“Whoa…Telezart…Telezart…I can’t bear to think of what will happen to you…Trelaina!” – Mark Venture
This was another episode that emphasized the human and emotional drama over space battles and fisticuffs. While these episodes may have seemed slow to some of the young viewers, they were really the essential difference between STAR BLAZERS and all of the other programming available at that time. No other cartoon gave even a passing thought as to the emotions of its main characters apart from broadly, and for comedic effect. But by emphasizing the drama of every situation, STAR BLAZERS set itself head and shoulders above what was available at the time–it’s why the series is still remembered so fondly so many years later.
Having been ordered to return to Earth in order to play a vital role in the defense of their home planet in the fact of the Comet Empire’s impending invasion, the Star Force is performing a full-on maintenance check of the Argo and all of their equipment before setting off. But Venture’s heart isn’t in it, his mind keeps drifting off to Trelaina, who has opted to stay behind on Telezart. The Comet Empire will arrive here in three days, and the likely outcome is the destruction of the planet and everything on it–including her. This outcome haunts Venture.
As the various Star Force departments complete their final equipment checks, a message suddenly begins broadcasting from Trelaina. But her mind-energy is so strong that it begins to overload the Argo’s communications equipment, causing dangerous feedback. Sandor has to open up the unit and physically tear out all of the wires and circuits to make it stop. But repairing the unit is going to cause a delay in their take-off time, one they can ill afford. Seeing an opportunity, Wildstar orders Venture to go to Trelaina, to find out what her message was all about. As Venture dashes off, Orion asks the obvious question to Wildstar: “Are you sure he’ll come back?“
Venture races to Trelaina’s domicile where he questions her about the content of her message. Trelaina is elusive, saying that she’d been trying to contact Venture’s mind alone, but her mind-energy is difficult to control. Venture once more tries to convince Trelaina to come back with him to the Argo and leave Telezart before the Comet Empire destroys it. But she refuses, saying that if she goes with Venture, the Star Force will want her to use her power to help fight the Comet Empire, and after what she did to her own people, she has sworn never again to use it to take a life.
Back at the Argo, the repairs to the communications equipment have been completed and the ship is ready to take off. Wildstar frantically radios Venture, begging him to return to the ship before they need to leave him behind. Heedless of the call, Venture tries desperately to convince Trelaina to accompany them. As his emotions reach a fever pitch, he tells Trelaina, “I’ll stay with you!” Trelaina’s expression changes, and she hurls herself into his arms–and tells him that she will go with him.
With no recourse and on a tight schedule to make sure that they can get back to Earth before the Comet Empire, Wildstar takes Venture’s helmsman position and the auxiliary engines begin to fire up. But he still hasn’t lost his confidence in his friend. “He’ll be back. Nothing will keep him away!“And sure enough, there’s a blip on the radar showing that Venture’s landing craft is rising up from the surface of Telezart to meet the ship.
The crew gathers in the landing dock to greet Venture, and are startled to discover that Trelaina has accompanied him. It’s a joyful moment, with Wildstar indicating that they’ll throw a big party for the two of them after the ship has gotten under way. (In YAMATO 2, he’s talking about a wedding ceremony here.) As venture races off to the bridge, Wildstar needs to yell at everybody to get back to their posts–a comical shot of him leaping and yelling this was cut from STAR BLAZERS, probably for being too broad and silly. It seems like a happy ending all around–but the episode isn’t over yet.
As they walk through the ship’s corridors, Trelaina confesses to Wildstar that she cannot stay–she only came to return Venture to the crew. Wildstar reminds her that the Comet Empire will be here in two days (a mistake, it was three earlier, and in YAMATO 2) and she replies, “I’m going to be all right, Wildstar. Don’t worry about me. And, just as the Star Force fights for peace, in my own way I too must struggle for universal peace.” Wildstar promises that when the Star Force’s mission is finished, he’ll send Venture back to her. Telling Wildstar that she’s left a message for Venture on the voice recorder, Trelaina opens a bulkhead and uses her mind-power to levitate herself back down to the surface of Telezart.
Up on the bridge, it only takes Venture a matter of seconds to notice Trelaina’s distinctive glow on the surface of the planet, and when Wildstar enters, he accosts him. “No! Wildstar, what’ve you done?” Wildstar tells the sobbing navigator that he tried to stop Trelaina from going, but he couldn’t. Sandor reminds Wildstar about the message on the voice recorder, and Wildstar clears the bridge so that he can play it for Venture.
“Mark, I want to see you again. I’ll be waiting for you. I’ll always wait for you, Mark!” As the message ends, Wildstar speaks to his old friend from the heart. “Trelaina loves you very much, and loving you, she knew you would have to return to the Star Force. So she brought you back to us, knowing she must stay behind on Telezart. She feels too that she has a mission to use her mind-energy to bring peace to the universe. What she’s doing is because of her love for you, and her love of all mankind. She looks so frail there, so vulnerable, and yet she is strong, and I think she’s strong because of your love. She needs to know you give that strength, willingly, gladly, and that your love will protect her. Venture, send her your thoughts, and you tell her we’re coming back!“
As the crew files back onto the bridge, Wildstar tells Dash to prepare to fire a salute. The Argo takes off, leaving the Telezart atmosphere and firing off her main guns in salute to Trelaina. As the planet recedes behind them, Venture thinks to himself, “Trelaina, I’m coming back! I’m coming back!” But in just two days, the Comet Empire will reach Telezart…