|Co-Host of Toonami|
A.I. Matrix of Absolution (formerly)
|August 18, 2000 - March 17, 2007,|
April 28, 2013 - present
|Sally Timms (1999-2004)|
Dana Swanson (2013-present)
SARA is TOM's A.I. matrix companion, introduced in part one of the first Toonami Total Immersion Event, The Intruder, on August 18, 2000. Although her voice was heard in Toonami's intro, saying "hello", from the time TOM was introduced in 1999 to her actual introduction during The Intruder. The original version of SARA was voiced by British alternative singer "Cowboy" Sally Timms, with her current incarnation voiced by Dana Swanson. The voice actor of the second incarnation of SARA is unknown, and will likely remain that way, according to Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco.
SARA serves as all roles aboard the Absolution, including navigator, pilot, and captain. Although she remained unseen until The Intruder, SARA was always aboard the Absolution. Prior to the events of The Intruder, she was not yet fully activated, so she had no visual appearance. However, her voice can be heard in the Toonami intro saying, "hello." She only became fully operational after being activated by TOM.
After TOM was consumed by the Intruder, SARA transferred TOM's A.I. matrix into a brand new body and helped him defeat the Intruder. She also had a major role in the second T.I.E., Lockdown, and in the third T.I.E., Trapped in Hyperspace, she was attacked by a virus named Swayzak.
In 2003, SARA's appearance remained the same, except her color was changed to a blue-green color. This design lasted until Toonami moved to Saturday nights on April 17, 2004.
On April 17, 2004, when Toonami moved to Saturday nights, SARA was redesigned to have a full woman's body instead of just a head. Her color was also changed to white, and she was no longer on the data screens. She was instead a hologram projection, floating around the Absolution. She also shared some of the announcer duties with TOM, mostly during bumpers to go to commercial breaks or to return to the show, and once did a game review of Sega's Rez featuring only herself. This SARA is reminiscent of Cortana from the Halo series.
On March 17, 2007, SARA was phased out along with the Absolution to make way for Flash and D on Flowus 3. SARA was brought back for one night only during the Adult Swim's Toonami April Fools Stunt on April 1, 2012, in the intro and in one of the bumpers.
Jason DeMarco has said that SARA v2.0's voice actress is surprisingly not Sally Timms, instead being a sound-alike he doesn't want to reveal the name of.
On April 28, 2013, when the Toonami look overhaul (TOM 5, Absolution Mk III, etc.) was to take place as previously announced, Toonami fans received a special surprise. A redesigned version of SARA 1, SARA v3.0, complete with a new voice actor, Dana Swanson. She now currently hosts the block alongside TOM.
During The Intruder II, SARA was seemingly destroyed by the Intruder. However, TOM was able to recover the Absolution's entire infrastructure mainframe with the hopes that enough of her data would be contained within it to restore her. This proved successful, as in the final episode, SARA is seen restored with a slightly different look, and now experiences sporadic glitches. She also stated that she didn't know what parts of her were lost forever and what new parts might come from the new system on Shogo 162.
In The Intruder III, SARA used the new systems of the Vindication to give herself an upgrade, creating a new mobile form. SARA now has a full body with fairy wings, and no longer glitches. She is a bit reminiscent of Navi from the Zelda video game series. This is the second version of SARA that has had a full body.
BringBackSara was a campaign started by Toonami fans on Twitter to try to get Adult Swim to know that they wanted SARA to return as TOM's co-host on the newly revived Toonami block, where she had yet to make an appearance.
On the Tumblr, the crew stated that they intended to bring SARA back when they had the budget to animate her in HD. They also stated she would have a new voice since they wouldn't be able to afford Sally Timms or the unknown voice actress. On March 10, 2013, it was announced a new comic will be released showing where Sara and the Clyde's were. When Tom 5 and the new Absolution were announced it was stated "no Sara and Clydes yet", hinting her return. Eventually she returned on April 28, 2013.