Welcome to the first stop this month on the OWLS blog tour. For those who are new to an OWLS blog tour we are a group of bloggers dedicated to sharing the themes of acceptance for all individuals regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion and disabilities and like to highlight the importance of kindness and respect. The theme for this month might say Squad but it delves into something deeper than just team mates.
Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definition of a ‘good friend.’
As soon as I read this prompt I knew this was it, this was my perfect chance to write about my all time favorite ship and why they are my all time favorite pairing. To those who have seen my previous post about my favorite pairings you will already know the pairing I am about to talk about here, but to those who do not know; Mistress of Yaoi’s OTP is that of Starscream and Skyfire from the first generation of the Transformers cartoon and it was a single episode that started this ship for me and many other Transformer Yaoi fans, and I promise we might be a small group within a fandom, but we are dedicated. That episode is Fire in the Sky and it is the birth place of this ship, through a sad and broken friendship.
A bit of history first though, for those who are not familiar with the original The Transformers Show. It was an episodic cartoon series that was made for the purpose of marketing toys in the 80’s and like many toy based cartoons then there was no real over arching story. Plots were very basic. Good guys vs bad guys stories and very formulaic. The horrible Decepticons would do something bad and the heroic Autobots would come and save the day, rinse and repeat for four seasons and a movie. This simple formula did make for some pretty cool stories a times, A Decepticon in King Arthur’s Court is an amusing episode involving time travel. Every now and again however there would be an episode that would give a little backstory or a little more development of a character and Fire in the Sky is an episode from the first season that does this for a character who over the years and generations has become a fan favorite for many. That character is Starscream, the treacherous and untrustworthy second in command of the Decepticons who wants nothing more than to overthrow his leader Megatron, in fact Starscream’s treachery as a second in command has become so infamous there is even a trope named after him, The Starscream.
Fire in the Sky tells the story of the Decepticons draining the Earth of it’s energy from the arctic circle, which has caused temperatures to drop world wide. This is what clues the Autobots into what the Decepticons are up to because there base is in a desert area that is currently blanketed in snow. Got to love 80’s cartoon logic. Anyway while digging in the arctic the Decepticons come across a giant Transformer buried in the ice and when Starscream see’s who this mysterious giant robot is he does something not seen by the audience and guessing from the other Decepticons reaction, not seen by them either. Starscream shows concern for some other than himself. This adds so much to his character in this one moment, Starscream the selfish brat of the Decepticons has concern for someone else and when inquired by Megatron why Starscream shows so much concern for this ‘creature’ Starscream reveals that the giants name is Skyfire and that he was a former colleague of Starscream’s before the war. They had been explorers together, exploring an uncharted planet and were separated in a storm. Starscream then vouches for Skyfire’s loyalty and convinces Megatron to him become a Decepticon. One thing becomes obvious however as Skyfire spends time with Starscream and the other Decepticons, he is far too gentle and kind to be a Decepticon. He hates the idea of hurting innocent bystanders. This is shown when Skyfire rescues the Autobot’s human companions when they fall into the icy waters of the arctic. Later in the episode Skyfire is ordered to execute a group of Autobots by Starscream and when he refuses Starscream attacks him calling him a traitor. A moment that many shipper of the pair likes to explore with how this moment changes their friendship forever, for this is the moment that ends the friendship.
So we have two former friends who have been separated for a long time, a whole war between them literally. The way Skyfire talks about Starscream being a scientist before the war and how different his friend seems now really puts things into perspective and as an avid shipper of tragic couples, well the wheels in this fujoshi’s brain started turning long before the episode ended. Could Starscream had been a completely different character if Skyfire has not disappeared from his life? If Skyfire have been different if he had seen the start on conflict on Cybertron? I wanted so badly to explore this and other themes and that’s when I started searching out fanfiction and you know what? This pairing has a lot of really brilliant fanfiction about it! The best of them however in my opinion is Breaking Free which I featured in my Fanfiction Rec series.
A typical Skyfire x Starscream story is usually one of the following. Skyfire saves Starscream from the Decepticons, quite often in this scenario Starscream is in an abusive relationship with Megatron. It’s prewar and Skyfire and Starscream are working together and we get a sweet workplace romance or the more common kind of story in recent years, the war has ended in a different series of Transformers, like Prime as an example and Starscream goes searching for an old friend or he is found by his old friend, but why do I and so many others love this pairing so much?
For me at least it was the character growth for Starscream shown upon the appearance of Skyfire in the cartoon that hooked me and had me wanting to explore more, which made sad when I later found out that Skyfire was removed from the cast of the show due to some legal issues with his toy. See the original toy released as Skyfire did not come from the same line as the other G1 Transformers toys. Skyfire’s toy was originally from a toyline called Macross and due to some legal issues about who was allowed to release him and how the toy was discontinued.
Another reason why this pairing might resonate with so many Transformers yaoi fans is that this pairing is one of the few pairings for Starscream where he is not abused and used or the abuser of the relationship. There are a few exception to this rule when it comes to the pairing of Starscream and Skyfire but these kind of stories are few and far between. Skyfire is so different to many of the other character that Starscream is shipped with and believe me he get’s shipped with a lot of different characters in different iterations of Transformers, in nearly every Transformers series he is the character most paired with others, whether that be Megatron X Starscream, Other flyers X Starscream and the occasional Optimus X Starscream. The later being a pairing I must admit I am also a fan of. Skyfire is a gentle giant. He is kind and intelligent and let’s the viewer think that maybe at one point in his life perhaps the back stabbing Decepticon second in command use to be kind and naive as well and that maybe just maybe someone like Skyfire can bring that kindness back to Starscream. The lost bond between the two is a tragic one, two friends ripped apart by disaster and war and then stuck on opposite sides. It’s enough to make this tragic love story loving fujoshi swoon and since this is a good chance to, I’m going to share my favorite AMV for to two of them here to finish this post.
I hope you enjoyed my post to begin this months Blog Tour, I am very much looking forward to where the other Owlets plan to take this prompt and look forward to reading so many awesome posts! Next up on the tour we have Matt in the Hat with a post about a certain anime I must confess I really need to get around to watching.