07 October 2007

Which Decepticon reformatted into Cyclonus & Scourge?

This is one of a number of contentious, often discussed but never resolved G1 Transformer continuity issues. I’m going to put down what I believe to be true.

Every 80s kid and his mother knows that Cyclonus and Scourge were reformatted from dying Decepticons by Unicron. The question is: who became Cyclonus and who became Scourge?

Thundercracker became the ‘main’ Scourge, leader of the Sweeps; this much is clear from Transformers: The Movie (1986). There is not much controversy here.

Bombshell and Skywarp were both shown to be reformatted as Cyclonus in TFTM (1986). However, right after that and for every cartoon episode after the movie, there was only ever one Cyclonus. Thus begging the question of who exactly became this Cyclonus, seeing that one of them obviously disappeared.


Reformatting of Cyclonus [pictures from Unicron.com]
Picture 2 shows Bombshell in the foreground and Skywarp in the background

The theory that Bombshell (foreground) became Cyclonus and Skywarp (in the background) became a being called ‘Armada’ is largely disregarded by the TF community as having no merit.

Marvel Comic adaptation [1986]
Shows just one Scourge and one Cyclonus with some unidentified silhouettes in the background. Does not address the issue.


TFTM script [1986]
“ON CYCLONUS (NEW DECEPTICON WITH PLANE TRANSFORM ABILITY).
CYCLONUS is CREATED and then his "armada" of similar, but smaller and similarly colored and clad creatures are formed.
UNICRON: Cyclonus, the warrior...and his armada.....”

That is all the script tells us. Absolutely nothing about who becomes who.


Transformers: The Animated Movie (2007) by IDW publishing [2007]
Bob Budiansky, the father of most G1 Transformer names, character profiles and Tech Specs, wrote all four issues. If there is one person that could authoritatively conclude this issue one way or another, it is Bob, one of the key creative talents behind the original Transformer profiles and stories. This is the perfect opportunity to set the Cyclonus record straight but sadly no move was made to clarify Cyclonus’ reformatting. Don Figueroa drew the reformatting scene as an almost exact reproduction of TFTM (1986), that is with Bombshell and Skywarp being reformatted into 2 Cyclonus’.

I draw 2 conclusions: (1) Bob and Don wanted to leave well enough alone and not tackle the issue; or (2) Bob did decide that Bombshell should become Cyclonus though this is arguable because if he had consciously wanted to establish that fact, he would have instructed Don to leave Skywarp becoming Cyclonus out of the background.


General TF community thoughts
Based on information deduced from fan forums, I feel the TF community is divided on this issue, with both sides of the fence being quite evenly populated.


I, myself, believe that Skywarp is undoubtedly the Decepticon who was reformatted into Cyclonus.

Next: My reasons for who became Cyclonus

25 comments:

  1. I completely disagree on the issue of bombshell being cyclonus... Bombshell never did have a bondage wth his decepticon leader like skywarp did, skywarp was the 1st decepticon to awake on season 1 he instantly dragged his decep. Leader to awake as well. All through the movie of 80 version of TFTM they're mistakes, when soundwave releases his cassettes they're 2 frenzys, after thundercracker is rebuilt to a sweep u can clearly see him and kickback when galvatron & cyclonus go to cybertron to reclaim his crown as leader. Another insecticon is present when they go to the planet of junk! I am completely convinced SKYWARP is infact CYCLONUS! Bombshell is simply the 4Th sweep!

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    1. Bombshell never having any bonds with Megatron had nothing to do with it. In addition to that, how can you say that Bombshell is simply the fourth Sweep when we saw him transformed into one of the two Cyclonus'? You are WAY off here. Either you don't remember seeing Bombshell turned into one of the Cyclonus'(the "main" one at that) or you remember it differently (which I guess is pretty much the same thing as not remembering) or you just simply don't want to accept the FACT that Bombshell was turned into one of the two Cyclonus'. He was DEFINITELY NOT a Sweep. Watch the scene again.

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  2. 100%agreed.Bombshell has absolutelly zero charisma.Skywarp was one of the most loyal troops of Megatron,just like Cyclonus was to Galvatron.

