DARKSTAR! is a relatively obscure animated series made for, and very likely by, children. It first aired around 2002, although observant audience members have noted similarities to previous (unsuccessful shows). Although the series is wildly unpopular to the point of ridicule by intelligent viewers, it has achieved a cult status among a pre-pubersent niche market.
DARKSTAR! follows the life of one mild-mannered telephone jockey, Bobby Bakerson. Angered by the arrogance and corruption of the powers in charge, he bombards himself with a tachyonic beam of his own making to transform into DarkStar, champion of Truth, Justice, and the Prime Directive. Battling against evil villians Darth Wong and Warlord Poe, he struggles to find balance between 'fighting the good fight' and keeping the of the hands of a horde of shrieking imaginary fangirls.
DarkStar is the main character of the show. His real name is Bobby Bakerson. As Bobby Bakerson, he works as a telephone help assistant, a vitally important job that insures a steady supply of trolls for the Internet. However, most of his talents are wasted as almost all his calls are obvious ploys from his desperate female fanbase, who make up and exaggerate their technical problems just to listen to his melodic voice. They even go as far as disguising their voices to sound like senile old men and half-witted drunks. As to his home life, he lives in a modest, run-down apartment above some railroad tracks, no doubt most of his money being well-spent to fund his adventures. And when danger strikes, he turns into DarkStar, whose special equipment runs as follows :
- Helmet is a conical blue piece with a capital letter 'D' emblazoned on the forehead. Made of an advanced alloy of Lead and Tin, it protects him from telepathic influences. It is notable that no known substance, real or abstract can pententrate this defence.
- Briefs Like some superheroes such as Superman or Batman, DarkStar wears briefs as part a promient part of his costume. Unlike Superman or Batman, there's nothing under them. As DarkStar is invicible as long as he wears them, he never takes them off even when he changes back to his secret identity. Also notable is that while they are now splotchy gold, they started out as white. Viewers are not advised to link the previous statement to the one before it.
- Cape is pale yellow with a stylized bunny on it. Not very useful, but at $1.99, it was quite the bargain.
- Shield is an obvious allusion to Captain America. Round and lightweight, it is decorated with an inverted V over a blue starry background. It's most notable feature is that it can deflect lasers of any power level whatsoever. When not in use, it is cleverly disguised as a trash can lid.
- Metal Endoskeleton is actually a natural-born feature of DarkStar's species. Which is odd, since it has also been repeatedly stated that he is a mere human.
- Costume Darkstar wears a white leotard, a precious heirloom from his sensei. Emblazoned on his chest between his two quivering pectoral muscles his symbol plays out like a beacon to all that behold him - a black, eight-pointed star symbol representing the illumination he brings to the world, surrounded by a solid red circle representing the sacrifices done in the name of justice.
Captain Professor Stewart comes as a highly-regarded back-up player. Unfortunately, none of you can perceive his brillance. Although lacking super-powers, he is the top in multiple fields. For instance, his markmanship skills were cruical during the [Vietnam War], in which he alone accounted for a staggering 2% of all Viet Cong casualties and 10% of all American ones. His martial arts skills surpasses that of his master, Ryu of Street Fighter fame. But his greatest contribution to society is his Stratigic Defense Instatute, a super-advanced think-tank located in his mother's basement.
Stratigic Defense Instatute is the organization headed by it's dean, the aforementioned Captain Professor Stewart. Employing a gang of PhD-plus experts, it provides key insights into insolvable problems that may or may not be unsolvable. It's only non-PhD-plus member is Mrs. Stewart, the Dean's mother. While not much of a thinker, she always tells the group to 'play nice' and puts away all of the Risk pieces when the War Planning Room is not in use.
Big Harry is a mountain man. Originally conceived as a love interest to DarkStar, last minute realism questions changed this character into a male. However, traces of original concept still leak through here and there.
G. Stone is yet another scientist/soldier/martial artist. A natural with a firearm, he broke all rules of ergonomics when he bulls-eyed an entire shooting range on his first try. During a tense hostage crisis he manged to kill all the heavily armed attackers with nothing but a short ten-second kiai while leaving the hostages unharmed. Unconstrained by superflolous safety regulations, he regularly designs anti-matter reactors that outstrip those designed by real engineers. However, perhaps the greatest accolmplishment of his life was when he humbly appointed himself the grandmaster of Tae Bo at the tender age of twelve. All while never missing a roleplaying session as his favorite unicorn alter-ego.
Darth Wong is the main villain of the series. Potrayed as a dimunitive green alien with long ears and a dark robe, he possesses a wide knowledge of technical knowledge and has a vast array of minions. Amoung his crimes includes cussing out an illegal parker at a supermarket.
Warlord Poe A longtime ally of Darth Wong, Warlord Poe is a short, stubby humanoid. Whereas Darth Wong perfers the use of engineered devices for his plans, Poe has limited control over the media, often mixing his attacks with sound and color. Warlord Poe is also believed to be connected to Wapoe the Atrisan Demigod of Disguise, although the exact nature of this relationship is unknown.
Wild Oscar shows up at the beginning of each episode, says a vaguely related one-liner, and then flies off into the distance. Seriously, who the hell writes this crap?
