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Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: April 1, 2000
New Review: October 12, 2020

 

Summary

 

The White Base breaks free of Earth’s atmosphere and begins broadcasting Minovsky particles at combat density when it picks up the Zanzibar in pursuit. Sayla is sure that Char is on that ship, and Bright orders her to launch in the Core Booster. Bright then has Mirai alter course so that it looks like the ship is heading for the Moon. On the Zanzibar, Char is shown the White Base’s projected course, but he thinks it’s a decoy and that the main EFF fleet is launching from Jaburo. Char asks about Zeon ships in the area and is connected to Camel fleet commander Dren on the Falmer. Char asks Dren’s fleet to intercept the White Base, and Dren comments that Char is best suited to being in space. Kai and Hayato launch in Guncannons, followed by Amuro in the Gundam. Sayla thinks about her encounter with Char at Jaburo before she and Sleggar’s Core Boosters launch. A subordinate tells Dren he should put on a normal suit, but as commander he refuses to do that first and scare his men. The Camel fleet approaches the White Base and launches multiple Rick Doms. Char thinks about his run-in with Sayla and how he was surprised to see her in an EFF uniform when she hated violence more than anyone. Sleggar opens fire on the incoming enemies too soon, and a Rick Dom lands a hit on Kai. Hayato gives him support fire, and Sayla destroys a Rick Dom before turning back to cover the White Base. Mirai conducts a hard starboard turn to avoid enemy fire, and the White Base fires its mega particle cannons to destroy the turrets on one of the Musais. Dren issues orders to the Camel and Swamel and is informed that their Rick Dom pilots don’t see the Gundam anywhere. Dren wonders where the Gundam could be and is informed that an object is approaching from above them at high speed. With several beam rifle blasts, Amuro destroys the Swamel and then the Falmer, killing Dren. Oscar informs Bright that the Zanzibar will be within firing range in 30 seconds, but Mirai doesn’t think Char will attack when he sees how well they’re fighting. Bright orders aft missiles to be fired to cover the White Base’s retreat. Amuro heads to the bridge and asks if they’re heading for Solomon or Granada next, but Bright will only say they’re heading to Side 6. The mention of Side 6 gets Mirai’s attention, and Bright explains it’s a decoy operation to buy time because Side 6 is neutral and combat is prohibited. Sleggar comments that they’re basically on leave until the next operation, but Kai teases him that he could spend more time in the Core Booster simulator. Bright asks Mirai if there’s a problem, but she answers that there isn’t one and changes course for Side 6. Bright recalls that Mirai has a fiance who lives in Side 6 and tells himself he wouldn’t go there if not for their orders. At the space fortress Solomon, Dozle dispatches the Conscon Fleet with the mission to prove to Kycilia that Char was incompetent. Elsewhere, the White Base enters the neutral space of Side 6 to evade Char’s pursuit. Cameron Bloom, the Side’s district attorney, boards the ship and explains to Bright that seals have been placed on all the ship’s weapons, and breaking any of them results in a fine. Bright asks about resupplying the ship, and Cameron states that no war-related cooperation is allowed. Bright then escorts him to the bridge, where Cameron is shocked to see Mirai, his fiance. Cameron is glad that she’s alive, but Bright breaks up the reunion since the ship is in the middle of docking in the colony. 

 

