In the fictional world of Robotech, the First Robotech War (February 2009–April 2011) was a conflict between the earth-based Robotech Defense Force and the alien Zentraedi. It is known as Space War I in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the series which was adapted into the first saga of Robotech.

First Robotech War
Part of Robotech Wars
Date February 2009-April 2011
Location Sol System
Result Pyrrhic Terran victory
Robotech Defense Force, United Earth Government The Zentraedi
Admiral Hayes, later Henry J. Gloval assisted by Breetai Breetai before his defection, Commander Azonia and later Commander Dolza
SDF-1, Robotech Orbital Fleet, later the addition of Breetai's fleet (one million Zentraedi warships) Fleet of 5.8 million warships (later 4.8 million warships)
Casualties and losses
All but 70,000 survivors[1] Most of the Zentraedi race

According to Comic Book Resources, it is "the story most familiar with US audiences..."[2]


The First Robotech War's roots were laid in 1999 when an massive alien spaceship over 1,200 meters (3,940 feet) in length crash landed on the fictional Macross Island in the South Pacific. Throughout the 1990s, the Global War raged across Earth, with entire countries being devastated. The War was fought with conventional weapons for the most part, but by 1999, it appeared that a global nuclear exchange was inevitable. However, the crash of the spaceship and the realization that the threat of an alien invasion was a distinct possibility caused the nations of the world to declare a ceasefire. A supranational entity, the United Earth Government (UEG) was formed and acted quickly to unify the warring factions and rebuild the spacecraft. The United Earth Government took precedence among many facets of life, mainly economic and military, and operations pertaining to military preparation and technological advancement of humanity and new military branches were formed, most notably the Robotech Defense Force (RDF). During the next 10 years, an entire city sprang up on Macross Island as intense efforts were made to rebuild the spaceship. In 2009, the rebuilding effort was finished and the ship was ready for launch and given the designation SDF-1. Unknown to mankind at the time, the Zentraedi had been searching for the ship for some time and its arrival on Earth would be followed by the arrival of the Zentraedi on the day of the SDF-1's launch.

Macross Saga episode list[]

Air Date
Original Macross
Macross Saga
1982.10.03 1. Booby Trap 1. Boobytrap
1982.10.03 2. Countdown 2. Countdown
1982.10.17 3. Space Fold 3. Space Fold
1982.10.31 4. Lynn Minmay 4. The Long Wait
1982.11.07 5. Transformation 5. Transformation
1982.11.14 6. Daedalus Attack 6. Blitzkrieg
1982.11.21 7. Bye-Bye Mars 7. Bye-Bye Mars
1982.11.28 8. Longest Birthday 8. Sweet Sixteen
1982.12.05 9. Miss Macross 9. Miss Macross
1982.12.12 10. The Blind Game 10. Blind Game
1982.12.19 11. First Contact 11. First Contact
1982.12.26 12. The Big Escape 12. The Big Escape
1983.01.09 13. Blue Wind 13. Blue Wind
1983.01.16 14. Global Report 14. Gloval's Report
1983.01.23 15. China Town 15. Homecoming
1983.01.30 16. Kung-Fu Dandy 16. Battle Cry
1983.02.13 17. Phantasm 17. Phantasm
1983.02.20 18. Pineapple Salad 18. Farewell, Big Brother
1983.02.27 19. Burst Point 19. Bursting Point
1983.03.06 20. Paradise Lost 20. Paradise Lost
1983.03.13 21. Micro-Cosmos 21. A New Dawn
1983.03.20 22. Love Concert 22. Battle Hymn
1983.03.27 23. Dropout 23. Reckless
1983.04.03 24. Good-Bye Girl 24. Showdown
1983.04.10 25. Virgin Road 25. Wedding Bells
1983.04.17 26. The Messenger 26. The Messenger
1983.04.24 27. Love Drifts Away
(Ai wa Nagareru)
27. Force of Arms
1983.05.01 28. My Album 28. Reconstruction Blues
1983.05.08 29. Lonely Song 29. Robotech Masters
1983.05.15 30. Viva Maria 30. Viva Miriya
1983.05.22 31. Satan's Dolls 31. Khyron's Revenge
1983.05.29 32. Broken Heart 32. Broken Heart
1983.06.05 33. Rainy Night 33. A Rainy Night
1983.06.12 34. Private Time 34. Private Time
1983.06.19 35. Romanesque 35. Season's Greetings
1983.06.26 36. Farewell to Tenderness
(Yasashisa Sayonara)
36. To the Stars

