Megatron is the founder and leader of the Decepticons in Michael Bay's Transformers film series. Much like his other incarnations, he is a ruthless tyrannical despot, forever hungering for power and willing to destroy anything and anyone that stands in the way of that power.
Megatron was not always a maniacal warlord. He once ruled the planet Cybertron alongside Optimus Prime as Lord High Protector, overseeing matters of military and defence while the Prime served as spiritual and civilian leader. However, Megatron resented his brother Optimus, the favoured pupil of Sentinel Prime, and over time this resentment would fester within the core of Megatron's spark.
At some point, during the Dark Age of Cybertron following the fall of the Dynasty of the Primes, Optimus and his Science Division discovered a series of ancient relics and artifacts within the city of Simfur. Among the relics was a foreboding sarcophagus that held an unknown power within and could not be opened. Concerned that the artifact might be dangerous, Megatron took it to his own private quarters.
Following an attack by aliens from the Eshens Nebula, Megatron was grievously wounded. However, he found himself being completely healed by the power of the mysterious sarcophagus which contained a malign intelligence within. This entity sensed the envy and anger seething within Megatron's being and convinced the High Protector that the aliens sought to obtain the awesome power of the AllSpark, the source of all life on Cybertron. Determined to protect the AllSpark at any cost, Megatron announced a call-to-arms to all Cybertronians, urging them to wage all-out war against the Ejoornians. This went against everything that Cybertronian society had been based on, but Megatron convinced his fellows that Cybertron had to change if it was to survive. A war of retribution was launched against the aliens and Megatron, spurred by the influence of The Fallen, declared that the Ejoornians were to be completely eradicated.
The war with the Ejoornians ended with Cybertron's victory and the aliens being wiped out, but Megatron's thirst for battle had not been quenched. Still the Fallen urged Megatron to continue down the path of conquest, convincing the High Protector that Optimus Prime sought to acquire the AllSpark's power for himself. Megatron decreed that Optimus and his followers must die for their transgressions and rallied a legion of loyal soldiers that would become known as Decepticons. But securing the AllSpark and dominating Cybertron would not be enough; the Fallen would one day emerge from his confinement and when he did, he would require not only the AllSpark, but another lost relic known as the Matrix of Leadership.
Megatron's forces constructed a powerful starship, the Nemesis, which would carry the Fallen and seek out the Matrix. While the Nemesis voyaged across the stars, Megatron and most of his forces went about conquering Cybertron, violently clashing with Optimus Prime and the Autobots. The war for the AllSpark would rage on for centuries and reduce Cybertron to a ravaged wasteland, but so long as even one Autobot survived Megatron's onslaught would continue. However, during the assault on the city of Tyger Pax, the AllSpark was launched into the depths of space in order to keep it out of the Decepticons' clutches.
Megatron transformed into his interstellar jet form and pursued the cube across the stars. He searched countless star systems over thousands of years before he finally detected the AllSpark's energon signature coming from a primitive planet; a world that would become known as Earth in the future. Exhausted from his long flight, Megatron fell to Earth and crash-landed in its northern polar region. The AllSpark cube was so close, but the Decepticon leader was unable to reach it as he entered stasis lock and became frozen solid within the ice. He would remain that way for thousands of years until being discovered in the twilight years of the 19th century by Earth's dominant race: humanity.
In 1897, the inert body of Megatron was discovered in the Arctic Circle by the explorer Archibald Witwicky. Finding the metal giant frozen and buried deep within the ice, Witwicky accidentally triggered Megatron's navigation system and a burst of crimson light erupted from the Decepticon leader's optics. The experience left Witwicky blinded and maddened, but the beam of light also etched a series of symbols into Archibald's glasses. These symbols were the coordinates of the location of the AllSpark.
While Archibald spent his remaining years rotting in an asylum, Megatron remained entombed within the ice until 1930, when his body was excavated by the secret United States government agency Sector 7. The Decepticon leader was hidden away within the Sector 7 base at Hoover Dam and not long afterward the agency would also find the AllSpark cube in Colorado and secure it at Hoover Dam as well. Sector 7 would study both alien relics for decades, reverse-engineering several of Megatron's systems in order to create many of the technological devices currently enjoyed by modern human society.