After docking, Cameron tells Mirai that he never expected to see her again. He states that he spent lots of money having men search for her, but she’s disappointed he didn’t make the effort himself. Cameron tries to explain that this happened just when he emigrated to Side 6, and Mirai concludes that their engagement is nothing more than something arranged by their parents. Cameron wants Mirai to be with him, but she feels overwhelmed by his approach. Sleggar then floats by and removes Cameron’s glasses before punching him in the face. Sleggar tells Cameron to leave Mirai alone, and Cameron realizes he may be trying too hard to win Mirai back. Amuro heads into the colony with Fraw and the kids on shore leave, and he’s surprised when he spots Tem in a bookstore. He sees Tem getting on a bus and chases it on foot until it reaches the stop where Tem gets off. Tem greets his son and asks if the Gundam is working well. Amuro follows Tem back to his house at a junkyard. Tem gives Amuro a part to install in the Gundam, but Amuro sees that it’s junk and wonders if his father is suffering from oxygen deprivation syndrome. Amuro asks Tem how he’s doing, and Tem answers that he’s busy with his research. Amuro mentions that he saw Kamaria on Earth and asks if he still cares about her, and Tem responds that they’ll all be reunited once the war is over. Amuro leaves and cries as he tosses away the junk part. Bright finds Mirai stitching one of his shirts on the bridge and mentions how the Side 6 government is nervous about the White Base’s presence. He asks if she’s going on shore leave and mentions Cameron, but Mirai answers that she can’t stand Cameron’s belief that the war doesn’t concern him. Amuro drives through the colony and gets caught by scheduled rain, so he pulls over to a house by a lake to seek cover. He hears a voice and walks around the corner and finds a young woman. She comments that it’s sad that the swan flying by them will grow old and die some day. The rain stops, and the woman tells Amuro that he has pretty eyes before she runs off to the lake. Amuro visits Tem again and lies about installing the junk part in the Gundam. Tem is pleased and boasts that he’s going to create new inventions. Amuro silently says goodbye to Tem and drives off. He drives through a muddy path and gets his buggy stuck, so he flags down a car passing by. Char exits from the passenger side, and the young woman, Lalah Sune, exits from the driver’s side. Char tells Lalah that they’ll have to tow the car out. Amuro awkwardly introduces himself, and Char mentions that he’s heard that name before. Char attaches a towing cable to Amuro’s buggy, and Lalah accelerates to pull the buggy out of the mud. Amuro asks Char for his name and wonders how he recognized him even though they just met. Amuro awkwardly thanks Char for his help before quickly driving off. Later, Bright conducts a briefing on the bridge and gets a visit from Cameron, who explains that the Conscon Fleet is after them and might attack while they’re still in Side 6’s airspace. He offers to escort them with his private space boat and act as their shield, but Mirai asks what he thinks he’s doing. She angrily tells him not to interfere and try to prove his usefulness to them. She complains that he wasn’t there when she needed him, and Sleggar slaps her in the face. He tells her that Cameron is serious and that a stray missile could kill him, but he also criticizes Cameron for not being more assertive. Bright asks if Cameron is still willing to escort them, and Mirai relents.

 

