Sunday, August 18, 2013
Star Blazers Episode #22
The battle royale -- the main event of the series -- occurs in Star Blazers (1979) episode 22.
In this story, the Argo goes toe-to-toe with four Gamilon space cruisers, and the depiction of the sprawling battle makes it feel like naval combat in the Pacific during World War II…only set in outer space. Fighters strafe the Argo, and giant explosive plumes appear on the buffeted, listing ship.
Here, the Gamilons launch their attack, and use the powerful new weapon S.M.I.T.E. (Space Matter Instant Transforming Equipment) to transport fighter ships across vast distances instantaneously. Once the Argo is badly damaged because of this tactic, the Gamilons launch a “drill missile,” which is designed to burrow into the Argo’s forward hull and destroy the wave motion gun.
The plan comes incredibly close to succeeding, but Sandor and IQ9 manage to set the drill on reverse once it has damaged the hull. It backs out…into the Gamilon ships.
This supreme space battle continues throughout the episode in new and dangerous iterations as General Lysis refuses to relent. He plants a bomb on the Argo’s hull, and also tries to ram the great ship. Finally, however, Lysis is defeated and the Argo is victorious.
The episode is almost entirely action-oriented, but it resolves with strong characterizations and intense human moments. A funeral for the Argo’s dead is held on the hull of the ship, with the full crew in attendance.
“We all belong to the Star Force and to each other,” declares Captain Avatar.
At this point, we all belong to Star Blazers, it is fair to state.
This episode is gripping, and it is downright tense to see the beloved Argo under such vicious, damaging attack. This episode is a high-point for the battle, but the battle is effective, finally, because we care for the characters…