|Justice League episode|
|Airdate:||May 29, 2004|
|Animation Services by:||Koko/Dong Yang|
|Written by:|| Rich Fogel (Part I);|
Dwayne McDuffie (Part III)
|Story by:||Rich Fogel (Part II)|
|Directed by:|| Butch Lukic (Part I);|
Dan Riba (Part I);
Butch Lukic; (Part III)
|Episode images (20)|
"Starcrossed" is a three-parter episode and the series finale of Justice League. It is composed of the 24th, 25th, and 26th episodes, and it first aired back-to-back on May 29, 2004.
Part I Edit
The Justice League is staking out a conference of world leaders, based on a tip Batman received that a terrorist incident may occur. Superman, as Clark Kent, is watching the conference from inside, among the press corps. Outside, John Stewart steals a few seconds to flirt with Hawkgirl.
Suddenly, a greater menace appears in the sky: An alien battleship that opens fire. None of the U.S. military's weapons can hurt it. The League attempts to counterattack, but even they are no match for the battleship's weapons. As the League regroups, an even larger alien battleship appears and downs the attacking craft, which crashes. Hawkgirl recognizes the victorious ship as one of her people, the Thanagarians.
The ship's commander, Hro Talak, asks to meet with Earth's leaders. He reveals that Hawkgirl has been lying to her teammates all along: She did not arrive on Earth by accident, nor is she a law enforcement officer. Actually, she is a lieutenant in the Thanagarian military, and was sent to Earth as an advance scout, and somewhat of an ambassador, to prepare for their arrival. Talak explains that for decades Thanagar has been at war with a vicious alien race, the Gordanians. Now the Gordanians have targeted Earth for invasion, so Talak offers to aid Earth with the full might of his army.John confronts Hawkgirl, asking what else she's kept secret. After Hro kisses her in front of John, uncomfortably, she admits that she and Talak are "promised" to one another (the Thangarian equivalent of being engaged to wed). John is heartbroken by this turn of events, but ever the Marine, he keeps a professional demeanor and doesn't react viscerally. Moments later, Batman finds John and offers words of consolation. John asks J'onn J'onzz why he never read Shayera's mind, to which J'onn replies that he never could. This comment makes Batman suspicious.
Having seen the power of the Gordanian ship, Earth's leaders feel they have little choice and accept the Thangarians' offer. Immediately, the Thanagarians begin constructing a massive generator in the Gobi Desert, which they say will provide a planetary defense shield. The Justice League aids in the construction.
Batman, suspicious of their sudden circumstances, examines the remains of the Gordanian battleship. He finds that all the Gordanians were dead long before the ship appeared on Earth, meaning the attack was a ruse to gain Earth's trust and thus, Talak likely has a secret agenda. Batman sneaks onboard the Thanagarian mothership disguised as a delegate before diverting away from the main group and entering the command center. Batman overhears a communication between Talak and the leaders on Thanagar that that the Gordanians are closing in on their homeworld and actually nowhere near Earth. Kragger finds Batman and a brief tussle ensues between Batman and some Thanagarian soldiers. Kragger manages to knock Batman out, and Talak orders Batman locked up.
In the Gobi Desert, the Thanagarians officially turn on the Justice League, defeating them and taking them prisoner. John tries to fight his way free, but Hawkgirl tricks him into lowering his Power ring, then knocks him out with her mace and takes his ring. The last thing John sees before losing consciousness is Shayera triumphantly side by side with Talak.
A Thanagarian unit takes control of the Watchtower, while the rest of their forces occupy Earth.
Part II Edit
The League is taken prisoner and transported to a holding facility.Hawkgirl returns to the mother ship. Talak commends her on a job well done, but his subordinate, Kragger, is suspicious of her sympathies with the League, and the humans. Talak recommends Shayera kill them, but she says this would cause revolt.