By 2007, the Autobots and Decepticons had ascertained that the AllSpark was somewhere on Earth and infiltrated human society by disguising themselves as Earth vehicles and devices. The Decepticons infiltrated a number of military strongholds in order to narrow down their search pattern and eventually discovered that both Megatron and the AllSpark were held by the US government. They also tracked down the descendant of Archibald Witwicky, a teenager called Sam Witwicky, attempting to acquire the glasses that held the AllSpark's coordinates. However, Sam was under the protection of the Autobots and would eventually lead them to the cube's location.
The Decepticon spy Frenzy had disguised himself as a cellphone and smuggled himself away inside the handbag of Mikaela Banes, Sam's girlfriend. When the two teens were taken into custody by Sector 7, Frenzy infiltrated Hoover Dam and discovered both the AllSpark and the frozen body of Megatron. Frenzy began to thaw Megatron out of his frozen slumber while the other Decepticons launched an external attack to throw the humans off-balance. In the confusion, Sam, Mikaela and the Autobot Bumblebee fled Hoover Dam with the cube, which Bumblebee had willed down to size so that a human could carry it.
Megatron awoke and tore his former prison apart from within before emerging into the light of day, commanding his Decepticon warriors to track down the AllSpark and destroy the lowly humans that had taken it. Both Autobots and Decepticons followed Sam and Mikaela to Mission City where a devastating battle took place for possession of the cube. Sam tried to flee through a building but Megatron pursued him, demanding that he surrender the cube. Fortunately for Sam, Optimus Prime came to his rescue and fought valiantly to protect him. Millenia in the ice had done nothing to cool Megatron's animosity toward his brother and the two adversaries fought savagely. Optimus was assisted by the timely intervention of a number of human fighter jets that opened fire on Megatron, their sabot rounds scorching through the alien robot's metal skin.
The damaged Megatron fell to his knees and angrily crept toward Sam, who still held the AllSpark. Optimus tried to hold him and told Sam to thrust the cube into his own chest, believing that would burn out the cube and destroy it. Refusing to let Optimus sacrifice himself, Sam instead shoved the AllSpark into Megatron's gaping chest wound, colliding the cube with his spark core. The raw power of the AllSpark overloaded Megatron's core and burnt it out, killing the Decepticon leader and destroying the cube as well, save for a few tiny shards. Megatron wanted the AllSpark, he got it.
After the battle was over, Megatron and the other fallen Decepticons were cast into the Laurentian Abyss, the deepest area of the planet. The high-pressure depths of the ocean would hopefully ensure that the Decepticons remained entombed and dormant indefinitely.
Revenge Of The Fallen
In the two years since the destruction of the AllSpark, the Decepticons had increased their activities on Earth, seeking out potential sources of energon. After a fragment of the AllSpark was discovered to be under human guard, Soundwave deployed Ravage to retrieve it. With the fragment in their possession, the Decepticon sub-unit known as the Constructicons - commanded by the Minicon doctor Scalpel - dove into the Laurentian Abyss to recover Megatron's body and ressurrect him. New parts were needed to complete the ressurrection and the Constructicons killed the smallest amongst them to harvest his components. The cube shard was then implanted into Megatron's chest and re-ignited his spark. The Decepticon leader awoke and rose from the ocean depths, destroying a US Navy carrier patrolling the area.
Megatron took to the stars and sought out the downed Nemesis, where the Fallen had been waiting for so many centuries slowly restoring himself. Though the AllSpark cube had been destroyed, the power and knowledge it contained still existed. The human Sam Witwicky still possessed a fragment of the cube which had burned its secrets into the boy's mind, making him a target for the Decepticons. Both the Fallen and Megatron knew that Sam was under Optimus Prime's protection and decided that the boy would serve as bait to lure the Autobot leader into a trap.
Megatron and Starscream managed to ambush Sam and his friends Mikaela and Leo outside the college they attended and took them to an abandoned factory where Megatron intended to dissect Sam's brain to uncover the secrets imprinted within his mind. Before the operation could go ahead, Optimus Prime and the Autobots came to the rescue. Sam fled into the woods, closely followed by the Decepticons who, in turn, were pursued by Optimus, separating him from the rest of his forces. Megatron, Starscream and Grindor all ganged up on Optimus and overwhelmed him whilst Sam watched from cover. To Sam's horror, Megatron slew Prime by impaling him through the back and then firing a fusion blast through Prime's spark chamber. Sam fled as the other Autobots closed in on Megatron, and so the Decepticon commander also took his leave.
