In October of 1974, a 26 episode cartoon series premiered in Japan. It was titled Uchu Senkan Yamato or in English terms Space Cruiser Yamato. This series is set in the year 2199 as Earth is being attacked by the planet Gamilon. These evil beings devastated Earth with deadly planet bombs for many years. The radiation caused by these bombs forced all mankind to live in underground cities, deep below the surface of the Earth. There was no defense against the Gamilons. They defeated all of the Earth Defense Fleets. As a result of this attack, all life on Earth, including underground, will become extinct within one year.
A message of hope is sent by Queen Starsha from the distant planet Iscandar. She will give the Earth a machine, called the Cosmo DNA, that will rid the Earth of the deadly radiation. The only problem is that the Earth must come and get the Cosmo DNA at Iscandar which is 148,000 light years away. Starsha also sends the people of Earth an engine diagram that will take them to Iscandar. The Earth Defense Force begins to rebuild the old sunken World War 2 battleship, The Yamato. Upon completion, the Yamato and her crew, a young and inexperienced group of people known as the Star Force, will leave Earth to begin the long and perilous journey.
After some incredible space battles the battered Yamato reached Iscandar and met the mysterious Queen Starsha. They also discovered Alex Wildstar, Derek Wildstar's older brother who was missing in action and presumed dead, living on Iscandar. Alex was captured on the Saturn moon of Titan after his ship, The Paladin, crashlanded during a previous battle with the Gamilons. He was being transported to the Gamilon homeworld, which to the dismay of the Star Force was a twin planet of Iscandar for imprisonment, when a space storm forced the vessel to crashland into Iscandar. Alex was the only survivor of the crash and was nursed back to health by Queen Starsha.
The Yamato left Iscandar with the Cosmo DNA but without Starsha and Alex. They have fallen in love and both decided to stay on Iscandar despie the fact that they were the only two beings alive on the dying planet. The Star Force faced many dangers on their return trip as well but in the end, they defeat Leader Desslok and the Gamilons. After nearly a year in space, the Yamato saves the Earth. Captain Avatar, the ship's commander dies from radioactive poisoning as the ship returns home. It is a bittersweet homecoming for the crew.
This series was later translated into English and aired in the United States as StarBlazers in the early eighties. In July of 1977, the creators of the Yamato, Yoshinobu Nishizaki and Reiji Matsumoto, decided to release a movie version of Uchu Senkan Yamato. The Movie version was a complete success. An English version was also made but has not been seen by many people.
Star Blazers The Comet Empire/Space Cruiser Yamato 2/Saraba Uchu Senkan Yamato/Arrivederci Yamato:
The creators then decided to make another movie that would end the story of the Yamato. In August 1978, Saraba Uchu Senkan Yamato or simply, Arrivederci Yamato, premiered in movie theaters in Japan. The story begins as a huge comet soars through the cosmos. This is not an ordinary comet though, it's the Comet Empire; a war machine built like a comet. The ruler of the Comet Empire, Prince Zordar, wants to rule the entire universe and now wants to defeat Earth; a planet now green and thriving again.
A strange message is received on Earth by Sandor and is believed to be a cry for help. The Earth's government refuses to acknowledge that the comet is a danger so the Star Force reunites to steal the now de-commissioned Space Cruiser Yamato to try to find the origin of the mysterious call for help. The Yamato travels to a planet called Telezart where they find a goddess who has been enslaved by the evil Empire. Wildstar frees Trelaina and she tells the Star Force about the dreaded Comet Empire. The movie concludes with a battle with Leader Desslok, who survived the first series and now is allied with the Comet Empire. The confrontation ends as Nova is shot, Desslok's aide Talan is killed, and Deslok in grief commits suicide.
The Yamato, heavily damaged, battled the Comet Empire. The Yamato's crew, under heavy attack, decide to invade the Empire and destroy the fortress from within. During the invasion, Sergeant Knox is killed and Sandor detonates explosives which not only disables the Empire, but the explosion takes his life. A huge spaceship emerges from the Empire's wreckage and guided by Trelaina, Wildstar rams the fortress ending the battle. Only Venture, Homer, Dash, Eager, and a hand full of others survive the battle.
Next came Space Cruiser Yamato 2; a twenty-six episode series basically containing the same story line as Arrivederci. The ending was changed and most of the main characters, including Desslok, lived. This was not very well received in Japan because of the huge popularity of Arrivederci Yamato. These episodes were also translated into English and had American airplay as StarBlazers The Comet Empire.
Yamato: The New Voyage:
A television special in July of 1979 took the Star Force back to the planet Iscandar to save Queen Starsha and Alex Wildstar from the evil Dark Nebula Empire. As the story begins, Desslok returns to his planet, Gamilon, only to find that it has been taken over by the Dark Nebula Empire. Desslok attacks the Dark Nebula outpost and during the battle, planet Gamilon is destroyed. The shock of the planet's destruction nearly kills Desslok. But, more importantly, it sent Iscandar, Gamilon's twin planet, out of control in the vastness of space.
The Dark Nebula Empire declare war on Iscandar and Desslok and a tremendous space battle ensued. Desslok's fleet is just about defeated but the Yamato appears. The battle was furious and to stop the fighting, Starsha surrenders to the Dark Nebula Empire. Starsha tricks Alex Wildstar into leaving Iscandar with their baby, Sasha. She then commits suicide by blowing up her planet along with the Dark Nebula's space fortress to end the battle. The Yamato and Desslok part as friends.
