The Making of Farewell to Yamato, Part 4

The second brainstorming session was held on December 22. This time, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Leiji Matsumoto, and the rest of the staff was joined by two significant newcomers: Producer Toshio Masuda and Storyboard Artist Yasuhiko Yoshikazu.

It was their first involvement with Farewell, but both were already Yamato veterans. Masuda had originally been asked to participate in the making of Series 1, but was too busy with other projects. He would later return to the fold and supervise the editing of the Yamato movie. Yasuhiko played a major role in Series 1 as the storyboard artist for fully half of the episodes and would continue in that capacity on Farewell. His influence would most strongly be represented in the movie’s finale.

New story drafts were examined and discussed. Fujikawa’s draft was on the table, along with a revision of Toyota’s draft by Fumio Kounami. In his version, Emperor Valaskes is the personification of evil who invades the solar system from the Planet Zodiac with his son Gallus. Yamato faces off against his huge battleship, the Goriade.

Yet another draft was written by Yutaka Kohira. In his outline, Dessler returns after his narrow escape from death and regains power. The Second Dessler Empire is built and Earth’s leaders form an alliance with other solar systems to preserve peace. When this alliance is challenged, Yamato revives and takes an active role in a decisive battle of. Neither Kounami’s nor Kohira’s drafts would survive, but their concepts undoubtedly contributed to the ongoing writing process.

The secondary focus of this meeting was to flesh out the enemy side. It was decided combine the ideas in Fujikawa’s draft and give them a three-layered form. Their outward appearance would be that of a massive White Comet. Its huge gaseous body would surround a fortress city containing the nomadic race of space people, and a giant battleship would be concealed inside that city.

Between the two major brainstorming meetings and smaller gatherings throughout the month of December, all these ideas were mixed and matched until the basic plot was worked out. Finally, Keisuke Fujikawa unified them into a single, comprehensive draft which was then turned over to Producer Toshio Masuda for further refinement. This would become the foundation for the screenplay, which was completed about three months later.

Naturally, the content of the Masuda Draft is almost the same as the finished film, but the battle between Yamato and the Comet Empire in the second half is somewhat different. The material presented here is extracted from that part of his draft.

The Toshio Masuda Draft

January 5, 1978


After the war with Gamilas, Earth recovered from its wounds and advanced into an era of unprecedented prosperity. Yamato is decommissioned as a warship, and a new, more powerful battleship goes into service. Kodai, Shima, and ex-Yamato crewmembers are assigned to guard duty over the resource transportation fleet between the planets.

One day, in the middle of a transport voyage to Earth, the naval escort of Kodai intercepts a message dispatched from an unclear source. Sanada, now working for the space science department, studies the accidental phenomenon of the message and consults with the National Defense Council, but this governing body dismisses it.

This decision angers the Yamato crewmembers, who are determined to board the ship again and investigate the message themselves. They receive the tacit support of the Defence Force commander, and Yamato launches again.

On the way out of the solar system, Yamato rescues the captain of a patrol warship that was shot down by the vanguard UFO fleet of the White Comet. Kodai asks him to become the captain of Yamato.

The sender of the message is a beautiful girl named Teresa, who wants to alert Earth about the crisis of the approaching White Comet. Yamato rushes toward her planet, but the vanguard UFO fleet of the enemy suddenly appears before them and attacks.

A hard fight ensues, but the daring judgment of the new captain, whose competence was previously in doubt, succeeds in overcoming the enemy. Yamato finally arrives at Teresa’s planet. Kodai and the new battle captain overcome enemy guards and Teresa gives them vital information about the White Comet for the first time.

Yamato hurries back to Earth, but the Comet Empire accelerates rapidly toward Earth as well.

[Full Text from Dessler’s appearance to the end]

Yamato pursues the White Comet. Dessler’s fleet appears suddenly in their path.

(How they appear requires further consideration. Is this a surprise for both sides, or does Dessler declare war on Yamato and specify a location for their showdown?)

At first, Kodai is surprised; Yamato must hurry toward the White Comet, but the present enemy must also be defeated.

The clash of Yamato and Dessler’s fleet

The battle begins with an aerial dogfight. Yamato seems to have superiority here, but Dessler was fully prepared to intercept Yamato and is deeply involved in strategy.

