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Knight26

Macross  Docu-Drama History

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Macross creator Shoji Kawamori once stated that the stories in Macross we have seen have always been docu-dramas of the events, and not the actual events.  I believe this was to explain the story and visual differences between TV and Movie versions. (at the time the question was regarding SDFM TV and M:DYRL).  So, that got me thinking after some discussion of Macross 7.  I did a similar write up to this for the Star Trek TV series and movies.

SDF Macross:

Following the events of Space War 1, and prior to the launch of the SDF-2 Megaroad, UN Spacey authorized the production of a Docu-Drama following the events and individuals at the center of SW1. 

Due to the continued front-line usage of the VF-1, and because the VF-4 had not net yet entered LRIP (Low Range Initial Production), the only available airframes were early and pre-war prototypes with the original cockpit.  While a series docu-drama the series did include more comedic aspects in order to help boost the population’s spirits.  

Filming commenced shortly after the attack of the SDF-1 by Kamjin, which nearly destroyed the Battlefortress and mandated it’s massive reconstruction.  As a result, most interior scenes were filmed on sets built within the heavily damaged and retired Prometheus and Daedalus Spacecraft Carriers, or in areas around Macross city.

Due to the lack of examples (functional and otherwise) of many pre-war vehicles, many shots used post-war vehicles or models there of as stand-ins.  Extensive usage of stock, security, and gun camera footage were used in the series to portray the various battles and historical footage.  Footage of models was also used to fill in some aspects, and in some cases, UN Spacey allowed the use of actual Mecha for key scenes that would not endanger the units.

Many details were obscured or outright changed due to security issues.

The series met with great reviews and as the reconstruction of the SDF-1 neared completion another production was planned, this one as a feature film.

Macross DYRL:

In preparation for the launch of the SDF-2 Megaroad, and following the completion of SDF:M, the feature length retelling of SW1 began.

At this time, the VF-4 has entered LRIP and final acceptance testing, freeing up numerous later block VF-1s for use in filming.  Filming also took place aboard the SDF-1, around the reconstruction with many of the actors from the TV series reprising their roles.

Due to the length of the feature many details were changed, though some declassified information was permitted, most of the pertained to the time spent on the Protoculture City then Captain Misa Hayase, and LT Hikaru Ichijo.  This event was left completely out of the TV series for security reasons, but became a key feature of the feature film.

The film was released to coincide with the launch of the SDF-2 Megaroad, though the filmmakers wanted to wait in order to show the launch at the end of the feature.

Flashback-2012:

Released two years after the launch of the Megaroad, this compilation music video used highlights from Lynn Minmay’s final concert as well footage the previous TV series and movies to perform a quick chronicle of her life up until the launch.

New footage was shot aboard the SDF-3 and using in-service VF-4s.  

Though seeing only limited release, the film is treasured by fans of the pop-idol who helped end SW1.

Macross-II:

Released ten years the end of Space War 1, this fantasy film imagined how the UN-Spacy would change over the next  80 years.  No mention was made of the colonization effort which upset many citizens, as did many other aspects of the mini-series.

Macross-Plus:

Following the Sharon Apple Incident (2040), and numerous demands for answers in the form of numerous Freedom of Information Act Requests, the UN Spacey allowed the production of the Macross-Plus Docu-Drama.  Originally intended as a documentary following the Super-Nova fighter competition, the mini-series and follow on feature used a great deal of test footage shot during the competition.  More scenes were shot on location with actors filling in for the actual people involved.

Shinsei Industries & General Galaxy were more than happy to lend the filmmakers the surviving prototypes for the production.  While the YF-19 was selected as the “winner” of the competition, neither fighter saw widespread production or deployment.  Instead both served as special operations craft for decades to come.

While some discrepancies exist between the mini-series and theatrical film none of the survivors of the incident have yet commented on which is closer to the truth.

Macross 7:

While not originally declassified to the public, the events of the year long Macross 7 Colonization Fleet war with the ProtoDevlin were discovered following the disappearance of Nekki Basara in 2047.  While numerous bootleg recordings of the signer existed at the time, very little in the way of clear actual video or photographic evidence did.  This brought up numerous theories regarding his origin, what happened to him after the war, and his role in the brief conflict.

An enterprising fan of the band, after filing numerous FIARs was able to obtain heavily redacted information regarding the events of the war, and after crowd-funding a production, travelled to Macross-7 to film their own Docu-Drama regarding the events.

