Left: Resurrection / Right: 2202
The Earth Federation Governmental Facilities
Let’s start with something simple: Government. Throughout the classic saga, elements of Earth’s ruling regime were slowly paced out, with few details explored or explained. The reboot rectified this early on. Originally, Farewell was the first work to introduce an Earth Federation president. In Yamato III, we were blessed with government space weather facilities and the Federation’s HQ. Lastly, in Resurrection, the EF’s UN-style parliament was introduced. Combined, 2199 and 2202 have carefully established these fine institutions as well, with some – like the old UN – established as early as 2199’s first episode. The parliament where Sanada holds his appeal to the human heart in 2202 is definitely inspired by Resurrection.
Dezarium Core and Crystal City
For 2202, inspiration came not only from the previous Comet Empire adaptations, but from Be Forever and Final Yamato. The White Comet itself became The Ark of Destruction, an ancient weapon of mass-destruction created by mankind’s progenitors, Akerius. Gone was the familiar Comet City Empire. Instead, the city portion received a fresh Crystal City treatment, by artistic courtesy of the Dark Nebulans’ Dezarium. It even has facilities meant to help reconstruct humans from their very soul, with fresh skin tissue and a sense of both feeling and touch. This was the Dark Nebulans’ end goal in Be Forever.
The origins behind the Ark’s purpose – to be an Ark of both destruction and creation – is a story thread borrowed from Final Yamato. There, the primordial water planet Aquarius is responsible for blessing the universe’s various planets with water. This both creates and annihilates all life, generating the great flood of myth in a constant cycle to maintain balance in the universe. This is exactly what Zordar’s Ark is meant to do in 2202: destroy and reseed mankind if we develop too far in the wrong direction.
The concept behind its sensitive core and warp capabilities likewise comes from Final Yamato’s depiction of the floating city Uruk. Sanada predicting that the White Comet won’t appear in our galaxy for a few thousand years at its present speed, was borrowed from his same assessment of Aquarius’ velocity. Once it received artificially-induced warps from the Ark/Uruk, this assessment changed. But that’s not all.
In Ark of the Stars, we’re presented with the titular Ark of that movie. Its true form, revealed after the Gatlantean Medalusa Flame Strike Gun breaks its illusory mirage – rather than the Wave-Motion Gun like in Be Forever – takes many visual cues from Dezarium’s curved steel ribs design. The mechanical tentacles that guard Dezarium’s heart were later integrated into the design of Zordar’s Ark of Destruction. As were the ancient gates leading into Dezarium’s core, becoming 2202’s “Gates of Lerte.” Toko fills Sasha’s shoes in this 2202 scene, responsible for opening them.
Galman Imperial City
This was a Yamato III concept reimagined for 2199. In the original work, Gamilas was only one planet. It had seized Pluto and created a mechanical base at Balun, but it was by no means an outstretched empire locked in a bitter war with opponents both known and unknown. That came from Yamato III. The basic design concept for its capital city Baleras has been carefully reconstructed, including the iconic Baleras tower. The glass pyramids that house many of its citizens would later be added to the design of Dessler’s “New Baleras” mechanical city.
The Dessler family palace, explored in both 2199 and 2202 flashbacks, was also taken from Yamato III. The conference room, Dessler’s private couch and lobby… all of it. And finally, the broken down state of Baleras Tower and its torn-apart city in 2202 was borrowed from the opening sequence of Final Yamato.
Galman Regional Command Base
This base, situated in the Barnard Star system of the Milky Way galaxy, became the frontier outpost of General Dagon in Yamato III, who served under the Regional Commander Gairen. The Bolar Federation and Galman-Gamilas both fought over the Milky Way as a contested space, inadvertently dragging Earth into a greater conflict that Dessler himself would later pull them out of. This base housed an upgraded reflex gun system and the iconic Gamilas underground shipyards.
For 2199, Pluto became Garmillas’ de facto frontier Regional Base in the Milky Way, with all of its Yamato III features intact: an underground network of shipyard tunnels, energy cables for at least two or more Satellite Guns, reflector panels in space… these were the Mk II upgrades from Yamato III, repurposed to add stakes to 2199’s Pluto arc. Due to wars with at least one other interstellar nation – the Gatlantis lower caste expeditionary forces – the Milky Way expansionist project was slowed down. Instead, focus was put on conquering Earth and renovating it over a longer period of time. Schulz the Zaltsian filled Dagon’s shoes, whilst Göer took Gaidel’s role as his superior. More on them later.
The planetary nation of Shalbart, still worshipped by people across space, once ruled the galaxy with an iron fist and Wave-Motion Guns over a millenia ago. Their people have since turned to pacifism, promoting Shalbartism to create everlasting peace in the universe. Their home has a rich history, with ancient ruins that speak of a glorious past. A graveyard marked with crystals to remember their sins. The matriarch of the planet, Mother Shalbart, has vowed to never again abuse the great power they once created. The people of Shalbart would rather live and die on their homeworld than to fight another war at the cost of others. The only leisurely activity we see them engage in is nude swimming. Sound familiar?
