Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wall of Pioneers in Macross Plus

pioneers.jpg

I was watching Macross Plus OVA during the weekend and noticed this panel of photos in Col. Millard's office. I saw this in Episode 3, the time when Col. Millard was informing Isamu, Yang and Guld that Project Nova had been cancelled. At first glance it meant nothing to me and I hardly noticed it because it was only shown for a few seconds. Thanks to the powers of the DVD player I was able to freeze the frame and get a better look at it.

Yeah I confess, I was looking for Easter Eggs that hopefully the very creative guys behind Macross left behind. You see the Flight Gloves, a Fan Blade, Gun pod bullets and shots of pilots. The only thing that Old Macross fans would probably have noticed is the shot of Capt. Gloval in between the gun pod bullets and the flight gloves.

Taking the shot into context with the movie however, the dedication at the beginning of the movie explains it all : Dedicated to All Pioneers

Aside from speaking volumes and being a testament to the amount of detail that the creators had put to the making of the series spectacular, the wall tells a story of the New Edwards Test Center in planet Eden and the various new type aircraft that had been tested there. A Wall of Pioneers is what I think it is.

If you look closely at the introduction segment of Macross Frontier's Episode 6 (Bye Bye Sheryl) it can be seen there that Planet Eden was discovered around 2012-2013. Just a few years after the first space war. Macross Plus however begins in 2040, which means that humans have been on Planet Eden for more then 25 years.

Whether all the pictures there belong to Col. Millard, or were left behind by his predecessors, is something that the creators can answer for us. I hope though that the pictures of the people there are not like the picture of pilots at the bar in the movie The Right Stuff. Wherein the only way to get your photo up there was if you got yourself killed while flight testing an aircraft.

Chuck Yeager Bell X-1Right next to the gloves is a shot of an orange plane being dropped from a much larger plane. Initially I thought it was Chuck Yeager in his X-1. Brig. Gen Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier. He did that in "the" Edwards Air Force Base. Then I remembered that he was dropped out of a B-29 Super Fortress, propeller driven bomber, and not in one that looked like a B-52 . I went through the list of Experimental planes that the US ever went through and found none that looked like the plane in that photo. Guess that means that that shot was fictional as well.

Still it was a great to see and experience to the minutest level, the details that Shoji Kawamori and the rest of the guys have added while making the film for us.