With Optimus Prime dead, the Fallen emerged from his sanctum aboard the Nemesis and appeared on Earth, bringing a large force of Decepticons with him. The malevolent alien robot addressed the people of Earth, demanding that Sam Witwicky be found and turned over to him. Sam, Mikaela and Leo went on the run with the Autobots Bumblebee, Mudflap and Skids protecting them. Eventually, with the aid of ex-Decepticon spy Wheelie, former Sector 7 agent Simmons and the Seeker Jetfire, they discovered that the Decepticons were seeking a device known as the Sun Harvester, a machine that the Fallen had constructed on Earth long ago. The device could destroy stars and collect the energy created by the nova, converting it into energon. However, to reactivate the machine, the Fallen needed the Matrix of Leadership that was sealed away within the Tomb of the Primes.
Both the Harvester and the Matrix were located in Egypt and Jetfire generated a space bridge to transport Sam and the others there. Surely enough, they found the Tomb of the Primes and the Matrix, but when the Autobots and NEST were mobilized, the Decepticons tracked their movements and followed. The Harvester was concealed inside a pyramid and the area around it became a battlefield as the Autobots and humans struggled to protect Sam and the Matrix. Though Megatron very nearly killed him, Sam was able to reach the body of Optimus Prime and revive him using the Matrix, fusing it with his spark.
Restored to life, Optimus was granted even greater power by the dying Jetfire, who offered up his parts to the Prime so that he could battle the Fallen. With Jetfire's flight tech and weapon enhancements, Optimus crippled Megatron, destroyed the Sun Harvester and killed the Fallen. A beaten Megatron and Starscream made a tactical retreat, and Megatron vowed that their battle wasn't over yet...
Dark Of The Moon
It was revealed that during the war on Cybertron, before the AllSpark was lost to Earth, Autobot leader Sentinel Prime made a deal with Megatron. Once the war left Cybertron in ruin, Megatron would arrange to bring an army to Earth with Sentinel's space bridge pillars to enslave its population to rebuild Cybertron together. Sentinel was to meet with Megatron (who was searching for the cube for the Fallen) using the spaceship known as the Ark; however due to Megatron falling into stasis in the Arctic and Sentinel Prime being lost to space and eventually crashing into the moon, this plan was abandoned. In between 2009 and 2012, while Megatron was repairing himself, he decided to reactivate this plan. As he knew the Matrix of Leadership could revive dead Transformers and it was in Optimus Prime's possession after the Fallen's death, Megatron simply needed Optimus to revive Sentinel so the tyrant and the Autobot traitor could continue their plan.
Three years after the death of the Fallen, Megatron adopted an Earth form — an M915 Line-Haul. The ex-tyrant hid out in the plains of Tanzania, Africa in exile. Still visibly bearing the scars of his last battle with Optimus Prime, he covered himself with a cloak and seemed to have lost his ability of flight. Due to his wound, he was also too weak to fight. Megatron set up a Decepticon refugee camp with a throne all composed of junk that they were able to find, with only Starscream, Soundwave, Laserbeak, and the diminutive Igor to command. Having lost his fusion cannon in his previous battle with the Autobots, Megatron now wielded a shotgun. He regularly went out to find food for the Hatchlings that lived in a collection of oil drums at the camp, occasionally scaring the local wildlife with his roaring and bellowing.
Megatron returned after a hunting trip to feed the Hatchlings that he had stored in containers. There, Megatron met with Starscream, Soundwave and Laserbeak after scaring off animals grazing. Laserbeak returned after observing Shockwave's fight with Optimus and told Megatron that the Autobots had discovered a fuel cell from the Ark, which had been thought lost. Megatron congratulated Soundwave for tracking the ship to the moon and for protecting its secret. Megatron then announced that the humans that were working for him had served their purpose, and ordered Laserbeak to summarily execute them.