This became Iscandar’s expanded aesthetic, origins and future motivations in the reboot, starting with 2199. Iscandar’s religious significance was paid lip service and given visual nods until 2202’s flashback portions revealed that Abelt Dessler did deify Starsha as the religious icon of “Iscandarism.”
While we can’t say for certain that it’s been a millennium since Iscandar ruled the universe, we do know that the Garmillan nation of planet Garmillas – its twin planet – celebrates its 1,000 year anniversary in Episode 8 of 2199. Oh, and there’s a swimming sequence with Yamato’s crew on Iscandar as well. However, since Iscandar’s history had to remain somewhat intact, Starsha and her sister are the only living Iscandarians left. This gives Yamato’s crew the opportunity to take a comfortable dive in the planet’s clean waters. Even the gondola is given a revamp.
A planet of illusions that can manipulate human senses, causing them to perceive that which it isn’t. It does so to protect itself; as a cloaking mechanism. Gamilans see Gamilas. Earthlings see Earth. Both are given the chance to talk with deceased loved ones. But they’re nothing more than illusions. Or are they? Phantom is used as a prison planet by the Bolars, who once found and abducted the next Mother Shalbart (Ruda) to seal away the religion’s influence on its people. What they didn’t know is that the planet lives, and that it would come to empathise with and wish to protect Ruda. However, when Yamato’s crew arrives, Ruda takes an interest in two young boys: Domon and Ageha, inviting the two of them to see the true nature of Planet Phantom.
This concept has been reused in the reboot universe in two distinct ways: the Celestial Ark and Lerelei, as well as planet Telezart and the voices of the dead it transmits. Lerelai is a Jirel space witch who escaped Garmillas’ persecution of her home planet by accessing the Celestial Ark, an ancient Akerian hand-me-down. Not only could it travel beyond the speed of the known laws of the universe, it could even cloak and mask itself using both illusions and actual invisibility.
In Ark of the Stars, Berger’s Garmillan crew and Yamato’s Earthling crew both experienced their own separate illusory experiences. The puppet master pulled the strings to see if they were worthy of accessing the long dormant Ark by overcoming lack of trust between races. Her conclusion? They were, and she would set out on her own journey of trust, finally willing to make a leap and leave her predicament. This is exactly the same conclusion Lerelai comes to with Berger and Kodai’s help.
In 2202, planet Telezart isn’t a physical entity as much as a manifested body of water with an ancient gate called the “Terezarium,” a mirror connecting the planet and Teresa to our universe. Telezart is essentially the reboot’s planet Aquarius, while its power to manifest your heart’s inner desires is played in a more spiritual way, connecting it to planet Phantom. Kodai can speak to Okita’s spirit, Sanada can speak with Mamoru’s. But whether or not these spirits are actually real is left completely up to the audience’s own interpretation. Are they mirages meant to manipulate the hearts of Teresa’s chosen ones, as Dessler posits? Or are they a manifestation of true souls, connected via Teresa from the world of the dead?
Also worth mentioning is the squid-like tentacles which Planet Phantom uses to absorb power and ensnare invaders. This concept was given to a batch of alien squid-creatures from the uninhabited planet Kapadokia at the start of the movie. Like Phantom, these creatures have some kind of sentience. They absorb physical energy to sustain themselves, causing two Gatlantean ships to implode. Thankfully, Yamato manages to warp away from inside the planet without a set target, a very dangerous procedure according to Shima.
This element was borrowed from Final Yamato. There, Yamato’s forced to immediately warp away from Galman-Gamilas before they’re crushed by its looming sun. The risk is taken and they end up at Planet Dengil. In Ark, their risk takes them to the titular Ark of the Stars’ alternate space.
Aquarius and Uruk
Aquarius is a giant planet of water, the primordial creator of all life in the universe. A living planet represented by its own spirit, Queen Aquarius. It travels around the universe in a 4.6 billion year cycle, blessing planets with water, but ending all life on the planets that have already been blessed and developed in the previous cycle. Aquarius maintains the universe’s balance this way. It’s a blue ball of water, housing ancient ruins from bygone civilisations. It’s surrounded by a crystalline asteroid belt.
Uruk is what became of Babylonian mankind; a nation saved by demons in a spaceship who rescued them when Aquarius passed Earth last time (drowning it in the great flood of myth) and took to the other side of the universe to gift them with technological advancements.
The reboot universe has provided vague, sometimes confusing, yet intriguing possibilities for Aquarius and Uruk in this new timeline.
According to 2199 and Ark, Akerius was mankind’s progenitor race. In an experiment to reboot the universe, to see if people could see eye to eye with one another beyond race and ethnicity, they created a limited batch of human seeds and spread them out across the cosmos, splitting them into seven different races.
