Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 11:58AM CST

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Every 2 weeks, Seibertron.com brings to you a Top 5 and occasional Top 10 list written by william-james88. But this week, we are gonna shake some things up a teensy bit. Guest analysis D-Maximus_Primal is here to give you a Top 5 list centered not on toys, but on the fiction that we all love to read and then buy the toys as a result. These are all the opinions of 1 person, so treat them as such as you read along. The point of these sorts of things is to have a lot of fun as well as get the community to tell us what you really think of the shape-shifting toys and characters that we all love. So strap in tight folks! All previous lists can be found here.


Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction

Now when it comes to Transformers, we generally have the 2 opposing factions, whether they be Autobot/Decepticon, Maximal/Predacon, Autobot/Predacon, Rescuebot/Morbot, etc. We usually like to think of the characters being dedicated to one side and only that side, and eventually winning or losing to their respective rivals. But oh so often this is nowhere near the case. Transformers are not black and white; rather, they have so many shades of gray that there are times that you can never truly be sure of a character's true sides and motive. For this reason, we have many different characters that have left their respective faction, whether it be from anger, sadness, betrayal, confusion, and occasionally mind control.

The purpose of this list is to look into those many characters that have left their faction in favor of either another faction or to abandon factions altogether. The list takes into account how important to the overall story the Transformer in question is with his/her actions and how this changed the course of that Transformers Series.

5. IDW Thundercracker

Our list starts off with the blue version of the original Seeker trio. When it came to TV shows, Thundercracker never got a good rap seeing as how he was simply a look-alike to one of the bigger shows stars and basically was second bananas to most everyone else in the show. Now the comics have done him far more justice. Initially joining up with the Decepticons to fight against inequality and to rule by means of "Peace Through Tyranny," All Hail Megatron showed us a different Thundercracker. Thundercracker hated slaughtering people and he realized that the Decepticons were not fighting those worthy of their attention. Realizing just how lost they had all become, he abandoned his Decepticon counterparts as Megatron fell to Optimus Prime and Spike Witwicky to save the humans and Autobots still in New York city. He took a hold of the nuclear missile aimed at them, took it to space, and destroyed it. All he got in return was a blast to the face from an angry Skywarp.

He would go on to play pivotal parts in the 2009-2011 ongoing, serving as air reinforcement for the Autobots at times and even turning down an invitation to rejoin the Decepticons. After the war ended, he simply chose to live on Earth, away from Cybertron, until the Cybertronians returned, and he once again stood more Autobot than Decepticon, helping save the humans from a zombie Thrust/Ramjet armada, interpreting Buster the dogs speech to show that Blackrock was shady and that the Autobots were not bad, and even saving Sunstreaker from Galvatron's mighty fusion cannon after combining with him among others against his will.

Thundercracker has done a lot to make up for what he had been a part of, and has proven to be an honorable character that, while gruff, is a good person at Spark.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction


4. Prime Dreadwing

Dreadwing was always my favorite Decepticon from Transformers: Prime, and I'll tell you why: he was never a truly bad guy. He may have fought for the bad guy and he may have been an explosives expert who blew up people, occasionally without them even knowing it, but he had something that no other Decepticon had: Honor. He cared deeply for his brother, and when he felt his death, he flew all the way to Earth to look for who had killed him and he would avenge his brother. Once he arrived though, he showed a distinct difference from his fellow Decepticons. He served Megatron with honor, preferring to get his mission done and preferably do it as clean as possible, even if it meant letting some Autobots live.

As Season 2 went on, we saw Dreadwing, now serving as second-in-command, gradually progress as a character. He went on questionable missions with Megatron, such as stealing Liege Maximo's arm. He also began to see that Megatron was not as morally balanced as he thought, as he dealt with Megatron not only letting Starscream live, but also welcoming him back into his ranks with full repairs, all after finding out Starscream had revived his brother as a zombie. The final straw broke, He decided the Decepticons were no longer the right people for him, but he refused to join the Autobots. So he did the only thing he could: He stole the Forge of Solus Prime, gave it to the Autobots, tried to kill Starscream to avenge his brother, and finally falling to Megatron in response to his threat against Starscream, one of the saddest deaths in Prime. But, as a result of his actions, the Autobots were able to make it to Cybertron and thus prevent Megatron from gaining total victory.

