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Soundwave is a recurring antagonist of the Transformers Cinematic Universe, serving as a major antagonist in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Bumblebee. He is one of Megatron's loyal Decepticons and his communications officer.
He was voiced by Frank Welker in Revenge of the Fallen (who also played Megatron) and Dark of the Moon, and Jon Bailey in Bumblebee.
~ Soundwave's first words in the film upon awakening.
Soundwave was awakened after he receive a transmission from Wheelie, who was tailing Mikaela Banes and instructed him to obtain the surviving shard of the Allspark in her hands. While floating across space, he found a government satellite transmitting a conversation between NEST and the US military and began to hack it by releasing his tentacles all over it. He manages to acquire information from it such as the location of the other Allspark fragment in Diego Garcia and Megatron's corpse under the Laurentian Abyss. Waiting till nightfall, Soundwave formulated a plan by ejecting Ravage to attack the area. After the successful retrieval, he sends Ravage again to a cargo ship carrying construction vehicles passing by the Laurentian Abyss, which also had become successful.
He remained in space, while hacking the satellite he is attached. After Megatron finally killed Optimus Prime and have decided to reveal the Decepticon presence on Earth, Soundwave issued the mobilization order to the Decepticons waiting at the Nemesis and then hacked the satellite to show the image of The Fallen giving a speech. He manages to track down Sam's parents in Paris and gave them a call, asking for Sam's whereabouts. Judy can't understand the Decepticon's language and dismissed the call, thinking it was a prank call from a pervert, thus making the Decepticons using them as hostages.
When the CIA manages to locate Sam's whereabouts in Egypt via security camera, Soundwave took the information and immediately gave it to the Decepticons, leaving Starscream in pursuit. Soundwave then blocked the satellites covering the Egyptian area, making things appear normal. He isn't seen again through the rest of the film.
Dark of the Moon
Soundwave reporting to Lord Megatron.
~ Soundwave greets and honors his leader after Laserbeak returned.
After the events of the previous film, Soundwave left the satellite he is attached and landed on Earth, joining Megatron, Starscream and Igor in their exile on Africa. Soundwave obtained a minion named Laserbeak, a foul-mouthed Decepticon assassin that resembles a condor who can transform into numerous objects. After Laserbeak manages to inform Megatron that the Autobots have discovered the fuel cell of the Ark on Chernobyl and recovering a comatose Sentinel Prime, Megatron decided it was time to eliminate all of the humans who knew about the discoveries of the Ark to avoid their plans from failing again.
Soundwave then orders Laserbeak to kill them all, who does it in pleasure. He is working with Dylan Gould, a human who is allied with the Decepticons. Dylan then gave him as a "gift" to Carly Spencer, Sam's new girlfriend by posing as a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. After Sam and Carly tried to leave Dylan's party, Soundwave reveals himself by transforming into his robot mode, throwing Sam away and keeping Carly as a hostage. While Dylan then explained his relationship with the two Decepticons, Soundwave then took the pleasure to threaten Carly using his spiked tentacles but Dylan orders him to stop tormenting her after Sam surrenders.
Soundwave was among the few Decepticons who took pleasure in invading Chicago and killing many humans in the way off-screen. After managing to receive a word from Dylan that the Autobots actually survived, he was one of the few Decepticons who manages to find them and manages to corner the Autobots Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Ratchet, Dino/Mirage and Que/Wheeljack, with Barricade, Shockwave and many others. When Dylan then manages to think of an idea of killing the Autobot hostages as a lesson of respect, Soundwave took this as a pleasure to which he concurred : "No prisoners, only trophies". He and Barricade took the pleasure in killing Que by shooting him, who pleaded badly for his life and afterwards was about to execute Bumblebee, only to be distracted by Wheelie and Brains' hijacking and crashing of a Decepticon ship. Bumblebee and the other Autobots then took this as an opportunity to escape and afterwards punched Soundwave, causing him to drop his weapons then shooting him in the leg, dropping his remaining gun. Bumblebee then finishes him off by throwing an uppercut on his chest and shooting him in the head, killing him.
