The Final Act
Since the beginning of this article series, the source for most of the text has been Westcape Corporation’s Final Yamato deluxe hardcover book, published in December 1983. To this day, that book is still the most comprehensive record of the film’s development, and we reach the end of that material with this article.
As described in an earlier segment, the story was broken into four parts for production purposes, essentially like four episodes of a TV series. When the script for part 1 was done, it went into storyboarding. Subsequent parts followed in a chain until the script was finished. Part 1 was turned in May 20, 1983, and after it was run through a gauntlet of revisions, part 2 began. Both parts 2 and 3 were finished in June (on the 7th and 19th respectively), and then it came time for the most important segment of the story; the climax in which everything was paid off. There was no more development or note-making, just the culmination of everything that began over a year earlier.
It should come as no surprise that this was a group effort. The core writing team came together for the last time on June 28, 1982 to tie up all the loose ends and put every concept to rest for good. Below is the script that came from that meeting, the entire final act of the movie from the scene of Shima’s death all the way to the end.
It should also be no surprise that this was still not the final version of the script. That was turned in about 10 days later on July 9 with several minor changes and one major one–the fate of Dessler. Portions in blue indicate sections that were changed or dropped in the final draft. A few other scenes were rearranged. The stills shown here did not exist until many months later; they are presented for illustrative purposes only.
Sado (wipes his eyes with his fist): You’re a fool. On the verge of death, and still worrying about others. You’ve always been like that…
Kodai stands motionless, not even trying to wipe his tears away as he stares into Shima’s face. Yuki sobs. Sanada and the other men cry bitterly. Captain Okita slowly rises from his seat and salutes the dead body of Shima.
• Space, outside the solar system. Aquarius advances.
• EDF headquarters, control room: the relationship between Aquarius and Earth appears on a space map on the video panel.
Adjutant (sad): Aquarius emerged from warp XXX space kilometers from Earth. It is on course at half the speed of light to pass within close range of Earth. Earth will be flooded in XX hours.
• Outer space: the explosion of Uruk spreads without a sound in the distance. Yamato seems to drift.
• Yamato, first bridge. Everyone slumps with exhaustion and despair. The same is true of Kodai, but there is a glimmer in his eyes. Sweat. Okita’s eyes are closed. A signal is heard.
Aihara: Captain. Communication from the commander at Earth Defense Headquarters.
The image of the commander appears on the video panel.
Okita: Commander. I’m sorry not to have met your schedule.
Commander: You worked very hard. I just wanted to say that.
Okita: Thank you. But commander, I still do not despair.
Commander: Eh!? Okita! What…what can still be done!?
Okita: I don’t know. Maybe nothing. But I do not despair, as long as we have these young people and Yamato.
Commander: Right. Yamato is still alive and well. As long as there is Yamato and her crew, I will not abandon hope. There is XX time until Aquarius floods Earth. I’ll leave it to you, Okita.
• Yamato, observation deck. Aquarius heads toward Earth outside the window. Kodai glares at it intently. Yuki stands holding him with a gloomy look.
Yuki: Can Yamato still save the Earth from this?
Yuki: There’s nothing we can do, Kodai-kun.
Yuki looks at Kodai, surprised by his tone.
Kodai: Yamato is not an unreliable ship!
Kodai still gazes at Aquarius. He puts his hand to the window, his body seeming to crumple as he hangs his head.
Kodai: Yamato…forgive me!
With that, he suddenly turns.
Yuki: Wait! (she follows)
• Yamato, captain’s cabin. Kodai enters, his face tense. Then Yuki enters.
Kodai: Captain, there is hope.
Okita looks up from his desk.
Kodai: I want to land on Aquarius, draw heavy water, and load it onto Yamato.
Okita glances at Kodai. His expression changes.
Kodai: Will you allow it?
Okita: The purpose?
Yuki watches anxiously.
Okita: How can I allow it if you won’t explain the purpose?
Kodai: Won’t the results speak for themselves?
Okita’s eyes drop to his desk, but a smile spreads over his lips.
Okita: Kodai, you are willing to explode Yamato?
