying his brother. These warriors were The Thirteen, the first Transformers in history. Unicron was now facing both his brother and his champions.

Apart from direct confrontation, Unicron had learnt other ways to fight his battles in his millennia of imprisonment, and he managed to convert one of the Thirteen, who would have later known only as The Fallen, to his cause, and he transformed him into his first acolyte. The battle continued, with the remaining twelve Transformers fighting Unicron and the Fallen, until the latter two were brought too close to a black hole, and disappeared in it. Albeit Unicron had seemingly vanished from reality, Primus decided to enter an eternal slumber, so that, if Unicron had survived, he wouldn’t have been able to track him with their psychic bond. Unicron was, in fact, still alive, and he used his powers to escape his dimensional prison and to look for his brother, the only obstacle to his goal of total annihilation of life, in every reality he could reach. While travelling from universe to universe, Unicron collected a growing number of acolytes, warriors who fell victim to his charisma and who chose to follow him lured by the promise of godly powers (but at the cost of their sanity), or whom he brainwashed to do his bidding. Finally, millennia after their last battle, Primus was accidentally reawakened by Autobots and Decepticons, whose civil war had reached the nucleus of Cybertron where the god was sleeping. Primus was fast to reenter his slumber, but the Primal Scream he had emitted the moment he had regained consciousness was more than enough for Unicron to locate him. Wanting to investigate on the matter, Unicron dispatched four of his best minions to Cybetron, with the order to kill the dormant Primus if he really was there: he sent HookLine and Sinker from planet Ghennix, and even a Cybertronian from an alternate future in which he had triumphed over his brother, Galvatron. The latter, however, was a leader of his own, and wasn’t happy to serve under a master whose sole promise was to annihilate him along with the rest of the universe: instead of killing Primus, Galvatron abducted Emirate Xaaron, the leader of the Autobots, and forced him to awake Primus, so that he could dispose of Unicron. Finally, the war between the two primeval gods could restart, and now they both had a loyal army on their side, promising a cosmic conflict the likes nobody had ever seen since the dawn of the multiverse.

Unicron is a totally malicious being, the embodiment of all the chaos and the evil energy that inhabited the cosmos at the moment of its beginning, devoted entirely to the destruction of every form of life, energy and matter in the multiverse but himself. Driven by a neverending hatred towards his brother Primus, who’s the only one standing in his way to destroy the multiverse, Unicron taints and corrupts everything he touches, converting many to his genocidal cause according godly powers to his followers. A cosmic being, Unicron is a giant the size of a planet, with immeasurable strength, invulnerable and immortal; he can absorb and manipulate a limitless amount of energy, and he can hypnotize any living Transformer to become his acolyte; his conscience embraces every possible reality, and he can move through them freely; he can also transform into a huge planet and, sometimes, even into an immense tank. A threat to the universe like no other, Unicron is a primeval destroyer, whose sole purpose is to annihilate everything that exists to return to the peace of the Void.

Nemesis Prime

In Transformers: The Last Knight, one of the biggest surprises was to see the heroic Optimus Prime, always voiced by Peter Cullen, becoming the bad guy under the influence of the mad goddess Quintessa. While acting as her lieutenant, Optimus even changes his name and appearance, having half of his face turned red and calling himself Nemesis Prime. This isn’t a new name, quite the opposite. In the comics, though, Nemesis Prime isn’t a brainwashed Optimus, rather his evil clone. There are several versions of Nemesis, differing in origin and purpose, but we’ll stick to the original one. Let’s see together.

