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Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles is the 2006 animated sequel to the 1985 Robotech television series. It was released on DVD on February 6, 2007.

Plot

For a full background on the events in the Robotech universe, see

Led by the "queen mother" Regis, an alien race known as the Invid invade Earth in 2031. In 2044, the Robotech Expeditionary Force attacks the Invid Reflex Point using its new ground commandos aided by resistance groups, now armed with the new shadow cloaking device, Synchro-cannons, Neutron-S missiles (an untested super weapon) and other technologies gifted by Invid's enemy, the Haydonites, whose existence is kept secret.

REF defeats the enemy's first defensive wave. Queen mother orders the units on the planet to engage in a "number vs. tech" war at the Reflex Point, causing massive damage to both armies. The REF, overwhelmed by the vast amounts of Invid defenders, prepares to launch the Neutron-S missile, not knowing it will lead to the destruction of all humans and Invids. Ariel, the crown princess Invid and a member of Scott Bernard's resistance group, uses her influence on the queen to surrender Earth. The Invid leave after neutralizing the missile and taking all of the Protoculture (a gigantic energy source that caused all Robotech wars) with them, leaving the REF in an energy crisis. Ariel remains on Earth.

An emergency message from Admiral Rick Hunter, chief commander of REF forces, aboard SDF-3 is received. Vince Grant, captain of a Shimakaze-class battlecruiser named Icarus, is sent on a rescue mission. General Gunther Reinhardt commands the REF forces in his newly completed flagship, SDF-4 Izumo.

Icarus arrives in the Omicron sector and locates the damaged SDF-3 and the science vessel Deukalion near a black hole. The Icarus barely escapes the gravity of the black hole, causing its shadow-devices to disable. Hunter warns Grant about a malfunction in the Neutron-S missile, revealed in the test that damaged SDF-3.

Icarus secures the Deukalion and moves to SDF-3, prepared to teleport the ships to Earth. Before they initiate the space-fold-sphere, a group of alien warships attack. One of their vessels rams the SDF-3, pushing it out of range of the sphere and toward the black hole.

Icarus teleports back to Earth with the Deukalion, which has recorded critical information, to warn the REF that the missiles cannot be used on Earth. The SDF-3 is left behind.

Icarus arrives at Moon Base ALUCE. Louie Nichols, a scientist and veteran of the Second Robotech War start working on Deukalion to find the malfunction. Its only surviving crew member is Janice Em, an android that uses a holographic overlay to appear as a young woman. She reveals that she is a combination of Human and Haydonite technology, built as an emissary for the two races, and that REF's new technologies are a gift from Haydonites, who also suffered at the hands of the Invid. Ariel, who has teleported to ALUCE from Earth informs Scott Bernard of her vision of the "Children of the Shadow" planning to attack the REF, and reveals their connection to the REF's new technologies. Reinhardt and Grant watch the conversation on a monitor.

After contact is lost with Space Station Liberty, which holds the remaining Neutron-S missiles, Louie realizes that the race that attacked the SDF-3 is jamming communications. Icarus is ordered to head to Liberty and determine the situation. Grant takes Scott, Ariel, Louie, Janice and Skull Squadron with him.

When Icarus arrives, Liberty is under attack by alien ships that have jammed communications. Skull Squadron learns that 89% of the REF forces at Liberty were destroyed and that every piece of technology the Haydonites gave to the REF contains a Trojan Horse. The Haydonites are the "Children of the Shadow".

Unable to restore communications, Grant cannot warn the remaining ships; they are left to fight a hopeless battle. Suspecting that Janice may be aligned with the Haydonites, Grant arrests her.

Unable to fight, the Skull Squadron heads to Liberty to acquire fighters that do not use Haydonite technology. The squadron is pursued by Haydonite fighters. Alex Romero tries to engage, but his syncro-cannon malfunctions and his fighter stalls. Alex flies into the enemy squadron as his fighter explodes, sacrificing himself to destroy the enemy fighters.

Equipped with shadow technology, Icarus is no longer a viable ship; it joins the Skull Squadron in Liberty. Grant orders Louie to scan Liberty's ship registry for ships without shadow technology. Louie finds only one, the colony ship Ark Angel. However, its reflex furnace is offline. Grant orders the evacuation of all personnel to the Ark Angel and gives Louie one hour to get the ship's furnace online. Skull Squadron has located prototype fighters that have not had the shadow technology installed and Maia promises to buy time for the evacuation.