The White Base departs the colony, escorted by Cameron’s Hulke space boat. Conscon is informed that the White Base is departing Side 6 airspace, so he orders the Rick Doms to launch. Bright orders the crew to hold their fire within Side 6 airspace, even if fired upon. Rick Doms fly closely by the ship as an intimidation tactic. Bright tells Cameron that he’s come far enough, but Cameron wants to stay with them until they reach the perimeter. Mirai cuts in tells Cameron that he’s proved himself to her and should go back. Cameron has the Hulke pull back next to the White Base’s bridge so he can see Mirai one last time. Bright has the ship fire its mega particle cannons on a Musai the second they depart Side 6’s airspace. A TV Space Boat arrives and films the battle, broadcasting it live on TV. Tem watches the battle on TV and complains about not seeing enough of the Gundam. Amuro is attacked by four Rick Doms and destroys them all. Char and Lalah watch the battle on TV, and he asks if she’s heard from the Flanagan Institute. Lalah declares that the Gundam will win, and Char notes that they aren’t even showing it on TV. Amuro scores a total of nine Rick Dom kills, and Conscon is shocked to hear they’ve lost 12 suits in less than three minutes of combat. The Gundam then closes in and uses its beam saber to destroy Conscon’s Chibe cruiser. Char compliments Lalah on her perceptiveness and comments that the Gundam pilot’s Newtype skills have started to awaken. Tem cheers for the Gundam’s victory and trips and falls down the stairs. Cameron cries as he returns to Side 6 and hopes that Mirai survives the war. On a video call, Gihren comments that the EFF will likely attack Solomon next, but he doesn’t think that will be a problem with Newtype soldiers. Kycilia offers to send reinforcements from Granada, but Dozle wants Gihren to send reinforcements from A Baoa Qu. Gihren tells Dozle that he’ll get his reinforcements, plus the new mobile armor Big-Zam. Dozle tells Gihren he should have a plan to win before being arrogant, but Gihren shifts all the blame to their father’s stubbornness. After the call ends, Gihren tells himself that the Solar Ray can be used in many ways. Degwin meets with Prime Minister Darcia Bakharov to discuss ways to end the war, but Bakharov notes that Gihren controls the Assembly. Degwin asks what would happen if a peace offer appeared, and Bakharov thinks it would buy him some time. The White Base arrives at the abandoned Texas Colony in Side 5, which was originally used for tourism and raising livestock. Due to its abandonment, the colony’s mirrors no longer function and it has become a barely habitable wasteland. Mirai informs Bright that they have three hours until their rendezvous with Wakkein’s fleet. Char rides in a wagon with Lalah and Dr. Flanagan, who reports that he needs more time to adjust the Elmeth’s psycommu system. Char tells him that Kycilia wants the mobile armor in action, and if it isn’t ready in time it won’t be of much use. Lalah feels something and assumes it’s Char trying to touch her mind. Amuro enters the colony via one of the space gates. Char wants to return to the Zanzibar and asks Lalah if what she felt earlier was the enemy drawing near. Lalah answers that if felt gentle, like Char, and he asks if she’ll be able to fight for the Zeon after reading the enemy’s intentions. Lalah responds that she wants to protect Char, and he says all that he loves about her are her abilities. Char decides to launch in his new Gelgoog and conduct a field test of its abilities. Amuro opens the inner gate to the colony and sets off booby trapped explosives, and Lalah senses his presence again. Mulligan asks Char to wear a normal suit, but Char states that his policy is to always launch assuming that he’ll return. Amuro tries to navigate through a floating minefield but sets off several mines before landing on the ground. Char launches in his Gelgoog, followed by Lalah in a car. Amuro sets off more mines on the ground and senses Char’s presence in time to dodge a shot from above. Amuro and Char trade fire in midair while Lalah pulls up to a hillside to watch their fight.

 

