The Promise of ROBOTECH Sequels
ROBOTECH II: The Sentinels (1988)
ROBOTECH: The Movie (1986)
ROBOTECH: 3000 (1999)
ROBOTECH III: Odyssey
ROBOTECH: The Shadow Chronicles (2006)
ROBOTECH: The Shadow Rising (2008?)
Is it dead or is it not? Will it be made or will it not? Those are the central questions that fans have wondering about since the sequel to 2006's The Shadow Chronicles was announced. The Shadow Chronicles director Tommy Yune had made mention that the movie followup to the 2006 movie would be released roughly two years after The Shadow Chronicles, and was to be called The Shadow Rising. Of course, this announcement also negated the possibility of a television series based around the events of The Shadow Chronicles that was previously mentioned. Of course, the broken promise of The Shadow Rising is that it never happened due to script, animation, and other portions of the production stalling out. Typical. There have been some rumors that Harmony Gold USA is working on this in secret and will just wage a campaign of Shock-and-Awe on the fans with a finished product to prevent the recent fuck-ups with ROBOTECH universe.
ROBOTECH: Love Live Alive (2013)
You know that a studio is desperate for generating cash and buzz when they take something like 1985's Genesis Climber MOSPEADA: Love Live Alive music video OVA and sell it to us ROBOTECH fans with a repackaged The Shadow Chronicles. This shows the life of fan favorite Lancer after the end of the 3rd Robotech War. He is interviewed by a reporter about Lancer's experiences, and this causes Love Live Alive to be nothing more than an glorified clip-show. The only element that is new is some limited animation showing Lancer during his time with the 10th Mars Division, and how he came to be on Earth. This is just the broken promise of just being a hollow cash grab.
ROBOTECH Academy (2015)
This was going to be yet another ROBOTECH series, and Harmony Gold USA was using kickstarter to fund this project that seemed like ROBOTECH: Ender's Game meets Star Trek Voyager. There was a lot of concept art and some interesting ideas, especially the enemy: "The Children of Zor". Howover, the goal of half-a-million for the pilot was not met, and Harmony God USA cancelled the kickstarter before the end, raising only $190,000. Tommy Yune has stated that ROBOTECH: Academy is not dead and new funding sources are being sought out. Yeah...good luck with that. This is yet another broken promise ROBOTECH sequel that further reinforces the fact that the universe of ROBOTECH is adrift.
Is There a Future for ROBOTECH?
Should ROBOTECH Be Remade or Rebooted?
The reason that an original ROBOTECH fan like me is okay with this is because I realized when rewatching the show via the ROBOTECH Protoculture edition DVD set in my 30's that ROBOTECH has issues and I believe that these can only be resolved via a complete rework, especially The Masters. This remake would allow the story, the dialog, and the animation to be married more harmoniously than the 1980's redub of three separate anime series that were never meant to be connected. While the original Yamato and its sequels were much more a mess with very silly elements, ROBOTECH has better bones to draw on and be constructed around. Going back to my point above, I believe that the paths for new ROBOTECH works is limited and If Harmony Gold USA is not going to make The Sentients or give us a proper prequel, than giving the original saga the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 treatment is the only choice to give the world and us fans new ROBOTECH.
What Harmony Gold Should Do With ROBOTECH
Once again, I think that ROBOTECH saga is a story has beginning, a middle, and an ending already written into its DNA, and pushing beyond those borders is extremely difficult and a waste of time for Harmony Gold USA...let the comics do that. Working within that structure, here are the projects that I think Harmony Gold USA should concentrate on instead of chasing their tail.
Making the Fucking Sentinels Already!!!
Even after all of these years, I still think the overall story for the REF and its (mis)adventures on the other side of the galaxy are a great solid space opera that could be still told and enjoyed...with some updating and tweaking. In my opinion, The Sentinels is the last great ROBOTECH series that can be told in an massive episodic format. There is no other story that fits so organically into the already established universe of ROBOTECH. With some fresh eyes and brains on long suffering The Sentinels, we ROBOTECH fans could finally have another great saga to fall in love with again. Harmony Gold USA could just pull the trigger, ignore The Shadow Chronicle idea, and give us the story that we've been waiting on.
Make a Prequel Movie...a Good Prequel Movie!
A Real Ending...3rd Attempt
The 3rd ROBOTECH series ends on a cliffhanger, and for fans of the series, it was an itch that they could never scratch. At the end of The Next Generation, the SDF-3 near folded back into Normal Space with the rest of the REF fleet, most of the protoculture is gone, and Scott leaves Marlene to locate the SDF-3 and the Hunters. This ending always presented an issue for the ROBOTECH universe, because fans demanded an ending. At the moment there have been two attempts at an ending: Jack McKinney's 1989 book The End of the Circle and the 2006 The Shadow Chronicles.
Either one aren't that good...sorry. I think combining elements of the those previous works, plus some of the ideas of what happened to characters of The New Generation. One of the best conclusions to the whole ROBOTECH saga I've seen is the ending narration to The End of the Circle, where Admiral Lisa Hayes-Hunter writes for a fictional book about her experiences during the Robotech Wars, and ends it with a summary of the main characters and the events. Damn good writing there and it should be part of the canonized ending and not the Haydonites. I am not sure what the animation work would look like or if it even possible, but I would like a better ending to the saga that is not some goddamn set-up for yet another war or aborted series.
The Invid Invasion of Earth
There has been some attempts by author Jack McKinney, Palladium Books RPG, and the comic series of ROBOTECH: The Invid Invasion, The Invid War, and Rolling Thunder. I've always thought that the time after The Masters and The New Generation was a fascinating time period in the ROBOTECH timeline and ripe for a good animated story to tell the story of the Invid Invasion, the Jonathan Wolfe coming to Earth, and the escape of the 15th ATAC from Earth. This could be handled in a limited animated series of between 6-12 episodes, and finally show us some plot elements that have been unanswered. It would also be interesting to see the REF command reaction to the events on Earth, especially since there is a time-gap between the REF and Earth. These limited animated series would connect The Masters and The Next Generation together, and could even end with the 21st Mars Division leaving for their faithful battle over Earth.
Next Time on FWS...
There is an upcoming new series on FWS: Military Profiles. This new series will be devoted to detailing and profiling the future military organizations seen in science fiction. FWS readers Galvars has been good enough to write the profile of the massive Imperium of Man armed forces, starting with the Imperial Knights.