In the original Transformers series (i.e. not Beast Wars), Megatron was the leader of the Decepticons. He transformed from giant robot to a smaller-sized Walther P-38 hand gun.

In robot mode, Megatron has a giant cannon on his right arm, which would fire a deadly blast. But he was just as deadly when transformed into a gun; many times, Megatron would transform into a gun, and another Decepticon (usually Starscream) would fire him.

Ruthless and cunning, Megatron was sometimes referred to as "The Slag Maker" because of his destructive abilities. Megatron is also a military genius. Very few can match Megatron's physical strength and intelligence; one of the few equals of Megatron is Autobot leader Optimus Prime.

In the series, Megatron wanted to comquer the planet Cybertron, and destroy any Autobot who stood in his way. He also wanted to tap the planet earth for all its natural energy resources. While he has come close, Megatron has never been victorious in either.

In Transformers the Movie, Megatron and Optimus Prime fought to the death. While some would argue that Megatron won that battle, it was only because he was using Autobot Hot Rod as a shield, so that Optimus wouldn't fire back. Later, Starscream jettisoned Megatron off of their escape shuttle, so that he could become Decepticon leader.

But Megatron, who still had life in him, was re-built by the giant transforming planet Unicron into a meaner, crazier robot named Galvatron. Galvatron would kill Starscream and become Decepticon leader again.

Note: In the Transformers Generation 2 toy line and comic book, Megatron was rebuilt by Cobra (the terrorist organization in the GI Joe series). Megatron's new transformation was into a green and purple military tank. He did not appear like this in the Transformers Generation 2 cartoon, since it was just the old cartoons with a new beginning title sequence.

However, this tank-Megatron appears in the Japanese Beast Wars II cartoon as the Destron Megastorm--Galvatron's little brother. (It's true; ask robotech_master if you don't believe me)

Transforms from Walther P-38 weapon to robot and back!

DECEPTICON: MEGATRON

FUNCTION: COMMANDER
"Peace through tyranny."

MEGATRON combines brute strength, military cunning, ruthlessness and terror. Aches to return to Cybertron to complete the Decepticon conquest, but only after destroying all Autobots on Earth. Plans to possess all of Earth's resources. Incredibly powerful and intelligent. Fires particle beam cannon. Can link up interdimensionally to a black hole and draw anti-matter from it for use as a weapon. No known weaknesses.

  • Strength: 10
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Speed: 4
  • Endurance: 8
  • Rank: 10
  • Courage: 9
  • Firepower: 10
  • Skill: 9
Transformers Tech Specs


What's not to love about Megatron? Sure he was the bad guy, but he was so good at it. The toy turned into a real-sized and realistic-looking (albeit plasticky) handgun, something Hasbro probably would get petitioned to death for in this day and age. (If the Transformers had occurred fifteen years later, Columbine probably would have been blamed squarely on Megatron toys.) In the cartoon, Megatron was consistently ruthless, aggressive, intelligent, crafty, strong, powerful, and sounded extremely cool whenever he fired his arm cannon. Every Decepticon respected him (except Starscream, of course) because he was brilliant and effective, plus he could turn them into smoking ash whenever he wanted.

He became much less impressive after he was recreated as Galvatron in "Transformers: The Movie." In fact, Galvatron was downright irrational from the movie onward (the episode "Webworld" dealt with this fact head-on). I blame Unicron for mucking with his head too much, although bad writing is probably just as reasonable an explanation.

Megatron II

Introduction and Background

In Beast Wars and Beast Machines, Megatron was the leader of a group of rogue Predacons who lived on the political fringe of Cybertronian law. The specifics of the new Megatron's origins are not entirely clear, but I'll do my best. But first, how about some background information?

