Story Draft 4 by Toshio Masuda

February 25, 1979

As one of the Yamato animation staff’s most accomplished and prolific directors, Masuda’s treatment ran to twice the length of the others and was far more detailed. Although many of Masuda’s ideas were too ambitious, others were solid enough to remain unchanged in the final movie. Because of this draft’s length, only the most distinguishing excerpts are presented here. (Edited material described in parentheses.)

Heavily Damaged, Yamato is Heading for Earth

After the death of Teresa, her dramatic, sublime self-sacrifice, the hearts of Kodai, Yuki, and Shima are filled with mixed emotions. Was our action right? Did we act impetuously and pick a thoughtless fight? Did we force too many sacrifices?

On the other hand, it is certain they could not have destroyed Zordar, the enemy of all space. They succeeded in bringing peace to Earth and recovered order in the universe.

A victory is always accompanied by such bitter and agonizing reflections. Yet, we can’t wallow in misery nor waste the sacrifices. We need to make this hard-won peace permanent, expand peace into the universe, and hand down stories of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives forever. The three talk and determine this to be so.

Three months pass…

Dessler’s Fleet Returns to the Large Magellanic Cloud

Dessler has a large-scale plan for the reconstruction of Gamilas. They will neutralize the sea of sulfuric acid, restore the devastated land, and make it grow green again.

“Great race of Gamilas…I, your leader, have abandoned my vicious past and finally found the light. This time, let’s build a nation filled with peace and glory, shall we?”

(Dessler attempts to contact Starsha, but the communication is jammed by a spy ship. It attacks Dessler, but is overpowered and flees.)

Communication With Starsha Resumes

Starsha, who appears on a large panel in front of Dessler, is filled with mysterious beauty as she always was. Her husband Mamoru Kodai stands beside her. Both are suspicious of Dessler’s sudden return. Considering what Dessler has done in the past, this is only natural. Dessler expresses his sincere feelings to them.

Such a drastic change is almost unbelievable, but when Dessler talks about meeting Kodai and Yuki, the two show strong interest.

“I learned about the strength and greatness of love from Yuki and your brother Susumu.”

“Has Susumu become such a man?”

“Yes, and he changed me.”

Starsha understands and is delighted from the bottom of her heart.

“I am very glad. You don’t know how long I have waited for you to change.”

“I wholeheartedly apologize for what I have done. I would like to make up for my past, and will do my best to rebuild our planets with you.”

(Starsha informs him that it’s too late; others are invading Gamilas. His fleet discovers them and the battle begins.)

What is the True Character of the Mysterious Fleet, and What is Their Purpose?

They come from the distant Dark Nebula Volgazen. This Dark Nebula is in the midst of a war with the White Nebula Shalbart. Volgazen needs Gamilarium, the origin of the radiation of Gamilas, as an energy resource. With Gamilarium, their victory in this interplanetary war is guaranteed. That is why they are trying to tow the Planet Gamilas to Volgazen.

(The battle results in the destruction of Gamilas and the disruption of Iscandar’s orbit.)

Goruba, the Auto Planet, Ugly and Pitted With Craters

Goruba is located on the front lines of the Dark Nebula. Commander Gabochin, standing in front of the big panel on the bridge, becomes furious.

“How stupid! Our effort was totally wasted. I will be held responsible for this failure and be executed by Emperor Stalinov on the home planet!” His face turns pale.

A military advisor besides him says, “All is not lost. Though Gamilas disappeared, its twin planet Iscandar has the same components; Iscandarium and Gamilarium are the same.”

Relieved, Gabochin gives an order to Combat Captain Fulkov: “Do your best to recover Iscandar and obtain its Iscandarium. But if you fail, we will all be executed by Emperor Stalinov!”

(On Earth, we see the Hero’s Hill scene exactly as it appears in the final version of the movie. In this draft, however, the crew is interrupted by a call to Earth Defense Headquarters. They have received a message capsule identical to the one sent by Starsha in the first TV series.)

“I am Starsha of the Planet Iscandar…”

All let out a cheer, moved by their memories, but Starsha’s message is terrifying.

