This week, Legend of the Galatic Heroes: Die Neue These gives us the first episode fully devoted to developing the backstories of both the main characters on the Imperial side, as well as the universe at large. While this does help solve some of the issues I have had with Die Neue These‘s minimal attempts to endear you to the characters thus far, there are several ways that they could have saved precious time while still portraying the events clearly and giving the viewer a full understanding of the characters’ motivations.
The first and second episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These marks the third time that the Battle of Astarte has been adapted for the screen. Each adaptation has presented this all important skirmish that sets the dramatic, galaxy-spanning events of this space epic into motion in their own unique way. Unfortunately, this latest version chose to set things off with a whimper; by reducing one of Yang’s long-time friends, who is a key source of his initial character development, to a twenty-second cameo, Die Neue These rids itself of a key opportunity to get the viewers invested in one of its main protagonists.
In the distant future, space is divided into three political entities: The Galactic Empire, the Free Planets Alliance, and the neutral Dominion of Fezzan. Reinhard von Lohengramm, a High Admiral in the Galactic Imperial Navy, uses ruthless tactics and aggressive strategies to fight back against Free Planets’ forces and outsmarts them at every turn. However, the FPA have their own tactical genius, Commodore Yang Wen-Li, and when he takes over the fight Reinhard finally finds himself a worthy opponent. As the war unfolds the two will clash in a way that will change the course of history.
(This review will contain some minor spoilers for the first couple of episodes of both Legend of the Galactic Heroes adaptations.)