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Old 2010-04-09, 03:17 PM   #34
Blackjack
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Possession
Airdate: February 3, 1997
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: "The Immortal Starscream"

SYNOPSIS
A violent storm causes problems with the computers in both Maximal and Predacon bases. Waspinator works on a console, but a hauntingly familiar voice greets him from inside the console, and a pair of purple eyes stare at him. A burst of energy slams into Waspinator, and the other Predacons soon see Waspinator march in gallantly, proclaiming his return 'at long last' using the mysterious voice. As lightning strikes, Waspinator's silhouette shimmers into that of the legendary Starscream, revealing the possessor's identity.

Apparently, the Air Commander's spark had been tumbling through time and space for a long, long time before encountering Waspinator. He tells Megatron and the other Predacons that he had been destroyed defending Galvatron from the monster planet Unicron, but his spark survived. Starscream claims that the Maximals would be also experiencing difficulties in the storm and offers his help. Megatron allows Starscream/Waspinator into his ranks, but secretly warns Scorponok to watch their Decepticon ally.

As dawn breaks, the Maximals are making repairs to their base, when Starscream and Megatron leads the Predacons on an assault. In the ensuing battle, Starscream's superior flying skills forces even Optimus Primal to admit defeat, and the Predacons force the Maximals to abandon their base, with Dinobot getting heavily injured in the process. Megatron puts Starscream in charge of the Axalon, with Blackarachnia and Scorponok left there to watch Starscream. However, Blackarachnia reveals to Starscream that she knows that the Decepticon was lying, and knows from records that Starscream had been killed by Galvatron after he betrayed the first Megatron. However, Blackarachnia proposes an alliance with Starscream to overthrow Megatron and Optimus Primal.

Meanwhile, deep in a nearby forest, the Maximals lick their wounds, with Optimus Primal not entirely believing that Starscream had possessed Waspinator. Dinobot, being of Decepticon ancestry and having a knack for history, tells Primal that Starscream is pretty much defined as traitor. The Maximals prepare a gambit, and they return to the Maximal base, claiming that they are surrendering as long as Dinobot's 'mortal' wounds could be repaired with the ship's CR Chamber. Starscream allows Optimus and Dinobot in, but predictable as ever, locks them up without weapons. Starscream orders the leaderless Maximals to attack the Predacon base, much to Scorponok's chagrin.

Meanwhile, Optimus and Dinobot, ignored by Starscream for the time being, breaks free and attacks the Predacons, forcing them to retreat. Primal manages to defeat Starscream in an aerial battle, leaving Starscream pleading for his life, as usual. Blackarachnia shows up, and proves to be smart as she double-crosses Starscream, igniting some energon crystals underneath Starscream to exorcise his ghostly spark from Waspinator's body. Soon afterwards, Waspinator gets repaired, as Blackarachnia explains to Megatron that she 'betrayed' them to expose Starscream's true intentions. Megatron isn't fully convinced, but lets it go for now. Meanwhile, Starscream... screams as his spark tumbles back into space, swearing vengeance...

Featured Transformers: Starscream, Cheetor, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Waspinator, Megatron, Terrorsaur, Rattrap, Scorponok, Blackarachnia, Tarantulas, Unicron (flashback), Dinobot, Airazor, Tigatron

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
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.

NOTES
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.

GOOFS
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.

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "Quickly, damage report!"
Waspinator: "Moderate. Waspinator in pain, but still functional."
Megatron: "Not you, imbecile. The computer."

Waspinator: "What is this? Program does not respond! Waspinator does not understand!"
Starscream: "I'll bet Waspinator seldom does! But try not to let it depress you, bugface." -rises up from computer screen-

Starscream: "Allow me to present myself: Air Commander Starscream of the Decepticon Battle Fleet."

Starscream: -to Optimus- "Good. Now, you reap the appropriate reward for your trust and good faith." -whispers to Scorponok- "Disarm him, force him to transform, and then chain him in the hold or somewhere!"

Waspinator: "Ohhhh... Waspinator has a headache in his whoooole body."

Starscream: "I'll be back! Even if it takes a thousand years, I'll be revenged of you all!"
 
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