Godspeed: Olan Rogers’ New Project Sings a Song of Hope

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Iain McParland
| December 22, 2023
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December 15th, 2023, was the day Final Space became no more, after being removed from Netflix internationally, the last remaining legal way to watch the show. 

It is also the day Godspeed debuted on Olan Rogers’ YouTube channel

Godspeed is the new animation project funded by Kickstarter back in July 2022. I wrote about it when WB announced its intention to scrap Final Space in November 2022. And it’s finally here! Eighteen months of blood, sweat and tears have culminated in this. 

With terrific A-list voice talent on board like Claudia Black and Troy Baker, this 24-minute animation short will hit you right in the feels. Depicting a story of grief and loss but with a focus on hope, tiny as it might be. “Salvation comes in the blink of an eye.”

The Story

Iris is a great protagonist

In the midst of an evacuation of a planet akin to Earth, Iris (Bryce Charles) gives up her seat aboard a shuttle to a young boy, defying her uncle Ryan’s orders. Two years later, Ryan (Troy Baker), who has been trying to contact his niece since he left the planet, triggers his contingency plan.

Meanwhile, Iris, her robot companion Bowie (Olan Rogers), and her friend June (Claudia Black) have been trying to survive the planet’s decay. A dangerous space-storm is laying waste to everything in its path, and it’s all they can do to just exist. 

However, an investigation of a mysterious signal brings new hope. But is it naive to think after two years, there is light at the end of this apocalyptic tunnel?

The Tone

Hey! Where is everybody going in such a hurry?

This is serious. This is so freaking serious

If Final Space was an animated comedy with heart and surprisingly sincere moments, this is the opposite. Godspeed is a heartfelt emotional kick in the nuts with welcome comedic reprieves. Those moments mainly come from the robot companion, Bowie. He loves to party, play music and be sassy. 

Comedy is peppered throughout a bleak tale of grief, loss and doom. The impending destruction of the planet by the ion storm, in conjunction with the noticeably empty world after the two-year time jump, fills the atmosphere with despair. 

But it’s darkest before dawn, so they say…

Art and Music

Scary storm incoming!

The animation style is excellent. It has obvious influences from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse for character motion with reduced frames evoking a comic-booky style. The environment art is sublime. It’s detailed and beautiful in that post-apocalyptic way. In particular, the storm is depicted as a furious maelstrom adorned with lightning bolts and ion clouds. Insanely pretty. 

Music is brought to the viewer in two ways. In the more traditional manner, the soundtrack, composed by Andrew Goodwin and Jake Sidwell, plays throughout the video. Intertwined with this score are tracks played by Bowie in Universe. Olan has the uncanny ability to use the perfect music to heighten emotional and kickass moments alike, and it’s no different in Godspeed. Music always tips the scales on my tear ducts. 

Cute little robot guy.

Legally, Final Space is the intellectual property held by WB. We, as the audience, are free to choose to believe what we want with this pilot, but there are too many “happy coincidences” and similarities here that Fantrexians will not ignore. 

And why should they? A continuation of the beloved show is what they’ve (we’ve) wanted for a few years now. It will never be confirmed by the creators, but it’s fun to draw the conclusions this show alludes to.  

I won’t spoil those references for anyone. If you notice it, then you notice it, and you’ll be giddy as a schoolgirl. If you don’t know Final Space, then it won’t matter. It doesn’t matter because make no mistake, this show stands alone as a terrific pilot, regardless of prior knowledge.

Summary

That is a square jaw, my friend.

So, disclosure? I may not be the most unbiased reviewer of Godspeed. As a backer of the Kickstarter campaign, my name is in the credits. But that doesn’t change my feelings. This short, which could function as a pilot, is in-freaking-credible. 

If anything, my one desire would be for a few more lighter moments so I can feel my tears dry before the next arrives. Well, maybe just more, in general. I want more of the show. 

The story, design, world-building and characters draw you in and make you feel stuff. Real damn stuff. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Iris, Bowie and the world of Godspeed. I want to know how this all plays out. 

See it for yourself.

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