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1996-1999 Hasbro: Beast Wars

Though several familiar names would surface throughout the course of this series' run, no toy with the name Starscream would ever be produced. It seemed unlikely to appear at all; according to the editors for the TV series, Bob Forward and Larry DiTillo, Beast Wars was originally intended to be a separate continuity. But as the writers became more familiar with the original material and began making connections to the original series, it seemed only a matter of time before the most infamous character in the franchise would at least be mentioned. Though the first mention of a G1 character went to Shrapnel in "Dark Designs", the writers did one better with Starscream: they gave him his own episode.

In many ways, the first season episode "Possession" is a pivotal course in the Transformers franchise as it irrevocably ties Beast Wars with its predecessor. In many ways, it's rather fitting that Starscream appears to, in essence, "pass the baton" to this series. Re-imagined as a disembodied spark, Starscream somehow manages to transcend the boundaries of space and time to appear on the planet on which the Beast Wars rage. Taking possession of the Predacon Waspinator during an energon storm, he pledges his loyalties to this age's Megatron and offers his assistance to defeat the Maximals. He and Megatron devise a plan to drive their enemy from their base, which works quite well. However, Starscream's treachery is well known, and as always, he has his own agenda…

The Starscream of "Possession" is depicted very close to the personality one would expect from him; a smooth-talking, arrogant, scheming, treacherous character acting with his own agenda in mind. This personality was often the character's downfall in the original series, as it is here, quite fittingly. As one would expect, his lies are quickly exposed, most notably with Blackarachnia, though Megatron hints that he may know more than even Starscream suspects. Interestingly, the original plot had a character being possessed with the memory engrams of an Autobot; the concept was changed when it was decided that a villain would a better choice; Starscream was the natural option. Also of note: Waspinator's Predacon insignias become Decepticon ones when he is possessed by Starscream. Sadly, the original voice actor, Chris Latta, died two years before the series premiered, so the character was voiced by series regular Doug Parker.

Starscream would be mentioned in the second season episode "Bad Spark", in which it revealed that he possesses a "mutant, indestructible spark", further departing from his ghostly appearances in the original series. Primal explains that "Protoform X", later renamed Rampage, was an experiment to replicate this attribute, with disastrous results. In many ways, this episode provides an explanation as to why the Maximal Elders sealed Starscream's records, as mentioned in "Possession."

Starscream makes his last Beast Wars appearance in the episode "The Agenda, Part 3". Having gained access to the legendary Ark, Megatron slowly makes his way through the "hallowed halls", passing several legendary figures along the way. Though most are too vague to accurately identify, three are very clearly seen: Starscream, Soundwave, and Optimus Prime. Starscream can be seen sitting against a wall as Megatron passes, and gets the only close-up before Optimus, his darkened optics reflecting the Predacon leader as he passed by.

No toy was produced

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