Starsha Iscandar was the Queen of Iscandar, one of the last Iscandarians alive. She fell for Mamoru Kodai. They had a child. This all seems to add up to who she is in 2199. Then why mention her here? Because of her death in New Voyage. At the end of 2199, Yuki and her Zaltsian companion Norran attempt to blow up New Baleras from the inside, before it can destroy Yamato. Realising one of them has to stay behind, Norran pretends to betray Yuki, just to eject her into space. He didn’t want the woman he loved to die with him. He activates what’s essentially a self-destruct sequence and goes down with New Baleras. This is exactly how Starsha deals with the Goruba problem at the end of New Voyage. Thus, Starsha’s demise has already been adapted.
2199 adds something to her arc from Ruda Shalbart’s storyline in Yamato III; part of the reason Dessler searches for Planet Shalbart is because it supposedly houses Wave-Motion Guns. When he calls Kodai, the boy denies this, saying that the planet has renounced war and dangerous tools. This later turns out to be partially false. They’re actually hidden underground. To receive them, you have to pass a trial. This trial element to Ruda’s character was imparted to Starsha, initially causing her to deny Yamato the right to receive the CRS. She later changes her mind.
Lt. Alphon / Keyman
Who is this mysterious blond fellow? A machine wearing a man’s face? A lovestruck alien who can’t love conventionally? A mouthpiece for his nation? An alien spy? Or a humanoid philosopher with a sweet deal? All six, in fact. “Keyman” was his name until it was changed to “Alphon” at the last minute for Be Forever Yamato
To spice up the romantic subplot between Yuki and Kodai in 2199, their separation arc from Be Forever was implemented. Throughout their period of separation, every single scene with Lt. Alphon was carefully spread between four different characters: The Zaltsian Norran, Yamato’s Security Chief Ito, Propaganda Chief Celestella, and Dessler.
Norran kidnaps Yuki from a powerless Kodai. He informs her of Yamato’s apparent demise, observing her suffering. He fails to understand her personal space, falling for her in spite of her Earthling heritage.
Ito received Alphon’s death. After being shot by a wounded soldier, Ito bleeds out from his human heart, holding Yurisha’s hand as he begs her to fulfill his only wish: To save mankind. With sorrow, she vows to do it, finally seeing that even the most machine-like Earthlings can have hearts of gold.
Celestella was given the tea-time scene. Observing the capital, she muses to Yuki on the futility of her situation, how she’s a bird in a cage, how she should submit to her fate. How Starsha, the “partisan” in this instant, chooses to aid Yamato while she lets Garmillas suffer. Hilde’s even there to fill their cups. With tea this time.
Dessler receives the close kiss, sexual tension and strained relationship scene in Episode 23. Some scenes, like with all the other examples, are shot-for-shot recreations. The “Dessler inspiration” for Alphon came full circle in Episode 25, when Abelt adorns Keyman’s suit for a stealthy Yamato boarding sequence.
Miru and Dessler were given the main gist of Lt. Alphon’s confrontation with Yuki in 2202. In Be Forever, Alphon tells Yuki that if she shoots him, she’ll get the key to saving her homeworld. But if she doesn’t, she’ll die and nothing will be gained. In 2202 this is slightly switched up. Instead of telling the Yuki stand-in Klaus to shoot himself, Miru presents him with a deal: shoot and kill Dessler and Garmillas will be saved, along with getting a 10,000 year extended warranty on their continued existence. While Klaus doubts himself, Abelt tells him to shoot, to do whatever it takes to save Garmillas. Because “that’s what a man of the Dessler family does.” This mirrors another Alphon line, where he tells Yuki that giving up everything for the sake of Earth is what Kodai would have done.
And finally, there’s Klaus Keyman: The man bears Alphon’s first-draft name from Be Forever, is a CIA agent with unknown allegiances, both aids and trips up Yamato’s crew, has a strange bond of the motherly kind with Toko, iconic bodysuit, hairstyle and face… and is left-handed.
Not much is known about her. What we do know is this: in Be Forever, she’s the spokeswoman, trophy wife, uncanny alien cohort and representative of Lord Skaldart of the Dezarium. Her goal is to trick Yamato’s crew into believing that Dezarium is truly Earth 200 years into the future; to inspire Kodai and the gang to give in to fate; to stay forever in their museum of fake human history.
