Dragon Ball Z: Bardock: The Father of Goku
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Dragon Ball Z: A Final Solitary Battle: The Z Warrior Kakarrot's Father Challenges Freeza (たったひとりの最終決戦～フリーザに挑んだＺ戦士孫悟空の父～, Doragon Bōru Zetto Tatta Hitori no Saishuu Kessen~Furiiza ni Idonda Zetto Senshi Kakarotto no Chichi~; English "Bardock: The Father of Goku") is the first Dragon Ball Z TV Special. It first aired on October 17, 1990 between Dragon Ball Z Episode 63 and 64 (during the fight against the Ginyu Force). Bridge Entertainment's title is The Father of Goku. FUNimation dubbed it into English and released it in the U.S. on VHS/DVD in January 2001. The special was re-released in a remastered box set bundled with Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks in May 2008. FUNimation released a remastered single version on September 15, 2009.
The special is the story of Bardock, a low-class Saiyan warrior. At the outset of the story, his son, Kakarot, is born on Planet Vegeta, and prepared to be sent to Earth in order to destroy all life on the planet. Meanwhile, Bardock and his crew are on an assignment to exterminate all the life forms of Planet Kanassa. After the planet is seemingly devoid of all other life, Bardock and crew rest up and celebrate their victory... Until one remaining warrior catches him off guard and decides to give him the "gift" of seeing the future. This gives him the ability to see the destruction of Planet Vegeta, and the entire Saiyan race along with it, at the hands of their master, Freeza. Also, he sees the salvation of the planet Earth through his son, Kakarot.
Meanwhile, this prediction becomes reality when Frieza decides to destroy the entire Saiyan race. Within Freeza's ship, Freeza is being briefed by his top two henchmen, Zarbon and Dodoria, in regards to the occurrences in their routine interplanetary galactic trade and conquering. Recent news reveals that the Saiyans' strength constantly grows after each battle. Zarbon informs Frieza that a band of low-class Saiyans had taken over Kanassa in just a few days. Dodoria states that the job to take Kanassa had been in the pool for months, and that not even Freeza's elite squadrons could take Kanassa so easily. Freeza, Zarbon, and Dodoria contemplate the fate of the Saiyans due to the growing power of the species and decide to take action in order to avoid further repercussions, as the Saiyans might pose a great threat to them in the future. Zarbon advises Freeza to eliminate the growing threat before it poses a greater problem. Dodoria and his elite fighters are ordered to eradicate Bardock and his teammates.
Bardock dismisses the visions he had, and goes to join his team on Planet Meat, but soon discovers his friends are all dead. Bardock's team was massacred by Frieza's henchman Dodoria and his elites. He battles the ones responsible, and defeats them all, but is easily overwhelmed by a single mouth blast from Dodoria. He is left severely injured, but manages to make it back to Planet Vegeta. Though Bardock attempts to convey the danger that they are all in to the other Saiyans, since he has now realized that Frieza is going to destroy them all, everyone laughs at his claim and Bardock alone begins one final assault against Freeza.
Killing many of his minor soldiers and sending a large wave of ki to Frieza himself, Bardock seems about to change the future. However, Frieza counters this with a powerful ball of energy, which kills Bardock, many of his own soldiers, and destroyed Planet Vegeta itself. As he is dying, Bardock sees one more vision of the future: his son Kakarot facing Frieza. Being assured that Kakarot would be the one to kill Freeza; Bardock gives a small smile as he disintegrates along with the planet. Bardock after his death telepathically tells his son Kakarot in the space pod to take care, which wakes Kakarot up.
Elsewhere, Vegeta, having just completed an assignment on a far-off world, is informed by Nappa (in the English version it is one of Freeza's minor soldiers who tells him) of his homeworld's destruction. His pride keeps him from expressing his shock, and he remains outwardly emotionless. Soon afterward, Kakarot's space pod touches down on Earth, where he is found by an elder man named Son Gohan, and giggles happily in the old man's arms. Gohan then decides to care for the boy as his own grandson, and re-names him Son Goku. The film ends with a montage of Goku's many heroic deeds on Earth, leading up to his battle with Frieza.
