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Astrotrain (G1)

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The name or term Astrotrain refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see Astrotrain (disambiguation).
Astrotrain
Astrotraing1
Continuity: The Transformers
Affiliation: Decepticons
Subgroup: Triple Changers

Astrotrain loves to sow confusion. To this end, his Triple Changer abilities serve him well. Nothing pleases him more than confronting an Autobot in a dark corner and making him wonder if he's up against one Decepticon or two. He craves having this power over others. Single-minded, you may say, but when most of your time is spent transporting troops around, you have to take your jollies where you can. He wants more from life, but it's either fly the other Decepticons around, or get scrapped by them.

He also craves having power over a massive army of train drones. Follow your dreams, Astrotrain. Follow your dreams.

It's always the same thing. I fly them to points unknown, exhaust all my fuel, and they get to have all the fun.

—Astrotrain on his eternal role as the Decepticons' ride, "The Gambler"

Hungarian name: Űrvonat ("Space Train")
Italian name: Triplex Uno
Serbian name: Astrotrejn

Fiction

Cartoon continuity

The Transformers cartoon

Voice actor: Jack Angel (English), Takurō Kitagawa (Japanese)
AstrotrainTakeover

It doesn't matter if you're grey or white... if you're a boy or a girl...

Astrotrain arrived on Earth during the second year of Megatron's campaign to conquer the planet and its energy resources. His activities prior to that point remain unclear.

He once transported Megatron to the Moon where he and the Decepticons' leader attempted to jam Earth's radio waves. The attempt was interrupted by the arrival of Omega Supreme, two humans and Optimus Prime. Astrotrain engaged in a bad pun, accused Omega Supreme of being too outdated to catch him, and then was the victim of a Cybertronian's impression of a sandworm (see image) before being thrown a few planetary diameters. Blaster Blues

Omegasupreme astrotrain

Behold my mighty hand!

Typically one of the more easy-going among the Decepticons, even Astrotrain isn't above letting a little power go to his head. While tracking Cosmos, he shot down the Autobot, who had been on a fuel scouting mission, and managed to trick the people of Titan into believing that he was one of their Sky Gods, so that they would mine energy crystals for him and the Decepticons. Astrotrain used Jero, a corrupt High Priest who was as fanatical as he was ruthless, to further his ends. However, the Autobots Jazz and Perceptor arrived aboard Omega Supreme looking for Cosmos. Omega Supreme was virtually out of fuel after the trip, but the Autobots soon managed to refuel him using the energy crystals. Knowing that he, Starscream and Thrust alone couldn't beat Omega Supreme, Astrotrain destroyed the crystals in a fit of pique before flying off, leaving Jero to die like the worm he was. Harsh, Astrotrain, harsh. The God Gambit

Astrotrain later transported Ramjet and Dirge to the planet Monacus to check up on Decepticon sympathizer Lord Gyconi. When they learned that Gyconi had captured a number of Autobots and brainwashed them into mindless slaves, the Decepticons tried to stow them aboard Astrotrain to take them back to Megatron. However, their plan was stopped by Smokescreen, Devcon and Slizardo, and the latter two followed Astrotrain into space as he escaped with his comrades. The Gambler

However, the incident on Titan had given Astrotrain a taste of power, and he decided he liked it. With the help of Blitzwing, Astrotrain froze Megatron and Starscream in a sewer system in order to take over the Decepticons. He then created an army of trains to help him rule, thinking it was a good idea. Although he managed to amass a surprisingly large amount of Energon cubes, the productive day ended with him flooding the entire city after bursting a water main. Worse, Megatron thawed out. The embarrassment of these incidents forced Astrotrain to creep back into the Decepticon ranks quietly... at fusion cannon point. Triple Takeover

