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Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: April 1, 2000
New Review: June 9, 2000

 

Summary

 

The White Base breaks out of the Earth's atmosphere with Char's Zanzibar in pursuit. Char asks a Musai battle group commanded by Dren to help attack the White Base. All mobile suits and Core Boosters are launched, and the battle begins. Amuro disappears from the battle for a few moments, reappearing near Dren's ship and destroying it. After the battle, Bright takes the ship to the neutral Side 6 to buy time. At Side 6, inspector Cameron Bloom boards the ship to supervise the sealing of its weapons. When Cameron sees Mirai, he's amazed that she's alive. He is the fiancé that her parents wanted her to marry, but she wants nothing to do with him since he ran away to avoid the war. The crew disembarks for shore leave and enters the city. Amuro spots his father boarding a bus and chases him. He catches up with Tem and speaks to him. Tem gives Amuro a computer part that he claims will boost the Gundam's performance, but Amuro knows that it's just a piece of junk. He's saddened to see that Tem has gone insane from oxygen deprivation when he was pulled out of Side 7 into space. Later, Amuro drives through the countryside and is caught in a rain storm. He seeks shelter in a house by a lake and meets a beautiful Newtype girl named Lalah Sune. They have a brief discussion, and he leaves. Later, Amuro says goodbye to his father and drives away. His car gets stuck in mud, and he receives help from an unlikely source: Char and Lalah. Amuro is nervous the whole time and knows immediately who Char is, but Char doesn't recognize him.

 

The crew return to the ship and prepare to leave Side 6. Cameron escorts the White Base through the neutral zone as Rick Doms menacingly fly by. He proves to Mirai that he cares about her by staying until near the end. As the White Base leaves the Side 6 neutral zone, it's attacked by the Conscon fleet's Rick Doms. Amuro destroys the lead Chibe battleship, and White Base escapes. Later, they head for the abandoned Texas colony when they detect signs of activity. Amuro heads out in the Gundam and discovers the place is booby trapped. He finds Char in a new Gelgoog mobile suit and fights him while Lalah watches. Char leads Amuro into nuclear mine fields, not expecting him to survive. The mines set off large explosions that destroy parts of the colony wall. The White Base enters Texas colony to look for Amuro and sends out search parties. Sayla heads out in a jeep and finds Char. He tells her again to leave the Federation Forces. When she asks why he is a Zeon, he explains that he's attempting to avenge their father and make the world safe for Newtypes. Bright hears Sayla's side of the conversation and wonders whom she's speaking to.

 

Char boards the Zanzibar and escapes. Kai chases him in the Guncannon and intercepts a briefcase. The briefcase has a letter from Char addressed to Sayla and contains gold for her to return to Earth. After leaving Texas colony, the White Base regroups with the Federation Forces fleet. At the Principality, Gihren tells Degwin that he plans to use a Solar Ray against the Federation. Degwin doesn't approve of his son's actions and compares him to Adolf Hitler, but Gihren takes the insult as a compliment. Admiral Tianem's fleet launches an attack on Dozle Zabi's space fortress Solomon as part of Operation Star One. The Zeon manage to hold off the Federation, but only for a while. Hayato is injured and embarrassed at being taken out of the battle. He confesses to Fraw that he's jealous of Amuro and wanted to be a better pilot than him, but that's not possible now since he's not a Newtype. Mirai finds Sleggar and declares her love for him. He tells her that it won't work and that she's too good for him. However, he gives her a ring that his mother gave to him as a memento.

 

The Federation unveils its new weapon: the Solar System. The Solar System consists of a large array of many solar mirrors placed in a particular alignment. When the sun passes by, the mirrors absorb the light and fire a massive energy beam at Solomon that destroys most of Dozle's fleet. Dozle asks his sister Kycilia for reinforcements from her lunar base at Granada. Dozle has his wife Zenna and baby daughter Mineva escape while he launches in the massive mobile armor Big-Zam. He attacks Amuro and Sleggar and ends up killing Sleggar. Amuro becomes enraged and destroys the Big-Zam. The Federation Forces capture Solomon and rename it Confeito. Revil takes command of Confeito and plans the Federation's next attack. In space, a strange unidentified weapon destroys Federation ships and mobile suits. On the White Base, Sayla, Mirai and Amuro have strange Newtype reactions to something. They head out into battle, but are unable to identify the weapon. The source of the attacks is Lalah, who is using the mobile armor Elmeth that is made for Newtypes with its psycommu system. Back on the White Base, Sayla explains to Bright that Char is her big brother. She reveals that he's Casval Deikun and she is Artesia Deikun. Bright is shocked that she is Char's sister and the daughter of Zeon Deikun. Sayla intends to stay on the ship and gives Char's gold to the crew.

