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ShadowChronic
Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
Production information
Format

Animated

Starring
  • Tony Oliver
  • Melanie MacQueen
  • Gregory Snegoff
  • Richard Epcar
Chronology
Era

The New Generation

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was an animated sequel to the 1985 Robotech television series.

Synopsis

In July 2044, a final full-scale assault, ordered by Admiral Rick Hunter, was launched with all available REF forces against Reflex Point to destroy the Invid. The force assembled consisted of four Shimakaze-class battlecruisers, 40+ Ikazuchi carriers, 100+ Garfish light cruisers, and thousands of VFA-6 Alpha and VFB-9 Beta fighters. This force, built with assistance of the Sentinel races, is led by the newly completed SDF-4 Izumo, under the command of General Gunther Reinhardt. A large force of ground troops including both REF and guerrilla forces armed with mecha and new Shield Destabilizers to get past the Invid Protoplex Energy Barrier Hive Shields also attacked Reflex Point simultaneously. In this latest attempt the REF made use of new stealth and weapons technologies including Shadow Technology, which rendered their ships and mecha virtually invisible to Invid sensors, and Synchro Cannons, much improved versions of the older Reflex Cannons. Among pilots of the new shadow fighters are Marcus Rush, Alex Romero and Maia Sterling, all of whom had been born in space and had never seen Earth until now.

The REF is hampered when the SDF-3 Pioneerfails to return from the Omicron Sector where it was overseeing a test-firing of a Neutron-S missile; however, despite not having the SDF-3 and its powerful arsenal, General Reinhardt is forced to begin the attack.

Initially, the final battle of the Third Robotech War proceeded well for the REF. The capital ships' massive synchro-cannons were able to destroy many Invid carriers before they could launch their fighters. Combined with the use of Shadow Technology enabled REF fighters to evade detection by the Invid forces. the first Invid attack wave from the Northern Hemisphere was defeated. On the ground, resistance forces assisted by REF commandos were able to fight their way to Reflex Point and approach striking range.

However, the Invid Regess, desperate to hold onto Earth and determined to fight to the bitter end, launched a second assault wave against both the REF and the resistance forces on the ground with of all her remaining forces. Every available Invid fighter on the planet is sent into orbit while all Invid ground troops are pulled back to Reflex Point.The Invid forces in space soon greatly outnumbered the REF fighters, which became overwhelmed and began taking very heavy losses, with some squadrons being completely destroyed. The Invid forces soon punched through the REF's front lines. To further compensate for their technological disadvantages, Invid fighters, desperate to win at any cost, resort to making suicide runs against the REF capital ships, further straining the ability of the REF flight to continue the fight. On the ground, the resistance and REF forces also find themselves greatly outnumbered and begin taking heavy losses, forcing them to halt their advance while still out of range of Reflex Point.

Aboard the SDF-4 Izumo, General Reinhardt, the leader of the REF assault, realized that the REFwas hopelessly outnumbered and that the resistance forces on Earth had failed to get close enough to attack Reflex Point. As he hears constant reports of REF ships and fighters being destroyed,Reinhardt decides that the only option remaining was to launch the new Neutron-S missiles, powerful new weapons given to the REF by their new allies, an advanced cybernetic race known as the Haydonites, that were believed to be able to easily destroy Reflex Point but also wipe out a large portion (and possibly all) of life on the surface of the Earth. This last resort weapon had been authorized by Admiral Rick Hunter if the REF's final attack failed to dislodge the Invid.

As the missiles are launched and fly towards Earth, the Invid Regess, recognizing the true power of the missiles, which is to create micro black holes capable of destroying not only Earth but also much of the Solar System, decided to retreat. The Invid exodus from Earth proceeded much along the same lines as their initial invasion, with the Invid converting herself and her race into energy and leaving the planet in a stream of light. The Invid Regess, as a final gift to her daughter Ariel who chose to stay behind with the humans, destroys the Neutron-S missiles as the Invid energy form leaves, though a small number of REF ships are destroyed in the process. The Regess takes her followers into space again, in search of a new planet on which to continue their evolution.

Aftermath

ShadowComic

A cover of the prequel comic by UDON Studios.

Although victorious, the losses to the REF were very heavy in both ships and manpower. For the first time in 13 years, Earth was again under the control of humanity but Earth's future remained uncertain. Most of its cities and industries lay in ruins and most of the planet was in a pre-Robotech (pre-SDF-1) technological state at best. There was also no government to speak of. During the occupation, many had allied with the Invid in exchange for power. Areas not under Invid control were often controlled by criminal gangs and other self-proclaimed leaders who ruled through brute force.

The SDF-3 Pioneer, which was intended to join the final assault, was damaged during the test-firing of a Neutron-S missile in the Omicron Sector, which resulted in the unexpected creation of a micro black hole.

The Deukalion, a Garfish class cruiser converted into a science vessel to record and study the test, was heavily damaged by the resulting blast and all aboard were killed save one android named Janice Em, which was later repaired. The SDF-3 Pioneer was then attacked by the REF's former allies, the Haydonites, who were attempting to capture the ship and its Protoculture Matrix. Although Captain Vince Grant of the Icarus is able to rescue the Deukalion, his attempts to rescue the SDF-3 fails due to Haydonite interference. The fate of the SDF-3, which was last seen adrift in space near the newly formed black hole, is currently unknown.

The retreat of the Invid ended the Third Robotech War, though it also marked the start of the Shadow Chronicles, the fourth Robotech war between the REF and their former allies, the Haydoniteswho betrayed and manipulated the REF during the war with the Invid and whom now, with the Invid gone, launch their own attack to destroy the REF and Earth. As the people of Earth celebrate their freedom at a concert, where Lancer reveals his identity as Yellow Dancer to the crowd, the surviving forces of the REF found themselves engaged in a newconflict that would once again determine the survival of the human race.

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").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.

Reception

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles has received mostly negative 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 clichéd story and a host of forgettable characters. 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. Sean from Colony Drop described the film's CG as "...astoundingly bad, looking half assed and painfully out of date." He further details the extended production schedule of this film, stating "As if sitting through this terrible mess isn’t bad enough, you also have to reconcile with the fact that it was originally worse. That’s right, despite how balls-out sucktastic The Shadow Chronicles is, it’s actually a revised version, rewritten and rerecorded after the initial cut and script were deemed unacceptable. Lord knows how bad the original version must have been to make this release version look adequate, but I would like to see it since it must be mind-shatteringly terrible."

Notes and References

External Links

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