Should the Decepticons Be Portrayed With any Positive Attributes?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Mr. Chaos, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    This stems from a conversation in another thread.

    Really, other than one or two Decepticons showing some sense of honor, the Cons are always viewed as being ruthless monsters that would backstab each other at any time (heck, Starscream tells Prowl in the latest comic that he is only telling him of Ratbot's plan so Screamer's stock in the Decepticons will remain higher than Ratbot's). Megatron views each soldier as a tool towards his own ends, and other than the faceless cons and the suck-ups, pretty much every other con would happily shoot Megatron or any leader in the back, if the chance arose.

    All of this makes them rather...one-dimensional.

    I personally wish that the cartoons would take a risk and portray the Decepticons...maybe not in a more positive light, but less of a negative light. Why can't Megatron actually care about his soldiers, in his own twisted way (such as wanting to steal weapons so to ensure his warriors have better chances at survival)? Why can't we have more cons that are actually friends with each other and would do anything to protect the others back? Would it be so terrible to have the Decepticons be portrayed as believing in manifest destiny, that the Transformers race is destined to spread across the galaxy to rule because they know better than other races, while the Autobots seek to protect other cultures from being taken over?

    Or is it just asking for trouble to have the villains have any positive aspects, especially in a kid's show?

    If I were doing it, I'd personally give Megatron more of a Magneto feel: He believes that Transformers Race is destined to rule and only wants to take over planets to help protect the other species from themselves. He doesn't view humans with disgust...he sees them as being like children that need a strong, firm hand to guide them (while Optimus views that every race has the right to govern themselves and that no race has the right to rule over another...freedom is the right of all sentient beings). He would be a strong willed leader, and punish failure, but at the same time he would not allow senseless slaughter and be against a Con that just randomly attacked for no reason.

    What do you guys think...do you prefer Megatron as the evil dictator, or should he be given more positive traits, to make it clear why people would follow him?
     
  2. Tkemert20

    Tkemert20 「私は眠い」

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    Honestly, I LOVE your idea for Megatron! I would seriously love to see that. :D 
     
  3. Obakemono

    Obakemono Destron Conquistador

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    dinobot. beast wars.
     
  4. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    And I repeat: Other than one or two that showed some honor...

    Also: 1) He was a predacon, not a Decepticon. 2) He joined the heroes...kinda defeats my whole point.
     
  5. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I think in a lot of ways, they can, and in a lot of ways, they are. Creating tragic villains is one thing, as is creating tortured or misguided characters, and these are all things we've seen in the mythos and that have really, really worked. I completely agree that elements like these can make the characters much more interesting and the story much more compelling as a result.

    Now, this isn't to say every Decepticon has to be sympathetic though. There are positive attributes even the foulest villain can have, cunning, skill, physical power, determination, etc. All those sorts of elements that would be admirable in a hero, but only serve to make a villain that much more dangerous and abominable. I think just as you can have villains that tug at your heartstrings with the story that led them to evil and keeps them there, you can have villains that are truly, truly despicable and that you love to hate.

    In the end, I think it's about depth, more than it is necessarily positive attributes, but there's a bunch of different ways to approach it, and your suggestions are a good example. I think that's kind of how Megatron has been approached recently, at least in Origins and some of the IDW comics.
     
  6. Wreck n rule

    Wreck n rule Well-Known Member

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    I think that some Decepticons/Predacons should be given more depth than what they have. Not all of them, for you always need the truly despicable characters, but some. Similar to what was attempted with Megatron with Megatron: Origins.

    Others, like Airachnid for instance, should remain the truly despicable.
     
  7. grunge

    grunge The TANK

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    Well in recient mythos Megatron is rather noble, and is portrayed as an equality/ freedom fighter. He only becomes a villian because he is either betrayed or overlooked by high counsel and throws himself to crime.
    In G1, I believe he wanted to turn cybertron into a mobile space fortress and use it to rule the universe.
    G2 (I'm likely wrong here.) He wages war because decepticons were mistakenly attacked by humans and seeks revenge.
    Unicron Trilogy: seems generically wanting to rule universe. but twice sacrafices self to end all battles. And has ... better? relationship with starscream ... but by much.
    ...
    regardless of motives Megatron seems to attrach mindless thugs.
     