Princess Sada’s alien nature and appearance was given to Lerelai in Ark, who uses her fake, high-class Neredia appearance and information about humanity and Garmillas to trick her guests into hurting each other, inside a cleverly constructed amalgam of a museum. She even carries her iconic wine glass in her character profile. Sada’s role as the Supreme Leader’s most loyal aid and entertainer of the royal guest Yurisha was given to Celestella in 2199. The role as spokeswoman for the great leader was granted to Sabera in Ark, where she presents herself in a similar manner.
Dessler’s New Friends
Helmeyer, Vandevel, Histenberger
The first three have made minor appearances since 2199. Helmeyer was in charge of investigating Planet Phantom in Yamato III, while Vandevel worked as both a ship commander and an Imperial Guard tasked with persecuting Shalbart believers. These two both supported the xenophobic pure-blood leader Zoellick in his attempted coup at Balun in 2199. After his death, they drift in the universe until Gatlantis burns them to a crisp with the Megaluda’s Flame Strike Gun.
Histenberger was the Imperial HQ Strategy Director of the former Dessler regime, in both Yamato III and 2199. As of 2205, he again serves under Dessler. His introductory scene in Yamato III was given to Hyss in 2199. In the original scene, he presents a failure in battle to Dessler. This is Dessler’s response: “You will face execution… if you fail two more times. You got that?” In 2199, Hyss reported Schulz’ failure at the Pluto base. This is Dessler’s response: “Garmillas does not allow for failure. Victory. If not victory, then death.”
Keeling and Frausky
General Keeling was Dessler’s Chief of Staff in both the classic and reboot works. In 2199 however, his role as spokesperson in Yamato III was given to Ghader Talan: the Vice Chief of the General Staff. This role has stuck ever since, with Keeling receiving only occasional speaking lines. His current allegiance is up in the air.
And Frausky? While his role isn’t fulfilled, his character seems to have made a brief cameo appearance on Dessler’s bridge at the end of 2202, along with a bald unnamed character from 2199 who bears a remarkably similar appearance to the original Keeling.
The Milky Way Expedition Force
Gaidel was a Gamilas officer in charge of the Milky Way Expansion. He’s a bald, corpulent and loud-mouthed Dessler fanatic who completely submits to his own love for nation building and suppression of dissidents. He wants desperately to make Dessler’s birthday a success, no matter the cost. And he knows what punishment could come from failure: execution. For this reason, he presses his subordinate Dagon to produce results, or be met with execution himself.
2199 split this character into three. Göer became the bald(-ing), corpulent, loud-mouthed Dessler fanboy in charge of the Milky Way project, who did everything he could to make the 100-year Dessler family rule celebration a success. His fear of failure and loss of respect in Dessler’s eyes was also taken from Gaidel, as was his role as Dagon/Schulz’ commanding officer.
Gimleh became a stout believer of the Dessler family dictatorship, vowing to do everything in his power to crush dissidents and maintain order in the empire.
Zoellick became the fanatic glory-seeker whose central aim was to establish a military dictatorship, intent on increasing the scope of Garmillas’ expansionist policies. This was likewise Dessler’s goal in Yamato III. Dessler’s role of admonishing 2199’s Gaidel (Göer) whenever he fails is shared between 2199’s Dessler and Zoellick. Gaidel refitting Dagon with a large assortment of weapons and tools with which to beat Yamato got split between Göer/Schulz and Dessler/Domel. 2199’s Domel has some of Gaidel’s blood flowing through his veins, too. More on that in the Yamato III Battles section.
Dagon and Captain Boche command the first half of Yamato III. Dagon has engaged in many battles with many enemies. Mostly with Yamato. He fights for his pride as a soldier and vanquishes enemies at the border of their empire like Domel. He leaves allies to die like Göer, perishing in the same kind of spatial fissure that Göer escapes from in 2199. In Yamato III he leads Yamato toward a fissure with a special towing beam, a 180 of Lang’s warrior code in 2199’s equivalent of that episode.
