Story Draft by Toshio Masuda & Yoshinobu Nishizaki
The writing of this draft began at a staff meeting in Hawaii, January 1980. Toshio Masuda had made strong contributions to the two previous Yamato films, and took over the writing process at this point with Nishizaki ensuring that the “Yamato flavor” was maintained (such as the drama between Kodai and Yuki) in the finished draft. Aside from occasional variations, the story was essentially decided at this stage and became the foundation of the film. Stills are shown for illustrative purposes only; they did not exist at the time this draft was written.
Note: blue text indicates a revision by Nishizaki.
Vast outer space, glittering with innumerable stars. Narration is accompanied by mysterious, profound music.
Narrator: The vastness of space is filled with life, arising among the stars that spread out to infinity. And when battles break out in this vast space, lives are ended. Battles with Gamilas, the Comet Empire, and the mysterious Black Fleet were concluded by the actions of Yamato, and Earth has regained its peaceful existence.
Suddenly, sound breaks the stillness of outer space. A point of light appears and quickly expands as it approaches. Its body is shaped like a huge missile and flies at the tremendous speed of light.
The missile-shaped object rushes into Earth’s solar system.
In the skies of Mars, Susumu Kodai pilots a plane in flight training.
Narrator: At this time, most of Earth’s spaceships and attack planes are unmanned. The only fully-manned space forces are stationed at Mars. Kodai continues intensive training day and night, flying a craft which is becoming obsolete.
Kodai notices the missile-shaped object.
“What’s that? It’s headed for Earth!”
The missile rushes forward
On the majestic Earth, the call resounds throughout a shining, modern city.
Earth Defense Force Headquarters: countless meters flash busily, and a buzzer sounds with an incoming emergency communication. The commander looks intently at the huge missile, projected onto the large central video panel. His secretary Yuki Mori and his senior staff member Mamoru Kodai stand by his side. However, they don’t yet understand what this object is. The command center is anxious and confused.
“Interceptor missiles from the Moon base are ineffective!”
“None of the missiles launched from Earth have any effect!”
People look up at the sky with their faces frozen in fear. The missile-shaped object grows larger and makes a huge noise. It approaches Earth and heads directly for the middle of the city. It hovers like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but does not explode.
Military forces and a scientific research time are quickly dispatched to the scene. The giant object falls strangely silent as military forces surround it. The research team reports that they do not entirely understand its substance.
“It looks like a bomb, but why doesn’t it explode? Where did it come from?”
At that moment, a buzzer sounds for urgent radio traffic. It is a message from the base on Planet 11.
“A Black Fleet of dozens of ships is flying at the speed of light toward the sun, estimated to be heading for Earth orbit! Predicted arrival time, 10 hours!”
Confusion and urgency fill the room.
With a bitter cry, communication is disrupted.
“The communication circuit has been destroyed,” reports communication officer Aihara with alarm.
The Commander urgently orders an interception strategy. Mamoru Kodai relays his orders carefully.
“Jupiter and Saturn base, 6th and 7th fleets launch! 5th fleet at Mars, prepare to dispatch!”
Outer space: the mysterious Black Fleet rushes forward. It smashes through the 6th and 7th fleets, leaving them in pieces.
Mars base: the unmanned 5th fleet launches. Susumu Kodai rushes to the command center and requests that manned fighters be allowed to launch, but the base commander sneers and says he wants nothing to do with “obsolete manned aircraft.”
Kodai angrily charges out of the room. He orders his subordinate to follow.
Outer space: a manned fighter corps commanded by Kodai launches. The battle unfolds before their eyes. Again the Earth fleet is smashed to pieces. Kodai orders his subordinate to retreat, then flies on with an intense, determined look. Prepared for death, he fights in vain. Finally, he reaches Earth and jumps out in an escape capsule.
Earth Defense Headquarters becomes increasingly shaken.
“Even the elite Mars fleet has been annihilated?”
“It will reach Earth at X time!”
Yuki is worried about the manned fighter corps.
The commander reassures her and orders the Earth fleet to launch.
EDF Fleet base: Engineer Tokugawa hurries to upgrade the ships, but control center chief Shima Daisuke has doubts about the unmanned fleet. Entrusting them with his last hope, he orders them to launch.
The city: people watch and pray as the unmanned fleet launches. Dr. Sado stops in the middle of an operation and looks out the window.
“When we have to rely on an unmanned fleet, Mi-Kun, Earth is down to its last toothpick.”