  8. TylerMirage

    TylerMirage I vawnt my berdt.

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    Cybertron Scourge. A character with attributes of both BW Dinobot and DotM Sentinel (yes, obviously the idea of Dinobot's character came well before DotM). Honourable, wanting to face someone in a fair battle, wanting to save his homeworld from itself.

    Although, you could argue that Scourge wasn't "truly" a Decepticon.

    Darn. My examples are just falling apart.
     
  9. kaijuguy19

    kaijuguy19 Keyblade Wielder

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    Armada Starscream comes to mind. And from the looks of it maybe Prime Breakdown too.
     
  10. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    I guess my main issue is that, the way the cons come off, it is surprising they could have lasted a few years, let alone the many years the war went on. Infighting and backstabbing should have caused them to fall apart years ago...even the Mafia has loyalty within their ranks to ensure things don't turn to chaos (maybe that would be a better example of how I'd like to see the cons: They are the mafia of Cybertron, ruled by a godfather, aka Megatron, and his lieutenants {soundwave, starscream, shockwave}. They are criminals, but there is loyalty to the godfather because he rewards good work...as Megatron is now, your reward is to be thrown into anothe rlife-threatening situation).
     
  11. Rexidus

    Rexidus Autobot TFW2005 Supporter

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    I am always a fan of villains being 3 dimensional with good and bad qualities. I want Megatron to be a charismatic figure having gained power through a silver tongue and the power to see it through. I want Megatron to be portrayed more like Hitler. Some one who's able to work a crowd and have people fanatically believing in him but at the same time doing some truly evil things they believe to be right.

    A good bad guy should believe himself to be a hero.

    This philosophy should also be applied to a number of the Cons as well.
     
  12. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    What is that old writer's quote...'the villain is the hero...just not in the story we're reading'.
     
  13. StacyGrsley

    StacyGrsley Banned

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    Ransack & Crumplezone?
     
  14. Optimus1138

    Optimus1138 Minecraft Addict

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    I think they definitely should due given some positive aspects. I really like your idea for Megatron. I'd also like a version of Megatron that once was more of a well-intentioned extremist.

    In my personal TF canon, the Decepticons were a faction of Transformers who wanted to leave the Autobots (who ruled a vast, peaceful, but sometimes almost totalitarian empire), and tried (relatively) peacefully at first, but turned to violence when they were denied. Megatron, who always saw himself as a hero, eventually became power hungry, grew sadistic, and starting loathing organics. There are many more normal Decepticons, though, who aren't super sadistic or pure evil. Some of them are fighting because they believe in the Decepticon cause (which is about freedom and conquest (coexistent with the Autobots) rather than extermination of organics), rather than just to kill humans and defeat the Autobots.

    The Autobots, meanwhile, aren't purely good. There are lots of jerks among the leaders (like in Animated), and the government is somewhat corrupt.
     
  15. Mr. Chaos

    Mr. Chaos Force Ghost

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    The recent development of the Autobots is what also got me thinking about this. I love that they have developed some bots to be just as bad as cons, only on the opposite scale (such as Animated Sentinel) or with flaws that, without help from their friends, would have led them to become just as bad as cons (like Prime Arcee...I think if she had remained by herself for a while more she would have snapped and become just as bad as some of the cons). Grimlock too, in some storylines...he wants to be leader of the Autobots, but his actions make him just as dangerous as Megatron.

    Even Optimus in the movies hasn't been pure and noble. Someone once said that, in their fanon, Optimus in the movies suffers from rage issues and possibly even Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, which causes him to snap and go into battle rages when friends or allies are threatened or hurt. (which is why I actually like that version of Optimus...I get a little tired at times with Optimus being so perfect).

    I think the cons need that too...to go from the black hats to more of a sad of gray. Makes the war all that more tragic and interesting if Megatron has points that we, as the audience can agree with.
     
