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{{Infobox Television | bgcolour = #D0BC9B

Star Blazers is an American animated television series adaptation of the Japanese anime series, Template:Nihongo.  Star Blazers was first broadcast in the United States in 1979. Significantly, it was the first popular English-translated anime that had an over-arching plot and storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order.  It dealt with somewhat more mature themes than other productions aimed at the same target audience at the time.  As a result, it paved the way for future arc-based, plot-driven anime translations.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

==History==

http://www.starblazers.com/images/gallery_images/maingallery25.JPG

In 1978, before the debut of the American Star Blazers series, the Japanese 1977 Space Battleship Yamato movie (or Space Cruiser Yamato as it was known at the time) was dubbed into English and re-titled Space Cruiser. The movie poster illustration for this little-known release contained several inaccuracies such as the Wave Motion Gun shaft acting as a launch tube for starfighters.

Following this, Westchester Corporation identified the Space Battleship Yamato series as a potential “kids’ property” (Starlog, June 1980), and bought the rights to the first two seasons (which at that time were the only two seasons). Dubbing and editing were done by Griffin-Bacal Advertising and production and syndication by Claster Television.  The Japanese elements such as series title and scene captions were replaced or edited out.  New opening credit rolls were created featuring the "Star Blazers" logo.  Being marketed to a school-age audience, this animated space opera was bowdlerized by the American editors in order to satisfy the broadcast standards and practices offices of American TV stations.<ref name="Make way for StarBlazers">Template:Cite news</ref>
However, far fewer edits were made than with another 1970s anime, Battle of the Planets (an edited version of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman). Even in its edited American form Star Blazers retains practically all of its uniquely Japanese characteristics in terms of content, plot, character development, and philosophy.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Principal changes in Star Blazers included Westernization of character names, reduction of personal violence, toning down of offensive language and alcohol use (references to sake were changed to “spring water,” and the ship’s Doctor’s perpetually drunken state was put forth as merely good humor), removal of sexual fan service, and reduction of references to World War II, although the sunken battleship ruins were still identified as the Battleship Yamato in dialogue. The most significant reference removed—and the longest single edit in the series—was a section depicting the Battleship Yamato’s final battle during World War II, including imagery of the captain tied to the helm as he went down with his ship.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> (This section can be viewed as a bonus on the Voyager Entertainment Series 1 Part II English-language DVD release.)

Many fans nonetheless regard Star Blazers as more “adult” than other cartoons shown in the U.S. at the time, as personal tragedy, funeral scenes for fallen comrades, and the extinction faced by humanity were left intact. The very Japanese theme of “the honorable enemy” was also a tremendously important aspect of character development in the major villain of the first series, Desslok, during the second and third seasons as well as in the later movies.

The most significant change made by Griffin-Bacal was purely narrative: In the original series the Yamato and its crew were regarded as a single entity, the narrator each week urging “Yamato, hurry to Iscandar!” In English, the significance of the name Yamato as a word the viewers can identify with, signifying the land, people, and spirit of Japan is lost, so in Star Blazers the crew were named the Star Force and became the focus of the show. The ship is still the historical Yamato and is once referred to as such, but is renamed the Argo (after the ship Argo of Jason and the Argonauts) once rebuilt, and becomes merely the vessel in which they traveled.<ref name="Make way for StarBlazers"/>

The first two seasons (whose DVD releases are titled “The Quest for Iscandar” and “The Comet Empire”) were broadcast in 1979 and 1980. By the time the third season of Yamato was released, however, the original voice actors had moved on and, being non-union, were uncontactable by the American production company. The third season (released as “The Bolar Wars”) played to a small test market at the time and was not as widely seen until its release on video and DVD, and remains less popular than the first two seasons. Many of the original English voice actors have since been tracked down and interviewed for the Star Blazers DVD releases.

==Plot==

Star Blazers consists of three television seasons.  Each is an English-language adaption of its Japanese Space Battleship Yamato counterpart.  The Japanese saga, however, entails more than just these three TV seasons, and this missing portion of the saga occurs between Seasons 2 and 3.

