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Phase 4: Stardust Battlefield

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 9, 2004

 

Summary

 

As they approach an asteroid field, Lunamaria complains about not scoring well in asteroid simulations, and Shinn warns her to be on her guard. On the Minerva's bridge, Durandal assures Cagalli that he's not accusing Athrun of anything. Former Chairman Eileen Canaver explained to him the actions that Athrun took during the last war, and he simply wants to talk to Athrun as his true self. Talia is suspicious about the area ahead of Shinn, and both she and Athrun realize it's a decoy. Suddenly, Auel, Sting and Stella emerge from hiding in some colony ruins and attack. Sting attacks Shinn with the Chaos Gundam's gunbarrels and destroys a GuAIZ R unit. At the same time, the Girty Lue disappears from radar and sends out two Dagger L units. It reappears behind the Minerva and fires its cannons and missiles. Talia wants to turn the ship to another direction, but it is blocked by the Daggers. She instead has the ship hug a large asteroid to escape. Auel fires at some colony wreckage and destroys another GuAIZ R in hiding. At the same time, Lunamaria and Shinn receive a message to return to the Minerva because it's under attack. As the Minerva continues to fly near the asteroid it fires out missiles to fend off the attacking Dagger Ls. Stella transforms the Gaia Gundam and runs along some colony wreckage to attack Lunamaria. Lunamaria fires back with her "Orthros" beam cannon, but Stella dodges the blast and jumps to another piece of colony wreckage and fires again. Auel and Sting chase Shinn into a ruined colony and plan to trap him on his way out. Lunamaria crashes into the area in front of Shinn while dodging Stella's attacks. Shinn then attacks Stella with his "Kerberos" beam cannons, but she dodges his shot. Nearby, the Girty Lue and Dagger L units continue to attack the Minerva. Due to the high density of rocks, the Minerva is unable to use most of its weapons. Neo has Lee fire missiles at the asteroids surrounding the Minerva and decides to launch in the Exus to finish them off. Athrun sees that the missiles aren't going hit the ship directly and asks Talia to move away from the asteroid. As the ship moves hard to port, a second barrage of missiles hits the asteroid and causes large chunks to damage the Minerva's hull. A large asteroid chunk breaks away in front of the Minerva and blocks the ship's path. Durandal asks if there are more mobile suits to send out, and Talia tells him they don't have any available pilots. She instructs mobile suit team leader Madd Aves to send Rey out in his ZAKU Phantom immediately.

 

Due to the Minerva's situation, Rey is unable to launch via the catapult. As soon as he leaves the ship, Neo detects his presence. As Shinn and Lunamaria return to the Minerva they are ambushed by Sting and Auel. Athrun asks Talia how many starboard thrusters are still active, and Durandal gives her permission to answer. She says there are six left, and Athrun says they should activate all the starboard thrusters and at the same time fire all the starboard weapons and use the force of the explosion to break away. Arthur thinks that's a bad idea because the ship will be further damaged by the asteroid chunks, but Athrun says it's better than being a sitting duck. Talia agrees with Athrun and tells Arthur to carry out his suggestion. Rey detects Neo's presence in time to dodge an attack from his gunbarrels. Neo wonders who Rey is, and Rey destroys a nearby Dagger L unit. Neo orders the pilot of the other Dagger L to attack the Minerva instead. When Rey tries to follow the Dagger L, Neo blocks the path with his gunbarrels. Rey dodges Neo's attacks and manages to unleash a missile barrage and fire his beam rifle to destroy the Dagger L. Nearby, Lunamaria uses her cannon to attack Auel and misses. The Blast Impulse Gundam fires missiles at three Gundams, and Sting wonders why he can't shoot down Shinn. Lee has the Girty Lue move in to finish off the Minerva, but at the same time Talia carries out Athrun's suggestion. The Minerva breaks free of the asteroid and fires its Tannhauser cannon at the Girty Lue, causing serious damage to the ship's starboard section. Neo returns to the ship, and Lee sends out return orders for the three Gundams. Meyrin informs Talia that Shinn and Lunamaria are low on power, and Durandal tells her they'll just have to try another strategy. Later, Talia tells Cagalli that a rescue ship from Armory One will pick her up. Durandal says that Athrun saved them earlier, and Athrun apologizes to Talia for overstepping his bounds. She tells him it's okay, and he goes off to a lounge area and thinks about the deaths of people in the last war. Shinn, Lunamaria and Rey meet up with Meyrin in the hallway, and she tells them about Athrun. They run into Athrun in the lounge, and he says he's just "Alex." Shinn says a guy from Orb wouldn't understand anything and storms off. At a ZAFT observation station, several officers determine that the remains of Junius Seven have moved out of a stable orbit and are heading for Earth. In his room, Shinn opens Maya's cell phone and listens to her voicemail recording.

 

Commentary

 

The cliffhanger from the last episode continues with the Gundam pilots luring Shinn and Lunamaria into a trap. They manage to survive, but two GuAIZ R pilots don't come out as lucky. With his identity revealed, Athrun makes some contributions to the Minerva's tactics. With his introspective attitude at the end of the episode, it seems clear that he's going to be pulled into this new war as a pilot. Rey has another battle with Neo, and the connection between the two of them remains mysterious. After the embarrassing attack at Armory One, the Minerva finally manages to turn the tables on the Girty Lue and send them running. Shinn definitely has issues with anyone from Orb, even if they're former ZAFT pilots like Athrun. That combined with the fact that he listens to Maya's voicemail shows that he still hasn't moved beyond the death of his family. The end of the episode sets up a new problematic situation- why has Junius Seven moved out of its orbit, and who wants to throw a Big Nasty Object at Earth?

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 4 Gundam SEED DESTINY Episode 4
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