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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam I: Heirs to the Stars

 

Review by Chris Guanche

December 25, 2005

 

Summary

 

In UC 0087, seven years have passed since the end of the One Year War between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. In space, AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) pilots Quattro Bageena (aka Char Aznable), Apolly and Roberto approach the airspace of Side 7 with their new Rick Dias mobile suits. While Apolly and Roberto head to the civilian colony Green Noa 1, Char flies over to the Titans military colony Green Noa 2. He enters the colony and stuns two maintenance workers before going on foot inside the colony. He flies through the smog-filled air and takes photographs of Titan mobile suits and a new battleship under construction. Suddenly, the black Gundam Mk-II flies out of the clouds and nearly hits Char. The Mk II begins pursuit and fires, but Char is too small a target to hit. He returns to the corridor he used to enter and is shot at by several soldiers. One shot grazes his left arm, but he manages to escape and return to his Rick Dias. At Green Noa 1, Apolly deploys a surveillance camera and spots another Mk II flying through the colony. Inside the colony, a Titan officer named Matosh interrogates 17-year-old Kamille Bidan, who attacked Titans member Jerid Messa. As he is left alone in detention, Kamille looks out into space through a window and senses something strange. He's then set free, but he punches Matosh when he's provoked. Just as soldiers move to restrain Kamille, the Mk II crashes into the building. Kamille breaks free and runs out of the building and past his mother Hilda. Outside, Kamille overhears that Jerid was piloting the Mk II. Apolly, Roberto and Char blast a hole in the side of Green Noa 1 to enter the colony. Char senses Kamille and at first wonders if he's Amuro Ray or Lalah Sune. Kamille runs to the side of the Titans base and vows he'll never forgive them. As Jerid's Mk II is loaded onto a trailer, Emma Sheen scolds him for his recklessness. He says he was following Bask Om's orders to train in the suit, and Bright Noah asks him what he's doing in the middle of an alert. Jerid says that an asteroid crashed into a colony, but Bright contends that they don't know that for sure. Jerid then jumps into a jeep and says he's following Bright's orders to investigate. Several GM IIs attack Char, Apolly and Roberto, but they're easily dispatched. At Green Noa 2, Bask and Jamaican Daninghan dismiss reports that the Red Comet is attacking. Bask tells mobile suit designer Franklin Bidan that he'll have a chance to see AEUG mobile suits closely. Elsewhere, Fa Yuiry drives through her destroyed neighborhood and picks up her mother. Kamille spots Matosh and jumps into the Mk II despite Emma's protests.

 

Kamille activates the Mk II and breaks through the hangar. Nearby, Mk II pilot Kacricon Cacooler lands on the ground, cornered by Char and Apolly. He thinks that Kamille is Jerid and asks for help. Kamille instead flies over to where Matosh is and fires vulcans at him. Apolly aims at Kamille, but Char tells him that Kamille isn't their enemy. Kamille then attacks Kacricon and slams his Mk II into the building. He threatens to crush Kacricon if he doesn't get out of the cockpit, and Bright orders him to comply. Fa searches Kamille's house and is nearly killed by a crashing GM II. Kamille joins Char and the others as they escape from the colony with both Gundams. At Green Noa 2, Kacricon reports to Bask about the Gundamjack. Bright demands to know why the Titans are testing mobile suits in a civilian colony, and Bask punches him. He says that the Titans aren't the same as the Federation Forces because they have a mission to stop Zeon remnants. Bright objects and is beaten down by Kacricon and other Titan officers. Later, Hilda and Franklin join Bask and Jamaican on the battleship Alexandria as it launches from drydock. On the AEUG flagship Argama, Kamille meets with AEUG leader Blex Forer and ship's captain Henken Bekkener. Blex thinks Kamille might be a Newtype like Amuro, and Kamille says he's read about Newtypes in underground publications. Char receives and call and informs the others that the Titans are coming after them. Kamille walks through a corridor with Char and Reccoa Londe and answers questions about the Mk II's armor. Jamaican explains the battle plan in a meeting and tells Jerid to open his orders after a capsule is deployed behind him. Emma asks if the capsule is a bomb, and Jamaican says it's something like that. Emma then launches in the last Mk II and carries a white flag. Franklin comes with her in a Hizack while Jerid waits in space for the capsule. Emma delivers a letter from Bask to Blex, and Blex is outraged by its contents. If the AEUG doesn't have over Kamille and the Gundams, the Titans will kill his parents. Kamille hears the gossip about the Titans taking hostages and heads to the mobile suit hangar. The capsule is deployed, and Jerid reads his orders, which are to destroy the capsule if the AEUG attempt to retrieve it. A camera deployed from the Argama confirms that someone is in the capsule, but they don't know whom. Kamille recognizes Hilda in the capsule and steals a Mk II to save her. As he approaches the capsule, Jerid destroys it and is disappointed that it's not a bomb. Filled with rage, Kamille attacks Jerid for killing Hilda. Jerid hears Kamille's voice and recognizes him as the boy with the girl's name who punched him before. Emma launches in her Mk II, followed by Char's Rick Dias. Emma tries to stop Kamille, and Char suggests that Blex call for a ceasefire. Bask agrees to the ceasefire and leaves Jamaican in command so that he can return to Green Noa 2.