The Last Knight
Soundwave was mentioned by Vivian while she was being kidnapped by Hot Rod.
Soundwave as a Cybertronian satellite.
Soundwave's Earth vehicle mode as seen in the third film, a Mercedes Benz SLS-AMG.
Early design in Revenge of the Fallen.
Dark of the Moon concept art.
Vehicle mode game concept art.
SOUNDWAVE Transform - Short Flash Transformers Series
SOUNDWAVE (DOTM) Transform Short Flash Transformers Series
Soundwave was originally planned to appear in the first film, in which he went through various changes before ultimately being scrapped.
He would have fulfilled both Barricade and Frenzy's, being a triple changer that would transform from a portable radio to a military Humvee. This was changed, as Michael Bay wanted to avoid as much mass shifting as possible. His two alternate modes were later separated into two different characters, in which the Humvee was eventually reworked in Barricade, while the portable radio was reworked into Frenzy.
Soundwave was then given a helicopter as his alternate mode where he would attack a military base in a jungle and would be paired with Ravage. This was changed when it was decided the scene would be filmed in a desert instead and as a result, both Soundwave and Ravage were scrapped entirely from the film. The helicopter ended up being reworked into a new character called Blackout who would pair up with Scorponok.
Ironic enough, he encountered one of his earlier incarnations in the third film together killing an Autobot and was also voiced by the same actor.
Soundwave is voiced by the famous villain voice actor Frank Welker, who also voiced his original incarnation and many other Decepticons in the film series, even Barricade in the third film. Frank Welker also voiced him in the foreign versions such as French, Italian, German and Spanish-American versions. In Bumblebee, he is voiced by Jon Bailey.
Aside from this, his voice almost sounded like Doctor Claw.
Before the release of Dark of the Moon, Soundwave's identity as Carly's car was kept heavily in secret by Michael Bay and the crew that worked on the film. When the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG initially appeared on set with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, it was heavily theorized that this was Soundwave's alternate mode, as later on, the video games would depict his robot mode, which carried elements suggesting he was Carly's car. Despite this, Michael Bay suggested that this was simply nothing more than a regular car, stating that Mercedes would never let them portray their brand as a Decepticon and that he has no control what the games and comics do with their characters.
The video games depiction of Soundwave's new robot mode was identical to how he appeared in the film, but he doesn't actually transform into a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Instead, he transforms into an original SUV designed by concept artists that worked on the games.
Even when the film was released, Soundwave isn't revealed to be Carly's car up until the point where Dylan Gould is revealed to be cooperating with the Decepticons. Prior to this, whenever Soundwave appears in his robot mode, the Mercedes logo on his chest is purposely kept hidden to conceal his identity.
In an original draft of Dark of the Moon, which is still seen in the junior novelization and comic adaptations, Soundwave killed Dino instead of Que and uses his corpse to taunt Bumblebee.
Elements of Soundwave's tentacles are also used to that of his Prime counterpart.
Opposing his original incarnation, this version of Soundwave had a mouth.
During production, Soundwave was known as Breakdown in case of story leaks.
Soundwave was originally intended to come down to Earth at some point in Revenge of the Fallen where he would scan a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck for his vehicle mode, as concept art made by Paul Ozzimo supports this to be the case. While this plot element went unused in final drafts of the film, the original voyager class figure uses the concept art design for Soundwave's robot mode, as certain elements on figure suggest this, such as the front grill section with headlights as his torso.
Because of the fact that Soundwave doesn't transform in Revenge of the Fallen, none of his depictions in the games, comics and figures of his robot mode are accurate to how he truly looks. The majority of his depictions use the concept art design, based on the early drafts where he was intended to land on Earth while his Studio Series figure appears to use an entirely original design for his robot mode.