Miriya Parina Sterling
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|Miriya Parina Sterling|
|First appearance||Episode 12 - "The Big Escape"|
|Voiced by||Edie Mirman (Robotech TV series)
Catherine Battistone (Robotech II: The Sentinels)
|Relatives||Max Sterling (Husband)
Dana Sterling (Daughter)
Maia Sterling (Daughter)
- This article is about the character from Robotech. See Milia Fallyna Jenius for the character in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross.
Miriya Parina Sterling, voiced by Edie Mirman, is one of the fictional characters in the anime television series Robotech. She is the self-styled "finest combat pilot in all the Zentraedi forces." She is distinguished by her slim figure, green eyes and her long green hair.
First Robotech War
Miriya enters the First Robotech War as Commander Azonia's first officer and the leader of the Quadrono Battalion. Miriya is a female warlord and is considered the greatest warrior of all the Zentraedi. She is a fearsome warrior who pilots the Zentraedi Power Armor and she considered herself to be unbeatable in combat. When the Zentraedi attack the SDF-1 in 2009, Miriya leads several raids against the human forces; including one in which ace pilot Roy Fokker is killed. Miriya enjoys combat and takes great pride in the fact that she has never once failed to defeat a foe in combat.
In April 2011, upon a challenge from Khyron that there was a "Micronian" [human] ace aboard the SDF-1 that even she could not best, who happens to be Max Sterling, though Khyron was actually referring to Rick Hunter. Intrigued, Miriya takes it upon herself to engage him in combat but finds herself frustrated as she cannot defeat him, a situation which she had never faced before nor did she think was possible. Determined to maintain her reputation, Miriya decides to be micronized to human form so she can infiltrate the SDF-1 to find the pilot and kill him. During the micronization process, Miriya's height is reduced from 8.55 metres (28 feet) to 1.78 metres (5.8 feet) and her weight is reduced from 6,250 kilograms (13,779 pounds) to 53 kilograms (117 pounds). After infiltrating the SDF-1, Miriya explores Macross City and marvels at human culture.
At a video game arcade (which Miriya believes is a combat training facility), she again finds herself unbeatable at a combat simulation game until she is challenged to a duel by Max Sterling, who is the incredibly skilled pilot whom Miriya had dueled against in real combat. Max, who is attracted to Miriya, challenges her to a video game in the hope of getting to know her better. After a short game, Max defeats her, and Miriya concludes (correctly) that Max must be the ace pilot whom she faced in real combat. Miriya is furious that she has been beaten again but as she storms off, Max asks her out on a date. Miriya, still determined to defeat him, accepts, although she secretly plots to kill him. Max, after consulting with his friend Rick Hunter about what he should wear, arrives at the park where he awaits Miriya's arrival. Hiding in the bushes, Miriya draws a knife and runs toward Max who, proclaiming, in English, a Zentraedi war cry: "Maximillian, prepare for your doom!" and throws the knife at him. Despite the surprise, Max is able to dodge Miriya's first attack and the knife buries itself in a tree. Miriya reveals that she is a Zentraedi warrior and that her mission is revenge against him, prompting Max to say "There goes our first date." Drawing a second knife, she continues to swing and thrust the knife at Max. Max manages to pull the first knife out of the tree and after a short fight; Max manages to disarm her and points the knife at her face while proudly proclaiming "I guess I win again." Beaten for a third time, Miriya becomes emotionally despondent and her anger and hatred give way to sadness. She falls to her knees, and asks Max to kill her. Crying, Miriya believes she cannot live with the shame of being defeated and that her only option now to die by his hand. Yet despite everything that has just occurred, Max says that he could never harm her because she is so beautiful. Max and Miriya look into each other's eyes and Miriya realizes that the feelings she holds toward Max are not of hate but of love. The two, after seemingly floating in air towards each other, passionately kiss. Max wipes a tear from Miriya's cheek and, although he admits it sounds crazy, asks her to marry him. Miriya, with no idea what marriage is, accepts his proposal.
Wedding preparations soon begin, and the two are married in a historic wedding aboard the SDF-1. Max and Miriya are the first union of a human and a Zentraedi, which becomes an unlikely symbol of peace between the two races as their wedding raises hopes throughout the SDF-1 that peace with the Zentraedi is possible.
