On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.
GREATEST MOMENT #17
Queen Marlena is revealed as the mysterious pilot.
"The Rainbow Warrior"
At the Royal Palace the citizens of Eternia enjoy a joust tournament. During the competition, in which the warriors pilot Sky Sleds, Teela is outmaneuvered by another combatant. When Queen Marlena offers her a possible counter-maneuver, a headstrong Teela simply brushes her comment aside. Sometime later, inside the royal museum, Queen Marlena reflectively studies the Rainbow Explorer, the ship that brought her to Eternia. King Randor, Prince Adam, Teela, Man-At-Arms, and Orko are captured by Skeletor whilst enjoying a beach picnic. When Queen Marlena hears of this news she informs the Lieutenant of the Royal Guard to ready the entire fleet. A mysterious pilot in the Rainbow Explorer and the entire Royal Guard launch an attack on Snake Mountain, much to Skeletor's surprise! The pilot of the Rainbow Explorer outmaneuvers and skillfully destroys much of Skeletor's fleet. With Skeletor defeated the Rainbow Explorer lands, and the mysterious pilot emerges from the ship...
As the pilot of the Rainbow Explorer walks towards the gathered heroes, Teela is the first to congratulate the masked individual, "You're the best pilot I've ever seen!" Teela has a big smile on her face, clearly in awe of the mysterious pilot that has entered (and saved) their lives. King Randor steps forward and stands beside the suited figure, knowingly stating, "My friends -- it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the best pilot that a planet called Earth ever produced --" As the gloved hands remove the helmet, King Randor clearly knows the identity of the pilot. "Marlena -- my Queen!" announces King Randor, as Queen Marlena is revealed. The gathered heroes all react in utter shock, with a wide-eyed Teela gasping, "Your Majesty!" He-Man is so taken aback by the revelation that he nearly calls out "mother", before correcting himself, "Uh...Your Majesty!" Teela eagerly asks, "Will you teach me to fly like that?" Queen Marlena calmly replies, "Yes, Teela. Tomorrow." And with that the fleet of the Royal Guard in formation fly overhead.
Queen Marlena was an incredibly underused character in the series, and at times would simply be a background cast member with very little dialogue. Although she has a few moments in certain episodes in which her personality shines, this episode, and specifically this scene, is one of her finest. The way in which the others react to the moment her identity is revealed is a true victory for those that support the character. She proves to the others that she is more than simply the Queen of Eternia that sits upon the throne. For in this moment, on this day, we see the character recognized and respected as the savior of Eternia, its citizens, and all of her closest family and friends.