Dreadwing proved to be a conflicted character, between his brother and the Decepticons. And he made the tough choice and he made it when it counted. He is the reason Prime even went on from this point for had he not, Earth would be simply a new Cybertron. His betrayal ultimately led to Earth's salvation.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction


3. Dark of the Moon Sentinel Prime

Now this is a character that had to make his impact fast as he only had 2 and half hours to do so, and an impact he did make. In the past, Sentinel Prime had proven to be a jerk when he was given characterization or Optimus Prime's predecessor when he wasn't given it. When we came into the movie, Sentinel was assumed to be the ultimate good, the thing that would turn the tide against Megatron and the new and all-powerful Shockwave! But then, Sentinel outdid both of them. Quickly. Without any sort of warning, he turns out to be Megatron's partner, kills Ironhide (and Mudflap and Skids technically), teleports an armada of Decepticons to Earth, seemingly removes and destroys the rest of the Autobots, and begins to enslave humanity, not caring even a bit.

While ultimately falling in battle, Sentinel made a huge impact in the movie-verse. For one thing, he was the first bot to turn out to be a bad guy. For another, he declared that he was the Autobots, essentially helping to set up the Autobots future troubles since they too could be the big bad that brings about Armageddon. But, probably biggest of all, he shattered Optimus Prime, showing him what he thought had to be done and doing it with no regards for others, and then almost succeeding with the side effect of destroying part of Cybertron in the process. Sentinel has proven to be the traitor to his kind that the movies will be known by (at least so far).

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction


2. IDW Megatron

If you thought this one would be left off the list, then you really don't know how big this one gets. Megatron. An Autobot.

Yes that's right. How best to finish off a 12 issue crossover event that shattered the multiverse and set up Season 2 for both Ex-RiD and MTMTE? Make the big bad from Transformers lore a good guy. Yep, that'll work!

Megatron, finally realizing how far he had fallen from his days of peaceful reform, took up the badge of his friend Bumblebee and made it his own. In the 2 years and some odd months since, Megatron has proven to be an interesting character. He finds it hard to resist at first, letting slip his hatred for organics and his desire to see himself survive. But then the wake-up calls start hitting hard and fast. Within 6 months of each other, he finds out that the Universe would be vastly better had he not existed, and that he is responsible for so many dead that is is almost unfathomable. And then he is given the showdown with the very figurehead of his evil and the notion that he will not survive. And we see just how far he has come. He hates who he was and he hates seeing what he created. He now rejects violence and he simply wants nothing more than to make up for his past mistakes, something almost no one is willing to let him do.

And his actions have had far reaching consequences. As a result of what has happened, Galvatron has taken over and the Decepticons are in shambles, some even choosing to go the route of doing good or just trying to live on in the post-war era. Soundwave feels so betrayed that he turns the humans against the Autobots thanks to Megatron's defection. Even the Decepticon Justice Division now reforms for the sole reason of picking up where he left off, after killing him first.

So Autobot Megatron has shattered his own world, his home universe, and the fiction behind Transformers. The ultimate evil is now the good. This is almost good enough to make number 1, but there is a very obvious reason why Megatron is not #1...

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction


1. Beast Wars Dinobot

This character was a no-brainer really. This Beast War combatant started out as a Predacon, became a Maximal, switched back and then returned to the Maximals, and everytime he did switch something significant happened. The first time he switched sides, he evened the odds of Maximal to Predacon, and would go on to make a big battlefield difference due to him being a warrior. When he switched back, he would harbor in the Golden Disk saga which would eventually lead to Megatron learning he was on Prehistoric Earth and that he could change history. And when he changed to Maximal one last time, he faced down his former Predacons and won, destroying the Golden Disk and severely damaging Megatron's plans, at the cost of his own life. And when he died, it was with honor and he proved to be one of Cybertron's greatest heroes.