===Season 1===

Star Blazers Season 1 is a straight-forward English language adaption of the Japanese Yamato 1 television season. The plot opens in the year 2199, with planet Earth facing extinction within one year due to radioactive pollution caused by Gamilon planet bombs.  A message arrives from Queen Starsha, of planet Iscandar, providing Earth with plans to build a superluminal engine and the promise that, if Earthlings can reach Iscandar, enduring what obstacles the Gamilons might put in their way, the Queen will give them a machine -- the Cosmo DNA -- that can neutralize the deadly radioactivity.  But can the Star Force travel 148,000 light-years and back in just one Earth year? Not if the Gamilons can stop them.

===Season 2===

Like its prececessor, Star Blazers Season 2 is an adaption of the Japanese Yamato 2 television season. The plot opens in the year 2201, one year after the Star Force's successful mission to Iscandar. Earth, at peace and complacent, receives a mysterious, extraterrestrial radio signal from Trelaina of planet Telezart which turns out to be desperate warning of a new enemy, the Comet Empire.  The Empire is mostly peopled by a race of green-skinned humanoids led by the evil Prince Zordar and his daughter, Princess Invidia.  Their center of operations is a huge, mechanized fortress designed to resemble a giant comet.  Cloaked in an enormous plasma field, the fortress is capable of obliterating entire planets by means of head-on collision, and it is quickly approaching Earth.  Unknown to Earth, the Star Force's old enemy, Desslok of Gamilon, has joined forces with the Comet Empire, and is plotting his revenge.  The Earth Defence Council (EDC) dismisses Trelaina's radio transmission, and the Star Force members, now assigned to other posts, are the only ones who believe there is a danger, and face the prospect of committing mutiny in order to defend Earth.

===Season 3===

Star Blazers Season 3 is a more modified adaption of the Japanese Yamato III television season. The plot of Season 3 opens at an undisclosed date, but presumably in the year 2203 or later.  It concerns the travails of Earth and its Star Force as they get drawn into a galaxy-wide war between two enormous empires -- the Galmans (the re-formed Gamilon Empire) and the Bolar Federation.  The plot modification arises from the fact that parts of the original script were rewritten to explain otherwise confusing flash-back footage taken from events in the Japanese film, Yamato: New Voyage. New Voyage and its companion film, Be Forever Yamato, occur between the Season 2 and Season 3 storylines, but were never aired in America, and never seen by most American fans. The films deal with the Gamilons and the Earthlings as they combine forces to fight the Black Nebula Empire.  The script of Season 3 was altered in those scenes to state (incorrectly) that the enemy being fought was a remanent of the Comet Empire.

==Characters==

===Seasons 1 & 2===

Major characters appearing in Seasons 1 and 2 are listed below by their canonical (Westchester) names:<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

{| class="wikitable" border="1"
|-
! Character || Performer || Position || Origin
|-
| Avatar || Rick Emerson || Captain of the Argo and <br/> Star Force Commander || Earth
|-
| Derek Wildstar || Kenneth Meseroll || Deputy Captain, Argo || Earth
|-
| Mark Venture || Tom Tweedy || Chief Navigator, Argo || Earth
|-
| Nova || Amy Howard Wilson || Radar Operator, Nurse, Argo || Earth
|-
| Sandor || (?) || Head Mechanic, Argo || Earth
|-
| Homer || (?) || Communications Chief, Argo || Earth
|-
| Eager || (?) || Assistant Navigator, Argo || Earth
|-
| Lt. Dash || Eddie Allen || Artillery Unit, Argo || Earth
|-
| Orion || (same as Avatar) || Chief Engineer, Argo || Earth
|-
| Conroy || (?) || Black Tiger Leader || Earth
|-
| Hardy || (?) || Black Tiger Pilot || Earth
|-
| Dr. Sane || (?) || Doctor, Argo || Earth
|-
| IQ-9 || (?) || Survey Robot, Argo || Earth
|-
| Sgt. Knox || Chris Latta || Space Marine Leader, Brumas || Earth
|-
| Gideon || (?) || Captain of Andromeda || Earth
|-
| Commander || (?) || Commander,<br/> Earth Defense Force || Earth
|-
| Alex Wildstar || (?) || Brother of Derek || Earth
|-
| Queen Starsha || Lydia Leeds || Ruler of Iscandar || Iscandar
|-
| Astra || none || sister of Starsha || Iscandar
|-
| Leader Desslok || Eddie Allen || Gamilon Leader || Gamilon
|-
| General Krypt || (?) || Adjutant to Desslok || Gamilon
|-
| General Talan || (?) || Adjutant to Desslok || Gamilon
|-
| General Lysis || (?) || Commander of Drill Missile Fleet || Gamilon
|-
| Vulgar || Mike Czechopoulos || Commander of Balan Base || Gamilon
|-
| Colonel Ganz || (?) || Commander of Pluto Base || Gamilon
|-
| Major Bane || (?) || Adjutant to Ganz || Gamilon
|-
| Prince Zordar || (?) || Ruler of Comet Empire || Comet Empire
|-
| Princess Invidia || (?) || Adjutant to Zordar || Comet Empire
|-
| General Dire || Chris Latta || Imperial Command Staff || Comet Empire
|-
| General Gorse || (same as Dr. Sane) || Imperial Command Staff || Comet Empire
|-
| General Turpis / Bleak || (?) || Combined Fleet Commander || Comet Empire
|-
| General Torbuck || (?) || Antimatter Missile <br/> Fleet Commander || Comet Empire
|-
| General Naska || (?) || Advance Attack Unit Commander || Comet Empire
|-
| General Scorch || (?) || Tank Batallion Commander || Comet Empire
|-
| Morta || (?) || Advisor to Desslok || Comet Empire
|-
| Mazor || (?) || Bomber Pilot || Comet Empire
|-
| Trelaina || Lydia Leeds || Sole survivor on Telezart || Telezart
|}

