Article: A Megatron by any other name

in 2016, Article, Decepticon, Movie (2007), The Last Knight

A Megatron by any other name

On May 31, 2016 it was revealed by the Official Facebook Page that Megatron would be returning for next summer's "The Last Knight" live action Transformers film. Before fans had a moment to breathe, "Transformers" producer and director posted an image of a creepy looking Transformer on his Instagram with the caption "It's starting. This week production. Megatron is back. #transformers #decepticons#". The post is embedded below:

It's starting. This week production. Megatron is back. #transformers #decepticons#

A video posted by Michael Bay (@michaelbay) on

These reveals led many fans to ask "Wait, Megatron?! Isn't he dead?" and it's a fair question. In "Age of Extinction", we saw Megatron's head in a KSI laboratory. Of course his mind would ultimately become part of Galvatron, the leader of the Decepticon/Vehicon forces in the film. So if Megatron is now Galvatron, what's all this talk about Megatron returning?

First it is important to establish just who Galvatron is in "Age of Extinction". There are three key scenes in the film that tell us about Galvatron:

Galvatron's Introduction (approximately 1:14)
KSI "launches" Galvatron and Stinger for the first time. Galvatron's name is used by several humans including the remote "pilot" that "drives" him. His name is also seen on the viewscreens in the control room a couple of times. However, throughout Galvatron's fighting he never calls himself "Galvatron". He makes a comment about having "no fear" but that's about it.

Optimus Prime discusses Galvatron (approximately 1:45)
Optimus Prime tells Cade "Within that manmade prototype I fought I sensed the presence of Megatron." (emphasis mine). Brain then goes on to explain that he was hooked up to Megatron's mind and the humans built him a brand new body. The "him" being referred to is Megatron. Brains even goes on to say "KSI might have named the body a snappy name like Galvatron, but that's just Megatron reincarnated!". It is clear from this dialogue that it has been Megatron manipulating things behind the scenes for a while now. Note Brains says the body is named Galvatron, but the mind or soul behind it was Megatron.

Now, this scene is a tad confusing because a couple sentences later both Brains and Cade refer to the "reincarnated Megatron" as Galvatron. However, it seems they are just using the "KSI name", and not the name Megatron uses for himself.

Galvatron activates the Vehicons (approximately 1:54)
This is the key scene where the identity issue gets more muddy. In KSI's China facility Galvatron begins to execute his plan. He awakens the Vehicons and declares "I am Galvatron!" and starts reprogramming the Vehicons to serve him.

So what's the deal? Is Galvatron actually Megatron? Why would Megatron use the name humans gave to him? Going off just the scenes above and the scant evidence we've seen from the beginnings of the marketing campaign for "The Last Knight" I think we have a few possibilities:

Optimus Prime versus Galvatron

The "Megatron persona" takes over Galvatron
It is established that Megatron was behind KSI developing and manipulating Transformers based technology, and Brains tells us that Galvatron is essentially Megatron reincarnated. That means Megatron is part of Galvatron, and given his behavior in "Age of Extinction" I'd say he's a large part of the personality. That said, the KSI designers did build the body and no doubt programmed all sorts of protocols into it so they could control the body. One can speculate that Megatron's personality was still in the process of "taking over" in the KSI China facility so the programming in the body still used the name "Galvatron". I would not be shocked if after the events in China Megatron's personality fully reasserted itself over his "human assigned" identity.

There is a NEW Megatron
As fans have learned over the years, the name "Megatron" isn't confined to just one being. As far back as "Beast Wars" we saw a character take on the name. Through the "Unicron Trilogy" we learned there are other universes where "a" Megatron exists, but he's not the only Megatron in the multiple universes out there. I doubt the Bayverse films will get into the existence of a multiverse. Instead we could see another character take on the mantle of Megatron and even pretend to be the Megatron.

Beast Wars Megatron

This is some version of Megatronus
One of the original 13 Primes was known as "Megatronus" who (in a very long, convoluted set of events you can read about here) became the inspiration for Megatron himself in certain realities. He is also known as "The Fallen", who was a feature character in "Revenge of the Fallen". This character is no ordinary Transformer and exists in multiple realities. If indeed the more mystical aspects of Transformers were to emerge in this film, perhaps a version of Megatronus/The Fallen could "return" as a character named Megatron.

Galvatron will be ignored
This would be the least satisfactory way to handle the return of Megatron, but while the live action "Transformers" films represent a continuous narrative over the course of roughly a decade, the connective tissue between them is sometimes strained. Characters are easily disposed of, some drop out without any mention at all (Sideswipe, where did you go?) and story elements are just inserted without previous hints. I would not be shocked if a "new" Megatron just fell out of the sky and we never heard from Galvatron again.

"The Last Knight" is still a year away from release, so a lot can happen in that time. I suspect there will be far more information revealed by the end of this year. As someone on Hydrus Four once said, time will tell.