By Lang’s side is actually Dagon’s character counterpart for that scene, the imperial guard Paren. He openly pushes for abusing Yamato’s trust in their word, like Dagon does early on in Yamato III, where he intends to kill a disarmed Yamato when their guard’s down. Dagon has ambitions to become the next face of Garmillas with his beautiful sideburns, like Zoellick. But he has a devastatingly low success rate like Schulz, who was – just like him – in charge of a Reflex Gun base. Always by his side is his reliable XO, Captain Boche. This fellow is attached to Göer throughout most of 2199, constantly urging him to act in accordance with warrior’s code, political standards and the like. Like his Yamato III counterpart, he’s always shot down. Verbally.
Dessler’s Elite Forces
Captain Gustav was a tough, ruthless and visually-scarred commander who faced off with Yamato in the final stretch of Yamato III. Dessler tasked him with finding and destroying the elusive Planet Phantom, to rid the universe of its powers. He succeeds, but not without receiving Yamato’s ire. He decides to engage in battle after its crew tries to stop him from carrying out Dessler’s orders, leading to a heated call. Gustav says one thing: “Stand down or die. What do you say?” After a short pause, Kodai simply responds with: “I refuse.” Before the two parties can annihilate each other, the Bolars show up. Dessler orders Gustav to aid Yamato. He reluctantly complies, following his own warrior’s code. He ends both his life and his fleet by ramming it into the Bolars, but not without first sending Yamato his appreciation via an electronic message. He truly respected the ship.
Gustav’s character and role were split in two for Ark of the Stars. His appearance, tiger scar, lust for battle, drive to prove himself for his emperor and his (attempt at) destroying Planet Phantom was given to the Gatlantean lower caste expedition commander, “Thunderclap” Dagarm. His calls with Dessler were changed to calls with Sabera.
Gustav’s code of honor, desire to fulfill his commander’s orders no matter the cost, growing respect for Yamato, and his eventual attempt at sacrificing himself to give the ship a better chance at beating their united enemy… that was all given to Berger. But since Berger simultaneously filled Dessler’s shoes from New Voyage in that movie, he outlives his own kamikaze attack. Visually, the 2199 original character Gul Dietz seems to have directly inherited Gustav’s scar.
Frakken and his XO make a brief but very impactful appearance in Yamato III. Frakken’s initially introduced as Admiral Gaidel’s old friend, someone who respected the now-deceased General Dagon. To avenge his death and bring honor and glory to both Gaidel and Dessler, Frakken leads a dozen or so space submarines to engage with Yamato in a cat and mouse game of tactics, strategy and skill. He ultimately beats the ship with Gaidel’s help in just under two episodes. Read more about how this battle was adapted in the Yamato III Battles section.
Frakken’s mannerisms, design, cockiness and false scoundrel image were all aspects that were carried over to his 2199 counterpart. His personal connection to Gaidel was shifted to the new character Admiral Gul Dietz, a man Frakken’s indebted to in 2199.
His connection and feeling of loss over Dagon’s death was transferred to Domel, who himself was given a sense of loss over Schulz’ death. Another trait of Frakken’s was siphoned onto the new character Zoellick: his lack of regard for the lives of his men. At one point, Frakken’s XO asks if they should really put their own ships in a position to be fired at. Frakken coldly tells his XO – given the name Gol Hainy in 2199 – that he cares not. This scene was shifted to Göer and Zoellick at Balun in 2199.
Captain Ram himself hasn’t graced our reboot screens yet, but the DNA of his conception has; a strong, militaristic, hard-boiled Captain from planet Berth who fights to protect the continued existence of his homeworld, no matter how much it devolves into something it never was. It may be nothing but a prison colony under the Bolar Federation’s rule, but at least his people are still allowed to live and breathe. After facing Dagon and his Galman fleet at their border for several episodes, he’s practically knocked out and begs the passing Yamato for aid. Fuel, repairs and food. Weapons need not apply.