===Season 3===

Major characters appearing in Season 3 are as follows:<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

{| class="wikitable" border="1"
|-
! Character || Performer || Position || Origin
|-
| Derek Wildstar || (?) || Captain, Argo || Earth
|-
| Mark Venture || (?) || Chief Navigator, Argo || Earth
|-
| Nova || Corinne Orr || Radar Operator, Argo || Earth
|-
| Sandor || (?) || Head Mechanic, Argo || Earth
|-
| Homer Glitchman* || (?) || Communications Chief, Argo || Earth
|-
| Eager || (?) || Assistant Navigator, Argo || Earth
|-
| Lt. Dash || (?) || Artillery Unit, Argo || Earth
|-
| Orion || (?) || Chief Engineer, Argo || Earth
|-
| Cory Conroy || (?) || Black Tiger Leader || Earth
|-
| Dr. Sane || (?) || Doctor, Argo || Earth
|-
| IQ-9 || (?) || Survey Robot, Argo || Earth
|-
| Jason Jetter || (?) || Recruit Dish-Washer, Argo || Earth
|-
| Flash Contrail || (?) || Recruit Pilot, Argo || Earth
|-
| Commander || (?) || Commander,<br/> Earth Defense Force || Earth
|-
| Leader Desslok || (?) || Galman Emperor || Galman
|-
| Sgt. Masterson (Talan) || (?) || Adjutant to Desslok || Galman
|-
| Admiral Keeling || (?) || Head of Staff || Galman
|-
| Admiral Smeerdom || (?) || Commander of Eastern Task Force || Galman
|-
| Admiral Smellen || (?) || Commander of Western Task Force || Galman
|-
| Admiral Gustaf || (?) || Commander of 3rd Local Fleet || Galman
|-
| General Dagon || (?) || Commander of Carrier Fleet || Galman
|-
| Luchner von Feral || (?) || Subspace Submarine Pack Commander || Galman
|-
| Major Cranshaw || (?) || Technology Major || Galman
|-
| Bemlayze || (?) || Bolar Prime Minister || Bolar Federation
|-
| Golsakof || (?) || Adjutant to Bemlayze || Bolar Federation
|-
| Brozof || (?) || Governor of Planet Berth || Bolar Federation
|-
| Ram || (?) || Captain of Legendra || Bolar Federation
|-
| Queen Mariposa || (?) || Exiled Ruler of Guardiana || Guardiana
|-
| Queen Guardiana || (?) || Goddess of Guardiana || Guardiana
|}

* Homer's last name, Glitchman, was added by Westchester for the third season.  No last name was used in previous seasons.