Amuro hides behind a large rock formation and fires when he spots Char. In response, Char attacks with his naginata while Amuro defends with his beam saber. Lalah thinks that what she feels now is similar to what she felt before. Char sees that Amuro is about to jump into a minefield, so he rushes to Lalah’s position to shield her from the blast. A large explosion breaches the colony wall, and Amuro struggles to prevent being sucked into space. Amuro feels like someone is watching him, and Char tells Lalah to return to the Zanzibar. Following the explosion, Kai and Hayato launch in their Guncannons and enter the colony. Bright also has the White Base enter the colony in the event of enemy reinforcements arriving. Char sets off a dummy explosion, but he doubts that it will fool anyone. Bright orders Hayato and Kai to check the other bay block and warns them that there might be an enemy ship. He then dispatches Sayla, Job, Omur, Kimura and Rohl in buggies to search for Amuro. Bright puts on a headset to monitor the comm traffic from the buggies. Sayla spots someone on horseback and drives over. Char pulls out his gun and sees that it’s Sayla. He reminds Sayla that he told her to quit the EFF, and she notes that he left her to avenge their father. Bright listens to Sayla’s side of the conversation and wonders who she’s talking to. Char explains that Jimba Ral told them as kids that Degwin was the one who arranged for the heart attack that killed their father, Zeon Zum Deikun. Afterward, Degwin named the Principality after Zeon in order to avoid drawing suspicion of assassinating him. He also accuses Degwin of twisting their father’s beliefs about spacenoid independence to position the Zabis as Newtype elites. Sayla counters that people began changing even before the war, but Char believes that some don’t understand and that Oldtypes will be destroyed. Sayla thinks that Newtypes spring forth from Oldtypes and that not everything that’s old is necessarily bad. Char doesn’t disagree, but he states that the system is making Newtypes into his enemies and they’re blocking his quest to kill the Zabis. Sayla mentions that Amuro would understand, but Char counters that one pilot can’t change the system when his Newtype abilities are just being used for war. Sayla asks Char what he’s trying to do, and he vows that he’ll avenge their father. Sayla says that Char can’t create a world dominated by Newtypes, but he answers that he only wants to let Newtypes live as Newtypes. He asks her again to leave the military and says there’s enough gold left for her to return to Earth. He then tells her that the reason he wears his mask is because as Char he has abandoned his past as Casval. Char then leaves on his horse, with Sayla briefly giving chase on foot. Mirai asks Bright if anything is wrong, but he lies and says the static is bad. Char rendezvous with Mulligan, who informs him that they’ve spotted the White Base. The White Base then launches from the bay the Zanzibar was docked in, and Kai catches a briefcase launched from the Zanzibar. Bright summons Sayla to his office and tells her that the briefcase came with a letter addressed to her. Bright asks what’s going on, and Sayla explains that the briefcase is probably full of gold, and that the letter was written by Char. Bright can’t believe it, and Sayla cries in her quarters after reading the letter. At Solomon, an officer named La Coque reports to Dozle that Kycilia is sending reinforcements from Granada. Dozle asks for an update on the Solar Ray, and La Coque reports that Degwin is having second thoughts about using it. The White Base rendezvous with Wakkein’s fleet after it passes the wreckage of Side 4 to approach Solomon. The EFF initiates its attack on Solomon, with battleships laying down barrages of missiles and mobile suits from both sides intercepting each other. Dozle leaves the command center to visit his wife Zenna and their newborn daughter, Mineva. He wants the women to standby at Escape Boats, but he reassures Zenna that Solomon won’t fall. Hayato is injured during battle but declares that he won’t die. Elsewhere, the Tianem fleet positions mirrors in the ruins of Side 1 as part of its Solar System weapon. La Coque informs Dozle that they’ve spotted the Tianem fleet, and Dozle dispatches ships to attack.  The Solar System’s mirrors focus sunlight to create a massive energy attack that destroys Solomon’s space gate. Hayato is taken to the infirmary, and Fraw tends to his wounds due to the high number of casualties. Hayato hates that he was the one who got injured, but Fraw tells him he did a great job. He doesn’t want her pity and says all he ever wanted was to be better than Amuro. Fraw responds that Amuro is different and not like the rest of them. 

 

Char orders the Zanzibar to maximum combat speed so they can reinforce Solomon. Dozle tells Zenna to get on an Escape Boat and go to Granada, and he insists again that Solomon won’t fall. He tells Zenna to raise Mineva to be a strong girl, and he vows that he won’t die. Sleggar is forced to return to the White Base after his Core Fighter is damaged in combat. Bright notices that Mirai seems worried, but she says nothing is wrong. He breaks rules by privately communicating to her normal suit helmet and observing that she seems distant. He tells Mirai that he could be the one to care for her, but he knows she has feelings for Sleggar and is willing to wait. He then calls for relief at Mirai’s station with the lie that she’s not feeling well. Mirai finds Sleggar in the pilot ready room and is relieved that he isn’t injured. He gets a call that his Core Booster is ready, and he tells Mirai that they won’t work. Mirai asks him to come back safely to her, and he responds that people feel lots of things when they’re young and that she shouldn’t take things so seriously. He tells Mirai that he’s not the kind of man who could accept what she has to give because they live in different worlds. He gives Mirai a ring that was a keepsake from his mother, and he asks her to take care of it for him. An explosion knocks them closer together, and they kiss. Elsewhere, Kycilia dispatches a reinforcement fleet from Granada, but it won’t reach Solomon in time. Inside Solomon, GMs and Balls are destroyed in large numbers by Dozle’s massive mobile armor, Big-Zam. Amuro spots the Big-Zam and follows it out of Solomon into open space. The Big-Zam destroys a Salamis, and Amuro notices that beams are bouncing off the Big-Zam. Dozle realizes that Solomon is a lost cause and tells his two copilots to leave the piloting to him. Amuro and Sleggar chase after Dozle as he charges toward the EFF fleet and unleashes a massive beam attack. Dozle boasts that a mass produced Big-Zam will destroy the EFF, and Amuro tells Sleggar they have to figure out how to beat the beam barrier. Dozle deploys defenses against Sleggar and severely damages the Core Booster, so Sleggar performs a kamikaze attack and crashes into the Big-Zam. Amuro then gets close enough to cut into the Big-Zam’s armor with his beam saber, forcing Dozle to abandon the mobile armor. Driven by rage, Dozle fires a handheld machine gun at Amuro. Amuro sees a visual manifestation of Dozle’s hate emanating from him, but then the Big-Zam explodes and kills him. M’Quve’s Gwazine picks up Zenna and Mineva, and Zenna cries over the fall of Solomon and Dozle’s death. After the battle, Amuro tells Mirai about Sleggar’s death, and she leaves the bridge in tears. At Zum City, Gihren reports to Degwin that Kycilia’s Newtype unit will soon be in combat. Gihren only wants to use the Newtype unit as propaganda, and Degwin accuses him of being an incompetent soldier for wanting to utilize the massive Solar Ray. Gihren points to a computer display of a battle map and states that they can destroy the EFF fleet with the Solar Ray, a converted colony laser. Degwin asks what they do after winning the war, and Gihren answers that they need to deal with the overpopulation problem by ensuring that only those who are worthy be allowed to live. Gihren thinks it’s easier to control a smaller population, and Degwin comments that Gihren is following in Adolf Hitler’s footsteps. Gihren rails against the Earth Federation’s democracy as the cause of the current situation, and he vows to win the war. Degwin wonders what Kycilia is up to and notes that many of Hitler’s followers turned on him.