The wedding proves to be such a significant event that the Zentraedi also observe the wedding (which was broadcast on television). When Breetai, who is watching the event on his monitor, asks Exedore what Miriya is doing, Exedore states that she is "getting married" an further explaining that marriage is "a condition in which male and female live together." Breetai, despite his view that marriage is a "strange Micronian custom," nonetheless believes that Miriya is enjoying herself and he wonders aloud what he suspects: that Miriya, like previous Zentraedi defectors, has found the human way of life too enjoyable to resist. Exedore comments that human emotions are something which the Zentraedi seem to have no defense against. Breetai is subsequently ordered by Zentraedi supreme commander Dolza to launch a full-scale assault to destroy the SDF-1, but by now, Breetai, like many of the Zentraedi under him, is having second thoughts. The battle begins after the wedding ceremony and Miriya insists that Max take her with him in his Veritech fighter. Holding hands, the two race off to battle. During the fight, Miriya shows Max how to disable Zentraedi Battlepods without killing the pilots. This new tactic is then utilized by the rest of the SDF-1's forces. This development, combined with the Zentraedi's increased exposure to human emotions and the realization that the human way of life may just be more enjoyable (a feeling that was amplified by watching Miriya, their greatest warrior, get married to a human) causes a wave of mutinies to spread through the Zentraedi fleet as soldiers refuse to fight and turn against their superiors. Breetai, realizing that his forces can no longer fight, is forced to call a truce with the SDF-1, although by now even Breetai has accepted that the humans do not have to be his enemies.
Miriya initially has trouble adapting to life among humans and a culture that she never knew existed only a short time earlier. On their wedding night, her first attempt to cook proves disastrous (and humorous) as she mistakenly uses cooking oil in a coffee pot, which starts a fire in the kitchen. Max, after putting out the fire with an extinguisher, sighs and states that mornings are going to be rough without any coffee. Despite the rocky start to their marriage, the two enjoy their wedding night. In the Jack McKinney novel Force of Arms (book five of the series) Miriya, who had never even heard of, let alone experienced, physical intimacy before, later reflects on this experience: "kissing was still an amazing thing to her; lovemaking left her at a complete loss for words."
Miriya sticks by Max's side through the rest of the war. She proves herself an extremely skilled Veritech pilot and becomes Max's wingmate, piloting a distinctive red Veritech fighter alongside Max's blue one. In the final battle against Dolza's armada in 2011, Max and Miriya, after smiling at each other from their fighter cockpits, begin fighting side by side against the seemingly impossible odds. Both survive the battle which ends the First Robotech War.
After the war
After the war, Max and Miriya settle down in New Macross City, built around the ruins of the SDF-1, and begin a new life together. In October 2012, Miriya gives birth to a daughter, Dana Sterling, the first child born from a Human/Zentraedi union. Max and Miriya happily embrace their new role as parents, and can often be seen walking together holding arms in New Macross City while pushing a baby carriage. In episode 28, "Reconstruction Blues", Miriya watches with joy as Max proudly holds baby Dana in his arms. As a baby, Dana has seagreen hair and looks so much like her mother. Miriya, despite her previous life as Zentraedi warrior, shows as much love for her child as any human mother could; and views it as a miracle that she could create life inside her own body. Miriya's happy marriage and her baby daughter become the envy of Lisa Hayes, who struggles with her feelings for Rick Hunter throughout the first Robotech Saga. Claudia Grant, whose lover Roy Fokker was killed in the First Robotech War, also envies Miriya and her family, as she was never able to have a child of her own with Roy. Like Max, Miriya is now happier than she has ever been before and looks forward to raising her daughter in a new and peaceful world. However, when Zentraedi rebellions begin to break out in March 2013 and Khyron and Azonia reemerge after two years in hiding, both are forced back into combat as the dream of a peaceful world comes crashing down.
In June 2013, Max and Miriya take part in an important mission under Breetai into deep space to capture the last remaining Zentraedi Factory Satellite. The mission proves highly unorthodox when Admiral Henry J. Gloval asks them to bring Dana (who is only eight months old) along to serve as a diversion. After Breetai's ship defolds near the factory, Max and Miriya blast into the enemy Zentraedi command ship's control area in their veritech fighters. Miriya then proudly displays baby Dana, cradled in her arms and wearing a tiny pink and white Dr. Denton's spacesuit, to the hostile Zentraedi on board. The hostile Zentraedi, who have had no exposure to human culture and have never seen a baby before, recoil in shock as one soldier shouts "That thing is deformed!" Dana coos as she brings her hands to the faceshield of her helmet in an effort to rub her eyes, prompting another Zentraedi soldier to shout "It moves!" Miriya smiles and explains that "in the micronian [human] language, this is what is called an infant; actually created inside my own body. But by both of us," indicating towards Max. Miriya then declares that Dana is a symbol of protoculture and love and lifts Dana above her head in full view of all the Zentraedi in the area while declaring "Observe the power of protoculture! The power of love!" The Zentraedi become filled with terror as they conclude Dana is a mutation who is contagious and flee in fear. The resulting chaos aboard the enemy command ship causes disorder throughout the enemy fleet, allowing the United Earth Forces and their Zentraedi allies under Breetai to launch an attack that cripples the enemy forces and seizing the factory to assist in the rebuilding of Earth.
In December 2013, Khyron's forces launch an attack against New Macross City to steal a protoculture matrix to repower his warship. Max and Miriya join in the attempt to stop him but as his forces escape, he detonates bombs hidden throughout the city, causing extensive damage and injuries. Max and Miriya turn back to help fight the resulting fires and rescue survivors. Yet despite the misery so close to Christmas, Max and Miriya are later seen on their balcony with Dana, watching the SDF-1 lit up with Christmas lights.