The League manages to escape the prison ship after Wonder Woman frees herself when being fed, which crashes in Metropolis. The League decides that to stay hidden, they will need to discard their costumes and assume civilian clothes. Flash protests for "secret identity" reasons, but Batman cuts him off, saying that he (always the detective) has already found out Superman and Flash's alter egos, and then reveals his own (J'onn, Wonder Woman, and Lantern do not have secret identities). The League split into pairs and make their way toward Gotham City, to rendezvous at Wayne Manor. It is tricky, as the Thanagarians figured out that they disguised themselves as civilians and hold checkpoints for city-to-city travel. The citizens assist Bruce and Diana, hiding them in a restaurant and telling the Thanagarians nobody had entered recently. Wally and John are about to board a train when they come across a checkpoint. Clark Kent uses his job as a reporter (with J'onn posing as his cameraman) to distract the Thanagarians while Wally and John slip aboard.
Aboard the mothership, Hro reveals the Thanagarians' true plan: the force field generator is actually a "hyperspace bypass generator", the last in a series of wormhole relays that will allow the Thanagarians to bypass the Gordanians' defenses and attack their homeworld directly, finally ending the war. But in the process, Earth will be destroyed – to the Thanagarians, a sad but necessary sacrifice. Hawkgirl is horrified. She tries to convince Talak to build it on a desolate planet or moon but he says that it will throw off their calculations. He tells her that their obligation is to the Thanagarians and shows the scars he received from years in a Gordanian Prison Camp.
The League meets in the Batcave, to puzzle out why the Thanagarians are interested in Earth. Hawkgirl appears, giving them data on the project. Batman accepts the information, then coldly orders her out. Before she goes, she shares a private moment with John, returning his power ring to him.
But Kragger has planted a bug on Shayera, allowing him to track her to the League's hideout.
Part III Edit
As soon as Shayera returns to the mothership, Kragger has her arrested. He plays the recording of her conversation with the League for Hro, revealing both her treachery and her affection for John. Hro is heartbroken, but orders her locked up. He assaults Kragger for the devastating evidence, and orders an attack on Wayne Manor. He wants her to admit it was a mistake, but she says he has changed.
Kragger leads a strike team to Wayne Manor to eliminate the League. Fully powered now, the League beats back the attack and takes several prisoners. Unfortunately, J'onn is unable to figure out how to pilot Kragger's ship, so he goes deeper into his mind to find out. However, Kragger's mental defenses, manifesting in the form of hawks, attack J'onn with such ferocity, his wounds appear on his body in reality. However, J'onn is able to topple the mental flame inside Kragger, gaining the information he sought while leaving Kragger temporarily catatonic.
Meanwhile back at the mothership, Hro visits Shayera in a prison asking her why she betrayed and told the league about the bypass. She replies that she wanted to save lives, Hro then says that he wanted to save the Thanagarian race. Shayera replies that her love would have found a different solution, Hro then says if she was talking about him or John. Hro then says that he could forgive her and make all of this go away, but to tell him what she wanted. Shayera tells him to spare the earth and its people, but Hro refuses and walks away.
Batman is in command of their strategy: Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern attack the command ship to shut down the force field protecting the hyperspace generator; Batman, Flash, and J'onn infiltrate the Watchtower using the strike team's shuttle (with J'onn masquerading as Kragger) and incapacitate the occupation force. Batman explains that he plans to take the Watchtower out of orbit and use it as a missile to destroy the generator. The Leaguers load the unconscious Thanagarians into the escape pods, but Batman sneaks out to launch the pod with Flash and J'onn still inside, sparing them from his kamikaze mission. Batman himself stays behind, saying that he has to guide the Tower in manually in case it burns on re-entry, even if it means sacrificing himself. Batman bids his comrades farewell.
While Superman and Wonder Woman battle the Thanagarian fighters, Lantern breaks into the ship to reach the force field controls. Talak is waiting for him, determined not to let Batman succeed in his suicide mission and also desiring revenge on Lantern for his "stolen" love.
