Astrotrain

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Astrotrain is the name of three fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. All are Decepticons who can assume the form of a space shuttle while the first one also had the ability to assume the form of a locomotive as well.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Astrotrain
Astrotrain-tv.jpg
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Deluxe Vehicles, Triple Changer
Function Military Transport (Generation 1)
Psy-Ops (Classic)
Rank 6
Motto "In confusion, there is opportunity." (Generation 1)
"The enemy's weakness is his uncertainty." (Classics)
"Space is mine. Stay out of it." (Fun Publications)
Alternate Modes JNR Class D62 / Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers Classic
Voiced by Jack Angel (English)
Takuro Kitagawa (Japanese)

Astrotrain is a Triple Changer who can assume the form of both a steam locomotive and a space shuttle.[1] He was named among the top selling toys in 1985 by Playthings magazine.[2]

Astrotrain's Marvel and Dreamwave bios both state that he loves using his Triple Changing abilities to create confusion among his enemies, enjoying the fear in their eyes in the moments before he destroys them.

Astrotrain was named the 3rd oddest thing that G1 Transformers transform into by Topless Robot.[3]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Text in italics is exclusive to the Marvel U.K. Transformers comics.

Astrotrain would first appear in Marvel's The Transformers series in the Target 2006 arc of the U.K. comics. Along with the other Triple Changers, the three Insecticons, Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet and Macabre, they are the Decepticons' most feared killers and must be taken out before a major Autobot uprising can take place. Megatron inadvertently scuppered the plan by summoning the Insecticons to Earth.

Astrotrain would first appear in the U.S. run in issue #29. He was sent to Earth along with Blitzwing and Octane to retrieve a crashed shuttle which was carrying fuel for one of Ratbat's operations. However, the shuttle's pilot was infected with Scraplets — a plague of sentient micro-robots that devoured metal — and the dying pilot then accidentally infected them. After battling with Blaster and Goldbug the Autobots became infected as well. Goldbug eventually found the cure — water, but Blaster refused to let Goldbug spray them, reluctant to save the Decepticons. The Scraplets took matters out of his hands, however, and merged into one huge creature. Options spent, Goldbug cured all four Transformers and let the heavily armed Decepticons deal with it. The three Triple-Changers then escaped with their cargo.

Astrotrain was part of Ratbat's Earthbound forces, battling Scorponok's Decepticons when they arrived and later the Autobots. He was then deactivated by the Underbase-powered Starscream over Buenos Aires.

He appeared in the Earthforce stories as part of the Decepticons of Megatron and Shockwave's forces, in one notable instance leaving Octane to be blasted by the U.S army after it was revealed he had simply been chasing a car out of sheer spite — unaware that the car was actually Jazz.

Astrotrain made one last appearance in an alternate universe as part of Galvatron's forces. In this alternate universe, Unicron had destroyed Cybertron, and Galvatron and the Decepticons ruled Earth.

Astrotrain made an appearance in the Decepticon forces under the command of Megatron in issue #7 of the Marvel Generation 2 comic series, in a story called "New Dawn." Megatron lead his Decepticons against Jhiaxus' second generation Cybertronians near the moon of Tykos. The Decepticons were defeated and Megatron left injured, presumed dead, but swearing revenge.[4]

Animated series[edit]

Astrotrain first appeared in season 2 and was a part of Megatron's forces on Earth. Although typically a secondary character, Astrotrain was a main player in two episodes. In the episode "Triple Take-Over", he and fellow Triple Changer Blitzwing froze Megatron and Starscream and took leadership of the Decepticons for themselves. Leading an army of drone-like locomotives, he was defeated and forced to return command to Megatron at gunpoint.[5]

Astrotrain was seemingly let back into the Decepticons after this, being sent alongside Blitzwing in "Prime Target" to forge an alliance with the big-game hunter Lord Chumley, although Chumley had no interest in the Decepticons, merely wishing to hunt the ultimate prey, Optimus Prime.

Like other Transformers in the animated series, Astrotrain's size changed greatly in his various forms. His primary role was transporting Decepticons as a space shuttle or train. However, in robot form, he was no larger than an average-sized Transformer.

