Character analysis?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Mega scream, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Mega scream

    Mega scream Tyrannical Freedom Fighter

    Jul 17, 2018
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    I know I'm a massive geek but it would be fun to read about others' analysis on different characters from different universes. Animated Optimus? BW Dinobot? Armada's Starscream?

    I'm really bored:D 
  2. Longitudinalwave

    Longitudinalwave A Big Fan of (Sound/Shock)wave

    Jan 28, 2020
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    OOH, analyses on fictional characters meant to sell toys! As ridiculous as they are, I LOVE these! Awhile back, I tried to work out the command structure of the Autobots and Decepticons for the first two years of the G1 cartoon, based on a combination of fictional appearances, tech specs, and questionable logic! :p 
    Here it is:

    Chain of Command

    Optimus Prime: Leader of the Autobots

    -This is pretty cut-and-dried; it doesn’t require much explanation.

    Prowl: Second-in-Command; Executive Officer; Military Strategist; Rank: 9

    -He does the paperwork and, I suspect, doles out the punishments.

    1. Trailbreaker: Defensive Strategist; Rank: 7

    2. Seaspray: Naval Defense

    3. Skydive: Air Warfare Strategist

    4. Skids: Theoretician

    5. Beachcomber: Geologist (seriously, I have no idea where else to put him).
    Jazz: Third-in-Command, Head of Special Operations; Rank 8

    1. Mirage: Spy

    2. Bumblebee: Espionage: Rank 7

    3. Smokescreen: Diversionary Tactician

    4. Hound: Scout

    5. Steeljaw: Tracker

    6. Cosmos: Reconnaissance and Communication

    7. Inferno: Search and Rescue

    8. Groove: Scout

    9. Fireflight: Reconnaissance

    10. Brawn: Demolitions

    11. Gears: Transport, Reconnaissance

    12. Sludge: Jungle Warrior, Demolitions
    Ratchet: Chief Medical Officer; Rank 7

    1. Wheeljack: Mechanical Engineer, Rank 8

    2. Hoist: Maintenance

    3. Perceptor: Scientist

    4. First Aid: Doctor
    Ironhide: Optimus Prime’s bodyguard. Rank: 7 Seems to be more-or-less independent of the chain of command, probably because he’s super old and has survived everything. (Kup is in a similar position.) He also seems to be de facto field commander when Prime isn’t around, so…

    1. Bluestreak: Gunner

    2. Cliffjumper: Warrior

    3. Powerglide: Warrior

    4. Ramhorn: Warrior

    5. Sideswipe: Warrior

    6. Sunstreaker: Warrior

    7. Tracks: Warrior

    8. Warpath: Warrior

    9. Windcharger: Warrior

    10. Air Raid: Warrior

    11. Blades: Air Support

    12. Slingshot: Ground Troop Support

    13. Slag: Flamethrower

    14. Sludge: Jungle Warrior, Demolitions

    15. Snarl: Desert Warrior

    16. Swoop: Dinobot Bombardier

    17. Streetwise: Interceptor

    18. Jet/Skyfire: Air Guardian
    And any of Jazz’s guys when they’re actually on the battlefield and Jazz isn’t there.

    Red Alert: Head of Security; Rank 7

    1. Eject: Electronic Surveillance

    2. Trailbreaker: Defensive Strategist, Rank 7

    3. Ironhide: Security, Rank 7

    4. Seaspray: Naval Defense

    5. Huffer: Construction Engineer

    6. Grapple: Architect, Rank 7

    7. Wheeljack: Mechanical Engineer; Rank 8
    Blaster: Communications Officer, Rank 7

    1. Rewind: Archivist

    2. Eject: Electronic Surveillance

    3. Ramhorn: Warrior

    4. Steeljaw: Tracker

    5. Cosmos: Reconnaissance and Communication
    Silverbolt: Aerialbot Leader, Rank 8

    1. Air Raid: Warrior

    2. Slingshot: Ground Troop Support

    3. Fireflight: Reconnaissance

    4. Skydive: Air Warfare Strategist
    Hot Spot: Protectobot Leader, Rank 7

    1. Streetwise: Interceptor

    2. Blades: Air Support

    3. Groove: Scout

    4. First Aid: Doctor
    Grimlock: Dinobot Leader, Rank 9

    1. Slag: Flamethrower

    2. Sludge: Jungle Warrior, Demolitions

    3. Snarl: Desert Warrior

    4. Swoop: Dinobot Bombardier
    Omega Supreme: Defense Base, Rank 7. Probably of equal rank to Ironhide (when you’re big enough to BE a base, you’re big enough to have some sort of rank). Mainly here because I can’t see him taking orders from anyone who isn’t Optimus.

    In short, as far as I can tell, the Autobot chain of command is basically Optimus Prime, then Prowl, then Jazz, then Ratchet, then Ironhide and Red Alert (depending on whether or not you’re on the battlefield), then Blaster and Omega Supreme, then the gestalt leaders and Grimlock, and then the rank-and-file. (The gestalt leaders and Grimlock really only command their team members.)

    This obviously isn’t a perfect system. Grimlock and Silverbolt, going purely by their tech specs, should be higher in the chain of command, but neither one has ever really given orders to anyone outside their group. Wheeljack should, based on the tech specs, be equal in rank to Jazz, but again, he never really gave orders to anybody. The same goes for Bumblebee, Grapple, and Trailbreaker , who have ranks equal to those of Ironhide, Blaster, and Red Alert. (Trailbreaker and Red Alert have pretty much identical ranks and functions, though they have vastly different personalities. Red Alert is the only one to have actually done the job in any media, though, so I gave him the nod.) Grimlock’s rank of 9 does explain why he became leader of the Autobots after Prime’s comic book death, though.

