Seekers (Transformers)

Seekers (Transformers)

Seekers is a fan-created term in the Transformers universe for the Decepticon warriors with jet transformations. They are less commonly referred to as Skyraiders (on Generation 2 European packaging and in UK Generation 2 Marvel Comics), Jetron (in Japan), and simply as the "Decepticon Planes." They are led by Starscream. On Cybertron, the Seekers transformed into an approximately pyramidal shaped aircraft/spacecraft (sometimes referred to as Tetrajets in this form). Judging from both the cartoon and the movie, the Seekers were a large force and were basically the Transformer equivalent of an airforce. However, originally only six were named and brought to Earth; on Earth, they transformed into various jet aircraft, most notably an F-15. The term 'Seekers' essentially refers to these six members.

Named Seekers

The original Seekers from G1 were Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Thrust, Ramjet and Dirge. The latter three were given the name of 'Coneheads' by fans because the animated series used a character model with a deformed head, so that the jet fighter nose cone pointed straight up instead of back. (In addition, the body of the Coneheads' cartoon models were more accurate when compared to the toy, with shorter, cowled thighs which were less articulate.)

In recent years, a Japanese store named E-hobby released a new Seeker toy called Sunstorm, in reference to a scene in the 1984 cartoon's pilot which featured an orangish yellow jet. Sunstorm was also featured in the Transformers comic series by Dreamwave Productions.

Unidentified Terran Seekers

Another source of additional Seekers was the unnamed Decepticons used in the earliest portions of the first season of the cartoon. In order to give them a generic appearance, most were colored a light green "periwinkle"-like color (presumably a middle ground between the blue used on Thundercracker and the lavender used on Skywarp) and black, with white and red wing stripes (similar to Starscream and Thundercracker), and a silver chest (also shared by Thundercracker and Skywarp). In the original 3-part pilot, an unknown number of these Decepticons were drawn in order to balance the uneven number of Autobots (18 released as toys, plus at least 1 extra) and Decepticons (10 released as toys, minus Buzzsaw and Frenzy, plus the 3 Reflector robots) in fight scenes, similar to the large number of G.I. Joe Grunts and unnamed Cobras used in the first 2 mini-series. These grunt characters were made into PVC figurines called simply "Decepticons" or "Decepticon Air Warriors". No toy based on the original 1984-85 Decepticon Planes, nor any later Starscream-based "transforming" toys has been produced to date.

It is commonly believed that these extra jets were destroyed in a mine explosion caused by a bomb placed by Sparkplug and Bumblebee at the end of "More Than Meets The Eye", pt2. However, with the gross color errors in the original series, they may still exist as background Decepticons.

Rainmakers

Additionally, in the episode "Divide and Conquer", three unique Seekers with bright coloring resided on Cybertron with bodies appearing mostly green, blue and yellow appear in the episode, appropriately called "Rainmakers" by Bluestreak. A toy redeco of Classics Starscream, named Acid Storm, is a camo green with yellow highlights in robot mode. He is said to be part of the Rainmakers, and could be the green one seen in "Divide and Conquer".

Origin of the term

Exactly how the term came to be so widely accepted is unknown - it was never used in the cartoon or the comics, and yet even when the fandom was young it was the term of choice to describe the Decepticons jets. One piece of evidence for its use during the time of the original series was a JCPenney [http://www.transformersontheshelf.com/sitebuilder/images/JC1984-2-782x1144.jpg] catalogue, which referred to a jet as a "Seeker". In the original Marvel Comics run of the Transformers comic book, however, a reference is made in issue #17 to a group of Decepticon jets on Cybertron as "Hunter-Seekers", but it is worth mentioning that these Cybertronian jets bore little resemblance to the pre-Earth alternate forms of the Decepticons jets in the Sunbow television show and that they were never officially referred to by this designation in the original run of the comic or its immediate successor, Generation 2.

The term "Seekers" was not used in any official publications until the first issue of the Dreamwave comic, "".

The term Seeker received official recognition from Hasbro in 2006 when it was mentioned in the tech spec for Transformers: Titanium Thundercracker.

In Transformers Cybertron, a large force of Decepticons freed by Starscream were ordered to turn into Seeker Ships to scour the Earth. These ships were oval shaped, and nothing more than an amalgam for genetic robots and had nothing to do with any prior "Seeker" units.


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