 

Char asks Emma to retrieve Kamille, and Blex wonders if she'll do it. Henken asks Char if he thinks she's a Newtype, and he says that at the very least she doesn't seem like the other Titans. In space, Kamille knocks Emma away and attacks Jerid with a beam saber. On the Argama, Franklin takes mechanic Astonaige Medoz hostage until he escapes in Char's red Rick Dias. As Bask transfers to the Brunei, he orders Jamaican to open fire on the Argama and send out Lila Milla Rira from the Bosnia. On the Bosnia, Lila launches in her Galbaldy Beta and heads over to the battlefield. After the Titans fleet fires, the Argama returns fire with its mega particle gun. Lila spots Kamille and Emma and opens fire on Kamille. Kamille returns fire, but he runs out of ammo. Franklin fires off at Apolly and Roberto, and Kamille approaches him under the assumption that he's Char. When he realizes it's Franklin, he tells him that Hilda is dead. Franklin knocks away Kamille and blows off the Mk II's left arm. Kamille aims it his rifle at Franklin, and Franklin shoots at him. A stray shot hits the Rick Dias, and Franklin is killed in an explosion while attempting to escape. Emma grabs hold of Kamille and asks him to return with her to the Argama. Henken has the ship set course to fly around Luna II and head for Earth. In the lounge, Char sits down while Reccoa consoles Kamille. Emma enters the room in an AEUG uniform and asks Char if he thinks she's a spy. Char says that her parents could be taken hostage on Earth, and she tells him that she couldn't stay in the Titans after seeing what Bask was capable of. Kamille mentions that Franklin had a mistress named Margarita, but that Hilda didn't care because she always buried herself in her work for the military. Emma mentions the story of Char Aznable/Casval Rem Deikun, and Kamille says that he was a fool for taking on an organization like Zeon by himself. Char comments that that's an accurate appraisal and asks Emma to join him for dinner. She asks Reccoa to come along, and Kamille says he wants to stay behind. He overhears Char talk to Reccoa about her mission to head down to Jaburo the next day. After dinner, Reccoa shows Emma a video that the Argama crew shot of Side 1's Colony 30. When an anti-Earth protest was held there in UC 0085, Bask killed all of the colony's residents with the same G3 gas used by the Zeon in the One Year War. Reccoa tells Emma that Colony 30 is the reason AEUG is fighting, but unfortunately they don't have the resources to fight a full-scale war. She says the AEUG is going to attack the Titans Earth headquarters at Jaburo, and Emma realizes that Reccoa is going to infiltrate the base. The next day, Kamille comes to talk to Reccoa as she prepares to launch in a Hohsenka shuttle. She tells him that he has to prepare himself because he's going to get dragged into war. The Hohsenka then launches and heads for Earth.

 

