Is Starscream In Bumblebee?
It's crucial to note that Starscream has not yet been officially confirmed to appear in Bumblebee. There are three villainous robots expected to battle the brave yellow Autobot in his solo film, but only two of the Decepticons - Shatter and Dropkick - have been formally announced. This leaves a mysterious unnamed third robot, briefly seen in the teaser trailer transforming from a fighter jet. This machine could possibly be one of the identical Decepticon Seekers, Skywarp or Thundercracker. But going by its red, blue, and grey color scheme the mystery bot certainly looks like Starscream.
It would totally make sense for Starscream to be Bumblebee's main adversary in the Autobot's solo film. The bug is second only to Optimus Prime as the most important and best-known Autobot and he should, in turn, face Megatron's number one lackey. Since neither Prime nor Megatron are center stage in Bumblebee - at this point in the timeline, Megatron is imprisoned inside the Hoover Dam and Optimus is in outer space (but still rumored to make a cameo) - it allows both Bee and Starscream to finally develop their own rivalry that the previous five movies never gave them the chance to have.
How Bumblebee Can Get Starscream Right
One of the aspects of Bumblebee fans anticipate most is that it promises a more grounded and emotional story, compared to the over-the-top, senses-shattering spectacles Michael Bay directed. Bumblebee returns to the original 2007 Transformers' formula, but this time it's a female hero who befriends the yellow Volkswagen Beetle and discovers he's an alien robot fighting an interstellar war on Earth. The hope is that the robots' characters finally shine through in this prequel set in 1987, and if that holds true, then Starscream is both the perfect villain and beneficiary of this new approach, starting with his look restored to his beloved G-1 design.
With Megatron out of the picture, this time period would be Starscream's heyday on Earth - he's in charge of the Decepticons now. Bumblebee offers a chance to explore how Starscream lives his dream and runs the evil Cybertronian army. Meanwhile, Bumblebee has been hiding on Earth and working alongside humans for decades, but his purpose in his solo film is yet to be revealed. The opportunity here is to weave a personal rivalry between Optimus Prime's most-trusted friend and the self-styled leader of the Decepticons. If Travis Knight finally does Starscream right and restores his amusing personality, the Transformers movies would, at last, have the kind of compelling robot villain that was missing from all five Bayformers movies.
The potential that a successful Bumblebee could serve as a reboot of the Transformers movies also benefits Starscream. If a reboot is in play, then it's possible nothing that happened in Bay's films will come to pass, including Starscream's grotesque redesign and his future death. Meanwhile, if Travis Knight's Starscream is indeed the beloved version fans remember, his return in future Transformers films will be a welcome one and he would also set a new template for how future villains, including Megatron himself, will be portrayed going forward.
The classic Starscream is such a memorable and enduring bad guy, he deserves a movie version that properly portrays him in all of his cunning malevolence. Here's hoping Bumblebee offers Starscream the spark of redemption he has sorely needed all along.
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018