When two Haydonite soldiers blast into the detention hallway to confront Janice, she demands to know why she was not told of the weaknesses in the technology she gave to the REF. One of the soldiers replies that she was given only what was needed to carry out the plan and demands to know where the protoculture matrix on the SDF-3 is located. Janice refuses to cooperate and the soldier prepares to kill her. Bernard and Grant appear and eliminate the soldiers. Before dying one of them reveals its true form and tells Grant that "all those who embrace protoculture are doomed." Realizing that Janice was betrayed by the Haydonites as well, Grant asks Janice to rejoin his crew, and Janice immediately agrees.

Scott and Vince board Cyclones and ride through Liberty to the remaining stockpile of Neutron-S missiles, and Vince sets one to self-destruct. As the Ark Angel departs, the Haydonites, unaware of the Grant's plan, move their fleet towards Liberty to destroy the Ark Angel as Skull Squadron continues to engage the Haydonite fighters. During the battle, Maia's fighter takes damage and she is forced to eject. Marcus uses his fighters' robotic hands to grab Maia's ejection pod and throw it towards the Ark Angel as it prepares to enter a spacefold. Marcus, deciding he has nothing left to live for, holds down his weapon triggers and launches a suicide run against the Haydonites to hold them off long enough for Ark Angel to escape. The Ark Angel then initiates a spacefold. The Neutron-S warheads detonate with a massive explosion, destroying Liberty and the entire Haydonite fleet.

Marcus sees a while light and has a vision of his sister Marlene, who tells him it is not his time to die and that she will always be with him. Marcus then he wakes up onboard the Ark Angel, with Ariel by his side. Ariel then reveals that she used her teleportation power to save him (despite his hatred of the Invid) and Marcus is left at a loss for words.

As the Ark Angel flies over Earth's surface, Reinhardt gives Grant his new orders. Grant and his crew, including Janice, Louie, Scott, Ariel, Maia, Marcus and the other new personnel from the last mission, are to take the Ark Angel and locate the SDF-3, which may not have been destroyed as originally thought. Maia and Marcus console each other over the friends and family they have lost and those who are missing aboard the SDF-3. Scott and Ariel share a kiss while Louie reassures a confused and uncertain Janice that, "We will win".

Cast

Release status

Theatrical

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles premiered at the Cannes Film Market on May 22, 2006 in the Grey One Theatre to an audience of distribution representatives.[1] A number of independent film festivals screened the film during the summer and fall.[2] It was awarded Best Animated Sci-Fi Feature at the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival, although it was the first and only animated film ever shown in this Arizonan festival's three-year history.[3]

Home video

Harmony Gold and Funimation Entertainment released Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles on DVD on February 6, 2007.[4] A 2-disc collector's edition with additional features was announced by FUNimation at Anime Expo 2007 and released on DVD November 20, 2007.[5] The Blu-ray version was released on September 4, 2008.

Madman Entertainment in Australia was the first international distributor to license and release Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. The film was released on Region 4 DVD on March 14, 2007.[6]

Revelation Films released the film in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2007.

Guangdong Qianhe Audio & Video released the single-disc Standard Edition in the People's Republic of China on August 20, 2007 and the 2-disc Collector's Edition on May 1, 2008.

Music

The musical score was composed by Scott Glasgow, and was recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. However, budgetary issues resulted in synthesized elements being mixed into a number of the cues, particularly four of the tracks in the film, and one of the tracks on the soundtrack CD ("Dogfight").[7][8] Chase Masterson sang the parts for her robotic character Janice. Melissa Kaplan, the lead singer of the band Universal Hall Pass, vocalized some of the background music.[9]

Reception

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles has received mixed reception from fans and critics. Justin Sevakis of the Anime News Network gave it an overall rating of C-, commenting that while the movie had good music, it suffered from mediocre animation, a cliché story and a host of forgettable characters.[10] Slop Reilly of Ain't It Cool News gave it a 1 out of 5 stars, citing a poor screenplay, weak character development and unnatural character design and animation.[11]

On the positive side, Tasha Robinson of the Sci Fi Channel's Sci Fi Weekly gave it a B[12], while Jeffrey Kauffman of DVDTalk recommended it.[13]

