[Great Gundam Wing Rewatch] Episodes 17 & 18
Are they trying to atone for Heero Yuy’s assassination?
Episode 17 – Betrayed by Home, Far Away
You know, if mobile suit pilots aimed better, there would probably be less destruction to the surrounding areas. That said, fighting in a place loaded with civilians is a dick move. Especially in a space colony, which is small to begin with.
The Alliance had forces called the Space Forces (how original) in the Colonies that severely oppressed them. Unlike the rest of the Alliance, the Space Forces didn’t disppear when the Alliance was taken over by OZ and mostly became almost obsolete. Using outdated, nearly obsolete suits can do that when up against someone with much better technology.
“The Colonists consider mobile suits their enemies.”
Yeah? I wonder why… Is it because that was part of OZ’s plan to begin with so that they had the support of the Colonists? Not to mention the whole thing with the Gundams, and the Alliance before OZ… If you’re burned once, generally you’re not gonna let yourself get burned again, right? So one organisation uses mobile suits, treats them like shit, you think they’re gonna change their tune just because hey, OZ might be a little better than the Alliance? No.
There is a nearly 30 second delay between verbal orders given and the mobile dolls responding at this point. It’s still early and mobile dolls are a relatively new thing, so there are gonna be a lot of things that need working out. As it stands, a half minute delay is unacceptable in real world battlefields, because sometimes thirty seconds or less is all it takes to make a difference between being alive and being dead. At this point, it would still be better off having human pilots rather than Siri.
“So OZ is starting a war for the sheer fun of it.”
Professor G knows what’s up. Is it actually as simple as that? Knowing Treize, probably not. The actual reason just isn’t apparent at this point in time, but this war isn’t as pointless as it seems.
In Une’s address where she’s all “the Colonists are free, OZ supports you,” is she just looking for their support via propaganda or does “Lady” Une actually believe the things she’s saying, whereas “Colonel” Une thinks spouting such garbage is just that, garbage? We know that for the most part OZ doesn’t really care about the colonies, and Une has in the past tried to blow up the very things she’s now saying are great and wonderful. If anything the Colonies are being freed from Alliance oppression only to end up letting someone else with an even tighter grip and similar viewpoints take control of them.
But they just don’t realise it yet.
And I might be at least on the right track about that because Duo even asked, in light of all this “OZ is spreading peace to the Colonies” news, “Don’t they wanna take them over?” and Quatre says yes, but they’re using dirty tactics. What they’re doing right now is gaining the trust of the Colonists first. No one would question it because it’s under (false) pretenses of peace as opposed to military action. They’re coming off as the complete opposite of the Alliance. Instead of using brute force, they’re making it out like they’re negotiating.
This is some rather nice scenery, I gotta say.
Too bad they can’t really enjoy it.
Meanwhile Quatre gets to rapel down the side of a cliff and it doesn’t even look like he has a harness. You know, people say all the time that Quatre is a wimp and the weakest of the pilots and a crybaby and whatever the fuck and I just squint at those people because I dunno, this looks pretty badass to me.
Quatre’s got OZ’s plan all figured out. OZ doesn’t fool everyone, let alone 15 year old terrorists fighting agtainst an organisation that is known for and likes playing dirty. As Gundam pilots their hands are supposedly tied, because oh no, the colonies! But if OZ is promoting love and peace and harmony and whatever else in their rainbows and unicorns utopia there, then they can’t threaten the colonies, because that would go against what Lady Une is preaching to all these colonial leaders. OZ has one less thing they can potentially use to hurt the pilots.
Duo and Quatre need to get to space.
“Are they trying to atone for Heero Yuy’s assassination?”
“That remark’s unfair. Rumors that OZ was behind the assassination are unfounded.”
“That’s what OZ would have us think!”
So what is the truth here exactly? Was OZ actually behind it? Short answer: yes. The politics of Gundam Wing are pretty interesting in that this literally all started (according to Frozen Teardrop) because some guy didn’t like the man his daughter married, mostly because he didn’t like the guy his son-in-law was related to. So he hired a hitman. They got murdered, people didn’t appreciate that, Operation Meteor started being plotted, Gundams were built, and now we have this clusterfuck.
But anyway OZ is TOTALLY not behind all of that! Those are just rumours! Unfounded ones with no basis whatsoever even though rumours always have some truth to them (where would they come from otherwise). The guy who killed Heero Yuy and his nephew was freelance! (And ex-OZ.) OZ knew nothing about it. The thing about hiring freelance is you pay in cash and there’s really nothing to trace that person back to the people who hired them. It’s plausible deniability. Also you can just conveniently make the assassin disappear if they threaten to tell everyone the truth.
