Music for the First Half of the Article
In some stories Mr. Big Bad casts a shadow over everyone: They might be afraid of him, they might be his minions, or they might be the heroes trying to defeat him.
A certain type of character falls outside this pattern: a villain too ambitious or individualistic or just too stubborn to accept the supremacy of Mr. Big Bad. Instead, this villain actually has dreams about overthrowing the guy everyone else fears and taking his place, therefore becoming the most dangerous person. He is loyal to no one and only cares about his own needs.
Sometimes he is a grudging servant of the Big Bad(If he is The Commander is the most Likely one), sometimes he is entirely outside the established power structure. Either way, if Mr. Big Bad ever stumbles or shows weakness, this Treacherous Subordinate will be there, ready to kick him out of Power or even slay him.
Depending on the nature of the character, he may be an over-optimistic fool or someone who might actually be able to pull it off. If the character is powerful enough, our heroes might be forced to try and stop him from toppling the original villain who is responsible for everything. It can be hard to justify why Mr. Big Bad keeps them around, but it may most commonly be so Mr. Big Bad has a reason to always keep his guard up because the reasons vary depending on the story (thus can rest assured that he will become very alert). In some stories he manages to become the main villian, while in others he fails completely.
the most famous fictional example, Starscream a Decepticon who is, in most versions, The Commander to Megatron. His treacherous goals could not be more obvious. Transformers: Generation 1
The character's intentions were probably first mentioned when the first version of his action figure (one of the first three Decepticons along with Skywarp and Thundercraker) was introduced in 1986. His profile on the back of the card that the figure came in mentioned his desire to lead the Decepticons, but Megatron was not mentioned by name.
Starscream makes his first play for power in the first episode, and succeeded when Megatron was injured in the 1986 animated movie. Before that,He'd fail every. Single. Episode. If Megatron so much as sneezes he'll start shouting "Megatron has fallen!" And Megatron would never punish him much for it. (Except in the movie, when he did).
This was somewhat justified in that it was implied repeatedly that next to Megatron, Starscream was the strongest and somewhat competent Decepticon. Making him the most valuable. Example: during the movie when he won that massive battle royale to determine who would replace Megatron as the leader. In the fan commentary of the movie, they mention that some sort of unused footage shows how Starscream won that battle: hiding in the corner until everybody else was tired out. Starscream's bravery and actual fighting skill may not have been showcased there, but his cunning and craftiness were.
In The Movie, Megatron actually kills Starscream, only to find himself as The Treacherous Subordinate to Unicron, with no better success than the original—less in fact, because Unicron is now the source of his power.
In the post-movie season, Starscream comes back and then proceeds to backstab Unicron. While a ghost. Oddly enough, backstabbing a Transformer Physical God works out better for him than when he was only up against Megatron—he gets a new body out of the deal, and Unicron gets nothing except a mismatched new pair of eyes that may or may not have been destroyed at the end of the episode. He then somehow ends up a disembodied spark who wandered for eons and, possibly due to running out of Megatron to backstab in his current time-frame, probably decided to follow one through a space-time fissure to keep up his old hobby. Transformers: Beast Wars
The original Starscream's spark showed up, possessed a robot known as Waspinator, lied about his past, then betrayed Beast Wars's version of Megatron, then betrayed Optimus Primal, then betrayed Megatron again...only to be betrayed in the end by Blackarachnia.Transformers: Beast Wars II
In the Japanese cartoon, Beast Wars II version of Starscream wasn't like this at all, instead being very effeminate and best friends with a a thug who can only repeat his own name.
Instead, the Megatron counterpart Megastorm was the ambitious screwup constantly trying to subvert Galvatron's leadership, with Galvatron looking the other way because Megastorm was also his brother.
However, BW2 Starscream wasn't above trying to backstab his co-minions in an attempt to move up the food chain, and he even tried dunking Megastorm into a pit of Unicron-energy to get rid of him.
Megastorm got better. Much better.
Megastorm then threw Starscream into a pit of pure Unicron Energy, supposedly to his doom. However, Starscream weathered it quite well, emerging from the pit in a new cybernetic form known as Darkscream. Transformers Cybertron
Treacherous Subordinate he's both a truly scheming Treacherous minion, and surprisingly successful. It comes to a head in , Megatron is stunned, bordering on horrified, at the prospect that he might actually lose to Starscream. Take the original Starscream, remove all 80s cartoon villain stupidity. He carefully waits for the right opportunity, when Megatron is irritated and not thinking clearly. He then tricks Megatron into a forcefield trap in the middle of deep space. This buys him time to steal the Omega Lock and the three keys found so far, trouncing an entire team of Autobots in the process. He becomes supersized and much stronger, and fights Primus (i.e. The Transformers version of GOD) twice. When he clashes with Galvatron near the end he almost WINS. He's not just a serious threat in this series, he borders on scary. He also outlived Galvatron making Starscream the most dangerous Decepticon in this series alive.Transformers Flim Series
Starscream subtly does this by transforming into one of the good guys' Air Force jets and firing a few shots off at Megatron before flying away. This has appeared in the IDW Sequel/Prequel comic, though another version of it has him considering this but ultimately deciding to do it later. Revenge of the Fallen, actually confirms this incarnation of Starscream's treachery where it is revealed Starscream deliberately left Megatron to die just so that he could take over. Naturally, Megatron comes Back from the Dead and is pissed off to know this, so Starscream attempts to unsucessfully weaseal explanation.
