All Hail Megatron! The leader of the Decepticons is one of the most vicious villains of all time. When he’s not attacking his rival Autobots as a menacing robot, he’s transforming into a handgun and shooting deadly energy beams at them. The very mention of his name puts fear into the hearts of both Autobots and humans alike, but how did the Decepticon leader become like this? Was Megaton constructed this way or did it come from experience? Before he was Megatron, he was D-16, a miner robot on Cybertron trying to survive the Cybertronian caste system. So what turned him into the vicious killing machine that people love to hate?
Did Megatron become more evil when he teamed up with Cobra Commander? Given the fact that he’s over four million years old, could he just be cranky? Maybe he’s upset that due to an accident he got stuck in his gun mode and a criminal used him on a robbing spree? There are lots of things about Megatron you may not know, and when you add them up, his villainy may not be justified but your understanding of him may change. Here are 15 Dark Facts about Megatron!
15. HE KILLED MICHAEL BAY
Although Michael Bay is a big-time movie director, did you also know that he acted? Okay, maybe saying he’s an actor is a stretch, but he certainly did make a cameo in a variety of movies. Bay played a frat boy in Mystery Men and was a photographer in Coyote Ugly. He also made an appearance in a Transformers movie, though only those with very sharp eyes caught his appearance.
Towards the end of Transformers, Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Sam Witwicky take a tumble off of a building and land hard on the street below. While Megatron is getting up, humans are scrambling around him. Randomly, he chooses to flick a human in a light blue shirt across the screen and into a car, but not before saying “Disgusting!” That poor bystander that was Michael Bay!
14. MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD
Pretty much everything you buy has some sort of expiration date, whether it’s a food item or an electronic device. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. For example, honey doesn’t go bad or spoil, and tardigrades (microscopic “water bears”) are near indestructible. When it comes to the Transformers, their durability is extremely understated, and when it comes to Megatron, he’s a lot older than he looks.
The Marvel Comics and animated Transformers versions of Megatron have him as being old… not hundreds of years old or thousands of years old, but millions of years old; around 4 million to be exact. In the comic, Megatron crashed to Earth and laid dormant for 4 million years until he was revived in 1984. In the animated series he was alive and well, spending 4 million of those years looking for the Allspark.
13. ORIGINALLY A MENTOR TO OPTIMUS PRIME
Like any good drama, there is a strong relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker finds out he’s the son of Darth Vader, one of the most evil people in the galaxy. Sibling rivalry can be found in such classic films as The Godfather as well as The Lion King. Although Optimus Prime and Megatron are mortal enemies, they do have a very powerful link between them.
Before Optimus Prime became leader of the Autobots, he was known as Orion Pax, and both Transformers lived on Cybertron together (literally) millions of years ago. Cybertron operated as a caste system, which gave some robots more status over others. Megatron and Orion Pax were on the lower end of the caste hierarchy and the two collaborated on ways that life could improve and be more equal for all, with Megatron serving as a mentor to Pax.
12. DOESN’T LIKE TO FLY
Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, and most of his fellow Transformers are jets. Ironically Megatron doesn’t transform into a jet, he transforms into a handgun. What’s also ironic is that the leader of a group of transforming planes can’t be brought onto a plane. When he’s transformed into a Walther P38, it looks too realistic to be brought onto a commercial flight. It also doesn’t stop there: if you want to own him in Australia you’ll need a special license.
Australian Customs in 2007 prevented the MP-36 Masterpiece Megatron toy, made by Takara-Tomy, from entering the country. Instead of being labeled a toy (and an incredibly awesome one at that), due to its realism, it was classified as a “replica firearm.” This meant that you needed such things as a background check, proof of membership to a collector’s club, access to safe storage and more. We always knew Megatron was dangerous, but not like this!
11. ORIGINALLY WAS A GLADIATOR ROBOT
If you’re in one of the lower castes on Cybertron, you don’t have a lot of options to survive. Robot designate D-16 decided while living in the Decepticon-controlled city-state of Kaon to become a gladiator. Sure the deathmatches were illegal, but with very few options D-16 felt he had no choice. Working in the mines of Kaon wasn’t going to make any profound impacts on the world around him.
