Season One, Episode 20: Possession
Reviewed by Blackjack
Wonderfully done. While most Starscream cynics would spit on this episode, it can't be denied that the plot was interesting and a nice break from the routine of the previous few mediocre episodes. And even better, this episode cements Beast Wars in the G1 cartoon continuity. It follows up nicely after the events of 'Starscream's Ghost' and 'Ghost in the Machine' of Season three, and the reference to Galvatron and Unicron in TFTM is nice as well. It's charming to see that the writers of Beast Wars bothered to find out more of the Transformers' history. While there's the mild quibble of how Screamer got back into the past, it's worth noting that he might have stumbled into a warp hole or worm hole or some kind of sci-fi explanation, so it's negligible. Screamer manages not to be annoying and actually be a wonderful guest villain, not really stepping on the Predacons' toes. However, Megatron's uncharacteristic stupidity in this episode would cost it a mark. The action scenes and the Maximals outsmarting Starscream are well executed, and Blackarchnia shines as well in this episode. All in all, a decent episode.
Starscream's first (and last) appearance in the Beast Wars series. The events referenced in this episode--Starscream's death, a battle with Unicron, Megatron being betrayed by Starscream and turned into Galvatron--are all from Transformers: the Movie. Starscream's exploits as a ghost is, as stated earlier, is a continuation of 'Starscream's Ghost' and 'Ghost in the Machine'. It's worth noting that Starscream's CGI model head uses the Nel Yomtov colour scheme of black helmet/blue face, instead of the blue helmet/black face of his cartoon model.
Starscream touchs-down in what appears to be Southwest America. Observant watchers should realize that there's more than meets the eye to this planet...
Starscream's voice is performed by Doug Parker (Terrorsaur) to stand in for the late Chris Latta. Of course, both Terrorsaur and Starscream sound almost the same, and both of them are threacherous fliers...
In a nice piece of continuity, Waspinator's Predacon insignia on his head is changed into a Decepticon one when Starscream possesses him.
Rhinox's "it's tramplin' time!" is a mis-quote of "it's clobberin' time!", Fantastic Four's the Thing's infamous catchphrase.
During Starscream's defeat, Optimus Primal quotes the Terminator's famous line from T2
, when he says "Hasta la vista, Starscream". Also, as he flies away, he appears to wear the Terminator's trademark sunglasses.
On the commentary in the Madman DVD, the creators stated that the original plan was to have an Autobot ghost possess one of the characters. However, this idea is abandoned quickly, both due to Starscream being readily available, and a model of Starscream had been made for his cameo in 'the Web'. Apparently, Ben Yee provided Starscream's tech spec biographies to scriptwriter Ian Weir, which is where the 'Air Commander' stuff came from.
Starscream's spark has those twisted spark holders normally seen on a Protoform. All other sparks don't have it. However, it might be on purpose to illustrate that Starscream's spark is abnormal.
Early on in the episode, Megatron's T-Rex hand is on his left instead of his right.
In the flashback, Unicron's planetary ring is not connected to the planet body itself.
During the fake surrender, Primal's face is really messed up when he talks to Starscream. Fake injuries? Maybe. But that doesn't explain how the sides stretch down to his neck, and how his mouth doesn't move when he speaks.
When Starscream stands on top of the Axalon
, instructing the Maximals to attack the Predacons, his right foot clips through one of the cannons.
It's a little surprising that Megatron doesn't know about Starscream's history, considering that he is a proper Predacon and Blackarachnia is a brainwashed Maximal. This would seem weirder when you consider how much Beast Megatron knows about the G1 Decepticons. The records might be sealed and all, but that never stopped Megs before.