One of Astrotrain's most prominent actions appeared in the episode "God Gambit". The Autobot Cosmos discovered an energy source on Saturn's moon Titan, but was shot down by Astrotrain and disabled. Upon discovering a large deposit of energy crystals, Astrotrain (accompanied by Starscream and Thrust) persuaded Titan's inhabitants, the Talarians, to worship him as a god, subsequently using them as slaves to mine the crystals. The disabled Cosmos, being held prisoner, managed to contact the Autobots, thanks to a Talarian rebel who reactivates his communicator. Omega Supreme, with Perceptor and Jazz aboard, arrived and eventually drove off the Decepticons but not before Astrotrain destroyed the crystals, proclaiming if he can't have them, nobody can.

In The Transformers: The Movie, Astrotrain was also present at the Battle of Autobot City but was not wounded. He transported the defeated Decepticons back to Cybertron following their defeat by Optimus Prime. It would turn out he was not strong enough to carry them all. Several of the weaker Decepticons were literally thrown off of him, only to be found and changed by Unicron. Of note, his shuttle size changed greatly from moment to moment - Starscream is shown as being nearly as high as his door (which is nearly to the ceiling), but less than a minute later, Devastator is able to stand inside him. After they arrive on Cybertron, Astrotrain is shown to be the one crowning Starscream during the coronation scene, although it seems that he is slightly shorter than Starscream. Like the rest of the Decepticons, Astrotrain accepts Galvatron's leadership without question.

He would continue to make sporadic appearances throughout season 3.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

The Triple Changers would appear again in Dreamwave's reinterpretation of the Generation 1 universe — this time with a greatly expanded origin. Astrotrain first appeared during Shockwave's attack on Iacon city along with Blitzwing, Bludgeon, Brawl, Chopshop, Dirge, Octane, Onslaught, Ramjet, Tantrum, Venom and Vortex.

Astrotrain would later appear as part of Starscream's Predacon faction. Shockwave envisioned a Transformer with multiple alternate modes, studying Astrotrain and Blitzwing. However, the Great Shutdown meant his plans could go no further — until Unicron's servant Scourge located Cybertron and reactivated Shockwave for study. When Shockwave was attacked by Sharkticons Scourge saved his life, only to be shot in the back by Shockwave. Shockwave then proceeded to examine and study Scourge, and used the secrets gleaned to create first the Duocons and then the Triple Changers — Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Octane, Sandstorm and Broadside. Interestingly, in the Micromasters mini-series by Dreamwave, Blitzwing and Astrotrain are suffering from severe physical changes. As this is before the Great Shutdown, it might imply that the change was a natural one rather than a result of experiments.

The Triple Changers later served as Shockwave's bodyguards, accompanying him to Earth to capture Optimus Prime and Megatron's troops, with Blitzwing taking down Megatron, leaving him vulnerable for a follow-up attack by Shockwave. They were unable to prevent him from being stopped by Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus back on Cybertron, but Astrotrain and Blitzwing accompanied Shockwave on his exile in the wastes of Cybertron, where his experiments resulted in Sixshot. However, when Megatron and the Predacons arrived, Megatron severed Shockwave's gun arm and the rest of Shockwave's troops surrendered, including Astrotrain. Blitzwing refused and was killed by Razorclaw.

Devil's Due Publishing[edit]

In the third crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers from Devil's Due Publishing, Astrotrain appeared as part of the Decepticon air attack on the Autobot Capital City, led by Sixshot, but was driven off by Omega Supreme. After Omega's defeat he attacked Autobot civilians, but was beaten into the ground by Optimus Prime himself.

Fun Publications[edit]

According to his biography printed in the Transformers Collectors club comic Megatron spent nearly 10 years rebuilding Astrotrain on Earth. Soundwave used human agents to recover parts of Astrotrain from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Once online, Astrotrain was sent to find other deactivated Decepticons, using the records of Starscream's rampage as a guide. Astrotrain serves faithfully, but is bored with his work and hated the humans who infested the Earth. Although his time in orbit was his only get-away, he became enraged one day when he discovered a human space station. The humans were invading his only refuge. He destroyed the station and hundreds of satellites.

In the Transformers: Timelines story "Games of Deception" Astrotrain appears among Megatron's troops.

Astrotrain appears among Megatron's troops in the story At Fight's End by Fun Publications.

