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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Shockwave from the Transformers live-action film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Shockwave (Transformers).

Emotionless, coldly logical, utterly ruthless...killing is all Shockwave lives for.
~ Optimus Prime's description of Shockwave's personality.
~ Shockwave ordering his Driller to destroy the Willis Tower.
~ Shockwave when emerged from the Driller.

Shockwave is a major antagonist in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the 2018 film Bumblebee. He was a high-ranking Decepticon scientist and one of Megatron's loyal subordinates.


Revenge of the Fallen

At some point during Revenge of the Fallen, during Devastator's attack on the Autobot twins, a newspaper bearing an image of Shockwave (or probably his G1 portrayal) marked as "Mysterious Robot Spotted" was seen, before being sucked by the giant Decepticon.

Rising Storm

Prior to the events of the first film, Shockwave and his pet Driller crashed into Earth in 1908, placing them into stasis mode. They were later discovered by the Russians and a facility was built above to contain them.

In 2010, Megatron freed Shockwave and brought him to his base in Namibia, where he was eager to get back to killing Autobots. Shockwave and Astrotrain made their presence known on Earth near Dalian, where they killed Autobots Longarm and Salvage and stole material for a construction project.

After contacting Astrotrain for an update on their project, Shockwave tracked Divebomb's radiation trail back to Starscream's base of operations, in a junkyard on the outskirts of Mexico City. Blasting his way through Starscream's guards, Shockwave informed him that Megatron "requested his services." Astrotrain radioed Shockwave, telling him the "brain unit" scrap drone that held the control software for the machine he was constructing had escaped. Shockwave charged Starscream and his followers with recovering the drone.

Shockwave contacted Starscream, who thought he was promised the Autobots would be occupied. Shockwave countered that they were occupied, but with Starscream, leaving Shockwave free to leave a message for Optimus Prime at the NEST Headquarters in Diego Garcia. After killing Knock Out, Dune Runner, and other Autobots, Shockwave confronted the humans. When Shockwave asked who was in command, Theodore Galloway told him that he was. Shockwave killed Galloway and the other humans save one, and he asked his question once more.

After killing Jolt, he and Fearswoop left Diego Garcia, then he arrived in Philadelphia killing Elita-One in the process and shot down Wheeljack and Mirage. Enraged by the death of Elita-One and the other Autobots, Optimus battled Shockwave, overpowering and pummelling the Decepticon. Prime was about to kill Shockwave, until the Driller came to save his master. The badly damaged Shockwave returned to Namibia along Starscream and Soundwave.

Dark of the Moon

Shockwave and his pet Driller attacked the Autobots when they were summoned to Chernobyl by Decepticon agent Alexi Voskhod. After Optimus Prime fought the gigantic beast to retrieve the fuel cell, Shockwave emerged from it to reveal himself in front of Optimus before retreating underground, leaving the latter very disturbed to see him.

Shockwave and his Driller took part in the invasion of Chicago. He and Driller emerged from beneath the convoy of the Autobots, where his pet manages to separate Optimus from his trailer.

He part ways with his pet and proceeded in tracking down the Autobots. The Wreckers are sent to distract him by peppering his armor with machine-gun bullets. Shockwave used a car as a shield and fired at them, wherein they drove off before he pursuit them down the road, missing Wheelie and Brains, who quickly fled. Later, he noticed humans consisting of Samuel James Witwicky, Carly Spencer, Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps and their team hiding inside an abandoned Willis Tower, so he sent his pet Driller to kill them all. Unfortunately, Optimus came to the rescue by killing the Driller on purpose using his jetpack.

Shockwave, enraged by the death of his pet, avenged it by opening fire on the Autobot leader until he got tangled by tower crane wires, temporarily trapping him. He soon joined Soundwave, Barricade and several Decepticons into rounding up other Autobots, consisting of Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Mirage/Dino and Wheeljack/Que, who was later killed by Soundwave. The Decepticons are then distracted by their own gunship controlled by Wheelie and Brains, thus giving the Autobots a chance to escape.

Shockwave retreated alongside with Barricade & some other Decepticons before falling into a trap set by the NEST, where he is blinded by one of the soldiers' parachutes and then being shot in the eye by the Wreckers, causing it to dangle by its wires, as well as damaging his hose and gunpack. Optimus then came back charging into the battle, killing several Decepticons consisting of lookalikes of Brawl, Sideways, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, and Scrapper. Optimus then charges towards Shockwave, and kills him by punching him hard in the chest and ripping out his eye and throat, commanding "YOU DIE!". Optimus then uses the Decepticon's cannon to shoot out the control pillar set up in the city.