 Voice cast
|Character name||Voice actor (Japanese)||Voice actor (English - FUNimation)|
|Bardock||Masako Nozawa||Sonny Strait|
|Son Goku||Masako Nozawa||Stephanie Nadolny (baby)|
Sean Schemmel (adult)
|Freeza||Ryusei Nakao||Linda Young|
|Zarbon||Sho Hayami||Christopher Sabat|
|Dodoria||Yukitoshi Hori||Chris Forbis|
|Tora||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Mike McFarland|
|Selypa||Yuko Mita||Linda Young|
|Shugesh||Takeshi Watade||Chris Rager|
|Borgos||Kozo Shioya||Christopher Sabat|
|Nappa||Shozo Iizuka||Christopher Sabat (original)|
Phil Parsons (remastered)
|Vegeta||Ryo Horikawa||Christopher Sabat|
|Malaka||Kazumi Tanaka||Mark Britten (original)|
Chris Cason (remastered)
|Toolo||Banjō Ginga||Mike McFarland|
|Narrator||Joji Yanami||Dale Kelly (original)|
Kyle Hebert (remastered)
 Japanese version
IN (Insertion Song)
- "Soriddosutēto Sukautā"; ソリッドステート・スカウター (Solid State Scouter)
Lyrics: Fuminori Iwazaki, Music: Fuminori Iwazaki, Arrangement: Dragon Magic Orchestra, Vocals: TOKIO Song Lyrics ED (Ending Theme)
- "Hikari no Tabi"; 光の旅 (Light’s Journey)
Lyrics: Dai Satō, Music: Chiho Kiyooka, Arrangement: Kenji Yamamoto, Vocals: Hironobu Kageyama & KŪKO (Waffle) Song Lyrics
 FUNimation version
- Prayer Of Refugee(Bardock's Theme)-Rise Against
- Caviar - The Good Times Are Over
- Dale D. Kelly
- American Hi-Fi - A Bigger Mood
- Saliva - Superstar
- Sum 41 - Makes No Difference (Ending)
- Although it bears the Dragon Ball Z logo and opening (and its banner), Bardock: Father of Goku fits in the Dragon Ball timeline, as this TV Special takes place 12 years before the events of the Emperor Pilaf Saga.
- A Saiyan who resembles Raditz can be seen in the bar that Bardock enters to warn the others of the planet's imminent destruction. He has his back turned to Bardock. However, he is likely too old to be Raditz, and it would be difficult to explain how Raditz survived the destruction of Planet Vegeta if that indeed is him. This Saiyan is perhaps a relative to Bardock (and, by extension, Raditz and Goku), a coincidence, an homage to Raditz, or (as stated by Turles in The Tree of Might that lower class Saiyan warriors only come in a few types) while Raditz was classified as a lower class Saiyan warrior, the Saiyan race was clearly distinguished between specific types of people, proving that other Saiyans existed that resembled Raditz.
- At the end of the TV Special, baby Goku is shown to already be the happy loving boy he is in Dragon Ball when Gohan finds him, despite the fact it had already been established in episode 2 of Dragon Ball Z that Goku displayed tendencies typical of infant Saiyans and did not lose them until he hit his head. In addition, Grandpa Son Gohan finds Goku a small distance from his pod during the day, while in DBZ episode 2 it was implied he found him near his pod during the night. Strangely, this special actually earlier features the same scene from DBZ Episode 2.
- Akira Toriyama has stated that this is his favorite movie.
- Vegeta is shown to have been on a far-off world at the time of Planet Vegeta's destruction whereas an episode of Dragon Ball Z reveals Vegeta is said and shown to have been on Freeza's ship at the time of Planet Vegeta's destruction.
- In Dragon Ball Z Kai, the first episode used the footage of this special (as it is rendered canon by Akira Toriyama) in the very beginning of the episode. Even in Cooler's Revenge, the same footage was shown – although it was viewed in Cooler's Spaceship.
- In the Funimation dub's plot, Freeza apparently wishes to capture Planet Kanassa because those who dwell there develop psychic powers. However, in the original story, Frieza had no idea.
- In one of Bardock's final premonitions before his death, he sees Goku standing face-to-face with first-form Frieza. Goku never met Frieza in his first form. Though it can be argued that Bardock only knows of Freeza in his first form, as Frieza stated no one has seen his final form or any of his other forms beyond his first form. So Bardock would have no idea what it would look like. Which is why he sees Goku staring down his first form. Bardock's visions are also somewhat symbolic than objective, meaning they usually don't have to look exactly like how they would transpire.
- In the original American DVD release with subtitles, Bardock's name was spelled as Burdock. It has been changed to the more familiar Bardock in all recent DVD releases of this TV Special, however, other movies released as "Double Features" still use the Burdock spelling.
- In this special it is shown that Bardock fights his way through Freeza's men to get to Freeza himself. However, in the FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, when Freeza speaks of the event in a flashback, the dialogue leads you to believe that the men Bardock fought in the TV Special were actually with him in the rebellion against Freeza.
- This TV Special has a manga sequel called "Dragon Ball Z: Episode of Bardock" which has recently been adapted into an anime.