Need help with G1 Soundwave!

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by illmatar, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. illmatar

    illmatar illmatar

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    Hi all,

    I write a Gen 1 fiction called Maelstrom...and I need help with Soundwave.

    Basics about the story - Maelstrom isn't posted here for mature content - as in violence and things like that - not slash. It is based solely off the Gen 1 cartoon series, but if you have ideas from other sources I'll take them into consideration.

    OK...what I need to decide is what EXACTLY is the foundation of Soundwave's motivation for being part of the Decepticons in general and at least somewhat loyal to Megatron in particular.

    During the cartoon I always saw Soundwave as the most likely 3rd in command. Does that seem right to everyone? He gets very little character development, really. There are a few moments where he laughs (usually at Starscream getting humiliated), a few where he shows some concern for his cassettes, and that's about it. The rest of the time he stands next to Megatron relaying messages and beating up on Autobots like a good little Con should.

    Then comes the Movie. Megs gets bashed up nicely after the tussle with Optimus and asks Soundwave not to leave him.

    Do we suppose that is merely because Soundwave was close enough to hear him or do we think there was some particular reason he thought Soundwave WOULD help him?

    Next scene...it all unravels when Starscream dumps Megatron out the door. Soundwave does nothing to stop it, but nominates himself as a replacement.

    OK...to get down to the nitty gritty. Does Soundwave follow Megs in the first place because:

    A.) He's got the most fire-power? I do see Decepticon society as sort of a wolf pack mentality. IE...we respect our boss as long as he can hold our respect, but we are all trying to advance ourselves all the time, and there's no mercy for weakness.

    B.) Megatron has the best mind for the job? I do think Soundwave is intelligent and probably respects intelligence. If one assumes he is a telepath, as is hinted once in a while, then he would be well aware of who is most likely to get the job done.

    C.) Megatron is the most ruthless bastard of the lot and is most likely to feed Soundwave's sadism?

    D.) Some other reason? (If your other reason is he's in love with Megatron please don't bother. I don't disrespect people's ideas in that sense but I never saw any evidence of that in the cartoon and it has no place in my story. Of all of them, Soundwave reminds me the most of a serial killer. Cold. He is smart, and tough, and evil to the core.)

    If A is right, then why did he pick Megatron up? If B or C is right, why did he let Starscream throw Megatron out? Is it some more general loyalty - "The Decepticon Cause?" Is he simply trying to advance in Megatron's standing by helping him, and then turning away because he thinks Megatron is a lost cause?

    My story actually takes place well after The Return of Optimus Prime, and Soundwave has been following the Galvatron/Cyclonus combo. I think Cyclonus is mostly the brains and Galvatron is mostly the muscle. Soundwave's loyalties are about to be truly tested and I need to know if he thinks in terms of short term goals like his own advancement, or if he is capable of looking over the larger picture of species survival.

    Could he be counted on to help Cyclonus deceive Galvatron for the good of the whole? Would he assist an Autobot commander in manipulating the Decepticons to keep them from being eradicated? Or would his ambition and pride see an opportunity to bring Cyclonus down?

    Any thoughts or insights will be considered and deeply appreciated. I can usually get well into the heads of my characters but Soundwave is a tough nut to crack.
     
  2. Rurudyne

    Rurudyne Well-Known Member

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    Why Soundwave is tagging along with Megatron can be highly subjective. He is clearly highly intelligent and, based on the G1 movie, ambitious; however, his motivations often seem among the most closely guarded of all Decepticons. Many Decepticons don't seem to like him (Scrapper, I believe, called him an uncharismatic boor) though in my own stories (Genesis etc.) the basis for this may have something to do with sibling rivalry (Alpha series v Constructicon) instead.

    I would suggest letting his motivations remain closely guarded and allow that only a few Decepticons, most notably his cassettes, are really his friends. That way he remains a cypher. I would also suggest that you allow his inner thoughts, if you present them, to be less abrupt and more thoughtful — to suggest his reserve or hint at his ambition and allow his actions greater flexibility without much explanation.
     
  3. GENOZAUR

    GENOZAUR Banned

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    As Decepticons go ,of those few who are unquestionably loyal to megatron, Soundwave is among them if not THE single most loyal decepticon in the ranks

    he is perhaps the sole individual in the decepticon ranks that Megatron could see as as being a true friend and perhaps even his sole confident in whom megatron could trust in his confiding to soundwave matters of an all to personel nature knowing that soundwave would never breath a single treasonous word on those matters to another living soul in this lifetime or any otherfor that matter.

    soundwave is also the one individual that megatron knows he could literally trust with his life

    as for the relationship he has with the cassetticons i would think that he was for all intents and purposes their creator

    me i figure his role is in equal part gaurdian/father like figure when it comes to his watching out for and being somewhat over protective of the cassetticons
     
  4. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    "... Starscream dumps Megatron out the door. Soundwave does nothing to stop it, but nominates himself as a replacement."

    I'm glad someone said this.

    Don't forget Soundewave was meant as a spy ("I do think Soundwave is intelligent"), so he knew just about all that was going on even if he never said anything. That's why no one really trusted him. I thing he did respect Megatron for his power and intelligence. But in the end, when it seemed it was going all to pot, he felt it was time for a change (he is after all a Dec.)

    If you ask why he didn't just try to take over before like Scarscreem, it's because he was smart enough not to rock the boat. He knew he had no chance standing up to Megs.

    In the end Soundwave is/was smart, and so he would know to follow the smartest and strongest of the group until he felt it was safe to step up.