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    1. Bombshell having absolutely no charisma, as you put it, had absolutely nothing to do with it. We saw Bombshell turned into Cyclonus. The "main" Cyclonus at that. I say the "main" Cylonus because Unicron says "Cyclonus, the warrior, and his armada" implying that he's second in command of the second Cyclonus, Scourge, and The Sweeps which he is, just like Starscream was second in command to Thundercracker and Skywarp. If you've watched the cartoons after the movie you will notice Cyclonus taking role of leadership over Scourge and The Sweeps on more than one occasion even though Galvatron was the leader of them all. That's why I mentioned second in command.

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  3. It was Bombshell that was reformatted into the "main" Cyclonus. Bombshell was in the foreground when Unicron said "Cyclonus, the warrior, and his armada". Being in the foreground made it undeniably obvious that Unicron was referring to Bombshell. It's about order here. Obviously the Cyclonus in the background was secondary. Oh, and by the way, Unicron wasn't calling the second Cyclonus armada. Unicron was obviously referring to the second Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps all together as armada. The reason that I say this is because, what is an armada? It is a fleet. And after Unicron says "Cyclonus, the warrior, and his armada" they show both Cyclonus', Scourge, and the Sweeps all transform into their ship modes and gather together. Also, you don't know for absolute sure that it was Thundercracker that was reformatted into Scourge (unless there's something in a comic book or something that makes this definitive and is actually canonical but I'm just going by the movie). Thundercracker and Skywarp had identical bodies and when Unicron started the process, all six of the decepticons were grey in color. You couldn't tell Thundercracker and Skywarp apart. I do agree that one of them was in fact reformatted into Scourge, it was incredibly obvious, but you don't know exactly which one (with the possible exception of what I stated earlier). Also, body size was mentioned as one of the reasons for believing that it was Skywarp who was turned into Cyclonus instead of Bombshell because Bombshell was much smaller than Skywarp. That has no merit here because Thundercracker or Skywarp was turned into Scourge and the other two insecticons, which were much smaller than Thundercracker and Skywarp as well, were turned into the Sweeps and Scourge and the Sweeps were the exact same make in every way meaning of course that they were the exact same size as well (obviously the Insecticons' bodies grew since they were the same size as Scourge) and the two Cyclonus', Scourge, and of course the Sweeps are all the same size. That's why the size of Bombshell's body wouldn't have anything to do with him being reformatted into Cyclonus. Besides, we saw it happen. Now that I think of it, since I mentioned that you couldn't tell the difference between Thundercracker and Skywarp during the beginning of the reformatting since they were both grey, for all we know, Thundercracker was the second Cyclonus and Skywarp was turned into Scourge. I would just say watch the scenes again if you havent seen them in awhile, or the whole movie at that.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Unicron didn't actually change all they're personality components because in season 3 episode 27 of the G1 series and episode 6 in season 1.They both have traitors so dosen't that prove that thundercracker is scourge?

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  4. 1.Thundercracker & Scourge are blue.

    2.Skywarp & Cyclonus are purple.

    3.The Transformers movie was full of mistakes.

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    1. Yes, your statements are accurate without elucidating about who became who... haha

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  5. Cyclonus was made from Bombshell and Skywarp

    Scourge was made from Bombshell and Thundercracker

    The Sweeps were made from the Insecticons.

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  6. Thundercraker became Scourge because I did a ton of research

    Bombshell became Cyclones because as Unicron says Cyclonus the Warrior, he means the one in front which was formatted from Bombshell

    Skywarp became what Unicron called "his armada"

    Shrapnel and Kickback became the Sweeps because you can clearly see the wings of Kickback and the claws of Shrapnel on the two people Unicron referred to as Scourge's house men The Sweeps

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  7. There is no need for a debate. The movie did NOT make a mistake. Season 3 is NOT riddled with animation errors regarding the number of the Sweeps and the number of the Armada. The answer of who Cyclonus and his Armada were before and who Scourge and the Sweeps were before has been given right before our eyes;

    TFTM script [1986]
    “ON CYCLONUS (NEW DECEPTICON WITH PLANE TRANSFORM ABILITY).
    CYCLONUS is CREATED and then his "armada" of similar, but smaller and similarly colored and clad creatures are formed.
    UNICRON: Cyclonus, the warrior...and his armada.....”