Unlike most of the Transformers, Nemesis Prime wasn’t born on planet Cybertron, nor he was created by someone originating from there. He was an “artificial” Transformer built by a human, engineered and assembled on Earth. He was born when Doctor Arkeville, an evil scientist who often allied himself with the Decepticons to obtain power for himself, became tired of his allies’ continuous failures in bringing down the Autobots. Believing that the origin of all his problems could be led up to Megatron‘s incapacity as a leader, Arkeville started designing a better ruler of the Decepticons, one who could obtain a definitive victory over the Autobots. Since the greatest leader around proved to be Optimus Prime, Arkeville decided he would have had an “Optimus” on his side, and he started stealing the Decepticons’ data on the enemy commander. With those data, Arkeville built a perfect replica of Optimus, changing the color pattern and programming it so that he would have possessed all Optimus’ abilities and none of his morality, a perfectly sentient being devoted to an evil cause rather than to a noble one. The only thing Arkeville was missing was a way to bring his creation to life, but several attempts, from stealing energy from the Autobot Spacebridge to capturing a Spark with a subspace linkup, failed. Before the scientist could try something else, a time portal opened right besides the inert body, and a shiny orb came out of it, merging with Nemesis: the clone awoke, just moments before he disappeared from his creator’s eyes. The robotic body, in fact, had been possessed by an Autobot’s Spark, sent back in time by Rodimus Prime to repair the timeline damaged by Ravage. Using the body’s energy, the Spark managed to do so, and reached the other Autobots to inform them of his mission… but in that moment, Nemesis Prime’s original A.I. took control of the body.

The Autobot’s Spark was still informing his teammates on how he had repaired the timeline, when Nemesis took over: the Autobot’s symbol on his chest became a Decepticon’s one, and he became suddenly hostile to the Transformers. Before he could do any true damage, the Spark used the last of its energies to open a portal to Arkeville’s lab, and deactivated the clone. Even without a Spark, however, Nemesis’ automated A,I. was enough for him to cross the portal following the Spark, coming back to his creator. Arkeville, in the meanwhile, had found an ancient, malicious life force he could tap in, and as soon as his robotic son came back home, he connected him with it: finally, Nemesis Prime came to life on his own, not a puppet anymore, but a sentient being with a mission. It was following this mission that Nemesis abandoned Arkeville’s lab and tracked down the Decepticons, eager to join their ranks… and to challenged Megatron for the right to rule. When the two Decepticons were about to fight, however, on Cybertron the Autobot Mirage had found the switch the Quintessons used to control all the Transformers: following Optimus Prime’s orders, Mirage turned it down, thus deactivating every Transformer in the universe who wasn’t upgraded (the ones from Generation-1). As a result, Megatron was deactivated, and Nemesis Prime emerged victorious without inferring a single blow. For first, Nemesis ordered Shockwave to collect as many inert bodies he could, in order to use them for spare parts: the powerful Decepticon found logic in what he was told, and he complied. Seeing Shockwave obeying the newcomer, even the other Decepticons swore their loyalty to him: finally, Nemesis had reached the goal he had been programmed for, and he was now the undisputed ruler of the Decepticons, ready to take on his hated enemies.

Nemesis Prime is a perfect replica of Optimus Prime, with all his charisma, his intelligence and his strength, but none of his compassion and morality, making him a perfect dark mirror of his Autobot counterpart. He possesses superhuman strength, durability and reflexes, he can turn into a huge truck gaining speed, and he’s a master of unarmed combat and marksmanship. Whether created by Arkeville, by the tyrant Straxus, by the terrorist organization M.E.C.H. or simply born in an alternate universe in which Cybertron was conquered by Unicron, Nemesis Prime is a ruthless and brutal warrior, a worshipper of raw power who believes honor in battle comes from the total annihilation of the enemies.

Shockwave

In Transformers: The Last Knight, when Sir Edmund Burton shows the heroes his private museum of the Witwiccan Order, several historical pictures can be seen: the bigger one shows a militarized Bumblebee, but on other two we can see Ironhide and Shockwave as well. The latter appeared as one of the major antagonists in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a remarkably powerful Decepticon who commands a giant worm-like beast called Driller, and who’s able to overpower all the Autobots on his own. He’s killed by the united forces of the human army and the Autobots, with Optimus Prime delivering the final blow to a seemingly invincible opponent. His pictures, marked as “deceased”, is later seen in Age of Extinction. In the comics, Shockwave is just as badass as in the movies… but he speaks a lot more. Let’s see together.

