Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Preview
Robotech technology has advanced the human race tremendously, giving them space travel, medical advances, and advanced weapons. However, it has also brought intergalactic war with a race call the Invid. After nearly a generation of fighting, the humans finally gain the upper hand and set up to destroy the Invid, but before they can launch their final attack, the Invid abandon Earth. But was it the humans they were afraid of, or did they sense the arrival of something sinister lurking in the depths of space? A rookie pilot, an old captain, an android, and an Invid princess are the only ones that stand a chance of unraveling the truth before it’s too late.
The plot was excellent, a true classic Robotech story including deceit, action and camaraderie. I really liked how the new characters were multidimensional, and how the characters from the past series kept their underlying personalities but had also grown over time.
The sound was really oddly balanced. Voices were only coming in on my right speaker. I’m hoping that this was because I obtained a preview copy instead of a retail release. Odds are the sound on the retail version will be a proper stereo format. Old fans of the series will be ecstatic to know that the original voice actors for the characters Scott Bernard, Rick Hunter, Vincent Sparks, and the Invid Regis have returned to do their character voices once more in this movie. They also got the talent of Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) for two of the characters. The music was a spectacular score combining both classic elements of good old fashioned space music with a new updated feel.
The animation as pretty good, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the CG. With the technology to do some spectacular 3D imaging and the fan base that Robotech has gained over the years, I was really hoping they’d go all out on this one. It just wasn’t a really good blend of 2D and 3D animation, though it wasn’t horrible, it was simply mediocre. The character designs were good as always, and they even updated the look of some of the pre-existing characters to make them look older. Frankly, I found the fact that the old hero of the past series, Rick Hunter, had battle scars and looked rugged and worn to be very amusing.
This story takes place after the last episode of the original Robotech series, and wasn’t made to draw in new fans to the show. Shadow Chronicles references past series, has old characters mixed in with the new, and doesn’t do a lot of explaining about the ongoing wars. They assume you know all this already and just toss the fans another story in their beloved setting. This one is for the diehards, the fanatics, and the kids who grew up watching this stuff.