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3.25.2006

Shadow Chronicles Scorecard


Click to make big ... REALLY big!


Look at this handy thing I made for you folks -- a chart showing every named character who appeared in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles (except Minmei, who as you'll recall was never seen head-on), plus two individuals we know will be in the Shadow Chronicles feature, complete with "before" pictures for all the ROBOTECH animation veterans showing them as they appeared in the TV series (or in a few cases, as they appeared in the Sentinels animation or, in the case of Veidt & L'ron, comic book covers).

The thing to soak in here is that while not every character pictured will appear in the Shadow Chronicles feature, all of them (save the characters marked as "deceased") are still in play in the Shadow Chronicles era. That means they're fair game to appear in Shadow Chronicles follow-ups such as further animation, comics, or (if the current buzz is to believed) novels. Twenty-four surviving characters, only half of whom are confirmed as appearing in the animation ... you know, most of the rest of these characters have stories that aren't quite finished yet at the end of Prelude, and here's hoping that they are followed up on in one medium or another.

10 Comments:

  • That's a very intriguing gallery you've assembled. You can add a "Before" picture of Dr. Lazlo Zand from episode 29 (8:10 into the episode). He's the "Researcher A" (original Japanese Macross credits) who adds his two cents about humans' warring tendencies.

    Like Maia, he made only one controversial, unnamed appearance in the entire 1985 version--only to have his role enlarged and named in later stories. Some fans mistakenly claim that he's just Dr. Lang with the wrong voice, but this character also has a different uniform, uniform color, hair color, Japanese voice (in Macross), and even different Japanese Macross credit from Dr. Lang (a.k.a. the unnamed "Chief Engineer" in the original Macross credits).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25 March, 2006 02:25  

  • Pretty awesome score card.

    Thanks for making it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25 March, 2006 07:26  

  • Hmm, I'm just curious why you used images of Ariel and Scott from the UN PSA instead of the various Shadow Chronicles trailers that were released?

    Those character designs won't be representative of the final product. The differences between the UN PSA and trailer versions are pretty significant. Much more in line with their original appearances from New Gen/Mospeada.

    By Anonymous redrain85, at 25 March, 2006 09:56  

  • IIRC the UN PSA was supposed to be representative of finished footage, and I seem to remember HG staff (Tommy, I think) mentioning how Scott's redesign was intentional to appeal to modern fans.

    By Blogger Jeid, at 25 March, 2006 10:57  

  • No, it's not . . . and in fact, TPTB at RT.com have said quite the opposite. When they was an outcry about the difference in appearance of the characters and some aspects of the quality of animation in the PSA, they said "this isn't representative of the final product".

    The characters are still re-designed, yes. But the PSA versions are different from the trailer versions. The trailer versions more closely match the original designs.

    Anyhow, nice work on the scorecard Jonathan. You're doing great work on bringing us all up to speed on Robotech's past, and preparing us for the future.

    By Anonymous redrain85, at 25 March, 2006 11:53  

  • Thanks for that. Nice job!

    Aikiweezie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25 March, 2006 17:10  

  • The reason I used the PSA versions is, well, they're clearer, better shots than anything we get in the teasers, and the copy of the Comicon trailer that's bounced around the 'net is so fuzzy that it'd look bad if I screencapped it -- it's why I didn't use the nice head shot of Maia winking that appears in the Comicon trailer, every time I resize it her nose disappears (a common problem even with the comparitively high quality of scans & grabs here).

    The only real difference I can see between PSA Scott & Ariel and Shadow Chronicles trailer Scott & Ariel is the fact that the lines in the art in the Shadow Chronicles animation are more distinct. Honestly, I don't remember any disclaimers ever about the animation not being representative of the finished product -- all I remember was talk about the voices. The hairstyles and face designs look more or less the same between the Shadow Chronicles trailers I'm skimming right now and the images I grabbed from the PSA.

    1st anonymous person: Yeah, I've always heard that Zand was intended to be the character who argues with Rick in ep. 29, and in fact is identified as such in the McKinney novel "Doomsday." Of course, then McKinney turns around and decides, no, he doesn't have the all-black eyes yet, and then proceeds to characterize him altogether differently from the outspoken realist we see in "The Robotech Masters," more as a nervous techno-nebish who grabs a kind of absolute power and is corrupted absolutely. Honestly, between the two artistic interpretations of the character we've seen in comics (the "Exedore but creepier" version from the one Sentinels issue and the "more inhuman-looking Bateau from Ghost in the Shell" in Prelude) and the development McKinney gave him throughout the five novels he played a major role, I'd say there's a much cleaner cut between the animation character he was derived from than anyone else on the grid here -- while I'd say most of the characters here retain some semblance of their histories from their previous versions, even the Sentinels characters, I doubt you'd ever see the hawk-nosed tan guy with the red "shades" referring back to an argument he had with Rick Hunter back at Macross City about human nature; he's so radically different that I doubt the powers that be consider him to be the same guy from episode #29.

