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The enemy of peace...

Supreme Commander Al Caponero (Viceroy Throk) is functionally the main antagonist in the early 80's combining mecha series, Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, which was the basis for the adventures of the Vehicle Voltron Force. Even though he answered to the Galveston (Drule) Empire ruler Emperor Corsair (Zeppo), he directly oversaw all Galveston operations, and orders were issued in his name. Like almost all evil members of the Galveston Empire, his name was (story-wise, not in-universe) based on that of a criminal, his Emperor Corsair's name meaning Pirate, while his own was based on legendary crime boss and gangster Al Capone. By contrast, his Galveston arch-nemesis was named Socrat Telesu (Socrates, called Hazar in Voltron), and one of his primary Earth opponents was Captain Asimov (Newley), the names of visionary philosophers and writers. He was chiefly responsible for sending out the seemingly endless waves of fleets and Battle Attackers (Ro-Beasts) against the Earth exploration forces led by Asimov and his more visible second-in-command, Commander Shinji Ise (Hawkins). He becomes increasingly frustrated that his commanders and Battle Attackers cannot turn back either the Earth Fleet or its fifteen weaponized exploration mechas, which combine to form the super robot Dairugger (Vehicle Voltron).

Role as Supreme Commander

While technically a Viceroy (His title in the Amercian dub) only rules distant lands in the name of the royalty, Corsair's absence for most of the series makes this an apt description, despite Caponero having the title Supreme Commander. Unlike Telesu, he publicly made no allowances for the possibility the Earth forces' sincerity, and indeed secretly sought to use their desire for peace against them. He and the elites surrounding him were cold and uncaring towards the populace of the doomed and dying Galveston homeworld, often destroying habitable planets rather than let the Earth forces have them, even when Asimov and Newley offered on occasion to cede the planet in question to Galveston. When it became clear that Telesu would continue to pursue peace with Earth (his reasoning being this would gain Galveston a new world all the more quickly, to save their people), Caponero almost openly undermined him every chance he got, empowering Telesu's more militaristic underlings to disobey his orders and disregard his authority. This got to the point that Telesu's removal, and that of his father, the Homeland Secretary, were almost anti-climaxes.

But Caponero got no better results when he had commanders of a like nature finally installed. In a case of reaping what he sowed, the new commanders were still prone to disobey master plans for the chance at personal glory, giving the Earth fleet and Dairugger openings that should not have been there. Worse still, after the Galveston efforts to conquer Earth were turned back, Earth's leadership, once disdainful of the exploration fleet's needs and concerns, ordered that the Galveston homeworld be taken and the Empire dismantled. The utter disregard of the Galveston elites towards the common people erupted in resentment after the failure to take Earth, especially when more local worlds had been destroyed out of spite, and at least one they possessed was not being used to begin evacuation of the people, long since forced underground by savage spikes in solar radiation. To this end, a resistance finally took hold and recruited Telesu's ally, Palace Guard Sirk (Hazar's sister Dorma on Voltron), to oppose Caponero's administration.

As always, instead of heeding calls to negotiate or deal more directly with the crisis, said to be only months or even weeks from planetary destruction, Caponero concentrated his forces and remaining commanders in a line of defense against the coming invasion by Earth forces, spearheaded by Dairugger. World after world in the Galveston home sector fell despite their best traps and tricks, till Dairugger set foot on the homeworld itself. Caponero tried to engage Emperor Corsair to flee, with the elites taking over a world previously obtained after Dairugger ceded it. Bilions upon billions would die. The Emperor refused to leave his world, so Caponero fled in a Battle Attacker that Dairugger Commander Aki (Jeff) spotted out and saw as a leader in flight. Dairugger easily took down the Battle Attacker, killing Caponero, with his Emperor not long outliving him.

Telesu, freed from imprisonment, helped lead his people to evacuate aboard Earth ships, including the Dairugger component mechas. Sadly, he was killed by young men who saw him as one of the old leaders, rather than their liberator. Dying, he told Sirk to assume command, and that she should leave him to rest on their once-beloved world. Caponero, who thought he might be the new Emperor, not only lost that and his life as a fleeing narcissistic coward, but it was his arch-enemy who led his people to safety, a martyr to peace who also stood and answered for the crimes of their government.

Differences in Vehicle Voltron's Throk

Because of Voltron's no-death policy, technically, Throk lost a lot fewer commanders than Caponero, but since he was by footage unable to use them again, this was really no help. Throk was not radically different from Caponero on most of the plot points, still undermining Hazar (Telesu) at every opportunity, and still very ruthless and contemptuous of peace that would guarantee his people's safety. One difference for the Drule versus the Galveston was the merged-continuity presence of King Zarkon Of Planet Doom, said to be a rogue of the Drules but still owing allegiance to them. Later in the Lion Voltron series, Throk, fed up with Zarkon's conquering and looting of planets he should have been saving for the Drules, ordered agents to release Prince Lotor from his arrest and place him on the throne instead. Throk, like many other Voltron lead villains, survived his world's final loss and fled with Emperor Zeppo (Corsair), vowing to take over whichever world the Earth Fleets took his homeworld's survivors to. Unlike Lion Voltron, Vehicle Voltron ended when the supply of Dairugger episodes were used up, so no word on this scheme's success is available. Later revivals of Voltron did not explicitly include mentions of Vehicle Voltron, so the villains of that series also have an uncertain place in Voltron's canon.

After the two series were done, World Events Productions ordered an all-new animation from Toei, in a feature-length cartoon called The Fleet Of Doom, the one and only place where the two Voltrons, their heroes and villains truly met and interacted. Throk's role is to team with Lotor (as expected, a treacherous alliance with secret vows to betray the other) and create five specialized Ro-Beasts that combine into one Super Ro-Beast. As might be expected, the teaming of two Voltrons meant the failure of this scheme, and to date the final appearance of Viceroy Throk.

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