==Live Action Adaptation==

During the mid 1990s, the Walt Disney Company purchased the theatrical rights to a live-action Star Blazers movie. A highly publicized draft of the script by Tab Murphy was leaked on the internet in the late 1990s.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>
The story was a re-telling of the Season 1 plot, and followed a ragtag crew of misfits (most of whom are not named after any of the original show's crew) aboard the rebuilt United States battleship Arizona (which, ironically, was sunk by the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor) on a mission to save Earth. The project was shelved following Michael Eisner's departure from the company. In April 2006 it was announced that Benderspink and producer Josh C. Kline had teamed up to make another attempt at creating a live action version of the story.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref><ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

==American Comic Adaptations==

To date, four American comic adaptations have been published: a five-volume series retelling the original story, two comic book series, and, most recently, a web comic.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

===West Cape Co. Animation Comics===

The first adaptation was a set of books presenting the original first season in five volumes using the original cel animation.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>  It was published in 1983 by West Cape Co., Ltd. under their imprint, W.C.C. Animation Comics.  The books use digest footage that was already laid out and published for the Japanese market as "film comics".  The translations relied heavily on the English dialog of Star Blazers, with minor modifications.  The English language editions were printed in Japan and distributed by Books Nippan of Los Angeles, the American branch of Nippon Shuppan Hanbai. The title of each book includes “Original Title: Space Cruiser Yamato” as a sub-title.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

===Comico===

The second adaptation (actually two miniseries) was published by Comico Comics in the late 1980s and served as a postscript to the second season.  The plot leveraged the fact that the Season 3 script had misidentified the enemy in the New Voyage flashbacks as a remanent of the Comet Empire.  In this series, it was discovered that the White Comet Empire's rear fleet (comprising fully half of the empire's entire fleet) still existed and -- with Earth’s entire fleet (other than the Argo) having been wiped out -- only the Argo stood between this massive fleet of the empire and Earth. In this story, the Comet Empire took over the Yamato and used it against Earth.  The second Comico miniseries dealt with the Star Force's battle against a renegade Earth General and his alien allies. Due to weak artwork and story, this second miniseries was less well received than the first.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>
<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

===Voyager Entertainment Print===

In the mid-90s, Voyager Entertainment published 12 issues of a Star Blazers comic book before publication was halted due to poor sales.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

===Voyager Entertainment Web Comic===

Star Blazers Rebirth is currently being published as a web comic, with new chapters appearing on the official Star Blazers site every month or two.  Although similar in storyline, it is not to be confused with the newest Yamato film, Yamato: Rebirth.  The art and story is by Tim Eldred, who was also responsible for the Voyager Entertainment series. In Star Blazers Rebirth the Earth is once again threatened by a menace from space headed for the Earth 25 years after the first series; this time in the shape of what appears to be a black hole. At first Earth’s government does not believe the information, on the basis that black holes aren’t supposed to be able to move. However, they eventually agree to send Earth’s newest and most powerful starship, Andromeda II, to investigate. Upon reaching its destination, Andromeda II is quickly destroyed with all hands on board, though not before transmitting its data to Earth. Shocked by the disaster, and disgusted at the lack of response from Earth’s government (other than to begin evacuating the citizens of the Earth to the far less hospitable planets discovered during the third series), Sandor and Wildstar (now grey-haired, bearded, in his mid-40s, and constantly haunted by the past—as well as by pasts which never happened) devote their wealth and energies to rebuilding the nearly shattered Argo, which was encased in ice and left floating in Earth orbit at the end of Final Yamato. Since most of the old surviving bridge crew of Argo are now captains in command of their own ships, many of the new crew members are the children or grandchildren of the original Argo crew. In keeping with the original series' emphasis on human mortality, one of these children is the daughter of one of the original crew’s most important members, who (apparently) died in the Andromeda II mission to investigate the mysterious black hole. In the meantime, the decision to relocate Earth’s population to numerous colonies has left Earth’s forces stretched far too thinly, with several colonies beginning to break away from Earth’s control under command of Capt. Nenezich. Short on supplies, Argo heads toward the center of the galaxy in an attempt to learn more about the mysterious black hole and a rash of attacks on Earth’s colonies.

==DVDs==

DVDs of the three TV seasons were released in 2002 by Voyager Entertainment as The Quest for Iscandar, The Comet Empire, and The Bolar Wars.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> Each season is contained on six discs, including bonuses on each disc. The discs are available individually or collected in three separate boxed sets of six discs each.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

==References==



==External links==

* Starblazers Official website
* Star Blazers / Space Cruiser Yamato Wave Motion Web Page
* Star Blazers Rebirth web comic
* Template:Anime-links
* Template:Ann anime
* Template:Ann anime

Template:Space Battleship Yamato











it:Star Blazers

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