Kodai looks at Okita, startled. Okita gets up and walks across the room.
Okita: A huge pillar of water will extend from Aquarius to Earth in less than 20 hours, and thick rain clouds will cover the entire planet. If we block up Yamato‘s Wave-Motion energy and allow it to fuse with heavy water, the force of the explosion could break the pillar of water from Aquarius…
Kodai looks at Okita in disbelief.
Kodai: Captain, you had the same idea…!?
Okita: Yes…but I wasn’t sure how to keep from upsetting the crew and keep them performing their duties properly.
Suddenly, Kodai overflows with tears.
Kodai: Me too…I couldn’t bear to watch Yamato explode! Yamato is the ship I grew up on!
Okita (watching quietly): …
Tears also stream from Yuki’s eyes.
Kodai: But the mission of Yamato…if we consider Yamato‘s wishes…I think it would want to be used for the good of Earth and to help humanity!
Okita (smiling broadly): You’ve grown up, Kodai.
Okita: You arrived at the decision before I did…you don’t need me any more…
Okita: But Kodai, who will pull the trigger of the Wave-Motion Gun?
Okita: Delicate timing is required for this work. The automatic controls could fail. Would you stay aboard Yamato?
Okita: Yuki, what will you choose? You might not be able to get off the ship.
Kodai gasps and glances at Yuki.
Okita: You didn’t think that far? Typical of you.
Yuki: I will remain here with Kodai-kun!
Okita: You say such a foolish thing…did you forget the words of Shima, who told you two to find happiness together?
Okita: Kodai, leave this to me.
Kodai (gasping): That’s…
Okita: As for me, this will probably turn out to be my last battle…your fight still lies ahead.
Okita: To love Yuki, for the two of you to have children…to give your heart and soul to your beloved and make them happy, that will bring happiness to many other people. It will make a wonderful world. That is your fight.
Okita: Kodai, leave it to me. I am captain of Yamato. The captain has the right to share the mission and fate of his ship. For me, only Yamato remains.
Kodai: Captain, you and Yamato…
Okita: Your job is to convince everyone after leaving me on board. It is good?
Kodai and Yuki stare at Okita sadly.
• Yamato, exterior.
• Yamato, the first bridge. Kodai is in his seat.
Okita: Yamato, launch! Warp to Aquarius!
Kodai: Yamato, launching. Warp to Aquarius!
• Space. Yamato disappears into warp. (Dissolve)
• Aquarius, heavy water plant. Heavy water is pumped up from the core of Aquarius through a pipe and loaded into Yamato‘s stern belly. Sanada directs the work as Kodai supervises. Okita watches from the bridge.
Ota (looking at gauges): Aquarius is currently located 1 billion km from Saturn orbit, 2.7 billion km to Earth. It will approach Earth in five hours. Please hurry!
Yuki approaches Kodai.
Yuki: Kodai-kun. Earth will be saved. Thank goodness.
Kodai: Yes. After a great sacrifice.
Yuki (startled): Kodai-kun. You…
Sanada watches them. (Dissolve)
• Yamato rises into the sky.
• Yamato, engine room. Yamazaki shouts loudly.
Yamazaki: Taisuke! How long will repairs take!?
Taisuke earnestly works to repair the cause of a leak at its source.
Taisuke: A little more! The leak has almost stopped!
Yamazaki: Captain’s orders! You must absolutely be finished within 30 minutes!
• Space, the solar system. The old disk-shaped ship that escaped Uruk waits with the remaining fleet.
• Old disk-shaped ship, bridge. Lugal stands in the center.
Voice: Yamato is rising from Aquarius.
Lugal: I’ll bury Yamato this time! Start the attack!
• Space, the solar system. Yamato leaves the rings of Aquarius. The old disk-shaped ship and stone rockets close in.
• Yamato, the first bridge.
Yuki: Unknown hostile fleet, dead ahead!
Kodai looks at the video panel in surprise.
Kodai: That’s…the escape ship of the Dengil emperor!
Aihara: A rocket spaceship like that still survives!
Kodai: All hands to battle stations!