As Wonder Woman fights her way through another part of the ship, she passes Hawkgirl's cell. Though bitter, she releases Hawkgirl. With the generator complete, the Thanagarians begin the activation to open the hyperspace gate. The Watchtower travels down through the atmosphere, piloted by Batman. As the heat increases, the Tower begins to break up. Hearing where Batman is, Superman breaks off from the battle and flies to intercept him.In the control room, Lantern fights hard against Talak, but loses after Talak slices his ring in half, and is knocked out.Talak raises his battle axe for the kill, and Hawkgirl appears to do battle with her ex-fiancée, who beats her and renounces his love for her. Lantern regains consciousness, and attacks Talak again, but is very weak from the previous fight. As Talak punches him, Lantern taunts him, and an enraged Talak swings his axe, inadvertently hitting the shield surrounding the force field control. In the resulting explosion, Talak is knocked out and the shield drops, allowing Lantern to deactivate the force field with Shayera's help. Superman streaks after the Watchtower as Batman, overcome by the heat and smoke, finally passes out. Superman breaks in and pulls Batman free just before it hits, destroying the generator. Superman and Batman share a smile, saluting each other's bravery.
Aboard the ship, Lantern and Hawkgirl are confronted by more Thanagarian soldiers. Wonder Woman arrives to help, but Talak orders his men to stand down – their mission has failed and further occupation of Earth is pointless. He tells Hawkgirl it will take years to rebuild. The Thanagarian forces leave Earth, abandoning Hawkgirl.At Wayne Manor, Hawkgirl waits while the League debates whether to allow her to remain. Alfred tells her that, regardless of what the others decide, he still considers her a hero. In the conference room, Flash and Wonder Woman are the strongest for and against votes, respectively; J'onn and Superman are sympathetic; Lantern and Batman are silent. Ultimately, Batman suggests that they just vote, and asks Alfred to call Hawkgirl into the conference room.
Superman is about to announce the League's decision, but Hawkgirl interrupts, deciding to resign from the League. As she goes, Flash hugs her warmly. J'onn and Superman say that it's their duty to rebuild the League.
Outside Wayne Manor, John shares a brief, emotional moment with Hawkgirl before she leaves, telling John once last time that she does indeed love him. After she flies away, John tearfully and quietly replies that he loves her too.
- The Thanagarian-Gordanian war is referenced again in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Hunter's Moon", in which Paran Dul and Kragger (who has been become mentally handicapped from J'onn's mind probe) return.
- In "Twilight, Part I", Hawkgirl explained to J'onn J'onzz that she was a Thanagarian law officer stranded on Earth when a group of criminals she was pursuing managed to catch her in a teleporter beam. In this episode, the true story is revealed, along with the reasons for her previous duplicity. This also explains why Hawkgirl looked uneasy regarding the topic of Thanagar:
- In "Twilight, Part I" she looked worried that J'onn could read her mind, when he asked her if she was thinking of home.
- Then, in Part II, she dismissed J'onn suggestion to search through Brainiac's data banks for information about Thanagar.
- While fighting Doctor Fate in "The Terror Beyond, Part I" she recognized some Thanagarian runes, and instantly demanded him to disclose what he knew about Thanagar, in a very aggressive demeanor.
- J'onn says he never could read Hawkgirl's mind. This explains why he was unable to enter her dreamworld in "Only A Dream, Part I".
- The kiss shared by Batman and Wonder Woman while on the run from Thanagarians continued the recurring subplot of the growing attracion between the two Leaguers, which began in "The Brave and the Bold".
- Before this episode, the other Leaguers are apparently unaware of Batman's secret identity as Bruce Wayne, except for Superman (who discovered it in "World's Finest") and Wonder Woman (who caught on to it in "Maid of Honor").
- Bruce Wayne's appearance in this episode seems to be a mix of his Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures looks. This is unlike his appearance in "Maid of Honor" where his look was closer to his The New Batman Adventures design.
