Dragon Ball GT is one of the most radical and contentious entries in the Dragon Ball franchise, namely due to its dubious origins and easily as murky reception. An anime-only sequel to Dragon Ball Z, the series wasn't based on a pre-existing manga written by Akira Toriyama. Combined with its less than positive reception, it was eventually replaced by the much more well-received Dragon Ball Super as the next part of the saga.
Dragon Ball GT only lasted a grand total of 64 episodes, but its finale was still a particularly heartfelt goodbye for what is still one of the biggest anime franchises ever. Here's how the world initially said goodbye to Goku and the Dragon Balls, and how the final moments pre-Super played out.
Until We Meet Again
The episode begins with Goku summoning the energy of all life in the universe, using it to power his Universal Spirit Bomb and destroy Omega Shenron. Afterwards, he is left completely drained, with everyone around him shocked to find Shenron appear without being summoned. He tells them that the Dragon Balls have been drained from their continued use, and that they will not be able to be used for some time. For that reason, Goku must travel with Shenron to train and restore the Dragon Balls to their former power.
Before departing on his journey, he says goodbye to the family and friends who have been with him soon the beginning of the saga. This includes Krillin and Master Roshi as well as Bulma, who reflects on how she first met Goku in the forest as a teenager. Others such as Yamcha and Tien also see Goku and Shenron taking off, further showcasing the impact that he had on their lives. Likewise, Goku promises Piccolo, who has become a taskmaster to keep the denizens of Hell in line, that he would one day leave that fate. Pan mourns the seeming loss of her grandfather as she and Trunks wonder if Goku or the Dragon Balls will ever return. Vegeta is left in charge of defending the Earth as decades pass on from the present.
The Return of Goku?
The story then picks up 100 years later at the 64 World Martial Arts Tournament, which is being witnessed by an elderly Pan and a descendant of Vegeta and Bulma of the same name as the latter. The old guard of Z-Fighters are now all dead, having died peacefully of old age and natural causes. Fighting in the tournament are Goku, Jr. and Vegeta, Jr., who are descendants of the last full-blooded Saiyans from decades beforehand. Despite how diluted the Saiyan blood had become, both of the combatants are able to achieve their Super Saiyan forms fairly easily throughout their bout with each other.
The tournament's arena has statues in tribute to both Hercule/Mr. Satan and Goku in honor of their mutual heroism in defending the Earth. During the fight, Pan believes that she spots Goku himself in the crowd. She rushes to catch up with her grandfather, who is now back in his adult form, albeit having not aged at all past that. Goku walks through the crowd, with Pan failing to catch up with him. As he passes the people by, Goku recalls the various points of his life, from the moment he met Bulma up to the events of Dragon Ball GT. From there, a voice over reminds the audience that the horrors of the past that had besieged Earth are now over, but that Goku will come back if that should ever change. Flying off into the sky with the Flying Nimbus, Goku waves valiantly at the viewers, ending the saga.