Okita: Wait, Yamato is fully loaded with heavy water. It’s like a moving hydrogen bomb. If just one enemy shot hits us, we won’t stand a chance!
Everyone goes pale.
Okita: Don’t fight back, look for a chance to warp as soon as possible.
Kodai (looking tense): Prepare to warp!
• Space, the solar system. Lugal’s old-style disc ship and stone rockets start firing. Yamato makes a hard left to avoid being hit. Lugal’s fleet moves to surround Yamato, still firing.
• Yamato, engine room. Taisuke fixes the mecha failure.
Taisuke: It’s repaired! No more leakage!
A shot pierces the nearby bulkhead. Taisuke is thrown into the air and slams to the floor. The photo of the deceased engineer Tokugawa is knocked onto its face.
Taisuke: Father…I did it…I did it…
Taisuke breaths his last.
• Yamato, first bridge.
Voice: Engine room is hit!
An explosion goes off on a lower deck. Everyone exchanges a frightened look.
Voice: Secondary turret is penetrated! Major damage!
Everyone looks relieved.
Sanada: Good thing it was the secondary turret…or we and Yamato would be worthless particles now!
Yuki: Enemy ship to port, 30 degrees!
Kodai: Full speed ahead!
• Sky over Aquarius. The Lugal fleet starts to surround Yamato. The second stone rocket fires. Yamato barely avoids being hit.
• Yamato, first bridge. Impact from a hit.
Yuki: Enemy missiles coming straight for us!
Sanada: No use! Yamato won’t last at this rate!
• The sky. The stone rocket homing in on Yamato suddenly explodes. A fleet rushes in from behind.
• Dessler battleship, bridge. Dessler smiles. He lifts a decorative white rose and smells it.
• Yamato, first bridge. Dessler’s fleet on the video panel.
Aihara (excited): That’s–Dessler’s fleet!
Dessler appears on the panel.
Kodai: Dessler, you’re safe!
Dessler (laughing, holding up the rose): I wanted to thank you. It is good that I came here. Now, accept my gesture of friendship.
• Dessler battleship, bridge.
Dessler extends his hand, holding the white rose, and shouts.
Dessler: Toward all the enemy ships surrounding Yamato–charge!
• Sky over Aquarius. Dessler’s fleet attacks Lugal’s fleet. One or two ships are destroyed instantly, but Dessler’s side also takes damage.
• Yamato, first bridge. Dessler appears on the panel.
Dessler: Kodai, what are you doing? Go as soon as possible!
Kodai (impressed): Dessler! (into mike) Yamato, warp!
• Sky over Aquarius. Yamato disappears into warp. The battle continues. (Dissolve)
• Space, the solar system. Earth can be seen in the distance. Yamato emerges from warp. (Yamato is midway between the Earth and the moon, with the moon off to one side.) (Dissolve)
• Yamato, large observation room. Okita addresses the whole gathered crew.
Okita: That is the purpose for taking on the heavy water. Because of its importance, please forgive me for not revealing it earlier. Aquarius will reach point-blank range in one hour, and a column of water will stretch toward Earth through the point where we are now. Yamato will self-destruct here and sink into the sea of space, and I wish for you to fully live the life given to you by Yamato. That is what Yamato wishes above all. As soon as the destroyer Fuyuzuki arrives from the moon base, all hands are to withdraw. Before that, Kodai will change the circuit of the Wave-Motion Gun. That is all.
The room is filled with noise at the rising voices of protest. Behind them, Okita slowly leaves the room. Sanada’s crew follows him.
Sanada: Please wait! Captain!
Yamazaki: Yamato‘s captain wants to blow up the ship!?
Kodai moves to stand in their way.
Kodai: Stop! Obey the captain’s order!
Aihara: Kodai-san! Can you consent to that order?
Kodai: I can!
Aihara (with red-hot bloodshot eyes): You’re the man who loves Yamato the most! Are you saying to destroy Yamato!?
Kodai (his mouth trembling): …
Yuki watches with pity.
Sanada: Everybody settle down! Settle down! He steps forward to protect Kodai.