Due to the inaccessibility of certain key personnel and data, extensive use of models and stock footage was used in the early parts of the series.  This allowed the maker of the project to spend a great deal of time following the main characters of the piece, the Band FireBomber, of whom they were a major fan.

When officials aboard Macross-7 learned of the production, they permitted the usage of certain areas of the fleet for filming, and moved most of the production the Hollywood ship, as the outlaw filmmaking style that preceded the move upset many of the citizenry who had lived through the conflict.

It was around this time that the story of the war came into greater focus, though the exact nature of how “sound-energy” worked was never made clear.  It is also believed that the extent to which “Sound Force” was used in the conflict was somewhat exaggerated, as was Nekki Basara’s usage of the custom VF-19Kai early in the conflict, prior to the official induction of Sound Force.  There is evidence to suggest that he originally flew a modified VF-11 or uncertain “unknown older model VF.”

Multiple follow on productions were made, with the Final:  Dynamite 7 chronicling the last known sighting of Nekki Basara.

While the series has many fans, it has an equal, if not greater number of detractors, who pan its light-hearted style and “sillyness.”  The maker has rebuffed these comments as he wanted to focus on Firebomber and not the darker aspects of the conflict.

Macross Zero:

Filmed aboard the Macross Frontier Colony Ship, this production highlighted a little known, and recently declassified, series of battles during the end of the Unification Wars.  With no models of the actual craft being available, heavy use of CGI overlays were instead employed to cover up the usage of modern Valkyries and reproductions of other aircraft and vehicles.

The release of M0 sparked new debate regarding the identity and parentage of Nekki Basara.  Some have now come to speculate that the orphaned Rock Star might actually be the offspring of Sara Nome and Shin Kudo.  However, we will likely never know.
Macross Frontier:

Filmed aboard the Macross Frontier colony following their war with the Varja.  As the new NUNS government aboard and SMS were quite willing, actual equipment and locations was used where-ever possible.  Like the earlier SW1 docu-dramas, key details were altered during the filming of both the series and movies.  In part this was to protect innocent parties, in others, the filmmakers reasonings were less clear.

Macross Delta:

Waiting until I watch the second movie to write this one up.

Thoughts?

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You're write up sounds quite possible .  And I appreciate the perspective.

But why would M7 be fan made?

 

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7 hours ago, Bolt said:

You're write up sounds quite possible .  And I appreciate the perspective.

But why would M7 be fan made?

 

Started as fan made, but then became official after production moved to Mac-7.  Didn't make that part clear.  Wanted to emphasize that the maker of the series was more interested in building up FireBomber and Basara.

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14 hours ago, Knight26 said:

Macross creator Shoji Kawamori once stated that the stories in Macross we have seen have always been docu-dramas of the events, and not the actual events.  I believe this was to explain the story and visual differences between TV and Movie versions. (at the time the question was regarding SDFM TV and M:DYRL).

Granted, he's said that... but the Macross franchise itself doesn't seem to take his stance entirely seriously.

As I see it, it's equal parts Kawamori excusing his broad strokes approach to continuity, his get-out-of-jail-free card for questions about the implications certain Macross stories have, and a way to justify the inevitable zeerust as real world tech surpasses the alleged future tech in-series.  Other creators working on Macross apparently either didn't get the memo or didn't care for its contents, because the artbooks, manga, novels, etc. tend to do a lot more with inter-series connections than Kawamori himself would.

Some details dropped in later series opened some new and interesting avenues of theorizing about the docu-drama aspects though.

For instance, a suspicion that the role of the SDF-1 Macross was played by the postwar SDFN-1 General Takeshi Hayase or one of the eleven other Macross-class mass produced ships, similar to how the Forrestal-class USS Ranger (CV-61) was used as a stand-in for the Enterprise-class USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home.  In other cases, we got explicit notes on what stand-ins were used like the Boddole Zer mobile fortress being played by a West Point-class macro training ship with a holographic skin applied to it and some perspective trickery employed to make it look far bigger than it actually was.

Variable Fighter Master File actually makes mention of the in-universe Do You Remember Love? movie being a sequel to a previous work called Macross: The Booby Trap that was about the first part of the First Space War ending with the fold jump to Pluto.

Macross II, I suspect, was an in-universe piece of speculative fiction popular in the mid-2040s, given that the music from it is apparently topping the charts in Macross 7.

Macross Plus is more of an issue, since the events of the Sharon Apple incident were classified top secret.  If it's anything like Macross Zero, they likely wouldn't have been declassified for at least 50 years (so ~2090).