    Megatron: Leader of the Decepticons

    Starscream: Air/Aerospace Commander

    1. Skywarp: Warrior

    2. Thundercracker: Warrior

    3. Ramjet: Warrior

    4. Dirge: Warrior

    5. Thrust: Warrior

    6. Blitzwing: Air and Ground Commando

    7. Astrotrain: Military Transport

    8. Vortex: Interrogation

    9. Blast Off: Space Warrior
    Shockwave: Military Operations Officer (tech specs, comics), Guardian of Cybertron (cartoon), Head Scientist (he’s never officially been given this position, but it fits).

    1. Onslaught: Leader of the Combaticons (he’s an excellent strategist)

    2. Mixmaster: Chemist (scientist)

    3. Hook: Surgical Engineer (scientist)

    4. Scrapper: Leader of the Constructicons, Construction Engineer (not exactly a scientist, but close enough to count)

    5. Bombshell: Psychological Warfare
    Soundwave: Communications Officer, Head of Special Operation (heavily implied; usually Espionage outside the tech specs)

    1. Buzzsaw: Spy

    2. Frenzy: Warrior

    3. Laserbeak: Interrogation, Spy (cartoon)

    4. Ravage: Saboteur, Spy (cartoon)

    5. Rumble: Demolitions, Warrior (cartoon)

    6. Vortex: Interrogations

    7. Kickback: Espionage

    8. Bonecrusher: Demolitions

    9. Breakdown: Scout
    Scrapper: Construction Engineer, Leader of the Constructicons

    1. Hook: Surgical Engineer

    2. Mixmaster: Chemist

    3. Long Haul: Transport

    4. Bonecrusher: Demolitions

    5. Scavenger: Mining and Salvage
    Motormaster: Leader of the Stunticons

    1. Breakdown: Scout

    2. Dead End: Warrior

    3. Drag Strip: Warrior

    4. Wildrider: Terrorist (which basically means Warrior, as he’s a Decepticon)
    Onslaught: Leader of the Combaticons

    1. Blast Off: Space Warrior

    2. Vortex: Interrogations

    3. Brawl: Ground Assault

    4. Swindle: Munitions Expert; Expert Con Artist (not an official title, but nevertheless true)
    Shrapnel: Electronic Warfare, Leader of the Insecticons (cartoon)

    1. Bombshell: Psychological Warfare

    2. Kickback: Espionage
    Ramjet: Leader of the Coneheads (heavily implied)

    1. Dirge: Warrior

    2. Thrust: Warrior
    The Decepticon chain of command is a lot harder to follow, mainly because the position of Decepticon Second-In-Command is not exactly firmly established. Megatron is clearly in command, and it seems reasonable to assume that Starscream, Shockwave, and Soundwave outrank all the team leaders, but unlike with the Autobots, it’s not exactly clear at first glance how the command structure is supposed to work. According to the tech specs, Shockwave and Starscream have a rank of 9, while Soundwave has a rank of 8. This would mean that both Shockwave and Starscream outrank Soundwave. This kind of makes sense, as Jazz also has a rank of 8, and he and Soundwave seem to serve similar roles. (Blaster undeniably makes things confusing here. He shares the title of Communications Officer with Soundwave, but he only has a rank of 7. Because Soundwave’s position as Communications Officer seems to encompass what Jazz does as head of special operations, it’s not altogether clear what Jazz does that Blaster doesn’t do in his role as Communications Officer.) Okay, so we can safely say that Soundwave is not second-in-command, but, unlike with the Autobots, it’s not clear exactly who IS. While the Autobots also had two soldiers with a rank of 9 (Prowl and Grimlock), while Optimus Prime is alive, it is clear that Prowl works directly under him, and that Grimlock operates outside the normal chain of command. Grimlock therefore cannot be considered the Autobot second-in-command, though he does have a high position in the army anyway. With Shockwave and Starscream, it’s harder to use this logic. In the cartoon, Shockwave didn’t seem to command any of the main Decepticon cast, but at the same time, he took orders only from Megatron. (Starscream tried to order him around a few times, but it never really worked. When Starscream declared himself leader to Shockwave, Shockwave usually reacted the way that an adult would react to an attention-seeking child. “Yes, yes, you’re the Decepticon leader. Now leave me alone so that I contact Megatron and figure out what’s really going on.”) In the comics, Shockwave overthrew Megatron quite early on, and was never anything less than second-in-command until his seeming demise in issue #39. Everyone, even Starscream (!), followed him more-or-less unquestioningly, and Soundwave in particular seemed to work well with him, although whether this is indicative of former rank or simply out of fear of his power is unknown. Shockwave is also the second-most powerful Decepticon after Megatron, which, combined with his high intelligence, would make him prime Second-in-Command material in the eyes of most Decepticons. With all that in mind, I would tentatively say that the Decepticon chain of command works as follows: Megatron, Shockwave, Starscream, Soundwave, the group leaders, and then the rank-and-file. When Shockwave is on Cybertron and the others are on Earth, Starscream becomes de facto second-in-command. Soundwave is thus only fourth in the overall command structure, but he probably doesn’t care. As Megatron’s most reliable subordinate, and as perhaps the singular most effective Decepticon, he is almost entirely irreplaceable. (That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if Soundwave “selectively obeys” orders from Starscream, and maybe even Shockwave.)
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