Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug (Japanese title: Dragon Ball Z: Sūpā Saiyajin da Son Gokū, lit. "Dragon Ball Z: Son Goku the Super Saiyan") is the 4th Dragon Ball Z movie. Released on March 19, 1991 in Japan, it was later released with a dub by FUNimation on DVD and VHS.
When an asteroid nearly destroys Planet Earth, a space ship emerges from the asteroid and lands on Earth. The new terror is Lord Slug, a nomadic alien who plans to destroy all life on Earth, and the only one who can stop him is Goku!
This work contains examples of:
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Lord Slug, in the vein of Piccolo.
- Canon Discontinuity: As par for the course with the pre-Battle of Gods Z movies, which are considered Non-Serial Movies. Daizenshuu 6 states that it would take place around the fight against Frieza on Namek, between Goku's arrival and his transformation, obviously preventing this movie from being canon due to the fact that none of the cast knows Instant Transmission at this point. Barring that, while Krillin, Goku, and Gohan being alive would seem to point to this movie taking place between the end of the Saiyan Saga and when Krillin, Gohan, and Bulma left for Namek, Piccolo is shown to be alive, despite the fact that at he was dead until near the middle of the Namek saga; additionally, Goku can't turn Super Saiyan (despite the title, he only goes into a Super Saiyan-like state near the end), King Kai states that even Frieza can't defeat him (suggesting that he's still alive; were he dead, he would've said Frieza couldn't defeat Lord Slug). and Lord Slug's plan hinges on terraforming the entire Earth into a frozen wasteland, despite Namek being shown as filled with forests and relatively warm. Additionally, there's a flashback to Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might, which itself is non canon due to it taking place when everyone should be on Namek, which further prevents this movie from being canon.
- Chekhov's Gun: Gohan's whistle song to Piccolo reveals that Namekians are very sensitive to high-pitched sounds. Piccolo takes advantage of this fact to gain the upper hand against Slug.
- Early Installment Weirdness: This is the first official appearance of the Super Saiyan, and has black hair with a red aura instead of the now famous Golden Super Mode. Presumably, author Akira Toriyama was planning the form even before this movie's conception but by the time to introduce it in the manga, his assistant told him to not ink the hair to save up tint. Further material would named this movie form "Fake Super Saiyan" as a result.
- Expy: Lord Slug is obviously one to the original King Piccolo, right down to using the Dragon Balls to wish for his youth back.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Lord Slug doesn't have any depth than your usual run-on-the-mill villain, as not even his backstory is that explored in detail in supplementary material. If one takes only this movie as fact, he is just some space pirate that wants to terrafreeze the planet because, and is a Namekian.
- Last-Second Chance: Goku tries to pull this on Slug. Telling the pirate he doesn't wish to hurt him when he learns Slug is Namekian. Slug only responds with confusion, taken aback by Goku's sudden interest in mercy.
- Rubber Man: Piccolo, Lord Slug, and henchman Angila each show off the same sort of stretchy arms.
- Slept Through the Apocalypse: Master Roshi sleeps through the entire ordeal, only waking up at the end to lament how quiet things have been.
- Turn the Other Cheek: The moment Goku discovers Lord Slug is a Namekian like Piccolo, he stops attacking and tells Slug he doesn't wish to fight him. Despite the fact that Slug and his henchmen had just attacked and badly injured his son and his friends. However, Slug is only confused by Goku's sudden desire to spare him and continues the fight.
- Wham Shot: Slug taking out his helmet and revealing he is a Namekian. This is not so much to explore his backstory, just to shock Goku as he starts to grow in size like Piccolo at the end of the original Dragon Ball.
- Weaksauce Weakness: So, it turns out Namekians can't stand high pitched whistling. This is bad news for Slug towards the end, when his eardrums are about the size of a trash can lid. Piccolo gets around this by ripping his own ears off.