  16. soundwaverulls

    soundwaverulls Well-Known Member

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    I say yes. In fact they could do it in TF: Prime. The Decepticons were meant to have formed as an uprising against the suppression from Sentinel Zeta Prime. When you hear about Cybertron under Zetas rule, you wouldn't blame them for revolting. As for not siding with Optimus Prime, he rose to power when Megatron went to the High Counsel to get things changed to the way he wanted. They didn't like him so they named some archivist, who was with Megatron, the next Prime. That actually makes this Optimus sound like a power hungry sell out and personally, if I had lived on Cybertron during that time, I most likely would have sided with Megatron.

    It would be cool to see this play out in Prime. Have some Decepticons actually be nice. Maybe not the nicest people, which would be why they never defected to the Autobots but not as sadistic or power hungry as Megatron or Starscream.
     
  17. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

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    I have to disagree with the original premise of the thread, that "pure evil" and "three-dimensional" are mutually exclusive. You can right utter bastards, and still make them three-dimensional characters, it just takes skill, and it takes effort. The writer has to say, "Yes, he's pure evil, but in what form does that evil take, and what other characteristics does he have?" Too many writers just say, "Okay, the character's pure evil, my job is done." They look at it as a cheap and easy way out, when in fact, a three-dimensional, purely evil character takes just as much effort, if not more, to create.

    If the writer actually puts effort into it, you get guys like the Joker in The Dark Knight, IDW's Overlord, and TFP Starscream and Megatron: seriously epic villains with various traits, yet not one redeeming factor to them.
     
  18. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I think you mean "AREN'T mutually exclusive", in which case I completely agree.
     
  19. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

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    Thanks for the correction. :) 

    Back on topic, I think in order to make a whole load of purely evil characters, the writers should select a few negative traits and make them the core of the character: say, TFP Starscream is an ambitious weasel. He has other traits, major and minor, but the core traits are nothing redeemable. You can also do the same by warping good traits into something bad, like with TFA Lugnut's loyalty. While normally a great quality, when in service to a tyrant like Megatron, or when done blindly, it becomes a negative trait.
     
  20. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    The thread title and the topic seem to ask two different questions. One is about the Decepticons in general and the other is about Megatron specifically.

    The answer to both in general terms is yes. If nothing else, they too have toys to sell.

    In terms of Megatron specifically, absolutely. I've never been a big fan of "He's the biggest and the strongest and he kicks puppies so we follow him for some reason until he falls" aproach. For one thing, this implies that the leader is the toughest only, something Trypticon or a gestalt should take if that's all it took. If instead Megatron (or the leader of said series) actually provides more, then it makes sense for him to be the leader. In Animated Megatron led the crusade for basic civil rights for the soldier class; that was what started him on his path. Even millions of years later, Animated Megatron isn't after galactic domination or the extermination of every Autobot, he wants Cybertron to be home to the Decepticons. In WFC: Exodus Megatron wanted to change the social order so that the 99% had a say in their own lives rather then the 1% controling their fates from birth to death. Though the writing has been incredibly inconsistant (and at times quite poor), IDW Megatron started with wanting non-violent change and grows into wanting to force change, before becoming the more pyschopathic tyrant we're used to. You don't start those actions unless you feel for more then just yourself.

    Looking beyond Megatron alone, other Decepticon leaders have had positive qualities. Overlord from Masterforce cared for their troops, the Powermasters/Headmaster Jrs would have dinner together, Lady Giga gave Cancer Browning when she noticed Cancer had been down lately to cheer him up. Deathsaurus from the Victory Manga had a very soft spot for human children and would refuse to see them harmed.

    As for the Decepticons as a whole, there are some great examples from the Japanese series.

    Air Hunter from Robot Masters insists on sharing energy with teammates who are running low. He also is a firm believer in teamwork and camaraderie.

    Goryu from Victory leads the Dinoforce. When Star Saber beats them and prepares what could be a deathblow, Goryu stands tall and requests that Star Saber does whatever he wishes to him, but let his men who were just following his orders go. The rest of the Dinoforce however, jump on Star Saber and insist that Goryu retreat and live to fight another day and they will give up their lives to ensure his survival. Star Saber is touched and lets them all go, telling Goryu he has good men.

    And yes, there should be more examples of that.
     

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