Since 1984, Transformers has been a huge part of people’s lives. Those who were kids back then when the cartoon series came out and the toy lines started pumping out plastic and making millions, now have kids of their own. And with the recent string of films (though breathtakingly different — and not necessarily in a good way — from the Transformers of old), a new batch of kids can begin to sift through the gigantic industry that is the Transformers.
Some might say it’s all fun, and toys, and moral lessons (that were only a part of the show because of the insane, and manipulative marketing to children), but there is a darker side to these “robots in disguise”. A darker side that is filled with pain (for whatever pain a robot can feel) and misery. And from where does this all seem to stem? …Megatron!
Occasionally he does team up with the Autobots to face off against a more sinister opponent, but that does not excuse the leader of the Decepticons from all of his despicable acts. From tearing other robots apart, to destroying their homeworld, to laying waste to our world, and ultimately leaving his minions behind in the dust, Megatron is one cold-hearted (realistically no-hearted) robot. Here are just a few of the despicable acts he’s committed.
15. Killing Optimus Prime
Some might consider this the most despicable of all the crimes Megatron could have committed, but realistically this is only scratching the surface. And considering that Optimus Prime is one of the biggest fan favourites from the Autobots (and understandably so since he’s their leader), it means a lot to say that his death is only just the beginning to some pretty awful acts. Now these two robots consistently best each other, and it does typically go the way of good. But in this film clip above, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) watches as Megatron holds Optimus down, drives a blade through his back, and blows out his chest (and the spark that kept him functioning) with his cannon, much like the demise of Tony Montana in Scarface, but without the cocaine, and expletives. Now Megatron could have ended it all here, by absolutely obliterating every part of Optimus (though the writers would have thought of a way for him to come back), but it seems that Megatron and Optimus ultimately need each other, or at the very least, the fans do because let’s face it: who else would be able to claim either throne?
14. Driving Archibald Witwicky Insane
Way back in 1897, Archibald Witwicky (a forefather of Sam) happened across something very interesting during the National Arctic Circle Expedition. He discovered Megatron. Somehow triggering the Decepticons’ navigation system, a blinding light burst forth, stunning Witwicky while the coordinates to the location of the ‘AllSpark’ was imprinted on his glasses (it’s still not certain why exactly this happens, or how it makes sense…but it’s a story about giant, fighting robots so…). This brief exposure to Megatron, in a time when the first car was still three years away from being invented, Witwicky went insane. Returning from his expedition, he ranted and raved about his discovery. And while it would seem that he should be passed off as a complete kook, the American government at least had the savvy to enlist the aid of Simmons and Wells to go in search of the incredible claims of the now-foaming Witwicky. Who would have known that over a century later, Megatron would be tormenting Sam Witwicky as well?
13. Becoming Galvatron
Now this story arc varies from the original animated film, to the more recent, partially live-action films, but Galvatron is a rather infamous piece of Transformers history. Given that the recent films focus on a man-made Galvatron, this author thought that perhaps the more fantastical, animated film version, should be the one to appear in this article. After sustaining significant wounds, Megatron is dropped out into space by his slithering, serpent of a servant, Starscream. As he tumbled about the vacuum of space, Megatron was pulled into the gigantic, planet-sized robot, Unicron. Granting him greater powers, and crowning him with a new body, and name (and voice actor), Megatron becomes Galvatron, and starts on his way to kill Optimus Prime. But what does he do first? He catches up to his Decepticons, breaks up Starscream’s coronation bliss, turns him into ash (who knew steel could do that?), and crushes his crown as he takes his rightful place as leader of the bad guys. That’s only the start of a very scary string of Galvatron-caused death.
12. Ripping Jazz Apart
Nothing like throwing in a bit of humour when one of the good guys bites the dust. So, Jazz (basically the token black guy of the Autobot team) gets into a bit of a fight with Megatron…which is pretty silly, considering the sheer size difference between the two of them. As Jazz attempts to shoot up Megatron in some way, the hulking Decepticon just basically jumps on the tiny, little Autobot. Still trying to somehow win the fight, Jazz keeps shooting, as Megatron holds the little bot like he’s a toy. Jazz’s last words? “You want a piece of me?” Perhaps not the most ideal thing to say to something that one is a tenth the size of, but there it is. And how does Megatron respond, after calling Jazz a cretin? “No! I want two!”…and then he proceeds to tear Jazz in half. Now ultimately this isn’t as bad as it seems because, well…they’re robots. So it’s not like they can’t be rebuilt, but still, the emotional attachment anyone might have for them, as their gears get ground into dust, will still make one mourn for the loss…before they’re pieced back together, and charged up to fight another day.