(Dessler makes full use of the topography of a planet or the relationship between planetary positions and deploys new weapons using his unique strategy.)

The fierce battle of warships–Yamato is in danger!

The Comet Empire approaches the solar system

The Earth Defence Force decides to launch all fleets to intercept the White Comet. The new battleship is Earth’s flagship.

Yamato‘s crisis continues

As the battle continues, make use of the individuality of Kodai, Shima, Sanada, Yuki, and the new combat leader to take active roles in the fight. Additionally, show the ability of the veteran captain.

Yuki is wounded and falls.

Kodai leads the troops with the combat captain and infiltrates Dessler’s warship through a blind spot. (We want Kodai and Dessler to physically confront each other.)

Kodai & Dessler

Kodai’s surprise attack deals a serious blow to Dessler’s warship. (Through tremendous hand-to-hand combat.)

Meanwhile, all the support ships are destroyed by Yamato. Dessler orders a counterattack and fights back like a demon. He takes a major wound as he waits for Kodai to appear.

The confrontation of Kodai and Dessler!

Dessler is defeated. When he realizes he is close to death, he speaks about his fate. He had vowed revenge upon Yamato and put all of his strength into the effort, and now has now regrets in defeat. The mother planet of Gamilas is gone and his race has been lost to Yamato, his honorable enemy. Despite this, Desslok congratulates them and wishes good luck to Earth.

“Although I placed my body in the service of the Comet Empire, my heart is much closer to yours. Fight on, Kodai!”

Yamato wins!

With his final words, Dessler bids farewell to Kodai, kicks open a window and jumps out to his death in space. Explosives he had set earlier scatter his ship into space.

Yamato has won, but…

Kodai visits the wounded Yuki as soon as he returns to Yamato. Though Dr. Sado has treated her for a serious injury, she smiles bravely.

In the Comet Empire, the emperor receives news of Dessler’s defeat.

(A commander may interrupt a scene like a love affair between the great emperor and the Chief-of-Staff Witch woman.)

The commander describes it as a respectable end, but the witch sneers at the loss.

A progress report of the total interception of Earth’s warships is displayed on large screen. Yamato is no more than a single irritant; the pleasure of destroying that fleet comes first!

The battle of Earth’s fleet and the Comet Empire vanguard UFO fleet

The Earth force is outnumbered, but the new flagship demonstrates great power and does its best.

Yamato sees the fight break out and wishes them luck while flying toward the solar system at full speed to lend support.

The great emperor of the Comet Empire flies into a rage when his vanguard fleet is wiped out. The White Comet itself rushes at the Earth fleet.

The Earth fleet is swallowed, crushed, and scattered one by one.

The flagship fires a special wave-motion gun, but it is ineffective and the ship is absorbed into the White Comet’s fireball.

Yamato sees all this and is shocked by the strength of the enemy.

The flagship struggles to escape the White Comet, but it is drawn in by its supergravity and crushed in one sweep.

While Yamato continues to advance, Kodai agonizes, wondering what Teresa meant when she said the enemy had a weakness. Yuki’s condition takes a turn for the worse, as well.

The Earth falls into despair. Yamato is still out there, but defeatism sets in and some are ready to surrender. Yamato is the only hope for the people of Earth. It must rise like a phoenix and perform a miracle to meet this desperate crisis.

The Comet Empire enters the solar system at last.

Pluto is instantly shattered and the White Comet stops. The great emperor says, “the Earth is too precious to merely destroy. The environment is inviting and there are many resources and humans who could serve as our slaves. We will colonize it and turn it into our forward base.”

A message demanding unconditional surrender is sent to Earth. Earth is thrown into chaos.

Yamato‘s struggle continues

On Yamato, Yuki fights hard against death. Teresa appears in her dream. Yuki asks for instruction in exchange for her life.

“You now take painful breaths,” Teresa answers, “just as the fireball of the comet breathes, too. It contracts and expands continuously.

Yuki calls to Kodai and tells him about this cycle. There must be a pause in the expansion of the supergravity field.

“That must be the weak point,” Yuki says. “Watch for the shaft of light when the UFOs go in and out.” Then she passes out.

Kodai takes heart and calculates a course.

The great emperor gloats as Yamato turns toward the Comet Empire.