    But Zand is just a weird case all around. And I don't mean to lob stones at you, more just hide behind arguments ... ^_^

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 26 March, 2006 01:32  

  • Yeah, I've always heard that Zand was intended to be the character who argues with Rick in ep. 29, and in fact is identified as such in the McKinney novel "Doomsday."

    Yep, we actually hear it directly from the source, such as it is. Protoculture Addicts #6 has the following interview excerpt with "Jack McKinney":

    P.A.: Lazlo Zand had a major role in your adaptation of the second adaptation of the second ROBOTECH war. There were also other major modifications in the original storyline. Can you point out some of them and tell us why you wrote them?

    J.M.: Zand was invented in an effort to show the, ahem, "dark side" of Protoculture on a human. He is based on a nameless character who was standing next to Lang -- evidently an aide or subordinate of some kind -- during a conference in the Macross section of Robotech.

    (Early Protoculture Addicts issues--how's that for obscure references? ;) 

    Of course, then McKinney turns around and decides, no, he doesn't have the all-black eyes yet,

    Actually, McKinney maintains those eyes in both novel volume 6, chapter 2:

    "'That's nonsense, Commander,' said Professor Zand, who had Dr. Lang's marblelike eyes."

    and volume 7 (The first Second Generation novel), chapter 17:

    "His eyes seemed to be all iris, as Lang's has been ever since Lang had taken that Protoculture boost aboard the SDF-1 when it first landed."


    and then proceeds to characterize him altogether differently from the outspoken realist we see in "The Robotech Masters," more as a nervous techno-nebish who grabs a kind of absolute power and is corrupted absolutely.

    Interestingly, although his viewpoint (that there is little difference between Humans and the aliens) was at first portrayed as being more realist, we learn just two episodes later that his opinion was wrong (to the stunned disappointment of both sides), and there is actually a genetically engineered difference between the two races that make the aliens more warlike. Maybe that's when his crisis of confidence came about. ;)

    Honestly, between the two artistic interpretations of the character we've seen in comics (the "Exedore but creepier" version from the one Sentinels issue and the "more inhuman-looking Bateau from Ghost in the Shell" in Prelude) and the development McKinney gave him throughout the five novels he played a major role, I'd say there's a much cleaner cut between the animation character he was derived from than anyone else on the grid here -- while I'd say most of the characters here retain some semblance of their histories from their previous versions, even the Sentinels characters, I doubt you'd ever see the hawk-nosed tan guy with the red "shades" referring back to an argument he had with Rick Hunter back at Macross City about human nature; he's so radically different that I doubt the powers that be consider him to be the same guy from episode #29.

    Yet, McKinney makes the clear connection between the novel's Zand and this unnamed character in that 1989 interview, well after he had already written the Second Generation and the Sentinels novels and even after Zand's cameo in the Sentinels Wedding Special comic. Indeed, the connection of Zand as a former Lang lackey is actually mentioned in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. That connection is as strong (or as nebulous, your pick) as the connection between the no-nonsense Maia with short purple hair and the physics-defying hallucination of a giggly girl with long dark blue hair. :)

    But Zand is just a weird case all around.

    Well, this is Robotech--no one said it had to make sense. ;) This is just to point out that Dr. Zand doesn't belong in the "Shadow Chronicles/Other" category because he appears in the Sentinels comics (as you noted), in the novels, and ultimately in Macross episode 29 back in 1985. He does have three unique portrayals in three different media, but isn't one aim of this website all about connecting the dots? :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 March, 2006 03:55  

  • I think what jonathan was referring to by the "no, he didn't have the all-black eyes yet" is Zand getting them (IIRC) in "The Zentraedi Rebellion".

    By Blogger Jeid, at 26 March, 2006 08:42  

  • Yep, the Zentraedi Rebellion was an oddball, and Zand was an oddball to begin with (a plot contrivance in search of meaning :). Indeed, that Zentraedi Rebellion passage conflicts the Robotech Chronology that "McKinney" wrote years earlier ("2013: Zand takes particular interest in the infant Dana after undergoing a Protoculture mindboost").

    Still, what was shown before in the first 18 volumes and that comic special was there, and the novelist(s) themselves make the clear connection back to the 1985 animation. If minor conflicting secondary material was reason enough to bump stuff off the chart, then that should have bumped Maia's "Before" picture also, thanks to all the conflicting secondary material. (Maia/Aurora even has the whole name conflict, whereas the only name issue Zand has is whether his full name has two z's. ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 March, 2006 11:32  

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