11. Killing Sam Witwicky…And A Few Other Things
So this is a misdirection with the above photo as Sam, in the recent films at any rate, does not actually die at all. Sure, he gets his ass kicked, but how could one not when one is such a squishy thing in comparison to an enormous robot? Regardless, in the “Movie Prequel #2” issue of Transformers comics, there is an alternate timeline and reality. In this alternate reality, Megatron puts an end to Optimus Prime, and kills Sam Witwicky to finally get his hands on the ‘AllSpark’. He then goes on to take control over the entirety of the United States (and beyond), and begins the process of mechanizing Earth to essentially create a new Cybertron…since he basically destroyed the first one when he didn’t get his way. Of course, Optimus came back at a certain point, and Megatron was infected with a nanovirus that crippled him, but his essence was fused to the ‘AllSpark’, and as Starscream (of course) took it for his own, he had also the malevolent spirit of Megatron with him. When finally Megatron was released into a new body, there was a Decepticon uprising of sorts which, having been brought back to corporeal form, Megatron crushed almost instantly.
10. Laying Waste To Earth
To watch the new films, it is no shocker that Megatron and his band of Decepticons have caused untold destruction on the little planet of Earth. To be fair to him for a moment, it must be difficult not to cause some level of destruction when such a large being. Regardless, the havoc wrought in the recent films is nothing in comparison to some of the damage done in the cartoons and comics. For example, the previous entry made mention of transforming Earth into another Cybertron. That involved basically the destruction of most of the Western world, and the abolition of organic material…which is sort of Earth’s thing. In addition to that, Megatron once had ambitions to completely rid the Earth of the human species, because of how pathetic and weak they were in comparison to him and his army. A third story line involved the Earth in a heavy way, but instead of just blowing it up or killing everyone on it (right away), Megatron had the remains of Cybertron brought into Earth’s orbit. That doesn’t sound too bad until it transpires that he did this so he could easily subject the entirety of humanity to slavery, to strip the Earth of its resources, in order to rebuild Cybertron to its former glory.
9. Political Dissembling
Way back when…before any of the Autobots or Decepticons came to Earth, Megatron (or Megatronus at the time) was a gladiator. Exhausted by the political shambles he thought Cybertron was falling into, he opted to enter the arena of politics, as opposed to that of battle. One could imagine how Megatron (having shortened his name when campaigning) might function as a politician. There are several story arcs with regards to how this really transpired, but if one were to follow the recent film versions, Megatron, and Optimus ruled Cybertron together for a time, until the former’s ambition to use the ‘AllSpark’ caused him to start a war. In another story, Megatron is, as mentioned before, exhausted by how the politics of the place work, and while he runs for high council, is denied, and thusly turns his rage into grisly, physical action. Seeking then to destroy the Primes from ruling any further, Megatron then starts the war. Either way the story goes, it seems Megatron was a rather firm and ominous sort of politician…and he always ends up at war.
8. Destroying Cybertron
Speaking of war (though this wasn’t really much of one), in the story arc that has Megatron running from gladiator, to politician, to warmonger, he basically obliterates Cybertron and its inhabitants. Of course, given that there are thousands of story arcs, written by thousands of writers, and touted by hundreds of companies, it is no surprise that sometimes Megatron seeks to rule Cybertron, then seeks to destroy it, then seeks to rebuild it, then seeks somewhere else entirely…like Earth, for example. Ultimately, though, it seems his greed for the ‘AllSpark’ and Optimus’ decision to cast it deep into space to prevent Megatron from getting it, is what drives him to annihilate so much of Cybertron, and then journey to Earth where the ‘AllSpark’ has landed. Though, embarrassingly, Megatron seems to lose control of his entry into Earth and crash lands in the Arctic Ocean, which keeps him in stasis for thousands of years. If Megatron had landed safely, there would have been no technology on Earth that could have prevented him from his goal, and he very well might have returned to Cybertron as a god, and enslaved the other robots to rebuild his homeworld…again.
7. Killing Bumblebee…Sort Of
So in Transformers Prime, Megatron possesses Bumblebee for a time, and while manipulating him to revive the husk of Megatron, he ends up taking Bumblebee’s voice, so that he could not share with anyone what transpired. The above photo comes from the last episode of that series, where Bumblebee takes a seemingly fatal shot to the chest from Megatron’s cannon. His chest opened right up and the lights fading from his mechanical body, Bumblebee is dead…however, because it’s a Transformers show, he managed to find a way back up to where the fight continued to rage (and where Optimus was getting a sound thrashing), and “kills” Megatron. Megatron’s lights also fade, and he plummets deep into space. But none of his Decepticons should really grieve about that, since it was proven not minutes before that having one’s power crystal destroyed does not actually mean one can’t function. Truthfully, this author thinks that Bumblebee probably should have stayed dead in this installment, to let another Autobot step up to the plate for a change…like Blurr (at least he’d be fast enough to make a difference).
6. Releasing The Fallen
Alright, so again, this really does depend on which story arc, from which medium one prefers to enjoy. Based off the recent films, The Fallen is actually the leader of the opposition, and master to Megatron (which sort of undermines any power it seemed Megatron had to begin with, knowing he’s just a servant to something else other than his own ambition). However, Megatron is in search of the ‘AllSpark’ at the behest of The Fallen, and is given a chance to redeem himself by extracting information from Sam Witwicky’s brain…literally, and not by interrogation. In the film, there is a brief battle, but it’s nothing compared to what happens when Megatron releases The Fallen in the comics. The reason this is a heinous and despicable act is simply because of the ill will and devastation brought by The Fallen. Though, in at least one story line, Megatron has no idea who The Fallen is (and then eventually is put under its control). And in yet another, Megatron is the one to kill The Fallen, and this is the push he needs to raise an army and lay waste to both Earth and Cybertron.