“I must tell you of the Dark Nebula Volgazen and its ambition. In order to obtain new energy resources, it plans to obtain the radioactive material in the Planets Iscandar and Gamilas. If they succeed, the universe will again be exposed to great danger. Dear friends, please take serious precautions.”

The Earth has not yet heard of this danger, but Iscandar seems to be in peril. Starsha is the savior of Earth, and Mamoru Kodai stays with her as her husband. First Susumu Kodai, then both Shima and Sanada request that Yamato be sent to their aid.

“Well said,” the commander responds, “I appreciate your feelings, but you just finished a big battle and have not had enough rest. I want to postpone your departure.”

“We must not ignore the danger of Starsha, our great benefactor.”

“Then we will send a different fleet this time. Yamato is severely damaged, and repairs are not finished yet.”

The command council firmly declines their request. They do not want to send these brilliant soldiers into the jaws of death a third time.

(Despite this, the Yamato crew conspires to go anyway. We meet Chief Engineer Tokugawa, who survived the Comet Empire battle but is too old and injured to go on this flight, so he sends his nephew Rokuya in his place. Kodai promises Yuki that when they both return safely they will marry.)

Accelerating Iscandar

Because of its excessive speed, Iscandar has lost its air. Starsha accompanies Mamoru and escapes into a shelter located deep underground. The tachyon particle waves caused by the explosion of Gamilas propels Iscandar, and the energy is growing.

(Iscandar goes into a warp and Dessler follows. Yamato arrives at the Sanzar System, but cannot find Iscandar. Instead, they receive a distress call from Dessler and decide to follow it to its source.)

A Star Cluster

Iscandar re-appears in this area. Rapid streams of asteroids and space debris surround Iscandar. The asteroids crash into the surface, scattering fragments into space. A pickup ship of the Fulkov Fleet collects fragments of Iscandar’s crust. They analyze the fragments and report that Iscandarium is not in them.

Commander Fulkov shouts, “Take after it! Iscandarium must be deeper inside the body of the planet.”

Dessler’s Fleet de-warps near Iscandar, and immediately understands its precarious position. Dessler’s ship sails parallel to Iscandar and shoots away asteroids from Iscandar’s path. Dessler tries to land, but the Fulkov Fleet arrives and engages him in a standoff. Meanwhile, Iscandar makes another warp and disappears.

Yamato Repeats Warps

Finally they calculate Iscandar’s next de-warping point, but it is in the Sargasso, known as the graveyard of spaceships. Once entering this area, no one knows what could happen. Some crewmembers oppose him, but Kodai makes a firm decision to go.

Sargasso Sea of Space

It is a graveyard of the universe, as quiet as darkness. The remains of spaceships are floating there. Iscandar is there as well. “Spideria,” a giant vine-like asteroid, approaches Iscandar and wraps its vines around the planet like an octopus. The crust of Iscandar starts melting.

In the underground block, Starsha and Mamoru are at a loss for what to do and they keep watching the condition of the surface.

Yamato warps into the area. It has to destroy Spideria immediately, but the Wave-Motion Gun cannot be used, or Iscandar will be destroyed as well. Kodai leads the fighters. The vine-arms of Spideria stretch out to grab and melt them.

Aiming at the arms, Kodai and others shoot them off. A fierce battle follows, setting Iscandar free from Spideria. They return to Yamato and finish the job with the Wave-Motion Gun.

Finally, they contact Iscandar. Kodai and others try to communicate, but before their eyes, Iscandar disappears once again. Yamato follows by warping.

(When both come out of warp, Iscandar is headed toward the red giant star from previous drafts. Kodai tries to convince Starsha and Mamoru to leave Iscandar, but they refuse for the same reasons we’ve heard before.)

Iscandar is Approaching the Red Giant Star

Yamato approaches the surface of Iscandar and fires two rocket anchors into it. Yamato increases its power to 120% and ignites the Wave-Motion Engine. At first, Iscandar does not move at all. Is this impossible? But then it begins to move slowly. Good, keep going! But progress is slow, and both Yamato and Iscandar are getting closer to the red giant star.

