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HG and Robotech Debates


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#141 Moly_Sigang

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:04 AM

After reading that long post, it made me think how much different the fundamental stories of Macross and Robotech really are. In Macross, there's a deeper understanding about the in-universe at large that we sometimes overlook.

#142 Gubaba

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE (Wanzerfan @ Jan 15 2010, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We are in agreement here. According to Siembieda, the Macross is 1,200 meters long. It also has a mass of about 16,329,600 metric tons (I had to convert the figure myself; he only gave the imperal measurement for weight in his Robotech: The Macross Saga sourcebook).

Ooh, Palladium...now THERE'S an unimpeachable source. rolleyes.gif

I'd say it's more important that the length was given as 1200 meters by Miyatake, since he designed the bloody thing in the first place. That Palladium agrees is probably nothing more than a happy accident. biggrin.gif

#143 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:18 AM

QUOTE (azrael @ Jan 15 2010, 11:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Like how Protoculture went from a society to a seed the size of my thumbnail which apparently has enough energy to power a 100W lightbulb for a day.

It's a MacGuffin... a cheap excuse to tie the three shows together despite their totally unrelated stories. I don't think they ever really had a rationale for it.


QUOTE (Wanzerfan @ Jan 15 2010, 11:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
According to Siembieda [...]

Now there are three words that automatically invalidate pretty much anything that comes after. I've honestly lost track of the number of times I've said this over the years, but nobody should ever cite a Palladium publication as an authoritative source of information. Palladium's licensed works are invariably so wildly inaccurate that it's far safer to assume that any information that's actually correct is the product of coincidence rather than intent. Palladium's MO is generally to sacrifice accuracy in the name of game balance, making things fit the previously-established rules, and of course, applying "more dakka" with the sort of enthusiasm an Ork would be hard pressed to match.



QUOTE (Wanzerfan @ Jan 15 2010, 11:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[...] the Macross is 1,200 meters long. It also has a mass of about 16,329,600 metric tons (I had to convert the figure myself; he only gave the imperal measurement for weight in his Robotech: The Macross Saga sourcebook).

Which is... for the purposes of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series AND Robotech's Macross Saga... completely wrong. The ship in question is 1,210m long and 18,000,000 metric tons.

Strictly speaking, in Macross the titular ship was shortened to 1,200m during the 2012 refit (or was always that size as per the alternate universe/DYRL).

Edited by Seto Kaiba, 15 January 2010 - 09:21 AM.


#144 Penguin

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE (Seto Kaiba @ Jan 15 2010, 10:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's a MacGuffin... a cheap excuse to tie the three shows together despite their totally unrelated stories. I don't think they ever really had a rationale for it.

I dunno if I'd agree with "cheap" happy.gif

I always thought the original premise, an alien plant with a growth process so energetic that if you held the seeds in stasis to prevent that growth you could harvest huge amounts of power, was kinda interesting. At least, it was no more offensive to my suspension of disbelief than controlled matter-antimatter reactions, subspace, hyperspace, warp drive, admantium, unobtainium, Minovsky particles, or any other sci-fi contrivance that gets us around those pesky laws of physics. In the hands of a competent writer, it could even be an interesting plot device.

Maybe that will happen some day. Then HG can hunt down and punish the author for daring to steal their idea.

#145 MastaEgg

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:10 PM

Macek appears on this week's ANNCast

#146 jenius

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 01:59 PM

I agree that the concept of Protoculture in the Robotech universe as a biological fuel source could be fine. There are hurdles though. The name "Protoculture" doesn't really seem fitting for a biological fuel source. The idea that this fuel source doesn't just create energy but assists in mechanical creations behaving more life-like was too much of a stretch. Then the fact that Protoculture, as it's applied in RT, doesn't seem to have consistent attributes kinda throws the whole thing into disarray.

The only way "Protoculture" as we know it in Robotech can work for Robotech's Macross Saga is to make the Zentraedi truly ignorant. You have to imagine the Robotech Masters telling Dolza "Go retrieve Zor's spaceship and the precious Protoculture." Then you have to imagine Dolza not having ever heard of Protoculture before and telling all his soldiers that there's something called "Protoculture" that is so important and powerful that all the Zentraedi have to go hunt it down. The Zentraedi have no idea what Protoculture is so every time they're confused they wonder if this is the result of Protoculture.