The War[]

Macross Island incursion[]

The war began on the day of the scheduled launch of the SDF-1 in February 2009 (during the early summer in the Southern Hemisphere location of Macross Island) when a large Zentraedi armada led by Commander Breetai arrived in the solar system seeking the ship. Upon detection, the SDF-1 began an automatic firing sequence that the crew could not stop that destroyed two Zentradi scout ships. Unfortunately, the attack accomplished little beyond that except to confirm the ship's location on the planet, and the Zentradi began an assault in order to recover the battlefortress. An attempted follow up strike by two ARMD class carriers of the Orbital Fleet failed miserably against an enemy that was superior both in forces and in experience in space combat.

Amidst an urban battle between the Robotech Defense Forces and the Zentradi in the streets of Macross City, The SDF-1 attempted to lift off. However, that proved perilously frustrating considering the first attempt found the ship's largely untested anti-gravity generators suddenly breaking free and causing the ship to plummet to the launch area with some damage. The second attempt with the ship's conventional chemical drives was successful and the ship ascended. To attempt to outflank the enemy, the SDF-1's commander, Captain Henry J. Gloval ordered a space fold maneuver; however, as the fold system was never used before and the crew's training was entirely theoretical, they were not aware of how to use it inside a planet's gravity field, let alone at their relatively low altitude above Macross Island. The result was a botched jump that caught Macross Island, along with the fortress, and overshot the intended destination of the dark side of the moon. The SDF-1 materialized near the planet Pluto's orbit instead, joined by Macross Island and various naval vessels. After attaching the capital ships caught in the fold jump, Daedalus and Prometheus, to the SDF-1, rebuilding Macross City inside the fortress and relocating the city's 70,000 inhabitants onboard, the ship began the long voyage to Earth.

Return from Pluto[]

During the ship's one year journey the Zentradi attacked constantly, damaging the ship and depleting both its defensive forces and civilian population. For the Zentradi's part, the enemy was a maddeningly unpredictable foe; the initial engagement had them seemingly able to accurately fire the ship's reflex cannons to simultaneously destroy two ships as a first strike, but their follow up attack suggested that they had no idea how to competently wage war in space. However, the Terrans suddenly surprised them by pulling off a supposedly impossible extreme low-altitude space fold jump with the SDF-1 to outmaneuver them. Given that their orders were to capture the ship intact at all costs, that kind of opposition proved most frustrating.

Large battles[]

Two battles took place during the long trip to Earth, that are worth notice: the Battle of Saturn´s Rings, during which the SDF-1 counterattacked the Zentradi completely destroying an enemy strike force, and the Battle of Mars Base Sara, where the SDF-1 evaded a Zentradi trap led by Khyron the Backstabber (commander of a Zentradi reinforcement fleet requested by Breetai) during an attempt to resupply at the abandoned Martian outpost.

Battle of Saturn's Rings[]

Main article: Battle of Saturn's Rings

Battle of Mars[]

Main article: Battle of Mars

Return to Earth[]

Eventually the SDF-1 returned to Earth and Captain Gloval requested the United Earth Government to disembark the surviving 56,000 civilians from onboard the fortress. The government and the military, led by Admiral Hayes (father of the SDF-1's executive officer Lisa Hayes), refused the request, since they had declared that Macross Island and Macross City were destroyed in an attack by guerrillas after the departure of the SDF-1 to cover-up the war against the aliens. Furthermore, they refused to accept the reports of the overwhelming numerical superiority of the aliens and rationalized the eyewitness accounts as enemy deceptions to demoralize them. They even planned to cow the enemy with a decisive blow from their massive great cannon (later named Grand Cannon) which they were convinced was of greater firepower than what the Zentradi possessed, despite knowledgeable warnings that was most definitely not the case. Captain Gloval defied the orders and began a series of low-altitude flights over populated areas to discredit the official story and force the government to accept the civilians. When a battle with the Zentradi caused the destruction of a city in the Ontario Quadrant, a previous offer by the Ontario government to grant asylum to the civilians was withdrawn, and the United Earth Government banished the SDF-1 from Earth.

