You came into the world armed to the teeth. With an arsenal of weapons, weapons of privilege, economic privilege, sexual privilege, racial privilege. You want to be a pacifist, you’re not just going to have to give up guns, knives, clubs, hard, angry words, you are going to have lay down the weapons of privilege and go into the world completely disarmed.
—  Ammon Hennacy, to Utah Phillips
MTMTE 53 - Megatron and Fear

Megatron’s scared, and he admits to being scared. But I really don’t believe he’s scared of dying.

He’s never been scared of death before. Just last issue, he went out alone and unarmed to try to talk Tarn down, hoping Tarn would kill him and only him. And in general, Megatron hasn’t shown much if any fear of death. During Dark Cybertron, Megatron faced down death while smiling, and after having been ripped in half. As captain of the Lost Light, he’s shrugged off every threat that didn’t involve needles. During the trial, he pled guilty even knowing that the Autobots would surely go for the death penalty once he was convicted.

What changed his mind during the trial? It wasn’t a fear of dying. It was fear about his legacy. Starscream rewriting his past, and Rodimus telling him that after all this time and the entire war, he’d end up buried in the mines of Nova Point.

Megatron wasn’t afraid of death last issue when he went to meet Tarn. He wasn’t afraid even as Tarn was beating him. He’s smiling and laughing and speaking calmly right up until Tarn shoots him. Why would he suddenly become afraid of death after he wakes up?

No, I really don’t think he’s afraid of dying. And when he says he’s “not strong enough,” he’s not talking about physical strength. 

Personally? I think he doesn’t feel strong enough to pick up that weapon and then be able to put it down again - to use violence with any kind of restraint. His original plan was to do exactly that, to use violent tactics until they were “no longer necessary” and then stop, and it didn’t exactly work out well for him.

I’m excited to see where this is going. Personally, I don’t want Megatron to give up his pacifism in the face of violent threats. To paraphrase Ammon Hennacy, “a pacifist between battles is like a vegetarian between meals.” If he gives it up here and now, how much did it ever mean? And personally, I’d like Megatron to acknowledge that helping other people commit violence more effectively isn’t exactly in line with this either.

I’d like to see Megatron make a difference in some way that doesn’t involve violence at all.