Introduced during the early days of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta quickly became one of the most popular characters in the series. A brash and hot-headed warrior, the character morphed from a major villain into a rival before becoming a hero in his own right. As he's settled down with a family and become a softer man, he's become one of the most admirable characters in the franchise, a change which has been reflected in his growing power.
During a Q&A for the upcoming movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly, CBR and a number of other media outlets had a chance to speak with Christopher Sabat, the voice actor behind a number of Dragon Ball characters, but most notably Vegeta. Sabat discussed how much Vegeta has changed over the years, and how much fun that has been to grow alongside him and watch him grow into the man he's become.
Prince Of All Saiyans & Family Man
In Dragon Ball Super, having a steady relationship with his wife Bulma and son Trunks has softened the old warrior a bit, but it's also given him something few Saiyans have ever possessed, including his younger self: Restraint. "This is Vegeta at the end of Super," Sabat explained. "I can tell you the Vegeta that’s established already at the middle of Super is the Vegeta you see at the end of Super. He’s still the Vegeta who is a family man. He’s a vastly different Vegeta than the one we were first introduced to. But one thing Vegeta has at the beginning of this Broly film is a lot of experience and temperament that he never used to have before."
It's a far cry from earlier incarnations of the character, who was introduced as a major threat to the planet Earth. He murdered his way towards the planet, even straight up killing his closest ally Nappa when he was defeated by Goku. "He used to be short-tempered and always angry about stuff and frustrated," Sabat recalled. "[He was] the guy who gets pissed off at any moment. You’ll be surprised how much temperament he has when he meets Broly in this film. You would think [when] Vegeta sees another Saiyan, he’d be ready to go for the throat and chew their face off and spit them out. In this particular case, you’re going to see a much more reserved Vegeta, not the Vegeta you’re used to from the other Broly movies where he was just pissing his pants the entire movie. You’re seeing a very focused warrior, and he and Goku actually work really well together in the film. They’re a team, and there’s not as much of the goofy in-fighting from Resurrection F. It’s taken very, very serious. When they show up, it’s interesting."
Perhaps no character has grown more over the course of Dragon Ball than Vegeta, and that's not lost on Sabat. "As an actor, it’s the best thing ever," Sabat said, "because playing a one-note character doesn’t interest me. If you said, ‘Chris, you can play Goku,' I would turn it down because Goku is one-note. He basically has a small handful of emotions. Vegeta has changed so much that people love Vegeta. They’d hang out with Vegeta!
"He’s so profoundly different that we forget he’s the kind of guy who would literally murder his friend that he’s known since childhood just because he was under-performing.," the actor continued. "He would eat his enemies after he defeated them! So clearly, he’s had a massive change, and I love that about Vegeta. That’s what makes acting so much fun, especially for him. Because now I get to ride this fine line between, 'I’M SO ANGRY, BUT I ALSO REALLY LOVE MY WIFE'. It’s so much fun."
Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine, Dragon Ball Super: Broly hits theaters on Jan. 16.