In the live films
Starscream is a hero on the wrong side. Over the centuries he's come to believe both Optimus and Megatron have lost sight of what is best for the Cybertronian race, and simply pursue their own agendas. At some point, he came to the decision that, for the good of the species, a new leader must emerge, and he would be that leader. However, over time, he became as corrupt in his own way as Megatron, although he prefers subtlety and deception to Megatron's brute force. Now, what may once have been noble goals are buried under layers of self interest, transforming Starscream into that which he supposedly despised. Starscream was lying in wait at a US air base when covert agent Frenzy reported that the AllSpark had been located, along with Megatron, underneath Hoover Dam. Though he had long feared this day would come, Starscream ordered the rest of the Decepticons to mobilize. The others responded, with Blackout rallying in the name of Megatron.
The first to arrive, Starscream attacked the hydroelectric power plant attached to the dam to cause havoc to Sector Seven's operations and to speed the thawing of Megatron. With Frenzy's sabotage, Megatron quickly broke free of his icy restraints and escaped the facility. He almost immediately met with the waiting Starscream, who repledged his loyalty to Megatron. Demanding to know what had happened to the AllSpark, Megatron was told by his second-in-command that it was now in the possession of the humans. Furious, Megatron berated his lieutenant for yet another failure. What a warm reunion.
During the assault on a nearby city, Starscream fooled Captain Lennox's unit by posing as an F-22 Raptor providing cover. Starscream launched an attack that crippled Bumblebee as Ironhide realized too late who the fighter really was. As Sam Witwicky ran with the AllSpark, Starscream swooped down, blocking his path, only to be attacked by both Ironhide and Ratchet. After fighting without much effort, but still besting them, Starscream took to the skies again, instead of securing the AllSpark from the now-defenseless Sam. While Megatron attempted to retrieve the AllSpark from Sam, Starscream perched on nearby buildings and shot down an Army Blackhawk helicopter when it attempted to help the human evacuate the Cube. Eventually, real F-22 Raptors from the US Air Force arrived, and Starscream disguised himself. Pretending to be a part of their squadron, Starscream surprised the human pilots by transforming in mid-air and destroying three of the Raptors before he was fired upon. He transformed back into his disguise and fled, and was not seen in the closing moments of the battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron. (Or was he?) Most of the Decepticons were defeated, and their bodies cast into the deepest part of the ocean. Ultimately, Starscream retreated from Earth to parts—and with intentions—unknown.
Starscream was unconcerned with reviving his leader Megatron, choosing to spend his time as acting commander on the Nemesis engineering a new army. His plan was failing miserably, as without energon the hatchlings were dying. After Soundwave successfully executed his plan to resurrect Megatron, Starscream (who may or may not have known of said plan) attempted to welcome his commander with open arms, only to be criticized for leaving him for dead. Starscream defended his actions by saying The Fallen decreed the spawning of a new army, and that in Megatron's absence, someone had to take command. This was a bad choice of words on Starscream's part, as Megatron slammed him into a hatchling sack and told him the simple truth: even in death, there is no command greater than Megatron's.
Megatron noted the plight of the hatchlings though, and sought the advice of the Fallen, whom Starscream had kept on life support, on another source of energon now that the AllSpark was destroyed. The Fallen revealed there was another source, and that the key to attaining it was through the boy who had killed Megatron. But first, The Fallen commanded that they kill Optimus Prime, the last of the Dynasty of Primes, so that he would be safe. Since Optimus would come to protect Sam, it would be a simple matter to capture him. Starscream arrived and announced that they had an agent within sight of the boy. He was eager to get that energon, as the hatchlings would keep dying without it. Starscream aided in Sam Witwicky's capture by cutting open the car Grindor had captured him in, and watched as Megatron and Scalpel threatened to dissect him for the information in his mind from the AllSpark regarding the energon source. Optimus and Bumblebee arrived to rescue Sam: Starscream let Megatron do most of the fighting in the factory, before Optimus blasted him through the wall and drove off with Sam to a forest. Starscream arrived, immediately going for the boy, but Prime ran interference, grabbing Starscream, suplexing him, and kicking off part of his mouth, leading the three Decepticons to gang up on him. Surprisingly, it went quite poorly for the Decepticons: Prime was able to take on all three, using Starscream as a shield and sending his artillery flying at Grindor. After stabbing Megatron multiple times, Optimus ripped off Starscream's arm. Starscream could only cry out in horror as Optimus then used it as a club against the Decepticon. Although Optimus managed to kill Grindor, Megatron eventually managed to kill Optimus, but before they could retrieve Sam, the rest of the Autobots arrived while Bumblebee spirited Sam away. Megatron and Starscream were forced to retreat.
Starscream and Megatron flew to the top of a New York City skyscraper, where Starscream revealed that they had lost track of the boy. Megatron berated Starscream and hit him with the detached arm he was trying to stick in, furious that he lost track of a single insect. Starscream countered that there were seven billion insects on the planet, and that he could be anywhere at this point. Megatron decided to reveal the Decepticons' presence to the world: Starscream stood openly atop a skyscraper during the rejuvenated Fallen's announcement to the world.
