On December 24, AC 195, a three-way battle is waged between the Gundam pilots, the World Nation and the colonial rebel group White Fang. A portion of White Fang’s massive space battleship Libra falls into Earth’s atmosphere, but it’s destroyed by Wing Gundam Zero pilot Heero Yuy. The desire of Earth and the space colonies to coexist led to the creation of the Earth Sphere United Nation. In AC 196, Preventer Water (aka Sally Po) is surprised to find neo titanium in space. On a natural resource satellite, Duo Maxwell and Quatre Raberba Winner supervise the loading of Wing Zero, Gundam Deathscythe Hell, Gundam Sandrock Custom and Gundam Heavyarms Custom. After returning to their shuttle, Quatre activates the satellite’s engines so that it can begin its long journey into the sun. Duo comments that Wufei Chang didn’t bring his Altron Gundam, and Quatre says that Heero and Trowa Barton sent theirs right away when asked. On December 24, the ESUN holds a party at the MO-II asteroid to mark the one year anniversary of the war’s end. Lady Une comments to Lucrezia Noin that during the same time last year, people weren’t able to enjoy Christmas. The ESUN President gives a speech and states that everyone who died in the war didn’t die in vain because the end result was peace. Noin thinks that it’s harder to maintain peace than to attain it, and Une counters that’s why the government backs the Preventers. Sally calls Noin and tells her that the neo titanium could relate to the 13th constellation: a new mobile suit model. Elsewhere, Vice Foreign Minister Relena Darlian visits Colony X18999, which has experienced stagnation ever since it first opened seven years earlier. Relena takes a sip from her tea and immediately passes out from the drug that has been slipped into it. A man named Dekim Barton tells a girl named Mariemaia that there’s nothing wrong with wishing for peace, so long as humanity is ready for it. Trowa’s circus performs on a colony, and Catherine Bloom comments on the crowd’s disappointingly small size. Trowa spots a couple of suspicious men and beats them up outside. He looks at the id of one of the men, which comes from the Barton Foundation. Trowa then recalls when he was referred to as “no name” and worked as a technician on the Gundam Heavyarms for the real Trowa Barton. The real Trowa showed him a picture of his sister Leia and her daughter Mariemaia, whom Barton claimed would rule the Earth once they conquered it. Heero works at a computer and looks up information on Leia and Mariemaia. He tells Duo that Relena has been kidnapped and leaves. Dekim addresses the soldiers of the Mariemaia Army and tells them that their time has come. Trowa is exposed as an infiltrator and tries to attack Dekim, but Wufei stops him. Sally calls Noin and reports that she’s found the source of their trouble, which Noin correctly guesses is Lagrange 3. Sally reports that the source is Colony X18999, led by Mariemaia Barton. She expects that they’ll declare independence or war against Earth, and she adds that Relena went missing after visiting the colony. Noin is surprised by the news and changes her ship‘s rendezvous course with Sally.