- This appearance is later used for Terry McGinnis in the season two finale episode of Justice League Unlimited "Epilogue" as his clothes and hair are virtually identical to Bruce's here.
- During the fight in the Batcave, Kragger attempts to use one of Mr. Freeze's cold guns on Superman. The gun remains intact, which sets up its use in the Batman Beyond episode "Black Out" and its destruction at the hands of Inque in "Disappearing Inque".
- The results of the vote are revealed in the subsequent episode "Wake the Dead" of Justice League Unlimited. Lantern says he recused himself due to his personal feelings for Shayera, and Superman "broke the tie" in favor of allowing her to remain because he believes in second chances.
- The rift between Diana and Shayera is partially healed by the events of Justice League Unlimited, "The Balance".
- Before Shayera leaves the League, Flash gives her a hug. Similarly, in the later Justice League Unlimited epsiode "To Another Shore", Flash hugs J'onn right before he leaves the Watchtower for an indefinite period of time to live amongst the people of earth and try to find some way to connect with humanity. This seems to support the theory put forth in "A Better World" that Flash is indeed the "heart" of the League.
- In later episodes of Justice League Unlimited, it is explained that the crisis involving the hyperspace generator was one of the main reasons for installing a powerful laser cannon on the second Watchtower.
Background information Edit
Home video releases Edit
- Justice League - Season Two (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Justice League - Starcrossed: The Movie (DVD)
Production notes Edit
- At the time it was made, the producers were unsure whether the series would continue, so they wanted to make the finale as spectacular as possible.
- Maria Canals was originally cast because of her Hispanic accent, as the producers wanted her character to sound subtly different from the rest. Most actors playing Thanagarians were Hispanic; others such as Kevin Conroy, Kevin Michael Richardson and Phil LaMarr used a Hispanic accent for the few lines of select Thanagarians.
- Victor Rivers, who voices Hro Talak, is a leading crusader against domestic violence and on behalf of abused women. According to the Part III commentary, he was uncomfortable doing the battle scene between Hro and Shayera.
- During the original Hro/Hawkgirl fight, the script called for him to grab her by the hair and slam her face into the wall; instead, he shocks her with his battle axe.
- The commentary for the episode "The Return" of Justice League Unlimited mentioned that the Thanagarians were going to be shown destroying Oa.
- The Thanagarians return in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Hunter's Moon". According to the Part III commentary, the producers loved Elizabeth Pena's voice work in particular, and one of the primary reasons the episode was written was to give her an opportunity to do more.
- During the DVD commentary for Part III, Bruce Timm claims that the creative team made a special white frame for the fans, which can be seen when Hawkgirl gets smacked in the face by Hro Talak.
- The background seen in the Batcave, in Part II, is the one used on Batman Beyond, as one can see Terry McGinnis's Batsuit right next to the Nightwing one (though it has a yellow emblem, instead of a red one).
- In the climactic fight of part III, when Superman and Wonder Woman throw a Thanagarian craft through the control center, the ensuing explosion of the ship is inverted footage from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, when Batman blows up the locked door of the Jolly Jack Candy Factory.
- The single disc release for the film included a full orchestral version of the Justice League theme, with titles showing the evolution of the relationship between John Stewart and Shayera Hol.
Production inconsistencies Edit
- The jets that are scrambled to go after the Gordanian Class-7 Cruiser have "VA 010" on their tail. In the US Air Force, "VA" is used by units from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The second part is used to denote the unit number (in the case of VA, "182 FG"). Two-digit numbered units do not receive an extra zero in front of them.
- When J'onn fell unconscious in the end of Part I, he reverts to his assumed semi-human form and doesn't revert to his natural Martian appearance until later (though this may be due to his semi-human form becoming a default form as it did in comics).
- When Kragger brings Shayera in for her treason, Hro is wearing the top of his armor, but when Kragger passes him to put in the holographic video, it disappears.
