"Why did Galvatron have you attack Cybertron all by yourself? Are you stupid, or just obedient?"
Starscream returns to make trouble for the Decepticons (see "Starscream's Ghost"), attacking Galvatron after possessing Scourge, and then forcing Scourge to help him reactivate the head of Unicron. Starscream strikes a bargain with him to get a new body, but in exchange Unicron has him perform three labors. The first is to steal Metroplex's eyes so that Unicron can see again. The next is to capture Trypticon and install his transforming cog within Unicron. The final task is to connect Unicron's head to Cybertron to give him a new body. Scourge doesn't think much of this last idea, and flees to find Galvatron and explains the situation. When the Decepticons within Trypticon disrupt Starscream's control of Trypticon, Unicron has to give Starscream his body before he can connect Unicron's head to the planet. Once he's gotten what he wants, though, Starscream refuses to help any further. Just then, the Autobots blast Unicron, along with Starscream, back into space.
- Which two Autobots have brief cameos in this episode?
- What device did Scourge use to disable Metroplex?
- This episode is, of course, a mostly-direct continuation of "Starscream's Ghost." (Actually, this episode could take place directly after that one, but I'm hesitant to arbitrarily play with the order of the episodes unless I absolutely have to.) Unlike the last ghost story, the focus is very much on Starscream in this installment, despite being surrounded by a cast of over 30 Transformers in this episode.
- The title of this episode comes from a concept in psychology that the human mind functions separately from the other brain functions; that some tiny little entity lives inside your brain whose job it is to collect all the sensory data collected by the brain. On on level, the title of this episode works in a literal sense (Starscream is a ghost who inhabits machines) but also on a psychological level (Starscream's consciousness can exist separately from his physical body).
- Cyclonus can't seem to make up his mind about Scourge's intent. On Chaar, he stops Galvatron from destroying Scourge, explaining that he's not a traitor at all; he's just malfunctioning. By the time Cyclonus tracks him to Cybertron, though, he's saying it's obvious that Scourge plans to join the Autobots. (I happen to love it when characters jump to the wrong conclusions. I think it makes up for all those times when characters instantly arrive at exactly the right plan even though it should be impossible for them to do so.)
- If Unicron wasn't reactivated until this episode, then how is it that he was able to do that spooky moan back in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 2?
- Why isn't anyone referring to Unicron/Metroplex/Trypticon's eyes as "optical sensors"? That's usually the Transformer parlance of choice, but every single character calls them eyes throughout this episode.
- How does Unicron know of the existence of Trypticon? Unicron's apparently been unconscious ever since the movie, but Trypticon was created after the movie in "Five Faces of Darkness." For that matter, how does Starscream know about him? (Okay, maybe he accessed Scourge's memories somehow.)
- There's something weird going on here. When Galvatron orders the Predacons to go after Scourge, there are only two of the Predacons in evidence. When the Aerialbots scramble after the infiltration of Metroplex, Silverbolt and Skydive are the only ones there. Then, when Rodimus orders the Protectobots to shoot down Astrotrain, the only Protectobots in evidence are Hot Spot and Groove. Where's everybody else?
- Wouldn't Metroplex and Trypticon's eyes be awfully small for Unicron? I mean, Scourge carries Metroplex's eyes around like footballs. In the movie, Hot Rod managed to crash an entire Quintesson cruiser through one of Unicron's eye sockets with room to spare. That's a pretty significant size difference. (Maybe Unicron's head shrank after his body blew up?)
- The Autobots are still flying in this episode--up away from Sky Lynx, into Unicron's head, and back again. (The Protectobots even make little rocket engine noises when they leave Sky Lynx.)
- I guess this is also as good a time as any to mention that, from all indications, Trypticon doesn't have any eyes. (Well, he doesn't in the cartoon, anyway. I guess the toy they were working from when they drew up the color model didn't have its eye stickers.)
- Well, this is interesting. Blurr is on Cybertron, and he said that he was watching the monitor and admiring the moonrise. This is proof that there was another moon base besides the two that Unicron ate. If this is true, though, why do we almost never see this extra moon in orbit around Cybertron--during the movie or in other episodes?
