Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by TransMuffin84, Apr 22, 2020.
I was just wondering about that this morning.
It depends on continuity.
In the G1 Marvel Comics, the Decepticons largely weren't flight-capable in robot mode (Shockwave was an exception).
In the G1 cartoon, it would seem that they picked up the ability to fly about nine million years ago, at the dawn of what the cartoon calls the Third Cybertronian War. In "War Dawn", Orion Pax and his buddy Dion spend some time gushing about how cool "those new robots who can fly" (Megatron's Decepticons) are, which implies that it's a recent development and that prior Decepticon factions did not have the ability to fly in robot mode. We don't know how or why they decided to do this, though.
In Dreamwave's comics, I believe that the Decepticons could fly in robot mode due to upgrades that they had given themselves whilst plotting their uprising. My Dreamwave knowledge is limited, though, so feel free to correct me on this.
According to TFWiki, in IDW's comics, robot mode flight was a scientific breakthrough right before the war broke out. Senator Ratbat took control of the technology, and it was likely passed to the Decepticons after they turned him into a cassette. The Seekers used the technology first, and it then spread throughout the ranks.
That being said, the Decepticons being more flight-capable than the Autobots does work quite nicely on a symbolic level: the bad guys, who view themselves as above everyone else, can all fly, while the more humble Autobots are largely stuck on the ground.
I definitely remember the G1 reason but I don't read the comics, so thanks for the info on those. I notice even other cartoon continuities, it's like this. Even when their robot modes are not capable of flight, their alt modes are.
Decepticons can fly in the cartoon because Megatron, Reflector and Soundwave (and his minions) don't have transport based alt modes and the writers didn't want to hamper their locomotion. It would also make Starscream and the Seekers automatically superior to Megatron.
The Autobots could fly in the pilot (More Than Meets The Eye) as well. The original concept was that they were super heroes...and super heroes fly, right? The decision to cut the Autobot flight ability apparently happens when the season was officially picked up.
I know this may not help since the OP is asking for a lore reason. But the truth of the matter is that not much thought was put into the lore - most things happen in the G1 cartoon out of convenience than anything else.
The Autobots lost their flight ability in the cartoon after the pilot because writers needed to be able to plausibly allow the Decepticons to escape at the end of every episode.
In G1 Marvel comics, those who had propulsion in that mode could fly in that mode, simple as that. No magic flight technology. The Seekers, Shockwave, G2 Megatron, etc. all had "Jet boots", or thrusters in their feet and could fly in robot mode, while others who had flying modes (Laserbeak, etc.) could fly in that mode. The Seekers then, could fly in both modes.
In the very early listen and read books (and perhaps the Find your fate/choose your own adventure books since that was largely working from the same materials), Decepticons had gravity control circuits and could fly that way.
Thanks for the clarification!
autobots lost their ability to fly at the end of the pilot when prime needed to borrow sideswipes jetpack, unless that was just to add speed
That's how I interpreted it. He needed the speed boost to catch a rocket.
yea, i considered that as i was typing it, its really the only reason that makes sense for his need to borrow the jetpack
I've always liked the idea from TFA, and I believe IDW, where the Decepticons have the ability to fly due to most of them being from a branch of Cybertronian military.
I always assumed it was just meant to give them an edge over the Autobots, thus making them more formidable and flying Autobots more useful.
Pfft, I misread the title of the thread. I think the lore reason given was due to the Decepticons mostly being military hardware? Something like that, or I'm mixing up continuities.
Well this is true, but Orion himself was capable of flying lol
Their ability to fly came and went depending on the episode
Good ol' G1 narrative consistency!
Wouldn’t be so bad if they were different episodes LOL
Yeah, that makes it even more ridiculous.
Orion: Man, those flying robots are SO COOL! I wish I was like them!
*Ten minutes later*
Oh, no! We're being shot at! I'd better fly away!
The Decepticons were made for military defensive purposes while the Autobots were made for civil service. So while Autobots were generally common cars we see on the streets and trucks and etc. The Decepticons were fighter jets, tanks, guns, etc.
Although I don't doubt it (since they had jet thrusters in their legs), I can't recall ever seeing a seeker fly in robotmode in the Marvel (US) run. Only the Underbase powered Starscream comes to mind, but he definitely had abilities beyond his Original design at that moment.
EDIT: hm, I just remembered Starscream flying off in robotmode with Frenzy after Jazz, Wheeljack and Circuit Breaker prevented them from stealing Blackrock's non-working cannon.
I must say that I far prefer the Marvel approach. Not just because it makes more sense (save Shockwave, but he is a giant space cannon), but it also makes the characters and the stories more interesting. Instead of the Decepticons just jumping in the air and flying off (escaping or a new attack) they have to make on wheels, or feet (or in the case of Megatron/Soundwave/cassettes) be transported while in altmode by a jet.
Yup, Lamborghinis and formula race cars are pretty common cause we see on the streets LOL
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