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Robotech is a science fiction franchise. The franchise began with an 85-episode science fiction anime TV series produced by Harmony Gold USA in association with Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. and first released in the United States in 1985. It was adapted from three original Japanese television series.[1]



U.N. Spacy Roundel

In the series, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island.[2] With this technology, Earth developed robotic technologies, such as transformable mecha, to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions.[3]


Contents [hide] 1 Name origin 2 Fictional chronology 3 Television and film 3.1 The original television series (1985) 3.2 Robotech: The Movie (1986, US) 3.3 Robotech Wars (1986) 3.4 Robotech II: The Sentinels (1987, canceled) 3.5 Robotech III, IV, V (proposed) 3.6 Robotech 3000 (2000, canceled) 3.7 Robotech UN Public Service Announcement (2005) 3.8 Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (2006) 3.9 Robotech: Love Live Alive (2013) 3.10 Robotech: Shadow Rising (planned, delayed) 3.11 Robotech Academy (current) 3.12 Unofficial and parody productions 3.13 Proposed live-action film

4 Other media 4.1 Art books 4.2 Comics 4.3 Collectible card game 4.4 Music and soundtracks 4.5 Novelizations 4.6 Role-playing games 4.7 Toys 4.8 Video games

5 Reception of adaptation 6 Distribution 7 References 8 External links


Name origin[edit]

Prior to the release of the TV series, the name Robotech was used by model kit manufacturer Revell on their Robotech Defenders line in the mid-1980s. The line consisted of mecha model kits imported from Japan and featured in anime titles such as The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Century Orguss and Fang of the Sun Dougram. The kits were originally intended to be a marketing tie-in to a similarly named comic book series by DC Comics, which was cancelled after only two issues.[4]

At the same time, Harmony Gold licensed the Macross TV series for direct-to-video distribution in 1984, but their merchandising plans were compromised by Revell's prior distribution of the Macross kits. In the end, both parties signed into a co-licensing agreement and the Robotech name was adopted into the TV syndication of Macross combined with Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA.[4]

Fictional chronology[edit] For a more detailed timeline, see Robotech Wars The Robotech chronology, according to Harmony Gold, is illustrated below:


Year

Generation / Saga (release date)

1999 (2009) – 2014 (1) Robotech: The Macross Saga (1985) 2022 Robotech II: The Sentinels * (1987) 2027 Robotech: The Movie * (1986) 2029–2030 (2) Robotech: The Masters (1985) 2031 (2042) – 2044 (3) Robotech: The New Generation (1985) 2044– Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (2006)

Note: Asterisked works are now considered 'secondary continuity' — that is, that their events exist in the continuity of Robotech, but 'don't count' when conflicts arise with the primary continuity that comprises the three-part Robotech TV series and 2006's Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles.

In 2002, with the publication of the Wildstorm (DC) comics, Harmony Gold officially decided to retcon the Robotech Universe. The following Robotech material is now relegated to the status of secondary continuity: The Sentinels in all its incarnations. Robotech: The Movie Robotech comics published by Comico, Eternity, Academy, and Antarctic Press. Robotech RPGs published by Palladium Books. Robotech novels written by Jack McKinney, most notably The End of the Circle.

While these materials are not precisely 'retired' or 'removed' from the continuity, their events are subject to critical review, and are strictly subordinate to the 'official' events of the 85-episode animated series.

Television and film[edit]

The original television series (1985)[edit]

Robotech


RobotechTitle1985.jpg

Title screen from the original broadcast.


Genre Epic, Mecha, Science fiction, Space opera, Drama, Romance Anime film

Codename: Robotech


Directed by Robert V. Barron, Ippei Kuri

Produced by Ahmed Agrama, Kenji Yoshida

Written by Carl Macek

Music by Ulpio Minucci

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Released March 1, 1985

Runtime 73 minutes Anime television series

Robotech: The Macross Saga


Directed by Robert V. Barron, Ippei Kuri

Written by Carl Macek,[5] Steve Kramer

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Network Syndicated

Original run March 4, 1985 – April 22, 1985

Episodes 36 (List of episodes) Anime television series

Robotech: The Masters


Directed by Robert V. Barron, Ippei Kuri

Written by Carl Macek, Steve Kramer

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Network Syndicated

Original run April 23, 1985 – May 24, 1985

Episodes 24 (List of episodes) Anime television series

Robotech: The New Generation


Directed by Robert V. Barron, Ippei Kuri

Written by Carl Macek, Steve Kramer

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Network Syndicated

Original run May 27, 1985 – June 28, 1985

Episodes 25 (List of episodes) Anime film

Robotech: The Movie (The Untold Story)