Relena wakes up on a bed and is greeted by Mariemaia, whom she initially assumes is a fellow hostage. The girl introduces herself as Mariemaia Khushrenada, daughter of deceased World Nation leader Treize Khushrenada. She says she wants to carry out her father’s wishes, but when Relena protests, Mariemaia tells her to shut up. Several soldiers then rush into the room, but Mariemaia quickly dismisses them. She states that she’s going to lead the ESUN and is having this meeting only out of respect for Relena since she was queen of the World Nation. Relena asks what Mariemaia is going to do with her now, and Mariemaia laughs and answers that she’ll find out soon enough. Duo calls Quatre and tells him that he and Heero are heading to Colony X18999 in a charge boat. Quatre reminds him that they don’t have the Gundams anymore, but Duo thinks they might not be needed, and if necessary, they could steal some enemy mobile suits. Quatre blames himself for taking away the Gundams and tells Duo that he’s going to go get them. Quatre is joined on an interplanetary spacecraft by Rashid Kurama and the rest of the Maganac Corps, and he wishes he had never suggested sending the Gundams into the sun. Rashid says no one could have anticipated this, so Quatre shouldn’t worry too much. Quatre estimates that the satellite is 50 days away from orbit of Venus, so they should be able to barely catch up with it. Duo thinks about how he’s become the God of Death again and recalls planting explosives on the Gundam Deathscythe. His explosives failed to go off, and Professor G told him to think of a better way of using the Gundam than destroying it. Duo said he didn’t want to see the Gundam used for destruction, and Professor G suggested that Duo steal the Gundam and ignore Operation Meteor. He told Duo to rely on a man named Howard in the Pacific Ocean. Duo talks to Heero as their shuttle flies through space, until he notices that Heero has gone to sleep without saying anything. Heero recalls his days prior to being a Gundam pilot, when he met a young girl and her small dog Mary. Later, Heero set off explosives at an OZ base on the colony as part of his mission. One of the exploding Leos crashed into a nearby civilian building, and the next morning Heero found a damaged teddy bear and Mary’s body. He picked up the dead dog and walked through the streets with it. At the time, Dekim ordered Doctor J to retrain Heero as a Gundam pilot. Duo wakes Heero up and tells him that the little girl is making an announcement. Mariemaia introduces herself as a Khushrenada, announces the independence of Colony X18999 and declares war on Earth. She claims that she’s carrying out her father’s will, and the ESUN President angrily asks Une how this could’ve happened. Une wonders if they can stop this without help, and she’s surprised when Zechs Merquise walks in and asks for the codename Wind for someone who puts out fires. Noin calls Duo’s shuttle as it enters Lagrange 3, and he says he’s bringing a present for the Christmas party. Noin asks him and Heero to join forces with her again, and Duo offers to think about it. Sally then changes their ship’s course to divert the attention of the Taurus mobile suits away from Duo and Heero. Several Tauruses open fire on the shuttle, but Sally’s ship fires missiles at them. Duo crash lands inside one of the colony’s open ports as Sally and Noin escape. Duo and Heero steal two Leos and fight against the Mariemaia Army’s Leos. They split off, and Duo immediately encounters a new Serpent mobile suit piloted by Trowa. Heero destroys several Leos and is attacked by Wufei’s Altron Gundam. Wufei says that he’s always wanted to fight Heero like this and attacks with his glaive. Heero asks what’s going on, and Wufei asks him if everyone else is doing the right thing.
Heero tries to hold off Wufei’s attacks and tells him to use the self-detonation device. Wufei slices off one of the Leo’s arms, and Heero repeats his demand. Duo’s Leo is damaged, and he asks why Trowa has betrayed them, but Trowa says he’s got the wrong guy. As Trowa fires missiles, he recalls Doktor S arguing with the real Barton about limiting their attacks to only OZ targets. Doktor S explained that as planned, Operation Meteor would kill two billion people, which he felt was too much to get revenge for slain colonial leader Heero Yuy. Barton said the purpose of Operation Meteor was conquest, and he’d carry it out alone if necessary. A technician then shot and killed him, and “no name” asked to take his name. He said he had no interest in conquest, and Doktor S decided to start calling him Trowa Barton. The missiles miss Duo, and Heero escapes in the confusion created by their explosion. Trowa disappears, and Duo abandons the Leo to escape through the hole that Trowa created. Quatre tells the Maganacs that it’ll take them five more days to catch up with the satellite, but they could cut their time 80 hours by taking another course. That new course would use up their propulsion, so Quatre thinks they could detonate the satellite’s power generator and use the force of the explosion as propulsion to help sling them around Venus’ orbit. Rashid decides that he, Quatre and Abdul will form the team to board the satellite, although the rest of the Maganacs want to help too. Sally tells Noin that a Preventer cruiser will launch from the Lunar Base to take care of the Tauruses they’re tracking. Noin scans them for heat signatures and realizes they’re just mobile dolls, so the real troops are elsewhere. On Earth, Une watches the snow and wonders what Treize would do in their situation. Quatre recalls talking to Instructor H about the self-destruct device in the Gundam Sandrock. Quatre asked if it was for confidentiality, and Instructor H told him those with power must be prepared to lose their lives. Orders arrived from the Barton Foundation, but Instructor H smashed the computer and told Quatre to fight as his heart told him to. He added that Quatre should only use the self-destruct if he felt he had to. Dekim prepares his forces on the asteroid MO-III. Mariemaia and Relena fly through Colony X18999 in a helicopter, and Mariemaia explains to Relena that her goal is simply victory. Heero and Duo watch the helicopter, and Duo guesses they’re headed for the spaceport. Heero says he’s concerned about Dekim, and Duo wonders if they plan to carry out the real Operation Meteor.
