Robotech dreams weird me out. | Right Stuf interviews Macek. | Documentary filmmaker sees Shadow Chronicles, enjoys it despite himself.
Y'know, I've been thinking about Sentinels a lot lately -- largely in the context of how when The Shadow Chronicles comes out on DVD, I'm going to have a big long night of ROBOTECH watching, and the Sentinels feature is certainly going to be a part of it. (Definitely not part of the evening's festivities: Robotech The Movie: The Untold Story.) To be honest, I've always had a soft spot for the Sentinels animation; I can still remember the first time I watched it, the morning of my birthday during ... oh, either my Freshman or Sophomore year of high school, I think. That sounds right. It's funny, I don't remember being particularly disappointed -- I think I was just having too much of a thrill finally seeing in animation scenes I'd only read about in the McKinney novels. Actually, the disappointing part was when I figured out as Minmei caught the bouquet that the feature was going to pretty much end there -- "Oh, we're not going to get any of the SDF-3 launch, are we? Crap."
Anyway, so I had this dream about some sort of college student center-like building where scenes from some ersatz cut of Sentinels were playing on monitors (I think it might have had something to do with my girlfriend talking about her classes this semester two days ago, or my pal David talking about wanting to go to the little anime con in Lawrence, KS, again this year -- last year they were on the University of Kansas campus), and then all of a sudden I notice the bizarre footage playing is running back and forth. And then suddenly Dr. Lang is in footage with Rem and some Invid Inorganics and the footage starts running backwards and I just go, "Ohh, crap." Because I know I'm the one who put the show on the monitors, and honestly, I always get a kind of sinking feeling when I stick Sentinels into the pile of ROBOTECH animation for people to watch, and I guess this was my dream taking that sinking feeling and magnifying it, as I and some other person talk about me wanting to share my passions with people -- oh, bitter dream irony!
And then I start to wake up and start to drift off again and the dream sort of resumes in the middle of some footage of Rick, Wolfe, and Lang aboard the shuttle towards the Factory Satellite, only their uniforms are these ridiculous-looking dress uniforms, and I watch it and figure it's got to be some sort of animation error, but as the scene changes the uniforms continue to look just that stupid, so I start to wonder if I just never noticed how awful the Sentinels uniform designs were. Again, everyone always makes fun of the Sentinels uniform designs, I never thought they were that bad, and so in my dream they necessarily have to look utterly ridiculous. God, the ways in which they were extra-ridiculous are just barely vivid enough that I could almost draw a picture right now ...
The eerie thing about the dream was that all the while, you know what was playing against this awful dream footage? Actual Sentinels music. That gave the whole thing a creepy ring of authenticity. It was that piece from the scenes when the shuttle was getting ready to lift off for the Factory Satellite.
God, it's like those dreams I have where there are more ROBOTECH novels with really cool-looking cover art, only completely the opposite. Ugh.
Oh, might as well post it -- if you haven't seen this (and the creepy photo) at Darkwater's blog, the latest episode of Right Stuf's Anime Today podcast features an interview with ROBOTECH story editor/"visionary" and Streamline Pictures founder Carl Macek. It's episode #32, and you can download it here. Darkwater reports that "he kind of dances around his involvement" with The Shadow Chronicles, not mentioning what exactly he did on the feature. I seem to remember Tommy Yune saying Macek basically served as a story consultant, pointing them in the direction he intended to push ROBOTECH post-Sentinels. Maybe he doesn't want to talk about it because his name wasn't in the credits ... at least, I don't remember seeing it. I dunno.
Update (12:08 p.m.): Bryan Young (see next section below) tells me Macek's name was in the credits. So I'm gonna go with EchoBaseAlpha's comment at Darkwater's blog:
I think Carl's probably tired of being the fandom's whipping boy, so why give 'em more fuel for the fire?
That made me laugh. I remember when Macek bashing was the sport of the day for all hip American otaku. So, being a ROBOTECH fan, I just kept my big yap shut ... ah, those were the days ...
Bryan Young, assistant director of the political documentary This Divided State, posted his opinions on Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles to the official blog of the documentary. An excerpt:
I don't see anyone but Robotech nerds caring about any of this at all. So, if you like Robotech and any of what I just said made any sense, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. It has the same campy awesomeness as the show and it's just entertaining as all hell.
Hey, I think he likes it.