    Before I STATE the undeniable FACTS I will mention that where Thundercracker, Kickback, Shrapnel, Bombshell and Skywarp are positioned during the reformatting is completely irrelevant.
    Now the FACTS;

    Fact 1; Scourge leads the Sweeps. The Sweeps are similar to Scourge, but SMALLER and similarly colored and clad creatures.
    Kickback and Shrapnel are both SMALLER then Thundercracker. Therefor Thundercracker became Scourge the tracker.
    Fact 2; Cyclonus leads the Armada. The Armada are similar to Cyclonus, but SMALLER and similarly colored and clad creatures.
    Bombshell is SMALLER then Skywarp. Therefor Skywarp became Cyclonus the warrior.
    Fact 3; The Sweeps consist of 2 members but sometimes consist of more members. This is made possible because of the fact that the Kickback-Sweep and the Shrapnel-Sweep posses the ability to clone themselves. It is NOT an animation error when the number of Sweeps are more then 2.
    Fact 4; The Armada consists of 1 member but sometimes consists of more members. This is made possible because the Bombshell-Armada possesses the ability to clone himself. It is NOT an animation error when the number of the Armada is more then 1.

    If Unicron had taken back what he had given Scourge in the episode 'Ghost in the machine', Scourge's body would be turned back into Thundercracker's. Perhaps Scourge's personality would still be online because Thundercracker's personality was dormant. Scourge was Thundercracker and he has the powerchip rectifier that grants him the ability to produce sonic booms. He however doesn't know it or rejects anything that has to do with his former self.
    Cyclonus was Skywarp and he has the powerchip rectifier that grants him the ability of teleportation. He however doesn't know it or rejects anything that has to do with his former self.
    Somebody make a picture of Cyclonus and his Armada (similar to Cyclonus but smaller (Bombshell)) and Scourge with his Sweeps (similar to Scourge but smaller (Kickback and Shrapnel)).

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    1. I pretty much agree with you there. Actually, the logic of our conclusions are broadly similar as you can see in my post subsequent to this one - http://heroicdecepticon.blogspot.com/2007/10/which-decepticon-reformatted-into.html

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  8. 'Somebody make a picture of Cyclonus and his Armada (similar to Cyclonus but smaller (Bombshell)) and Scourge with his Sweeps (similar to Scourge but smaller (Kickback and Shrapnel)).'

    I'd LOVE to see Cyclonus lead an armada of a 100 smaller Cyclonus clones into battle against Fortress Maximus in SPACE. The 99 clones are, of course, created by the Bombshell-Armada by command of Cyclonus.

    They seem to get the upper hand, until Sky Linx, Omega Supreme, Cosmos and Superion show up to help Fortress Maximus.

    However, Cyclonus and his armada are soon joined by Scourge and 200 Sweeps. The Kickback-Sweep created 99 clones and the Shrapnel-Sweep created 99 clones by the command of Scourge.

    Cyclonus and his armada and Scourge and his huntsmen The Sweeps, FINALLY live up to the promise of formidable elite Unicronian troops, that Unicron was supposed to provide Galvatron with to command.

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  9. Megatron - Galvatron
    Thundercracker - Scourge
    Skywarp - Cyclonus

    Seeing is not believing, anti Skywarp sheep. Logic defies dimwits. Which is why people believed the world was flat, and why Bombshell a lowly insecticon is the reformatting of one of the biggest Season 1 and 2 characters who is also one of the biggest Season 3 and 4 characters. The scene before Unicron says "Behold...Galvatron!" you see non other than Skywarp by Thundercracker's side. Just like they were in every season 1 and 2 episode, just as they are in every season 3 and 4 episode....Mind blown....I was being sarcastic btw. To believe Bombshell is Cyclonus over a simple Camera angle Sunbow stuff up shows you are easily lead, and question reality very little.

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  10. It was a film that was made to sell toys. The entirety of the US G1 cartoon universe is almost nothing but continuity errors and uncertainty. The toys were the primary focus, and the story fell to the wayside as a result.

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    1. I always preferred the Marvel comics myself. Better storytelling.

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  11. I would further add to this insecticon vs seeker debate by stating that Cyclonus' Armada, of whom we see one bot in one shot, perhaps faded away since it was created from an insecticon clone, not an original insecticon .. This would explain Cyclonus anger at Unicorn promising him an Armada he never got (he said as much in a comic I read recently, can't remember which tho.. Battle in Space perhaps?)