Quatre prepares for a space walk and fires a grappling line to swing over to the satellite. Dekim is informed that the Preventer cruiser has changed course, but he declares that it’s too late. MO-III opens its Earth side gate and begins to launch its atmosphere re-entry ships. The Tallgeese III then appears and begins to destroy the mobile suit carriers. Dekim wonders if the pilot is Treize, but he concludes it must be Zechs. Zechs uses the name “Preventer Wind” and calls Dekim, ordering him to surrender. Dekim refuses and says that even if Zechs destroys the Serpents, he has other means of fighting. He then explains that he was the one who originally created Operation Meteor, and Zechs realizes that Dekim intends to drop Colony X18999 on Earth. Dekim threatens to drop the colony if Zechs continues to interfere, and he offers to let Zechs serve as a soldier under Mariemaia. The rest of the mobile suit carriers are able to launch, and Wufei escorts Mariemaia and Relena’s shuttle. Relena is shocked to hear about the colony drop, but Mariemaia says it won’t be necessary if humanity bows to her. Mariemaia then explains that Relena is trusted by the colonies and has more influence than she realizes, and Relena sees that’s why she was kidnapped. Quatre activates the satellite’s engines and sets off a detonation to change its course and propel it back to Earth. Heero and Duo set off explosions at Colony X18999’s spaceport and find Trowa waiting for them in a computer room. He asks for their help in breaking into the colony’s computer to re-establish its stability control. Trowa explains that when he realized Dekim wanted to try the original Operation Meteor, he infiltrated to get close. Under that plan, a space colony would be dropped on Earth to cause massive damage, and the Gundams would be sent in afterward to seize control of the government. Duo asks if Wufei is doing the same thing, but Heero says that Wufei doesn’t like roundabout approaches. They call Sally to report that they’ve stopped the colony, and Zechs fires his mega cannon to destroy MO-III. However, Dekim manages to escape in a shuttle and head for Earth. Soldiers order Heero and the others to surrender, and Duo plays for them a message from Quatre stating that the Gundams will be in Earth orbit in 24 hours. Heero asks Duo to send a message back because he wants to pick up Wing Zero in space and save time. Heero then asks Duo to hit him, and when Duo does, Heero punches him back to knock him out. Heero then lies down to fool the soldiers, and he runs away after the enter the room. Zechs reads a book in orbit of Earth until Noin comes to pick him up. Dekim arrives on Earth as dozens of Serpents parachute onto the planet’s surface. Relena’s shuttle enters the atmosphere, and Quatre launches Wing Zero’s capsule to Heero’s coordinates. Heero takes off in a shuttle, and Zechs returns to Earth. Duo is locked up as a prisoner, and Wufei waits in Earth orbit.
