Fire in the Sky
Shortly before the outbreak of the Autobot-Decepticon war nine million years ago, Starscream was not a warrior, but rather a scientist. He and his colleague and friend 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 never found him. Upon his return to Cybertron, Starscream mostly abandoned his scientific pursuits, deciding that a career as a warrior would be much more exciting, and instead enrolled in the Cybertron War Academy, of which he would later profess to be the pride.
Starscream rose through the ranks of Megatron's Decepticons until he reached the position of second in command, but even this was not enough: Starscream saw Megatron as old and soft, and after five million years of war drained Cybertron of all its energy, Starscream came to believe that the Decepticons would have won the conflict eons beforehand if he had been in charge. Starscream was never afraid to let Megatron know this, but Megatron was always ready with a disparaging comeback, and the constant belief that while Starscream had the ambition, he did not have the ability to lead.
More than Meets the Eye
Starscream was among Megatron's forces aboard the space cruiser that pursued the Autobots' ship when it departed Cybertron to search for new energy sources on other planets. The Decepticons boarded the Autobot craft, and it subsequently crashed on Earth, entombing its occupants in stasis for four million years. When a volcanic eruption reawakened the ship's computer, Teletraan I, in 1984, it indiscriminately brought the Decepticons back online, rebuilding their bodies to transform into contemporary Earth machines. Now outfitted with an F-15 alternate mode, Starscream's first act on Earth was one of spitefulness, as he delivered a parting laser blast to the buried Autobot ship. The blast caused a tremor that inadvertently knocked Optimus Prime into the path of Teletraan I's restoration beam, and before long, all the Autobots were operational once more and ready to continue the war on Earth. Four million years of sleep hadn't improved Starscream's disposition any, as his thoughts immediately turned to leadership once more, and he discussed them with Rumble when he and Soundwave accompanied him on a mission to find materials to construct a temporary base.
The Decepticons quickly began gathering energy to build and fuel a new space cruiser that could return them to Cybertron. The work proceeded apace with the Autobots unable to do much to stop the villains, but Starscream wound up costing them time when he decided to test a clutch of energon cubes by powering a laser turret with them, thereby using them up and necessitating another energy raid. A little later, when Megtaron subjected Starscream to another bout of berating, the Air Commander decided he had had enough, and tried to shoot Megatron in the back. At Soundwave's warning, Megatron blocked the beam and returned fire with his fusion cannon, bringing Starscream to his knees, quite literally begging for mercy. Luckily for him, he got it, but he didn't learn his lesson, since the first thing he did once the space cruiser was completed and airborne was to try for another coup. As it turned out, he only wound up distracting all the other Decepticons, allowing Autobot stowaway Mirage to cripple the cruiser and send it crashing back to Earth.
Transport to Oblivion
Now stranded on Earth and using the crashed hulk of their spaceship as a base, the Decepticons created a space bridge to transport energy back to Cybertron. When Megatron was apparently lost in an early test of the device, Starscream leapt at the chance to take leadership, and led Thundercracker and Soundwave in an attack on a munitions plant. Unfortunately for Starscream, it soon transpired that Megatron had survived the space bridge journey, when he contacted Starscream from Cybertron and re-established his leadership. Starscream was demoted to grunt work for his next mission, shipping energon cubes over the space bridge, but his merciless selection of a hapless warrior to pilot the craft on the dangerous journey proved to be a good one.
Fire in the Sky/ Fire in the Mountain
When the Decepticons began drilling in the North Pole in order to tap the energy of the Earth's core, the excavation wound up unearthing the frozen body of Starscream's old friend, Skyfire. Starscream talked his friend into joining the Decepticons, but Skyfire could not put aside his peaceful scientific ways aside like Starscream had, and their friendship ended when he defected to the Autobots. After a battle with the Autobots newest warriors, the Dinobots, including yet another failed attempt and taking leadership when Megatron fell (fell down, that is), Starscream met up with Skyfire again when the Autobot returned to stop a Decepticon plot in Peru. In the process, Starscream found himself on the other side of treachery, when he overheard Thundercracker contemplating letting Skyfire destroy the Decepticons' new weapon, in the hope that Megatron would blame Starscream himself. Starscream tried to shoot Thundercracker but missed and took out Skyfire, then blackmailed Thundercracker into obeying his every command with the threat of revealing his treachery to Megatron. Unsuprisingly, the whole scheme didn't really work.
War of the Dinobots
Not long after that Starscream proved he did still have some scientific leanings, as he was the only Decepticon who urged caution when Megatron pillaged energy from an unstable meteor. 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.