After Soundwave learned that the boy was in Egypt, Starscream flew to investigate. Locating the boy, he fired upon Bumblebee, Skids and Mudflap, who had Sam, Mikaela Banes, Leo Spitz and Seymour Simmons as their passengers, bombing them to no avail. Bumblebee, Simmons, Leo, and the Twins drew Starscream's fire while Sam and Mikaela fled to the NEST soldiers. During his flyby of the NEST team, he released an electromagnetic pulse that took out the humans' communications, but saw Prime's body. Meeting Megatron atop the pyramid which hid the harvester, Starscream informed Megatron of his discovery, and Megatron ordered the assault to begin. As Sam and Mikaela tried to reach Optimus to revive him with the Matrix of Leadership, Starscream led several Constructicons and Protoforms in a search for Sam. It wasn't going very well, to the point that Starscream started shooting the ground in anger. An Insecticon managed to find them, and Starscream tore the roof off the building they were in and fired at them as they jumped off another building, but the two humans managed to lose them again. Starscream then took to the sky to locate them, and ordered Rampage to hold Sam's parents Ron and Judy for ransom: Sam was ready to exchange the Matrix, but Bumblebee rescued them and killed Rampage. Starscream was unable to search for Sam any longer and was soon drawn into the battle with NEST, joining his comrades in firing on them. Starscream avoided the carpet bombing which killed many other Decepticons, and watched from afar as Optimus was resurrected by the Matrix. Although the Fallen obtained the Matrix and activated his star harvester, the last of the Primes combined with Jetfire, killed the Fallen and destroyed the harvester. Starscream went to the wounded Megatron, who had lost his right arm and had half his face blown off thanks to Optimus Prime. Starscream advised his master that they should flee (cowards do survive after all), something that Megatron acknowledged, but asserted it wasn't over.
Later in Washington, D.C., as Sentinel Prime summoned a Decepticon army to Earth via Space Bridge, Starscream was surprised to learn that Sentinel had been leaving to defect all those many years ago. He noted the brilliance in Megatron's scheme, and asked if Sentinel was now his partner, and Megatron retorted that Sentinel was his greatest triumph, and explained that they had intended to meet up on Earth, but both were waylaid by fate. Later, the Autobots were forced by the humans into exile by Sentinel's demand, and their ship, the Xantium, departed Earth with them inside. Starscream, lying in wait for the moment high up in the Earth's atmosphere, swooped in for the kill, destroying the ship and presumably all eleven Autobots on board.
Starscream subsequently helped take Chicago for the Decepticons, and stood by his leader as they worked on their plan to bring Cybertron itself into Earth's atmosphere with Sentinel's Space Bridge. When the still-alive Autobots made an attack with NEST, he attacked the V-22 Ospreys carrying Lennox's team as they tried to sneak into Chicago using wing suits. Although Starscream took out most of the aircraft, Lennox and many soldiers managed to jump to safety. Later in the battle, Starscream took several potshots at Epps's team, separating Sam and Carly from the soldiers.
Relishing a chance to be alone with the fleshling once again, Starscream mocked and toyed with the human while trying to kill him. However Sam had a grappling hook from Que on hand, and fired it into Starscream's optic, partially and painfully blinding the Decepticon. Starscream flailed around in pain, causing Sam to fly through a building window. Then Lennox's team arrived and began firing on him. As he tried to return fire, Sam jumped onto his shoulder and stabbed a boomstick into his remaining optic, fully blinding him. Starscream began losing it, screaming in panic and pain as he tried scraping it out of his eye on the ground, cursing the human scum. Lennox attempted to free Sam from the grappling wire, but the panicked Starscream flew up to the top of a nearby building, taking them both with him. As he swore to kill the humans, the boomstick went off, fatally blowing off a large chunk of Starscream's head and causing his chest to explode, leaving his lifeless body to fall to the ground, breaking off several pieces while doing so. Lennox and Sam were saved from the fall by Bumblebee and Sam nervously assured everyone Starscream was dead.
Rivalry with Rainbow Dash
Attempts to Kill Rainbow Dash in other movies
- Starscream will become Thomas and Twilight's enemy Thomas and Twilight Sparkle's adventures of Transformers and then return in Thomas and Twilight Sparkle's Adventures of Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, and Thomas and Twilight Sparkle's Adventures of Transformers Dark of the Moon.
- Starscream is also Rainbow Dash's arch rival.
- It has been suggested that, following his attack on the F-22 squadron over the city, Starscream was able to hide among the survivors and take part in the attack on Megatron, shortly thereafter. This theory is speculative; while it fits the character of the G1 Starscream from the '80s, there is nothing actually on the screen to suggest it (except for the fact Starscream is nowhere to be seen following the strike and is later seen leaving Earth's atmosphere). (Roberto Orci was asked, but refused to give a definite answer.) In The Reign of Starscream, the first issue reveals that during the battle, he was highly tempted to fire on him, Whether this will be retconned is unknown.
- This is the second incarnation of Starscream to have transformed into a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, the first beng his Armada counterpart. Also, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is the succesor of F-15 Eagle, the alt mode of the original Starscream.
- Starscream once faced Archangel only to be beaten and hacked up with his metal wings.