Astrotrain transported Megatron, Starscream and Rumble to the lost Autobot colony of Antilla, where they discovered the entire civilization had been wiped out by the deadly Cosmic Rust. Not heeding a holographic warning from the Autobots, Megatron ventured further into the colony and seized an advanced heat ray weapon from its storage chamber. As they left Antilla, a Cosmic Rust spore-filled asteroid appeared to chase after Astrotrain, prompting Megatron to test out of the power of the 'lightning bug' weapon on the space rock. The blast obliterated the asteroid, but the shrapnel from the explosion pierced Astrotrain's hull and punctured Megatron's chest plate, infecting him with Cosmic Rust. Oddly enough, Astrotrain was never infected. Cosmic Rust

He also transported the Decepticons away after getting their aft-sections handed to them at Autobot City. He couldn't make it back to Cybertron with the amount of weight on board, so they tossed some dead weight overboard. After that, Astrotrain served as the ring for the subsequent fight among the Decepticons to replace the ejected Megatron, where the Constructicons formed Devastator inside him (slag, Astrotrain is big!) and Rumble and Frenzy used their piledrivers (slag, Astrotrain is sturdy!) Apparently, they all made it back fine, and Astrotrain was the one to crown Starscream during his coronation as the new Decepticon leader. The Transformers: The Movie

When the Decepticons lost their hold of Cybertron, Astrotrain went with the rest of them to Chaar, where he was seen trying to deliver Energon cubes to the starving army. When he tried to take a cube for himself while the Constructicons were fighting amongst themselves for the energy, they merged into Devastator and kicked him aside. Devastator was then distracted by Menasor, and Astrotrain made another move for the cube, only to be shot by Cyclonus. Such is life. When Cyclonus insulted the Decepticons for their behavior, Astrotrain somewhat notably mentioned that he knew Galvatron and Megatron "were the same guy". Cyclonus later stated that he needed energon as it was needed to revive Galvatron, and Astrotrain gave him the rest of his supplies. He got an inspirational speech in return. FFOD, Part 1

Astrotrain then helped Galvatron and the Predacons with the plan to destroy Cybertron with a death crystal cannon. Chaos Later on, when intruders found their way inside Trypticon, Astrotrain responded to the alarm but ended up being possessed by Starscream's ghost because of his useful cargo space. Starscream flew his body most of the way to Unicron's head, then left it when he closed in on Cybertron, leaving Astrotrain to be shot down by the Protectobots. Astrotrain was then captured and interrogated by the Autobots, but was as confused as they were. He was later released as a way of thanking Scourge for revealing Unicron's plans to them. Ghost in the Machine

Later, Astrotrain stumbled upon Sky Lynx in space and battled him until the two were suddenly interrupted by a laser barrage from the nearby Planet of Junk and retreated. Astrotrain returned to Chaar to report this to Galvatron, who punched him in the face, insulted him and stated that he didn't care. The Big Broadcast of 2006

Astrotrain was later seen participating in a Decepticon attack on Japan, trying to ram a bullet train head-on, before being driven off by the Aerialbots. The Burden Hardest to Bear

Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers comic

Astrotrain photographed the incomplete Autobot City, with the aid of Reflector's camera mode, so that Megatron could decipher whether or not it was powerful enough to stand up to Trypticon.

Marvel Comics continuity

Generation One

Note: Events from the UK-only comic stories are in italics.

Astrotrain was one of Lord Straxus's warriors on Cybertron, operating out of Darkmount in Polyhex. At Megatron's demand, he called a group of Decepticons back from a planned assassination attempt on Emirate Xaaron and the Autobot leaders, leaving all the Decepticons unaware that it was actually a ploy by the Autobots to wipe them out. Target 2006

Ratbatcratercritters

"Thus, my new fuel economy plan will increase fuel efficiency. Any other questions, Astrotrain?" "Yeah. What the hell did you just say, Ratbat?"