    One line said it all "Soundwave superior..."
     
  5. Rurudyne

    Rurudyne Well-Known Member

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    No one did anything to stop Megatron from being thrown out.

    Not that I would expect them to after they had eagerly thrown the other injured Cons out.

    It was a low point for being a Decepticon.
     
  6. illmatar

    illmatar illmatar

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    Ok..First...thanks all of you for insights. I've gotten a lot of help on DA too, but there is never too much insight into a character in my opinion.

    The general consensus is that Soundwave is smart enough to see the writing on the wall. At this point in my story-line the Cons are at an extreme disadvantage and are trying to rebuild their resources and numbers. Mostly numbers.

    I see Soundwave as an unrivaled black-mailer. I'm sure he's the only Decepticon that never goes hungry - he's got too much over everyone else. IMHO if he cares about his cassettes at all, it is only as an extension of himself.

    If presented with the word of an Autobot commander who only speaks to Cyclonus and Soundwave, and does not tell them much of anything would Soundwave:

    1. Believe Prime and help Cyclonus manipulate Galvatron if their survival was on the line.

    or

    2. Betray Cyclonus' manipulation and expose the Autobot gambit to further his own interests...even if there was some evidence that the Decepticons (and the Autobots) would be wiped out?

    Is he loyal enough to the cause to lie to Galvatron for Galvie's own good? Or is he too ambitious?
     
  7. Rurudyne

    Rurudyne Well-Known Member

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    Unlike Megatron, Galvatron is bonkers (yeah, totally nuts!). I would see Soundwave doing what was necessary for the cause — upon which his life depends in the long run — though he might hedge his bets to make sure that Galvatron doesn't suspect him when or if the house of cards falls.

    I don't know if you ever watched the show, but Shockwave could be managed as a rather less pleasant version of Sir Humphrey Applebee of Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister fame (only without the laughs). There is a great line to illustrate what I mean: a journalist responding to Hacker's leaking privileged government information remarks how ironic it is to refer to any Minister served by Sir Humphrey as an "informed source."
     
  8. illmatar

    illmatar illmatar

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    Ok...that makes sense. He would help, but would take steps to frame Cyclonus if the boss ever got wind.

    Heh...that sounds funny actually, but I a m not familiar with that show. :) 
     
  9. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    Check it out, it's a classic.

    To be honest, I never thought the cartoon made enough of Soundwave's personality. His toy bio pegged him as a smooth-talking, charismatic blackmailer, and that never came off in the 'toon - in fact, Hook's outburst (not Scrapper's) would suggest he was seen as anything but. I actually think he had the wrong voice, too - he was made to sound like a living computer in the show, where I think Corey Burton's Shockwave voice, which has far more class, would have worked better. Welker's Soundwave voice would probably have fitted Shockwave's hard-logic personality better, too.


    Anyway, I like Rurudyne's Sir Humphrey analogy a lot, but my personal take on Soundwave I always relate to the Mirror Universe version of Spock in Star Trek.
    In that, crew members are always trying to advance their ranks, and the most common way to do that is to assassinate your superior. Naturally the captain is an incredibly powerful and resourceful person, and the number of former superiors he must have offed to get where he is makes him a figure to fear and respect. But it also makes him a target; everyone else wants his job, and he needs to take every step he can to protect himself.
    Then there's Spock. As second-in-command, he enjoys almost as much power as the captain, and by staying (at least in appearance) loyal to the boss, he gains a measure of protection. In addition, since it's the captain's job that has the most appeal, it's Kirk's life that's at the most risk, which takes a lot of the pressure off Spock - again, it's kind of a buffer zone.

    Soundwave is powerful, intelligent, and extremely savvy, and he knows when he's got it good. He knows everything that goes on, and he gives Megatron all the info he needs to keep tabs on his subordinates, as well as keeping a few juicy titbits for himself. He'd probably quite like to be leader, but for the extra power he'd enjoy, he'd also be drastically increasing the risks he'd be exposing himself to, and he doesn't consider it worth the trade-off. In addition, he's fully aware of the consequences if he tried, and failed, to off Megatron.

    He's loyal to Megatron as much as he needs to be to ensure Megatron's reciprocated favour - and Megatron is fully aware of that. He knows that few Decepticons are blindly loyal - it's not in their nature - but as long as their feigned loyalty is useful to him, he'll continue to exploit it.
     
  10. illmatar

    illmatar illmatar

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    Thanks. That works. Between here and the responses I had on DA, the general consensus is that Soundwave is loyal up to the point that that is serves his own self-interests and no further.

    OK...where I am splitting hairs is this. How does he define that self interest. Is he more of an immediate results sort of guy or a big picture player?

    There is an Autobot commander basically threatening Cyc and Soundwave to wipe the Cons out immediately if they don't keep their mouths shut and help him deceive Galvatron. He tells them there is a bigger enemy to all of them, and their survival depends on the Cons not calling attention to themselves in the sense that they have to maintain status quo. He won't tell them who or what is going on.

    Cyclonus agrees to play dumb because he senses these aren't idle threats.

    Now...if this was Starscream instead of Soundwave, he would lie, agree to play ball, and sell Cyclonus out to Galvatron the first chance he got. Short term increase in status, immediate disposal of a rival, and ultimately disastrous for the Cons.

    I think Soundwave could probably read enough from Prime to sense he is utterly serious about assassinating both of them if they don't behave. However Soundwave also seems very arrogant to me. I'm not sure he could stomach being a Prime's tool - even if his own neck was on the line. Even if the survival of the Cons was on the line.
     

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