Sanada: I understand everyone’s feeling of not wanting to lose Yamato. We’ve fought together with Yamato all this time. We grew up with Yamato. Yamato is the total of everyone’s youth.
Everyone stares at Sanada.
Sanada: I understand, everyone. As painful as it is for all of you, (turns to Kodai) it is more painful for this man. While he loves Yamato more than anyone, this is the reason he advocates for destroying Yamato.
Everyone murmurs with surprise.
Kodai (lifting his head): Everyone, understand! Even if the ship explodes, Yamato will live on forever in the hearts of all the people of Earth! Please, let Yamato live as best she can!
As he spits these words like blood, everyone gradually bows their heads and sobs. Kodai quietly leaves the room. Yuki follows.
• The corridor. Kodai turns a corner.
Kodai: Who? Who can weep at seeing him off?
But he makes his way toward the Wave-Motion Gun control room with trembling shoulders, unable to bear it. Yuki stares at his back.
• Yamato, captain’s cabin. Okita sits in silence.
• Space, the solar system. From the direction of the moon base, a destroyer takes off and heads toward Yamato.
• Yamato, a lower-level passage.
“All hands, prepare to leave the ship!”
It is a voice from a speaker.
“Combat group will leave from the belly hatch, life group from the port side, gunnery crew from starboard…”
Bags in hand, the crew moves to their destinations in an orderly manner.
• Space, the solar system. The crew moves into lifeboats with injured personnel in the lead. Fuyuzuki closes in rapidly.
• Yamato, first bridge. Crew chiefs explain the withdrawal situation to Okita.
Sanada: Withdrawal of surviving technical group members and emergency group members has been completed.
He salutes. Okita salutes in return.
Aihara: Withdrawal of communication group members is completed.
Yamazaki: Withdrawal of engineering group members is completed.
Ota: Withdrawal of radar and computer room staff is completed.
Nanbu: Withdrawal of all gunnery group members is completed.
Like Sanada, they all salute and Okita returns it.
Okita: Good. You may all withdraw. Once Kodai and the others have returned, I’ll return Yamato back to auto-pilot and then abandon ship.
Sanada: …then, captain?
Okita (nods): Hm.
• Wave-Motion Gun control room. Kodai and Yuki perform the circuit conversion work on the Wave-Motion Gun. Kodai inserts a key in the control panel to operate it.
Yuki: Wave-Motion Gun safety lock bolt, open!
The safety lock bolt opens and the wave ejector is pulled out.
Yuki: Wave-Motion ejector, release!
Kodai operates it. Part of the floor opens and the electromagnetic crane rises out. It lifts up the bolt head for blocking up the muzzle.
Yuki: Bolt for muzzle closure! Forward force equipment on!
Kodai pulls a lever on the control panel. The closing bolt advances.
• Yamato bow, Wave-Motion Gun muzzle. The closing bolt moves into the muzzle and blocks it.
• Wave-Motion Gun control room.
Kodai: Right, that’s it. If the trigger of the Wave-Motion Gun is pulled now, the energy in the engine will cause nuclear fusion and become the detonator to explode the heavy water.
Kodai: Yuki, let’s go.
Yuki nods and starts forward, but then stops. She crouches on the spot and makes sobbing sounds.
• Yamato, captain’s cabin. Okita sits upright. The bow and deck of Yamato are visible out the window. Okita looks down earnestly.
Okita: You’ve worked hard for a long time, Yamato…I want to return you to the seabead, but forgive me…we cannot go there.
Voice of Sado: It’s Sado.
Okita: Sado-kun. Come in.
Sado enters with a bottle.
Sado: Captain, I’ve come to bid farewell.
Okita (smiling): Farewell?
Sado casually looks down at the deck.
Sado: When I look at it from here, I can see the dignity of a strong veteran in Yamato.
Okita: Hmm, it worked well…
Sado: Yamato worked for Earth to the very end, and will be long cherished.
Laughing, Sado pours two cups of alcohol.
Sado: You don’t drink, Captain, but please have one drink today.
Okita regards Sado. Sado looks back and offers him the sake cup.