 

By studying battle data, the crew determines the source of the attacks is the Elmeth, which they call the Tricorn Hat because of its shape. Another battle begins, and Amuro manages to locate bit weapons that are protecting the Elmeth. He has a Newtype reaction to Lalah, and they speak to each other in their minds. She is frightened of his power, but the two of them understand each other. Char interferes and attacks Amuro with his Gelgoog. Amuro is angry that Char involved Lalah in the war and attacks him mercilessly. Sayla flies by and attempts to stop the fight, but she unable to. Amuro prepares to strike the final blow at Char, and as he does, Lalah jumps in front of Char's Gelgoog and takes the full damage from Amuro's beam saber. Amuro is shocked by what he has done. The Elmeth explodes, and both Amuro and Char are filled with grief. Amuro realizes he has done something he can never make right.

 

Following the death of Lalah, the Federation Forces prepare to attack the Zeon space fortress A Baoa Qu. Degwin meets with Revil to begin peace talks. Gihren has the Solar Ray colony laser fired at Revil's fleet. Revil is killed with his fleet, as is Degwin himself. The remaining ships in the fleet gather around White Base and launch an attack on A Baoa Qu. Kycilia tells Char to use the incomplete mobile suit Zeong to fight the Gundam. Char launches in the massive mobile suit and attacks Amuro. As the two fight relentlessly, the White Base comes under fire. Inside A Baoa Qu, Kycilia kills Gihren for murdering their father and takes command of the battle. Amuro manages to destroy most of the Zeong, but Char escapes. However, Char has inflicted heavy damage on the Gundam by destroying its head and left arm. Amuro pursues Char into A Baoa Qu and uses his Newtype abilities to fight blindly. He abandons the Gundam as the Zeong's head destroys most of it. Flying with thruster packs, the two chase each other deeper into the fortress.

 

Elsewhere, Kai and Hayato are forced to abandon their Guncannons as they are destroyed. Sayla's Core Booster is destroyed, and she enters A Baoa Qu to find Char and Amuro. She finds them fighting with swords and pleads with them to stop. Char wounds Amuro with a sword and escapes. Amuro leaves Sayla behind and chases him. Nearby, the White Base is severely damaged and crashes into A Baoa Qu. The crew fight with guns as Zeon soldiers board the ship. Sayla finds Char, and he tells her he's going to finish what he started. He wishes her well and tells her to find Amuro. Elsewhere, Kycilia plans to retreat to Granada and give up A Baoa Qu. She boards her ship, and Char floats in front of it. He fires a bazooka at her and blows her head off, taking the ship with her. Nearby, Amuro is lost and stumbles upon the wreckage of the Gundam. He ejects the Gundam's torso and takes the Core Fighter out of there. With his Newtype abilities and the help of Lalah's ghost, he warns Bright and the Newtypes on White Base to leave the ship. They escape the ship just as it explodes. Amuro guides Sayla to safety as well with his abilities. More sections of A Baoa Qu explode, and the crew believe that Amuro is dead. The three children use their Newtype powers to guide Amuro to them. Elsewhere, Char manages to escape on a Gwazine. With the death of the last adult Zabi, the Zeon leadership is gone, and the remaining forces surrender on January 1, 0080. A peace treaty is signed between the Federation and the Zeon.

 

Commentary

 

That was one incredible movie. People who complain that the first two movies are slow can't say that about this one. It was worth the other two movies being slow to have this movie turn out the way it did. To use a Star Wars comparison, this movie has the epic ending that Return of the Jedi could have had, but didn't. More tragedy befalls our characters, and storylines are wrapped up. There couldn't have been a better way to end this movie. Due to the popularity of the first two films, Tomino was able to include more new animation in this film. As a result, a good chunk of it is new, making this the best looking movie of the trilogy. The ending also leaves the door wide open for Zeta Gundam to pick up after a few years. Char's fate was left ambiguous in the TV series, but here we specifically see him surviving. Overall, the movie trilogy is a great way to experience the original Gundam story without some of the super robot silliness that was present in the TV series.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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