After the Great War that claimed the lives of many Transformers (including Optimus Prime, the commander of the heroic Autobots) ended, the Decepticons were driven from Cybertron and set up base on a dead planet called Charr. The Decepticons at this point were led by Galvatron, the more-or-less reincarnated version of the original Megatron. Galvatron was a pretty unstable guy with a penchant for terrible planning. With the help of the city-sized Headmaster Scorponok, Galvatron led one final assault against the planet Cybertron with the hope of steering it into the sun and being rid of the AUtobots forever. They were defeated, however, and Galvatron was last seen careening through space with his band of Decepticons inside Scorponok. Whether or not he returned is not known since this is where the original continuity ends. It's hard to be exactly sure of what happened after the fact, but there are a few clues we have.

There was some cataclysmic battle on Cybertron that resulted in total victory for the Autobots. Nobody's really sure if the events involving Galvatron's plan to send the planet into the sun are a part of this battle, but I guess it's good to leave some things to the imagination every now and then. At some point, the Autobot and Decepticon factions ceased to exist. They were replaced by the Maximals and Predacons, respectively. It might be reasonable to infer that the original Predacons (a Decepticon subgroup of five members that formed the combiner Predaking) became the leading -con political force after the final defeat of the Decepticons and they may have "sued for peace" with the Autobots or Maximals.

"Megatron is brilliant, but a rogue. He causes too much trouble."

Whatever happened, it's known that Cybertron entered into a precarious peace known as the Pax Cybertronia. From Megatron's own words and actions, the Predacons were more or less seen as second class citizens when compared to the Maximals. The ruling Predacon junta, the Tripredacus Council, was secretly making plans for a revolt, but at a very slow rate. This annoyed Megatron to no end. Megatron seems to have been a Predacon general or warlord or senator or at least some type of office holder. Fed up with what he perceived as being little better than slavery, he stole the top-secret Maximal artifact known as the Golden Disk which was said to contain an encoded description of a planet ripe with energon, the power source of the Transformers. It allowed him to recruit a small crew (composed of Dinobot, a new Scorponok, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, and Tarantulas) and travel in search of the planet. Now a political criminal, Megatron had enemies on all sides, including his own. He stole a spacecraft with time travel capabilities and wound up stranded on a planet with a group of Maximals (led by Optimus Primal) in hot pursuit. Both sides had to adopt organic beast modes that served to protect their technological bodies from the surges of dangerously unstable energon that predominated the landscape of this planet. Megatron himself became a tyrannosaurus rex. The events on this planet became known as the Beast Wars.

Megatron II on Earth

During the Beast Wars, Megatron's second-in-command, Dinobot, left the Predacons and joined the Maximals. The two had something of a very bitter feud from that moment on. In battle, Megatron quickly distinguished himself from his namesake in a number of ways. First, he preferred to sit back and let his soldiers do the fighting while he watched from afar. Second, he relied more on guile and intrigue than brute force. Third, he gave off a rather aristocratic air of superiority that made him seem somewhat effete at times. He often concluded sentences by saying "yessssss" or "noooo" in very drawn-out Lumbergh-like tones.

As time went on, Megatron gained new warriors through the acquisition and reprogramming of stasis pods, incubator-like machines that held protoforms within them. Although Terrorsaur and Scorponok died after falling into a pit of lava, he inherited more than enough warriors to make up for them. Blackarachnia, Inferno, Quickstrike, the immortal mass-murderer Rampage, and a clone of Dinobot all lent support to Megatron. Eventually, the planet they were on was revealed to be prehistoric Earth, and Megatron's motives for coming there were now beginning to become somewhat clearer. The Golden Disk was actually launched from the Voyager spacecraft in the 20th century and it contained an encrypted message from the original Megatron that the new Megatron had decoded. The message was garbled and incomplete, but it was a request for any Decepticon descendants who might find it to go back in time using the new transwarp technology (which the new Megatron had used illegally) to secure victory for the Decepticons. When the Tripredacus Council sent the Decepticon-turned-Predacon Ravage to earth with the mission of destroying all those involved, Megatron revealed the plan to his would-be assassin and showed him the message. Although Ravage was killed, Megatron made his way through the Ark (the Autobots' spaceship) and blasted Optimus Prime's head right off.

