As the title reads, it seems very confusing what actually kills a Transformer.

Case 1: Jazz is ripped apart by Megatron in Transformers

Case 2: Megatron is killed by the AllSpark in Transformers

Case 3: Megatron is brought back to life by the AllSpark shard and given parts by a Decepticon Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Case 4: Optimus Prime is killed by Megatron in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Case 5: Optimus Prime is brought back to life by Sam Witwicky by fusion of the Matrix of Leadership in Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Case 6: Optimus Prime rips The Fallen's Spark out in Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen

Case 7: Megatron is killed by Optimus Prime in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Case 8: Ironhide is killed by Sentinel Prime in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Case 9: Optimus Prime has a shell lodged in his chest area and remains dormant for years until Cade Yeager dislodges it in Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

Case 10: Ratchet is killed by Lockdown in Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.

Case 11: Megatron is infused into a new Transformer shell by Joshua Joyce as a new Transformer Galvatron in Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

As you can see from the cases above, some remain dead, others are given life by the AllSpark/Matrix of Leadership or are simply rebuilt.

So the question stands, do Transformers actually die, given that some Transformers remain dead and others are brought back to life?


The AllSpark and The Matrix of Leadership were special artifacts, that had sufficient energy to reignite a Transformer's Spark.

Other than that, Transformers can die for sure. In all the cases you mentioned, the Transformer had died, except Case 8.

Case 8: Optimus Prime was not dead, simply dormant and very very weak because of his last encounter with Lockdown.
Case 9: It wasn't Joshua Joyce's doing, but rather the remnant memories of Megatron had corrupted the Anti-Optimus he was building, resulting in a reborn Megatron.

To generalize, damage to a Transformer's Spark effectively kills it. Also, physically ripping out a Transformer's Spark from the body kills it. This is seen:

  1. In Revenge of the Fallen we see that JetFire rips out his spark so that Prime can take his parts.

  2. Again, in Revenge of the Fallen, Optimus kills The Fallen by ripping out his spark in the final battle.

3. In Age of Extinction, Lockdown kills Ratchet by finally ripping out his Spark.

Transformers can be killed by decapitation and similar means, in pretty much the same manner as humans can be.

The only reason the resurrections happened was because the Transformers body was intact, and that there was a compatible power source at the end.

After browsing for a while, I found the exact cause of Ironhide's death. Sentinel hit him with something that is called "Cosmic Rust" in the Transformers universe.

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    Cosmic Rust sounds like a Greatful Dead tribute band name. – Monty129 Jul 21 '14 at 21:29
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    I'm presuming that decapitation would be similar to if I disconnected a CPU in a computer, the computer would cease to work. Yet if I connect the CPU back the computer would work. Now a head is not as simple as disconnecting and connecting but from what I'm understanding from your answer is, if they are decapitated they aren't actually dead they are just disabled, if the head is fixed and reconnected a Transformer should actually live? – Jared Jul 21 '14 at 21:44
  • If they have something as powerful as the AllSpark or the Matrix of Leadership, yes. As we see in the first film, Frenzy regenerates his entire body from the Cube's energy. – Stark07 Jul 22 '14 at 5:08
  • The only reason this is so hard to correlate, is because we humans don't support this kind of functionality and modularity :P – Stark07 Jul 22 '14 at 5:47
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    @ash_k29 - Frenzy also got decapitated and was still alive after this. It seems really the only way to kill a transformer is to destroy the head, destroy their spark or use that cosmic rust weapon :) – Jared Jul 24 '14 at 2:49

Yes. There are several ways I'm aware of that can destroy or 'kill' a Transformer.

  1. Method one: use a blaster. In the TR movie Megatron kills all the Autobots on the shuttle to Earth. And in the battle of Autobot city, I'm sure he killed some more. And when Megatron becomes Galvatron he kills Starscream.

  2. Method two: acid. In the G1 series Optimus Prime almost gets killed by Starscream and Shockwave, if anyone remembers 'The Search for Alpha Trion'. Elita has a right to be afraid. Starscream basically, when he dips that pole into the vat of acid, says (not in words, but in actions) 'This is what's going to happen.' So yeah, you get the picture.

  3. Method three: using strength. What I mean by this is 'Kill with your bare hands.' In one of the live action movies, one of the Autobots is ripped in half (It might have been Jazz).

  4. Method four; sharp objects. There are indeed what I have been led to believe, are lightsabers. Now they have not been used to kill one yet but I am led to believe that they probably can. Think Star Wars for a second. And there's not just lightsabers either, there's claws, shards of metal, etc. Like in Transformers: Prime, when Arachnid kills Tailgate. I'm pretty sure she sliced him. Also in Transformers: Prime Starscream (I think it's Starscream) stabs Cliffjumper. Yeah claws, or sharp fingers.

  5. Method five: force and energy depletion. Yup, it's on the list. Again I am referring to the 'The Search for Alpha Trion', (G1 is a good friend of mine!) where Elita is dying of force depletion. And in 'Dweller in the Depths' and 'Call of the Primitives' Transformers have energy withdrawn from them. It's also necessary that they recharge or I'm assuming they'll die.

So there you have it, at least five ways Transformers can 'die'. Sorry if most of my answer refers to G1, but that is the series I'm most familiar with.

  • This Question seems to be about the live action universe/continuity specifically. – nick012000 Sep 9 '19 at 23:08

To answer the question may take a bit of long-winded explanation but the simplest answer is that yes, they can die.

What exactly kills a Transformer is based upon what continuity they are in. For example in most continuities, extinguishing the spark is the only sure way to kill one, i.e.:

  • Rampage being stabbed in the heart in Beast Wars,
  • Lockdown dying in a similar fashion in Age of Extinction,
  • Optimus being stabbed through the chest in RoTF,
  • the Autobots aboard the shuttle all being shot in the chest repeatedly in the original 80s movie.

However, in IDW continuity Rossum's trio is a series of interconnected organs in which damage to the brain or transformation cog can also cause death. There are anomalies in all of these however, such as Starscream's ghost in G1, Rampage in Beast Wars not requiring energon to live, and the Primes in the movie continuity living on despite their physical bodies being lifeless husks in Egypt.


I believe that it is not exactly 'life' that is being taken or given to the Transformers by the AllSpark, but it is the 'life source'. In Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, Optimus explains how Earth was first used to extract life source by detonating "Seeds" during the Cretaceous Period. So the life of Transformers needs a foundation, or a life source (which is the AllSpark, I believe), to be able to sustain and function as living entities.

With the explanation above, it can be concluded that Transformers are alive because of their 'life source' which gives them a 'life'. And so this 'life' can be given or taken at will by others. As for physical damage, Transformers can be 'repaired' literally.

We did see, in Transformers 3, that a cellphone being hit by the Cube's energy "Transforms" it. But I am not sure if that is how all Transformers are created.

  • The life source of the Transformers is the Spark. The seeds were NOT used to extract life source, but to produce Transformium, from which the Creators built the Transformers by means unknown. – Stark07 Jul 21 '14 at 7:47
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    The cellphone (a Nokia) and Xbox are given life by the Allspark in TF1. TF2 has the "kitchen bots". TF3 had nothing. – phantom42 Jul 21 '14 at 18:54

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