 

Revil arrives at Solomon, which has now been renamed Confeito. He meets with other officers to discuss Zeon propaganda about Newtypes, which Revil believes is meant to distract from how exhausted their forces are. One of the officers points to the victories of the White Base and the Gundam, and Revil complains of feeling a headache. In the space outside Confeito, multiple EFF suits and ships are mysteriously destroyed. Nearby, Lalah pilots the Newtype mobile armor Elmeth and directs the attacks against Confeito. Mirai feels a headache, and Bright wonders if she’s sensing what is about to happen. Sayla feels someone calling to her, and Amuro has a strange feeling as well. Bright tells Sayla that he trusts her but wants her to keep her personal feelings out of things, and she tells him she feels something strange. More ships are destroyed around the White Base as Amuro and Sayla launch. Amuro feels something calling to him and sees strange lights and a vision of Lalah. Lalah tells Char that her head hurts, so he decides to pull back. Later, Sayla meets with Bright to clear up his misunderstandings about Char. She explains that Char is her big brother, and Bright asks if she’s leaving the ship. Sayla answers that she’s grown too attached to the crew, and that Char is a monster now and not the Casval she knew. She then reveals that she and Char are really the children of Zeon Deikun. Sayla tells Bright that she wants to give her gold to the rest of the crew, and Bright tells her that she’s picked a difficult path. Char and Lalah meet with Kycilia, and Kycilia tells Char to take command of her assault forces. Degwin decides to stop Gihren by taking off in his flagship, the Great Degwin, and personally reaching out to the EFF. Gihren believes that Degwin is too late to accomplish anything, and he’s informed that the Solar Ray is operational. Kycilia meets privately with Char to discuss the war situation, and he takes off his helmet and mask. Kycilia comments that he resembles his father, and Char says that he knew this day would come when she called him back into service. Kycilia comments that she laughed when she found out who Char really was, but then she seriously asks if he’s given up his quest for revenge against her family. Char answers that he felt empty after killing Garma and now wants to create the Newtype age that his father predicted. The White Base bridge crew reviews the available information on the Elmeth, nicknamed the Tricorn Hat. Bright wonders how they can fight something that can destroy them before they ever detect it. Kai complains about being cannon fodder for the EFF. Char tells Lalah that she’ll be in command of the next operation because she’s better than he is. He kisses her, and she asks him to wear a normal suit in battle, which he reluctantly agrees to. Kycilia’s fleet opens fire to provide cover for Char’s Zanzibar

