Trigun Stampede’s new “lost technology” is setting up the series’ big story arc, and the reveal has offered only new questions, even for fans.

A recent episode of Trigun Stampede ended with a literal bang, thanks to some mysterious “lost technology” that arrived just in time to sour the mood. It’s clearly important, but just what is the deal with this lost technology anyway?

Trigun Stampede used its first episode to go over much of the backstory of Knives and Vash, establishing that they were aboard the original colony ships that first came to planet Gunsmoke. The colony ships are shown to have some incredible technology at their disposal–far better than what anyone in the present-day has. It’s likely that this lost technology originated on the ship in some way, but that’s only one small piece of the puzzle.

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Who Controls Trigun Stampede‘s Mystery Tech?

Trigun Stampede: The lost technology robot, which resembles a virus.

In the episode’s ending, as everyone celebrates their cessation of hostilities over Vash’s bounty, a mysterious robot stirs. It turns out to be one of many, and they’re on some kind of mission. The robots swarm over one of the bounty hunters, Gofsef, and activate, turning red before they explode and presumably kill Gofsef. It’s not immediately clear why they would target Gofsef, as he has no relation to Vash, and these are clearly not law enforcement-related robots. In fact, the most notable thing about Gofsef by the episode’s end is that Vash directly saved his life, so killing him and rendering all Vash’s struggles in Trigun moot would certainly deliver a morale blow, at the very least. But with this technology at their disposal, why would such a person not target Vash directly?

Given what’s been shown in Trigun Stampede so far, the only person likely to have this technology is Knives, Vash’s evil twin brother. Knives would understand better than almost any human on Gunsmoke how to utilize the lost technology, and he certainly has an interest in making life difficult for Vash. It’s interesting to note, however, that these robots draw their design from a particular type of virus, known as bacteriophage viruses, which literally eat bacteria. This seems like more than just a visual inspiration, though, as Knives saw humans as an infestation that needed to be destroyed. There may be some metaphorical element to this choice, but if so, it’s not clear yet.

Lost technology did play a role in the Trigun manga and to a lesser extent the first anime, but that didn’t occur until much later. With Trigun Stampede forging its own path ahead, it will be interesting to see just what role this and other pieces of lost technology will play in the ongoing story.

More: The Cowboy Bebop Crew’s Adventures Continue in Its Forgotten Manga

Trigun Stampede debuts new episodes on Saturdays, via Crunchyroll.

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