In January 2014, Max and Miriya join their friends in the Battle of New Macross as Khyron launches an assault in his repowered warship to destroy the SDF-1. Despite their efforts, Khyron launches a suicide run, destroying his own ship as well as the SDF-1 and newly completed SDF-2. Many of their friends, including Admiral Gloval, Claudia Grant, Vanessa Leeds, Sammy Porter and Kim Young die in the battle. Although devastated by the loss of their friends, Max and Miriya vow to continue to work to rebuild Earth and to take humanity to the stars.
Robotech Expeditionary Force
In December 2022, the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF), led by the newly completed SDF-3, departed from Earth on a mission into deep space to find the Robotech Masters' homeworld. Max and Miriya, along with Rick, Lisa Hayes-Hunter, Vince Grant and Jean Grant are among those who left on the mission in hopes of preventing another war on Earth. Max and Miriya reluctantly leave Dana, now 10 years old, behind with Major Rolf Emerson, a close family friend. Dana, as the only child of a human/Zentraedi union, had been judged by Dr. Lazlo Zand as being too valuable to risk going with the REF. Dana would eventually follow in her parents' footsteps and becomes one of the first graduates of the United Earth Military academy into the elite Army of the Southern Cross. Dana, who has her parents' military skills and instincts, becomes the leading character of the Second Robotech War when the Robotech Masters, having left their homeworld 15 years earlier, reach Earth to reclaim the protoculture in the ruins of the SDF-1 in 2029.
Max and Miriya hoped that the mission would be over quickly, but events would keep the SDF-3 away from Earth for the rest of Dana's childhood. The mission would last 22 years, during which time Max and Miriya would have a second daughter, Maia Sterling, who would become the leader of Skull Squadron during the assault on Reflex Point towards the end of the Third Robotech War.
In order to avoid infringing on the original designs for Macross characters designed by Haruhiko Mikimoto, Miriya, like other Macross characters was redesigned for later Robotech productions, including Robotech II: The Sentinels. In contrast to her long bright green hair in the original series, Miriya now sports a much shorter hairstyle with a darker green color.
Unlike the rest of Robotech's surviving first generation characters, there is no mention of Miriya in the comic series Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles or the film Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and her fate is presently unknown.
For Miriya, the emotional changes she experiences during the series are profound. At the beginning of the series, Miriya is a ruthless Zentraedi warrior who has known nothing but war her entire life. In only two years, she becomes not only a loving wife but also a mother. This incredible transformation is expressed in the following passage from the decanonized Jack McKinney novel "Doomsday" (book six of the series):
The baby was peacefully asleep on her breast, and just looking at her, it was all Miriya could do to keep from weeping for joy. A miracle, she told herself ten times a day: that she and Max could produce such innocent loveliness; that she, a former warrior, could feel this way about anyone or anything. Such unknown contentment and pure rapture.
In the same novel, Rick Hunter writes, in reference to the operation against the factory satellite, that: "Love, like size, had lost all meaning - love was a battle maneuver ... The only one among us who seemed to know anything about that elusive emotion was Miriya, wedded to the infant she'd given birth to as much as she was Max." As Max and Miriya join in the subsequent battle against the now disorganized enemy Zentraedi fleet, Miriya pilots her fighter while holding Dana in her lap. As the battle rages, Miriya clutches Dana more tightly to herself, while Dana waves her arms joyously at the explosions going on all around her. The book states that Miriya fought with more fury than she even had before "as though the small life she held in her arms was a treasure more precious than any the universe could offer, a life worth preserving at all costs."
In the decanonized book "Force of Arms" (book 5 of the series) by Jack McKinney, Miriya's giving birth to Dana is all the more extraordinary because nobody could figure out how Max and Miriya had been able to conceive a child since no Zentraedi male-female reproduction had ever been recorded. Explanations that were provided by scientists are that Miriya's consumption of human-style food (as opposed to antiseptic rations of the Zentraedi) and her exposure to emotions had caused subtle biochemical changes. Some even wondered if Dana was actually Max and Miriya's child at all but, as proved by exhaustive tests, Dana was indisputably their child. To Lisa Hayes, the only explanation that made sense (or mattered) was that Dana was the result of the love that Max and Miriya had for one another.
- Robotech, Episode 8: Sweet Sixteen (summary available at Episode 8: Sweet Sixteen at Robotech.com
- Robotech, episode 25: Wedding Bells (summary available at Episode 25: Wedding Bells at Robotech.com
- Robotech, episode 27: Force of Arms (summary available at Episode 27: Force of Arms at Robotech.com
- Robotech, episode 28: Reconstruction Blues (summary available at Episode 28: Reconstruction Blues at Robotech.com
- Robotech, episode 30: Viva Miriya (summary available at Episode 30: Viva Miriya at Robotech.com
- Official Character Biography at Robotech.com