Okita (taking it): I will.
Both raise their cups, then drink up.
Sado: Then, this is it.
Kodai and Yuki enter.
Kodai: Captain…the work on the Wave-Motion circuit is completed.
Okita: Hm. (Acknowledging)
* This becomes the last parting scene for Okita, Sado, Kodai and Yuki. Sado, Kodai, and Yuki suppress their grief and leave. Okita watches them affectionately.
• Space, the solar system. The last lifeboat of Fuyuzuki departs from Yamato, carrying Kodai, Yuki and Sado.
(* The Cosmo Tigers seem to reluctantly soar into the skies over Yamato)
• Fuyuzuki, bridge. Captain Mizutani greets Kodai.
Kodai: Withdrawal of Yamato‘s entire crew is completed!!
Mizutani notices Okita is not present. As if sensing the truth, he returns a salute.
Mizutani: Accomodation of everyone is complete. Fuyuzuki, launch!!
Mizutani places his hand on Kodai’s shoulder.
Mizutani: You seem anguished, Kodai.
Kodai’s tears overflow.
• Space. Yamato slowly moves off.
• Fuyuzuki, crew space. Suddenly, one of the crew shouts.
“The captain! The captain stayed on board!”
We see the figure of Okita looking back over his shoulder toward Fuyuzuki from the window of the first bridge.
Aihara: Wasn’t it supposed to depart by automatic control!?
Sanada: Stop Yamato! Captain Okita is still on board!
Nanbu: That’s right, stop Yamato!
The crew members shout loudly. They all watch Yamato from the ship’s window. Sado is there with the main crew; Sanada, Aihara, Mi-kun, Analyzer etc. all the way to the back. Kodai and Yuki enter to join their friends. The huge form of Yamato outside the window increases speed and moves off. Sado’s tears fall like rain.
Sado: I’ll never sail on a ship again. From now on, I’ll just live with dogs and cats. Yeah…
(He drinks sake straight from the bottle)
Tears suddenly flow from Kodai’s eyes. Kodai and Yuki salute calmly without wiping their tears. Sanada and the others gasp as they watch this silent salute.
(“Is that how it is?”)
Everyone straightens up, fixes their expressions, and salutes. Mizutani enters, looks up at Okita, nods and salutes. Kodai and the others continue their solemn salute to Okita.
• Yamato, first bridge. Okita returns their salute.
• Space, the solar system. Yamato calmly moves out, leaving Fuyuzuki behind in the distance.
* Is there interplay with the Cosmo Tigers (Kato) in the cockpit? Do they return to Yamato from the Fuyuzuki at some point?
• Yamato, first bridge. Fuyuzuki departs. Earth is in the distance.
Okita (saluting): Earth. Take care of those children. (shifting his glance) Now, Yamato, let’s go to where those who fought and died for Earth are waiting…
• Earth Defense Headquarters, control room. Yamato appears on the video panel. Everyone in the huge room is saluting. Cut to an official near another panel.
• Space, the solar system. Aquarius approaches. (Dissolve)
• Aquarius. Angry storms being to form in response to the gravitational pull. It looks violent, very different from the character of the beautiful planet Aquarius.
• Earth becomes stormy under the influence of gravitation.
• Yamato, first bridge. Everything begins to shake from the gravitational forces. Okita calmly takes the trigger of the Wave-Motion Gun and stares hard at Aquarius. “Hm?” He raises an eyebrow.
• Space, the solar system. Lugal’s disc-ship appears.
• Lugal’s ship, bridge. Lugal stands regally.
Lugal: Earth is mine. All guns, prepare to fire on Yamato!
• Space. They move forward.
• Aquarius. The ocean begins to swell like a mountain.
• Earth. The ground splits and buildings shake.
• Yamato, first bridge. Okita watches Lugal’s approach, unable to advance or retreat.
• Space, the solar system. Dessler’s battleship suddenly appears behind Lugal’s ship at top speed.
• Dessler’s battleship, bridge. Dessler is injured.
Dessler: More speed. Take us to full speed!
• Aquarius. A pillar of water begins to extend out of the ocean.