5. Hatchling Shields
After having employed Starscream for the destruction of an Autobot ship, in search of the ‘AllSpark’, Megatron sits in his tower, waiting for Optimus Prime to appear and wreak his vengeance upon the Decepticons. Prepared for Prime’s appearance, Megatron watched from the top of his fortress as Optimus battled his way through the other Decepticons. Once he reached their leader though, Megatron had covered himself in tiny little hatchlings. Megatron then dared Optimus to take the fatal shot that would kill both him and the hatchlings. Prime of course did not do this, but did manage to keep hold of the ‘AllSpark’. The terrifying thing about this specific plot point is that Megatron is actually willing to put anyone in the way, including the robot equivalent of children, in order to save his own mechanical ass. It’s clear already that he’d use a human shield if he needed to…it would likely be an actual shield mad of humans sewn together, but he would do it. But to put his own kin in the line of fire…that’s some sort of despicable act.
4. Teaching Hatred
Besides using the hatchlings as a shield, to protect from Autobot attack, Megatron has done much to ensure the villainy of these little creatures (perhaps making it the better decision for Optimus to have actually killed them). Of course the hatchlings were aways going to be privy to the many beatings that Starscream received for questioning Megatron’s authority, and dissembling against him, but there’s even worse to transpire with these mechanical tykes. Basically, Megatron taught them all about hatred, specifically towards the Autobots. Even more detailed, Megatron would make the hatchlings memorize the likeness of Optimus Prime as well, to ensure that they know just who the enemy is. And surely one can only imagine the degree of discipline these baby bots would receive for questioning why one should hate so much and so deeply. So to put that into perspective in the real world: it’s like holding a baby out in front of one’s self, to prevent being hurt by an aggressor…and then giving that baby an AK47 and pointing out just who to hate, for trying to kill them years before. This stuff really happens…it’s like Megatron’s a window into the sordid reality of which we are all a part of.
3. Maiming Bumblebee
So the photo from the last Bumblebee entry was perhaps a bit deceiving, and so too is this one (as this photo is from the recent films where Bumblebee is basically the most important Autobot — in regards to Sam Witwicky). And because there are all manner of story discrepancies, there is a comic version of the aforementioned Bumblebee story where Bumblebee distracts Megatron from claiming a certain important item (an energon cube), which enrages the leader of the Decepticons…and very much like The Hulk, no one likes Megatron when he’s angry. So what does the wrathful Megatron do to the poor, comparatively little Bumblebee? First off, he tears off his weapon-wielding arm, so that he can’t fight back. Then, much like the previous entry’s story arc, he caves in Bumblebee’s voice box, so that he could never tell anyone of Megatron’s failures. It seems that Bumblebee gets a bit of a hard go in many of the stories.
2. Destroying The Autobot Base
Yes, the above photo is actually of Cybertron, and not of the Autobot base, but it was difficult to source a photo of decent enough quality, and let’s be honest: destruction is destruction when wrought by Megatron. For example, during any one attack on the Autobots, whether directly at their base, at the Simfur Temple, or just out on the field, it’s likely that one will find Megatron crushing or ripping out an Autobot’s crystal, before tossing the bot aside and continuing on his day. In the “Darkest Hour” episode of Transformers Prime, The Decepticons force the Autobots to retreat to their base, where the Nemesis (Megatron’s ship) is slowly approaching. Optimus does tell the others to flee (those who are still functioning), but he himself is caught in an awesome blast from the ship’s heavy cannon and the base topples down on top of him. All that remains to be seen of him is his hand sticking out of the rubble. Confident that they have, yet again, destroyed Optimus and beaten the Autobots, Megatron and Starscream celebrate.
1. Megatron Just Walks Away
Well, realistically, he flies away, but the point still stands. After seemingly endless battles against the Autobots and having suffered grievous losses on both sides, Megatron decides that he is done. Stating that “The Decepticons are no more”, he transforms into a jet and takes to the skies, leaving Starscream baffled (and seeming somewhat devious). Of course, Starscream is likely happy about this in the long run, as he would then (once again) take the mantle of leader of the Decepticons. While it should not be a despicable act by any means that Megatron decides not to fight anymore, it simply is because he has left an army of bad guys without good leadership. The amount of trouble the Autobots had before, with a singularly focused Megatron would be nothing in comparison to the completely chaotic mess of other Decepticons vying for power and destroying as they see fit. Sure, eventually a true leader would take the mantle and unite them against the Autobots again, but imagine what the world would look like with a disbanded army of rogue Decepticons…this might be the most despicable act that Megatron has ever committed.