Zor was the central figure of the entire Robotech series. He was the original Robotech Master, due to his discovery of Protoculture, a powerful bio-energy source that was the basis of Robotechnology. He heralded a technological renaissance in his society, but circumstances led it to fall into corruption and decay. He rebelled against his fellow Masters and prior to his death, sent his Battlefotress, containing the last known Protoculture Factory Matrix, away to a presumed safe location. The Robotech Masters, desperate to unlock his knowledge on protoculture, cloned Zor in hopes of reviving his memories. The first of these clones was Zor Prime. He was originally based on Seifrietti Weisse and his name derived from the alien race Zor in Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, the series which was adapted into the second "saga" of Robotech.
Zor was originally responsible for discovering the Invid Flower of Life many eons ago. His studies of the miraculous plant led him to cultivate a powerful new energy source known as Protoculture. This led to the creation of a new science known as Robotech, with Zor being known as the first Robotech Master. As the Robotech Empire grew, Zor's fellow Masters grew agitated. They began proto-genetically engineering an army of giant humanoids that would serve as an intergalactic police force. Due to incorrect programming, the giants rebelled and began fighting against each other. The Protogen War, as it was known, broke out, leading to the collapse of the great Robotech Empire.
After the war, the Tirolian society had became a shadow of its former self. Its leaders became obsessed with the triplicate nature of the Flower of Life. Zor rebelled against his fellow Masters, stating that they had abused his creation and brought untold suffering to his people. Zor, in his final act, hid the last known Protoculture Matrix aboard his Battlefortress and sent it away to a supposedly hidden location.
Legacy of WarEdit
In their desperation to recover their lost power source, the Robotech Masters dispatched their proto-genetically engineered warrior race of giants, now known as the Zentraedi, to seek out the lost battlefortress. Little did they know that they would find it on Earth, now converted into the Super Dimension Fortress-1 Macross (SDF-1), thus setting the stage for the First Robotech War. By the end of the conflict, the entire Imperial Grand Fleet of Dolza was destroyed by the inhabitants of Earth. This necessitated the Robotech Masters taking more direct action, cloning Zor in hopes of recovering his memory.
- Zor was created by Robotech writer Carl Macek as the central figure of the expanded backstory he developed in order to link together the three unrelated Japanese anime that were merged to create the series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. Broadly speaking, Zor was to be a member of the alien race from the Southern Cross, the creator of the ship from Macross, and creator of the energy source Protoculture, which he stole from the aliens from Mospeada.
- The basic kernel for the idea of Zor was found by Macek in the character of Seifreit Weisse from Southern Cross; in the original Japanese series, he was a brainwashed human being, but for Robotech, Macek repurposed him as "Zor Prime", an amnesiac clone of Zor himself. The name "Zor" came from the aliens in Southern Cross, who were redubbed as "Robotech Masters" for Robotech.
- Per Macek's new story, Zor was deceased at the outset of the Robotech television series, and as the series was dubbed animation taken from a show in which he did not actually exist, the character's history could be touched upon only vaguely within the finished programme. Macek detailed Zor's backstory more fully within a year of Robotech's television debut, in the 1986 Comico publication, Robotech: The Graphic Novel, which described Zor's theft of the Flower of Life from the alien Invid, his creation of Protoculture, his subsequent rebellion against the Robotech Masters, and his death at the hands of the Invid.
- These elements were all adapted by author Jack McKinney into his 1987 series of Robotech novels, which further posited that Zor was acting under the influence of the "Shapings of Protoculture", a cosmic force that guided his actions. The McKinney novels were also able to incorporate some of the information on Zor's legacy from the production notes for the aborted sequel project, Robotech II: The Sentinels (publicly published in the art book Robotech Art 3), culminating in a particularly detailed exploration of his drives in the chronologically final book, The End of the Circle. McKinney's novels were in turn adapted by Eternity Comics and Academy Comics into a comic book series; although the comic was cancelled before reaching the events of The End of the Circle, a large portion of that book's information was covered in Eternity's companion mini-series, The Legend of Zor.