Directed by Carl Macek, Noboru Ishiguro

Produced by Ahmed Agrama, Toru Miura

Written by Ardwight Chamberlain, Carl Macek

Music by Three Dog Night

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Released July 25, 1986

Runtime 82 minutes Original video animation

Robotech II: The Sentinels


Directed by Carl Macek

Produced by Ahmed Agrama, Frank Agrama

Written by Kent Butterworth, Carl Macek

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Released 1987

Runtime 75 minutes Original video animation

Robotech 3000


Directed by Carl Macek

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Netter Digital

Released Canceled

Runtime 3 minutes Anime film

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles


Directed by Dong-Wook Lee, Tommy Yune

Produced by Frank Agrama, Alan Letz, Jason Netter

Written by Tommy Yune, Frank Agrama, Ford Riley

Music by Scott Glasgow

Studio Harmony Gold USA, Dr. Movie, Tatsunoko

Released August 25, 2006

Runtime 88 minutes Original video animation

Robotech: Love Live Alive


Studio Harmony Gold USA, Tatsunoko

Released July 23, 2013

Runtime 90 minutes Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Main article: Robotech (TV series)

Robotech is a story adapted with edited content and revised dialogue from the animation of three different mecha anime series: 1.The Super Dimension Fortress Macross 2.Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross 3.Genesis Climber MOSPEADA

Harmony Gold's cited reasoning for combining these unrelated series was its decision to market Macross for American weekday syndication television, which required a minimum of 65 episodes at the time (thirteen weeks at five episodes per week). Macross and the two other series each had fewer episodes than required, since they originally aired in Japan as weekly series. On some television stations, the syndicated run was preceded by the broadcast premiere of Codename: Robotech, a feature-length pilot.

This combination resulted in a storyline that spans three generations, as mankind must fight three destructive Robotech Wars in succession with various invading forces, each of which is motivated in one way or another by a desire for a powerful energy source called "protoculture." While each of the three animated series used for its footage informs its content, the Robotech storyline is distinct and separate from each of them. The First Robotech War (The Macross Saga) concerns humanity's discovery of a crashed alien ship and subsequent battle against a race of giant warriors called the Zentraedi, who have been sent to retrieve the ship for reasons unknown. In the course of this chapter, Earth is nearly annihilated, the Zentraedi are defeated, and humans gain knowledge of the energy source called protoculture. Humanity also learns of the Robotech Masters whose galactic empire the Zentraedi protected and patrolled. The Second Robotech War (The Masters) focuses on the arrival in Earth orbit of the Robotech Masters, who have come seeking what turns out to be the sole means in the universe of producing protoculture. Through a combination of mistrust and arrogance, their attempts at retrieving this meet with opposition from the humans and unleash a war that leaves the Masters defeated and Earth awash in the spores of a plant called the Flower of Life—the source of protoculture and a beacon to the mysterious Invid who scour the galaxy for its presence. The Third Robotech War (The New Generation) begins with the arrival on Earth of the Invid, who are lured by the Flower of Life and rapidly conquer the planet. References in the previous two chapters explain to viewers that many of the heroes of the First Robotech War had left Earth to seek out the Robotech Masters on a preemptive mission, and it is this Robotech Expeditionary Force that sends missions back from across the galaxy to attempt a liberation of their homeworld. The storyline follows one group of freedom fighters as they work their way towards the final battle with the Invid.

See Robotech Wars to find out how the gap between the series is filled.

Robotech: The Movie (1986, US)[edit]

Main article: Robotech: The Movie

Robotech: The Movie, also called Robotech: The Untold Story, is a feature film and was the first new Robotech adventure created after the premiere of the original series. It uses footage from the Megazone 23 Part 1 OVA (Original Video Animation; made-for-video animated feature) combined with scenes from "Southern Cross" and additional original animation produced for the film.