So the Honorary Advisor dude who is like 100 is all “you can’t trust OZ!” and this dude with an obvious boner for Une is like “but Une is trustworthy!” and old dude is like, “No she’s pretty aggressive and bloodthirsty.” Also she threatened to blow up the colonies, but let’s conveniently forget that.
“Those are rumors!” You can’t use that argument for everything, dude, and even rumours have truth to them as I mentioned before. The sad part is OZ’s plot to get the Colonists to trust them is working. I mean look at this guy who’s probably only in his early 20s. He’s not aware of all the Back in My Day things like this old timer is.
Speaking of OZ and Une, as they’re going through the process of “cleaning up space”, they happen upon a Gundam manufacturing factory where they find an engineer.
“Were you the one who built the Gundams?!”
“What a stupid way to ask a question!” G pls now is not the time to get sassy when someone is pointing a gun in your face.
“Just answer my question! I think you’re heavily involved with those five Gundams!”
“Nope. Not with the other four.”
“What do you mean?”
“I designed the best Gundam I possibly could. Why would I make four other variations of it?”
“Are you saying you only made one of those Gundams?” …well that is what he just said, right.
“A masterpiece I called the Gundam Deathscythe. The other are a coincidence. The Alliance prohibited travel and communication between the colonies. I made only one Gundam.”
Sometimes even the most capable of OZ’s officers ask really dumb and obvious questions. Also it’s not a coincidence but like hell G’s gonna tell you anything important when he’s a professor in the art of trolling people so I mean. Good luck getting anything useful from him.
And then as if on cue Gundams Deathscythe and Sandrock are attacking the Singapore Space Port base because they need their shuttles to go home since their Gundams’ thrusters are not enough to get them there alone. (It’s easier to send a Gundam to Earth than from because gravity is one hell of a bitch.) I gotta say, Quatre and Duo work really well together, probably because their personalities mesh better than certain other people.
“I can understand a certain colony wanting to retaliate against Earth.” Is this another reference to the assassination?
The Honorary Advisor guy gets the whole reason for the Gundams, but Guy With a Boner For Une doesn’t and see the Gundams as a threat. People like him are why OZ’s plots work. Instead of looking at it rationally and going, “Well, the colonies have been oppressed for too long and they’re tired of it so they’ve decided to fight back against it,” he’s just like, “Nope, what OZ says is correct because they’re offering us peace with one hand and they have a knife hidden behind their back in the other but it’s okay because they’re giving us peace and not the knife!”
Sorry, I enjoy the architecture of the colonies, don’t mind me.
Duo cuts down a tower and a couple of mobile suits stand there and watch it fall before being crushed to death. Really? Were they manned?
The D area colony declares the Gundams their enemies and hope that the rest of the colonies will follow suit. Duo expected this, but it still hurts because now the people they were fighting to protect consider them enemies, and wish for their demise. And just when Duo and Quatre think their luck’s run out, Wufei appears from a swath of flames.
Fucking Wufei and his fiery entrances.
Wufei tells Duo he would have a lot of explaining to do if he died there and let his comrades who are fighting too down.
Turns out Heero and Trowa understood what Duo and Quatre were doing and joined in. They’re all saying we’re here, we’re not down and out, don’t forget about us, we’re not gonna stop fighting.
And really, Heero’s got it easy because his rifle is made for taking out a shitload of enemies at once.
“There’s a stubborn engineer trying to resist.” I WONDER WHICH ONE THAT IS? Is it Dr J? He comes off as a stubborn old coot tbh.
Nichol questions Une’s actions because they would wipe out a whole colony, and for what reason would they have to do that to get one person to come out of their hiding spot, and Une says to him, “We’re not trying to establish diplomatic relations. We’re trying to fight a war.” And I think this says something right here about Une as a colonel. “Damage to the colony wouldn’t be our fault. It’d be the fault of the rebel holding out against us!” Yep, just use someone else as the scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for your own actions. It’s easier that way.
Also Une you are trying to establish diplomatic relations, or at least are giving the appearance of such. But Colonel Une at least doesn’t know this fact–she’s not Lady Une at the moment.
Now people like to remark that Une has some sort of split personality or multiple personality disorder or something but she doesn’t meet the criteria for either. She probably is at the very least having some kind of dissociative episode however as she tries to merge what Treize’s ideals are with what she personally believes and what she’s been taught in OZ which is showing up as a “crisis” of some kind leading to dissociation.
(DID/MPD doesn’t onset in adulthood, sorry to those who insist on that diagnosis.)
Quatre decides that the only way they can all escape is if Sandrock self-detonates, and Sandrock refuses to do anything until Quatre leaves the cockpit. Once Quatre is safetly out of the Gundam, Sandrock walks off towards the approaching enemies so that it’s a safe distance away before obliterating everyone’s feels.
