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This will be an opportunity to change Planet Vegeta's fate, my own fate, to change Kakarot's fate... And yours too!
~ Bardock about to unleash his Final Spirit Cannon on Frieza

Bardock (バーダック, Bādakku) is a low-class Saiyan warrior, the husband of Gine, the father of Raditz and Kakarot (Goku), the father-in-law of Chi-Chi, the paternal grandfather of Gohan and Goten, the paternal great-grandfather of Pan and the paternal great-great-great-grandson of Goku Jr.. He makes his debut as the main protagonist of the 1990 TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock, The Father of Goku, and the 2011 OVA, Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock. His life before his appearance in the special is unknown, but he is shown to lead his own squad, known as "Bardock's Elite" into battle, and they are very successful in accomplishing their assignments. He is an adept fighter and a devoted Saiyan Army soldier under Frieza's Planet Trade Organization, until he learns of Frieza's plan to annihilate the entire Saiyan race. Given to him by the last Kanassan warrior was the ability to see into the future, and it is through these visions that he sees the eventual genocide of the Saiyans.

Biography

At the outset of Bardock, The Father of Goku, Bardock's youngest son, Kakarot (Goku), is born on Planet Vegeta, and is being prepared to be sent to Earth in order to exterminate all life on the planet. Meanwhile, Bardock and his friends are on an assignment to slaughter the natives of Planet Kanassa. After every last Kanassan is seemingly wiped out, Bardock and his 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 Bardock the ability to see the destruction of Planet Vegeta, and almost the entire Saiyan race along with it, at the hands of their master, Frieza. He also sees the salvation of Planet Earth through his son Kakarot.

Bardock's vision becomes reality when Frieza decides to wipe out the entire Saiyan race. Within Frieza's spaceship, Frieza 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 have taken over Kanassa in just a matter of days. Dodoria states that the attack on Kanassa had been planned for months, and that not even Frieza's elite squadrons could take Kanassa that easily. Frieza, 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 Frieza to eliminate the growing threat before it poses a greater problem. Dodoria and his elite fighters are ordered to kill Bardock and his teammates.

Bardock dismisses the visions he had, and goes to join his team on Planet Meat, only to find most of them dead and his best friend Tora fatally wounded. Before he succumbs to his injuries, Tora reveals that Bardock's squad was betrayed and killed by Dodoria and his elite soldiers. A furious Bardock battles Dodoria's Elite and defeats them all, but is easily overwhelmed by a single mouth blast from Dodoria himself. He is left severely injured, but manages to make it back to Planet Vegeta. Now realizing that Frieza intends to destroy the entire Saiyan race by annihilating their homeworld, Bardock attempts to convince the other Saiyans of the danger that they are all in, but everyone laughs at his claims. Bardock thus begins a final one-man assault against Frieza and his men.

Killing many of Frieza's soldiers and unleashing his Final Spirit Cannon on the tyrant himself, Bardock seems poised to change the future. However, Frieza counters the attack with his deadly Supernova technique, which kills Bardock, many of his own soldiers, and destroys Planet Vegeta, all while laughing like a madman. As he is dying, Bardock sees one more vision of the future: his son Kakarot engaging in a climactic battle against Frieza. Being assured that Kakarot will be the one to put an end to Frieza's reign of terror; Bardock gives a small smile as he dies along with Planet Vegeta. As the planet is on the verge of blowing up, Frieza continues laughing at its destruction, as well as telling Dodoria and Zarbon to watch the "beautiful fireworks" (in the English dub, he reacts as though he were watching a spectacular performance from a play, though this was changed in the 2008 remaster). After his demise, Bardock telepathically wishes Kakarot to take care. At the same moment, Kakarot, who is still in his space pod, wakes up.

Elsewhere, having just completed an assignment on a far-off world, Vegeta is informed by Nappa (in the English dub, it is one of Frieza's soldiers who tells him) of his homeworld's destruction, and that Frieza claims that Planet Vegeta was destroyed by a huge meteor. His pride keeps him from expressing his shock, and he remains outwardly emotionless. Soon afterwards, Kakarot's space pod touches down on Earth, where he is found by an elderly man named Gohan and giggles happily in the old man's arms. Gohan decides to care for the boy as his own grandson, and renames him Goku. The film ends with a montage of Goku's many heroic deeds on Earth, culminating in an image of Goku about to battle Frieza on Namek, with the spirits of Bardock and his friends watching him in the background.