After Sentinel Prime revealed his true colours to the Autobots and killed Ironhide, Megatron rendezvoused with him on the National Mall and destroyed the statue of Abraham Lincoln in order to have a throne as he watches Sentinel use the space bridge to bring a Decepticon invasion force to Earth from the Moon. He also witnessed Optimus in vain attempt to stop him. Megatron explains to Starscream that he and Sentinel made a deal to rebuild Cybertron together and were supposed to meet on Earth before they were both waylaid. However, after seeing that the Matrix was able to revive Optimus three years earlier, Megatron simply needed Optimus to revive Sentinel as only a Prime or someone who earns the respect of them can use the Matrix. Megatron triumphantly witnessed the arrival of the Decepticon invasion force and proclaimed "Here we are, fight us now".
In order to protect the humans, the Autobots were forced into exile from the planet, but the Decepticons attacked and blew up the shuttle that was to carry them off-world. With no one left to stop him, Megatron commanded his army to exterminate the population of Chicago which had fallen under his occupation. For several days, the Decepticons and Sentinel Prime went about their plan to establish a Space Bridge, one large enough to bring the entire planet of Cybertron into proximity with Earth so that Earth's resources could be quickly transported and put to use in rebuilding the Transformers' dead homeworld. Megatron began to gloat about the victory with Sentinel. However, Sentinel felt that his partner was getting too chummy and attacked him, reminding him that he had agreed to work with Megatron, not for him.
However, it turned out that the Autobots had not been destroyed, after all. They had gone into hiding and their shuttle was used as a decoy, since Optimus knew that Megatron would likely try to destroy them as they were leaving. Optimus Prime led his forces into Chicago, intent on stopping Sentinel's scheme and destroying the Decepticons once and for all. Once their presence in the city was detected, Sentinel commanded all Decepticon forces to defend the Space Bridge pillars, effectively stealing Megatron's command.
Megatron watched the arrival of Cybertron from an alleyway and stayed out of the battle until Carly Spencer told him that Sentinel planed to rule alone and that Megatron will be "his bitch". Megatron, enraged that a puny fleshling would refer to him as such, attempted to kill Carly, but realizing that she was right, stopped and left her to take care of Sentinel.
As Sentinel prepared to execute Optimus, Megatron charged in and attacked Sentinel, mortally wounding him. Before Megatron could finish the job, however, he saw the space bridge's destruction, which destroyed the remaining Decepticon ships and presumably Cybertron with it. Seeing his plans in ruins, Megatron proposed a truce between the Autobots and Decepticons, but Optimus was not going to risk his rival's treachery again and the two adversaries charged each other. Their fight was all too brief and Megatron was decapitated by Prime's energon blade, ending his tyranny once and for all. Or so it appeared...
Age of Extinction
Although Megatron's body was destroyed, his consciousness refused to die with it. Fragments of Megatron's malignant code remained and when human scientists salvaged the Decepticon leader's head, they unwittingly brought along his mind, as well.
For the next five years, Megatron's head was meticulously examined by Kinetic Solutions Incorporated who used the head to essentially hack the Transformer genome, allowing them to fabricate the same metals in Transformer biology. They created several prototypes, one of them being dubbed "Galvatron" and being modelled after Optimus Prime, but Megatron's consciousness uploaded itself to the prototype and was able to reshape it as he wished. With a powerful new body and the ability to seize control of all of KSI's Transformium-based robots, Megatron and the Decepticons were reborn.
Turning on KSI and learning of the deal between Cemetery Wind and Lockdown, Megatron sought to acquire the Seed: a bomb-like device that could convert matter into Transformium. Megatron intended to detonate the device in a heavily-populated area, wiping out millions and creating enough raw material to raise a new Decepticon army. His plan was thwarted by the Autobots, however, and his troops were destroyed, but Megatron himself survived and vowed to return.
The Last Knight
At some point following Optimus Prime's departure from Earth, Megatron resumed using his original name and acquired a new body. The details of how this happened are uncertain, though it is believed that his body was reconfigured by the alien sorceress Quintessa. Quintessa had made contact with Megatron and gained his assistance, commanding him and his remaining Decepticon forces to seek out her staff that had been stolen from her millennia ago by the Knights of Iacon. With the staff back in her possession, Quintessa planned to drain Earth of its lifeforce and use it to restore Cybertron as well as destroy the ancient enemy of Cybertron known as Unicron, which was revealed to be Earth itself. From his agent Barricade, Megatron had learned that the human Cade Yeager and the Autobots were also on the hunt for the staff.