To prevent Prime from dying while repairs were being made on his body, Optimus Primal took his spark into his own body to protect it. One unforseen consequence of this was that his mind and body were altered and he more closely resembled his partial namesake in both areas. Megatron saw this and eventually took his own namesake's spark into his body and (after being thrown into lava) gained a red dragon beast mode. Unfortunately, he inherited the original Megatron's instability and absolute disdain for anything organic. Although he no longer possessed the spark of the Decepticon commander for which he was named, he was defeated in the Beast Wars, and all but one member of his army (Waspinator) was destroyed, he would not go quietly into the night...noooo.

Beast Machines

The Maximals had to return to Cybertron in a jury-rigged ship made from spare parts of the Ark. Megatron was strapped onto the back for the voyage through time, but at some point managed to free himself and fall forward into time, allowing him to get back to Cybertron even before his captors. Once there, Megatron somehow managed to completely overrun the planet and essentially kill everyone on it. When the Maximals eventually returned, they were greeted by legions of mindless Vehicon drones. Megatron made it his stated goal to destroy every bit of organic material on the planet, in particular the Maximals. He envisioned a purely technological Cybertron, devoid of individual will and conflict. Megatron had become quite the pacifist, it seems, and was not about to allow his former enemies to disrupt his peaceful planet. He created three Vehicon generals -- Jetstorm, Thrust, and Tankor -- to oversee his drones and to root out and destroy the Maximals. Although Jetstorm and Thrust were perfectly loyal to him, Tankor was not. Tankor believed in Megatron's idea of a purely technological Cybertron, but did not think someone with a beast mode (which Megatron still possessed) was capable of leading this brave new world. Tankor attempted to kill Megatron, but when he found he was unable to through virtue of his very programming, he was quickly done away with. When Jetstorm reverted to the Maximal Silverbolt, Megatron created two new generals to take the place of his errant vassals: Strika and Obsidian.

It is here that Megatron's new plan became clear: he intended to consume every single spark on Cybertron and become the sole regulator of the entire planet. Although this made Thrust somewhat uneasy (especially after watching his leader devour a handful of sparks), the three Vehicon generals continued to do their commander's bidding despite the fact that he most likely would have consumed them as well. Ah, loyalty.

Death

Megatron was eventually defeated in a climactic battle with the Maximal commander, Optimus Primal, that killed them both. Through their deaths, Cybertron was rejuvinated and returned to its original state as an organic world. The sparks that Megatron had abducted were now free and everyone was happy and they all danced into the sunset singing songs and blah blah blah.

Comments

It's no surprise that this Megatron is a topic of much debate in the Transfan sector. Some people absolutely loathe him and see him as "a pretender to the name." Others see him as the original's superior in every conceivable fashion. I personally rank the Beast-era Megatron right after the Generation 2 comic-era tank Megatron. Love him or hate him, he's undeniably one of the best villains in the extensive Transformers canon.

Did I leave something out? Have a different opinion? Do you just not like me? Do me a favor and /msg me and tell me why. Downvoting me without giving me an explanation is like reviewing a movie by saying "it sucks" and then not giving a reason. It doesn't help anybody improve anything and it certainly doesn't make me want to work any harder.

Megatron turns into a gun.

Wow, what a weird idea for the leader of an army of evil robots. Completely by accident, this turned out to be bizarrely effective and turned the big trigger-happy lug into one of the most beloved villains of the 80s. But first a little background.

A Little Background

Hasbro marketed the Transformers, but they didn't create them. In fact the toy series that we know as the Transformers were actually two different toy brands from Japan. One of them was a series of vehicles with drivers (Diaclone), and the other was a series of everyday objects (Microchange). They both transformed into robots, but they weren't part of the same line until Hasbro licensed them both. Megatron was from the Microchange line, and transformed into a Walther P.38 handgun. Other toys, such as Jetfire (Skyfire) and Shockwave came from other transforming robot brands, of which Japan seemed to have a near-endless supply.