Heero changes his shuttle’s speed to align with and intercept Wing Zero. He floats over to Wing Zero and reactivates it from within the cockpit to break away from the booster and head for Earth. On Earth, the Mariemaia Army has seized control of the ESUN presidential mansion in Brussels, Belgium. The ground then opens up as the mansion is lowered to an underground shelter. Mariemaia tells Relena it’s strange that such a shelter exists in a peaceful world without weapons. She says history is like an endless waltz, and the three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever. But she’s going to change things when she becomes ruler of the Earth Sphere at the start of AC 197. As Wufei floats in Earth orbit, he recalls arguing with Master Long about dropping Colony 0200 on Earth. He declares that he’ll eliminate all evil with his Nataku and runs off. Heero approaches Earth in Wing Zero and comes under attack from Wufei. Heero asks Wufei if this is what he thinks of as justice, and Wufei says he has to determine if peace at the expense of people’s lives is real peace. Dressed as a Mariemaia soldier, Sally uses knockout gas on other soldiers and rescues Catherine and the other hostages. Duo breaks out of his cell at Colony X18999 and finds Trowa waiting for him in a shuttle. Sally boards the shuttle and announces that all the hostages on the colony have been rescued, allowing the shuttle to take off. Heero tells Wufei that the longer he fights, the more their sacrifices for peace are wasted. Heero says their war is over, and Wufei asks if warriors who only know battle get tossed aside for peace. Heero says that soldiers fought to attain peace, so Wufei should believe in that world. As both Gundams begin atmospheric re-entry, Wufei says he’s fighting on behalf of the people who were used as weapons, including Heero. Wufei asks if Heero feels fulfilled like he does when he fights. Heero reminds Wufei that he’s already defeated Treize, but Wufei counters that he’s still fighting Treize even now. On Earth, Zechs and Noin fight against a large number of Serpents, and Noin says they can’t get to the presidential palace. Zechs comments that if people let Mariemaia do as she wants, it’ll create another Milliardo Peacecraft. Zechs tells Noin that she doesn’t have to stay with him, but she says she’s never leaving his side and can’t wait any longer. After entering the atmosphere, Wufei tells Heero that he doesn’t believe Relena’s ideal that peace comes from discarding weapons and confining soldiers. Heero says that Mariemaia will continue a history of endless wars, making more soldiers like themselves necessary. He asks how many more people they have to kill, and how many more times he has to kill that girl and her dog. Heero then deactivates his thrusters and falls into the ocean. Wufei then thinks about the destruction of Colony 0200 and wonders if a tragedy like that would have to be repeated. Quatre, Duo and Trowa launch in their Gundams and head for Earth. Dekim sends more troops to fight off Noin and Zechs. Dekim addresses the world and declares that those who resist him are creating unnecessary casualties. The ESUN President watches the battle on TV with his granddaughter and laments that not enough people are resisting Mariemaia. Une wonders if Mariemaia really thinks this Treize’s ideal, and if Mariemaia realizes that she’s just a puppet for Dekim. Zechs and Noin are pinned down by several Serpents, and the situation worsens when more arrive as backup. Several Serpents are then disabled by Quatre’s Sandrock Custom. Quatre is impressed that Zechs and Noin have disabled so many Serpents without killing the pilots. Duo arrives and disables a Serpent, and Trowa lays down a barrage of fire to disable multiple Serpents. He estimates there are 250 Serpents left, meaning everyone has to take on 50 suits.