Upon meeting Yamato’s crew, he imparts only positive impressions. Then, after Yamato’s been struggling to figure out the nature behind the Galmans who damaged their Sun, Ram informs Kodai of what the Galman empire is: a violent, expansionist empire that seeks to incinerate all who object to their rule. While he appreciates Kodai’s concern for his future safety, he shoots down their offer to aid him in battle against the Galmans. He wishes to settle that score one-on-one with Dagon, without dragging the kind Earthlings into the mix. Dagon has other plans, though. When Ram and his Legendra prepare to leave, Dagon fires at both him and Yamato, intending to bring down two birds with one stone; to impress Dessler. Ram dies, but not before he can impart sincere appreciation for Yamato’s help.
2199 and 2202 did many things with Ram without actually including him.
Strong military code and insistence on shying away from politics to protect his own kin (Eliza)? Domel.
Gives Yamato their first real dose of information about Galman (Garmillas) and hates where the Garmillan empire is developing politically? Gul Dietz.
Is allowed temporary entry aboard Yamato for mutual gain, expresses a desire to settle her score one-on-one with her nemesis (Akira) and informs Yamato about their ship’s notoriety? Melda Dietz.
Establishes mutual trust with Yamato, but is then betrayed by a third party (Göer) and dies? Varus Lang.
Gives Kodai exclusive information about a fairly unknown warmongering empire (Gatlantis) intent on enslaving the universe? Varel Loren.
Gets picked up after disgracefully, and against his will, departing from a battle she’d rather have fought? Shiori Nagakura.
Citizens of Shalbart and Bolar
Princess Ruda, Mother Shalbart, Governor of Shalbart, Governor General Boroze and Captain of the Guard Rebarus
Princess Ruda and the Governor of Shalbart had their essence infused into Yurisha and Starsha Iscandar for the reboot. Both peace-lovers at heart, they lead their millenia old nation as arbiters of peace, objectors to the usage of Wave-Motion Guns. Shalbart ruled the universe with an iron fist a millennia ago, a past that’s left them with many graves and regrets. They now keep the secrets behind their ancient weapons and miracle machines sealed away until Yamato earns the right to use the Hydro Cosmo-Gen X to fix their sun.
In Yamato III, Ruda (Lerelai) is saved by Ageha (Berger) and Domon (Kodai) from her reclusive state at planet Phantom (Celestial Ark). On their journey to Shalbart, Ruda (Yuria) and Ageha (Hoshina) fall for one another. Whenever Yamato’s in a pinch, Ageha (Hoshina) makes sure Ruda (Yuria) is safe. Intimate hugs included. Ruda’s home is called Shalbart (Iscandar). It’s a religious symbol in both the Bolar Federation and Garmillas (Galman). After experiencing the depth of Ageha’s heart (Ito), Ruda (Yurisha) promises to help guide Yamato to Shalbart (Iscandar), and promptly points out where the planet is by using her telepathic abilities.
Ruda reveals that the reason she didn’t do so sooner was because she wanted to see if Yamato was worthy of receiving Shalbart’s blessings. Ageha (Ito) proved this to be the case. At the end of Yamato III, Ruda (Starsha) has to bid Ageha (Mamoru’s soul in the CRS) farewell. Someone has to stay and arbitrate on Shalbart (Iscandar) after all, to ensure it won’t fade as a symbol of peace in an increasingly violent universe. Yes, this arc has been completely adapted. No, I don’t think the Garmillan religious term “Rud[a] Iscandar” was chosen by coincidence.
Mother Shalbart is the religious leader of Shalbart. Her visage never changes, but the keeper of said visage does. As long as a Mother Shalbart exists, Shalbart won’t ever be forgotten. She can manifest her visage to believers all across the galaxy, giving them hope. Mother Shalbart was a name given to this constantly changing figurehead, rather than a name whoever acts in that role was born with.
While it doesn’t sound like the idea of a revolving figurehead for a 1000 year old religion hasn’t been used, it has. When Dessler orders the kidnapping of Yurisha in 2199, but receives the look-alike Yuki, he declares that it doesn’t really matter if she’s the real deal. As long as the people believe she is, the promotion of Iscandarism – and Yuki’s approval of it – will guide the people to the necessary degree.
What about the metaphysical properties of Mother Shalbart? Teresa attained the ability to spiritually project her image across the universe to those she calls on. Teresa’s name was (likely) given to her, rather than chosen. According to Varel, she’s existed for over 1,000 years and has extremely strong religious significance in the universe. She even has her own incredibly devoted followers who guard her Telezarium in 2202.