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    1. Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps headed to planet Cybertron after the reformatting.

      Cyclonus' Armada was told by Unicron not to go with them. Unicron ordered him to make 99 clones of himself. They were to head for planet Paradron, conquer it and then force the inhabitants (like Sandstorm) to create a space-bridge capable of transporting Unicron into Paradron's orbit so that he can eat it.

      However, Armada Prime and his 99 clones flew into a time-warp (instead of a space-warp which was to transport them to the vicinity of planet Paradron) and ended up in the vicinity of planet Cybertron, millions of years in the past, instead.

      More specifically, shortly after Optimus Prime and his Autobots and Megatron and his Decepticons, departed planet Cybertron which would lead into both factions crash landing on planet Earth and remain in stasis-lock for 4 million years.

      So Armada Prime and his 99 clones encountered the likes of Shockwave, Ultra Magnus and all the other Decepticons and Autobots who stayed behind on planet Cybertron after Prime and Megs left.

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  12. some of you guys disappoint me in this futile and pointless debate

    ...jesus

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  13. Just watched the clip. Skywarp is cyclonus based on a couple observations.

    The cyclonus in front is misscolored while the cyclonus in back looks all purple and silver or gray

    The cyclonus In from starts flying when galvatron says"armada" while the cyclonus in back observes as if watching his armads take orders.

    The front cyclonus may have been drawn closer so perspective could be achieved easier. If you watch the clip again you will notice the cyclonus in back doesn't even transform. Just shown sliding off screen then is suddenly in vehicle mode. Again implying the front cyclonus was taking a command to fly while the back cyclonus then caught up with his group.

    Tactically this is smart as well send in the armada first then come in yourself. Idk makes sense to me

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  14. Wasn't there a giant Cyclonus ship piloted by Cyclonus? So Armada could have been the ship if it was in the background it could have been huge.

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  15. Bombshell became Cyclonus. He was in the foreground and the only one among the 5 who was "the smartest" before and after being reformatted by Unicron. Plus, the storyboard artist even labeled with an arrow Bombshell becoming Cyclonus. Thundercracker became Scourge. You see Thundercracker grouped together with Kickback and Shrapnel, while Bombshell was grouped together with Skywarp before being reformatted. This is also detailed in the storyboard. The biggest error here is that the second Cyclonus-type figure in the background who was reformatted from Skywarp simply disappears much like the way Blaster disappears right before Galvatron and his minions attack Autobot City right before the good guys board their 2 shuttles.

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  16. The storyboard artist labeled with an arrow Bombshell becoming a Cyclonus LOOK-ALIKE (Later on in the actual movie it was shown that Skywarp is the only other decepticon becoming a Cyclonus LOOK-ALIKE).

    TFTM script [1986]
    “ON CYCLONUS (NEW DECEPTICON WITH PLANE TRANSFORM ABILITY).
    CYCLONUS is CREATED and then his "armada" of similar, but smaller and similarly colored and clad creatures are formed.
    UNICRON: Cyclonus, the warrior...and his armada.....”

    The Bombshell Cyclonus LOOK-ALIKE is in the foreground but the script does clearly NOT state that the decepticon who becomes the ACTUAL Cyclonus is in the foreground, background, middle, left, right, up or down (In other words, the script states NOTHING about where the decepticon who becomes the ACTUAL Cyclonus is POSITIONED).

    The script DOES state that Cyclonus' armada are SMALLER then him.
    Bombshell has ALWAYS been SMALLER then Skywarp, therefor Skywarp IS Cyclonus.

    NONE of the Insecticons (Bombshell, Kickback and Shrapnel) GROW or SHRINK during the reformatting. Their HEIGHT remains the SAME after them being reformatted into Cyclonus' armada (Bombshell) and Scourge's huntsmen the Sweeps (Kickback and Shrapnel).

    NONE of the Seekers (Skywarp and Thundercracker) GROW or SHRINK during the reformatting. Their HEIGHT remains the SAME after them being reformatted into Cyclonus (Skywarp) and Scourge (Thundercracker).

    Megatron's height remains the same after being reformatted into Galvatron.

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