The original plan for the film was to have it set during the Macross Saga, parallel to the SDF-1's return to Earth from Pluto. The film would also have served as a prequel to the Sentinels, as both projects were initially meant to share many characters. Macek worked with the OVA's original creators to make the story and the new ending to work. However, the film had to be changed after the distributor of the film, Cannon Films, saw an incomplete rough cut of the film and were upset by it. They ordered Macek to remove multiple scenes from the film and to add more violence (most of the scenes removed were scenes setting up characters and showing the girls interacting). Macek reluctantly did what they ordered, and created a new script and rough edit for the film in less than 24 hours. When the distributors saw Macek act out the new film, they were much more pleased with the new cut.[6] The opening night in Texas saw successful figures, but Cannon Films pulled out after it was noted that most attendants were adults, as the key range of advertisements were scheduled for children's television. The film saw limited success in Argentina and Belgium.[citation needed]

In 2011, A&E Home Video released, as a part of their Robotech: The Complete Series collection, a 29-minute version of Robotech: The Movie containing only footage used from "Southern Cross". No attempt to remaster the footage was attempted.[7]

Robotech Wars (1986)[edit]

A promotional VHS video created by Matchbox included with the Robotech Wars playset. This video includes two episodes entirely from various re-used clips of The Macross Saga. Titled "To the End of the Universe" and "Battle Royale," these episodes contain no new footage, and are not meant to follow any continuity established in the TV series.[8]

Robotech II: The Sentinels (1987, canceled)[edit]

Main article: Robotech II: The Sentinels

This aborted American-produced series would have followed the continuing adventures of Rick and Lisa Hunter and the Robotech Expedition during the events of The Masters and The New Generation. The feature-length pilot is composed of the first three (and only) episodes that were produced. Being a sequel/spinoff to the combined series, The Sentinels featured characters from all three Robotech sagas and introduced the SDF-3 along with an overview of their new mission. The series was planned to have total of 65 episodes.[9]

In Robotech Art 3: The Sentinels, Macek blamed the cancellation of the series on the crash of the Yen/Dollar exchange rate,[10] which caused toy partner Matchbox to withdraw from the project due to the increased cost. Since Harmony Gold lacked the funds to produce the series on its own, production ceased after only three episodes.

Efforts to petition the completion of this series failed, but most of the completed footage—re-edited and rewritten as a feature-length production—was released on VHS by Palladium Books.[11] In 2011, a "remastered" version was released on the A&E DVD set, ROBOTECH: THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES DVD. This version has opening titles resembling those found on the "Robotech Remastered" DVD's, as well as a new ending with text explaining the fate of the SDF-3. Also, all of the flashback footage used from "The Macross Saga" has been removed, including the re-used footage from the episode "Wedding Bells." [12]

Robotech III, IV, V (proposed)[edit]

Macek revealed ideas for another proposed series, Robotech III: The Odyssey, which would have picked up where The New Generation and end of Robotech II: The Sentinels left off, and eventually created a circular storyline that would end where the original Robotech began in a giant 260-episode cycle to fill up all the weekdays in a year. According to Macek, The Odyssey would involved the SDF-3 travelling back into the past to the days before the birth of Zor (as well as Scott Bernard's search for the SDF-3). The SDF-3's crew would become citizens of the Robotech Masters' homeworld and change time by becoming a part of its history. Ultimately, it would be revealed that Lynn Minmei was the mother of Zor, making Minmei the focal point of Robotech. The final episode of the Odyssey would be of Zor dying and his Super Dimension Fortress (the SDF-1) being launched into space, and eventually crash landing on Earth in 1999. The next episode after that would be "Boobytrap", episode 1 of the original series which in turn will create an endless loop within the Robotech universe.[13][14] After the failure of Sentinels, Odyssey never went into development, although some of its ideas were worked into the final Jack McKinney novel The End of the Circle, which wrapped up all of the outstanding plot threads left by the original series and the previous Robotech novels.[15]

Fan publication Macross Life interviewed Harmony Gold executive Richard Firth in 1986, where he revealed that Macek had "plans through ROBOTECH 5, which would give us an episode for each day of the year for a year and a half." He also said that these two installments would have brought the series to 285 episodes. Regarding the plot, Firth mentioned a "retired Commodore Hunter, whom ever that may be, could very well be speaking at the graduation of the later day cadets or whatever, and they ask him to tell them the story all over again: it comes back [to the first episode of the series]."