To end this episode, we’re left with this asshole getting detained:
Dr J doesn’t look annoyed to be there or anything, he probably knew this day would come.
What a reunion this turned out to be.
“What took you?”
“Why didn’t you guys put up more of a fight?!”
“There were just too many other things to do.”
“Well, anyway… It’s been fifteen years. I’m amazed that all five of us completed our Gundams.”
I dunno about anyone else but I kind of have a soft spot for the Gundam engineers.
And to close out the episode, they leave us with this:
“Hey OZ. You’re gonna seriously regret that you kept us alive. Not to the mention the pilots.”
Episode 18 – Tallgeese Destroyed
“We’ve confirmed the engineers’ identities.”
“All five of them?”
“As suspected, they were all involved in OZ mobile suit development in the past.”
“All five of them disappeared and have been missing since the Tallgeese development.”
“Or rather, since completing the Tallgeese blueprint.”
“The Tallgeese? Isn’t that the mobile suit Colonel Zechs is using? Also called the Leo Prototype?”
“Yes, it was built twenty years ago, but it’s still regarded as the most powerful built on Earth.”
“‘Most powerful’ is hardly the appropriate term.”
“Ma’am, it wouldn’t be the most powerful unles all soldiers agreed.”
“We’ll have them make us a suit. A mobile suit that’s more powerful than the Tallgeese–no, more powerful than the Gundams!”
Well with our episode intro out of the way… The flavour text here looks like some kind of programming maybe, I don’t think they intended anyone to look closely at it and give a damn tbh. But these are our Gundam engineers, introduced in the same order that the Gundams and their pilots are in. Dr J, as we already know from episode 5, was responsible for Wing Gundam and for Heero’s training; Professor G told us last episode that he created the masterpiece known as Gundam Deathscythe. Instructor S was in charge of Gundam Heavyarms and was there for the original Trowa Barton before his untimely demise that prevented him from piloting his suit–one of the mechanics for Heavyarms ended up with it instead. Theeeen you have Instructor H, who built Gundam Sandrock with the resources of the Winner family, so it’s no surprise the Winner heir Quatre R. Winner became its eventual pilot. And finally, we have Master O, who helped out with Gundam Shenlong and is actually Wufei’s trainer dude.
Une wants them to build some mobile suits that surpass even Tallgeese, which is a tall order considering the reason why no one could pilot Tallgeese and it was thus refined by Seis Clark into what is known as the Leo is because it was too powerful to really be practical, especially on a mass-production scale since you would need carefully trained pilots like Zechs who could pilot them. That’s too much work if you want to just churn out officers and throw them out on the battlefield, so they simplified it.
I hope Une knows they won’t make it easy for her.
When Zechs decides he doesn’t want to do this shit with OZ and Romefeller anymore, instead of a court martial, Zechs ends up having to fake his own death so that OZ’s reputation isn’t tarnished (and frankly, neither is Colonel Zechs Merquise the Lightning Baron’s) and it’ll be a morale boost for the soldiers because it’ll serve as inspiration. All’s good so long as OZ looks good in the end, right?
They’ve got all these tanks and machinery and shit lined up for this ‘exercise’ just so they can be blown up, and this isn’t a ‘waste of military resources’? Or does no one care since that was back in the days where OZ was controlled by the Alliance, and OZ is in control now? Treize decides to teach all of these higher ups that mobile dolls are not what wars are about and orders for Tuborov’s death. The reason Treize detests the mobile dolls is pretty self explanatory, it takes the human component out of everything. You’d think that’d be a good thing, because less death! Less death is good, but then you are lacking human compassion since the way these Dolls work is, you tell them what to target, and they target it. Simple. They ID a threat, they shoot it, it explodes. No human thought or anything involved. Which makes all fighting senseless and more like a game.
War is not a game. There is no glory in computers fighting, especially if their targets are humans–that’s a huge disadvantage for the other side. And then you don’t have the spirit you find out on the battlefield. All of the philosophies of war are gone.
Treize retracts his assassination decree, but not before making a speech, because he’s Treize Khushrenada, he has to make some kind of speech.
“Mobile dolls and soldiers both take their orders from humans. I ask that you place more value on humans and learn to love them.”
Soldiers are soldiers, you send them out there basically to die. It ends up being empty if you take, as I mentioned, the human out of it and are left with just a machine. Even a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
“So, now they can utilize unmanned mobile suits. They probably saw them as a valid weapon in space since the battleground as no obstacles.”
Dr J says something similar to what Treize is trying to say: “Battling without getting your hands dirty is merely a game.”
“Foolish are those who start wars. But the blood shed during battle is never a waste. Foolish people see the bloodshed and learn to regret their actions. But once war turns into a game it becomes mere entertainment.”
It ends up being nothing more than one giant gladiator ring.
