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SARA

SARA v4

Profession

Co-Host of Toonami
A.I. Matrix of Absolution (formerly)
A.I. Matrix of Vindication

Hosting
Period

August 18, 2000 - March 17, 2007,
April 28, 2013 - present

Voice Actor

Sally Timms (1999-2004)
Unknown[1] (2004-2007)
Dana Swanson (2013-present)
Fusako Shiotani[2] (April 1, 2018)

Affiliations

TOM, Clydes, Georgia

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.[1] For April Fools 2018, the Toonami bumpers involving SARA featured a Japanese voice actor, Fusako Shiotani, speaking Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.[2]

BackgroundEdit

SARA is the Absolution's onboard computer. An artificial intelligence matrix, designed by professor William Gill. Gill was one of the pioneers of a new way of looking at A.I. - which he called, "non-linear imaging capacity." An artificial intelligence with the ability to learn, not only from cause/effect experiences, but able to learn simultaneous tasks and their relationships to one another within the context of a larger whole. Processing the sum total of this information is something humans can do, but until SARA no "program" could mimic this ability.[3]

Gill also created an emotion chip (modifiable) for the SARA A.I. that allowed for further depth of character. The SARA A.I. became, for a time, a standard option on many larger freighter/tanker sized ships. SARA could act as navigator, pilot, maintenance crew and even captain for deep space operations.[3]

Eventually SARA was replaced by the now popular "BOB" A.I., also developed by Gill. Yet, to this day the SARA matrix is considered a highly reliable A.I. fit for just about anything. The Absolution, being a larger (L) class starship, came with a SARA matrix onboard (factory standard). TOM, the Absolution's custodian droid, discovered that running a vessel of the size and complexity of the Absolution, while also delivering the finest action cartoons possible, was growing increasingly harder to accomplish on his own. As a result, TOM activated the SARA matrix. Being an artificially intelligent robot himself, TOM discovered that he enjoyed SARA's company - and she enjoyed his.[3]

SARA v1Edit

Sara1

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.

SARA v1 TOM 3 era

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, in the Toonami comic, Toonami: Endgame, the Absolution was destroyed and SARA was taken prisoner by a space pirate named Orcelot Rex. After TOM 3 destroyed the pirate, he was gifted a new ship (Absolution Mk. II) by the Dronomeks, and SARA returned to act as the new ship's A.I. After this change, SARA's appearance remained the same, except for her color which was changed to blue-green. This design lasted until Toonami moved to Saturday nights on April 17, 2004.

SARA v2Edit

SARA v2.0

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 (excluding a cameo by Swayzak). This incarnation of SARA is reminiscent of Cortana from the Halo series. The voice actress of SARA v2 is unknown, and Jason DeMarco has said that it will likely remain that way.[1]

On March 17, 2007, SARA was phased out along with the Absolution to make way for Flash and D on Flowus 3. SARA was also present during Adult Swim's Toonami April Fools Stunt on April 1, 2012, in the intro and in one of the bumpers.

SARA v3Edit

SARAv3

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.

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 experienced 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.

SARA v4Edit

SARA v4
TOM 5 & SARA v4

In The Intruder III, SARA used the new systems of the Vindication base 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. She now hosts the block alongside TOM.

For April Fools 2018, the Toonami bumpers involving SARA featured a Japanese voice actor, Fusako Shiotani, speaking Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.

The #BringBackSara CampaignEdit

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.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 DeMarco, Jason (September 26, 2016). "SARA 2's voice actress ". ask.fm. http://ask.fm/Clarknova/answers/138960772329. Retrieved on September 28, 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "For those of you #Toonami fans who have been asking... ". twitter.com/Clarknova1. April 2, 2018. https://twitter.com/Clarknova1/status/980972091536216064. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "SARA Profile ". cartoonnetwork.com. October 17, 2000. https://web.archive.org/web/20001017150015/http://www.cartoonnetwork.com:80/TOONAMI/intruder/flashback/drill/saratext.swf. Retrieved on November 30, 2018.