Starscream is a character introduced in The Transformers television series. A former scientist, he served under Megatron as Decepticon Air Commander during the Cybertronian Civil Wars and was second in the Decepticon chain of command. However, with his rash attitude, he had high ambitions for leadership and would often take opportunities to overthrow Megatron. The closest he came to achieving this was after the Battle of Autobot City which left Megatron and many Decepticons severely damaged. With Megatron disposed of, Starscream was crowned the Decepticons' New Leader. But his rule never lasted beyond his coronation as he was quickly disrupted and destroyed by Galvatron. But this was not the end of Starscream, with his immortal spark he would come back to terrorize both the Decepticons and the Autobots and their descendants, the Predacons and the Maximals, several times.
Personality & Character
Starscream can be described as rash, boastful, cowardly and whiny.
Millions of years before the war between Autobots and Decepticons would force both sides off Cybertron, Starscream was not a warrior but rather a scientist, sort of like another character with the same voice. He and his colleague Skyfire were exploring an unnamed planet—the ancient Earth—when severe atmospheric conditions separated the two friends. Starscream circled the globe looking for Skyfire, but he never found his colleague.
After the outbreak of war, Starscream and his fellow Decepticons would become entombed on the same alien world for four million years before emerging to continue their battle on Earth, with Starscream reformatted as a terrestrial F-15 fighter jet.Starscream's rash and spiteful actions led to the resurrection of the Autobots on Earth, when a blast intended to trap the Autobots there forever caused Optimus Prime to fall into the life-giving rays of Teletraan I, who soon had all his fellow Autobots ready for action again. Starscream would always demand action rather than waste time with planning, often calling Megatron a coward or taking action himself without waiting for the order. Needless to say, this got him nearly killed by Megatron on more than one occasion.
Starscream's status probably came from the fact he had command over the other jet fighter Decepticons, who formed pretty much 50% of the entire Decepticon force at the time of the first and second seasons. Megatron, very desperate for troops (especially ones who were so predictable), kept Starscream around.
Although he was often an impulsive warrior, Starscream still showed some signs of his scientific background. He was the only Decepticon who urged caution before using the energy taken from an unstable meteor. Even Megatron himself showed little concern about the potential risks, bickering with Starscream and threatening to take his share. Starscream was ultimately correct about the volatile nature of the energy, and the resulting explosion nearly killed a number of Transformers, including Optimus Prime and Grimlock.
Starscream's ambition was also great, and he often sought to take command away from Megatron. One such attempt was to challenge him to a duel, then shoot him in the back when Megatron turned away laughing. His "victory" here was short-lived, as Megatron was just stunned, shot Starscream, and banished him from his forces. This led Starscream to "create" the Combaticons from a bunch of wrecked army vehicles he found on the island on which he was deserted, and some Decepticon "brains" he stole from a Decepticon prison on Cybertron. Megatron let him and his newly formed army back into the Decepticons soon afterwards, despite the fact they were all Decepticon outcasts and criminals.
Ironically, despite his frequent attempts to overthrow Megatron, Starscream actually saved his leader's life on one occasion. When the Decepticons allied themselves with the people of Sub-Atlantica, Starscream was the only one who distrusted them. Naturally, his suspicions were disregarded by Megatron. Later, during a duel between Megatron and Grimlock, Nergill, the Sub-Atlantican king, tried to shoot the dueling pair with the Magnetic Dysfunction Ray, only to be stopped by Starscream. Megatron "thanked" Starscream by calling him a dribbling dirtbucket.
At least Rumble realised Starscream had been right all along.
Starscream's thirst for leadership led to his death when, during the Decepticon's dramatic siege on Autobot City, Megatron would fight his final battle with Optimus Prime. By the end of it, the Decepticon leader was battered beyond repair, left on the verge of stasis lock. Starscream, able to see an opportunity in every situation if nothing else, took advantage of this moment of weakness to rally the healthy Decepticons that remained after the battle, ejecting the "dead weight" of his wounded former comrades into space. With transparent satisfaction, Starscream threw Megatron out personally before closing the door on that part of Transformers history and beginning an inter-Decepticon brawl that would eventually place him at the head of the ranks.
Starscream couldn't have known, of course, that Megatron would be found and reshaped by Unicron before his spark faded completely. Reborn as Galvatron, he made it his first order of business to take back what Starscream had taken, interrupting the pompous and overblown coronation Starscream had set up for himself and killing him with a single, terrible blast, likely setting a record for the shortest reign in Decepticon history: approximately 40 Earth seconds.
This was not the end, however, as Starscream's ghost came back with "cunning" schemes. First he possessed Cyclonus and, with the help of the Banished Octane, handed Galvatron over to Rodimus Prime. Rodimus didn't kill or even imprison Galvatron, however, and the Decepticon leader came back angered and shot his second-in-command, not realizing Cyclonus had not been himself. By this time, Starscream had already found a new host in Scourge, whom he used in his next "master plan." This one involved making deals with Unicron, who requested Starscream help him find new body parts in return for a new body for Starscream himself. Starscream followed his orders exactly, until his host ran off before connecting Unicron's head to Cybertron as a new body. This is where Starscream showed his true cunning, stating that if Unicron wanted him to connect him to his new Planet, he would have to provide Starscream's new body first. Unicron did so, repeating his order that Starscream finish connecting his head to his new body. However, Starscream turned on him immediately, telling Unicron mockingly to do it himself. At this point, the Autobots, unaware of this turn of events, set off a load of explosives that sent Starscream, new body and all, spinning out of control through space, past Galvatron and his crew (Galvatron took this chance to fire at what he thought was a ghost), never to be seen again.
One last thing to note is Cyclonus' line after the last glimpse of Starscream: "Wait a minute... since when do ghosts tumble out of control through space?"
Notes & Trivia
- In Starscreams first appearance in the G1 Cartoon he was shooting at Bumblebee and Wheeljack on Cybertron and yelled "Autobots stop them!" then was run over by Wheeljack and in raspy voice said "After them!" which explains his voice in the rest of the series.
- Starscream was the first Decepticon to talk in the series premiere, only to sound like Thundercracker. Or was it Skywarp?
- According to Bob Budiansky, in Jim Shooter and Denny O'Neil's original Transformers treatment, Starscream was named "Ulchtar".
- In the French dub of The Transformers: The Movie, Starscream (along with Shrapnel) inexplicably became a female. This change, however, was only for the movie, as it used a different dubbing team from the television show. Most likely, the movie's French dubbing team mistook Starscream's rather high-pitched voice for a woman's voice.
- In The Transformers: The Movie, Starscream has the dubious honor of being the first Transformer to kill another when he killed Brawn with a single shot. Goes to show when Starscream means business, he is dangerous.
- The G1 executive script consultant, Flint Dille, has claimed in personal interviews that Chris Latta frequently had to be bailed out of jail by members of the production staff. This apparently caused so much annoyance that it was a major factor in phasing Starscream out of the series.
- According to the line art of Starscream by Studio OX, each side of his chest has a turbine mounted on it. This concept has influenced his Action Master, Masterpiece, and Classics toys and the art of the Robot Master version.
- Starscream made three appearances in the Beast Wars cartoon: The first was in the episode "The Web", which he was seen in his jet mode in Cheetor's dream about Cybertron. The second was his major debut episode "Possession", where he was seen briefly in humanoid mode for less than a second. Finally his last appearance was in "The Agenda Part III", After Megatron enters the Ark, a close up shot of his face is shown.
- When Starscream made his famous cameo in the Beast Wars cartoon episode "Possession", the animators got everything right except for a couple things: his face was blue and his helmet was white! Um, well.