• Space, the solar system. Dessler’s ship is on the heels of Lugal’s ship.
• Lugal’s ship, bridge. Lugal’s hand is on a trigger.
A huge vibration
• Space, the solar system. Dessler’s ship slams into Lugal’s ship. It cuts into the lower hull of Lugal’s ship.
• Dessler’s ship, bridge. Dessler falls from the impact, taking a heavy blow to the chest.
• Space, the solar system. Dessler’s ship is thrown off and explodes.
• Dessler’s ship, bridge. The bridge collapses. Dessler is smashed into the floor.
Dessler: Farewell, Kodai.
Blood spreads across his chest like a flower. An explosion.
• Aquarius. The huge water column extends into space.
• Yamato, first bridge. Okita takes the trigger and closes his eyes.
• Space, the solar system. The large column of water approaches.
• Lugal’s ship, bridge. Having fallen, Lugal jumps up. A fierce look. He grabs the trigger.
• Exterior – the gun
• Interior – the bridge. Lugal shouts, “Waaa!!” He is about to pull the trigger. A mass of water approaches from outside the window.
• Space, the solar system. The pillar of water extends toward Yamato.
• Yamato, first bridge. Okita opens his eyes.
He pulls the trigger. An incandescent flash.
• Space, the solar system. The huge explosion of Yamato stops the momentum of the giant water column. Lugal’s ship melts in the energy. Yamato‘s stern melts, parts break off, and everything begins melting. The large column of water becomes a huge waterfall in space. Some of it washes toward Earth. Most of it begins forming into a sea (?)
• Fuyuzuki, crew space. Kodai, Yuki and everyone else holds their breath as they watch Yamato.
• Space, the solar system. The huge bow and bridge deck of the broken Yamato rise up, then begins to sink calmly.
• Yamato, outside the first bridge. Okita has fallen as if to sleep.
• Fuyuzuki, crew space. Kodai salutes reflexively.
Kodai (voice of the heart): Goodbye, Captain Okita. Goodbye, Yamato.
Kodai’s tears flow. Everyone else also salutes.
• Space, the solar system. Yamato sinks. Everything can still be drenched.
• Fuyuzuki, interior. The last of Yamato appears on a video panel. Kodai shakes from the strong impression and salutes piously. Kodai and Yuki hold each other tightly. They look into space where Yamato disappeared forever.
• Clouds part, revealing the green Earth. (Dissolve)
• Countryside. Flowers bloom, butterflies are flying. Jirou Shima chases a butterfly. (Dissolve)
• In the light. Kodai and Yuki join their companions. Tears flow from the corner of Yuki’s eye. A song plays. (Dissolve)
• Space. Aquarius moves away. The Queen of Aquarius spreads her arms to wrap Earth and the stars. Yamato drifts toward the queen’s bosom. (Dissolve)
• Yamato proceeds with dignity, as if going to its grave–the song says farewell to Yamato.
• Yamato disappears into space. (Fade out)
The Queen of Aquarius appears and embraces two people. The brave figure of Okita and Yamato. These figures overlap and gradually become one. Only the single battleship Yamato is left, a majestic figure that will live forever.
It goes without saying that the most surprising change between this and the final version of the film is the death of Dessler. It was still there in the final draft of the script, which became the basis for a TV treatment and multiple novelizations that all kept it intact. Akira Hio’s manga adaptation, which was published after the movie, depicts Lugal’s last attack as scripted, but Dessler survives it. It is known that Yoshinobu Nishizaki began developing a Dessler-centric sequel (called Dessler’s War) in 1983, so the most likely explanation is that he changed his mind late in the game to keep his options open.
Of course, Dessler’s War never made it into production, but you can read all about its history here.
As stated at the beginning of this article, this brings an end to preproduction material published in the Final Yamato book from Westcape, but the story of the film’s production is only just beginning. Since everything from here on out was told through magazines, this series will switch gears and continue the making of Final Yamato in “Time Machine” format. And since more magazine articles were published about this film than any of its predecessors, there’s a LOT of “time machining” to come.
Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.