It should be noted that Macek himself has never mentioned Robotech IV or V in any interviews or writings. Taking the three different "generations" of the original series as separate parts, and the canceled Robotech II: The Sentinels as the "fourth" part, Firth could have been referring to the proposed Robotech III: The Odyssey as Robotech 5, since it would be a fifth part of the overall saga.

Robotech 3000 (2000, canceled)[edit]

Main article: Robotech 3000

Macek attempted another sequel with the development of Robotech 3000. This all-CGI series would have been set a millennium in the future of the Robotech universe and feature none of the old series' characters. In the three-minute trailer, an expedition is sent to check on a non-responsive mining outpost and is attacked by "infected" Veritech mecha. The idea was abandoned midway into production after negative reception within the company, negative fan reactions at the FanimeCon anime convention in 2000, and financial difficulties within Netter Digital who was animating the show. The trailer is hosted on the official Robotech website, and was included in the 2007 release of the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles 2-Disc Collector's DVD, along with behind-the-scenes motion capture footage.

Robotech UN Public Service Announcement (2005)[edit]

A sixty-second public service announcement for the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, featuring Scott Bernard and Ariel, was animated during the production of The Shadow Chronicles. Although it did not use the original voice actors and the dialogue was somewhat out-of-character, it nonetheless marked the first fully completed Robotech footage in many years.[16]

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (2006)[edit]

Main article: Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles

In 2002, director Tommy Yune announced development of a new sequel film, which was untitled until 2004 as Robotech: Shadow Force. The storyline overlaps with and continues from the unresolved ending of the original series. The title of the story-arc was soon changed to Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. The first trailers with finished animation were shown at Anime Expo and Comic-Con International in 2005. It was not until February 2006, when Kevin McKeever, operations coordinator at Harmony Gold, was able to confirm that the pilot movie had been completed. After a series of delays, FUNimation Entertainment was finally announced as the home video, broadcast, and theatrical distributor at the 2006 Comic-Con International in San Diego. Harmony Gold premiered the movie at various film festivals in 2006, and it was first seen by a public audience at MechaCon on August 9, 2006, where it was showcased as a charity screening to help raise funds for the ongoing Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita recovery effort. A limited theatrical run followed in January 2007, and the film was released on DVD on February 6, 2007.[17] A 2-disc collector's edition was released in November 2007.[18]

Robotech: Love Live Alive (2013)[edit]

Main article: Robotech: Love Live Alive

First revealed in late 2011 in the final minutes of Carl Macek's Robotech Universe, a documentary on the making of Robotech dedicated to the then-recent passing of Macek, Love Live Alive is an adaptation of the 1985 Genesis Climber Mospeada OVA, Love Live Alive, incorporating some brand new animation. The film was released on DVD on July 23, 2013 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[19]

Robotech: Shadow Rising (planned, delayed)[edit]

On July 27, 2007, at their Comic-Con International panel, Harmony Gold and Yune unveiled the second entry of the Shadow Chronicles production, titled Robotech: Shadow Rising which will be another feature movie. Pre-production reportedly began and a projected release date of sometime in 2009 was originally expected.[20] The collapse of the anime market pushed the project back, as the company was unable to find proper funding to produce material until 2013. The death of Carl Macek also pushed the project back, as the team decided that it was more important to finish the projects that Carl has more to do with. The film is still in pre-production.[21][22]

At Comic-Con 2012, Tommy Yune announced that Love Live Alive would pave the way for Shadow Rising, perhaps for 2015.[23]

Robotech Academy (current)[edit]

On July 5, 2014, Harmony Gold started a Kickstarter project for Robotech Academy, which Macek had developed before he died. The goal of this project was to raise US$500,000 to produce a new 24-minute pilot episode. The crowdfunding project was to have closed on August 9, 2014;[24] however, on August 2, the project was canceled with a pledge level of US$194,574, or 39% of its target.[25] Harmony Gold however, announced that further plans to fund the project were being explored.[26] At the 2014 Long Beach Comic Con, it was announced that the producers at Harmony Gold were in talks with at least one New media network on the prospect of producing the show.[27]

Unofficial and parody productions[edit]

In the 1990s, Seishun Shitemasu, an anime fandubbing group, produced the parodies Robotech III: Not Necessarily the Sentinels and Robotech IV: Khyron's Counterattack, using footage from, respectively, Gunbuster/Aim For The Top! and Gundam: Char's Counterattack, continuing the tradition of the original Robotech's adaptation of unrelated anime series into a single continuity.