Yamato attacks while fending off the White Comet’s vanguard ships and avoiding the strong influence of the supergravity. (It is necessary to work this out theoretically.)

Yamato turns away from the enemy. The Comet Empire side does not understand its intention.

Yamato approaches from behind the comet and Kodai says, “fire the Wave-Motion Gun!”

The energy roars out into space, urged forward by the prayer of Kodai and all the others.

It is inhaled into the fireball of the comet.

There is a huge nuclear explosion–dozens of fireballs split away from each other and spread apart, revealing a huge, floating city nation, the heart of the devil himself.

On Yamato, Kodai’s elation gives way to astonishment. The Comet Empire fortress is actually a city-state.

The great emperor is enraged. At his order, the city begins an all-out attack. Lasers are fired and missiles are launched. The city attacks Yamato from all angles like a peregrine falcon attacks its prey.

The battle of Yamato and the city-state planet

(We need to wrack our brains to make this climax as great as possible.)

It is a fierce fight. Both Yamato and the city-state crumble. Numerous warriors and even the new captain are slain in the battle.

Yamato delivers the last blow and city fortress collapses into flames from its very foundations.

Kodai rejoices at Yamato‘s victory. Yuki smiles broadly, then breathes her last.

The Earthlings who watched the decisive battle also rejoice.

Suddenly, a massive battleship rises from a terrible scene of destruction.

Astonishment! Shock! On Yamato, Kodai doesn’t know what to do. It is the same for the people on Earth.

Before the massive battleship…

Jeering laughter echoes in space as the face of the great emperor appears.

Yamato has used every last drop of its energy and cannot fight any longer.

The voice of the great emperor resounds in space:

“Only I have absolute power in space. All things are subject to my rule, and every drop of blood in every living thing belongs to me. Space itself is my will. It is my law, my order…”

“It is not,” shouts Kodai. “Space is life! All things receive its blessings equally and must prosper together! Love is the way of space!”

The failure to defeat evil means the eradication of peace and freedom everywhere in space.

“I will fight! Decisively!” But what method remains?

Kodai asks this of the ghost of Captain Okita who waits at the rear of the bridge.

The ghost of Okita answers…

“Kodai, you have grown up magnificently. You are indeed a man whom I would entrust with my will. As the captain, do you not understand that you still have Yamato? Yamato‘s life has not yet run out.”

“It is still in your hands to use that life to its fullest, even if you bring it to an end.”

Suddenly, Kodai’s answer is clear. The ghosts of all those killed in action appear on the bridge and an order is given to the survivors.

“Kodai, you must do it.”

“I must go with Yamato,” Kodai says.

Shima and Sanada understand Kodai’s true intention. They insist that they must remain with him, unpleasant as it may be.

“It is good for me as the captain to go with the ship. You must survive and fight for the future of the human race and bring peace to all of space.”

(This is a good place to lay it all out.)

Shima, Sanada, and the other survivors begin to leave the ship. Kodai makes sure they get safely away and takes the captain’s chair for the first time. Yuki sits beside him, now seemingly alive again.

“Yuki, it was always difficult for you, but now this is our marriage. I’m blessed to travel with you forever on our eternal partnership.”

As everyone watches from their escape ships, Yamato starts up again and turns its bow toward the massive battleship in the distance.

This is watched on video screens from Earth.

Kodai calmly steers Yamato.

An image of Teresa in prayer appears in front of the ship.

“Thank you, Kodai. I watched you and witnessed the face of true love. The human race will awaken and carry on your work for a beautiful future in space.

“I will also help you. My body is made of anti-matter. If I am touched even for a moment, all materials explode. Come with me, and we will end this together.”

Seeing her image wrap around Kodai and Yamato brings various passions from those who watch.

Yuki — Okita — Shima — Sanada — those who were killed in action.

Kodai has a hopeful smile.

From the spaceships carrying Shima, Sanada, and the others, Yamato is seen disappearing into the darkness of space.

Suddenly, an exquisite flash of light…

…which expands and fills all of space while they ponder what they have seen.

…a delayed roar of thunder.

The soldiers’ tears fall and they are speechless.

In the year 22XX, Yamato departs on its eternal voyage.

The End

Continue to the Making of Farewell to Yamato, Part 5: Battle Plans

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