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A spark extractor is a device that is used for pulling a Transformer's spark out of its mechanical body. This process can be accomplished even against the will of the target Transformer (as was, in fact, the norm). Once removed from its body, a Transformer's spark is more or less helpless.
When an extractor is near a Transformer and activated, even before the spark emerges, the Transformer often appears to be stunned or dazed such that they find it difficult to resist. The extraction itself is quite fast, taking well under thirty Earth-seconds in most cases. Extractors are therefore quite effective as weapons, requiring only that the victim be momentarily immobilized in order for the extractor to do its work.
The Wreckers comics
Beast Machines cartoon
Spark extractors were used frequently, such as on Blackarachnia in several occasions. After interfacing with the Oracle, Megatron's own disembodied spark also had the ability to remove the sparks of living Transformers even without the technological aid of an extractor.
The spark extractor is among the devices stored away in the Iacon vaults. The extractor was originally created by the Decepticons during the war, but obtained by the Autobots late in the war. During the invasion of Iacon, the vault was emptied and the artifacts inside were launched into space; the spark extractor was one of many that landed on Earth.
After having decoded the locations of three of the Iacon relics, Megatron arrives at the location of the spark extractor after it is dug up by several Vehicons and claims it. However, the Autobots then arrive to claim the relic for themselves. As Megatron attempts to escape with the extractor through a GroundBridge, Bumblebee follows him through, claims the relic, and heads back through the Decepticon bridge.
At a later point, Optimus Prime, wanting to take advantage of the Nemesis being grounded, takes the spark extractor to kill Megatron. However, Megatron had infused the ship with Dark Energon, giving it sentience. It froze the Autobots in place with a stasis cannon. As Megatron demanded to take the relic, though, the ship changed direction, heading toward New York City.
The Spark Extractor was finally put to use when the Autobots and Decepticons returned to Cybertron. Smokescreen put in the middle of an army of Vehicons and used the Phase Shifter to get away from its blast radius. Instantly, dozens of Vehicons dropped dead. Megatron was forced to throw the Dark Star Saber at it to disrupt its sapping field.
- The spark extractor in Prime appears to be more of an area-effect weapon as opposed to the close range use of its Beast Machines counterpart as Optimus ordered Bumblebee to "be sure to clear its radius".
- In age of extinction lockdown has what appears to be a devise that can rip the spark out of another transformer.