- Shayera hands John his Power ring with her left hand, Kragger's holographic video depicts her handing it to him with her right. (The insignia on the ring itself is also sideways.) Also, J'onn and Wally switch sides with Clark and John with Diana and Bruce remaining down the middle. Within each pair, they remain in their positions and the emblem on Kragger's holo-cam is always facing Shayera's right (so even if the video was meant to be in reverse, there are still inconsistencies).
- Batman closes the shutters over the Watchtower's viewports when he takes the Watchtower out of orbit, but in the next scene they are open again.
- During the final round of his fight with Hro in Part III, the slash on John's uniform and chest disappears then reappears from one shot to the next.
- Thanks to Hawkgirl's spying, each of the Leaguers are held prisoner by the Thanagarians by a method that neutralizes their powers:
- Wonder Woman is tied to a pole by her Golden Lasso;
- Superman is exposed to red solar lamps that drain his powers;
- Flash is held in an artificial gravity field that makes his limbs too heavy to move;
- Batman and Green Lantern are deprived of their equipment and held in restraints;
- J'onn is likewise held in an energy field that makes him too weak to move, and unable to phase through his restraints.
- Though it is not established in the DC Animated Universe, Green Lanterns are traditionally vulnerable to the color yellow. The shield that a Thanagarian Soldier uses to absorb John's blast and send it back turned the energy yellow and bypassed John's shield with ease, though this may have simply been because energy blasts are traditionally colored yellow and it pierced John's shield because it was charged and focused into hitting him.
- This marks Alfred's last appearance in the DCAU.
- This is the second of three instances in the series when J'onn appears in his human guise.
- This is the first time Flash's face is seen under his mask; it also confirms that he is based on Wally West, the third Flash (after Jay Garrick and Barry Allen).
- During the fight in the Batcave, Batman uses a set of sonic batarangs to sic a swarm of bats onto the Thanagarians; on the commentary, Dwayne McDuffie admits that he "happily stole" this trick from the comics story "Batman: Year One", which was likewise copied in the live-action film Batman Begins. The film Batman Returns also had a similar scene. In The Batman episode "The End Of The Batman", the Batcave is virtually destroyed and Batman is forced to call on the "home field advantage" of the bats living in the cave to help in the fight like Batman did here.
- The final scene in Wayne Manor is very similar to the final scene in the comics storyline "Tower of Babel" as the League debates and votes on whether or not to dismiss a member that was (at least partially) responsible for their recent enemy knowing how to take each of them down. In "Tower of Babel", the League debates whether or not to expel Batman after Ra's al Ghul stole various counter-measures Batman developed to neutralize the Justice League should they ever go rogue or encounter an enemy with similar abilities. In both debates, Wonder Woman is upset at the member in question and states she can't trust them anymore (for a while at least). Both votes come to a tie leaving Superman to cast the deciding vote, which he doesn't get to voice in either situation due to the member in question voluntarily leaving before the League's decision was announced. Also in both cases, the outcast Leaguer was eventually readmitted to the League.
- Those same elements from both "Starcrossed" and "Tower Of Babel" were also drawn upon to construct the story "Justice League: Doom", a non-DCAU direct-to-video film that nevertheless used several DCAU voice actors reprising the roles that made them famous.
- The title is a reference to the phrase "starcrossed lovers" from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The phrase "starcrossed" indicates predestination — i.e., that certain fates are written in the stars — and that two persons are meant to be together.
- Similar to that play, the episode features two people — John and Shayera — who are genuinely in love with each other, but are tragically forced to be apart by their conflicting loyalties to two warring sides.
- Also similar to that play, the part in the prologue "Both alike in Dignity" about having the same rank, Shayera Hol and Kragger are both Lieutenants. The "from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean" can also refer to the Thanagarian-Gordanian war which (according to Hro Talak) lasted for generations and was bloody. The "A pair of Starcrossed lovers" also refers to John and Shayera, like it does Romeo and Juliet.
