Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, the new animated series from acclaimed director Genndy Tartakovsky, is set to premiere this Thursday at midnight on Adult Swim and Max. In a media landscape largely defined by a torrential flood of sequels, prequels, reboots, soft-reboots, spinoffs, and reimaginings, Tartakovsky’s latest feels like genuinely precious rarity: An original animated series about a trio of immortal warriors fighting a primordial evil across time and space, and a passion project nearly two decades in the making with genuinely interesting characters, a unique setting, and an inspired steampunk art style.
While Tartakovsky appears more focused on producing his own original projects as of late, with the premiere of Unicorn: Warriors Eternal and the R-rated comedy feature Fixed set to appear at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival, he hasn’t entirely eschewed the possibility of continuing some of his beloved past series. In addition to a potential third season of Primal, likely centering on Spear and his lover Mira’s daughter, Tartakovsky told Polygon he has yet another series he would love the opportunity to close the book on. It’s one of his lesser known (but no less ambitious) projects to date, with a passionate cult following of fans who share its creators’ desire to see the story finished: Sym-Bionic Titan.
“I want to finish Titan,” Tartakovsky told Polygon over Zoom. “We wrote 10 more episodes; there’s more to finish and yes, I would want to do that. It’s just nobody’s letting me do it just yet.”
Premiering in 2010 on Cartoon Network, the sci-fi action-adventure series was Tartakovsky’s love letter to Robotech and Voltron, following the adventures of a heroic trio of alien refugees who crash-land on Earth while escaping from their war-torn home planet of Galaluna. Aided by their humanoid android companion Octus, Galalunan Princess Ilana and her protector Lance defend their new adoptive home by combining together to form a giant humanoid mech fighter and battling foul monsters from the depths of space.
While the series ran for two 10-episode seasons from 2010 to 2011, Sym-Bionic Titan was never released on DVD or Blu-ray in the United States, and no merchandise in the way of toys was produced during the series’ run. Although it’s been over a decade since the show’s premature cancellation, Tartakovsky still hopes to finish the series one day.
“Going back to stuff like Dexter’s Laboratory, that’s a stretch I think.” Tartakovsky tells Polygon. “The voice of Dexter passed away, and half the soul of that show was her, and so that would be a hard thing to return to. And then with Samurai Jack, we were able to finish that. For Titan, we had a third season planned, and then they canceled it. And it drives you crazy because it’s done… but it’s not really done, right? So yes, some things like that, I would want to go back and finish.”
A revival of Sym-Bionic Titan may sound like an uphill battle, at least from the outside looking in, but never bet against Tartakovsky. After all, we’re talking about a director who came back to produce a final season of Samurai Jack more than a decade after the award-winning action-adventure series was unexpectedly canceled. With Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, a series over 20 years removed from its inception, finally reaching audiences this week, there may still be hope yet for the long-awaited return of Tartakovsky’s young adult mecha drama.