In the meantime, the Zentradi began to be affected by Earth's culture, an irresistible force for a race bred solely for war. This contamination caused mass dissent amongst the Zentradi ranks, which proved to be SDF-1's salvation in its darkest hours of the war. The first such occurrence happened when Breetai(reinstated after Azonia's own failure to succeed and in command of the elite Zentradi Imperial fleet of over one million warships) and Exedore developed a plan to lure the SDF-1 into using the Daedalus Maneuver on a decoy Zentradi ship. Once the bow of the Daedalus opened inside the Zentradi ship, an ambush party led by Khyron attacked and destroyed the Destroids before they could open fire. The ambush party then entered the SDF-1 through the Daedelaus and wreaked havok throughout Macross City.

While the ship's forces desperately fought to stop the attack, the cultural contamination came into play. As the ambush party was proceeding, Khyron overheard conversation by his troops about finding "Lynn Minmay", the Micronian singer that secretly captivated many in the fleet. When the commander asked what they were referring to, the answer revealed the contamination. At this, Khyron went berserk and began to attack and chase his own troops throughout the ship's city area. This activity threw Breetai's boarding operation into total chaos, which allowed the Micronians to drive out the invaders, but Macross City suffered massive damage as a result of the attack. However, there was some consolation that the ship's structure and defences were left intact. Furthermore, the ship's crew found a small number of micronized Zentradi who were defecting to them and they supplied invaluable insight about the enemy such as the startling fact that the genetic structure of both species was virtually identical.

The second occurrence of cultural contamination was when the Zentradi's top pilot, Miriya Parino, who had insisted on infiltrating the ship with a secret agenda to kill her Micronian counterpart, Maximillian Sterling, had instead fallen into love with him and agreed to marry him immediately. Captain Gloval agreed to this and organized a grand wedding ceremony not only to further influence the enemy certain to be observing this, but also to rally his crew and passengers to strive for a peaceful settlement of the war. However, the reports of cultural contamination of the Imperial Fleet prompted Zentradi Supreme Commander Dolza to cut his losses and risk the wrath of the Robotech Masters by ordering an all out attack on the SDF-1 to destroy it with all hands.

However, that same contamination saved the ship when Myria insisted on joining her husband into battle and convinced him to strike a special target on the battlepods that left it crippled, but otherwise intact with its life support system functional. Commander Rick Hunter realized what his wingman was doing and joined in this merciful gesture along with many of his comrades as a means to face certain defeat with an honorable attempt to encourage peace. This proved more valuable than they realized as many Zentradi, already growing attached to micronian culture, saw this activity as the last straw and began to mutiny throughout the fleet. Horrified at the unthinkable insubordination and social breakdown that contact with the Micronians was causing, Commander Breetai called off the attack in defiance of Dolza's orders and sought a truce with the SDF-1.

Final Battle[]

When Breetai's approached the SDF-1, there was some initial mistrust severe enough to have the Micronian's newly repaired main gun on a hair trigger. Again, Khyron nearly ruined the incident by launching an unauthorized attack on the ship that almost provoked the Micronians to fire. Only when Breetai had the fighter group destroyed were they convinced that the peace offering was serious. As Exedore parlayed with the SDF-1 crew, Dolza assembled the Grand Fleet to eradicate Humanity and the corrupted Zentradi. When Exedore was informed of this development, he immediately advised the Micronian ship to flee the solar system, which the loyal humans rejected out of hand. As Gloval's ship and the dissident Zentradi led by Breetai and Azonia prepared for battle, Khyron fled against the seemingly impossible odds. Almost five million Zentradi warships folded to Earth in response to Dolza's orders.