Be Forever Yamato:
The Dark Nebula Empire strikes back in Be Forever Yamato. The Empire invades Earth, plants a huge bomb, and threatens to blow up the Earth if the Earth does not surrender. The Star Force barely escapes occupied Earth and travels to the asteroid Icarus, where Sandor has hidden the Yamato. Nova is wounded during the escape and is left behind on Earth. She is tended to by a Dark Nebula guard known as Arufon. The Commander of the Earth Defense Forces is held captive by the Empire but is freed when Alex Wildstar detonates explosives that are hidden under his uniform. The explosion kills Alex but the Commander escapes to give the Yamato orders to travel to Dark Nebula to destroy the Homeworld.
On the Yamato, Wildstar grieves the loss of his brother and Nova, who was left behind. He is introduced to his niece Sasha who has grown into a teenager in just one year! While on Earth, Arufon falls in love with Nova but she escapes his clutches to help defuse the huge bomb. During the battle to defuse the Earth Destroying mechanism, Arufon is killed and revealed to be a cyborg. The Yamato travels to Dark Nebula and destroys the Homeworld with the Wave Motion Gun. Sasha ends up dying in the blast and the Yamato returns home.
Yamato 3/StarBlazers The Bollar Wars:
Yamato 3 takes place in the year 2205 and is a twenty-five episode series. An interstellar free-for-all takes place between the Galman Empire, led by the Gamilon Leader Desslok, and the Bolar Federation. During the battle, a Proton Planet Destroyer Missile goes astray and plunges into our sun causing unusual nuclear fusion which will expand the sun. Experts predict that all life on Earth would become extinct in one year and in four years, the sun will supernova, destroying the whole solar system.
The Yamato is sent to find a new Earth where mankind can immigrate to. During the search for a new Earth, the Yamato is caught up in the intergalactic war and meets their old adversary Desslok of Gamilon; who has built a new Empire. Desslok apologizes for the situation on Earth and helps them reach the planet Phantom. On this planet, they meet Queen Maraposa who guides the Yamato to planet Guardiana. She then gives the Yamato the Hydro-Cosmogin; a machine that will return the sun to normal. Maraposa gives up material existence to join Queen Guardiana.
As the Yamato is about to fire the Hydro-Cosmogin, the Bolar Federation attacks with a new weapon, a Black Hole Simulator Cannon. Desslok arrives and Bemlayze, the Bolar Leader, destroys Desslok's fleet with the Black Hole Cannon. Desslok's ship is the only Galman ship to survive the simulated black holes. Flash Contrail, a new Star Force recruit and ace pilot, is guided by Queen Guardiana and flies his CosmoTiger into the Black Hole Cannon; destroying the Cannon and himself. Jason Jetter, another new recruit built out of the same mold as Wildstar, is hit as he tries to repair the protective dome that encloses the Hydro-Cosmogin. Desslok destroys the Bolars and the Yamato fires the Hydro-Cosmogin into the sun and the star returns to normal. Jetter lives long enough to say good-bye to Wildstar and Nova. Desslok tells Wildstar that they will meet again someday. The spirit of Queen Guardiana appears to the Yamato as the ship returns to Earth.
Many fans felt that Yamato was becoming too repetitious so the creators decided to end the series once and for all with a final feature film. Final Yamato, which totally disregards Yamato 3, takes place in the year 2203. It immediately follows Be Forever Yamato.
In Final Yamato, another spiral galaxy is colliding with the Milky Way and the Yamato has been sent to find out why this strange phenomena is happening. The Yamato finds Leader Desslok's Galman Empire homeworld destroyed and they fear that Desslok has been killed. The Yamato stumbles upon another disaster as the planet Deingil is being engulfed with water by the mysterious planet Aquarius. The Yamato's rescue mission fails but Wildstar is able to save one Deingilian boy. The returning Deingilian fleet sees the Yamato flee the planet and assumes that the Yamato was the cause of their planet's destruction. They launch an all out assault on the Yamato and the ship is nearly destroyed.
The Yamato makes it back to Earth but by the help of its automation systems. Upon inspection of the ship, Dr. Sane and Nova find that nearly everyone has been killed! Wildstar, upset about the number of lives lost, resigns his command. A new Captain takes over command of the Yamato and amazingly enough, it is Captain Avatar, the original Captain of the Yamato who had died at the end of the Yamato's first journey!
The Deingilian Commander Lugal plans to use his huge space fortress Uruku to warp planet Aquarius to Earth. If this happens, all life on Earth will perish and the Deingils will claim Earth as their new home. The Yamato leaves Earth for the last time and eventually Uruku is destroyed. During the battle, Mark Venture is killed. The Deingilian fleet is then defeated by Deslok, who made a surprise appearance to save the Yamato at the last possible second. Aquarius continues on towards Earth and Avatar orders the Wave Motion Gun to be plugged up. The crew abandons ship as Avatar stays behind. He fires the Wave Motion Gun and the explosion stops the water column from Aquarius and the Yamato is destroyed. The saddened crew of the Yamato and Desslok watch from nearby ships. At the very end, Nova and Derek Wildstar are married.