What's different is not only is this Starscream a pretty good leader, but the reason he's a Decepticon (you can change sides if you want) is because he's trying to keep the Psychos For Hire in check and wants to kill Megatron for the good of all Cybertronians. For the uninitiated, this Megatron is one who takes great pleasure in stretching fights out as long as possible for maximum bloodshed and is by all means a person who is very much a danger to anyone and everyone around him. Transformers Animated
Starscream was shockingly proactive, almost succeeding in destroying Megatron in the first episode and manages to be quiet dangerous by his intelligence and focused force that towers over all the Autobots, save Optimus himself. He even takes out Optimus' commander in one shot. He introduces himself by adapting his vehicle mode from intercepting fighter jets and blending in with an air show to ambush the Autobots, using his high speed flight abilities to fly rings around the Autobots and taking Bumblebee, and the mayor of Detroit hostage to coerce them into giving him the Allspark and proclaimed to KILL THEM IF HE DIDN'T GET THE ALSPARK. He even managed to wrench it from their possession, despite growing furious with their game of "Keep-Away," and harnessed the power of the Allspark as a devastating weapon, using it to destroy a large chunk of the city. It was his hysteria from this new-found power that led him to be caught off guard as Optimus Prime got the jump on him, and a devastating battle ensued, ending with the Allspark accidentally being unleashed only here due to its size, by Optimus and Starscream trying to pull it from each other's grasp. The resulting blast repelled Starscream away, forcing him to wait for a better chance.
Scarier still is how this foreshadows Megatron, who is bigger than both Starscream and Optimus and Starscream can't put a dent in Megatron to save his life. it get's worse when Starscream has cloned himself 4 times.
He finds himself on Megatron's bad side immediately after.
Then in the season two finale, his clones do this to him. Oh, the irony. Unlike most of his other incarnations, Megatron has essentially no tolerance for Starscream in this setting. In fact, since Starscream is immortal due to an Allspark fragment, Megatron kills him several times over, but Starscream did get the last laugh on Megatron in the finale. Posthumously. This How Much He's ToleratedTransformers PrimeMusic for the Second Half of the Article
Starscream got his severe backstabbing problems apparently, because he himself was once betrayed and kicked from his position of authority and why Megatron doesn't do the sensible thing and just get rid of the slimy serpent.
Starscream is completly evil in this version, while in ealier apperences he was most comicle here he is just sick and twisted
he destroyss an Autbot Cliffjumper just for pointing out that he wasn't in charge, captures a member of the FBI for interrogation by electrocuting him, Starscream's torments a innocent teenager by suffocating them, brags to the autobot Arcee that he destroyed Cliffjumper who was her best friend, When Arcee tries to get him to agree to a fair fight, he refuses and begs for mercy... so she'll get close enough for him to cause her serious wounds before actually fighting and KIDNAPS SEVERAL HUMAN CHILDREN AND USES THEM AS HOSTEGES WHILE THREATNING TO ACTUALLY DESTROYTHEM IF HE DOSEN'T GET WHAT HE WANTS, AND THEN TORMENTS HIS HOSTEGES...................Oh yeah and one more thing................................................MEGATRON IS MORALLY WORSE THAN STARSCREAM
Megatron keeps Starscream around mostly for two reasons - firstly that his skill and cunning in battle actually exceeds his ambition, and secondly, that Starscream
Starscream wants to be in command and often IS in command while Megatron goes off on his own, and he actually makes for a pretty competent commander. But while he likes the power he does nothing to directly take over, assisting Megatron faithfully and warns him against dangerous risks several times. But he has been in charge for such long periods he likes the power and when it looks like Megatron has fallen, he takes command. When Megatron was found alive he tried to finish him off, only relented due to a fear of Soundwave. Once Megatron recovers and realized what Starscream did, he was furious.
How Furious You ask Well Click Here and See
Megatron revealed that he was aware of Starscream's schemes from the beginning. This Megatron feels that if someone is capable of overthrowing him then he deserves it, and only gets upset when Starscream becomes pathetically predictable. It is revealed that Starscream, for all his weaknesses and flaws throughout his various incarnations, is a very important part of the Decepticon war machine and if either captured or becoming a rogue agent he could wreak havoc against them.
Interestingly, He is having to rethink it. He tried to take the injured Megatron's place, but gets no respect. He becomes a side unto himself, but it doesn't go so well - he lacks the resources to make it work, even when these devices makes him stronger in combat. He finally gets his hands on Prime's equivalent of the Cyber Planet Keys, all four of them, and... uses them to convince Megatron to let him back in instead of keeping them. Currently he appears loyal, but something is up...........................I'm anticipating an eventual return to backstabbing.