The Anderoon Incident The first episode in the series, it starts off with a shot of an exploding planet. Turns out the evil Darth Wong has constructed a giant Laser Beam and is now holding the Planet Earth hostage for a grand sum of three million - I mean quintillion dollars. The entire population goes into a panic, except for one Bobby Bakerson. Excusing himself from a long-awaited date with a rich and slightly slutty heiress, he retreats into his private quarters and plays the recorded footage over and over again. In the meantime, the rest of the world governments are hastily trying to raise the required money by holding bake sales and selling their kidneys to one another. Then, a news bulletin about a cat caught in a chimmney interrupts the program so the next thing we see Dark Wong cackling manically as he kicks the Death Beam switch, triumpantly holding a briefcase full of trillion dollar bills aloft. But lo, who comes here? Out of nowhere, DarkStar flies in and proves that the 'so-called' Death Beam utilizes a special chain reaction to blow up worlds, rather than pumping in the needed energy directly. This disparity allows DarkStar to deflect the beam with naught but a grunt and the flex of his glistening pecs, hitting Dark Wong's ill-gotten gains head-on and foiling the arch-villian's plans... for now. Show ends with Bobby back in his civilian clothes, with the heiress promising that she forgives him and hopes to see him later.
Eye of the Storm In this episode, DarkStar is expecting some new weapons to aid him in his fight. But the evil Dark Wong has other plans. Using his resources he creates a Storm Machine and uses it to ravage the area. Luckily, DarkStar is able to fight off hordes of survivors and manages to retrieve his property.
The Two Faces of Evil A new terror stalks the town! Who is this 'Admiral Kanos', and why does he look like Darth Wong in a military uniform? Darkstar unmasks the hideous truth in this classic episode. (Crossover with Scooby Doo)
Homecoming (Part 1) Season One Finale Emboldened by his recent successes, Darkstar seeks out the legendary group, the 'Scribes of Roddenbury'. Beseeching their aid in procuring new weapons of war, he is rebuffed... could the Scribes be in league with the Ultimate Evil?! Continues in Homecoming (Part 2)
Homecoming (Part 2) Season Two Primere Betrayed by those that dare contradict him, Darkstar steps up his efforts. Working on a new weapon, he prepares to fight for what really counts by trying to figure out what really counts. Begun, the Canon Wars has.
Dawn of the ICS This episode begins with a heated battle between Darkstar and the combined forces of Warlord Poe and Darth Wong, it looks like our hero is done for. Just then, a mysterious caped figure walks in and his mere presence causes the two villains to instantly bow before him! He orders them to retreat, leaving Darkstar puzzled and confused (even more so than usual). Later, a fleet of starships enters orbit above the earth, and the villain reveals himself! It is none other than the almighty 'Doctor Elliott Saxton' and he states that if Darkstar doesn't surrender, he will bombard the earth to dust with his '200 gigaton turbolasers!' Naturally, Darkstar does not believe this claim, but then the evil Doctor shows Darkstar his secret weapon - the infernal 'ICS'! This demonic book proves his claims, and it looks like the earth is done for. Is this the end? Find out next episode!
Despite being a children's show, DARKSTAR! also makes an effort to teach moral values to the younger generation. Explicit or implied, some of the messages are as follows :
Pleasure vs Duty Sure, it's easy to lay back, enjoying the benefits of a working automobile and clean laundry. But truth and justice are not things that can wait! Bravely fighting the good fight like the Britains did at the Battle of Britain, Darkstar selflessly sacrifices love, life, and possibly some other things like some sort of demented Batman-clone. In stark contrast is the ultra-hedoistic Darth Wong. Not only has he fallen for the seductive charms of the opposite sex, but by all accounts he is happily married with two sons! This is by far Darth Wong's greatest weakness - as shown in great effect in episode #107, 'Insert Title Here. In a vicious fight, Darth Wong half-heartedly deflects and counters all Darkstar attempts to knock him out. Bruised and battered, Darkstar exclaims that, had Darth Wong had only dedicated himself, he could have easily implemented any one of his nefarious schemes. Upon hearing this, Darth Wong proceeded to fall into a fit of helpless laughter, giving Darkstar the chance to escape. So hideous this fit of laughter that it caused Darth Wong to fall over and crack his hip, forcing him to stay at a hospital overnight. This was by far Darkstar's most successful attack.
Society vs Individual Suppose society tells you things. Things like concrete is hard, clouds block light, and that it's not comfortable to sit in an enclosed space for three days stewing in your own shit. Ignore those scientists and Seasame Street, it's time to make up your own reality! Like magic, you can do anything and everything you want, no matter how self-contradictory and silly it is!
Pseudo-Stockholm Syndrome and Knowledge Edgy and distrubing, 'DARKSTAR!' has never been known to shy away from controversial subjects. While no one can dispute that Darth Wong is a vile, evil man that probably has cooties, can one truly say he is responsible for his own actions? In other words, is he the victim... or the victee? Wong represents the old paradigm of being forced to come to conclusions based off of pre-set methods. Like a terrorist forcing it's victims to commit atrocities at gunpoint, these methods were forced upon by the weight of scientific tradition and the fact that other methods proved to be fatal in implenmentation. Even when those consequences are missing, he still clings to that which is ingrained. Darkstar however, is a representative of the new paradigm - one in which the user has the freedom to choose the conclusion, rather than being forced to one. It is the happiness of focusing merely on your goal without worrying about the pitfalls in between.
- Those crazy women. Can't ever get enough 'o him.
- His old neighbor, an overweight aerobics instructor.
- Not a typo.
- Which no-one seems to have heard of.
- Which HAS been heard of.
- Provided you think the Nazism was something made up to fill up a slow weeknight.
- Unless they're really embrassing, of course.