*musing on the relevance of the 'cons in the movies* The Decepticons were written to be moving obstacles and nothing more. The Decepticons in the movies are not characters. They are indistinguishable from an asteroid hurtling to the Earth or a tornado that seems to follow you. Check this out: Take every scene with a Decepticon in it. If you remove the Decepticon, would the story still move forward? For example- The Forest Battle in RotF. If this scene is removed, what would happen? - Same, Mikaela, and Leo are already aware that Alice was a 'con. They would still be off on their own, seeking out Agent Simmons. The story doesn't require the Decepticons here. We get a nice action piece and Prime dies, which seems kind of significant, but that's all. If Prime had lived: Sam, Mikaela, Leo, and Simmons still go to Egypt. Still find the Matrix. The Autobots arrive in the desert, but Prime is alive and among them. Sam still runs across the desert to get a sock full of Matrix dust to Prime. Not much changes. Let's try part 1. Bumblebee vs. Barricade. This seems like a key scene, which you would need the Decepticon in to make it work. But take Barricade out and. . . The scene starts with Sam being chased by "Satan's Camaro." He passes by Mikaela and wipes out on his bike. He gets up and keeps going. Mikaela gets on her scooter and follows after him. Bumblebee finally corners Sam in the warehouse where Barricade normally shows up. Bumblebee transforms and reveals himself. Mikaela arrives just then, and the scene proceeds as normal, with them catching a ride with BB. Not nearly as fun or action-packed, but the story was already moving in the direction of BB revealing himself before Barricade showed up. And one from part 3, just because I don't want it to feel left out. Shockwave and the Driller show up at Chernobyl. Take Shockwave and the Driller out of that scene, and what are we left with? The Autobots still locate Cybertronian technology inside Chernobyl. Optimus is still mad that the humans were keeping secrets from them. Done. No change at all. This is what I mean, when I say the Decepticons are nothing but moving obstacles. They're not written as characters. The stories are first and foremost about the humans. Each story already has its own drive and arc before the insertion of the Decepticons, and it's always about Sam or Lennox or another human. It's never about Optimus or the Autobots or even what the Decepticons are doing. So removing the robots isn't all that hard, though there are a few scenes that are necessary or there wouldn't be any conflict at all. I'd say Blackout's attack at the start of part 1 is necessary. But notice that this time it's a human//Decepticon fight. Autobot/Decepticon fights tend to be unessential to moving the plot forward. But then later on, you could remove the Scorponok fight in the desert and nothing would change. Epps still has the camera that he recorded Blackout on. The only thing that fighting Scorponok added to the story was that they figured out they needed more powerful ammo to shoot the robots with. I'm sure that eventually they would've figured that out anyway. They got his tail after the fight, but what did they ever do with it? Not a thing. Not essential to the story. The Decepticons don't test the heroes in many different ways, other than how good their aim is. I dare say that Alice in RotF tested the heroes' resolve more than Megatron did. The hero being Sam.