#147 Penguin

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 15 2010, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree that the concept of Protoculture in the Robotech universe as a biological fuel source could be fine. There are hurdles though. The name "Protoculture" doesn't really seem fitting for a biological fuel source. The idea that this fuel source doesn't just create energy but assists in mechanical creations behaving more life-like was too much of a stretch. Then the fact that Protoculture, as it's applied in RT, doesn't seem to have consistent attributes kinda throws the whole thing into disarray.

The only way "Protoculture" as we know it in Robotech can work for Robotech's Macross Saga is to make the Zentraedi truly ignorant. You have to imagine the Robotech Masters telling Dolza "Go retrieve Zor's spaceship and the precious Protoculture." Then you have to imagine Dolza not having ever heard of Protoculture before and telling all his soldiers that there's something called "Protoculture" that is so important and powerful that all the Zentraedi have to go hunt it down. The Zentraedi have no idea what Protoculture is so every time they're confused they wonder if this is the result of Protoculture.

This all ties back to my comment
QUOTE
In the hands of a competent writer, it could even be an interesting plot device.

Internal consistency is something competent writers achieve. Lack of same says something about the quality of Robotech's writing. It would have made for a better story just to stick with the Macross notion of the Zentraedi being so ignorant of non-military culture, rather than having the Zentraedi attribute anything they didn't understand to what turns out to be just a power source.

As for the power imparting pseudo-life to mechanical devices, I think that was a McKinney invention (...or was there some off-hand comment from Roy or Rick about Protoculture and the cola robots? ... don't care enough to look it up), but again the idea that this strange biologically-derived energy had an effect on technology is something I think a good writer could explore. The novels didn't do an awful job of that, IMHO, considering they had to operate within the constraints of a poorly constructed and inconsistent story in the first place.

Edited by Penguin, 15 January 2010 - 03:17 PM.


#148 taksraven

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:16 PM

QUOTE (Penguin @ Jan 16 2010, 10:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for the power imparting pseudo-life to mechanical devices, I think that was a McKinney invention, but again the idea that this strange biologically-derived energy had an effect on technology is something I think a good writer could explore. The novels didn't do an awful job of that, IMHO, considering they had to operate within the constraints of a poorly constructed and inconsistent story in the first place.


Yeah, the writing on the McKinney novels wasn't extremely bad (it wasn't too great either), but the fact that they were trying to explain away all of the inconsistencies of the Robotech story meant that they had to deal with a lot of crap. And they were pretty unsuccessful. (The stupid thinking caps being one of the more notorious examples)

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#149 Einherjar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:23 PM

I have to ask then, were a majority of the new ideas introduced in the Robotech novels created by McKinney or from ideas interpreted from notes and talk from Carl Macek about his definite version of Robotech?

#150 Wanzerfan

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:24 PM

QUOTE (MastaEgg @ Jan 15 2010, 03:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh holy hell, he's getting his mitts on Space Adventure Cobra???!!!

I don't know what to say.


#151 Wanzerfan

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:26 PM

QUOTE (taksraven @ Jan 15 2010, 05:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, the writing on the McKinney novels wasn't extremely bad (it wasn't too great either), but the fact that they were trying to explain away all of the inconsistencies of the Robotech story meant that they had to deal with a lot of crap. And they were pretty unsuccessful. (The stupid thinking caps being one of the more notorious examples)

Taksraven
Different viewpoint, this is not a double post.

Especially since you can operate a SPARTAS without a helmet.

#152 Einherjar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:31 PM

It's funny that people are talking about the Robotech novels again:

http://ghostlightnin...alled-robotech/

#153 Gubaba

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 03:55 PM

QUOTE (Einherjar @ Jan 15 2010, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have to ask then, were a majority of the new ideas introduced in the Robotech novels created by McKinney or from ideas interpreted from notes and talk from Carl Macek about his definite version of Robotech?

I've heard various contradictory stories, mostly from Robotech fans who seem to be arguing strenuously for whatever version of Robotech's history they feel is the least unfortunate. (IE, don't like the "thinking caps" or the "shapings"? Apparently, that's all McKinney! Carl Macek had nothing to do with it! On the other hand, if you want to think that Carl Macek is a "visionary," I've heard that he specifically came up with the concepts of thinking caps and the shapings and wanted to put them in the show, but he was "limited by what was shown in the animation.")