The main Fleet began a massive planetary bombardment of Earth, eradicating almost every large population center and devastating most of the planetary surface. The area devastated was "95% of the Earth's surface" according to the series narrator.[3] Another account from the supreme commander of the planet's forces later quantifies the devastation by numbering some "70,000 survivors of the Zentraedi holocaust." Alaska Base, which survives the initial attack, fires its superweapon - The Grand Cannon, which destroys a large portion of the Zentradi fleet. Following this attack, the SDF-1 and the allied Zentradi Imperial Fleet launched an attack of their own, using the music of Lynn Minmay to confuse the forces of the Grand Fleet, then blasted their way into Dolza's massive planetoid homebase using the Daedalus attack. Once inside the vulnerable centre, the SDF-1 launches a massive quantity of missiles before engaging its defense barrier to maximum power. Dolza is last seen watching video of Minmay singing "We Will Win" before the planetoid homebase explodes, with enough force to destroy the rest of the Zentraedi fleet, ending the First Robotech War.

The Aftermath[]

The SDF-1 landed on Earth, and New Macross City was founded around the battered ship. For the next two years humans and the allied Zentraedi under Breetai worked together to rebuild the planet. The Robotech Defense Force (RDF), led now by Admiral Gloval, established itself as the planet's primary military force, leading the recovery efforts. Breetai took command of the remaining Zentraedi forces, now loyal to Earth. In June 2013, the Breetai commands a joint-mission which proves successful in capturing the last remaining Zentraedi Satellite factory. The factory's facilities enable the construction of new ships and technology to aid in the rebuilding of Earth.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of the Zentraedi could not overcome their lifetime's conditioning as warriors and grew dissatisfied with civilian life while lusting for war. Beginning in March 2013, Zentraedi rebellions began as a series of violent incidents again human civilians that would be called the Malcontent Uprisings. Commanders Khyron and Azonia, who had laid low for almost two years since their ship crashed on Earth following the war, were particularly active by leading a rebel Zentraedi movement against the RDF. Khyron becomes the self-appointed leader of the rebels and begins to implement his plan to regain the Zentraedi's former glory. In May 2013, Khyron's forces begin launching a series of terrorist attacks against human population centers. In July 2013, Khyron's rebel forces stage a full-scale assault on New Detroit and seize a resizing chamber, which they bring back to their home base. Using the chamber, Khyron begins turning dissatisfied micronized Zentraedi back into warrior giants, and his ranks continue to swell. After a failed attempt to ransom Lynn Minmay and Lynn Kyle for a protoculture matrix, his forces launch an assault on New Macross City in December 2013 and successfully steal a matrix. The attack causes massive damage as Khyron detonates bombs hidden throughout the city.

In January 2014, Khyron and Azonia, with their warship repaired and their army stronger than ever, decide that, before leaving Earth, they must destroy the SDF-1 for revenge. During the initial attack, Khyron's warship fires its main gun and a swath of New Macross City is obliterated and the SDF-1 takes a direct hit. Khryon's forces also fire vollies of missiles at the city, causing even more damage. The Robotech Defense forces, led by Rick Hunter, Max Sterling and Miriya Parina Sterling launch a counter attack against the rebel fighters while the SDF-1, under the command of Admiral Henry J. Gloval and with the assistance of his bridge crew, are able to launch the SDF-1 a short distance into the air. Using all of its remaining power, the SDF-1 is able to fire one shot with its main cannon, crippling Khyron's ship.

However, Khyron remains determined to have his revenge, even at the cost of his own life. After disocvering that his ship's navigation system is still operational, he turns to Azonia and says that they can still have their revenge but "it requires a sacrifice. Are you prepared to face it with me?" to which Azonia replies "It will be glorious." Holding hands, the two rig their warship for a collision course with the SDF-1. The SDF-1, now fully drained of power, is unable to defend itself. The Robotech Defense forces throw everything they have at Khyron's ship, but they are unable to stop it. The collision and resulting explosion destroyed the SDF-1 and the newly-built SDF-2, killing Admiral Gloval, Commander Claudia Grant and bridge operators Vannessa Leeds, Sammie Porter and Kim Young. The only survivor is Lisa Hayes, who was pushed into the only remaining functioning escape pod by Admiral Gloval. The radioactive fallout from the explosion forces the evacuation and sealing of New Macross City, with the survivors being relocated to other cities, in particular, the newly designated capital of Monument City. The now leaderless rebel Zentraedi continue to launch attacks throughout 2014 and 2015, but since they had no means of producing new war materials beyond what they could salvage, their defeat was simply a matter of time.