When Hasbro got their hands on the toy lines, they brought them together into a single continuity as the Transformers. The regular vehicle toys became the heroic Autobots, and the military vehicles and Microchange toys (also including Soundwave and Reflector) became the evil Decepticons. Later in the series that distinction would be eliminated (e.g. Microchange toys Blaster and Perceptor were added as Autobots), but that formed the general basis for the series.

Now infamously, the Microchange-based Transformers were often seen to be capable of changing their physical size in the cartoon. Well everyone was shown to change sizes from time to time, but most of that was animation errors and shoddy artwork. The Microchange robots did it intentionally. Although Megatron was 30' tall in robot form, when he transformed into a handgun he suddenly shrank down to a size where other 30' tall robots could hold him, and once in a while even shrank down to human handgun size. Usually, Starscream or Soundwave would fire him while transformed, but others also got a chance now and then, including Optimus Prime once.

It may be interesting to note that the other gun transformer, Shockwave, never shrank down so someone else could fire him. Unlike Megatron, he was shown to be somehow capable of hovering in midair and firing himself at full size. However in one episode he was shown wielding a gun that looked just like his own transformed mode and in another, he was picked up and fired at full size by the giant Gestalt, Bruticus.

Megatron: Both General and Primary Assault Weapon

Anyway, coming back to my main topic, Megatron was not only the leader of the Decepticons, but also their most powerful weapon. While his arm-mounted cannon (which transformed into the scope of the handgun) was one of the more powerful weapons in the series, his transformed gun mode was shown to be a weapon without equal. In Transformers: The Movie, single shots at close range were able to kill several of the Autobots to make room for the new toys that were being released.

Now consider for a moment if Megatron weren't the leader of the Decepticons. Being the most powerful weapon they had, he would probably never see action as anything other than a handgun. Why let him transform into robot mode when he would be more valuable as a weapon than a soldier? That would make him an awfully dull character. Obviously the only thing to do with him is make him the leader so he has something else to do.

But what a stroke of genius that turned out to be! As the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron was responsible for setting their goals (steal energy), selecting targets (power plants), and forming strategies (take everything that isn't bolted down and destroy the rest). The battle tactics and execution of the plans were left up to his lieutenants Soundwave and Starscream.

Now in the opening stages of a battle, it's key to level the maximum amount of firepower possible at the target. Meanwhile the general sits back, watches how the battle develops, and decides how to alter the plan or whether to consider retreat. So before the battle the general is all-important and the weapons just sit around, and in the opening moments of battle the weapons are all-important and the general just sits around. Megatron achieves maximum efficiency by covering both roles himself!

The way things typically turned out, Megatron would be available to add extra firepower whenever the Decepticons needed a bigger gun more than they needed their master strategist. In the closing moments of battle, he would typically engage Optimus Prime personally, being the only Decepticon who was the equal of the Autobot leader. The series was exciting and enthralling for the children of the 80s because both sides had strong, confident, and capable leadership. Then they had to go and ruin it all.

Then Hasbro Went and Ruined It All

In Transformers: The Movie, Optimus Prime and Megatron finally met in their final battle, one-on-one, after both showing themselves to be more than a match for any of the opposition's rank-and-file troops. They clashed with the fate of the two day long battle for Autobot City resting on the outcome. Whoever won would turn the tide of victory to his side. As it turned out, they were an even enough match that they both suffered fatal wounds, and the Decepticons retreated, leaving the Autobots with a bittersweet victory.

To make a long story short, Megatron was replaced with Galvatron, Optimus Prime was replaced with Rodimus Prime, and our favorite cartoon was replaced with a pile of crap. Galvatron was psychotic and unstable, the polar opposite of Megatron's calculated cunning. Rodimus Prime was unsure of himself and reluctant to hold the mantle of leadership, the polar opposite of Optimus Prime's sure and steady confidence. Left without effective leadership on either side, the show died a slow and painful death. The return of Optimus Prime in the Season 3 finale was too little, too late to save it.

Although I suppose the shoddy editing and increased frequency of animation errors didn't help.

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