 

The EFF returns fire, and Amuro has a strange feeling again after launching. He comes under fire and is able to see the Elmeth’s remote controlled bits. Amuro is able to predict their movements and destroy several of them before detecting the Elmeth. Lalah attacks Amuro directly and destroys his beam rifle. He senses her presence as he uses his beam saber to destroy more bits. Lalah tells Amuro that he’s too powerful and that Char will die if she doesn’t defeat him. She declares that Amuro appeared to her too late, and she asks what he’s fighting for when he has no home or family to protect. Amuro asks if it’s wrong to fight when you have nothing to fight for, and Lalah answers that it’s unnatural. Lalah declares that she fights for Char because he saved her. Amuro asks what their meeting means, and Lalah answers that she met Amuro too late, so nothing can come of their meeting. Amuro tells her that she has to accept that this is happening, but she answers that even if she does, nothing will come of it. She repeats that she met Amuro too late, and he notes that he met Lalah too early. Char charges in with his Gelgoog and tells Lalah to stop playing around with the Gundam. Char attacks Amuro directly, and Sayla tries to tell him to stop. She flies the Core Booster in between them, and a last second warning from Lalah stops Char from killing Sayla with his naginata. Amuro then slices off the Gelgoog’s right arm and prepares to make the killing blow. At the last second, the Elmeth pushes the Gelgoog aside and takes the hit from Amuro’s beam saber. Amuro hears Lalah’s voice telling him that people are changing and will become like them. Lalah tells Amuro that she can see time now. The Elmeth explodes, and Amuro realizes he’s done something he can never make right. Amuro cries over killing Lalah, and Char also cries as he retreats. Kycilia is displeased with Char’s performance and wonders if she overestimated him. Kycilia is informed that Gihren plans to fire the Solar Ray in 30 minutes, so she wonders what he’s up to. Elsewhere, Revil’s fleet gathers to initiate Operation Star One and attack A Baoa Qu. Revil is informed that Degwin has personally come to negotiate peace terms. The Great Degwin rendezvous with Revil’s ship, but at that moment, the Solar Ray fires. Amuro runs to the bridge of the White Base and tells them to stay back because he feels an immense light filled with hatred. The Solar Ray’s blast destroys a large portion of the EFF fleet, killing Revil and Degwin in the process. Kycilia is informed that the Great Degwin's IFF code was identified in the same vicinity of the EFF fleet that was hit by the Solar Ray. Damaged EFF ships gather around the White Base amidst the conduction of the attack. Amuro thinks the Zeon used something similar to the Solar System. At A Baoa Qu, Gihren boasts to Zeon soldiers that they’ve destroyed half of the EFF main fleet, so a weakened foe like that can’t defeat them. He declares that the Zeon must make the EFF pay for what they’ve done, which causes the soldiers to erupt in cheers. The remains of the EFF main fleet decide to proceed with the attack, and Amuro says he Newtype intuition tells him everything will be fine because A Baoa Qu is Zeon’s most fragile area.

 