Few Transformers characters have proven to be as popular and as important as Dinobot. He was a Beast Wars star and still is to this day. He is the ultimate example of a bot who changed sides, and in the end made the biggest difference he could while proving to be true to the side that he joined with and died for.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction


Honorable Mentions

Prime Knockout is worthy of note considering he is the only Transformers: Prime character to officially switch sides and he did so to help stop Starscream and enable the Autobots to actually fight back against Unicron in Predacons Rising.

Armada Wheeljack was also up for consideration, but ultimately while he and Hot Shot had a lot of issues and eventually he got mostly over them, he didn't play the pivotal role I felt the others played in their respective series.

Revenge of the Fallen Jetfire was also a pivotal character as he helped the Autobots actually find the Matrix in the movie and essentially revived Optimus and then gave him a power boost, but there was much more that could have been done with him. He needed a bit more to live up to his potential.
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Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858678)
Posted by Dagon on February 11th, 2017 @ 12:21pm CST
ROTF Jetfire? "I am a Decepticon . . . oh, wait, they're the bad guys now? Then I'm an Autobot."

In order for him to have undergone some development as a character, wouldn't he have needed to be a character first?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858679)
Posted by Drift082111 on February 11th, 2017 @ 12:30pm CST
Does IDW Drift fit the criteria? :BOT: :CON: :BOT:
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858687)
Posted by YRQRM0 on February 11th, 2017 @ 1:58pm CST
I agree that Armada Wheeljack wasn't very pivotal, but come on, no Armada Starscream? He MADE Armada, was one of the most interesting versions of Starscream we've seen, and his ultimate sacrifice in the end was one of the most memorable Transformers episodes in history imo.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858688)
Posted by LE0KING on February 11th, 2017 @ 2:08pm CST
Yep, I'd put Drift for no. 5 and knock Sentinel off completely. His betrayal was obvious from the moment Optimus began deferring to him. Bay wouldn't let the leader not lead, cause then he wouldn't be the leader. :HEADHURTS:
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858689)
Posted by Insurgent on February 11th, 2017 @ 2:16pm CST
Sentinel Prime was the last great hero of Cybertron. He was the only one willing to put aside the war to rebuild their broken species. He didn't betray the Autobots, his species betrayed him. And Cybertron only got damaged because Sentinel himself was betrayed. I still love his line to Megatron. "Remember. I work with you. Not FOR you."


And of course he doesn't care about humanity. Does a military leader in charge of vast armies care about the horses his troops ride into battle? For remember, to them, we are the equivilant of animals.


Man, Sentinel Prime is probably my favourite of all the movie guys.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858690)
Posted by BeastProwl on February 11th, 2017 @ 2:20pm CST
No Armada Starscream, not even a mention? And Sentinel? >:oP
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858693)
Posted by Whirlkick on February 11th, 2017 @ 2:30pm CST
Aw come on, no Drift?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858694)
Posted by President-prime on February 11th, 2017 @ 3:00pm CST
I personally think the most shocking faction change is Rhinox, whether you like or dislike Beast Machines. When I found out Tanker was rhinox, it was like whoa. Then he pretended to be maximal, and betrayed again, wanting to rule cybertron. The others are preductable
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858702)
Posted by Cyberpath on February 11th, 2017 @ 4:25pm CST



:D

Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858703)
Posted by BERSEKAEL on February 11th, 2017 @ 4:26pm CST
missing DOTM Jetfire (as mentioned in other comment)
missing DOTM Wheelie
missing G1 skyfire
missing G1 Octane
missing 2015 Combiners Wars Tv show Starscream
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858705)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on February 11th, 2017 @ 4:43pm CST
Armada Starscream/Thundercracker should be #1. Shame he turned back to evil in the rest of the UT

g1 toon Skyfire is up there too. Cyberpath's gif shows why.