Governor General Boroze of the Bolar Federation is a family man who works diligently for Bemlayze as Berth’s Governor General. Serving under him is a mild-mannered and stoic soldier named Rebarus, who’s Captain of the Guard. In an effort to stop him from executing prisoners, Yamato guns him down during an insurrection on Berth. After failing to quell this rebellion, Boroze and his territory is annihilated. Conceptually, these characters became Governor Bozen of Prison Planet 17, his XO and the Governor of Alteria in 2199.
Bozen – like Boroze – was a man who lost any semblance of morals during his tenure as Governor at Prison Planet 17. He lost his life during subsequent riots. Alteria’s governor suffered the same fate Boroze did in Yamato III: Execution for failing to govern annexed territory. That said, Boroze and Rebarus themselves both make a brief appearance at the start of 2205, where the former reprises his role as Governor General, while the latter reprises his role as Captain of the Guard; this time on planet Galman rather than Berth. What comes next is to be learned as of this writing.
Lugal, Lugal De Zahl and Dengil Boy
The Lugal Family didn’t used to be so complicated. There was (1) the patriarch/might-makes-right leader of Uruk, Emperor Lugal. (2) His less than adequate son and heir, Lugal de Zahl. (3) His second son, the unnamed Dengil Boy. And last but not least, (4) the Unnamed Mother of the family who dies in the flooding of Dengil.
Lugal is impressed and fascinated with Earth and its people, how they can keep pushing for love and peace in a world that actively props up the most ancient of natural laws: survival of the fittest. At the end of the day, the man who pulls the trigger is the winner. At the end of the day, if you fail to impress your commander – even if he is your father – then death is a mercy. If killing your own kind and abandoning your own home is required to ensure your people’s survival, it’s a small price.
Lugal’s people were once saved from the great flood of myth by ancient demons. This came with technological advancements that have allowed his kind to live even 4,500 years after the Babylonian flood myth occurred. His plan is to warp Aquarius to his aboriginal home of Earth so they can later settle on its purged surface as a new, better mankind, not prone to the weak vice of compassion.
Lugal de Zahl is desperate to impress his father. He seems to act only in his role as a soldier, but what he really wants is his father’s affection and appreciation. After failing to stop Yamato several times, including at Aquarius, he’s put in a position to be killed by his father as mercy.
The Dengil Boy is a young, curious fellow who’s trying to learn what it means to be human, what it means to be family, what it means to love and to survive. After experiencing Lugal’s oppressive treatment of human compassion, he still chooses to save the enemy.
In Lugal’s throne room, when Kodai confronts the emperor – unarmed and willing to talk – the boy takes a bullet for Kodai. Kodai openly questions Lugal’s humanity, asking how he would dare kill his own son. Ashamed and scared, perhaps, Lugal retreats from the scene, evacuating and allowing Uruk to crumble. As the Dengil boy passes on, he asks Kodai if what he did would be seen as a good thing by Earthling standards. Kodai nods and the boy smiles as he dies.
The Unnamed Mother was said by De Zahl to have perished in the flooding of Dengil, along with the Dengil boy. As a story element she’s a complete enigma. Did Lugal care for his wife, the mother of his children? Or did he, as he says, merely write her death off as fate of the weak and powerless?
2202’s writers took the abundance of potential from this family and interpolated it with Zordar and his extended family, along with new elements like cloning. You can read more about this in the 2202 episode commentaries.
Now let’s go through each of the Lugal / Zordar family members in order.
For 2202’s depiction of Zordar, a great many elements from the Lugal family were brought back to enhance Gatlantis’ story potential and emotional resonance. Lugal’s many aspects were grafted onto Goland and Zordar’s backs, but with added depth and nuance. His role as patriarch of the family, along with his knowledge of Uruk’s long history and the mysteries of the universe, were given to the new character Gairen. De Zahl’s aspirations, role, failures and ultimate fate were split between Admiral Mazer, Miru, and Goland’s clone heir Nol. The Dengil boy’s essence merged with Miru, Nol, Yuki and Yamato‘s young fighter pilot Tsurumi. Allow me to explain the intricacies in greater detail:
Zordar and Goland (Lugal)
These two men have lived long, rigid lives. Whereas Goland lives to pass on his survivalist message to the next heir of the his name, Zordar lives to prove that non-humanoid humans and their love is a wasted effort that only brings pain and suffering.