The Ultimate Doom
After the Decepticons used a colossal space bridge to pull Cybertron into Earth's orbit in order to generate vast amounts of energy, Starscream took every opportunity he could to try and make it seem like the plan wasn't working. When the Decepticons' human ally Doctor Arkeville was abandoned by Megatron, Starscream abducted the scientist and made the rather outlandish attempt to create energon cubes by drawing on his mental energy. When Megatron caught him in the act, Starscream fled with Arkeville back to the human's secret laboratory. There, Starscream discovered an Exponential Generator and destabilized with the intent of creating an explosion powerful enough to destroy the Earth. Starscream withdrew to Cybertron to watch the cosmic fireworks, but unbeknown to him, Megatron and Optimus Prime had joined forces to launch the exponential generator into space. When the Earth failed to explode on schedule, Starscream headed back to the planet to investigate, but was knocked out of the sky by the passage of the exponential generator and crashed, right at the feet of a vengeful Megatron. Jazz wagered the Autobots had seen the last of Starscream for a while, and he was right: Starscream was indeed nowhere to be seen during the Decepticons' next villainous escapade.
Heavy Metal War
Whatever revenge Megatron may have reaped on Starscream, the air commander survived the experience, and was seen again when he and the other Decepticons bestowed their power chip rectifiers upon Megatron. This process gave Megatron access to all the Decepticons' special powers, including Starscream's null rays and cluster bombs, so he could easily defeat Optimus Prime in a one-on-one battle. Starscream pointed out the sheer illegality of this scheme, but Megatron was above caring. As it turned out, Starscream was right again: although Megatron defeated Prime, when the Autobots discovered his breach of the rules, their revenge was swift.
City of Steel
Starscream eagerly took to action in the Decepticons' next battle, but was somewhat more reserved in regards to Megatron' new Solar Needle weapon, fearing that it would destabilize the Earth. Told by Megatron not to concern himself with matters he did not understand, he instead passed the time threatening and bossing around the captive Gears. Later, when Megatron had the Decepticons transform New York into a new Cybertron, Starscream had to admit that he was impressed by the scheme despite himself.
Attack of the Autobots
Starscream helped Megatron implant a personality destabilizer in the Autobots' recharging chambers by using invisibility spray, and then joined in the theft of electro-cells from a human laboratory, only to wind up embarrassing himself by rushing to use them to create energon cubes, which exploded due to the cells' instability. Starscream was later part of the Decepticon team that stole the Autobots' Immobilizer weapon, and briefly tried to seize leadership when Megatron was felled by Optimus Prime during the Autobots' attempt to reclaim the device.
After serving as Megatron's unwilling guinea pig in the first test of the transformation-freezing Transfixatron, Starscream's cautious side came to the fore again when the Decepticons allied themselves with the fish-people of Sub-Atlantica. Starscream did not trust the sub-aquatic kingdom's boastful leader Nergill, and his suspicions were proven correct when Nergill shot him with an anti-Transformer disruptor ray. Starscream recovered in time to save Megatron from a blast of the ray, but Megatron did not believe Starscream's accusation of treachery until the fish-king went off the deep end and tried to destroy the Transformers, Sub-Atlantica and himself by detonating the city's energy stockpile.
Enter the Nightbird
Starscream was less than impressed with Megatron's decision to steal the Earth-made robot ninja Nightbird, but when Megatron threatened to replace the Air Commaner with the femme-bot, Starscream helped the Autobots take her down with a blast of his null ray. Soon after, when Megatron sought to dupe the Autobots with a clone of Optimus Prime, his plan necessitated the creation of a Starscream clone, that the Prime copy could convince the Autobots that it was the genuine article by destroying it.
The scientist in Starscream saw danger in Megatron's plan to drill to the Earth's core, but Megatron placated him by revealing an emergency space bridge that could whisk them off to Cybertron if things went wrong. They never got the chance, though, as the Autobots destroyed the bridge, forcing the Decepticons to work with them to halt the drill and save the planet.
Following a brief stint as mind-controlled minion of Bombshell, Starscream accompanied the Decepticons to the mysterious Dinobot Island, where the strange waves of chronal energy surrounding the prehistoric paradise gave him cause for concern. Starscream theorized that draining the delicate energies of the island could disrupt the fabric of time, and he was right: time warps began appearing all across the world, and the Autobots sprang into action to stop the Decepticons' scheme.