Age of Extinction

After the events of Dark of the Moon, KSI manages to recover parts of Shockwave's body and used it to create two-headed clones of him called "Two-Heads". After Galvatron becomes fully aware and took control of many of the man-made KSI Transformers came to do his bidding, including the two-headed clones. One of these clones manages to fight Hound in Hong Kong, before being slain by the latter using his cigar by spitting it at both of their heads. Another clone was then killed by Optimus Prime by throwing Lockdown's grenade at the man-made Transformers. Another was last seen joining Galvatron ride Lockdown's ship upon escape.

The Last Knight

Nitro Zeus, a Decepticon whose head bears very similar appearance to Shockwave's appears in Transformers: The Last Knight. According to his TRF profile, the reason for Nitro's travel to Earth involves avenging Shockwave. Viviane mentions Shockwave by name at one point.





  • Shockwave, alongside The Fallen, Scorponok, and Ravage are the only known Decepticons who never transformed in the movie series at all, though they are portrayed with all modes in the comic adaptations & toyline. In the toyline, Shockwave transforms into a Cybertronian tank.
  • Optimus seems to have much anger towards Shockwave, as he brutally punched Shockwave in the face and ripped out his eye screaming "YOU DIE!", despite their limited interaction in the movie.
    • Their interaction in the video game based on the film (which itself is a prequel to the film) however isn't so limited, as Shockwave is the final boss for Optimus and a major factor in the Battle of Chicago.
    • The IDW prequel comic Rising Storm depicts Shockwave attacking the NEST base, slaughtering all those inside, and would casually kill Elita One. This enrages Optimus, and the two have a brutal duel, until Shockwave is rescued.
    • Even so, Shockwave was the one who tangled Optimus into wires, so that Optimus couldn't do anything to save Que from getting slaughtered.
  • Shockwave was one of the few Decepticons that was originally meant to appear in the first movie before being dropped & saved for the sequel.
  • Shockwave's original voice actor from the G1 animated series, Corey Burton, refused to voice the character in Dark of the Moon, stating that he had no desire of participating in a high-budget movie. He is instead voiced by voice actor Frank Welker, who also voiced other villains from the movie franchise such as Soundwave, Ravage, Reedman, Grindor, Devastator, Barricade (in Dark of the Moon) and Galvatron. In Bumblebee, he is voiced by Jon Bailey.
  • Shockwave is hardly heard to have spoken English in the movie due to speaking Cybertronian throughout. He is shown to have spoken in the subtitles in the DVD edition.
  • In the original Transformers, Shockwave is Megatron's right hand who was left in charge of Cybertron and is the one who is using the space bridge for the Decepticon's transport.
  • During the pre-production of Dark of the Moon, Shockwave was pitched in and heavily promoted to be the film's main antagonist, with different media sources describing him to be the dictated ruler of Cybertron after the Autobots and Decepticons fled to Earth, referencing his role in the original G1 animated series. This was likely done to hide the fact that Sentinel Prime was the actual main antagonist of the film.
  • In the IDW prequels, Shockwave is depicted in a similar design to his G1 counterpart, and has a similar personality, albeit more focused on being an assassin rather than a scientist. At the end of Rising Storm, Shockwave is left heavily damaged, explaining his different look in Dark of the Moon.
    • In the IDW adaptation of DOTM, Shockwave is depicted as speaking in his G1 dialect. As well as this, in the adaptation, he is even more ruthless, viewing the Driller's death as an inconvenience rather than mourning it.
  • Shockwave was depicted with a Cybetronian jet alternate mode in the IDW comics, while the film does not depict him transforming. His toy, however, has a tank mode.
  • Nitro Zeus shares the same head design as Shockwave. This is somewhat referenced in the fact that Shockwave is mentioned in Nitro's TRF bio.


           TransformersTitle.png Cinematic Universe Villains

Transformers: Decepticons (Megatron, Starscream, Barricade, Frenzy, Blackout, Scorponok, Bonecrusher, Brawl & Dispensor)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: Decepticons (The Fallen, Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Scorponok, Sideways, Grindor, Ravage, Alice & Scalpel) | Constructicons/Devastator (Demolishor, Rampage, Long Haul, Mixmaster, Scrapper & Scavenger) | Theodore Galloway
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Decepticons (Sentinel Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Dylan Gould, Shockwave, Driller, Watch-Out, Igor, Crankcase, Crowbar & Devcon)
Transformers: Age of Extinction: Cemetery Wind (Harold Attinger, Lockdown, James Savoy, Steeljaws & Shadow Raiders) | Kinetic Solutions Incorporated (Joshua Joyce, Galvatron, Stinger, & KSI Drones) | The Creators
Transformers: The Last Knight: The Creators (Quintessa & Infernocons) | Decepticons (Megatron, Barricade, Nitro Zeus, Mohawk, Berserker, Onslaught & Dreadbot) | Transformers Reaction Force (Commander Santos) | Unicron
Bumblebee: Decepticons (Shatter, Dropkick, Blitzwing, Soundwave, Ravage, Shockwave, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp & Thrust) | Jack Burns | Dr. Powell