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@Seto Kaiba  I figured the theory would have holes.  But it was fun thought exercise.  Also, while the Mac+ Sharon Apple incident was "Top Secret" it was such a public event, that the public likely would have demanded something regarding it.  Hence just dressing up the Super Nova documentary to put the blame for whole incident squarely on the Sharon Apple team (whether they really were responsible or not).  It's also possible that the story wasn't released until after UNS transitioned to NUNS as a means of showing why UNS needed to go away in favor of NUNS.  The same could be said for the M7 docudrama.  Has there been an official explanation for why UNS became NUNS?

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13 minutes ago, Knight26 said:

@Seto Kaiba  I figured the theory would have holes.  But it was fun thought exercise.  Also, while the Mac+ Sharon Apple incident was "Top Secret" it was such a public event, that the public likely would have demanded something regarding it.  Hence just dressing up the Super Nova documentary to put the blame for whole incident squarely on the Sharon Apple team (whether they really were responsible or not).  It's also possible that the story wasn't released until after UNS transitioned to NUNS as a means of showing why UNS needed to go away in favor of NUNS.  The same could be said for the M7 docudrama.  Has there been an official explanation for why UNS became NUNS?

Short answer, yes and a lot of it involves what happens in the VF-X games. Mostly the 2nd one, but it seems the issues had been building for a while. Basically they needed to decentralize to avoid one group having all the power (though Earth still ends up with more in the end). 

For the long version of the answer, see Seto below. (this is what they call genre savvy lol) 

Edited by Master Dex

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“Just repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show, you should really just relax.’” :rolleyes:

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51 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

“Just repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show, you should really just relax.’” :rolleyes:

That's no fun at all, though.

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1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

Also, while the Mac+ Sharon Apple incident was "Top Secret" it was such a public event, that the public likely would have demanded something regarding it.

Let's just say the public didn't get told anything the military wasn't ready to admit to... particularly about the military's involvement in developing the Sharon Apple AI, their plans to weaponize it, etc.  The whole thing was a MASSIVE black eye for the New UN Forces.

 

1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

Hence just dressing up the Super Nova documentary to put the blame for whole incident squarely on the Sharon Apple team (whether they really were responsible or not).

Macross Plus doesn't really hide the military's involvement in the incident... I mean, Marj got the AI chip that sent Sharon over the edge from them after all.  She was basically a test case for the X-9's humanlike AI after all.

 

1 hour ago, Knight26 said:

It's also possible that the story wasn't released until after UNS transitioned to NUNS as a means of showing why UNS needed to go away in favor of NUNS.  The same could be said for the M7 docudrama.  Has there been an official explanation for why UNS became NUNS?

Two contradictory ones, in fact... because Kawamori's never going to make it that easy, right?

  • The first, a view held by Variable Fighter Master File and supported to some extent by Kawamori's remarks and some dialog in the Macross 7 series as well as the flashbacks in Macross Frontier, is that the UN Forces became the New UN Forces at the same time (April 2010) the UN Government was reestablished as the New UN Government after the First Space War ended.  It was reorganized again in 2051 after Latence's failed coup d'etat, but kept the same name.
  • The second, a view held by Macross R but technically contradicted by Macross Frontier's flashbacks to the mid-2040s, holds that the military was reorganized and became the New UN Forces after the Latence coup attempt in early 2051 (see Macross VF-X2).

A lot of fans forget that the first actually mention of the "New UN" is in the Two Years After arc of the original SDF Macross series.

 

 

54 minutes ago, Master Dex said:

Short answer, yes and a lot of it involves what happens in the VF-X games. Mostly the 2nd one, but it seems the issues had been building for a while. Basically they needed to decentralize to avoid one group having all the power (though Earth still ends up with more in the end). 

For the long version of the answer, see Seto below. (this is what they call genre savvy lol) 

Long story short, the emigrant governments and central New UN Government had very different ideas about how much autonomy the emigrant governments should have.  There were two factions, one that wanted to concentrate more and more authority in the central government on Earth and one that wanted greater autonomy for the individual local governments.  The Earth supremacist faction in the military eventually decided it wasn't enough to use the VF-X Special Forces to squash emigrant reform movements and resistance groups and tried to overthrow the central government itself.  It didn't work out for them.

 

34 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

“Just repeat to yourself ‘It’s just a show, you should really just relax.’” :rolleyes:

Technically it's a metaseries since the narrative is split across multiple formats, but hey... analyzing the hell out of things is part of being a fan. :p 

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On 10/17/2019 at 4:22 PM, JB0 said:

That's no fun at all, though.

In this age of the Internet, good.

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