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Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles

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"Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles"
Shadowcron
Directed by Tommy Yune,
Dong-Wook Lee,
Gregory Snegoff
Composed by Scott Glasgow
Ulpio Minucci
Studio Harmony Gold
Air date 25 August 2006
Runtime 88 Minutes
Novel adaptation {{{novel}}}
Comic adaptation {{{comic}}}
Movie # 3
Previous Robotech II: The Sentinels
Next Robotech: Love Live Alive!

"Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles" (2006) is a feature-length animated sequel to the traditional Robotech storyline, overlapping briefly with the concluding events of the New Generation chapter while revealing several previously unknown details about the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) and its interactions with a mysterious race known as the Haydonites. Characters from all three chapters of Robotech appear along with others intended to have been introduced during the never-completed Sentinels saga.

Plot

The events of the Shadow Chronicles begin with the arrival of the main REF fleet in lunar orbit and the launch of its assault on Reflex Point. These are events that took place during the last few episodes of the New Generation saga, but here they are told from the perspective of characters who are based with the fleet.

Vince Grant takes the REF ship Icarus and a crew that includes former 15th ATAC Corporal Louie Nichols to search for the SDF-3. They find the battle fortress in a decaying position relative to a newly formed Black hole, and learn from Admiral Rick Hunter that the singularity formed from the test-firing of a Neutron-S missile. The Icarus returns too late to prevent the order from General Reinhart that launches the missiles at Earth. The Invid Regess, however, recognizes these weapons, and determines to leave the Earth with all of her children, destroying the missiles as she goes.

Following the departure of the Invid as previously seen in Symphony of Light, the remnants of the REF fleet withdraw from Earth orbit and rendezvous at Space Station Liberty (which survived the invasion) for repairs and to plan their next moves. The fleet is low on protoculture, which it cannot produce without the SDF-3 (which we know from Symphony of Light did not arrive with the rest of the fleet). At this point, Scott Bernard arrives from Earth to report in.

Scott is immediately distrusted by the REF command because of his involvement with Ariel, the Invid simulagent whose appearance is that of his deceased fiancée, Marlene Rush. The situation is exacerbated by the presence in the fleet of Marcus Rush, Marlene's brother who had until this point seen Scott as a close friend but comes to view him as a traitor. Scott is arrested and interrogated.

In the course of events that follow, we learn that the synchro cannon, the protoculture-cloaking shadow device, and the Neutron-S missile were all technologies given to the Expeditionary Force by a race called the Haydonites, ostensibly part of the Sentinels alliance that fought to free its member planets from the Invid after the latter's conquest of Tirol. Shortly thereafter, mysterious invaders materialize in the vicinity of Earth and attack the REF fleet with sleek fighter craft backed by similar-looking warships unfamiliar to the Expeditionary Force. The subsequent battle goes very badly as it becomes apparent that the use of synchro cannons results in system failure among both REF ships and mecha; Louis estimates fleet losses at 89%.

Recognizing that efforts to confront the invaders (who we and the characters all rapidly understand to be the Haydonites), Vince Grant abandons the Icarus and brings a number of REF troops and pilots along with his crew to the Ark Angel, which was not retrofitted with the Haydonite technologies and also contains mecha that was not altered. Through a combination of planning and luck, and along with the help of Marcus and Maia Sterling, Scott and Vince lure the Haydonite fleet into close proximity of Space Station Liberty and set off one of the Neutron-S missiles, destroying the attackers.

The victory is both bittersweet and pyrrhic: having already sustained extremely heavy losses in battle with the Invid, the remnants of the Expeditionary Force have now been reduced to a further tenth of what was their surviving strength. The heroes realize that their only hope lies with the SDF-3, and they set off on the Ark Angel to attempt to rescue the damaged battle fortress.

Memorable quotes

  • Vince Grant: "If we make it out of this alive, my wife's gonna kill me.
    Scott Bernard: Looking forward to it, sir."
  • Louis Nichols: "What can I say? I've always had a thing for machines."
  • Vince Grant: "All this technology and they can't put in an elevator?"

Cast

Crew

Producers

Music

Film Editing

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Art Department

Sound Department

Visual Effects

Camera and Electrical Department

Animation Department

Editorial Department

Music Department

Other

Special Thanks

Animation Style

The "Shadow Chronicles" uses a combination of computer-generated imaging (CGI) and traditional cell-shading. Mecha, warships, and large-scale environments are rendered by computer. To keep consistency with the feel of the main Robotech series, however, Harmony Gold intentionally made use of cell shading to create faces and features. The result is impressive and reasonably familiar if not entirely consistent with the original footage.

Inconsistencies

It had been more than two decades since the debut of Robotech (and longer since the rendering of the Japanese source material combined to make the series) when the Shadow Chronicles was released in 2006 , and taking that into account, considerable effort was made to keep the events of the new film reasonably consistent with those of the New Generation storyline.

Nonetheless, there were several notable examples in which the new footage differed from the original, including the following:

  • Weapons: Most New Generation weapons, specifically including the gun pods of Veritech Alpha Fighters and the handgun model carried by Scott Bernard, were clearly depicted as energy-based in the series. In the Shadow Chronicles, these and most REF weapons (other than missiles and the synchro cannons) are instead presented as firing projectiles (e.g. bullets or kinetic energy penetrators).
  • Presence of Characters: While all of Scott Bernard's group of freedom fighters is seen in Dark Finale to have arrived in the private chambers of the Invid Regess, the Shadow Chronicles perspective shows only Scott and Ariel/Marlene discussing matters with the Regess. No other member of the New Generation team is seen or individually mentioned at any point in the film.
  • Casualties: The events of Symphony of Light give reasonably clear indication that the departure of the Invid was as destructive to the ships of the REF fleet as it was to the Neutron-S missiles, and the SDF-4 is particularly shown to have been affected. In the Shadow Chronicles, however, no Expeditionary Force vessels are destroyed by the Invid departure (though many have clearly been lost in the battle itself).
Vince Grant Info Shadow Chronic

Background information

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