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I’m watching Star Blazers again.  Not, mind you, Space Battleship Yamato, but the actual American version, the honest-to-God Star Blazers of my youth.  Season One:  The Quest for Iskandar, with its unspeakably awful voice acting and crazy translations, Derek Wildstar, Captain Avatar and Leader Desslock – the works.

And I’m going to blog about it, and there’s not a damn thing any of you can do to stop me, other than of course to sprain your right index finger trying to click “back” on your browser as fast as humanly possible.

No?  Still with me, and up for the journey?  Then let’s jump right in.

First, ship naming conventions.  I had  forgotten that in Star Blazers the ship itself is called the Argo, not the Yamato.  Not a bad choice, if we accept as given the need to remove all the scary Japanese-sounding names for American consumption (remember this was 1979, seven years before Datsun would suck it up and rebrand itself the far more ominous “Nissan”).  The Argo was of course Jason’s ship in his quest for the golden fleece, so given that the Star Force is questing after the Cosmo-DNA from Queen Starsha of Planet Iskandar, it makes sense.  

Still, though:  


We’re off… to find a fleece…




That’s more like it.


It definitely loses a little something, doesn’t it?


Aw yeah!

And speaking of Queen Starsha, this does have to be addressed.  Aware of the plight of the humans, she dispatches a ship which covers the astronomical distance from Iskandar to Earth, somehow runs the Gamelon blockade out at Pluto (more on that in a moment), reaches Mars – only to crash land (because, y’know, faster-than-light travel easy; making successful planetfall hard), but then be found, and thus succeed in its mission in delivering to the Earthlings:

Plans, and a map.  

Plans, as in, how to build a wave-motion engine (and gun!), and a map, as in, how to get to Iskandar, and Queen Starsha herself, who has the Cosmo DNA, which can rid the Earth of all the horrible radiation imparted by the Gamelon’s planet bombing (remember:  Japanese cartoon!  The world’s experts on nuclear-nightmare-inspired science fiction.).  

Why, you might ask, didn’t Queen Starsha just send the Cosmo-freaking-DNA on the ship itself?  Why put the Star Force to all this trouble?  This plot point is in fact addressed, although the answer is basically she just couldn’t so stop asking.  Why do I have the feeling this came up in a production meeting somewhere, way back in the day, one of those aw-shit moments where everyone in the room suddenly realizes the whole thing makes no sense at all?  Sort of like that why-doesn’t-Gandalf-just-have-one-of-the-eagles-drop-the-ring-into-Mount-Doom-as-soon-as-he-even-suspects-just-on-general-precautionary-principles moments we’ve all had in retrospect? 

Anyway.  She just can’t.  There is a whole line of dialog that makes this clear.  As this is all of course being written from a place of love, we shall take it it as given, and move on.

Next up:  The Ultra Menace Missile!