ROBOTECH REWATCH 18: Popaganda

Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

It’s all hotting up this week – and we’re getting closer and closer to The Big Plot Twist. Meanwhile, Minmei finds new and interesting ways to present Stage Fright, the song with a thousand meanings.

Here are the full lyrics of Stage Fright, for those who have missed out on the poetry of the ultimate song of war, peace, the meaning of life, and humanity in general.

robotech-the-macross-saga-1-20-paradise-lost-300x228Stage lights flashing,
The feeling’s smashing.
My heart and soul belong to you.
And I’m here now, singing.
All bells are ringing.
My dream has finally come true.

Stage fright, go away,
This is my big day.
This is my time to be a star!
And the thrill that I feel
Is really unreal.
I can’t believe I’ve come this far!
This is my time to be a star!

I think there’s something in that for all of us.

20 – Paradise Lost

Things suck for the humans onboard the SDF1 – they’re being blamed for the destruction of a city and have lost their one chance at a refuge on Earth because the Canadians have “pulled back the welcome mat.”

You blow up ONE city…

The Zentraedi are so impressed by the terrible ruthlessness of the Micronians and their willingness to destroy whole cities for no apparent reason that they are bringing out the big guns. Dolza decides that it’s Azonia’s inexperience that’s the problem here and sends Breetai and Exedore back into the field.

I want to be mad about this on Azonia’s behalf, but I’m just so happy to see Breetai back. Team Breetai all the way!

Rick meanwhile is suffering guilt and hallucinations as he writes to Ben Dixon’s parents. Max cheers him up by chatting about his promotion and how he will inevitably soon be in Rick’s position of feeling responsible for dead people when he gets his own command, because of all that rocketing up the career ladder he’s been doing lately.

Oh, Max. You’re so pretty and unassuming, no one ever seems to notice you’re a bit of an arsehole.

Konda, Rico and Bron have set up a happy little campsite despite the fact that they are basically living in the walls. They’ve learned to cook beef stew and have nicked a hi-fi system from somewhere, so they can listen to Minmei. Already they’re starting to wonder whether they want to go back at all. But they don’t have a lot of choice in the matter – their time is up.

Gloval receives his orders to leave Earth with the refugees in a stony silence, as protest. Lisa commiserates with him afterwards, and they down shots. Gloval gives the bridge his orders from his ready room so he can smoke his pipe while doing it. Fair enough, really.

Massive numbers of enemy ships – nearly a million – come out of space fold, because Breetai is not fucking around this time. Gloval and Lisa restrain themselves from calling up the Earth government to do the ‘I told you so’ dance. It’s all pretty grim, and Gloval braces himself to explain to the ship’s populace that they are all expendable – their orders are to lure the Zentraedi away from the Earth by whatever means necessary.

Breetai calls up Azonia for some smack talk.

BREETAI: Hey baby look how many ships I have – ALL the ships.
AZONIA: That’s a lot of ships, dude – were you feeling inadequate?
BREETAI: I’d let you present your report but I’m too busy smirking at you. Maybe later.
AZONIA: H8 you so much right now.

The Zentraedi spies, back among their home fleet, present their report to Breetai. It takes HOURS because they are so enthusiastic. Breetai finally sends them away because they’ve given him a migraine, and Exedore doesn’t even wait for the meeting to be over before putting in his request to visit the Micronian holiday camp (because it sounds AWESOME).

Konda, Rico and Bron have held back several pockets full of shrunken artefacts, and quickly become the most popular boys on the ship by showing off their souvenirs. The singing Minmei doll is a big hit, and swiftly becomes the closest thing that the Zentraedi have to a meme.

Minmei opens for Captain Gloval who now gives a shipwide speech, telling the truth to the residents of Macross City – they have to leave the Earth again, possibly forever. He feels he has let them all down – and breaks down crying on camera.

Minmei is so sad for him that she gives him a cuddle (ON BEHALF OF US ALL) and gives a stirring speech of her own, proving what a propaganda gem she really is. Her love for and belief for Macross City shines out of her, and she convinces everyone that this isn’t such a bad deal – their home is the ship now and she loves them all like family.

Even Kyle manages not to be a dick about it for once, telling Gloval he knows he did his best.

Of course, Minmei then confuses us all by launching into a rendition of “Stage Fright,” as if it’s an entirely appropriate song for this moment, summing up the entire political situation. But we’ll give her this one. Girl did okay.

“I don’t understand anything about politics but I do know that the only way we will survive is to pull together.”
Minmei rocks it for Team SDF1.

As the SDF1 ascends into space again, fully stocked and ready for some alien action, it actually feels like a triumph rather than a failure. That’s the nicest note we’ve ended an episode on in some time!

robotech rewatchThis weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.