Cowboy Bebop: The Space Warriors Are Sillier Villains

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Cowboy Bebop, now streaming on Netflix.

In the original Cowboy Bebop anime, the Space Warriors appear in "Gateway Shuffle," the fourth episode of the series, as a group of eco-terrorists led by Twinkle Maria Murdock that have a goal to protect endangered species like the Ganymede searat from corporate greed and consumption. In order to pressure governments across the solar system to comply with their demands, the Space Warriors use murder and genocide as tactics for making them take immediate action. And as part of their mission statement, the Space Warriors also oppose capitalism and actively sabotage corporate plans through violent means.

In the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, the Space Warriors also appear in the fourth episode of the series, "Callisto Soul." In the new show, they are still eco-terrorists who commit murder and genocide as a way of accomplishing their goals and threaten the CEOs of major corporations directly and are led by Maria Murdock. But while the core concept of the Space Warriors remained consistent between the anime and live-action adaptation, there are significant differences in the way they're portrayed.

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One major difference that's noticed right away is that the live-action Space Warriors are far less competent in their terrorism than their anime counterparts. Whereas the Space Warriors in the original anime are more strategic in their planning and more successful in their execution, their live-action counterparts fail in both areas. Part of the reason for this is the fact most of the planning and execution is left to Maria Murdock herself, as she's the only person with the brainpower to think every detail of a plan through, including any setbacks.

The other reason the Space Warriors fail to execute their plans successfully is that Murdock doesn't recruit followers who are capable of thinking outside the box like she does. This is a major departure from the anime, where the Space Warriors were fully capable of planning and executing plans of their own without any help from their leader. This was how they were able to get their leader back after the latter was captured by bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black in the anime. But in the live-action series, they are incapable of executing any of Murdock's carefully laid out plans without clumsily botching them.

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One final thing that differs between the anime and live-action series is the motivations and tactics the Space Warriors use to force solar system governments to comply with their demands. In the original anime, the Space Warriors want to protect the Ganymede searat from extinction by forcing the Ganymede government to outlaw the hunting of the searat. They accomplish this by developing a virus that acts on the two percent difference between humans and other primates, effectively causing humans to behave like monkeys. The only way they are stopped is by closing the hyper gate the Space Warriors are traveling in so that their virus never makes it to Ganymede when they launch it.

In the live-action series, however, the Space Warriors' motivations are changed from protecting the Ganymede searat from extinction to preventing the further terraformation of Callisto. They accomplish this by modifying the pollen used to terraform parts of Callisto to turn human beings into trees. The pollen works by modifying human DNA to take on more tree-like properties, effectively killing the human in the process. And while the efforts of Jet Black, Spike Spiegel and Faye Valentine help in their downfall, their own incompetence is mostly to blame for their failures.

To see the Space Warriors in live-action, all 10 episodes of Cowboy Bebop are currently streaming on Netflix.

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About The Author
Diane Darcy (171 Articles Published)

Diane Darcy is a features writer for CBR with an educational background in psychology. She is also a graphic designer and a podcaster. As a huge lover of anime, manga, comics, film and television, Diane created several fan blogs and websites over the years. Her most popular blog is the Helena Wayne Huntress blog. Diane has also contributed publications to WWAC, Comics Bookcase, and Shelfdust. Diane is also a regular podcaster on DC Comics and Doctor Who for the Wright On Network. Diane can be followed on Twitter at @HelenaWayneBlog and Instagram at @dianedarcywriter

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