Adopting the name Megatronus, he survived many battles, fought to get rid of the corrupt caste system, and befriended a robot named Orion Pax who would eventually become Autobot leader Optimus Prime. Fighting as a gladiator changed D-16. It made him value life even less and hate his oppressors even more. Megatronus was eventually shortened to Megatron, and he started his journey to becoming one of the biggest villains known to the Transformers.
10. GALVATRON VS MEGATRON
In Transformers: The Movie, Megatron engaged in one last battle with Optimus Prime. Both robots are mortally wounded and several Decepticons make an escape in Astrotrain. Capitalizing on Megatron’s weakness, Starscream ejects Megatron into space along with several other Decepticons. They are found by Unicron and are augmented into more powerful versions, with Megatron becoming Galvatron. However, why do some people think that they are two different robots?
This may have been due to the toy manufacturers not getting the right information or the information quick enough. On the packaging for Galvatron, he’s listed as “City Commander” even though he’s the Decepticon leader. Also in the comics, there is a version of Galvatron that is from an alternate future universe, allowing for Megatron and Galvatron to co-exist, even though Galvatron is a future version of himself. This is more complex than X-Men continuity!
9. WORKED FOR COBRA
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a juggernaut. It not only produces entertaining, engaging cinema but it also makes a ton of cash as well. Lots of companies have tried to repeat the formula, like DC Comics, or Universal Studios’ Dark Universe uniting such movie monsters as The Mummy and the Invisible Man. However, none of these have yet to come close to Marvel’s success. In 1987 Marvel Comics united two massive franchises: G.I. Joe and The Transformers.
Megatron naturally teamed up with Cobra and had Cobra Commander change his transformation from a hand gun into a tank. The series was revisited by Devil’s Due Publishing, picking up where Marvel Comics left off. In this version, Serpentor is an android made by the U.S. government with the knowledge of not only Earth’s greatest military combatants but also with processors from Megatron himself.
8. USED IN REAL LIFE TO THREATEN PEOPLE
Megatron transformed from a robot into a Walther P38 handgun. Just how realistic did it look? Keep in mind that back in the 1980s you didn’t have the same laws you do now, so realistic weapons such as the Entertech water guns were made (the toys even had detachable ammunition cartridges). To answer the question, Megatron was real-looking enough to get the Canadian police involved.
In June 2009, a man in Ontario, Canada was having a really bad day. Not only was he being evicted from his apartment, he was also attacked and robbed of his money. He was extremely angry and was reported by neighbors to be yelling and pointing a handgun. The police came in force with sniper rifles, submachine guns, and police dogs. It was later discovered that the man, later identified only as “Jason,” was brandishing Megatron transformed as a pistol.
7. SWAPPED MINDS WITH BUMBLEBEE
In the 1984 Transformers animated series, the voice of Bumblebee was provided by Dan Gilvezan. However, in the 2010 animated Transformers: Prime series, Bumblebee’s voice is a little bit of a different story. Borrowing elements from the 2007 live action Transformers movie, Bumblebee’s speech is limited due to a injury doing battle with Megatron. Eventually Megatron was captured and Bumblebee had to enter Megatron’s mind to find a cure for the Cybonic plague Optimus Prime was infected with.
Unfortunately, Megatron was able to do the old switcharoo and swap minds with Bumblebee. Megatron controlled Bumblebee’s body and got him to fight Ratchet and steal Dark Energon from the Autobots. Luckily, Bumblebee was able to resist and the Autobots were able to put their minds back into their proper bodies.
6. THE PREFERRED CHOICE OF GUN BY BAD GUYS
Optimus Prime was leader of the Autobots and transformed from a robot into a Freightliner FL86 cab over semi truck. It makes sense that the leader of the Autobots would be a vehicle, yes? The Decepticons were mostly jet planes, but their leader was not a flying machine of any sort. Megatron transformed from a robot into a Walther P38 handgun. He could change his mass so that he could be held by something as large as a fellow Decepticon or as small as a human.
There were a number of humans that preferred the Walther P38 handgun. It originally was manufactured in Nazi Germany in 1938 and was used by the Wehrmacht (Nazi Germany armed forces) at the beginning of World War II. Was the Walther P38 chosen due to its distinct look? Perhaps it was chosen because of its association with the Nazis?
