Lieutenant Commander Maia Sterling was the second daughter of Max and Miriya Sterling, and Dana's younger sister. She was a Human-Zentradi hybrid who exhibited the same fighting skills as her parents.
Maia Sterling was born on 2025, three years after the Pioneer Expedition started and in the mid of the War on the Local Group of Fantoma against the Invid Regent.
A version of Maia appeared in a hallucinatory vision experienced by her sister Dana, warning her of the coming Invid, and that if the spores of the Flower of Life were allowed to spread the Invid would find Earth and take it, something that later proved true. (Robotech Masters: Catastrophe)
Before the REF returned home to Earth, Rick Hunter ordered her father and mother to join him on the SDF-3 so they could test the Neutron-S Missiles. Max, reluctant to leave, asked who would lead Skull Squadron in his place. Rick declared that Maia would lead the group instead and Max reluctantly agreed. (Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles)
Third Robotech War
She and her new squadron gathered at Moon Base ALUCE, where the REF were gathering to launch the final attack on the Invid-occupied planet. During this time she met Marcus Rush and Alex Romero for the first time, the former of which would make a clumsy attempt to flirt with her, which amused her. Skull Squadron and Wolf Squadron were to play a decisive role in the first wave of the attack.
During the battle itself, she saved the life of Marcus, who was surrounded by Invid forces and was about to be killed when she arrived to stop them. They both witness the departure of the Invid following the launch of the Neutron-S Missiles and agreed that the victory was too easily won.
Fourth Robotech War
After the war ended, she and her squadron rested at ALUCE, where the surviving members of Wolf Squadron were merged with them. She also assisted Louie Nichols in scouring the Deukalion after it was brought back by the Icarus and then helped repair Janice Em.
The new Skull Squadron got its first major test in battle when the REF lost contact with Space Station Liberty. Upon arrival aboard the Icarus they were sent out to recon a fleet of unidentified ships who were decimating the REF. The Invid Princess, Ariel, proclaimed them to be the Children of the Shadow. The technological advances used against the Invid were useless against these new opponents and resulted in the death of Alex Romero.
After this Captain Vince Grant realized that these invaders were Haydonites, creators of Shadow Technology, the Synchro Cannons, and the Neutron-S Missiles. Maia was ordered along with her squadron to ditch their fighters and switch to unmodified ships on Space Station Liberty. Afterwards they entered a dogfight with the new invaders, during which Maia was hit multiple times only to be rescued by Marcus, returning the favor from Earth.
After the Space Station was destroyed in the hopes of postponing the Haydonite invasion, she was assigned to protect the Ark Angel in the search for the SDF-3 and the Protoculture Matrix. (Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles)
Maia's personality was more similar to her mother's personality then her father's. While she inherited her father's wit, she was a very disciplined and fearsome commander, who did not tolerate hotshots or insubordination. She went so far as to threaten Alex Romero for his sarcastic attitude. However this did not mean she was an uncaring leader as she showed a great deal of remorse and guilt when pilots died under her watch, including Romero.
Maia seemed proud of her Zentraedi heritage, bragging about it to Marcus when he stated the universe would be a better place if they killed all aliens. She also appeared to be having some difficulties with her sister Dana, who she wasn't on speaking terms with.
She, like both her parents, marked her fighter with her own personal colors - in this case, a combination of the standard blue paint scheme and her own personal pink. Her flight suit uses a similar color scheme.
She appeared to have some feelings for Marcus Rush which he returned. They appeared to begin a relationship at the end of the Shadow Chronicles.
Behind the Scenes
Maia Sterling appears to replace Aurora Sterling, who was the younger sister of Dana pitched for the original Robotech II: the Sentines TV series and used in the Jack McKinney novels. The two are completely different characters, despite branching from the same template -- the vision that Dana sees of her sister in Catastrophe. The End of the Circle greatly inspired Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and the projects around it -- despite this, the age of Maia in the later project is much greater than that of Aurora in the original book. This is due to the timeline shifting which occurred when the Robotech timeline was rebooted in the early 2000s, making the Third Robotech War last much longer than speculated by fans and writers in the 1990s.
In her original appearance, the little girl who visits Dana has blue hair, while Maia's hair is purple. Ironically (or perhaps purposefully) Dana herself had hair that changed color from adolescence to adulthood.
- Robotech: The Robotech Masters
- Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles
- Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles