The Robotech sequel that never was (kind of)

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…


Privateer, grenadier, raconteur. In the midwestiest place on earth.

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7 thoughts on “The Robotech sequel that never was (kind of)

  1. Drahken says:

    Strictly speaking, robotech was much shorter than most american cartoons. “Robotech” was actually made up of 3 seperate anime series, each with approx 30 eps (in contrast, most american cartoons had at least 50 eps, unless they totally bombed). Did you ever wonder why, at a couple of points, the story & characters completely change, almost as though it was a completely different show (like when the jets vanished & were replaced by tanks & the blonde chick)? It’s because it WAS a completely different show.
    They did the same thing (less successfully) with voltron. I say less successfully not because the show overall did poorly, but because the multi-series-merge was far less successfull. After the disasterous response to “vehicle voltron”, they scrapped the plans for the third series & instead had some new “lion voltron” footage custom made for the third & final season.

    In addition to the anime & novels, robotech also had a long line of comic books. The publisher of the comics changed about a dozen times, but amazingly the comics themselves remained consistant regardless.

    Also, prior to the famous cartoon, there was a line of model kits & a “series” of 2 comics, the story of which has no direct connection to that of the cartoon, novels, nor later comics.

  2. Clash of the bionoids (aka “do you remember love?”) was a reimagining of the macross saga, in movie form. It’s exact place in macross/robotech canon is unclear though, because some later macross series involve it in different ways into their stories. Some treat it as a “movie within a movie” kind of thing, while some act as if parts of it really happened.
    Note that this really only relates to macross though, not robotech. While the sentinels stuff is robotech related but not macross related, boinoids/DYRL is the exact opposite.
    It gets confusing due to the fact that macross continued from the original macross series in japan (the first season of robotech in the US), while ignoring the non-macross events from the 2nd and 3rd seasons of robotech. Meanwhile, robotech continued along it’s plot, ignoring the later macross series.

  3. ex-sell69 says:

    Yeah, and to Macross fans, Robotech: The Sentinels is like a bad (abridged) joke! From Rick Hunter mooping, to the cheaply made music, there was nothing to like about Robotech: The Sentinels! *Vomits on Robotech* I mean, really? You’re blaming the cost of the Japanese Yen as the reason Sentinels was never finished?
    Look at how many cartoons were animated in Japan from Transformers, Batman, or Thundercats, etc. I don’t hear them complaining about the price of the Yen. Yet, Mattel backed out from the project because they knew it was going to be a such a big SUCK-CESS! And I don’t see anyone saying: Robotech: The Sentinels, Robotech 3000 or Shadow Chronicles made them fans of Robotech…
    So if they were going to make more Robotech with their own hands, why didn’t they just do that in the first place? …Because they’re a bunch of no talent hacks that can’t do anything right! And the only part most fans of Robotech like is “The Macross Saga”. It’s easy to rewrite someones (Shoji Kawamori’s) work without their permission, but it’s still his work even if you rename and rewrite it… And you can’t force him to make you more of it under the Robotech name!
    It’s called an official license (from Big West), supporting their work, with their permission. And if they don’t want to license it to Harmony Gold (and they don’t) or anyone else, it’s their right… Only they can make more Macross! All Hail lord Shoji Kawamori! Long live Macross! Death to Harmony Gold! Robotech fans should kill themselves for the love of lord Shoji Kawamori!

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