Transformers Battle Circuit[edit]

The Classic line appeared in a simple Flash-based video game on the Hasbro web site. In this one-on-one fighting game you press the right and left arrow keys to try to overpower your opponent. In the game you can play Rodimus, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Jetfire, Starscream, Astrotrain, Trypticon or Menasor. Optimus Prime and Megatron each appear as the boss you must defeat to win the game.[6]

IDW Publishing[edit]

Astrotrain appeared in the IDW Publishing G1 relaunch miniseries The Transformers: Infiltration as one of the Decepticons stationed on Earth under the command of Starscream. He, along with Runamuck, Runabout and Thundercracker stands down and surrenders when Megatron finally arrives to deal with the rebellious Starscream personally. He reappeared in the subsequent series The Transformers: Escalation, explaining the properties of ore-13 to the Decepticon leader and accepting that no further insubordination would be tolerated. He was summoned by Megatron along with Skywarp to deal with Optimus Prime's Autobot unit, using Skywarp's teleporting power to transport themselves straight into battle and run interference for their human facsimile. However, as Astrotrain lined up a killing shot on Prowl, he was badly damaged by Hardhead, and was unable to come to Skywarp's assistance. He was not seen again in the battle, but later appeared repaired, protesting Megatron's decision to bring Sixshot to Earth.

Astrotrain also appeared in the mini-series Evolution: Hearts of Steel. In this Industrial Revolution-themed series, Astrotrain was not actually a Transformer, but referred to as the Astrotrain a new creation of the Decepticons. He was created to pull the Decepticon train convoy to New York, but was presumably destroyed when John Henry and Bumblebee sabotaged the railway line and sent the Decepticons plummeting into a chasm.[7]

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Astrotrain (1985)
Originally a Diaclone mold; in Transformers, Astrotrain appeared in three different color schemes. The Hasbro version was colored a very light gray, purple, and black.[8] The Takara (later Hasbro) version, was first released in white and black (with both modes having colors accurate for their real-word vehicles) before being sold in the Hasbro colors. The black and white version was later reissued in Japan in 2004. Also in 2004, eHobby offered a darker gray and purple "anime-accurate" color scheme based on Astrotrain's appearance in both the cartoon and early catalog photos using a pre-production model (but not the head).
  • Classics Deluxe Astrotrain (2006)
Astrotrain is one of the toys in the first series of the Transformers Classics line, which debuted in the last quarter of 2006. As before, he is a triple changer, turning into a space shuttle and a train. The shuttle has "kibble" — visible remnants of the other modes — above the wings, and his train mode now resembles a bullet train. The color scheme is mostly white, with some purple and red applications. Classic Astrotrain's biography was featured in Transformers Collectors Club magazine #14.
This toy was featured on page 21 of the book Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future by Erin Brereton, published by Triumph Books.
Astrotrain was sold individually in the United States, but later sold in a two-pack with Classics Bumblebee in Hasbro's Asian markets, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
  • Henkei! Henkei! D-03 Deluxe Astrotrain (2008)
The Japanese version of the Classics Deluxe figure by Takara Tomy is repainted in a more cartoon-accurate dark gray and purple deco, with the rocket nozzles and parts of the chest panel molded in chrome silver.[9]
  • Universe Spacewarp (unreleased)
A proposed homage to Astrotrain, called Spacewarp, was created in prototype, but never released. Spacewarp was a repaint of Transformers: Armada Jetfire as a Decepticon. It was to ship with the Mini-Con Commetor and 3 other Mini-Cons, repaints of the Mini-Con Space Team. This toy was remolded into Timelines Astrotrain with 3 different bonus Mini-Cons, recolors of the Giant Planet Mini-Con team from Transformers: Cybertron.


Transformers: Timelines (Unicron Trilogy)[edit]

Astrotrain
Astrotrain-timelines.jpg
Timelines Astrotrain
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Mega Vehicles
Function Bounty Hunter
Rank 6
Partner Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker & Starcatcher
Motto "The greatest opportunities are borne from adversity."
Alternate Modes Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Timelines

A second character named Astrotrain was released as a Transformers Collectors Club exclusive in 2007.

Astrotrain's biography indicates that, unlike the original Astrotrain, he had his own agenda in joining the Decepticons. A fearsome bounty hunter, he and his partner Mini-Cons transport the Decepticons in their quest for the Cyber Planet Keys.