Astrotrain and his fellow Triple Changers were commissioned by Ratbat to investigate the loss of his priceless cargo that had arrived on Earth via a low-cost freighter, but hadn't checked in as scheduled. Upon making contact with the crashed ship, Astrotrain and his companions were infected with Scraplets, and began to slowly waste away. Lucky for them, the Autobot Blaster was also infected, and his friends managed to re-discover the strange and wondrous chemical that acted as a cure. In saving Blaster, the Triple Changers were incidentally saved as well. Astrotrain showed quick thinking when he identified a nearby G.B. Blackrock as a useful asset and hypnotically gained control of him, thus ensuring the viability of Ratbat's greatest plan. The Cure!

The Triple Changers then linked up with Shockwave's Decepticons on Earth, which soon fell under the command of their former superior on Cybertron, Ratbat. Astrotrain joined the Decepticons in an assault on the Autobot crews of the Ark and Steelhaven on Earth's moon. Totaled! Sometime later, he fought against his fellow Decepticons when Ratbat and Scorponok's armies temporarily came to blows. Astrotrain was seen rolling over Snapdragon and Weirdwolf in the melee. Cold War! Once the Decepticons united against a nearby Autobot regiment, Astrotrain again saw action when he ionically-disrupted the Aerialbot, Slingshot. Soon after, though, the Triple Changers were all destroyed battling Starscream in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after Screamer got himself hopped-up on Underbase power. Dark Star!

In an alternate version of 2009, Unicron had destroyed Cybertron and the Decepticons (under Galvatron's command) controlled America. Astrotrain and Octane were seen defending the Decepticon Powerbase from one last, desperate Autobot assault. They shot down the Pretender, Crossblades, when he was disrupting the base's force field. Rhythms of Darkness!

Marvel UK future timelines

When Autobot City was completed in 2004, Astrotrain was one of several Decepticons brought by Shockwave to attack the opening day festivities. Aspects of Evil!

In 2008, the Decepticons were tipped by the Quintessons to an opportunity for wiping the Autobots off the face of Cybertron. Astrotrain acted as point-man for the invasion, not only leading the air force of flying Combaticons, Triple Changers and Seekers, but also acting as transport for Commander Soundwave and the legion of ground troopers in his cargo hold. Things turned sour when the Quintessons ambushed the Decepticons on their way to Autobase, though: Astrotrain was forced to dump the soldiers in his hold and quickly transform in order to greet their adversaries. Space Pirates!

Earthforce
Note: These stories do not fit into the normal Marvel continuity. See Earthforce for details.

He happily worked for Shockwave's faction in the Decepticon Civil War, along with his fellow Triple Changers. Astrotrain took the time to slug it out with Dead End after the Enclave between Shockwave and Megatron went sour. The Bad Guy's Ball! Thanks to an inside informant, Astrotrain and the other Triple Changers joined Shockwave in surprising Megatron at an energon shipment rendez-vous point, overpowering him with blaster fire until the Decepticon leader fell off the side of a cliff. Secrets Those were happy times for Astrotrain. He was not so happy when he had to rescue Octane from a military testing range, and when he found out Octane had got here by messing around on the job again, Astrotrain happily buggered off and left him. Manoeuvres!

Generation 2

Astrotrain shows up among a crowd of Decepticons all fired up to tackle the armies of Jhiaxus, just before they pretty much got slaughtered. New Dawn

Classics

Note: Classics is a splinter timeline from the Marvel US continuity that does not include events from either Generation 2 or the Marvel UK issues.
Astrotraincrossingovershuttle

Astrotrain is relieved he only has to carry five Constructicons now.

Devastatormegatronastrotraincrossingover

Clearly, Astrotrain's interior is bigger than it looks.