Then, Dessler’s ship appears. Yamato is surprised, but Dessler immediately offers help. He places his ship’s bow on the surface of Iscandar and tries to help by pushing.

The heat of the red giant increases. The crews of Yamato and Dessler’s ship wear heatproof suits and keep working on the desperate operation. Mamoru contacts them, warning that if they continue, they will jeopardize themselves. Both ships need to abandon Iscandar immediately and escape. But Yamato and Dessler are determined.

Then, above them appears the Fulkov Fleet, ready to attack. Both ships are using all of their power to change the direction of Iscandar, so they are unable to defend themselves. But Commander Fulkov knows that the red giant star will consume Iscandar if he interferes and destroys both ships.

His scheme is to engage in light attacks, decreasing their fighting capacity while letting them change the course of Iscandar. Then Fulkov can easily destroy Yamato and Dessler’s ship, and take Iscandar for himself.

As a cat kills a mouse by inches, Fulkov uses new weapons and robs Yamato and Dessler their fighting capacity. Between the hellish heat and the enemy’s attacks, Kodai, Dessler, and their crews make a desperate stand. Above all, they must save Iscandar.

Finally, they succeed in changing Iscandar’s course, but they are powerless against Fulkov. Yamato and Dessler communicate:

“What shall we do?” Dessler asks.

“We must fight, of course. Only when we risk our lives will a way open for us.”

“I have seen such Yamato-style fighting many times, and Yamato has always won.”

“Those who live risk their lives to the last. That is the spirit of Yamato.”

“As a fellow soldier of Yamato, I am honored to fight with you.”

(Starsha chooses this moment to intervene by surrendering Iscandar to the enemy. She agrees to go aboard Yamato with Mamoru, but at the last moment she pulls the same trick we see in the movie; Mamoru is launched holding a case in his arms which Starsha identifies as “her treasure.”)

Yamato Receives the Escape Ship

All crewmembers go to welcome the ship. Only Mamoru walks out, holding the case.

“Brother! Where is Starsha?”

Mamoru cannot answer.

The image of Starsha appears from the case, and she speaks;

“Everyone, I am sorry for failing to return your kindness. Both my mother Planet Iscandar and I are destined for extinction. I am wholeheartedly thankful that I could spend my last days with Mamoru. Now the Iscandarium in this planet has caused new unrest in space. I want to eliminate the root of this conflict by my own hand. Mamoru, I love you forever. I will not die. I will always be with you. Please open this box. Dear crewmembers of Yamato, Dessler, please escape from the explosion as soon as you can. Hurry!”

Susumu Kodai and the others recover their senses and dash to their positions.

(Starsha detonates Iscandar and destroys Fulkov’s fleet. From the bridge of Yamato, everyone watches sadly. Mamoru opens the case.)

Inside the Case is an Angelic Baby, Sleeping Peacefully

A note reads “Our daughter, Arisa” in Starsha’s handwriting. Mamoru picks up the baby, holds her tightly, and nestles his cheek against hers. Arisa sleeps peacefully with a smile playing about her lips.

Dessler appears on the screen.

“Dear Yamato, let’s celebrate victory and give glory to Starsha.”

“Thank you, Dessler! We appreciate your cooperation.”

“I am the one who owes appreciation.”

“We want to express our condolences for the loss of Gamilas.”

Dessler returns a light nod.

“What will you do?”

With a bitter smile, he says, “When I learned of love and determined to rebuild my mother planet, I lost her. This is who I am. This is my destiny. Seeking the next mother, I shall wander through space again. But Earth is my friend. I will always watch the green Earth from somewhere in space. Good-bye, dear Yamato crew!”

Yamato Sets Off for Earth

Mamoru stands on the bridge holding the baby, feeling the happiness of having mother Earth to return to. On Earth there is life, born and raised. That life is eternal. They once again swear to cherish and protect it, deeply etching the oath upon each others’ minds.

But Yamato is Watched…

by cold, angry eyes from the Dark Nebula in far distant space.

They belong to Emperor Stalinov.

Is the peace of the universe still unreachable…?

The End

Continue to Story Draft 5 by Hideaki Yamamoto

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