They also left behind great feats of scientific magic, like giant indecipherable warp gates, or Arks for different purposes. The Celestial Ark was built as a giant trial machine, only capable of utilizing capabilities if different races could cooperate beyond the boundaries they set for themselves. Or the Ark of Destruction, a giant death machine built to annihilate mankind if we develop too far. It’s paired with the Ark of Creation, a system capable of later re-seeding mankind.
2202 provided deeper hints and questions as to the true nature of the Akerians, what happened to them and what many of the things left behind actually meant. A giant space cross in Ark carries familiar hieroglyphs. The race of telepathic Jirel space witches are supposedly close descendants of the Akerian race. Teresa and the White Comet are both depicted in the ancient Akerian ruins of Stravase. Did the Akerians become Teresa? Was the White Comet an allusion to the Ark of Destruction, or a prophecy for what was to come in 2202? We just don’t know.
What about Uruk and Aquarius’ architectural design? Like with Dezarium, elements of Uruk’s floating nation were carried over to Gatlantis and its Ark of Destruction. The ancient molten scorched earth look, Lugal’s throne room, its ability to warp itself and entire planets… all of it was added to the Ark. The demonic connection is seen in Gatlantis history on Zemulia, where the ancient Zemulians who once ruled over the Gatlanteans are depicted as giant demon heads. Aquarius’ environment and ruins were transferred to the Celestial Ark, its crystalline asteroid belt in particular. Its floating continents were paid homage to in 2202’s first episode.
But isn’t Aquarius a body of water? It sure is. And what is Telezart, once it’s chosen to manifest itself in our universe? A giant floating body of water, capable of projecting its true chosen form: Teresa. Telezart in 2202 IS Aquarius, but devoid of its initial purpose. That purpose was given to the Ark of Destruction. The truest nature of Telezart can be seen inside Teresa’s dimension, a giant expanse of water and sky surrounded by golden hues, the familiar beach from Final Yamato and a blue tree of light. In Final Yamato, the ship sinks into the ocean of Aquarius. In 2202, it rises from an ocean to save Kodai and Yuki.
The planets – and water by extension – aren’t what actually upholds the balance and harmony of the universe according to Teresa. It’s the bonds we shape with others that allow us to value the water we have, the people we love, the life we live. Rewatch Episodes 15 and 16 of 2202, then give the Queen of Aquarius sequence another look. Even the battle sequence Yamato engages with is the same. More on that in the battles section.
Planet Berth, Galman and Amal
Berth was Captain Ram’s homeworld in Yamato III. His green-skinned people either joined or were forced to join the Bolar Federation at some point, and their world has been a prison planet ever since. Conditions are harsh, people are executed daily, and freedom of religion is oppressed. Governor General Boroze is in charge of its management, under Supreme Leader Bemlayze’s orders. After failing to stop an internal uprising, Bemlayze himself shows up to deliver the harsh punishment of Berth’s destruction. Boroze, the prisoners and the people of Berth perish.
Amal was a vibrant planetary nation of brown-skinned people, apparently rich in culture. It was part of the highly corrupt Great Urup Interstellar Alliance. After much consideration, Amal starts a violent uprising for independence, drawing the ire of the Alliance. They arrive to subjugate Amal and its people, but are thwarted. While the planets Berth and Amal haven’t appeared in name, three separate planets have borrowed what conceptually makes them tick: Prison Planet Leptapoda, Alteria, and Galman.
Leptapoda is a Garmillan prison penal colony, one of at least 18 others. There, prisoners of every race, from faux Gatlanteans to Alterians and Garmillans, are provided harsh capital punishment and forced to labor. A rebellion breaks out, resulting in the Governor of Leptapoda’s presumed demise. This 2199 arc follows its Yamato III counterpart pretty closely.
Alteria is part of the Greater Garmillan Empire, a nation subject to the laws of Garmillas. There, a race of brown-skinned people ousts their Garmillan Governor in a rebellion meant to force Garmillas to accept their independence. In response, the Governor flees the planet, urging the leader of the Garmillan Imperial Guard, Heydom Gimleh, to quell the rebellion and reinstate him. In response, Gimleh kills the Governor, telling him that failure isn’t pardoned just because you’re a Garmillan. To ensure that other planets stay in check, Gimleh orders a thorough and symbolic annihilation of Alteria. As with Planet Berth in Yamato III, Gimleh succeeds. It’s unsure whether or not the planet still exists.
Planet Galman in Yamato III was Gamilas’ ancestral homeworld, located in the Milky Way galaxy. Between New Voyage and Yamato III, Dessler finds this planet, liberates it from the Bolar Federation and creates Galman-Gamilas, a new empire focused on peace and stability under imperial rule. In the opening section of 2205 Part 1, we see this mostly off-screen moment from Yamato III brought to animated glory. Curiously, Galman is run by Governor General Boroze of the Bolar Federation, the man who was in charge of Berth in Yamato III. Seeing as Dessler sends him home to warn his federation that he’ll show them true fear, I doubt Boroze will escape his execution this time around either.