Astrotrain's carcass lay undiscovered at the bottom of the sea for ten years until Megatron managed to find him. His remains were excavated piece by piece by enslaved humans and transported to Megatron's base of operations within the wrecked Ark in northern Canada. Using incomplete schematics and Megatron's memories of Astrotrain's old body, Astrotrain was finally reconstructed. Astrotrain was immediately put in charge of finding the remnants of the rest of the Decepticons who fell at the hands of the Underbase-powered Starscream, plus the unpleasant task of carting them back to their headquarters. This morbid job took its toll on Astrotrain, who yearned for real battle.[1]

After the appearance of the mysterious crossdimensional Decepticon Landquake, Astrotrain and the other rebuilt Decepticons under Megatron's command traveled to South America to investigate an equally mysterious power source that seemed to share traits with Landquake. En route, they were attacked by Walter Barnett's RUNT squad. Crossing Over, Part 2 Astrotrain managed to shake off these interlopers just before Optimus Prime and his Autobots arrived in search of this same power source, and a new battle between the factions began in the jungles surrounding the power source. Crossing Over, Part 3 As the battle escalated, Astrotrain joined with some of his peers in surrounding Mirage and Rodimus, Crossing Over, Part 5 but ultimately, Megatron was forced to call for a withdrawal. Crossing Over, Part 6

Megatron soon granted the mysterious Bug Bite and his rogue group of Decepticons an audience. However, Astrotrain and the other Decepticons under Megatron's command were forcibly implanted with reverse-engineered cerebro shells. Bug Bite's plan was cut short when a jammer activated by Elita One disabled the shells, and a fight soon erupted between Megatron's Decepticons, Bug Bite's Decepticons, and the Autobots under Ultra Magnus' command. Games of Deception

Dreamwave comics

Astrotrain warwithin

Finally, I get to fight instead of carry people.

When Megatron needed a major distraction to infiltrate the subsectors of Iacon and establish Cybertron as a living war world, he sent Shockwave to command a full frontal assault against the Autobot capital. Astrotrain was among the many Decepticons who aided Shockwave in this siege. The War Within Later on, after Megatron's disappearance led to a factioning of the Decepticon army, Astrotrain began serving with Starscream's Predacons. The War Within: The Dark Ages The Predacons remained the only major hold out among the factions when Ultra Magnus negotiated a great peace between the Autobots and Decepticons due to low energon reserves planet-wide. Astrotrain and the Predacons attempted to prevent the peace treaty and the consolidation of their opponents, but their efforts were in vain until the surprise return of Megatron with his new Aerospace Extermination Squad, thousands of super-charged warriors grown from Quintesson cloning technology. The Decepticons managed to establish an Age of Internment until Optimus Prime finally returned to free the Autobots and equalize the sides once more. The War Within: The Age of Wrath

After the disappearance of the Nemesis and its crew, Astrotrain and his fellow future Triple Changers, Octane and Blitzwing, began serving directly under Shockwave's command. Destined for Nothing When Shockwave learned how to perfect his Triple Changer process after the Great Shutdown, due to Unicronian technology he pilfered from Scourge, Astrotrain was one of the first to benefit from the procedure.

In 2003, Astrotrain, along with Broadside, Blitzwing, Sandstorm and Octane arrived with Shockwave on Earth to place the Earth-bound Transformers under arrest for war crimes and take them back to Cybertron. When Shockwave was eventually defeated and his control of Cybertron lost, Astrotrain and Blitzwing remained his loyal servants until the return of Megatron caused Astrotrain to switch loyalties while Blitzwing was destroyed. Lost and Found

IDW comics

This section covers fiction that is ongoing. It will be added to as the story progresses. If it isn't current, you can help by updating it.

Astrotrain was part of a Decepticon insurgent cell that had operated covertly on Earth for at least four years, working to destabilize Earth's governing organizations and create global anarchy. Under the command of Starscream, he oversaw the extraction and refinement of the mysterious, Energon-like substance, Ore-13, Infiltration issue 5 but despite having sampled its power, he was unwilling to stand alongside Starscream against Megatron. Infiltration issue 6

Later on, he took Starscream's place as the Earthbound Decepticon Infiltration Unit's second-in-command under Megatron, and continued to oversee the Ore-13 research. Escalation issue 1 During Megatron's scheme to escalate the tensions between Brasnya and Russia, Astrotrain served as air cover for their ground forces, but was severely damaged by Hardhead Escalation issue 4 and later retreated.