And there are flaws with machines that we’ll point out next episode that wouldn’t happen if they were piloted by a human.
“They’re fast.” Of course the Dolls are fast, they’re not piloted by anyone except a computer, and I can think of only one pilot who could probably match them according to computer analysis.
Quatre uses Heero’s radio frequency I guess because it’s more secure? Or maybe they all use Heero’s frequency. I don’t know. Knowing Heero it’s probably more secure than anyone else’s.
“He’s just a kid! This kid is a Gundam pilot?”
How many times are people going to make this remark? Don’t judge a book by its cover. Quatre is a kid. Yes. They all are, they’re fifteen, they should be in school learning algebra and playing basketball in gym class and worrying about that girl or guy they like and if they like them back instead of fighting in a war. But here they are. Because of all this bullshit children were sent to fight. And when you think about it, your average OZ soldier is probably not that much older than they are. Children are dying and all these old fucks get to sick back and relax because it doesn’t affect them. I don’t think a lot of these soldiers realise this, that children are fighting and dying. For what? What the hell is the point of all of this?
I don’t think at this point anyone really knows anymore.
Wasn’t Nichol already headed for the shuttle? Why is he headed there a second time?
So back with the engineers, Une wants them to build some shit and what the engineers say is rather interesting (I quoted some of it already).
“I wish they’d just declare a winner to this game. Then nobody would have to die.”
“But soldiers sense the responsibilities of combat if they don’t use automated functions!”
Too bad OZ doesn’t care much about that.
“You’ve got the technology? Then you could earn the right to live longer!”
“I can’t do it. I’d rather die than construct such a thing.”
“Youngsters always want to think things out rationally. But war itself is anything but rational.”
Well especially this one. Wars are either “I don’t like this guy, let’s kill them,” and the repercussions from that, or they’re “I want their land, let’s take it,” and the fallout from that. This one was started because of a situation like the former. Someone didn’t like Heero Yuy. They didn’t like what he was saying, that peace between the Earth and colonies should be a thing, and that the Alliance should fuck off and let everyone live in peace and harmony. He got killed for it. Someone didn’t like the fact that he got murdered, and decided to teach Earth a lesson. And people die because of these things.
“I was going to give you the chance to built a mobile suit superior to the Tallgeese and Gundams you built.”
“Kill us! I have no intentions of lending a hand in a futile war drawn out on a game board.”
I really don’t have much meta pointed out for this episode, at least not at this point, but there is one thing I want to bring to everyone’s attention, and it’s at the end of the episode. This speech:
The planet in the solar system that miraculously gave birth to life.
We call it Earth.
The year After Colony 195. With the colonies’ development, people live in new surroundings. Thanks to plentiful natural resources and cultivated technological abilities. However, this new world is nothing but an imitation of humankind’s motherland, the Earth. Why were the colonies created in the first place? I hear the main purpose was technological development to enrich mankind’s life on Earth.
Did man start asking too much from this fake world? Its colony’s self-sustained way of life is more stable than on Earth since it lacks the risk of natural disasters. It appears that this unlimited growth was guaranteeing the eternal existence of mankind. Perhaps there was an age when people dreamed they could start anew in outer space. But it’s unthinkable that the colonies or mankind will ever forget the Earth.
What did the colonies’ technology bring to the Earth? The kind of technology the Earth wants most; military power. Destruction is in human nature and can never be eliminated. And now, the colonies are developing a militaristic disposition. The colonies cannot forget the Earth.
The Earth has great beauty. Animals known as humans have acquired such strength that they want to control this planet for themselves. From the point of view of an entire planet the life of a living thing lasts no more than an instant. But in the end, mankind only thinks of itself. Nothing changes. The time spent by humans in outer space has been a waste. In reality, the ideal is just a dream. This false pacifism. This false living space. Outer space is a breeding ground for even more battles. Wars claim many lives. Mankind hasn’t forgotten the sorrow caused by wars yet they haven’t stopped fighting. The blood and tears they shed are merely ceremonial.
One can’t speak of history without referring to the wars in each era as important events. I’m sure the pale pep talks of fighting for peace have been repeated numerous times in the past. The colonies say they need armaments to maintain peace. It’s no different from on Earth. The colonies think they’ve joined the big boys. They believed the bloodshed would lead…
So why do people fight? The meaning of existence could lie in their will to fight. People feel accomplishment through battle. And it’s also a fact that the ones actually fighting are never perceived as being tainted.
Heero got real as fuck there for a second. And he’s not wrong. You look at these observations and you’d think that this was written by someone who’s seen some shit, someone who’s much older. And yet it’s written by a fifteen year old boy. And one of the things is that the fighting will never stop until humans lose the will to fight and the drive to want to kill to survive.