ROBOBLOG III Archives

5.18.2007

The Roboblog Chronicles: Episode 7.5 | Spots of News

Good gravy, this is technically the thirteenth episode of The Roboblog Chronicles! Despite being 7.5, this is actually the comments thread episode for episode 6, where I got talking about Robotech II: The Sentinels. Alas, I only hit the comments of two commenters, so I'm definitely going to pick another night and cover some more comments -- you guys said a lot of interesting stuff I really, REALLY want to address!



Elsewhere:

  • Robotech.com has a pair of new polls asking whether you the major boobage on display in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was too much or not. Yes, kids, Robotech.com is perpetuating the topic that will never die. *sigh*

  • Palladium Books has issued a new press release that, among other things, indicates that the upcoming Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles RPG book has not been formally scheduled yet, and may in fact not even come out this year. As publisher Kevin Siembieda says:

    Can we really get all these books out in 2007?

    Probably not. Exactly how many are published will depend largely on the sales of recent releases, online products, and books released throughout the Summer.

    While Palladium is doing much, much better than a year ago, we are not out of the woods nor working at full capacity.

    Cash flow issues (translation: not enough money) continue to dog us, which is why the first 10 titles on the list, above, are tentative even though the manuscripts are sitting on my shelf. Likewise, there are a dozen key titles that need reprinting, but we don’t yet have the cash to print them.

    February through May are always slow sales months for everyone in the RPG business. We’re hoping Summer (and Fall) sales rock, including the sale of specialty items offered only online (T-shirts, prints, greeting cards, etc.). If they sell, we can offer more product and do more reprints. The more we publish, the more money we make and the stronger we get, and that means we can publish more books.

    And here's hoping they make that money, because I want that Shadow Chronicles book on my shelf.

    For Palladium's full list of upcoming books and new merchandise (the greeting cards and stamps are pretty damn cool), read the whole release. Thanks to Treiz for passing this along!

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8 Comments:

  • You bring up an interesting point. Tommy says that the Haydonites character design was unfinished. This is odd because there is so much about The Sentinels that screams "concept phase". There are many versions of the story that don't match, no real good character design art of anyone who shows up later in the show, only the first eight scripts (less than two weeks of a thirteen week show) have been proven to exist, etc. Honestly, I shouldn't they have settled on a story and character designs and finished the scripts BEFORE the process of animating the series had begun?

    Tommy is a huge New Generation fanboy. He always says they did the Shadow Chronicles because everyone wanted to know what happened to Rick Hunter. Well, I didn't. In Macross, Hikaru and Misa along with the whole crew of the SDF-2 Megaroad are lost and never heard from again. As you mention, there story was already told. BUT, was Rick's story already told, or only partially told? What I mean is, I accepted that he and the SDF-3 were lost. But with all Scott's talk about Admiral Hunter during The New Generation, I wanted to see what happened BEFORE he was lost. The Sentinels was meant to bridge the gap between the sagas, and I do believe that could have worked if the wrinkles in the story were ironed out a little. But instead, we get what amounts to The New Generation part II. And as for the question Tommy said everyone wanted answered, he didn't even really answer that! He gave Rick 90 seconds of screen time and left a cliff hanger almost exactly the same as the one that has been in place for 20 years.

    Don't get me wrong, I like The Shadow Chronicles. But I would love to see HG explore doing something with The Sentinels. It just bothers me how easily Tommy dismisses this. The story has already been told, he says. But which version is 'offical'? The Sentinels characters in Shadow Chronicles are treated too much like returning characters. Why can't we see their history?

    I didn't mean to make this comment so critical. Honest.

    Ok, less critical......why doesn't someone release Zillion? Or at least Taiwan bootleg fan subs like the ones I bought of Orguss.....which is now having an official release only two months after I bought the badly-subbed DVDs. I guess there isn't much of a perceived market today for the more classic anime. And honestly, I don't know if it would sell. Orgus was a "Super Dimension" show release less than 10 years after it aired and it still couldn't sell good enough to get through more than half the series. Zillion is now over 15 years old and was a show based on a toy gun laser tag-esque game. Ok, it probably wouldn't sell. But I'd love to see the whole series.

    I almost forgot. As for the three episodes not having all their footage completed, HG and Macek always said 'three episodes completed', but I had my doubts. I was also wondering about the opening credits. We know what was put together for the Sentinels 'movie' was scenes from the episodes and the openings of Southern Cross and Mospeada. But did they start work on the actual opening that would have been used if it had gone to series? I ask because there are several stills of Rick, Lisa, Vince, and I believe Max and Jack in very action-oriented poses. I think Rick has a rocket launcher. Nothing like this was in episodes 1 - 3. Where does this come from. I asked Carl Macek and he kind of talked around an answer.