Dialogue and Sound Effects:
- When Scourge is first possessed by Starscream and stops, one of the Sweeps ahead of him turns around and asks, "What's the matter? You got lead in your feet?" Chris Latta didn't even try to distinguish this guy's voice from his usual Starscream voice.
- The destruction of Unicron's body must have damaged his vocal cords a bit. He doesn't sound at all like he did in the movie. (Yeah, I know what you're gonna say. I've already prepared a witty retort.)
- When Powerglide spots the Decepticons and alerts the Aerialbots, Silverbolt says, "I don't see any enemy!" and Skydive also moves his lips along to the words.
- Powerglide's timing is a bit off. When Metroplex is going berserk, Powerglide starts to say, "I don't believe it! He shot me!" before Metroplex actually shoots him.
- Unicron's not the only one who's got voice problems in this episode. Thrust sounds much different that he used to in this episode; he's developed what almost sounds like a Brooklyn accent, especially when he says, "There they are! Blast 'em!" Dirge only has one line in this episode, but it's not even recognizable as Dirge's voice. (What's odd is that, in both cases, these are the characters' original voice actors. Just going by Dirge's voice alone I wouldn't have been sure, but we know that Bud Davis worked on this episode since he did Metroplex' lines, too.)
- When Galvatron is berating the troops, he says to Runabout and Runamuck, "First, you two allow Scourge and Starscream to steal one of Trypticon's eyes." Then, turning to Dirge and Thrust, he says, "And then you two allow Astrotrain to be used as their escape vehicle." The problem is in his inflection; based on his words alone, he sounds like he's still talking about the same two guys. He should have put the emphasis on, "And then you two allow Astrotrain..."
- Groove's voice has changed in this episode. When we last saw him in "B.O.T.," he sounded like Trailbreaker. In this episode, he's got a much smoother and laid-back voice, like Teletraan II. (In all fairness, I don't see how Frank Welker should be expected to remember how to voice such a comparatively minor character who, up to this point, had only got one or two lines in the entire show.)
- After ditching Astrotrain, Starscream returns to Unicron, and makes a little metallic "ka-chunk" noise when he lands. Does this seem right?
- Astrotrain's timing is off, too. After the Autobots shoot him down, he's making "Uuh! Eee! Ooh!" noises long after the Autobots have stopped firing.
- When Rodimus is asking Astrotrain, "...are you stupid, or just obedient?" we cut to a scene where his mouth isn't moving.
- Even Galvatron's got lousy timing in this episode. Right before Trypticon starts transforming, Galvatron starts to say, "I want to know what's going on... and I want to know now!" several seconds before the ground starts rumbling.
- After Scourge was possessed by Starscream, Scourge's mouth moved when Starscream spoke. Trypticon's mouth doesn't move when Screamer speaks after possessing him, though.
- I think the animators forgot which robot Starscream was inhabiting. When Unicron tells Starscream that the second labor isn't complete, we get a reaction shot from Scourge as Starscream responds, "What?!" The problem is, Starscream's actually inside Trypticon.
- Somebody hit the pause button on Ultra Magnus' dialogue. When preparing to blast Unicron back into space, Magnus says, "Let's plant the energon explosive--" and tosses some energon cubes behind Unicron before dashing away and finishing, "--ves and get out of here!" His dialogue was obviously recorded as one line before somebody chopped it up.
Animation and Continuity:
- This episode is the first time since the movie that we see Scourge stick his head up in vehicle mode. Is this a mistake? I have no idea. I'd be tempted to say that this is his "toy design" vehicle mode, since this is the way he appears in TRANSFORMERS UNIVERSE (oddly enough, though, the toy can't actually do this). To qualify this as an actual blooper, I'll just point out that even with his head sticking up, Scourge's mouth doesn't move when he talks to Starscream.
- After Scourge transforms and flees, Headstrong is in the background and he's colored like Breakdown. (Because the Stunticons are such prominent players in this episode, you see.)
- When Galvatron orders the Predacons to pursue, Headstrong and Razorclaw's lower halves turn a shade lighter for a split second.
- When Scourge is walking along inside Unicron's head, the background is scrolling along behind him, and at one point it jumps because they ran out of background and had to restart the cycle. (I also just want to say that that's one roomy head.)