After shooting down Powerglide and accusing the Constructicons of treachery, Starscream proved just how much of a case of the pot calling the kettle black that was when he tricked the mentally-addled Autobot Red Alert into giving him access of the Autobots' new Negavator tank. Starscream planned to use the weapon to take control of the Decepticons, but when Megatron rumbled his scheme, he claimed that he had only been stealing the weapon for his leader. Realizing that Starscream meant to take the Negavator from him, Red Alert turned on him, and Starscream shot him with his null rays, which wound up stabilizing his logic circuits.
Starscream had a nasty encounter with a snake in the jungles of South America when the Decepticons were searching for their lost original space cruiser and its power core, the Heart of Cybertron, but his spirits were put right by a good bout of over-energizing with the other Decepticons that evening.
Megatron's Master Plan
Later, Starscream donned an Optimus Prime costume as part of a plan to frame the Autobots for energy theft, which successfully resulted in the heroic robots being forced off Earth by humankind. In the Autobots' absence, the Decepticons conquered Central City, and Starscream led the Decepticon jets in easily fending off attempted human military intervention, before the Autobots returned to clear their names and put things right.
Desertion of the Dinobots
Seeking to sabotage the creation of Professor Greene's ultra plane, Starscream suggested blasting the new device out of the sky. Megatron advocated discretion, and instead had Starscream perform a fly-over and surreptitiously drop a small explosive on the Ultraplane. Starscream, Megatron and Soundwave then attempted to steal the plans for the ultra plane, but Starscream and Soundwave were tricked into retreating when Mirage projected a hologram of Megatron fleeing. Soon after, cybertonium degradation began to impair the Decepticons functionality, and before he succumbed to it, Starscream took another grab for leadership when Megatron's vocal circuits were scrambled by the condition. After the Decepticons recovered, Starscream helped steal the Voltronic Galaxer.
A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court
While on a mission in Great Britain, Starscream found himself low on energy, and with Autobots on all sides. Retreating into a cave with Rumble, Ravage and Ramjet at his side, Starscream discovered that the cave was, in fact, a mystical time travel device, which thrust them back through the ages to 543 AD, with Autobots Hoist and Warpath hot on their heels. Seeing a primitive world that he could easily conquer laid out before him, Starscream allied himself with local ne'er-do-well Sir Wigend du Blackthorne, but soon double-crossed him and took control of his castle and army. Starscream dismissed the chivalry of the age and abducted Nimue, daughter of neighboring ruler Sir Aetheling the Red, demanding that he surrender his kingdom in return for his progeny's safety. All the Transformers were low on energy, so Starscream put his scientific skills to use creating gunpowder and primitive electric dynamo, giving the Decepticons the ability to fight back against the Autobots and Sir Aetheling's armies when they marshaled against him. With aid from the wizard Beorht, Hoist and Warpath overpowered Starscream and hauled him back to the present, where Starscream gleefully greeted Megatron by pouncing on top of him, ruining the shot he had lined up.
The Golden Lagoon
Starscream was the first Decepticon to test out a mysterious golden lagoon of electrum discovered on Earth, and was made invulnerable by the powerful alloy. The Decepticons were easily able to defeat the Autobots in battle thanks to their new invincible coating, but Megatron was not impressed when Starscream had captives Seaspray and Beachcomber fight gladiator-style. As punishment, he had Starscream lead an attack on the giant Autobot Omega Supreme — a task Starscream was terrified at the prospect of, even with his new-found invulnerability. The attack succeeded, but when Starscream was left in charge of the prisoners, they escaped, and in the battle that resulted, the electrum effect wore off the Decepticons, and they were defeated.
When Starscream, Thrust and Astrotrain pursued Cosmos to Saturn's moon of Titan, Starscream was less than impressed when the natives began worshiping Astrotrain as their supreme god. Starscream later encountered Cosmos again, along with Powerglide, in New York, inadvertently revealing the location of the Decepticons new base in the New Jersey Pine Barrens to the Autobots.
Starscream was among a small group of Autobots and Decepticons who were transported to an alien world of giants by a malfunctioning space bridge. Starscream was nearly dissected for study by the authorities of this planet, and when Autobot scientist Perceptor cobbled together a makeshift space bridge to send them home, he and the Decepticons were only too happy to make the trip back to Earth. After returning, Starscream was caught up in the menace of the morphobots, Quest for Survival then helped operate the Decepticons' new "energy magnet". Kremzeek!