He neglects the rest of the operation and drinks alcohol.
“In that case, the only law now is to drink sake!”
He hits Analyzer in the chest and forces him to drink.
Outer space: from his descending capsule, Kodai sees the unmanned fleet climbing toward space.
“Shima, I trust your firm control to guide the fleet!”
Then, the last ship-to-ship battle begins. But the unmanned Earth fleet struggles in vain and is torn apart. Kodai watches the fruitless effort while descending to Earth!
The city: Unmanned Fleet Control Center. Shima works with the focus and ferocity of a lion. He desperately tries to revise the ships’ programming and achieve a breakthrough, but a missile from the Black Fleet scores a direct hit on the control center! At that moment, the Unmanned Earth fleet loses control and breaks formation. They begin to fire on each other and tragically destroy themselves.
Wounded, Shima staggers to escape despite his anger and regret.
“Protecting the Earth with machines! It was arrogance!”
Confusion fills the city and civic unrest surges. EDF Headquarters is shocked.
“Who is this enemy, anyway?”
Analysis is impossible. Anxiety runs high. Yuki is overjoyed when Kodai rushes in, but he expresses intense anger to his brother Mamoru.
“Human beings should have run that fleet! The entire policy of the Earth Defense Force is wrong!”
“I understand your feelings, but how is saying such a thing going to protect the Earth now?”
(Contrast the curtness of the younger brother with the precision and calm of the older one.)
At that moment, the Black Fleet appears on the main panel.
The Black Fleet hangs in the sky like a cloud, casting a pall over the Earth. Below, the commander and everyone else is astonished by the strength of this mighty enemy. Are the ground forces of Earth any match for them? In some circles, pessimism and arguments for surrender begin to appear.
“Idiots! Earth can never surrender!”
Kodai angrily rushes out. Mamoru directs Yuki to go after him and confronts the argument for surrender.
“We don’t understand the makeup of the enemy, nor their intentions! But if you surrender, it can only lead to misery. For now, we must defend ourselves.”
The commander makes a decision.
“I will not surrender.”
Night falls: large and small ships descend from the Black Fleet to Earth. There is nothing left to intercept them. Large tanks and land combat forces (androids) emerge from the warships in succession. A fighter/bomber group appears in the air. Then the EDF ground forces respond with a vigorous attack from the surface!
Fierce street fighting begins, but even against the advantage of surprise, the enemy lands and wins a one-sided victory.
Bridge of the Black Fleet’s flagship: commands are received from the Great Emperor (no figure is seen, only a voice from a panel).
“Yamato hasn’t been found even despite our surprise attack? Above all, Yamato must be found! Search thoroughly for Yamato, our arch enemy! Kill as many humans as necessary, but keep the destruction of Earth to a minimum. It is a beautiful world that will become the source of our life…”
A manned airbase: Kodai runs in. Abandoned, forgotten craft are here, lined up like lonely scrap. Kodai rushes over to one, but it is suddenly bombed by an enemy plane! Everything is burned down in an instant.
Yuki appears like a flower and rushes up to Kodai.
“Orders from the commander!” she cries.
Kodai instinctively stands at rigid attention.
“Susumu Kodai, gather the old Yamato crew and make contact with Shiro Sanada at the asteroid Icarus astronomical observatory. That is all.”
“Those are your orders, Kodai-san.”
EDF Headquarters: enemy android soldiers stage an invasion. Mamoru leads an intense counterattack. (Set up various interesting concepts.)
The city: Kodai and Yuki pass through the street fighting and escape.
Hero’s Hill: Kodai, Yuki, Shima, Aihara, Tokugawa, Sado, Analyzer, and others gather one by one. They look out over the burning city. Everyone shouts,
“Has Earth been conquered by this enemy?”
“It can’t be!”
“But it might already be too late.”
(It is the same atmosphere as the White Tiger Force on Iimori Hill.)
Aihara, who has been operating a wireless handheld communicator, cries out, “I’m in contact with Sanada!”
Sanada appears on the screen, from the observatory in the asteroids. He has been analyzing the Black Fleet from his location. He says the present Earth forces cannot defeat this enemy. It’s only a matter of time before Earth is overrun. Everyone is shocked.
“However, there is one hope.”
“Yamato. Yamato is still in our hands.”
“Where is Yamato?”
“I am keeping it here.”
The image breaks up and Sanada disappears. Everyone is jubilant.