- During Kup's security inspection of Autobot City, when Blaster leans back on the controls and accidentally switches on the music, Kup starts laughing along with the other Autobots. For some reason he just doesn't strike me as the type to burst into a hysterical fit of giggling.
- When Starscream sneaks up on Kup from behind, Starscream's solid instead of his usual ghostly-transparent self.
- The Korean animators who worked on this episode are using the alternate color model for Bumblebee again. The "spare tire" on his back is colored black instead of yellow.
- As Metroplex awakens and Scourge prepares to retreat, Scourge's eyes are colored green. Weird.
- When Metroplex is stumbling around and screaming, "Where are my eyes?!" he's got little tiny eyes instead of goggles. (As an aside, it makes sense that it would look like he's still got eyes from the outside. That's probably colored glass or something.) He's also missing the antennas on his shoulders in this scene. In the next scene, the Autobot symbol on his chest disappears briefly.
- After the first commercial break, Skydive is in jet mode and he's colored like Slingshot.
- When they're fixing Metroplex and Bumblebee's got his arms crossed and mutters, "This better work," the center sections of his arms are squared off instead of being round.
- On Chaar, when Astrotrain collides with Scourge, Astrotrain's missing the stabilizer fin on his back. (I wonder if they omitted it so he could fall on his back? Then again, that didn't seem to be a problem in "Chaos"...)
- There are two oddities with Thrust when he appears in Galvatron's court. The first is that they're using that alternate color model that we saw in "Auto Berserk," so his chest is red instead of black. Also, his arm-mounted guns bend when he bends his elbows.
- When Blurr is checking out Unicron on the monitor, the viewscreen display is shining right through his head.
- Hot Spot can't seem to decide whether he's got a mouth on that face plate of his or not. He's got one the first time we see him in robot mode, but it's missing as he flies away from Sky Lynx.
- Astrotrain's transformation is all weird in this episode. After he gets gunned down over Cybertron, the front of his shuttle mode becomes the top of his robot mode. Compare this to his transformation earlier, when the top of his robot form became the back of the shuttle mode.
- When the Autobots are interrogating Astrotrain, there's one scene where Ultra Magnus' face is colored blue instead of light grey.
- When Sky Lynx arrives at Unicron's head, there's a painted backdrop of Unicron's head that takes up most of the scene, in addition to a smaller animation cel of his head that somebody slapped on top of it. Heh. Unicron and Unicron, Jr.
- When Scourge attacks Sky Lynx, there's a Decepticon symbol on Sky Lynx's shuttle nose.
- Once Sky Lynx rockets away, back inside Unicron, Hot Spot's missing one of the panels on his right leg.
- After the second commercial break, when the Autobots are floating through space back to Sky Lynx, Springer is colored like Kup.
- When Trypticon returns to Unicron, Scourge can be seen standing in Unicron's open mouth. In the next shot, Scourge has disappeared. In the scene following that, Scourge is suddenly standing on top of Trypticon.
- Unicron's eyes are colored white instead of red when he appears on the Autobot monitor.
- During Trypticon's assault on the Decepticons, Divebomb is blown to pieces! (He shows up later in the series, so either this was a clever illusion on the part of the Decepticons, or Divebomb's got himself one hell of a medical plan.)
- When Runabout approaches the portal from within Trypticon, he's colored like Runamuck. (Their designs are slightly different. Runabout's got that mohawk thingy on the top of his helmet, is the main way I can tell them apart.)
- After Starscream gets his new body, the panel on his back is orange when we see him facing Unicron. (They did this in "Starscream's Ghost," too. Hmm. I wonder if somebody didn't just create a new color model to replace his old one?)
- In the very last scene, as the Autobots politely respond to Rodimus Prime's joke with some forced laughter, Hot Spot is colored like Ultra Magnus.
- "Passes? Passes?? I don't have to show you no stinking passes!"--a very badly skewed line from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) with Humphrey Bogart. His character is confronting armed men claiming to be police, but when he asks, "If you're policemen, where are your badges?" they reply, "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"
This line is parodied frequently in television, but for some reason it just doesn't work in this episode. Aside from coming off as terribly forced, Starscream just doesn't strike me as the type to use such poor grammar.
- Arcee and Wheelie.
- A photon charge.
This Page Created 12/13/2002
Last Update: 1/1/2002
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