On the Alexandria, Lila and the other Federation Forces soldiers ridicule Jerid for his performance in battle. Jamaican begins his briefing and explains that the Argama is heading for Earth to attack Jaburo. Because of that, their mission is to prevent the AEUG forces from descending into the atmosphere. After the meeting, Jerid tries to punch Lila for mocking him, but she dodges his punch and kicks him in the face. She tells him that his skills won't cut it in space, so he grabs her and asks her to teach him. She tells him that if he can't even control his own body, he can't control a mobile suit and fight in space. Jerid follows Lila to her Galbaldy Beta, and she tells him to think about why he was beaten by the Mk II. Elsewhere, the Argama receives supplies from other ships for the Jaburo operations. Blex shows Emma the Mk II's Flying Armor and tells her he's going to ask the Sides and the Moon for help because the AEUG is short on equipment. The ship receives a distress call from the shuttle Temptation, which is captained by Bright. Kamille is ordered to rescue the Temptation and help Char while he tests his new mobile suit, the Hyaku-Shiki. The massive Mega Bazooka Launcher is sent out, and Char grabs hold of it with the Hyaku-Shiki. Kamille launches in the Mk II, and he and Char proceed to the Temptation's coordinates. When they arrive, they are attacked by the mobile armor Messala, piloted by Paptimus Scirocco. Char fires the Mega Bazooka Launcher at the Messala, but Scirocco dodges and escapes. Afterwards, Bright informs the passengers, including Fa, that they've been rescued by the AEUG. After returning, Kamille goes over to where the Temptation's passengers are unloading and sees Bright talking to Henken, Char and Blex. Bright agrees to become captain of the Argama. Kamille introduces himself to Bright, and Fa rushes to Kamille and hugs him. She tells him that her parents are being held hostage because she knows him. Char tells Bright that Titans leader Jamitov Hymem is rumored to be a Jaburo, so the AEUG plan to attack. On Earth, Amuro Ray flies a plane over the Cheyenne training academy. When he lands at the airstrip next to his home, he's greeted by a pregnant Fraw Kobayashi and her adopted children Kikka, Katz and Letz. Inside the mansion, Fraw tells Amuro that he should stop moping around and marry Sayla Mass. Letz asks Amuro why he isn't going to Jaburo, and Amuro writes a note that says they're all being watched by his servants. Char asks Bright if he's worried about his family getting kidnapped by the Titans, but Bright thinks that his wife Mirai will be fine since she was the White Base's helmsman during the One Year War. Fa visits Kamille and tells him he shouldn't be a soldier. He says he can't help but fight after seeing what the Titans do. She yells that she can't bear to see him go off and die entering the atmosphere. Scirocco docks with the Hario, and its captain agrees to help with repairs and introduce Scirocco to Bask. On Earth, Katz tells Amuro that his stepfather Hayato is fighting the Titans by joining AEUG's Earth-based sister group Karaba. Katz asks Amuro why he doesn't join Karaba and accuses him of enjoying an easy life. Fraw tells Katz that Amuro's under watch because the Federation thinks Newtypes are dangerous. Katz says that the Federation is doing what the Titans say, and Amuro says he already fought in enough battles during the One Year War. Katz then storms off, and Fraw apologizes for his behavior.

 

In space, the AEUG fleet gathers to begin its assault on Jaburo. Char launches in the Hyaku-Shiki, followed by Kamille in the Mk II and Emma, Apolly and Roberto in Rick Diases. Nearby, the Titans fleet begins to send out its forces. Lila launches from the Bosnia in her Galbaldy Beta, and Jerid and Kacricon launch from the Alexandria in their new Marasais. Kacricon tells Jerid not to think about women now, and Jerid answers that he isn't that obsessed with Lila. Scirocco joins the battlefield in the Messala and destroys an AEUG ship. Emma breaks formation to engage Scirocco, and Char orders Kamille to join her because he can't leave the formation yet. As Kamille heads for Emma's position, he's attacked by Lila. He relentlessly attacks her and tells her she's going to die. He fires his vulcans from up close, and Lila pulls out her beam saber. Kamille pulls back a bit and fires his beam rifle right through Lila's cockpit. Scirocco transforms the Messala into a mobile suit and blows off Emma's right arm. Char orders Kamille to return to the front to intercept the Titans' second wave, and he tells Emma to retreat to the Argama. Kacricon and Jerid destroy several GM IIs, and Jerid wonders where Lila is. Char slices a Hizack in half and deploys his ballute to enter the atmosphere. Jerid and Kacricon chase Kamille deep into the atmosphere. Jerid tells Kacricon he isn't going any farther and deploys his ballute. Kacricon continues his pursuit and flies under Kamille, but he ballute automatically deploys. The tip of Kamille's Flying Armor destroys Kacricon's ballute, and Kacricon thinks of his girlfriend Amelia before he burns up and explodes. Kamille blasts more Titan mobile suits, and Jerid vows he will avenge Lila and Kacricon. The AEUG forces successfully enter the atmosphere over Jaburo. The Federation Forces respond by launching old mobile suits and fighters that are no match for the AEUG's mobile suits. Inside Jaburo, Reccoa is held captive alongside former Guncannon pilot-turned-journalist Kai Shiden. They both notice that the base is being evacuated. Jerid attacks Kamille and repeatedly asks him where Lila is. Kamille escapes and enters the base with Char. Jerid asks a Federation officer how the base can fall so easily, and the officer tells him that all Titans were ordered to return to space. Kamille has a Newtype reaction and senses Reccoa and Kai calling out to him. Nearby, a Federation soldier tells Apolly that a nuclear bomb was buried underneath the base and will detonate in less than an hour. Jerid spots Kamille and attacks, losing an arm in the process. The two fire at each other, and their blasts hit each other and set off an explosion. Kamille is knocked away, and Jerid ejects from his Marasai before it explodes. Outside, the AEUG forces prepare to evacuate the captured Federation soldiers on the transport plane Audhumla. Char goes back inside Jaburo to search for Kamille, and inside Kamille rescues Reccoa and Kai. Jerid attempts to force his way onto a crowded shuttle and is saved by a woman named Mouar Pharaoh. Kamille and Char return to the Audhumla and are attacked by several Hizacks. They manage to board the plane as it takes off. As the plane ascends, the nuclear bomb explodes and annihilates Jaburo.

