Shawn Berger was a very rich, grandiloquent man who owns a helicopter, a TV network, a personal army (with tanks), and at least one private spacecraft. But what he really wanted was to be mayor.
And he'd sell humanity out to Megatron for it.
The Transformers cartoon
Megatron's Master Plan
Shawn Edward Arnold Berger ran for mayor of Central City in 1984 and lost. As a token of conciliation with his opponent, he donated a solar energy facility to the city. However, the edifice was a facade in which he hid his personal soldiers and tanks, waiting for the inevitable Decepticon strike on the apparent new power source. But the glory he hoped for was quickly dashed; not only did his troops fare poorly against the Seekers, but they were almost immediately upstaged by an Autobot counterstrike.
Stewing in his Berger, Inc. office, he was suddenly kidnapped by Laserbeak, who took him to Megatron. Megatron told him that the Decepticons had been maligned by Autobot propaganda, and they needed Berger's help to clear their name. Megatron offered him "the city" in return for his aid. Berger demanded two cities (he never specified the second) and proof that the Decepticons were really the good guys.
The "proof" came in the form of what seemed to be an Autobot raid on an oilfield. As Berger hovered overhead in a helicopter with a video crew, he saw Optimus and several other Autobots drain oil into energon cubes, then get attacked by Decepticons (who shouted things like "SAVE THE HUMANS!") One of his cameras was blown off the helicopter during the battle, but Megatron recovered it, spliced in footage of himself "explaining" the incident, and gave the tape back to him.
Berger then had it played on his network on Autobot Day, which successfully turned public opinion against the Autobots. In fact, the 'Bots were even brought to trial and sentenced by a human judge to permanent exile from Earth. Berger provided the spaceship. (This despite the fact that for some reason Megatron had continued filming the 'Cons removing their Autobot costumes after the oil-field raid, and he hadn't edited that bit out when he was putting himself in. So if Berger had played the tape a few minutes longer, he would've exposed Megatron's plan at its outset. Spike eventually discovered the footage, but too late.)
Berger had a short time to bask in the adulation of the masses, declaring a "Decepticon Day" and having a parade. Megatron continued to play along for a time; in fact, Berger even tried to get a third city out of his promise. But then at one fateful press conference, Megatron declared martial law over the city and began to enslave the population for energy production. Berger seemed as shocked as anyone, declaring, "It is over; I saw the Autobot ship like a silver bullet streaking toward the sun! And it collided, collided with destiny! I saw the end; they died in a cosmic funeral pyre! It is the end - the Apocalypse!" It's pretty much impossible for a press conference to go more awesomely than that.
Berger started helping Spike and the other friends of the Autobots. But they all were enslaved nonetheless, and he found himself hated at every turn. When the Autobots eventually returned and chased the Decepticons off, Berger begged forgiveness. He promised he would disband his personal army, but Sparkplug pointed out that his soldiers had already quit when they realized he was a traitor to humanity. "You are going to face justice," Prime told him, "and may it be kinder to you than it was to us."
Berger later died in prison, leaving his son Shawn Berger, Jr, with an undying hatred of the Transformers.
As a member of the Concurrence, whose ultimate goal was not only the removal of the Autobots, but all Transformers from the Earth, Shawn Berger's son Shawn Berger, Jr. helped fund the creation of the IMORTAL's weaponry.
- Berger is noted in the official Sunbow Productions cast list as being "a hefty, middle-aged, "Edward Arnold" type". Writer Donald F. Glut specifically based Berger on Arnold's character D.B. Norton in the movie Meet John Doe.
- Berger's name was inspired by a friend of Glut's named Jim Shoenberger.
- Japanese: Shawn Berger (ショーン・バーガー Shōn Bāgā)
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