Little is known about Starscream's early life. On his home planet of Cybertron he was a scientist. At some point he became a member of the Decepticons, and rose to the rank of second-in-command for Megatron. Despite his limitless ambition and almost constant treachery, he continued to serve as an important member of the Decepticons in their battles against the Autobots.
Starscream was created by Hasbro, with his name and back-story provided by Bob Budiansky.
In his Marvel incarnations, Starscream is quick to betray Megatron, but too cowardly to ever properly carry out an effective attack. His Marvel UK characterization tends to portray him as less openly treacherous and more devious.
In the Beast Wars continuity, Starscream is revealed to possess a mutated spark which renders him essentially immortal.
In the Dreamwave continuity Starscream maintains much of his Marvel personality, and is given a more detailed back-story. He later appears to have been reactivated during the Second World War.
Starscream's reactivations post-Ark crash are retconned, and he is established to have been reactivated following the crash by members of Cobra.
In his second IDW appearances, continuity is again rebooted back to Generation One, with his origin being slightly altered, particularly how he became involved with the Decepticons.
His second Dreamwave appearances featured a characterization closely based on his original Marvel appearances, though his importance in the Decepticon organization is downgraded.
Major Story Arcs
Marvel Generation One
Alongside his fellow Decepticons he assaults the Ark, but is soon deactivated and held in stasis for some time. He is eventually revived by Ratbat and given the position of second-in-command, which he fills with his usual treacherous aplomb. He manages to take the vast power of the Underbase for himself, and almost takes complete control over the Earth before being tricked by Optimus Prime, absorbing too much energy and destroying his body in the process. Starscream is reconstructed as a Pretender, and spends some time attempting to overthrow Megatron and fighting Autobots. He and Shockwave instigate a civil war amongst the Decepticons, and later join the other Transformers in being sent to Cybertron, where they will face Unicron. After the battle is won, Starscream joins Shockwave in fleeing the planet in a new Ark. He attempts to kill Ratchet, who has stowed away on-board, but is defeated. Ratchet then crashes the Ark on Earth in an attempt to contain the Decepticons, causing Starscream to become deactivated in the crash
Marvel Generation Two
Megatron reactivates Starscream several years after the Ark crash. He stays loyal to Megatron for some time before learning that Megatron intends to kill him the moment his new army is ready. Starscream immediately turns on Megatron, reporting his location to Jhiaxus and ultimately bringing about the defeat of the Decepticons. Later he acquires the Creation Matrix by double-crossing Jhiaxus and briefly uses it to turn himself into a living weapon by merging with the Warworld. He soon finds himself becoming corrupted by the Matrix's goodness, and discontinues its use.
Dreamwave Generation One
Having joined up with the Decepticons while a member of underground gladiatorial fights on Cybertron, Starscream forms his own team, called Predacons, while Megatron is apparently dead. Later, he and his fellow Decepticons attack the Autobots' Ark, causing it to crash on Earth and placing all Transformers aboard in stasis. After being reactivated alongside his fellows, he spends some time openly fighting the Autobots and covertly fighting Megatron before he and the other Decepticons are captured and imprisoned aboard Ark II. He escapes when the Ark II explodes, but is taken captive by a man called Lazarus, who takes control of his body and those of several other Transformers with the intention to sell them as weapons. He is freed by Megatron, and the group makes its way to San Francisco where they engage in a fight with the Autobots. They lose, but manage to escape. He briefly manages to take control of the Decepticons, but is ultimately rendered subservient to Megatron.
GI Joe vs The Transformers
Following the Ark crash, Starscream and the other Transformers are reactivated by the terroristic Cobra, who take control of them and use them for their own purposes, mostly attacking the GI Joes. Later the Decepticons are able to break free of Cobra control, and Starscream immediately turns on Megatron, attempting to kill him while he is mid-battle with Optimus Prime. This bid fails, and he leaves, only to be attacked by Snake Eyes, whose disfigurement he had been responsible for. Snake Eyes rips open one of Starscream's eyes and plants a grenade there. Starscream later makes a deal with Cobra Commander, transporting the man safely off the island in exchange for the removal of the grenade. Later, Starscream is taken control of by Cobra Commander. The pair travel to Cybertron via a mysterious wormhole, and there Starscream is captured by Perceptor and Ultra Magnus. He is rescued by Shockwave, who he briefly aids in attempting to conquer Earth before fleeing in the confusion of battle. Later Shockwave confronts him about his treachery, charges which Starscream is unable to answer to due to suddenly exploding. This is revealed to be a result of explosives that had been implanted in him by Cobra Commander.