Born on planet Cybertron, Shockwave started as an academic, dedicating himself to pure logical thinking, concentrating on meditation to free himself from all kind of emotions, which he saw as an unforgivable weakness. When the civil war between Autobots and Decepticons began, Shockwave joined the latter, as logic suggested to him that their cause was the one most likely to win the war, since they weren’t burdened by compassion. It was thanks to his calculations that the Decepticons found the perfect moment to attack the Autobots, just when they had been weakened by a planetary mission defending Cybertron from a meteor shower; while Megatron and the others boarded the Ark, however, Shockwave stayed behind on the Nemesis, piloting the warship. This proved to be quite a wise choice, as Optimus Prime sent his ship crashing on a remote, primitive planet, taking along Megatron and his Decepticons. Aboard the Nemesis, Shockwave followed the Ark until it reached Earth. While trying to follow the enemy ship down in the atmosphere, even the Nemesis experienced a malfunction, and its damaged guidance system led Shockwave in Antarctica. As Shockwave emerged from the Nemesis, the Ark’s A.I. detected him, and reactivated five Autobots (Grimlock, Sludge, SlagSwoop and Snarl) to oppose him, giving them the shape of the local forms of life, namely dinosaurs. The Dinobots reached Shockwave in Antarctica, where they tried to use their combined power to destroy their enemy. “Tried”. Not only Shockwave proved his power to be superior to that of the Dinobots combined, but even if he couldn’t kill them all alone, he tricked them into getting trapped in a tar pit; while they were sinking, however, Snarl managed to inflict a final blow that blew up the mountain Shockwave was standing upon. As his enemies got trapped in the tar pit, Shockwave himself was buried under tons of rock, trapped as well. He would have been stuck for millions of years.

Finally, during Earth’s 1980s, Autobots and Decepticons were awakened, and they resumed their war on the alien planet; the Autobots were still looking for their five missing comrades, and they sent probes all around the globe to find them… but one of the probes inadvertently reactivated Shockwave instead. In a matter of minutes, Shockwave located all the Transformers in Oregon, and he reached them just as the Autobots defeated the Decepticons in a long and difficult battle. His arrival was quite an explosive one: Shockwave single-handedly defeated the weakened Autobots, and he even executed Optimus Prime by decapitating him. He then reanimated the Decepticons, but only to serve him: since Megatron had failed, logic demanded that leadership was granted to him now. As a first act as a leader, Shockwave led the Decepticons in attacking an oil-drilling platform that became their secondary headquarters, but this second success only humiliated Megatron even more: the former leader challenged the current one, but Shockwave effortlessly defeated him, forcing him to vow his obedience and loyalty to him. Megatron agreed, but not without a grudge. This settled, Shockwave proceeded with his plan to lead the Decepticons to the ultimate victory, and he extracted the Creation Matrix from Optimus Prime’s head and the technology obtained from conquering Blackrock Aerospace Plant to create the Constructicons, the new frontier of Decepticon firepower. The next step had Shockwave build another extremely powerful Decepticon, Jetfire, but he soon realized that Optimus had transferred the rest of the Matrix in the mind of Buster Witwicky, a human. Buster used the Matrix to turn Jetfire on the Autobots’ side, reversing the situation in his favor, and resurrected Optimus, who challenged Shockwave. At the end of a fierce battle, the Autobot leader buried Shockwave in a swamp, finally defeating him… not that the Decepticon leader wouldn’t have come back sooner than his enemies hoped for…

Shockwave is an extremely intelligent tactician, a warrior who doesn’t feel any emotion and who follows a cold and relentless logic. As a Transformer, he possesses superhuman strength, durability, stamina, reflexes and longevity, he is inhumanly intelligent, and his left hand is an energy cannon; he can transform into a Cybertronian ray-gun, a form in which he can shoot a variety of different rays, from highly dangerous gamma rays to x-rays that allow him to see through pretty much everything. An extremely powerful warrior, possibly even stronger than Megatron himself, Shockwave is loyal to the Decepticons only out of calculation: his one true loyalty is to logic, and pure cold logic can be even more frightening than murderous rage…

Starscream

Transformers: The Last Knight is in theaters 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 specialized 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 mutineer, 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 embarrassing 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 strength, 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…