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The HAT-1 MiracleEdit
- Main article: HAT-1 Miracle
Starbuck was the lead astronaut on the HAT-1 rocket, which was launched in order to deploy the Hope probe to retrieve asteroid samples. However, the HAT-1 rocket ended up sabotaged and suffered various problems, including loss of radio contact. While Starbuck was able to somehow make a return to Earth safely, he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, and developed a crippling fear of space. Over time, he was encouraged by Justice and Terran to not give up, and eventually expressed a desire to return to space.
- Main article: The Cosmic Turnabout
Sabotage of the HAT-2 launchEdit
Terran would go on to become an astronaut himself, and was due to join Starbuck on the HAT-2 rocket until Yuri Cosmos, director of the space center, received a threatening phone call which claimed that a repeat of the HAT-1 sabotage would occur again. Fearing for the safety of his astronauts, Cosmos planned a countermeasure to prevent casualties; Starbuck was left out of the loop for his own safety due to his anxiety.
Before the launch, Starbuck was drugged with his own anti-anxiety medicine by Terran. Cosmos had swapped the launch pad with the Space Museum, which held a replica of the original HAT-1 rocket. After the bombs detonated in the Center, the unconscious Starbuck was evacuated from the museum back to Boarding Lounge 1 by Terran.
Unfortunately, Terran was murdered upon arrival. With no one at the scene of the murder, Starbuck was arrested as the prime suspect.
Starbuck on trialEdit
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With no memory of what happened, Starbuck's testimony in court proved completely inconsistent. Unable to prove what had really happened, Starbuck was miserably resigned to the fact that he would go to prison. It took encouragement from Justice, now a defense attorney who had taken his case, and Athena Cykes to rekindle his passion for going into space.
It wasn't until Detective Bobby Fulbright brought in some crucial evidence that Starbuck was cleared of all charges. Unfortunately, this same evidence pointed to Cykes as being the true culprit, and so she was subsequently arrested in his place.
- Main article: Turnabout for Tomorrow
Although glad to be free, Starbuck remained depressed over Cykes's arrest and the fact that the HAT-2 rocket launch was never going to take place. He regained his confidence after more encouragement and wished Phoenix Wright the best of luck in proving Cykes's innocence, which the latter eventually managed (as well as catching the true culprit for the Space Center bombings and Terran's murder).
Starbuck would once again be chosen as the lead astronaut for the HAT-3 launch, which was headed for the moon. While he was enthusiastic, his anxiety caused him to continue to be troubled about his upcoming trip. At the HAT-3 launch, Starbuck muttered "I'll be fine" over and over to himself. As the rocket flew into space, he received encouragement from Wright, Justice, and Cykes, and he gave them his heartfelt thanks.
Starbuck has a somewhat bipolar personality, as he tends to swing between extremely depressed and enthusiastic in a very short space of time. He also has severe anxiety issues relating to space after the traumatic "HAT-1 Miracle", which often causes him to act as if he was on board a spacecraft or in space. These issues only worsened with his arrest over Terran's murder. Eventually, he was able to get over all of this due to encouragement from Wright, Justice, and Cykes.
- His Japanese family name "Hoshinari" comes from the phrase "hoshi ni naru" (星になる), which means "to become a star".
- "Taiyou", his Japanese given name, is the Japanese word for "sun".
- His full Japanese name could also be derived from the phrase "hoshinaritai yo-" (星になりたいよー), which means "I want to become a star".
- "Solomon" was likely chosen so that he could have the nickname "Sol", which is the Latin word for the Sun. This not only links back to his given name in the Japanese version, but also follows the space theme that most of the Cosmos Space Center's staff names have. "Solomon" may also be a play on "solo man", referencing his role as the sole person responsible for the safe return of the HAT-1 rocket.
- His English surname, "Starbuck", consists of "star" (again referring to space) and "buck" (a term used for an adventurous, impetuous, dashing, or high-spirited young man). The latter part is somewhat suitable for the character, but only when he's not depressed. The surname may also be a reference to the science fiction franchise Battlestar Galactica, which featured a fighter spacecraft pilot character called "Starbuck" in both the original television series (Lieutenant Starbuck) and the later re-imagined version (Kara "Starbuck" Thrace). Of note is that Battlestar Galactica also included spacecraft pilot characters whose callsigns were "Apollo" and "Athena."
- Starbuck's hair has been styled into the shape of a rocket, although his bright red hair seems to be dyed that color since his facial hair is brown. During the events of the HAT-1 Miracle, his hair was still red, but not in its later rocket-shape.