I also read an interview with James Luceno where he said he and Brian Daley picked Macek's brain for about two weeks before starting on the novels. Which still doesn't solve the riddle of who came up with End of the Circle... I'd *like* to believe that it was Macek, because it would be funny to think that the guy Robotech fans hail as a creative genius came up with an ending that most of them despise...but of course, I have no evidence one way or another.

#154 MacrossCN

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 05:31 PM

UEG's Robotech Genesis

http://www.united-ea...p.com/index.php



Edited by kresphy, 15 January 2010 - 05:31 PM.


#155 VF5SS

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:59 PM

Those guys need to try again with those 3d models. Try being a little more creative than just making crappier renditions of the existing designs. If the designs were truly different then we can see if Robotech's story can stand on its own.

Edited by VF5SS, 15 January 2010 - 07:01 PM.


#156 jenius

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:08 PM

Besides the fact the thinking caps don't work at all with what's in the animation, I don't get what's so bad about them. On Mars Base Rick pulls off some maneuvers that only a gymnast could do. I find the notion that he did those maneuvers using a couple joysticks and maybe a couple pedals REALLY far fetched. If his mech is hooked up to his mind that's a bit less far-fetched to me.

#157 VF5SS

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:31 PM

Because a sufficiently advanced robot should be able to abstract its motions down to something a person can control. Even real life vehicles abstract much of the mechanics of how they move down to something we can grasp.

Ask a spider how to design a car and it'll probably be very different.

#158 jenius

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:48 PM

That's the argument against the thinking caps? Because these things are so advance they shouldn't need something as BASIC as an interface linked directly to a pilot's mind? I mean, I'll give you that these vehicles should be capable of being piloted in some form without thinking caps... but the running into a somersault followed by a spinning and firing in all directions... that'd be some ferocious jerking of levers and pedals.

#159 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 15 2010, 10:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's the argument against the thinking caps? Because these things are so advance they shouldn't need something as BASIC as an interface linked directly to a pilot's mind?

Actually, the core argument against thinking caps is a line from one of the first episodes of the Macross Saga, where Roy says that "if you can fly a jet, you can operate a battloid" (the exact wording may differ slightly, but the meaning is there), which pretty firmly establishes that the controls provided are adequate to control the battloid without significant additional complexity... all in all ruling out the idea that a whole secondary control system is necessary to execute the maneuvers seen in the show. There's also the abundance of evidence in the series itself where the "thinking cap" concept falls on its face due to either someone operating the mecha without the benefit of a "thinking cap" helmet, having more than one person present in the cockpit without a helmet (ruling out a non-contact system by means of potential interference), and having someone else wear the helmet in the cockpit (ruling it out by having someone other than the pilot wearing the helmet which ostensibly includes the "thinking cap" hardware without affecting the aircraft's maneuvers at all).

Basically, the argument against the "thinking cap" is that the dialogue in the series establishes that such a thing is largely unnecessary, and that a large body of circumstantial evidence suggests it CANNOT possibly exist or function as McKinney says it should.

#160 Einherjar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:59 PM

It makes learning how to fly an already complicated piece of equipment a superhero feat with the addition of a thinking cap.

#161 VF5SS

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:17 PM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 15 2010, 10:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because these things are so advance they shouldn't need something as BASIC as an interface linked directly to a pilot's mind?


Are you saying a mind interface is basic? The mind can be a very chaotic thing. Everyone's mind works a little differently and often times there's strange impulses and background noise. Can the brain figure out how to work with a complex machine as an extension of its body? Maybe yes or maybe no. It certainly isn't basic.

QUOTE
I mean, I'll give you that these vehicles should be capable of being piloted in some form without thinking caps... but the running into a somersault followed by a spinning and firing in all directions... that'd be some ferocious jerking of levers and pedals.


Is it really? You can already make the robot run forward and you've got a way to make it jump right? It even has a way to control the pitch in robot mode like when the machine is flying about.

Just run and make a little hop while pitching the robot downward so that it's shoulders strike the ground. It rolls a little due to momentum and either by letting it try to stand automatically or telling it to stand the robot ends up doing a little somersault to follow your commands. The robot is already show to be capable of coordinating its body to aim it's gun where you want it to. Zero and Frontier have suggested there's some eye tracking involved but even a joystick could move the reticule manually. You just have to know what you want to do and how the machine will react.