    --Admiral DMC McKeever

    By Blogger Admiral DMC McKeever, at 18 May, 2007 06:37  

  • -Tomy sure us a FANBOY( and only that).--


    -Regardding the RPG - oh Man does Robotech always have to be a trademark for Delays( endleees delayss) -And i was really looking forward to it..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 May, 2007 08:22  

  • I think the problem with revisiting the Hunter storyline is that most Robotech fans already know "what happened" and have settled upon their particular version of how those events happened. Sure, HG can redo The Sentinels, but I wonder how much of that would actually turn out to be something "new." Unlike the similarly suited "Clone Wars" portion of Star Wars, which was relatively untouched by later fiction, The Sentinels has an entire history of material in place. I just wonder, given how badly some fans have reacted to TSC, whether we'd not see a similar effect with a retelling of Sentinels?

    Of course, with a retelling we run into the problem of how much change is too much -- ie., would it still be "The Sentinels" if Garuda and Praxis were eliminated from the storyline?

    Re: Unfinished Sentinels scenes: I remember reading some years back that the only reason that Macross animation was used in the compiled Sentinels OAV was because there wasn't the full 90 minutes worth of animation required for the OAV, so older animation was used to pad the feature out. There's probably some unfinished / unavailable art (animation) running around: just look at the box art for Sentinels (which I think contains the pose Admiral DMC McKeever was talking about). How much -- and to what extent it's available -- is anyone's guess.

    By Blogger JHC, at 18 May, 2007 09:19  

  • Just noticed your label "Robotech Art 3 is a really weird book that probably needed to go through another draft". I must agree. The book was delayed (as EVERYTHING Robotech has been) because they added more pics. That's funny because the book looks so empty compared to Art 1. Also, the could have edited it again during that time and get out the BD Edwards error and the Macross character Sentinels code names and the contradictions. But the strangest thing to me is that HG still had the rights to Megazone 23, and yet there is not a single picture or even one page of line art from Robotech: The Movie. AND, for a book on The Movie and The Sentinels, they don't even mention that Andrews from the movie was originally the Edwards character.

    I'm tired.

    ----Admiral DMC McKeever

    By Blogger Admiral DMC McKeever, at 19 May, 2007 01:12  

  • JLS
    Do you think the polls on Robotech.com are to gage fan reaction in the effort to possibly “tweak out” or refine the character designs for the next installment of Shadow Chronicles. If they were to redefine existing characters do you think it would hurt the feeling of continuity going into the next episode? If they are only currently hashing out designs for characters that means a very long wait for a future production of Shadow Chronicles. Will we ever see any merchandise for The Shadow Chronicles, a year seems like a long time just for some repaints of already existing MPC’s. To be a Robotech fan is to be a patient fan I guess.
    --Rosic

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 May, 2007 08:47  

  • Captain JLS,

    I think there might be a big danger in adding more "Sentinels Generation" characters in any proposed rework of Sentinels. I say this, because of the function of the Sentinels as a concurrent bridge series in the Robotech universe. You said that the Macross universe characters' stories were told, but that's not exactly true. Rick and Lisa's relationship, with their split-second decision to be together in "To the Stars" has not been tested or proven. The events of the Sentinels continue that plot thread.

    Then, Max and Miriya have to be major players as they are senior pilots and several "functional" story bridge elements have to be dealt with, including the appearance of Dana's sister and the way they think about their daughter and her situation in contrast to how Dana is thinking about her parents and their situation in Southern Cross. Then you've got another handful of older, but new characters, Vince, Jean, Wolff, T.R. Edwards, whose lives are tied to the Macross universe as a bridge, and need to be explained and play out.

    Finally, add in the Sentinels aliens' major players, along with Rem and Cabell, and all their personal stories, and you've got a lot to handle. By having Jack and Karen as the main "new, young" characters of the REF, it allows a focal point. You could have a few more minor characters with little function, if you wanted. But, remember, Sentinels is a bridge series; it's purpose is to make sense of the Robotech back story, the events/tech/and sometimes people of the 2nd and 3rd Generations, and bridge the Macross generation into a meeting with the other 2 generations so the viewer can move onto TSC/EOTC/etc. Technically, Dana, the 15th, and company are part of the Sentinels Generation, they just happen to be on Earth, and at the conclusion of the Sentinels, those characters are essentially all reintroduced into the mix alongside the similarly aged Jack and Karen. I think all this is important food for thought–the function and practicality that frames the Sentinels plot. (And, as a note, having more older characters lends a distinct atmosphere to the tale than the other gens).