Conspiring with Astrotrain and Blitzwing to overthrow Megatron by freezing him in a subterranean chamber full of absolute zero degree molecules, Starscream found himself betrayed by the two Triple Changers and frozen in the chamber along with Megatron. Blitzwing and Astrotrain's subsequent rampage caused a tidal wave (among many other things) that freed the two frozen Decepticons, and Starscream pleaded ignorance of the betrayal. Later, when eccentric big game hunter Lord Chumley began targeting the Autobots, Starscream smirkingly pointed out that he had achieved more in two days that Megatron had in two years.
The Search for Alpha Trion
Using the Dancitron dance club, Starscream and Soundwave used hypnotic music signals to brainwash human beings into helping them build a new Decepticon headquarters in the heart of New York, but they were stopped by Tracks, Blaster and the Bop Crew. Later, he returned to Cybertron to aid Shockwave in the capture of Autobot resistance leader Elita One, holding her to ransom to lure Optimus Prime into Decepticon clutches. The plan the succeeded, but when Starscream attempted to melt Optimus Prime down, Elita used her time-freezing powers to save the Autobot leader. When time unfroze, Starscream believed that Prime had been destroyed, so when the Autobot leader return to aid his troops in battle, Starscream was badly thrown and called retreat right away.
Hoist Goes Hollywood
When Dirge crashed in a movie studio back lot while returning to the Decepticon base with a secret cargo, Starscream was charged with recovering footage of the secret cargo that the filmmakers on-site had captured. Unfortunately for Starscream, Megatron was not in a forgiving mood that day, so when he neglected to steal the negatives as well, the Decepticon leader seized him, held him above his head, slammed him off a wall and tore a handful of wires out of his chest, knocking Starscream offline.
When Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker's aerial skills wowed the impressionable new Autobots, the Aerialbots, Starscream used their naivety to lure them into a trap set by a Megatron that temporarily sent them nine million years back in time. Later, Starscream accompanied Megatron, Astrotrain and Rumble on a mission to the planet Antilla, during which Megatron was struck by a small asteroid that lodged itself in his armor. Starscream yanked the asteroid out of Megatron's shoulder, but too late: the Decepticon leader was already infected by Cosmic Rust, necessitating the capture of Perceptor to find a cure.
Starscream's next attempt at a coup was the last straw for Megatron. After Starscream attempted to shoot him in the back yet again, Megatron downed the Air Commander with a blast of his fusion cannon and banished him from the Decepticons, instructing Laserbeak to drop him on the island of Guadalcanal. Discovering the ruined hulks of several World War II vehicles on the island, Starscream was struck with the idea to create troops for himself. Overpowering Thundercracker and Skywarp, he hijacked the space bridge and liberated the personality components of a group of dissident "Renegade Decepticons" from the detention center on Cybertron, which he placed into the war vehicles, creating the Combaticons. Starscream ensured the loyalty of the Combaticons by neglecting to install energy absorbers in their new bodies, meaning that they had to help him capture several Transformers so they could take theirs for their own. In a showdown with the Decepticon forces, Starscream's Combaticons combined into Bruticus to overpower Devastator, and the giant robot then seized Megatron, as Starscream forced him to hand leadership over to him. Suddenly, Bruticus was ambushed by Menasor and defeated, leaving Starscream without troops and at Megatron's mercy. Megatron had Astrotrain dump Starscream and the Combaticons on an asteroid, declaring them exiled from Earth forever.
The Revenge of Bruticus
Unable to stand his imprisonment, Starscream eventually transformed to jet mode and flew off into space, despite not having enough power to make it back to Earth. The Combaticons, meanwhile, towed the asteroid to Cybertron, where they promptly overthrew Shockwave and took control of the planet. Shockwave was sent tumbling off into space and collided with Starscream, tipping the Seeker off to the fact that he was close to Cybertron. The pair returned to Cybertron, where they attempted to fool the Combaticons were holograms, but were ultimately captured and imprisoned. It took the team-up of Megatron and Optimus Prime's forces to save them and stop Bruticus. Starscream used the hologram projector to deceive the Autobots into thinking that Megatron had destroyed Bruticus, but in reality, the combiner survived and was reprogrammed by Megatron to serve him. For supplying him with this mighty new soldier, Megatron welcomed Starscream back into the Decepticon ranks.
In his last recorded adventures in the 1980s, Starscream was his old snarky self, pouring doubt and scorn on Megatron's plans to have the Stunticons steal the components to create a powerful laser weapon, and to use a gravity-alerting device to blast the moon out of orbit.
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