Dragon Ball Super Finally Reveals Goku's Reaction to Bardock
Dragon Ball's lore is a crazy convoluted thing - especially since the series has exploded into a worldwide mainstream hit with Dragon Ball Super. However, as Dragon Ball Super has expanded the series canon into an entire multiverse of warriors, the series has also had to rub up against the issue of the larger Dragon Ball canon. Dragon Ball Super (and Toei Animation) decided to go all Disney Star Wars and draw a hard line between canon and non-canon stories, which left some of the most fan-favorite moments from the Dragon Ball Z era in limbo, and the main canon in need of some big retcons.
One of the biggest retcons of canon that Dragon Ball Super has pulled off is with the character of Bardock, Father of Goku. And now, thanks to the latest chapter of Dragon Ball Super's manga and its "Granolah The Survivor" arc, we see Goku reach a pivotal family milestone, that's admittedly long overdue.
(WARNING: Dragon Ball Super Chapter 77 SPOILERS Follow!)
The previous chapter of Dragon Ball Super climaxed with Granolah ready to sacrifice his life in a Russian Roulette duel with Vegeta. That mutually assured destruction was averted thanks to timely intervention from Granolah's two associates, his A.I. assistant Oatmeal and the elderly Namekian Monaito. In the new chapter of the series, Monaito relates to Goku, Vegeta, and Granolah the tale of how Bardock was the sole member of Freeza's army that stood back from the genocide of Planet Cereal and actually saved Granolah, his mother, and Monaito from being eradicated. When Bardock was leaving after the rescue, Monaito asked for his savior's name and got it.
Of course, Monaito name-dropping Bardock doesn't really register with Goku - until the Namekian states that Goku is "the spittin' image of that Bardock fella." However, poor Goku can't even verify if Bardock is his kin (as Monaito asks), but Vegeta is there to verify the facts:
"Kakarot... Bardock... Was none other than your father," Vegeta tells Goku.
As crazy as it is to think, this is the first time in Dragon Ball's official canon that Goku has learned his own father's name. Even when the original movie Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku premiered in 1990 (and the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie), Goku was kept completely separated from his father's origin. Baby Goku arrived on Earth as his father made a last stand against Freeza, during Planet Vegeta's eradication. Dragon Ball Super has retconned Bardock's story to make Goku's father into much more of an anti-hero (including this secret past with Granolah), so that Goku's motivations as a heroic figure are now much more in line with the legacy of his father.
On the one hand, these sorts of expansions on Bardock's character make events like Goku's victory over Freeza into a much more poignant and meaningful achievement. On the other hand, ideas like Vegeta having known these details of Goku's family line - and never sharing them feels like it could create more problems with the logic of the canon (or lack thereof).
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