Sequel

On February 27, 2007 at the New York Comic Con, Shadow Chronicles director Tommy Yune said, "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles has been doing good business at retail, and we are currently in production on the sequel."[14] Later that same day, Yune mentioned that the sequel will be a feature movie.[15] The title of the sequel has been revealed as Robotech: Shadow Rising, and the film was expected to be released within two years of the time of the announcement, earliest.[16][17] However subsequent announcements in mid-2008 have made it clear that little-or-no progress has been made on the film, and it has been indefinitely postponed, pending developments with the live-action film.[18][19]

It was later revealed that the two year estimate was a misunderstanding, by fans. While the two-year date was stated, by Yune, to be possible, it was never intended to be an actual release date. However, fans erroneously took it to be an actual release date. Subsequently, this caused a great deal of confusion within the Robotech fan base. Later, fans were further confused when another member of HG's staff stated the "animation was on hiatus." Many fans took that to mean the show had been postponed, when this was not the case. HG later corrected this misunderstandings by appearing on Space Station Liberty, a Talk Show Call In Live Pod Cast dedicated to Robotech. HG's staff explained the error with the "estimated release date". HG also explained that "hiatus" was an industry term meant to say that the animation was on hold while other parts of the production process caught up to it. In this case, scripting, story boarding, and other parts of the production process are continuing. However, as the animation has gotten ahead of the rest of production, the animators have nothing to animate until they get the next bit of the story from HG's staff writers. At this point in time, no firm release date has ever been given for "Robotech: The Shadow Rising," but an estimated release date was reported to be forth coming.[20].

At Anime Expo 2009, Kevin McKeever and Yune confirmed that Robotech: Shadow Rising has been put off indefinitely since Warner Bros. Pictures is now actively developing a big-budget Robotech live-action feature film. Akiva Goldsman (Starsky & Hutch), (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), (I Am Legend), and Jason Netter (Wanted) have been hired as producers and Tobey Maguire is also attached to the film. Several screenwriters, including Lawrence Kasdan, Alfred Gough, and Miles Millar, have also joined the project. Details about the plot of the movie are still very limited, but conceptually, it will likely be a "re-imagining", rather than a story that is a direct sequel or prequel, or one that is set at some point within Robotech's established chronology.[21]

See also

References

  1. Kevin McKeever (2006-05-22). "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles comes to Cannes!". Robotech.com. 
  2. Kevin McKeever (2006-05-27). "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles hits the Festivals!". Robotech.com. 
  3. "'06 Awards". International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival. 2007-10-19. 
  4. "1-disc Standard Edition". TheShadowChronicles.com. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  5. Bamboo Dong (2007-07-01). "Anime Expo 2007: Funimation Entertainment". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  6. "Robotech: Shadow Chronicles". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  7. Jarry, Jonathan (2007-03-05). "Interview Robotech: The Glasgow Chronicles". SoundtrackNet: The Art of Film and Television Music. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  8. Meadows, Chris (2007-02-27). "Scott Glasgow Interview, Part 2" (mp3). Space Station Liberty. Retrieved 2007-03-06.  External link in |work= (help)
  9. "I can't believe it!!!! new singer Melissa Kaplan". Robotech.com. 2006-03-03. 
  10. Anime News Network - Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles DVD Review
  11. Anime AICN - Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Review
  12. Sci Fi Weekly - Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Review
  13. DVDTalk - Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Collector's Edition Blu-Ray) Review
  14. "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Sequel in Production". Anime News Network. 2007-02-23. 
  15. "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Sequel to be a Feature". Anime News Network. 2007-02-27. 
  16. "Harmony Gold Starts Work on Shadow Chronicles Sequel". Anime News Network. 2007-07-27. 
  17. Mikhail Koulikov (2007-07-27). "Comic-Con International 2007: Harmony Gold USA". Anime News Network. 
  18. http://sdf5x.blogspot.com/2008/06/shadows-can-wait-apparently.html
  19. http://www.robotechx.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48:hg-postpones-shadow-rising-until-further-development-of-rlam&catid=26:news-general&Itemid=101
  20. http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-5988/TS-121901.mp3
  21. Anime Expo 2009 - Harmony Gold USA by Mikhail Koulikov, Anime News Network, July 5, 2009.

External links

sr:Роботек: Мрачне хронике

zh:太空堡 :暗影 年

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