5. WAS ONCE STUCK IN GUN MODE
In Transformers #8, Megatron fought the Dinobots on a mountain in The Savage Land (the same one in the Marvel Universe that was visited by the X-Men). Although Megatron defeats them, it’s actually Ratchet who is able to take the Decepticon leader down. As Megatron was falling off a cliff, he transformed into his gun mode, thinking that would be a better way to survive instead of staying as a robot that’s survived for over 4 million years.
In Transformers #13, Megatron returns but not in the way you’d expect. Due to the incredible fall, he’s damaged and stuck in his gun mode. He has also conveniently reduced his mass so that he is the size of a gun that a human can hold. He’s found by a gangster named Joey Slick, who uses Megatron to pull off a series of robberies operating under the name Super Shooter. This really happened.
4. SHARES CONNECTION TO GHOSTBUSTERS, FUTURAMA, SCOOBY-DOO
Megatron in the cartoon had a distinct voice that was both commanding and sinister. For several of the Transformers movies, Megatron was voiced by Hugo Weaving, who used the same evil, robotic tone that he used with Agent Smith from the Matrix movies and applied it to the Decepticon leader. Eventually Weaving left the franchise and was replaced by the man who voiced Megatron back in the 1980s, vocal legend Frank Welker, who has voiced dozens of characters from shows you watched as a kid.
Frank Welker not only voiced Megatron, but also provided the voice for Fred from Scooby-Doo. He also was the voice of Nibbler on Futurama as well as Dr. Ray Stantz from The Real Ghostbusters. Whether it’s G.I. Joe, Inspector Gadget, Smurfs, or Animaniacs, if you watched any animation as a child, there’s a triple-digit chance his voice was somehow involved in it!
3. SHARES A CONNECTION WITH MR. SPOCK
Thanks to Marvel Comics, we got to see G.I. Joe team up with The Transformers. Although we’ve seen Star Trek crossover with the X-Men and even Green Lantern, is it possible to see The Transformers go where no robots have gone before and have a storyline involving Kirk, Spock, and the starship Enterprise? Although that may not happen, there is a cool connection between the Enterprise’s science officer and the leader of the Decepticons.
Leonard Nimoy played Spock in the Star Trek franchise, but he also was the voice of Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie released in 1986. Galvatron was the evolved version of Megatron, courtesy of the planet-eating Unicron. Frank Welker was the voice of Megatron for the animated series as well as several of the live action movies. Welker also provided voiceover for one of the young Spocks in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Small world!
2. DUE TO AN EXPLOSION, MERGED WITH RATCHET
In Transformers #59, Ratchet died a heroic death and tried to take the Decepticon Leader with him into oblivion. Ratchet detonated a series of bombs on a Decepticon base and it was thought that both Megatron and the Autobot died in the explosion. However, in Transformers #70, it was revealed that they survived but at a terrible cost.
Megatron tried to escape the explosion by traveling through a trans-time dimensional portal but Ratchet stopped him from doing so at the last minute. Traveling through the portal coupled with the explosions resulted in a monstrous fusion of the two Transformers. This left Optimus Prime with big moral dilemma: allowing the creature to die would kill Megatron but also Ratchet. Saving Ratchet meant saving Megatron as well. Optimus could not allow Ratchet to die and allowed for both to be saved, a decision that Megatron made sure Optimus would regret in the future.
1. DOESN’T LIKE SELFIES
The odds of us meeting an interstellar robot that transforms itself into Dodge Ram SRT-10 are fairly low. It’s much more likely that you’ll travel to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. By Transformers The Ride-3D you have the chance to interact with giant robot versions of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and even Megatron. However, be prepared to protect yourself not against his villainy… protect yourself against his sarcasm.
Several videos of fans interacting with Megatron have gone viral on YouTube, but possibly the most infamous one is where the Decepticon Leader is criticizing a woman for taking a selfie with him. Not only does he mock her outfit, he goes off on a very articulate rant about how status updates mean nothing and that she should be living her life, not adding photos to “a library of forgotten photographs.” Whoa, Megatron, when did you get so deep?
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