The hybrid space opera Robotech was one of may absolute favorite shows as a kid. It was completely unlike every other show I watched at the time. Its serial structure really stood out against children’s cartoon programming of the day, which was, aside from the occasional two- or three-parter, purely episodic. While this was a big part of the show’s appeal for me, it also led to some drawbacks: namely, the unaccustomed-to experience of watching a show and story I loved play itself out, then … end.
While I’m dead certain that many of the cartoons I spent endless hours watching in syndication had far fewer than Robotech’s 85 episodes, my perception was that the opposite was true. Unsurprisingly, I wanted more. One way I got my fix was by reading the show’s 12-volume novelization. Once that trove had been exhausted, I remember browsing the Target book section one day to find this:
My 10 year old mind was blown to find out that the Robotech story had been extended into another series of novels entitled The Sentinels. In that pre-Internet dark age, there was no way to know that these were actually based on a short lived TV sequel series that followed the story of the popular characters from the first section of Robotech. Only 3 episodes were produced of the series because the crash of the Dollar/Yen exchange rate in the mid-1980s, which caused Matchbox to withdraw from the project due to the increased cost. Since Harmony Gold lacked the funds to produce the series on its own, production ceased.
It is impressive to think that with only 3 episodes produced that the show could spawn a series of books, a film, comic books and an RPG. It makes you wonder what might have been if they had been able to get all 65 episodes made…
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