IDW Megatron, like most IDW, should be considered bad (if official) fan fic.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858707)
Posted by zko on February 11th, 2017 @ 5:23pm CST
To me the biggest part of Sentinel's betrayal of Optimus in DOTM was always the part that happened before the movie, where Sentinel left Optimus with a suicide mission to protect him while he escaped Cybertron, all the time going to meet Megatron and join forces with him, hence, Optimus and the Autobots were meant to die all the way back then according to Sentinel's plans.

That one had to burn Optimus and surely led to him offing Sentinel at the end of the movie. I always liked how they laid out that part of the story, where Optimus and Autobots, instead of dying on Cybertron because of Sentinel, went on to defeat his plans. It is kind of the opposite of foreshadowing, whatever that is called.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858712)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on February 11th, 2017 @ 6:22pm CST
In my defense of the list, this was written 8 months ago, before I even really looked too hard into Armada. Starscream has definitely stood out since then, and the only reason I knew of Wheeljack was because of an eBay auction.

IDW Drift to me hasn't been a pivotal faction change worthy of being a top 5. It feels too cliche, as that is how he was designed and always portrayed. I felt there were others more worthy of a title on the list, but that's just me!

Skywarp didn't happen until after the list, not that he was more pivotal to others on the list.

RotF Jetfire felt worthless as a faction switch. All it really was was the symbols on his body ad the knowledge that before going to sleep he became disenchanted with the cons. Wheelie was a bit similar, feeling generally worthless as a cross-over guy, even if some good stuff happened.

Sentinel felt big because we were all meant to see him as the good guy, the teacher of the main good guy, and a tool to end the war in the good guys favor. And then the movie happened. He killed a main good guy (and 2 other good (not really main) guys if you count the novels with the twins deaths as well) and he was the better movie-verse traitor.

Going off that, I was having a hard time deciding what to call this list. I wanted a list where a guy went against his allies, but I couldn't get a good name that gathered them all in one basket. So yeah Will, Dinobot never really put on a Maximal symbol, but he didn't stand with the Predacons for most of the series, same with Dreadwing, who retained his con symbol and sense of honor.

Rhinox is a good one actually, just a pity he came from a series that a lot of people (including myself) don't really care for.

Again though, as Will always says: this list is for discussion. Just my thoughts to stimulate it!
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858721)
Posted by griftimus prime on February 11th, 2017 @ 6:45pm CST
lol dinobot shifted in the very first episode
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858728)
Posted by william-james88 on February 11th, 2017 @ 7:59pm CST
BERSEKAEL wrote:missing DOTM Jetfire (as mentioned in other comment)
missing DOTM Wheelie
missing G1 skyfire
missing G1 Octane
missing 2015 Combiners Wars Tv show Starscream

I dont get it, its a top 5 list, there can only be 5. So of course there will be some missing, how does that matter? Or are you saying that you would put Combiner Wars Starscream on this top 5 list?

D-Maximus_Prime wrote: I wanted a list where a guy went against his allies, but I couldn't get a good name that gathered them all in one basket. So yeah Will, Dinobot never really put on a Maximal symbol, but he didn't stand with the Predacons for most of the series, same with Dreadwing, who retained his con symbol and sense of honor.


Oh now I understand why you wrote Abandoned rather than Switched. In case a smartass like me came along ;)

Well played and good title! Dinobot did indeed abandon the team. Though I find it really interesting how he never felt he was a maximal either. Like he felt pride to being a Predacon, since it was a symbol which must have meant something he believed in. Thats a really cool aspect of that show, like how Megatron wasnt acting the was a Predacon should and neither were the ones he had on his team, he was too radical, and the Predacon faction actually stood for more than simply evil. But thats another discussion. Thanks for the answers D-Max!

