Ever since his introduction, Bardock has been one of the more intriguing characters in Dragon Ball lore, but the original idea behind his inception was a little more sinister than in the final product.
According to an articled uncovered by Kazenshuu, the initial plan behind Bardock was to make Goku and his father complete enemies.
Supplemental Daizenshuu, TV Animation Part 3: Animation's Gleanings - Planning, Part 2 -- "Incidentally, in the initial plan, we hear that there was also the suggestion that perhaps they could make Goku and his father enemies." Look for the column's full translation soon...! pic.twitter.com/e0CMMZ6Dr5— Kanzenshuu (@kanzenshuu) November 16, 2017
This idea may sound ridiculous given the route Bardock actually took in the series as a sympathetic character who eventually lost his life at the hands of Freeza -- at least as how it is depicted in the Dragon Ball Z film, Bardock: The Father of Goku. Because of this somewhat origin story, Bardock has become a staple in the Dragon Ball fandom, even to the point of getting a non-canon Super Saiyan transformation in Dragon Ball: Episode of Bardock (and then a Super Saiyan 3 transformation in Super Dragon Ball Heroes).
But when you consider how the rest of the Saiyans, and Goku's extended family, appear in the series Bardock as a villain makes a lot of sense. Toriyama first introduced the idea of Saiyans with Goku's brother Raditz, who was Dragon Ball Z's first key villain, and Goku's uncle Turles was a major villain in Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might.
As the Saiyans are a more aggressive, conquering type of race, it would make sense that the original idea for each new Saiyan was that of an antagonist. But Bardock's lasting power, despite playing a smaller role in the grand scheme of things, is due to his reluctant heroism and standing tall in front of Freeza in the end. Couple that with the fact he never met Goku face to face, and you have all the makings of a tragic hero character.
There is also currently a new Dragon Ball film in the works for 2018. The film will focus on the Saiyans, the "origins of Goku's power," and potentially the story of the very first Super Saiyan God. Not only does it aim to be the best film in the series, original creator Akira Toriyama will be contributing to the film's script and new character designs.
Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.
If you want to catch up with the English dub, the first 39 episodes of Dragon Ball Super are now available to stream on FunimationNOW, Crunchyroll's VRV service, and available to purchase on Amazon Video. The 39 episodes span the full range of what has aired in the North America and covers the "Battle of Gods" arc, "Revival of F" arc, and the most recently ended "Universe 6" arc.