The most notable effect on the Earth in the aftermath of the First Robotech War was the devastation of its surface and the decimation of its population. The population of the Earth was reduced from six billion in 2009 to a listed 70,000 survivors in the immediate aftermath of the Zentraedi orbital bombardment in 2011. Fortunately, SDF-1 survived and landed with its population of Macross City inside, with the support of Breetai's fleet, providing the basis of a fully equipped technological civilization to restore order to the planet. The sudden introduction of starships, protoculture and super-advanced Robotechnology to Earth led to a renaissance of sorts, as humanity strove to build a space fleet to take the war to the alien enemy should Earth come under attack again. In addition, it was found that the planet's ecosystem was recovering faster and with more vigor than the scientific community anticipated. As Earth recovers, a new civilization slowly emerges from the devastation as cities expand, industry and technology advance, and the population grows rapidly.

However, the new society that emerges was not like the one that existed before the war. Despite initially functioning as a democracy, elements within the military under Anatole Leonard, in cooperation with certain politicans slowly begin to chip away at the power of the United Earth Government (UEG) under the guise of military preparedness. Leonard eventually founded his own elite military organization: The Army of the Southern Cross, to further expand his influence. Over the next 15 years, democracy largely ceased to function and an unstable feudal society grew in its place. When the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF) left Earth in December 2022, most of those who opposed these developments chose to go with the REF. As a result, by 2029, Leonard was essentially in control of Earth's government and military, with the new feudal powers being kept in line only by the Leonard's military power, and the newly created Global Military Police (GMP).

The end of the First Robotech War led to the first and by far the longest period of peace of the Robotech Wars era, lasting almost 18 years from Dolza's defeat in 2011 to the invasion of the Robotech Masters in February 2029.

Future Conflicts[]

The introduction of protoculture and alien technology to Earth would continue to spell peril for humanity in the coming decades. The determination that the next phase of the war would be fought away from the Earth, which led to the launching of the Robotech Expeditionary Force REF), led by the newly constructed SDF-3, in 2022, left the home planet vulnerable when the Robotech Masters arrived in Earth orbit in 2029 and began the Second Robotech War (2029-30). The war led to the complete eradication of the cities of Newton and Manville while the new capital of Monument City was devastated. Although the Masters and their military were completely destroyed in the final battle, Earth was left economically devastated and politically fragmented. The United Earth Forces, including the elite Army of the Southern Cross, suffered extreme losses in the conflict, including the deaths of most of their leaders. Consequently, the surviving forces that were even able to fight could put up only limited resistance when the Invid invaded and seized control of Earth in 2031, which marked the beginning of the Third Robotech War. For the next 13 years, the planet would remain occupied with its inhabitants being used as slave labor and for scientific experiments. The REF launched several disastrous liberation attempts that failed to dislodge the Invid. In 2044, a final full-scale assault by the REF forced the Invid to retreat in, although at a very heavy cost to the REF. In 2044, peace seemed to have finally be achieved but humanity would soon face a new enemy as the REF's former allies, the Haydonites, would turn hostile, marking the beginning of the Fourth Robotech War: The Shadow Chronicles.

Further reading[]

  • Carl Macek and Tommy Yune, "The First Robotech War," The Art of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles (Stone Bridge Press, LLC, 2007), 12-14.


  1. "Dana's Story". Robotech. 1985. No. 37, season 2[1].
  2. Hannibal Tabu, "Protoculture Shock: Tobey Maguire Takes On "Robotech"," Comic Book Resources (September 7th, 2007).
  3. "Season's Greetings". Robotech. 1985. No. 35[2], season 1.

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