Requiring additional Decepticon reinforcements to take on Yeager's Autobot protectors, Megatron kidnapped two CIA officers, offering to trade them for the release of a squad of Decepticons of his choosing from the custody of the Transformer Reaction Force. Meeting with William Lennox in the desert, Megatron secured the release of Mohawk, Dreadbot, Nitro Zeus, and Onslaught (only settling for the latter after his first choice, Berserker, was refused). The Decepticons tracked Yeager to his South Dakota junkyard hideout, but their quarry had already escaped to a nearby town. Among the refuse, Megatron discovered the head of Starscream, and mused to his traitorous former lieutenant that his victory was near, pitying that Starscream hadn't lived to see his victory. He was then attacked by Hound, but he dispatched the Autobot with a blast of his fusion cannon. Megatron's team followed the Autobots, but all they could find in the town was the ramshackle little Autobot Sqweeks. Megatron was disgusted by the human scent he could smell upon the tiny 'bot... whereupon Sqweeks's friend and guardian Izabella emerged from hiding, furiously ordering the Decepticon leader to put Sqweeks down. Yeager and the other Autobots broke cover and sprung an explosive trap. As battle with the Autobots raged, Grimlock arrived to join the fight and personally tossed Megatron around like a toy. The Decepticons were quickly overpowered and after Dreadbot and Onslaught fell, Megatron called a retreat, escaping with Nitro Zeus and Barricade but leaving Mohawk behind to perish. TRF then stepped in to take over the chase for Yeager.
When Yeager and Bumblebee went to England to meet with Sir Edmund Burton, Megatron and his remaining forces followed, knowing Yeager would lead them to the Staff. Yeager was subsequently joined by Viviane Wembly, and successfully located Quintessa's staff in the knight's ship at the bottom of the ocean. Quintessa had, in the intervening time, also placed Optimus Prime under her control and sent him to obtain the staff, but when Bumblebee helped Prime break her control, Megatron seized his opportunity, streaking in, blindsiding the disoriented Prime, and snatching the staff away. He proclaimed to his nemesis that he had turned his back on Cybertron for the last time, and would watch Earth die. As Cybertron arrived in Earth orbit, the Decepticons headed for Stonehenge, where Megatron activated the portal through which Unicron's energy would be drained. When Burton and the British military attempted to stop them, Megatron fatally wounded Burton with a single blast.
The Decepticons proceeded to relocate to Cybertron, where Megatron delivered the staff to Quintessa and led the defense of her ignition chamber against the joint forces of the Autobots, humans, and Dragonstorm. His forces held the line until Sqweeks destroyed their gun emplacement and Optimus arrived and slew Infernocus. He and Nitro fell back as the Autobots broke through the defenses and arrived to thwart their plan, and soon engaged all the Autobots together. As he prepared to deliver a killing blow to Hound, he was briefly frozen by Hot Rod's time slowing gun and blasted by Hound. He was then tackled by Bumblebee and when he prepared to blast the small Autobot, Optimus Prime intervened, slicing his fusion cannon arm off. Megatron, despite his injury, managed to subdue Optimus and attempted to sway him by reminding him of how they had once been "brothers", but Optimus retorted that it had indeed only been once, and kicked him through a wall, sending him plummeting through the air. Quintessa was defeated and her plans foiled, but Megatron escaped to fight another day.
Like all of his other incarnations, this version of Megatron is ruthless and cruel. He was not always this way, however, as he once ruled Cybertron side-by-side with Optimus Prime, though he did hold a level of resentment toward his brother who was favoured enough by Sentinel to be named Prime, which are highly revered among the Transformer race. It was the Fallen's influence that corrupted Megatron and turned him into the tyrant he would be remembered as, but he was deluded into believing that possessing the AllSpark himself would be in Cybertron's best interest.