Goland is the 19th of his generation, the implication here being that the Goland clones have existed since maybe even before Zordar’s rebellion a millennia ago. While I doubt they’re as old as Lugal’s family line (implied to go all the way back to Uruk’s King Gilgamesh), the point still stands. Goland wants the status quo of living for survival to go on.
Zordar wants to replace the current strain of mankind with a superior version not ruled by emotion. As he closes in on that goal, he’s confronted in his own throne room by Kodai. As Miru accidentally (almost) took the life of Yuki in Kodai’s place, a stray Needleslave mecha accidentally takes Gairen’s life in Zordar’s place. Like his original counterpart, he initiates a self-destruct sequence of his own and exterminates his own kind. In 2202, Kodai says that Miru taught him that Zordar’s kind is human. This is a reversal of Kodai’s statement in Final Yamato.
Miru, Nol and Mazer (Lugal De Zahl)
Lugal De Zahl is less complicated. The first half of what I described applies to Nol. Like De Zahl, he just wanted his father’s love and affection. It’s what drove him to be like his father. At the end of Goland and Nol’s lives, however, Goland does realize his mistake and embraces Nol. We can’t be as certain about Lugal’s end. De Zahl’s drive to please his father and to understand his deeply-rooted philosophy was given to Miru, who at first lived to prove Zordar anti-love dogma. Unlike De Zahl, he realizes that Zordar’s wrong and chooses his own path. Like Lt. Alphon from Be Forever, Miru’s lowered guard helped spell his own doom. De Zahl’s death, a punishment for adhering to emotions that failed him in battle, was adapted into Admiral Mazer’s death at Dessler’s hand – on Zordar’s orders. Mazer and his fleet had been contaminated by emotions. They were no longer necessary.
Miru, Nol and Tsurumi (Dengil Boy)
These three young men received different pieces of the Dengil Boy’s character. Miru’s philosophical musings on what it means to be human and Zordar’s view of love is one example. Nol striving to receive his father’s affection – similar to De Zahl – and asking those around him what it means to be human, and whether or not it’s normal to want to be held, is another. But the boy’s death? While it’s easy to see similarities in Miru’s death, it was almost adapted 1:1 when Akira’s junior pilot Tsurumi passed away on Telezart, in Episode 14. Shot composition, lines and the emotional connection all match up.
Shifar Sabera, White Sabera and Black Sabera (Toko Katsuragi)
While Sabera’s two different incarnations from Farewell and Yamato 2 served as the primary inspirations for the Black and White Sabera clones, their soul and origin as the Silver Priestess and witch “Sifar Sabera” was most assuredly inspired by De Zahl’s Unnamed Mother. As her original counterpart’s name suggests, Sifar Sabera was the first Zordar’s wife and mother to his clone child.
After a series of tragedies and betrayals from the rulers of their homeworld Zemulia, Sabera and her child both die. This brings the first Zordar nothing but gloom and despair. His loathing for love is carried over to his heirs, and a culture of intolerance is forced upon his people. Secretly, deep down, he knows what love is capable of. But seeing what the pain did to his original and current self, he continuously forsakes and murders the Sabera clones whenever they awaken to their loving memories of his original self.
Gorui was part of a large space empire in Resurrection. He and his people are from a lower-caste planet and fight with a strict warrior’s code. They question where their empire is heading, what the politicians are thinking with their reckless actions. After witnessing the splendor of Yamato’s spirit, their own spirit is revitalized. To help Yamato, Gorui intends to kamikaze his commander – Metzler – and orders everyone to abandon ship. They refuse, telling him that he’ll have to court-martial them when they get back. Then they all fly to their deaths.
Familiar? Their class situation was integrated into the reboot via the Zaltsians. They too fight with honor and pride, to better their standing in the empire they serve. The political and philosophical misgivings Gorui feels about his own empire were transferred to Domel, and their deaths were tacked on to Domel’s warrior’s death at the end of the Star Cluster Battle.