On July 2, 2010, Ecuadorian animator Patricio "Pat" Mosquera uploaded to YouTube a teaser for Robotech Skull Knights. On August 17, 2010, second teaser revealed Rick Hunter standing in front of an image of the VF-4 shown in the final episodes of the original series. Robotech Skull Knights has not been released yet.[28] In July 2013, Patricio Mosquera was included as an animation director in the staff list in the IMDb page of Love Live Alive.[29]

On December 31, 2012, Cesar Turturro uploaded to YouTube an Argentinian fan trailer for Robotech Valkyrie Project.[30] On December, 2013 the first episode was uploaded to YouTube, and in January 2014, the second episode was also uploaded. The series was cancelled after Harmony Gold issued a "cease and desist" letter to the producers. The team was, however, hired to do the CGI effects for Robotech: Academy.

Proposed live-action film[edit]

On September 7, 2007, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Warner Bros. had acquired the film rights to Robotech and would be producing a live-action film with an as-yet-unknown release date.[31] Tobey Maguire is producing the film through his Maguire Entertainment banner and is pursuing the lead role in what the studio plans on being a tentpole science fiction franchise. Maguire stated, "We are very excited to bring Robotech to the big screen. There is a rich mythology that will be a great foundation for a sophisticated, smart and entertaining film."[31]

In an interview,[32] Harmony Gold representative Kevin McKeever said that Warner Bros. had approached Harmony Gold about the project, that Harmony Gold would have "a say" in its creative direction, and that it was not expected to affect the production schedule for Shadow Rising. He was unable to confirm any details of budget, casting, expected release date, or storyline, explaining that it was too early in the life of the project for these things to have been decided.

In June 2008, it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan had been hired to write the film, with Charles Roven and Akiva Goldsman joining Tobey Maguire as producers.[33] During the Robotech Panel at Anime Expo 2008, the involvement of Maguire and Kasdan was confirmed, with Kasdan writing the script for the live-action film. Tommy Yune also revealed that the film is planned as a re-imagining of the original Robotech universe (with new updated mecha and character designs) and will take place several years in the future, departing from the original cartoon's 2009 setting. [34]

As of November 2008, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (who both worked in Smallville, Spider-Man 2, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) are the set writers for the film.[35]

Due to undisclosed reasons, Roven is currently no longer working on the proposed film adaptation of the Robotech animated series, but he wished the remaining producers Goldsman and Maguire "fantastic luck" on the project.[36]

The Mania.com website reported on June 23, 2009, that British television writer and novelist Tom Rob Smith "has taken over writing duties" for the proposed film adaptation. Smith wrote for the British soaps Family Affairs and Bad Girls before writing a critically acclaimed crime suspense novel called Child 44. Smith will be the fourth writer or writing team to be reportedly attached to the upcoming film's pre-production.[37]

In early 2013 The Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Bros. was in talks with commercial director Nic Mathieu to direct the film.[38] On July 24, 2013 it was reported that Leonardo DiCaprio had turned down a role in Star Wars: Episode VII) and has shown interest to star as a main character in the upcoming big screen version of Robotech. DiCaprio is a longtime friend of Tobey Maguire; they co-starred in The Great Gatsby. Maguire will probably participate in the film as another one of the lead actors — while Nic Mathieu will direct.[39][40]

However, on February 4, 2015, Deadline.com reported Gianni Nunori and Mark Canton selected Michael B. Gordon to write the film's script and are looking at Andy Muschietti to direct it.[41]

On March 25, 2015, Variety announced that the Robotech franchise had been acquired by Sony Pictures, who views Robotech as a potential film franchise

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