Mariemaia comments that even if the Gundams can destroy all the Serpents, they can’t breach the presidential shelter. Relena comments that she’s been running from the truth and grabs the radio, telling everyone that peace isn’t something that’s handed to them. Dekim cuts her off, and Mariemaia asks if guiding people to battle contradicts total pacifism. Relena answers that she’s no longer a Peacecraft, and that what they need is a heart to hope for peace. In the city square, Dorothy Catalonia asks a crowd if they’re going to keep doing nothing and accept Mariemaia as their master. This angers a former mobile suit pilot, and Dorothy tells him the only men she knows are either buried or fighting on the screen. The people in the crowd watch the battle and realize that what Relena said was right and that they have to prove they deserve peace. Most of the crowd decides to go to the presidential mansion, and Dorothy calls in several trucks to transport them. Quatre breaks free from the grab of a Serpent, and Duo disables several Serpents before moving to another street. Several Serpents fire missiles at Trowa, but he shoots them down. Under the ocean’s surface, the damaged Wing Zero reactivates and Heero wakes up. Zechs tells the Gundam pilots to retreat and leave the rest to him and Noin, but they refuse. Trowa runs out of ammo and comments that the Gundam pilots used to be just like the pilots Dekim has coaxed into fighting. Relena tells Dekim and Mariemaia that nothing can be achieved through revenge, and Mariemaia comments that Relena only says that as a loser. With everyone out of ammo, Duo wonders if they should self-detonate, but Trowa says they should limit the casualties to just themselves. Wing Zero then appears in the sky and targets the presidential shelter. Heero calls the shelter to confirm that its shield is active, and Mariemaia tells him his efforts will be useless. He then fires a shot, but it doesn’t penetrate the shelter. Mariemaia shakes as she insults Heero, and Relena asks if she’s afraid. Heero fires another shot, and the damage begins to show on Wing Zero. Several Serpents attack from the ground, and Heero fires one last shot, which causes Wing Zero to explode. The blast pierces the shelter’s blast door and damages the control room. Une enters the room and says that she can’t let Treize’s daughter die, no matter how mistaken she is. A large crowd gathers in front of the Altron Gundam and yells for the Serpents to go away. The remains of Wing Zero crash into the ground, and Heero crawls out of the cockpit. Dekim goes mad and declares that he can’t be defeated, and Mariemaia stumbles toward him. Relena slaps Mariemaia and tells her to open her eyes now that she’s experienced real fear. Dekim tries to shoot Relena, but Mariemaia pushes her aside and takes the bullet. Dekim says Mariemaia can be replaced, and one of his own soldiers kills him. Mariemaia apologizes to Relena, and Heero offers to put Mariemaia out of her misery. He fires his gun, which has no bullets, and says he’s killed Mariemaia. He says he’ll never kill again and passes out in Relena’s arms. Serpent pilots dismount from their mobile suits and begin to burn their weapons in a bonfire. Later, Duo presses the detonation switch that blows up the Deathscythe Hell, Sandrock Custom and Heavyarms Custom. In China, Wufei blows up the Gundam Altron and says goodbye to Nataku. Sally asks him to work with her as a Preventer, and he agrees. Elsewhere, Zechs and Noin head to space for a terraforming project. Une takes Mariemaia to the cemetery to visit Treize’s grave. Duo shops and eats with Hilde Schbeiker. Quatre works on a construction project in a colony with the Maganacs. Trowa returns to the circus and performs again with Catherine. Wufei works as a Preventer with Sally in the desert. Relena attends a ceremony with the ESUN President. Heero walks through a city and disappears into the crowd.
Given the popularity of Gundam Wing at the time, it’s not surprising that Endless Waltz got a compilation movie. Because the OVA was only 3 episodes to begin with, nothing is cut from the story in the transition to a compilation. Some scenes are moved around, including Quatre’s space journey, along with Duo and Quatre’s flashbacks. There’s also a few new scenes sprinkled throughout the movie. One notable scene is Sally’s rescue of the hostages on the colony, which was mentioned in the OVA, but not shown. The most noteworthy new scene features Dorothy, who didn’t appear in the OVA at all. It was a noticeable absence, since she was the only major character from the TV series to not show up in the OVA. Here, she has an important role in spurring the crowd into action so that they can later stand up to the Mariemaia Army. Other new scenes include Duo’s conversation with Quatre before leaving for the colony, as well as Wing Zero reactivating underwater. There are several new scenes during the Serpent fight that make the battle feel a bit longer than the OVA. The epilogue for each pilot at the end of the movie is new, and Hilde is still relegated to a silent cameo. Aside from the new scenes and rearranged ones, some of the music has changed as well. Personally, I prefer the new order of scenes in the movie version, but prefer the placement of music in the OVA. In the end, if you have to choose between which version of Endless Waltz to watch, I would suggest the movie as the definitive version.
Original Review: February 23, 2001