Episode of Bardock

Bardock is sent back in time to when Planet Vegeta was called Planet Plant. He is cared for by Ipana and his son Berry. Suddenly, he sees a strange spaceship that closely resembles Frieza's, knowing it's not possible since Frieza hasn't been born yet. Bardock quickly heads to a nearby village and easily defeats a group of invading soldiers. He flies off after the villagers thank him. Berry comes and brings him food, but Bardock just sends him off. However, Bardock's hunger makes him eat. Berry brings another basket of food for Bardock to eat. A third time, he sits down and learns Bardock's name while eating. Some time later, a group of mysterious people arrive, claiming to be "intergalactic peacekeepers". However, Berry tells Bardock about them, just as the "peacekeepers" destroy their village. Berry pleads to Bardock to save his village, which he accepts. He goes to the village, taking out some of the soldiers. Their leader reveals himself as Lord Chilled, who Bardock realizes is one of Frieza's ancestors. He attacks him, and gets beaten down. Berry tells Chilled to stop as he is about to deliver the final blow. Chilled proceeds to hit Berry and send him flying into a rock. Bardock remembers his friends' deaths on Planet Meat, igniting his transformation to a Super Saiyan. After ascending to this new power, he easily overpowers Chilled before blasting him into space. Before he dies from his injuries, Chilled pleads to his crew that they warn his family of the "Super Saiyan". Bardock then walks off into the sunset as Berry and Ipana look on.

Dragon Ball Minus

010

Bardock tells Gine his plans for Kakarot

Bardock is shown here very differently than how he was in Bardock, The Father of Goku. Bardock is still a low-class Saiyan mercenary who leads a small platoon comprised of four other Saiyan soldiers as in the TV special: Tora, Fasha, Borgos and Shugesh. Together, Bardock's team makes a living by travelling to various planets where they decimate the defenses of these civilizations and prepare them for Frieza's Planetary Market. However, Bardock also has a wife named Gine who first met him after she was rescued by him and his squad during one of their missions, with Gine soon developing feelings for Bardock. Due to her kind, gentle nature and low power level, Gine was not cut out for fighting and stayed behind on Planet Vegeta to raise her and Bardock's two sons. Her gentle nature has also changed Bardock's behavior to be more supportive of his sons, as Saiyans usually do not demonstrate care for their children. Bardock and Gine already had raised Raditz and Kakarot by the time of Planet Vegeta's destruction. The pair of Bardock and Gine were joined by a bond other than for reproductive purposes as they were also romantically involved.

In Dragon Ball Minus, Bardock and a fellow Saiyan are in battle against aliens on another planet when they receive a message on their Scouters ordering all Saiyans to return to Planet Vegeta. The two head back to Planet Vegeta, noticing Frieza's spaceship hovering in orbit above the planet which makes Bardock believe that Frieza must have a hidden agenda. Bardock reunites with Gine, and asks if their son, Kakarot, is still in his incubator which he has been for three years and thus will be released soon. Later at night, Bardock steals an Attack Ball, and he and Gine send Kakarot away to Earth, also deciding to inform Raditz about this. Frieza destroys Planet Vegeta a month after Kakarot has been sent away.

Overview

Appearance

Consistent with Raditz's quote in a chapter of the Dragon Ball manga as well as Frieza's when he first met Goku, Bardock's appearance is very similar to Goku's: he has unkempt hair which partially stands on end, but Bardock has a scar on his left cheek, slightly darker skin and fully outlined, sharper eyes. Bardock's oldest son Raditz inherits his father's eyes and complexion. In Dragon Ball Minus, Bardock wears battle armor with shoulder pads and boots. In Bardock, The Father of Goku, he wears black and green battle armor, and a green scouter on his left eye. Later on, he wears Tora's blood-stained armband as a headband when he fights Dodoria's Elite on Planet Meat.

In Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru's original character design, Bardock had a longer scar, his hair was more spiked (similar to Vegeta's hair), his Battle Armor was a lighter shade of green, and it had three or four flaps at the waist, and did not wear the long-legged jumpsuit he has in Akira Toriyama's final design for the 1990 TV special.

Name

Bardock's name, like all other Saiyan characters, is a pun on edible plant material, in this case the burdock herb (this pun is more apparent in the Dragon Ball manga, where the character's name is literally spelled "Burdock"). Bardock's family are all named after root vegetables (burdock, spring onion, radish and carrot).

Bardock is one of three members of his team whose name was not completely changed from Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru's original design, the others being Panbukin (Shugesh in the English dub) and Toma (Tora in the English dub).

The word "burdock" transliterated into katakana is badokku (バードック, bādokku), but the character's name is written as Badakku (バーダック, Bādakku), changing the 'do' character to 'da'. This character change actually makes the kana sound more like "Bardock" to English speakers, making it difficult to accurately romanize the word to convey the pun. The word could be romanized as "Burdock", "Barduck", "Badack" or any combination of these syllables. While Viz's English publication of the manga uses the spelling "Burdock", the FUNimation dub of Bardock, The Father of Goku and the original Japanese version of Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock both spell his name "Bardock". "Bardock" is also how Frieza pronounces his name during the Frieza Saga in FUNimation's Dragon Ball Z dub.

Personality

In Dragon Ball Minus, Bardock displays a social attitude, being more expressive and greeting other Saiyans after arriving in his homeworld. It is also shown Bardock deeply cares about his son and decides to send him to another planet to save him from the destruction of Planet Vegeta, an action he says that is due to Gine's softness rubbing off on him. Bardock also cares for the members of his team, a fact evidenced by Gine, who had a gentle personality and wasn’t cut out to be a warrior, being repeatedly saved from danger by Bardock.

In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Bardock, The Father of Goku, Bardock displays personality traits fairly typical of Saiyans. However, compared to most other Saiyans, who are cold-hearted berserkers, he possesses calm judgement and a small measure of humanity. Because of his actions of saving his companions, which is rare for a Saiyan, he is greatly adored among a portion of the low-class Saiyan warriors. Unlike a typical Saiyan, most having little care for comrades, Bardock deeply cares for the members of his team, and is enraged after he finds that they were betrayed and killed by Dodoria and his men on Planet Meat. He is somewhat cocky, loves fighting, and will kill others in cold blood. He has a laid-back and fearless personality (which he passed onto his son Goku); as evidenced by him and his crew accepting missions that baffle even Frieza's elite soldiers, and his taking responsibility in confronting Frieza alone. He is a highly capable tactician in battle, able to perceive the situation at hand and act accordingly with it, as shown from his ability to out-maneuver Frieza's men.

Until the Kanassans' gift of foresight begins changing his life, Bardock thinks fairly little of himself being a father, and so he generally does not acknowledge his newborn son Kakarot except when the child is a topic of conversation among his platoon, and when he begins experiencing visions of an up-and-coming Kakarot. However, in Dragon Ball Minus, Bardock is shown to be deeply caring about his son to save him from the destruction of their planet, an action he says that it is due to Gine's softness rubbing off on him. Bardock was famous for his bravery, even among the Saiyans. He notably showed his bravery when he saw his impending doom; instead of fleeing for his own life, he chose to accept his fate and fight to the death.

In the manga Episode of Bardock, Bardock keeps his sociality, unlike his anime counterpart, Bardock says his name to Berry right after the latter asked him. However, he also shows a little stubbornness, when Berry offers him a basket of food and he denies even being hungry, but soon Bardock starts to accept Berry's persistence and becomes softer with the child. When the Plantians thanked Bardock for defeating Lord Chilled, Bardock simply responds with a smile.

Power level

At the time Planet Vegeta and the Saiyan Army still existed, Bardock was in the upper ranks as far as low-class warriors go, but his power was not enough for him to become a mid-class warrior.