PS: I too dont think IDW drift is a good example since it never made for a compelling story and is more part of his backstory than it is a storyline we got to see unfold.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858738)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on February 11th, 2017 @ 8:46pm CST
Funny that the first ever faction-switcher having 2 names in addition to 2 allegiances leads us to focus on his Sunbow persona while ignoring his Marvel counterpart; granted, G1 Jetfire only served the Decepticons before he became sentient, but though they took totally different paths, in the end both major G1 continuities had Jet-/Skyfire start out as a Con, then switch sides as soon as he knew better.

Maybe that's not thought-provoking philosophically, but it makes me wonder just what the pre-production notes were on how to handle the character. (I've skimmed the TF bible PDF, but mostly remember the notes warning to never use Skyfire for legal reasons, which were misunderstood and/or ignored) Was the whole point that Hasbro wanted to rigidly stick to the faction-determines-alt-mode idea at the launch, then abandoned it as soon as they knew they had a hit that would last a few years? Was the idea originally Budianski's? Jetfire's TFU entry mentions him being the first of a new generation of Autobots created on Earth, but IDR if it mentions his Decepticon heritage.

For a while after finally watching the whole series on DVD and seeing how much of a literal tool Skyfire was after his first appearance (He had no further character development, just showed up wherever the Bots needed air transport, then disappeared as inexplicably as Omega Supreme appeared), I actually thought of Jetfire and Skyfire as 2 different characters that just happened to look alike (ala Powermaster Op and Ginrai), but that was just nonsense considering how different G1 Shockwave and Blaster were in different universes. His change of heart is a pretty consistent point considering how often the same character has totally different origins across different continuities.

Now, if the criteria for this list was a faction switch having a major effect on the story, then #1 should be Carnivac!

But for the wrong reason.

See, it was his character arc that screwed up Marvel UK continuity bad enough that Earth Force can't quite fit anywhere. Okay, it was technically more the makeup of the second Mayhem Attack Squad, but Carny specifically joining the Autobot Earth Force is the moment where you realize that no amount of fanwank can reattach that splinter anywhere near Furman's American stuff.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858742)
Posted by TulioDude on February 11th, 2017 @ 9:12pm CST
[quote] Starscream has definitely stood out since then, and the only reason I knew of Wheeljack was because of an eBay auction. [/quote]
YRQRM0 wrote:I agree that Armada Wheeljack wasn't very pivotal, but come on, no Armada Starscream? He MADE Armada, was one of the most interesting versions of Starscream we've seen, and his ultimate sacrifice in the end was one of the most memorable Transformers episodes in history imo.

BeastProwl wrote:No Armada Starscream, not even a mention? And Sentinel? >:oP


Armada Starscream is the top tier side switcher.

[quote]RotF Jetfire felt worthless as a faction switch. All it really was was the symbols on his body ad the knowledge that before going to sleep he became disenchanted with the cons.[/quote]

Jetfire lacked the build up of others,but for me,it was more of that sudden moment out of nowhere,that he wakes up,and tell he's on diffetent sides now.Up until this point,the movies built the idea that the Decepticon logo :CON: = danger.I have managed to avoid spoilers enough back then,to have no knowledge of what Jetfire did look like or his role in movie.So the suprise that,the ancient Transformer they were looking for,was a Decepticon,was genuine .Then the movie subverts the expectations again,by having this huge Decepticon jet,saying he was an Autobot now,felt pretty cool.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858745)
Posted by JazZeke on February 11th, 2017 @ 9:17pm CST
What, no love for Carnivac, arguably the most compelling faction-abandoner of G1?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858764)
Posted by Ultra Markus on February 11th, 2017 @ 10:13pm CST
would prowl fit in becoming part of devastator
Re: Top 5 Transformers Who Abandoned Their Faction (1858767)
Posted by JazZeke on February 11th, 2017 @ 10:31pm CST
Ultra Markus wrote:would prowl fit in becoming part of devastator

No, because he just used Devastator for the "Autobot cause."

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