Operation Star One officially begins, and Amuro tells Fraw not to give up. As Amuro leaves, Hayato approaches Fraw to talk to her. Kai asks Amuro in the elevator if what he said was true, but Amuro answers that it wasn’t. Sayla comments that everyone might’ve deserted out of fear if Amuro didn’t say what he did. The EFF fleet opens fire on A Baoa Qu, and Gihren is annoyed by how well they’re doing even after losing so many ships. Kycilia and Char take a Launch to A Baoa Qu, and he complains about there not being a Gelgoog left for him. She tells him he can use the incomplete Zeong, which has a control system similar to the Elmeth. Kycilia goes to the command center and reports that the Zeong is being deployed against the Gundam. She asks where the Great Degwin is, and Gihren comments that it went too far ahead and was destroyed. She asks if Degwin transferred command to someone else, and he comments that she’s not being very subtle. He asks if she really thinks Degwin would give his ship to someone else, and when she answers no, he says that’s her answer. Zeon and EFF mobile suits engage in fierce combat against each other. Char complains to Rio Marini about the Zeong being only 80 percent complete, and Marini tells him it’s 100 percent combat ready. Char notes that it lacks legs, and Marini dismisses them as being just for show. Char asks if he can use the Zeong, and Marini answers that he can’t make any guarantees because Char’s Newtype levels are unknown. Gihren is impressed by the performance of the super carrier Dolos and is convinced that the EFF can’t win. Kycilia tells Char to attack a new fleet that has appeared in the S field. Char launches in the Zeon and leads a mobile suit team in attacking the EFF fleet. Char wonders where the Gundam is and detects Amuro’s presence. Amuro opens fire on the Zeong and realizes that his real enemy is inside A Baoa Qu. Kycilia comes up behind Gihren and asks why Degwin was with the EFF fleet. Gihren explains that mistimed peace negotiations would’ve accomplished anything right now. Kycilia shoots Gihren in the head and tells the soldiers in the command center that even Gihren can’t get away with killing his father. Kycilia then assumes command and asks for updates on the situation in N and S fields. Kai and Hayato get close to the space fortress, and Sayla destroys a Gelgoog. Bright notices that Zeon defenses seemed to weaken for a moment, and Mirai thinks something must’ve happened. GMs and Balls break through into the space fortress, and Char finds Amuro. Kycilia asks Twanning why their mobile suits are performing so poorly, and he answers that most of the pilots are trainees. Kycilia laments that Gihren didn’t really believe in Newtypes. Amuro destroys a Zaku and comes under fire from Char’s all-range attacks. Kai and Hayato attack a gate, and Amuro gets in close enough so that Char can’t do an all-range attack. Amuro asks Char why he dragged Lalah into this and sent her out to fight. Char fires at Amuro and destroys the Gundam’s left arm. He falls back as he puts on a normal suit and wonders how he can defeat a Newtype like Amuro. One of the White Base’s engines is destroyed, and Mirai performs a crash landing on the surface of A Baoa Qu. The ship immediately becomes a target for the Zeon, so Kai and Hayato return to defend the ship. Amuro senses more all-range attacks and dodges them. He lands a shot on the Zeong’s torso, but Char ejects in the head and destroys the Gundam’s head.

 