Fun Publications[edit]

Astrotrain appeared in the storyline, "The Black Sea of Sandokan". Set several years after the events of the Transformer: Cybertron animated series Astrotrain is contacted by Cannonball to help steal a Force Chip from a crashed Autobot ship on the planet Sandokan.

Toys[edit]

  • Timelines Astrotrain with Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker and Starcatcher (2007)
This Astrotrain is similar to the canceled Transformers: Universe toy Spacewarp although Astrotrain had a different paint job and a new head sculpt. The new head is based on a design by artist Dan Khanna and resembles the head of the original Generation 1 Astrotrain. The character is not related to the original Astrotrain and is based in the Transformers: Cybertron series. Astrotrain's Mini-Con is a repaint of the Mini-Con Comettor named Starcatcher.
In November 2006 it was revealed that they were changing Astrotrain to be a member of the Transformers: Timelines toy line, and it would include 4 Mini-Cons. The original Mini-con partner is repainted as Starcatcher, and the new Giant Planet Mini-Con team repaints are named Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, and Astro-Sinker.


Transformers: Timelines (Shattered Glass)[edit]

Astrotrain
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Mayhem Suppression Squad, Mega Vehicles
Partner Fasttrack, Submarauder, Stonecruncher & Tailwind
Alternate Modes Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Timelines

An mirror-universe version of Astrotrain appeared in the Transformers: Timelines fiction. He is one of the heroic Decepticons.

Fun Publications[edit]

Astrotrain appears in the 2008 April Fool's comic Shattered Expectations by Fun Publications. He helps to transport the Mayhem Suppression Squad.

Astrotrain appears in the fiction Dungeons & Dinobots, a text based story from Fun Publications. Astrotrain and his Micromasters are used to transport supplies and energon from the Arch-Ayr fuel depot to the Deception base at Darkmount. He is later sent by Soundwave to pick up the captured Dinobots Goryu and Slugfest.[10]

Astrotrain appears in the story Do Over by Fun Publications. He is among the crew of the Nemesis, which follows the Autobot's Ark to Earth. When the Nemesis is unable to close in on the Ark Astrotrain and his Micromaster partners are sent to disable its weapons.[11]

In Eye in the Sky, the Decepticons lament not knowing where Astrotrain and his Mircomaster partners have gone down on Earth. The Decepticons could use their help in defeating a human military satellite the Autobots had gained control of and are using to take over the Earth.

In Blitzwing Bop the Decepticons recover Astrotrain after he is found frozen in the Antarctic.

Toys[edit]

The appearance of Timelines Shattered Glass Astrotrain is almost entirely identical to the Transformers: Armada "Jetfire" toy and very close to that of the Timelines Unicron Trilogy Astrotrain, however the toy was sold as the later. The original toy's Mini-Cons are portrayed as Micromasters who are mirror versions of Generation 1 Decepticons.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon[edit]

This version of Astrotrain is a Decepticon who works for Shockwave.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Longarm and Salvage are rescuing human workers at an oil plant disaster in Dallian, China when the Decepticons Shockwave and Astrotrain crash to Earth.[12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  2. ^ Transformers named top toy of '85; buyers representing 3,500 stores cast votes for best-sellers in Playthings survey, Playthings, December 1, 1985
  3. ^ Ethan Kaye (March 23, 2011). "The 9 Oddest Things G1 Transformers Transformed Into". 
  4. ^ http://www.seibertron.com/comics/view.php?comic_id=113
  5. ^ http://www.anime.com/Transformers/ Transformers Season Two Box Set, Part 1 by Brian Cirulnick, February 2003
  6. ^ Transformers Battle Circuit game
  7. ^ http://idwpublishing.com/titles/transformers/hos.shtml
  8. ^ Lee's Guide to Loose 1985 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #201, August 2009
  9. ^ TFW2005.com - Henkei Astrotrain
  10. ^ S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2008). Dungeons & Dinobots. Illustrator Evan Gauntt. Fun Publications. 
  11. ^ S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2009). Do Over. Illustrator Yuki Oshima. Fun Publications. 
  12. ^ John Barber (w), Carlos Magno (p), Aburtov and Graphiksslava (i). Transformers: Rising Storm 1 (February 2011), IDW Publishing