So on the lines of Sparkpulse discussing headcanons, because I have a lot of them, over a lot of things, I feel tonight like talking about Shockwave. More specifically, about Shockwave’s emotions.
I think he has them. That’s my headcanon. There’s just a lot more to it than that, as is usual with me.
Shockwave was first introduced in Transformers: Prime in a flashback episode, and didn’t make his full, proper appearance until the third season. In that initial flashback he was stoic, static, and just a bit scary. His return in season three was an unexpected boon to the Decepticons. Megatron, especially, was happy to see him… him, and his newest experiment, a massive robotic dragon identified as a Predacon, who would later identify himself as Predaking.
Predaking is really important to some of my ideas, so yeah.
Now, historically, Shockwave is supposed to be a character who runs on logic. In G1 he could be a bit comical, but also in charge of some serious stuff and it was his job to run it all efficiently. In TFA he was more lighthearted, even openly pointing and laughing at Lugnut in one memorable episode, but it’s hard to say how much of that could be attributed to habits picked up masquerading as an Autobot for so long. IDW goes full-stop emotionless with him, making him an intense, driven character with no sense of remorse until it’s too late. This is something that was done to him, by force. It’s very sad and sometimes I think about it way too much. Anyway, this is the range Shockwave’s character usually falls into. TFP Shockwave is much closer to the IDW version than the other two. What little comic relief he provides is unintentional because he’s just so deadpan about everything. It is essentially accepted that he is emotionless with the possible exception of anger, which happens twice.
I don’t think so.
To me, one of the things that is most telling about Shockwave are his antennae… things. They move a lot towards the end of the series, just like in the gif above. The faux-wings on his back do the same thing. They twitch. They flutter. They emote. And I think the expressions they show amount to a lot more than rage. The two occasions where Shockwave becomes visibly angry are when the Wreckers send the Predaking through a groundbridge and out of his sight, and Shockwave goes down and personally kicks their afts for it. The second instance is when Starscream almost destroys all of his research data… he nearly blinds the Seeker for it. Both of these are clearly angry moments, which lends to the idea that Shockwave is unfeeling until something snaps. This idea actually ties in nicely with his IDW Spotlight… he’s unfeeling until he needs to feel rage to survive. But the movement of the antennae above isn’t angry. It’s a bit more startled, a clear reaction to something. He’s daunted. Sometimes, at other times, the movements seem almost inquisitive, like his scientific mind is curious and he perks up like a puppy. They respond to conversations like any other sort of body language.
I think he has no idea that they do this, honestly. I think that if you asked TFP Shockwave, himself, if he was emotionless, he probably thinks he is. He probably has no idea that his antennae and his winglets respond to anything anyone says. That’s where my personal headcanon comes into it. In one scene at the beginning of Season 3 that I remember quite fondly, Shockwave is actually standing next to his big dragon petting him… with the volume up, it sounds like Predaking could actually be purring. This moment, combined with his absolute rage at thinking that the Wreckers had somehow beaten his creation, indicate that he might just feel actual affection for the Predacon. But I don’t think he knows this. I don’t think he’s aware, at all, that he emotes, and that if you told him so, he probably wouldn’t believe you. Because he runs on logic. Emotions aren’t needed, so why would he be bothering with them?
I think if he was ever well and truly flustered somehow, those things would waggle back and forth like crazy, and if you told him they were doing it, he would deny it. Not because it’s embarrassing or anything, but because he honestly believes he has full control over all parts of his frame and he would never waste energy on emoting.
I think that if he became depressed somehow, they would droop. So would the faux-wings on his back. And he would be confused as to why anyone would ask what was wrong, because nothing is wrong, he does not let setbacks distress him.
I think if he got really, really happy they would stick up a bit more than usual and of course he just has no idea that he’s got a lovely mood ring right on top of his head. He really hasn’t got a clue. That is what I believe.
It makes me happy to think this, anyway, and I need happy, because sometimes I remember IDW and that just makes my spark hurt…