After being humiliated in battle with Optimus Prime, Megatron ordered Sixshot to come to Earth several phases before his presence is normally requested. Upon hearing this, the wire in Astrotrain's forehead nearly exploded, but Megatron told him to shut up. Escalation issue 6 Witnessing his leader straying further from protocol every nano-klik but knowing none of them would dare tell Megatron he was wrong, Astrotrain decided to do the unthinkable, something no sane Transformer would ever do except as a very last resort: deliberately reactivate Starscream so he could do it for them. Devastation issue 1

When the alien Reapers suddenly attacked their headquarters, Astrotrain left his post (forcing Blitzwing to cover for him) to plot how to exploit the situation with Starscream (though he was openly concerned if the plan failed they'd be dead). The plan worked: Starscream successfully removed Sixshot from the board and attacked the Reapers, at which point Astrotrain popped up in the command bunker to go "look at how brave Starscream is bravely attacking the Reapers by himself!". Megatron deduced what was going on behind his back, but instead of punishment, led the Decepticons into battle. Devastation issue 5 After the destruction of the Reapers, Astrotrain expressed surprise at their victory and callously declared that the deaths of Runabout and Runamuck were acceptable losses. Devastation issue 6

Astrotrain carried on being by-the-book and tactically minded in the attack on New York City, suggesting they send the Insecticons to handle ground forces to avoid ballistic attacks. All Hail Megatron issue 2 He then Goes underground into the NY subway, slaughtering the groups of people taking refuge there. When he arrives at the station containing Andy, Bridge, Sarah and their party, he does the same, with Andy seemingly being crushed. Evilll! All Hail Megatron issue 3

Hearts of Steel

Astrotrain HOS

That's Mister The Astrotrain, to you.

Referred to as the Astrotrain, he was a black-and-purple locomotive, with a retracted propeller on the front and batwings along the side.

The Decepticons built (or modified) the Astrotrain to be the locomotive engine pulling their battle train to New York City. Hearts of Steel issue 3 En route he rammed through an Army blockade undamaged, but ended up driving off a cliff thanks to John Henry and Bumblebee, and apparently falling to his destruction... despite having wings. Hearts of Steel issue 4

Note: Astrotrain never speaks or transforms out of train mode during the events of the story. The cover of issue 4 appears to depict him in robot mode, and he clearly has some airplane components, so he is apparently a triple-changing Transformer in this continuity as in most.


Toys

Generation One

  • Astrotrain (1985, 1986, 2004, 2005)
    • Japanese ID number: D-48, TFC-11
    • Accessories: "Ionic Displacer Rifle"
G1Astrotrain toy

And then I transform into a train and a rocket and a Transformer again...

Astrotrain was one of the two Triple Changer toys released in 1985. He transforms into both a purple steam locomotive and a gray space shuttle. Like several other characters from Generation One, the pre-production toy shown in Hasbro catalogs and stock photography does not match the final product.
In Japan, the 1985 release of Astrotrain had a color scheme based upon the real-life versions of the vehicles he transformed into, with a white space shuttle and a black steam locomotive. In 1986, Takara released Astrotrain in his US toy colors.
In 2004, Takara reissued Astrotrain his original Japanese white color scheme, but with the "NASA" stickers changed to "ASTR", and with white paint on the shuttle side of the die-cast front. In 2005, Hasbro released this version of Astrotrain on the Hasbro Toy Shop.


  • Astrotrain Proto Color Version (2004)
    • Japanese ID number: D-48
    • Accessories: "Ionic Displacer Rifle"
Often referred to as "Anime Astrotrain" by collectors, this version was decorated in colors used on the original 1986 toy's packaging as well as the Generation One animation model. He was an e-Hobby exclusive.