“Yes, Yamato is there!”
“We have Yamato!”
“Let’s go get Yamato!”
However, they have to get to the observatory in the asteroids. Yuki informs them of a high-speed communication boat in a nearby terminal. (The terminal is secret, and the craft is for the emergency evacuation of the president.)
Intense street fighting rages around EDF Headquarters! Inside, Mamoru is wounded while leading a resistance force.
Nearby, Yuki guides Kodai and the others to the terminal. The high-speed communication boat rests safely in the hangar. Yuki instructs them to board, but only she knows how to work the departure controls. She runs up a set of stairs to the control room. (Meanwhile, radio waves are jammed; suspense rises as the enemy approaches.)
The engine starts and Yuki runs down the stairs. An enemy figure (android) appears and attacks.
“Yuki! Hurry and get on board!”
Kodai holds his hand out to Yuki. But just before she catches it, she is hit on the shoulder.
The high-speed craft starts up. Kodai reaches down and tries to catch Yuki, but loses his strength. Their hands separate and she falls. Yuki drops away.
Kodai forgets himself and tries to jump off. Shima grabs him from behind and pulls him in as a transparent door closes. The craft flies up and smashes through the ceiling. Kodai can be seen shouting, but is not heard. Yuki watches his departure and smiles, tears filling her eyes.
“Kodai, you will surely come back. I believe it.”
Her head drops as she faints. The craft rises and flies away through the gunfire of android soldiers. One humanoid officer approaches Yuki. He is young and strikingly handsome. This is Black Fleet Special Ops Lieutenant Commander Kiman. He has a Dessler-like nobility. Kiman’s heart is moved as he stares at Yuki’s beautiful face.
From a window in EDF Headquarters, Mamoru looks up at the fleeing craft and smiles.
“Susumu, I leave it you and Yamato. Now you are Earth’s only hope.”
Again, he takes a serious wound.
The Black Fleet flagship: a lower officer prostrates himself before a panel. The angry voice of the Great Emperor is heard.
“Haven’t you found Yamato yet?”
He reports that a high-speed boat got away.
“Go after it! Not even one person can be allowed to escape!”
In the high-speed boat…
Everyone holds down a frantic, violent Kodai. Sado gives him an injection that makes him pass out.
“That worked well. It’s as if he fell asleep and died. We all have to die with him for the time being.”
He tries to inject Shima.
“You’re trying to kill me?”
“I have to do it to everyone. It will put us into a temporary state of death and erase our life-signs. Look!”
A pursuit ship from the Black Fleet is on a panel. In a wink, Sado pierces Shima’s arm with the syringe.
The pursuit ship catches up and peers into the high-speed boat. Everyone appears to be dead. There is no reaction on the life-meter. It deserts them and leaves.
Cockpit of the high-speed boat: Analyzer operates the controls.
“Don’t I count as alive?”
A government assembly hall…
Before the leaders of the Earth Federation, the commander of the Black Fleet declares the complete occupation of Earth.
“If you rebel against us, we will detonate the Hyperon Bomb in the center of your city.”
“Hyperon bomb? What is that?”
Murmurs go through the Earth side and the commander boasts proudly.
“It is the crowning achievement of our civilization. When detonated, it will not damage the surface of Earth in any way; only humankind will be instantly destroyed!”
The leaders are stunned into silence. The enemy commander presses them for the location of Yamato. The EDF commander is the only one who knows it.
“Yamato is just one battleship. Why are you so afraid of it?”
Dismay momentarily passes over the enemy commander’s face.
“You’d absolutely better be afraid! Yamato is the hope of Earth! We still have power! We haven’t surrendered to you yet!”
The enemy commander flies into a rage.
“Fool! Take him to the execution room immediately!”
The execution room…
Disarmed rebels wait their turn for execution. The wounded figure of Mamoru Kodai is there, too.
Soldiers bring the EDF commander into the room. Mamoru comes forward and protests.
Mamoru (to the soldier): Don’t mess up the order! I’m supposed to be next!
Soldier: Strange man. You want to die so soon? Very well…
While being hauled off, Mamoru whispers to the commander.
Mamoru: I will destroy myself. Please escape during the confusion.”
Mamoru: I won’t survive anyway. Earth needs its commander.
Mamoru enters the execution room and pushes a button on his chest. An explosive device blows him apart. Mourning his death, the commander rushes out through a gap of confusion.