 

At an airport, Amuro says goodbye to Fraw, Kikka and Letz as they board an airplane to Japan. He and Katz then escape through the bathroom and hijack a cargo plane. In the air, Hayato approaches the Audhumla and transfers over. He tells Char that they will soon be passing over Texas, and that the Oakland Newtype Lab has officially become part of the Titans. Char and Hayato discuss splitting up their forces and having some pilots board the Sudori to return to space and help Bright chase down the Titans who escaped from Jaburo. Kai takes Hayato aside and asks him if he's really going to fight with Char. Kamille overhears their conversation and learns who "Quattro" really is. In the air, Cyber Newtype Rosamia Badam leads a squad of Act Zakus with her mobile armor Gaplant. The Gaplant attacks the Audhumla, and Char orders Kamille to provide fire from the deck. Nearby, Buran Blutarch launches from a Garuda class plane in his mobile armor Asshimar and prepares to join the attack on the AEUG. Char engages Rosamia, and Kamille decides to launch when a Rick Dias is damaged. He attacks Rosamia and jumps off of his Dodai Kai to land on the Gaplant. Just as he is about to make a killing blow, Rosamia transforms the Gaplant into a mobile suit and knocks Kamille aside. Kamille dodges her attack and returns to his Dodai Kai. Rosamia chases after Kamille, but Char attacks Rosamia and forces her to fall back. Buran calls Rosamia and tells her she did poorly. He orders her to join with his forces as he moves in to attack. Kamille and Char both fire at Buran, but he dodges their attacks and transforms the Asshimar to mobile suit mode. Kamille damages the Asshimar's monoeye with shot ammo from his bazooka, but Buran continues his attack. Char is momentarily distracted by Amuro's cargo plane, allowing Buran to punch the Hyaku-Shiki. Katz escapes on a homoavis glider, and Amuro presses forward. Buran attempts to destroy the Audhumla's bridge so that he can capture the vessel, but suddenly Amuro slams his plane into the Asshimar. As the plane breaks into pieces, the cockpit falls away. The glass canopy breaks apart, and Amuro jumps out and opens his parachute. Buran breaks free of the plane and retreats. Kamille moves in with the Mk II and rescues Amuro. Char brings the Hyaku-Shiki close to the Mk II and gets out of the cockpit. As Amuro and Char glare at each other, Kamille recalls that they were rivals during the One Year War.

 

Commentary

 

It's not too often that you'll see a compilation movie come out exactly 20 years after the TV series its based on. Tomino's own compilation movies for Mobile Suit Gundam and Turn A Gundam were made soon after the TV series ended. Luckily, Zeta Gundam holds up very well after 20 years. Also, this compilation movie isn't rushed like Turn A Gundam, which crammed 50 episodes into only two movies. As a film, Heirs to the Stars stands on its own, and you could probably watch it right after Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space without missing a beat. One of the most talked about features of this compilation trilogy is the new animation. There is probably about 20 minutes of brand new animation mixed in with footage from 1985. This may sound like it wouldn't work, but transitions are remarkably smooth. The new animation is outstanding, especially the last 10 or so minutes during the air battle with Rosamia and Buran. It'd have been nice if the entire movie was new animation, but we'll have to settle for this. In terms of story, there are some significant changes from the TV series. The movie opens with Char and takes a few minutes to introduce Kamille. Kamille's imprisonment on the Alexandria has been cut, thus combining the battles from episodes 3 and 5 into one large battle. Also, the Argama never visits Colony 30, but instead Emma watches a video of the colony, which conveys the same message. Because of that change, Lila lives and is instead killed during the atmospheric re-entry battle. I think that change works better for Jerid, because he suffers the shock of losing two comrades at the same time. The Moon episodes immediately preceding Jaburo are also gone, along with the Audhumla's visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Instead, the Audhumla stays in the air the whole time, and the two battles from episodes 13-14 are combined into one. In the end, the old and new elements combine to create a film that's highly enjoyable, whether you're a longtime Gundam fan or watching Zeta for the first time.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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