Classics

  • Astrotrain (Deluxe, 2006, 2008)
    • Japanese ID number: D-03
    • Accessories: Rifle
ClassicsAstrotrain

...and a rocket and a train and a Transformer and man it's hard work!

Classics Astrotrain, like much of the Classics line, is an extensive update of the original Astrotrain designed based heavily upon their cartoon appearances and using modern toy engineering techniques. He still transforms into a NASA space shuttle, though there are two rather obvious locomotive front halves on the sides of the rear hull, and instead of a steam engine, his secondary vehicle mode is a bullet train locomotive. His robot mode is based heavily upon his Generation One cartoon animation model design, and is armed with a large purple laser rifle similar to the original toy's rifle. However, purple highlights aside, his deco's color scheme is predominantly based on the original Takara toy.
Henkei Astrotrain toy

I'm going grey! Get me some Just For Men, stat!

As with all Classics toys, he has a heat-sensitive rubsign.
In 2008, Classics Astrotrain was released in Japan as part of the Henkei! Henkei! Transformers line by TakaraTomy. The figure was extensively redecoed into dark grey and purple colour scheme based on the character’s appearance in the Generation One cartoon. Unlike the Hasbro Classics release, instead of a rubsign, he has two Decepticon sigils tampographed onto his wings. All Henkei toys feature a somewhat randomly vacuum-metallized part somewhere upon them, and Astrotrain is no exception: the trim of his chestplate and engine array are vacuumized purple, with the engines themselves left as unpainted silver chrome.


Notes

AstrotrainCharacterModel

That ass be fly, yo.

  • The 1985 catalogs show a prototype Astrotrain toy, whose gray and purple color scheme is the one used in the cartoon. The prototype also has a number of design changes from the retail version: arms that extended on a slide joint, different feet, and a different head sculpt that was the basis for his character model. He was shown with Blitzwing's weapons. Being resin hard copies, these prototypes didn't transform.[2]
  • Astrotrain's animation model is rather odd. Despite having the shuttle tailfin rather clearly folded up and slid into place within the torso... it has another mystery tailfin jutting straight out of the back. Huh.
  • Speaking of the tailfin, the original box art and instructions[3] depict it as being folded open to make a chestplate shield. The fin gets tucked away early during the transformation to keep it out of the way. However, the original animation model (and thus his other fictional appearances) show it tucked away in robot mode.
  • While Astrotrain's original toy had a visor, his Classics toy, and most of his depictions in fiction, give him two eyes instead.
  • Astrotrain, along with Cosmos and Omega Supreme, was one of three space-faring characters added to the cartoon in 1985. In addition to the usual voice flanging given to the show's robotic characters, all three had an echoing reverberation applied to their voices, presumably to play up the "outer space" aspect.
    • Unfortunately, this makes Astrotrain sound, ironically and rather unfortunately, like the characters from Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • While Astrotrain does not appear in the Stormbringer comic series (due in part to him being on Earth at the time), the trade paperback includes a design sketch for a Triple Changer which appears to be intended as Astrotrain's pre-Earth Cybertronian form.
  • In the IDW Generation One continuity, Astrotrain's space shuttle is essentially a far more realistic rendering of a space vehicle, but his third mode has been upgraded to a diesel-electric six-axle locomotive resembling a General Electric U28C model, along with custom features like red and purple headlights and an all-purple paint-job. It also has a Big F**king Gun mounted on the engine cowling. That's badass.
  • The Max Solarzord of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue was more than likely inspired by the infamous steampowered, high-flying stockboy.


  • In one commercial featuring himself, Blitzwing and Perceptor, Astrotrain's name wasn't mentioned.

External links

Footnotes

  1. Astrotrain's Classics profile in the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine
  2. Original Astrotrain prototype at TF-1.com
  3. Botch's Transformers Box Art Archive, 1985 Decepticons page

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