Megatron, later known as Galvatron, is the main antagonist of the Transformers franchise, serving as the main antagonist of the original 1984 cartoon, The Transformers. He is the founder and leader of the Decepticons, and the arch-enemy of Optimus Prime and all of the Autobots.
He was voiced by Frank Welker in the G1 cartoon, Garry Chalk in a Beast Wars message and Victor Caroli in a Micromaster Combiners commercial, the last of which has also voiced fellow Hasbro villain Tirac.
The original Megatron appears in Season 2 of Beast Wars, where it is revealed that the current Megatron was acting on his predecessor's orders.
Later on, the original Megatron makes a physical appearance in Season 3, where the Predacon Megatron takes the original Megatron's spark, making the newer Megatron obtain his dragon form. However, in a deleted scene, in the series finale, the original Megatron's spark is placed back into his body.
Megatron is depicted as a petty terrorist and would be dictator. Unlike many other incarnations of the character, Megatron has no sympathetic backstory or complex motivations, generally desiring power for its own sake.
Megatron's absurd plans such as having Soundwave act as a DJ to brainwash humans or using altered video footage to convince humans that Decepticons are good and the Autobot are evil often make Megatron come off as a buffoon. Despite this Megatron is incredibly ruthless; he guns down defenseless civilians including Orion Pax in War Dawn, brainwashed peaceful architects and made them blow up a nonviolent city, and executed wounded Autobots in Transformers: the Movie.
Megatron frequently used underhanded tactics to win such as breaking his word to fight fairly in a one on one duel with Optimus by cheating via taking the power of his Decepticons warriors for his own, or pretending to beg Optimus Prime for mercy whilst secretly reaching for a pistol for a cheap shot.
However there was a limit to his evil. As Megatron wants to rule, not destroy, he objected to Unicron's plan to destroy Cybertron in the Movie and he temoporarily teamed up with Optimus to prevent the Earth from being destroyed in The core as the planet's destruction would mean the destruction of Earth's valuable resources and himself.
Megatron looks down on most of his troops, but has something of a friendship with Soundwave and Shockwave.
Megatron is the commander of the Decepticons, traditional enemies of the heroic Autobots. In almost all variations of the cartoon, comic books and movies, Megatron is depicted as one of the Autobot's most powerful and relentless opponents. In many ways Megatron could be considered an evil counterpart of Optimus Prime. Whereas Optimus has compassion for humanity, Megatron sees them as pawns and slaves. Megatron can be seen as a ruthless military leader and unlike many villains he was not originally depicted as insane or anarchic in nature - simply being overly aggressive and power-hungry but always having a reason behind his actions (even if others often couldn't understand them).
Like many archenemies Megatron and Optimus Prime have an odd sense of respect for one another despite fighting each other to the death. There have been times where the two leaders have acknowledged (at least to themselves) that if it was not for their differences in ideology they could of been friends - a fact that saddens Optimus Prime but is actually seen to be rather amusing to Megatron.
- In every Transformers variations, he is the Decepticon leader. However, in the live-action films, The Fallen is the true ruler as The Fallen is founder of Decepticons. But Megatron still has control over the Decepticons.
- He is the most powerful Transformer and considered the most challenging Decepticon, except in the first Transformers series and the Unicron trilogy of Energon, Armada, and Cybertron, where Unicron is considered the most powerful Transformer.
- He is the arch-enemy of every Autobot, especially Optimus Prime.
- His leadership of the Decepticons is often challenged in the Generation One series and the show Transformers: Animated by the traitor Starscream. In the G1 series' first TV show, Megatron trusted Starscream for the first two seasons, but in the G1 movie, he was transformed into Galvatron and destroys Starscream, but he returns as a ghost and torments Galvatron.
- He is remembered as being both the first and overhaul one of the few incarnations of Megatron that succeeded in killing Optimus Prime.
- Megatron will search for a prized possession if it plays a sole purpose in a Transformers show. In the G1 series, he looks for the Matrix of Leadership, which is extremely powerful and can destroy any Transformer (also a fact of the Matrix of Leadership not important to Megatron is that it marks who the leader of the Autobot is). In the Unicron trilogy, in the show Cybertron, he looks for the four Cybertronian keys so that he and the Decepticons will conquer the universe. In the live-action movies and the Animated TV show (which aired on Cartoon Network), he looks for the All Spark, in both shows, the All Spark is a cube that both has information of Cybertronian history and one piece of the All Spark will bring a dead Transformer back to life.
- Although Megatron seems to favor tanks, helicopters and jets in other portrayals, his G1 incarnation transformed into a modified Walther P38.
- Megatron's alt mode being changed throughout the years is due to strict gun control laws.
- The Walther P38 was manufactured by Nazi Germany during World War II and was used by the Wehrmacht, apparently was also an inspiration for the mode of transformation of this one; since Megatron was also inspired in Hitler when it was created.
- When Megatron featured in Regeneration One (a sequel to the Marvel comic), Star Trek vs. Transformers & video game Transformers: Devastation (based in the Sunbow cartoon), he is depicted as far more evil than in the comic and cartoon respectively.
- David Wise, the writer of many episodes of the cartoon, said at a fan convention, that he viewed Megatron as having fascist leanings when discussing the episode, War Dawn.