Kycilia whispers to Twanning that he’s to surrender to the EFF 15 minutes after she escapes. She says that Zeon still has forces in Granada and the homeland, and the principality won’t die as long as she lives. Twanning asks what will happen to him, and Kycilia tells him he can come home when both sides exchange POWs. Zeon forces press their attack on the White Base, and Amuro penetrates the interior of A Baoa Qu. Amuro knows that Char is nearby, so he abandons the Gundam and leaves it on autopilot. The Gundam jumps down into a pit, and its learning computer fires the beam rifle up the shaft where the Zeong’s head was hiding. The Gundam is further damaged by the Zeong’s attack, but Char is also forced to abandon the Zeong’s cockpit. Char thinks that Amuro should be grateful if Lalah gave him his power, but Amuro blames him for dragging her into the war. Char counters that Lalah’s abilities would never have awakened if not for the war. Char comments that Amuro is too dangerous to be left alone because he’s shown what a true Newtype is. Char declares that he has to kill Amuro, so the two briefly shoot at each other before Char escapes. Hayato and Kai are forced to abandon their Guncannons after each suffers heavy damage. Sayla ejects from the damaged Core Booster and heads inside A Baoa Qu when she feels something strange. She heads into a room filled with ancient weapons and finds Amuro and Char fighting with fencing sabers. Amuro presumes that Char lured him into this room because even if his mind is more powerful as a Newtype, it doesn’t mean his body is as well. Sayla pleads with Amuro and Char to stop fighting, but they don’t listen. Char stabs Amuro in his right arm, and Amuro’s saber pierces Char’s helmet and injures his forehead. Char then slams into Amuro, causing his saber to break with a large piece still piercing Amuro’s arm. Amuro notes that Lalah said Newtypes shouldn’t be used as tools for killing each other, but Char says that’s exactly what’s happening. Sayla pleads again for them to stop, and a nearby explosion knocks her toward them. She tells Char not to kill Amuro, but he argues that Amuro killed Lalah, so she notes that they’re both responsible. Char then asks Amuro to join him and says that Lalah would want it that way. Another explosion pushes Amuro out of the room, and Char saves Sayla from being consumed by fire. More explosions prevent Amuro from returning to the room, so he removes the piece of broken saber jammed in his arm and applies a bandage to seal his normal suit. Char finds injured Twanning in a corridor, and the dying man asks him to protect Kycilia. Char takes Twanning’s helmet and a bazooka and tells Sayla she should escape. Char tells Sayla that Amuro is calling to her and then flies away with his jetpack. He reaches the port and finds Kycilia preparing to escape in a Zanzibar. As the ship takes off, Char fires the bazooka at the bridge and beheads Kycilia. The ship then explodes as it crashes in the port. Sayla wanders through the corridors and doesn’t know how to get out. Explosions push Amuro back to the pit where he abandoned the damaged Gundam, and he ejects the damaged torso to access the Core Fighter. Amuro wonders if he should go to where Lalah is, and she tells him they can enjoy themselves anytime. Amuro then sees everyone in the White Base crew, and he telepathically reaches out to Sayla. She tells him she doesn’t know where she is, but he gives her directions to escape. Amuro then contacts Bright telepathically and tells him everyone will die if they don’t abandon ship. He tells the same thing to Mirai, and she prepares the Space Launches for evacuation. Fraw and the kids are pinned down by gunfire, but he tells her when it’s safe to go. Amuro contacts Kai and Hayato and tells them to abandon their position. Sayla escapes from A Baoa Qu just as the crew evacuates in Space Launches. The White Base is destroyed by large explosions just after the departure of the Space Launches. Bright sees that they all would’ve died without Amuro warning them. Sayla asks where Amuro is, and Bright tells her that her Newtype abilities should help her find Amuro. The kids reach out to Amuro and give him directions out of A Baoa Qu. The damaged Core Fighter flies out of A Baoa Qu, and Amuro apologizes to Lalah, saying he has a place to go back to. Amuro abandons the Core Fighter and floats over to the Space Launches to join his friends. As Zeon forces abandon A Baoa Qu, Char escapes on a Gwazine. On January 1, UC 0080, the One Year War ends in a cease fire between the Earth Federation and the new Republic of Zeon.

 

Commentary

 

This final compilation movie covers the events of episodes 32-43 of the TV series. As before, a lot of fat is trimmed, mainly additional encounters with "monster of the week" mobile armors. It's interesting to see the focus change as the story has progressed. The first movie focused heavily on Amuro, while the second shifted some focus to people like Sayla and Kai. Now, for the final part of the story, the White Base crew are less of the focus and just become small players in huge space battles. There are multiple iconic moments in this movie, including Lalah's death, which seals the lifelong rivalry between Amuro and Char, or the famous "last shooting" when the Gundam takes down the Zeong. There's also a shift in this movie as more focus is firmly placed on Newtypes and their strange interactions. Weird visions and telepathic communication are staples of the franchise, even in stories that don't involve Newtypes. It's interesting to see Char's progression throughout the series - he starts out dedicated to avenging the murder of his father by the Zabis, but he ends in a very different place. The quest for revenge against the Zabis is quickly replaced by a need to avenge Lalah, given the importance that she had to him. And yet despite that, Char still seizes the opportunity to kill Kycilia when the moment presents itself. On a separate note, this final movie is the most visually impressive of the trilogy, as it featured the most new animation. Some of the new scenes add small character vignettes to the major battles, or replace some character designs like Dr. Flanagan with new versions by Yas. Most famously, the trilogy ends with a clear depiction of Char escaping from A Baoa Qu, which sets up his return several years later in Zeta Gundam. Overall, Encounters in Space is an epic finale to the compilation trilogy, and it works quite well in condensing the TV series down into a more digestible (and sometimes improved) story.

 

Overall Rating

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5 out of 5 stars
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