Extra: Why Bardock Is The Trickiest What If

Ah, yes. Bardock. Bardock is one of those characters that has a lot of support amongst the community of Dragon Ball. Once you utter his name, you evoke memories of the iconic special which detailed and chronicled the story of how Planet Vegeta was destroyed by Lord Freeza and that the father of Goku was the only one who could try and prevent the planet’s fate, emphasis on the try.

As we know, he failed in his endeavour…but here in this what if, things changed. In What If Bardock Convinced The Saiyans, Bardock was able to convince enough Saiyans to join him and either take Freeza on or at the very least retreat so that they can mount a counter attack in the future when the tryant least suspects it. He was even able to convince the Saiyan Queen, Cassava, to join him by proxy. 

Over the course of four parts thus far, we have gone from Bardock and company as refugees to a genuinely exciting colony of Saiyans, almost mimicking the tale of how Saiyans moved from Sadala to Planet Planet. Now on Planet Bardock (as the majority of Saiyans wished for it to be called a la Planet Vegeta), Bardock was gathering his followers and waiting for the right time…but that time wasn’t now. However, upon Raditz’s defection from the Freeza Force, Bardock was reunited with his son Kakarot as well as the Z Fighters who had accompanied him. This is when things kicked into high gear and made an attack on Freeza go from improbable to possible – Bardock will take that.

However, despite the exciting adventures we have had in these four parts, this what if is probably one of the hardest what ifs that I have devised. Why is that? Well, it’s all to do with content to support your story. In this what if, you have nothing. Nothing from the Dragon Ball series proper; it is all pre-Dragon Ball and from what we can infer from the Bardock special. Everything is up in the air and you only have Bardock as a grounding mechanism narratively speaking to keep the story going. 

At the same time though, this freedom allows a lot of variables to occur. To me, that is pretty enticing as that allows for plenty of scope to be had! Then again, the freedom is also intimidating. Everything could happen. How would Bardock react? How would the Freeza Force not expect Saiyans to escape? How DID they stumble across a planet with the right requirements they needed to survive? Well, all these questions had to come from basic knowledge of how Saiyans work (at least in the original special) and how Freeza’s empire would work.

First off, Freeza’s empire is like the Ottoman Empire of old – BIG! Too big. It’s hard to maange with essentially one guy running the show. There are bound to be some entry points which would allow a rebellion to infiltrate if their forces were prepared enough. Luckily for Bardock, time and Saiyans provide a perfect package. The planet (now named Bardock) was on the extreme edges of Freeza’s influence and was only captured as part of a deal for a much more lucrative planet on the other side of the solar system. It was like a package deal; a planet that was of no use and was granted a pretty small troop of guards; and they weren’t even very good ones. They ultimately killed each other from lack of contact and equipment maintenance driving them insane; the Saiyans got lucky…but I feel that they could’ve taken them down anyway had they been around still.

This makes everything open to us based on deep-rooted Saiyan behaviour. How Saiyans would act when in a situation such as this. As far as we are concerned, Bardock’s capture by…well Bardock himself, is like a job. They have to know where to enter, who to eliminate and how to conquer said world. They did that and will wait until the numbers are up and the time is right.

Scope is huge here. Without restrictions of Dragon Ball Z getting in the way, temptation is strong for me to do something pretty Gary-Stu like and make Bardock the strongest being in the galaxy. Not so. Bardock is a leader for sure, but that won’t stop Goku from being the strongest or the Legendary Super Saiyan. With the help of his father and brother, Goku is now more in touch with his Saiyan side and thusly it will change his personality going forward in some way. How exactly will remain to be seen. The Earthlings can also benefit from this as the Saiyans have evolved and adapted to being the underdogs. Gone are the days of them being mercenaries or killing machines, they are just warriors who are looking for revenge and to be allowed to be free once more. It’s been proved in the past that Saiyans can adapt and evolve quickly and this is just another instance of that.

So where next? Well, in Part 4, I have to think of how Bardock’s plan will work and how they expect to slip by undetected. There are no Namekian Dragon Balls to help our heroes nor is Piccolo nearby or inclined to talk to Kami to help out. All the contact they have is whatever delayed communication Bulma has via their ships; that’s it. Oh boy! Expect the next one to be a doozy!