Other shows like Patlabor get into this a little more. The machine itself learns to work with its pilot to the point where they may become inseparable. Maybe it's a little different in Macross, but the idea is very similar.

Really, it's the idea of having an intelligent machine that follows what you want it to do, but takes its own way to do it. That's why the background material says all the Valkyries have SUPER AI or BATTROID CONTROL SYSTEM. It's just how you abstract a complex weapon to something familiar.

#162 jenius

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:40 PM

QUOTE (VF5SS @ Jan 15 2010, 09:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you saying a mind interface is basic? The mind can be a very chaotic thing. Everyone's mind works a little differently and often times there's strange impulses and background noise. Can the brain figure out how to work with a complex machine as an extension of its body? Maybe yes or maybe no. It certainly isn't basic.


No, you were saying that the VF-1 is a sufficiently advanced enough where it wouldn't require something like mind control... as if it were so sufficiently advanced it were BEYOND mind control. I think that's an odd statement because it would seem to me that a direct mind link up to a machine would be pretty ideal and is only made more plausible by how advanced the VF-1 is.

QUOTE
Really, it's the idea of having an intelligent machine that follows what you want it to do, but takes its own way to do it. That's why the background material says all the Valkyries have SUPER AI or BATTROID CONTROL SYSTEM. It's just how you abstract a complex weapon to something familiar.


Yes, Macross has its own structure around why piloting a battroid is so easy and sure, it works. I was really just curious as to why the backlash for Robotech's version as I really don't find that whole "thinking cap" idea so terrible with the one HUGE exception being it doesn't work with the animation. I never hear people saying "ExoSquad was soooo terrible because the pilots had to connect to their Eframes!"

#163 Einherjar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:46 PM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 15 2010, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I never hear people saying "ExoSquad was soooo terrible because the pilots had to connect to their Eframes!"


Didn't E-Frame pilots have a brain jack slot surgically implanted on the back of their head/neck that connected directly to the mech when in use?

Edited by Einherjar, 15 January 2010 - 09:47 PM.


#164 Protoculture

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 10:28 PM

RT: LAM be damned! Macross sequels be darned!

We know we wanted a new Robotech series in vain of Macross sequels the likes of Macross 7 & Macross Frontier!

I welcomed you to the future of newly animated ROBOTECH: SHADOW RISING!

Clicky-clicky!

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

#165 VFTF1

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 10:36 PM

There's already a multi-page thread in the anime or sci fi section dedicated to that show...

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#166 Protoculture

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (VFTF1 @ Jan 16 2010, 12:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There's already a multi-page thread in the anime or sci fi section dedicated to that show...

Pete


It might become the next RT series, so it is worth to be thrown in the discussion ....


#167 taksraven

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

QUOTE (Protoculture @ Jan 16 2010, 05:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It might become the next RT series, so it is worth to be thrown in the discussion ....



Yeah, when pigs fly backwards, but its already under discussion there......

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#168 Einherjar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:19 PM

It still looks too expensive for HG to ever get their hands on.

#169 Robelwell202

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE (Einherjar @ Jan 15 2010, 11:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It still looks too expensive for HG to ever get their hands on.



Possibly not, considering the fact that China's workforce gets paid a hell of a lot less than anyone else... Production costs might be really low, and this might just parallel the costs of RT:TSC.

Something to consider, anyway...

#170 taksraven

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:29 AM

QUOTE (Protoculture @ Jan 16 2010, 05:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
RT: LAM be damned! Macross sequels be darned!

We know we wanted a new Robotech series in vain of Macross sequels the likes of Macross 7 & Macross Frontier!

I welcomed you to the future of newly animated ROBOTECH: SHADOW RISING!

Clicky-clicky!

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif



C'mon. Seriously, if HG bought that and badged it "Robotech" they would alienate the Robotech fanbase.

Oh, wait......

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#171 kung flu

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:30 AM

QUOTE (Saraphys @ Jan 15 2010, 08:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On this little planet of the apes, it is not science that has caused people conflict; its religion. Look at any war (with but a few obvious exceptions) and you'll find that religion and politics are to blame...not science.
Science doesn't kill people, People use science to kill people.
((I.e. Nuclear power doesn't kill people, Nuclear weapons do))

Now please go back to the topic...