- Flash jokingly refers to Alfred as "Jeeves", after P.G. Wodehouse's famous valet character.
- Hro Talak is an anagram of Katar Hol, the real name of the silver age Hawkman.
- On the commentary, Bruce Timm jokes that Batman seems to have a death wish, given that this is the second time in Justice League that he has nearly gotten himself killed saving the world (the first being "Maid of Honor".) He took a similarly suicidal risk to save Superman and an island full of people in Justice League Unlimited, "The Doomsday Sanction".
- The scene when Hro swings his axe into the force field is reminiscent of the James Bond film Goldfinger, when Bond defeats the seemingly invincible thug Oddjob by tricking him into touching an electrified set of bars.
- When Batman infiltrated the Thanagarian command ship, his disguise is made to make him look like the late Alan Napier, who played the role of Alfred Pennyworth in the 1966 Batman TV Show starring Adam West. Batman even uses a voice similar in sound to Alan Napier.
- This is Hawkgirl's final appearance in her cover as "Hawkgirl". When Shayera returns in Justice League Unlimited, she has lost her helmet, and is wearing more civilian clothing, though there is some old footage of her in her "Hawkgirl" guise shown on "Shadow of the Hawk".
- While gloating over the League's defeat, Kragger refers to Batman as "broken", despite him being simply imprisoned. This is a likely reference to Batman's most infamous defeat in the comics storyline "Knightfall" at the hands of Bane, who "broke the bat". Hector Elizondo had previously played Bane in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.
|Kevin Conroy|| Batman |
High Council Hawk (uncredited)
|Susan Eisenberg|| Wonder Woman|
Lois Lane on the phone (uncredited)
|Phil LaMarr|| Green Lantern|
Bat-bitten Hawk Soldier (uncredited)
Rooftop Punk (uncredited)
|Carl Lumbly|| J'onn J'onzz|
Purse-snatching Hawk Soldier (uncredited)
|Michael Rosenbaum|| Flash|
Hawk Soldier in restaurant (uncredited)
|Victor Rivers||Hro Talak|
|Jason Marsden|| Snapper Carr|
Hawk Soldier/Warden (uncredited)
|Elizabeth Peña|| Paran Dul|
Radar Tech (uncredited)
|Kevin Michael Richardson|| General Wells|
Hawk soldier (uncredited)
Station Hawk (uncredited)
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred Pennyworth|
|Larry Cedar||Radar Tech|
|Stan Ridgway||Communications officer|
|Richard Doyle||Big Brother Hawk|
|Javier Grajeda||Thanagarian Sentry|
Batman: The most mysterious creatures in the universe.
Wonder Woman: Don't be afraid, little man. I won't bite.
J'onn J'onzz: They'll be looking for the Justice League. Without our costumes, we are merely ordinary citizens.
(Diana kisses Bruce to hide their faces from a Thanagarian patrol)
(Shayera tries to convince Hro to relocate the hyperspace generator)
Flash: So, Jeeves, do you come with the place or does Master Bruce just rent you for parties?
(Flash points at the dinosaur in the Batcave)
(Flash causes the giant penny in the Batcave to fall on two Thanagarian warriors)
(J'onn, Batman and the Flash are trying to figure out how to pilot a Thanagarian shuttle)
Flash: Okay, the Watchtower is ours again. So where's your secret weapon?
Batman: Gentlemen, it's been an honor.
Hro Talak: This won't be like the last time you stole something from me.
Hro Talak: I've beaten you, little man. Any last words?
Green Lantern: My grandma hits harder than you!
Superman: Always have to be the hero, don't you?
Hawkgirl: They've been in there a long time.
Flash: No Hawkgirl. No Javelin. No Watchtower. What's gonna happen to the League now? Do we all just walk away?
Green Lantern: You never asked how we voted.
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"Comfort and Joy"
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