In Bardock, The Father of Goku, near the time of his fateful battle with Frieza, Bardock had a power level of 10,000, which is said to rival that of King Vegeta. It is likely that Bardock was the most powerful lower-class Saiyan soldier of his time. This is backed by his ability to defeat Dodoria's Elite, despite being outnumbered four to one, as well as surviving Dodoria's Mouth Energy Wave. Later on, the heavily-wounded Bardock fights through hundreds of Frieza's troops on his own in an effort to reach Frieza's ship (the power levels of the soldiers were not revealed). According to the Dragon Ball Carddass, Bardock's power level in the special is 9,000 while Frieza's Soldiers are at 10,000.

He later attains the Super Saiyan transformation, which amplifies his power level dramatically, enough to defeat Frieza's ancestor Lord Chilled.

According to his arcade mode in Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road, Bardock's fighting strategy involves using his scouter to determine his opponent's power, and then he comes up with the most effective way to fight them.

Bardock's visions

  • The destruction of Planet Vegeta.
  • Frieza laughing as Planet Vegeta is destroyed.
  • Goku being found by Grandpa Gohan.
  • Master Roshi training Goku and Krillin.
  • A series of events from Dragon Ball.
  • Goku fighting King Piccolo.
  • Goku vs. Piccolo Jr. at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai.
  • Goku using the Kaioken during his battle against Nappa and Vegeta.
  • Goku about to confront Frieza on Namek.

Not every vision that Bardock has comes true. Some happen and others do not happen. Bardock, The Father of Goku shows that Bardock has no control over his power to see the future.

Trivia

  • In a chapter of the Dragon Ball manga, Raditz alludes to Bardock when commenting that Goku "look[s] just like [his] father".
  • In the Ocean Group dub of Dragon Ball Z, Bardock is described by Vegeta as having been "an average fighter, but a brilliant scientist", despite Bardock's apparent ventures into science being absent from the manga and all subsequent dubs of the anime.
  • Bardock claims that he has some degree of self-control over his Great Ape form in the English dub.
  • Bardock never mentioned his first son Raditz in the TV special, although one of his earliest lines in response to what day his son was born ("No, but that was a long time ago") may refer to Raditz, as he is significantly older than the then-infant Kakarot. However, Bardock asks about Raditz in Dragon Ball Minus.
  • Bardock is one of the few Saiyans to have gone to outer space and breathe normally, while fighting Frieza and his men.
  • Bardock was the first anime-only character to later be included in a panel of the manga.
  • In a flashback during the Frieza Saga, it is shown that during Bardock's confrontation with Frieza, all of the men behind him were part of his army to defeat Frieza. However, in Bardock, The Father of Goku, it is shown that those are all actually Frieza's men, and Bardock fought his way through them to get to Frieza.
    • In the same flashback, Bardock is quoted as saying "I would rather be a free man in my grave than living as a puppet or a slave!", word-for-word lyrics from Jimmy Cliff's 1972 hit "The Harder They Come".
  • The first episode of Dragon Ball Z Kai shows a scene from the TV special, Bardock, The Father of Goku, in which Bardock is fighting thousands of Frieza's men and then confronts Frieza. For some reason, the scene is mirrored.
  • A commercial advertising Dragon Ball Z Kai on Nicktoons shows Bardock as he is about to attack Frieza. No blood is present, and Bardock's scar is missing from his face.
  • In the Episode of Bardock OVA, when Bardock launches his Final Spirit Cannon at Frieza, his armor is intact, but when he charges the attack, it is damaged.
  • Bardock's time travel is possibly an unexpected reaction between his newfound gift to view the future and the massive energy from Frieza's Supernova.
  • Goku is preparing to fight Frieza in his first form in Bardock's last vision, when in fact, Goku only ever saw Frieza in his final form.
    • It's possible the reason Frieza was in his first form in Bardock's last vision was because Bardock only ever saw Frieza in his first form.
  • The way Bardock tries to warn the Saiyans about Frieza destroying them all in Bardock, The Father of Goku is similar to how Jor-El from Superman tries to inform his people of Krypton's impending destruction. Dragon Ball Minus further increases the similarities between Bardock and Jor-El.
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