More than anything else, it seems, Megatron hates the human race and sees them as lowly germs that are undeserving of life. He particularly holds a grudge against Sam Witwicky who actually managed to kill him at the end of the first film. However, it could be that Megatron's defeats and death had a humbling effect on him as in Dark Of The Moon he takes a less active role during his forces battles against the Autobots. After all, he was still in a weakened state after battling Optimus in Revenge Of The Fallen and probably would not be in the mood to get himself killed again.
Forms and abilities
Megatron's abilities and alt-modes have varied in each of the Transformers films and have been detailed here.
In the first film, Megatron has a very spiky, angular form. His body is covered in multiple plates that look as though they could be bone formations and his arms end in sets of long, menacing claws.
Megatron has no Earth-based vehicle mode in the first film and transforms into a Cybertronian jet. In this form, he can fly across space at incredible speeds without the need of a separate spacecraft or any sort of attachments or modifications.
In battle, Megatron has been known to use a variety of weapons, particularly close-range weapons. He has been known to use a spear which can also be thrown like a javelin, he carries a mace that can tear through most materials with one swing, and a plasma fusion cannon on each arm which can be combined to form a rail-gun styled weapon that delivers a more focused shot.
Revenge Of The Fallen
Megatron was resurrected in the second film thanks to a shard of the AllSpark and the "donation" of new parts from one of his followers. The new parts he acquired increased his original strength and also allowed him to become a Triple Changer, a Transformer capable of assuming three different forms. Still unwilling to assume an Earth form, Megatron now shifts between his enhanced robot mode, his jet mode, and a new Cybertronian tank form.
In robot mode, Megatron appears somewhat more streamlined without jagged metal plates poking out everywhere. His strength is still as impressive as ever and his weapons remain mostly unaltered, with the exception of a large bladed claw retractable from his right arm for gutting unfortunate Autobots.
In tank mode, Megatron runs on razor-edged tracks that shred the terrain as he rolls. His interlocking armoured carapace makes him nearly invulnerable in this mode and his response time is halved since his robot head remains an integral part of this configuration. His tank form is armed with seeker missiles, twin plasma cannons, and a large primary gun that fires depleted uranium warheads.
Dark Of The Moon
Megatron suffered heavy damage during his fight with Optimus in Revenge Of The Fallen and had not yet completely healed by the events of the third film. His head still sports a ghastly wound with tiny Scraplets crawling into and out of the unsightly gash as well as all over his arms and upper body. Having gone into hiding in the sandy deserts of Tanzania, he wears a hooded cloak to shield his head wound and keep out the sand.
By this point, Megatron has also adopted a an Earth-based vehicle mode: a Mack Titan tanker truck. In truck and robot mode, he looks beat up, rusty and dilapidated. His abilities have suffered as well; he cannot triple-change and has completely lost his flight ability. His fusion cannon was badly damaged and could not be fully repaired, but he has been able to modify the cannon into a new weapon: a fusion shotgun. The shotgun deals damage equivalent to a fusion cannon, but it lacks range and is best used on close targets. Unlike the cannon, the shotgun is not built into Megatron's arm and must be manually wielded.
Age of Extinction
As Galvatron, Megatron's body was constructed out of Transformium, a human-made variety of programmable matter derived from the living metals that Cybertronians are comprised of. Having spread his own code throughout every molecule of Transformium like a virus, Megatron was theoretically capable of transforming into anything he wished, though his only alt-mode in this body was that of a 2014 Freightliner Argosy cab over truck.
In this body, Megatron is extremely durable and can quickly self-repair. His primary weapon is a wave cannon that fires wide blasts, giving him a greater attack range than before. He is also capable of transmitting his own code to other Transformium-based devices; this allowed him to seize control of every robot KSI had built from the material.
The Last Knight
Megatron acquired a new body through Quintessa, which more closely matched his original body than the body that KSI had built. This form was slightly less spiky and angular, featuring more curves and generally being more streamlined. In this body, he transforms into a Cybertronian jet, once again rejecting the notion of adopting an Earth-based vehicle mode.
In combat, Megatron is equipped with an ornate sword with a curved axe-head at its end. He also carries a shield on his right arm to deflect attacks and concealed beneath the shield is his signature weapon: a plasma fusion cannon.