In other words people is the cause of war. Religion, politics, greed and race are all just excuses to go to war. People always find an excuse to go to war, you can blame it on religion or science but end of the day its just people that causes suffering on themselves. I bet there are Robotech fans who are willing to go to war on the Macross camp because its human nature.


#172 VF5SS

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:30 AM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 16 2010, 12:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, you were saying that the VF-1 is a sufficiently advanced enough where it wouldn't require something like mind control... as if it were so sufficiently advanced it were BEYOND mind control. I think that's an odd statement because it would seem to me that a direct mind link up to a machine would be pretty ideal and is only made more plausible by how advanced the VF-1 is.


That only works if you assume mind control is easier than physical control and a reactionary robot. We have robots that react to external stimulus already. For example, DARPA's robotic mule can react accordingly when kicked in the side. A VF-1 is sufficiently advanced to be a large, standing machine with some kind of reactionary control system like when the VF-1D fired its backpack thruster to attempt to stay standing or when Shin VF-0D is tackled and it tries to defend itself. Like I said, these are things we can accomplished now without mind control. Also the prospect of mind control is completely unrelated anyway.



QUOTE
I was really just curious as to why the backlash for Robotech's version as I really don't find that whole "thinking cap" idea so terrible with the one HUGE exception being it doesn't work with the animation. I never hear people saying "ExoSquad was soooo terrible because the pilots had to connect to their Eframes!"


Because it was a poorly researched idea that people were taking as fact about a show they were interested in.

#173 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE (jenius @ Jan 16 2010, 12:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really don't find that whole "thinking cap" idea so terrible with the one HUGE exception being it doesn't work with the animation.

You'll find you've inadvertently answered your own question as to why Robotech fans are so down on the idea of McKinney's "thinking cap"... because it doesn't jive with the animated series, and for both Harmony Gold and the vast majority of the rapidly dwindling Robotech fanbase, the animated series is the "true" Robotech. To them, the comic books and novelizations Harmony Gold's various licensees were churning out through the late 80's and early 90's were generally no better than bad fan-fiction, due to their frequent and often senseless departures from the established canon, and were only legitimized as a means of keeping the franchise on life support while they waited for Carl Macek's latest failed attempt to resuscitate the brand.

Once the continuity had been rebooted and new, canon material started coming out that at least superficially lined up with the story of the "original 85", the old comics and the McKinney novels lost the only thing that made the fans accept them (however grudgingly)... their status as the only thing apart from the "original 85" with the name Robotech on it. With that gone, and some small body of replacement canon side stories, it was inevitable the fans would tear the comics and novels to flinders over their many departures from the TV series.

#174 Einherjar

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (MastaEgg @ Jan 15 2010, 01:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It's probably connected to the 25th Anniversary of Robotech in some way (shameless plug of it?). It IS going to be his year to shine, if HG actually has plans for it.

For all the good Robotech may or may not had in bringing Japanese anime to the U.S. and the world, it's ironic that it's also been actively keeping one out. It's always at the expense of Macross. So thanks Carl, for creating a lot of disenfranchised fans to make way for your epic and keeping it timeless.

Edited by Einherjar, 16 January 2010 - 10:13 AM.


#175 Wanzerfan

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:36 PM

QUOTE (Gubaba @ Jan 15 2010, 05:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've heard various contradictory stories, mostly from Robotech fans who seem to be arguing strenuously for whatever version of Robotech's history they feel is the least unfortunate. (IE, don't like the "thinking caps" or the "shapings"? Apparently, that's all McKinney! Carl Macek had nothing to do with it! On the other hand, if you want to think that Carl Macek is a "visionary," I've heard that he specifically came up with the concepts of thinking caps and the shapings and wanted to put them in the show, but he was "limited by what was shown in the animation.")

I also read an interview with James Luceno where he said he and Brian Daley picked Macek's brain for about two weeks before starting on the novels. Which still doesn't solve the riddle of who came up with End of the Circle... I'd *like* to believe that it was Macek, because it would be funny to think that the guy Robotech fans hail as a creative genius came up with an ending that most of them despise...but of course, I have no evidence one way or another.
I've read in one of the Letters colomn in one of the Eternity comics (I can't remember which one, and I'm not going to go through them) that Carl Macek thought that End of the Circle was a full 180 to his vision of the franchise. His vision was basicly what was penned in Art 3, train wreck that that story was.

Edited by Wanzerfan, 16 January 2010 - 01:36 PM.





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