    As an ending aside, the new RT.com poll seems flawed. The choices don't say anything. I mean, yes the uniforms were too tight in TSC, and yes they were fairly tight in The New Generation, but they don't say anything about the anatomy problems, which are at the heart of the issue, as a choice. How can one even vote accurately?

    By Anonymous Skull 23, at 20 May, 2007 15:06  

  • Skull 23: This is totally typical. I've noticed that whenever you bring up a concern with The Powers That Be at HG, they reframe it in a way that doesn't really address your concern, or just plain doesn't make any sense. You bring up distracting cleavage, they decide you're talking about too-tight uniforms. Likewise, about half the time the provided responses on their polls are so glib and so narrowly defined that you can't find something you WANT to agree with anyway. At least, that's been my experience. This just happens to be an infuriating intersection point of these two phenomena.

    My point regarding Sentinels (and maybe this didn't exactly come off -- I didn't really rewatch what I said before posting it up) is that in order for Sentinels to be launched TODAY in lieu of something like Shadow Chronicles it probably have to be refocused in this way -- make Jack and Karen the POV figures, add some more characters in their age group, steer the focus away from the older generation. I honestly think that's the only way Sentinels could work as a new jumping-on point animation in the mold of what Shadow Chronicles was supposed to be. (I'm not saying Shadow Chronicles was successful in any way, shape, or form, but you can see the effort to make it such a thing.)

    Now, with Shadow Chronicles out there, and maybe when we see the eventual (and you KNOW it's coming in the next handful of years, unless HG signed some sort of dumb perpetual agreement with ADV) FUNimation Robotech TV series release, maybe THEN they could just play Sentinels straight, maintaining the focus on Rick, Lisa, Max, etc. But as an exercise in rebuilding the franchise and garnering new viewers, a new fanbase, I really think the focus should be less on the "old timers" and more on their successors. Honestly, I think this is one of Shadow Chronicles' failings -- Vince Grant is in his fifties, and is TREATED like an established character even though he's not really, and really comes off as the main character of the movie. Not young Marcus Rush, who gets barely any real moments of character development, any real depth to speak of. Maia Sterling only gets to wink, smirk, and scream. And Alex? He gets to die, poor guy.

    Oh, and I wouldn't count Dana and Bowie as part of the same generation as Jack and Karen -- there's about a six to nine year gap between the two pairs (depending on how you peg their ages -- Jack and Karen's ages are totally different depending on whether you go with Art 3's numbers or the Sentinels scripts' ages), and that fistful of years, I think, would constitute a generational gap. Dana and Bowie were born in the WAKE of the First Robotech War, while Jack and Karen would actually have memories of the pre-Robotech age, before the Zentraedi attack turned the world upside-down. I believe this would give them an altogether different worldview based on their experiences, on the things they've seen and lived through.

    Rosic: Yeah, I think that's rather the goal of the poll, though as Skull 23 said, it's a really badly made poll that doesn't quite hit the issue as framed by the members of the fanbase who have complained. I don't think it would harm the visual continuity any worse than the way the characters were redesigned for Shadow Chronicles, or even the way the Macross characters were redesigned for Sentinels back in the day.

    Will we ever see Shadow Chronicles merch? Y'know, I'd like to know the answer to that myself.

    Admiral DMC McKeever: B.D. Edwards, of course, is only kind of an error -- like you said, he was B.D. Edwards until Robotech The Movie was rewritten to move it from 2010 to 2027. Hell, Edwards's profile in Art 3 still references the fact that he got his scars during the attempted coup in 2010 -- in the original 2010 cut of Robotech The Movie.

    Maybe they would have had to give Cannon Films some kind of a cut if they used any Robotech The Movie art? Who knows.

    Delayed for additional art? Geez, I wonder how bereft of pictures it was to begin with! Yikes!

    I think the familiar "charging into action" pose we see on the Streamline/Orion VHS box is probably just a piece of promo art, just like the "Stand back, team -- I'll handle this!" group shot that's usually on the front of the Sentinels video releases. Either that, or it's from some piece of promo animation we've never seen, maybe the opening animation sequence? That would make sense. (And gets me thinking -- is there some Sentinels opening sequence animation floating around that we've never seen? Hmm.)

    By Blogger Captain JLS, at 20 May, 2007 18:13  

  • Yeah, why wasn't one of the choices in the poll, "Are the breasts on the female characters in the Shadows Chronicles too large?"

    By Blogger Ginrai, at 21 May, 2007 19:59  

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