IDW Generation One
Starscream is sent to "send a message", and is soon captured by Autobots. He swiftly turns on Megatron, providing information to his Autobot captors. This is revealed to be a part of Megatron's plot, and Starscream quickly frees Megatron and joins him in fighting Sentinel Prime. Later, he is given control of a small Earth-based force of Decepticons, and rapidly advances infiltration plans against orders upon discovering a new form of energon. His actions bring undue attention from the humans and Machination, and lead to a physical confrontation with Megatron. He is defeated and severely damaged, and spends some time in stasis. He is reactivated and leads the charge against the Reapers, helping to defeat them.
Starscream is a member of the strike squad that conquers Cyber City at Megatron's command, and later joins his brethren in taking over much of Cybertron. Later, he is amongst those sent over the Space Bridge to attack the Mini-Cons who have fled to Earth. He has a small victory against the Autobots and Mini-Cons, before being defeated and driven back. He continues working for Megatron for some time, fighting the Autobots and Unicron. He flees after Megatron is killed.
Ten years later, Starscream infiltrates a Terrorcon meeting at an energon plant. He is apparently killed by the Terrorcon leader Scorponok. His spirit reacts with the ambient energon, however, and he becomes a ghost-like being composed of pure energon.
The Reign of Starscream
Following Megatron's apparent defeat at the hands of the humans, Starscream makes plans to return to Cybertron and recreate the Allspark. He manages to fight off the attacking Autobots and return to his home planet, where he seizes control and uses Autobot slaves to work on the Allspark. He attempts to use the sparks of a number of his Autobot slaves to jump-start the Allspark, but this bid fails and he is betrayed by Deadwing before he can make another attempt. He kills Deadwing and vows to start his attempts for conquest again.
Alliance and Rising Storm
Back on Earth, Starscream attacks Optimus Prime, Megatron and Wreckage. He is almost defeated by Wreckage, but manages to turn the tables. He is prevented from killing any other by a sudden call from Soundwave. Later, Starscream forms his own group, Club Starscream, that operates outside of Megatron's command. Eventually he is called back to assist Megatron.
Powers and Abilities
Starscream is a Transformer, a gigantic robotic alien species, and so possesses all the abilities inherent to his race, including longevity, the ability to generate energy blasts, and the ability to shape-shift into a vehicle. Starscream typically takes the shape of a jet. Starscream possesses a mutated spark, which can survive outside of his body, rendering him functionally immortal. He is intelligent and devious, and a competent leader, though he tends to be undermined by his own cowardice and treacherous nature. He is a ruthless and incredibly skilled fighter, both armed and unarmed. Starscream is also tremendously fast, in jet mode he can reach speeds up to Mach 2.8. He can climb to suborbital altitudes of 52 miles and nose dive down to near ground level in mere minutes. This makes him particularly effective in surprise attacks and hit and run actions. He can shoot cluster bombs a distance of 40 miles, each of which can level an area 10,000 feet square. His null-ray rifle can interrupt the flow of electricity in any circuitry it hits for periods of up to two minutes, effectively preventing the operation of many machines dependent on those circuits during that period.
Hearts of Steel
In the 19th century, Starscream leads the Decepticons while Megatron is in stasis. He makes plans to take over the Earth, and also to destroy Megatron while he is unconscious. His plans are defeated by John Henry and the Autobots, who manage to destroy the Decepticon train convoy by redirecting it off a cliff.
Starscream appears as a major recurring antagonist throughout this television series. He is voiced by Chris Latta.
Starscream appears in the episode "Possession", wherein he takes possession of Waspinator. He is voiced by Doug Parker.
Starscream appears as a recurring villain throughout this series. He is voiced by Michael Dobson.
Michael Dobson reprises his role in three episodes in this series.
Transformers: Galaxy Force
Michael Dobson again reprises his role. Starscream is voiced in Japanese by Takaya Kuroda.
Starscream appears in two episodes in this series, again played by Michael Dobson.
Starscream features as a major antagonist in a number of episodes in this series. He is voiced by Tom Kenny.
Starscream appears as a recurring antagonist in this series. He is voiced by Steve Blum.
The Transformers: The Movie
Starscream appears as an antagonist in this film adaptation of the original animated series. He is voiced by Chris Latta
Starscream is a villain in this short film. He is voiced by Kunihiro Kawamoto.
Starscream appears as one of the major villains in this live-action film. He is voiced by Charles Adler.
Starscream is an antagonist in this short film. He is voiced by Patrick Hallahan.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Starscream again appears as a villain in this sequel to the 2007 film. Charles Adler reprises his role.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Charles Adler reprises his role in this third installment of the live-action film series.
Starscream appears in numerous prose adaptations of the Transformers franchise.
Starscream appears in many video game adaptations of the Transformers franchise. Games in which he appears as a playable character include Transformers Battle Universe, Transformers: War for Cybertron, and Revenge of the Fallen. Games in which he appears as a boss include 2004's Transformers, Transformers: Decepticons, and Transformers: War for Cybertron.