On Zeonism

What is Zeonism? How has it changed over the Universal Century?

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This page aims to collect a comprehensive list of the variations on Zeonism, which can be loosely defined as the philosophy based on the teachings of Zeon Zum Deikun.

Zeon Zum Deikun

Zeon Zum Deikun is the philosopher whose ideals were promoted under the banner of Zeonism. His death was the end of his preaching, and the beginning of Zeonism as a political force in the Universal Century. But Zeon Deikun did not call his philosophy Zeonism — he called it Contolism.

The longest statement of Zeon Zum Deikun’s ideals is this quote, sourced from The Gundam Wikia:

The universe is a new environment, which will compel mankind to change. If the first stage in mankind’s evolution was his evolution from an ape to a human, and the second stage was was his breakthrough from feudalism to the rational science of the Renaissance, then the third will be his transformation into a new type of human, a man with profound sensitivity and insight and a far greater awareness of the vastness of time and space.

The transition to Newtypes will be a natural one. The act of walking increased man’s range of movement and helped the concept of tribe and nation-state to develop. Powered vehicles expanded man’s awareness to a global level. And now civilization is advancing into outer space. By living and working in space, man’s consciousness will will transcend the boundaries of Earth and become truly universal. The vastness of space will be “home”. And as man’s consciousness expands, he will begin to tap the unutilized portions of his cerebrum — the over half of his brain cells unused since time immemorial, the enormous untapped mental reserves given by God precisely for the new environment of space — that will act as the trigger.

O people of space! Now is the time to awaken! To realize your latent potential! We are at the dawn of a transformation of mankind. A true enlightenment of the human race. And we may finally be poised, ready to transcend what has always been thought the impossible — infinite space, and time itself. This is no idle dream. To live in a new universe, man must transcend the psychological limitations of his old environment!

It is the height of arrogance for those who remain on Earth to look up at the heavens and believe they can continue to rule over all its inhabitants. It is true that we — the space colonists — were largely shipped from Earth against our will as a population-control measure. But now we are developing a new identity and awareness. We are a new people. We live, eat, and sleep among the stars. We live in infinite space, and we will have access to infinite energy until the sun burns out fifty billion years from now. Our consciousness will expand, and infinite space will be our true home. God has given us the stars to live among.

We are the people of the universe. We have struggled to survive in a harsh environment, and new generations of colonists testify to our success. Now, when we gaze back at Earth, we see a sacred blue and green orb — the cradle of civilization and a sacred home that we must eternally preserve and protect. Our new consciousness as a people of the universe tells us that Earth was not created to be abused and polluted by a few members of an elite, privileged class. Men and women who have never been into outer space still believe Earth belongs to them and still continue rape and plunder it, but their time has passed. Earth must be preserved as the sacred homeland of all mankind. It does not belong solely to an Earthbound elite! By continuing to dream of controlling all of mankind, they forever deny mankind its true destiny.

Autonomy for the Sides, sovereignty for the colonists, does not simply mean a revolt against sovereignty on Earth. It means that every human should move into space, that the government of the Earth and the area around it should be placed in the hands of an alliance of all Sides, and that the Earth itself should be preserved and protected as the sacred birthplace of all mankind. It is easy to expand the numbers of colonies required to accomplish this.

In ancient times the Christians fought bloody battles for control over the birthplace of their religion, but there is no need for humanity to repeat this mistake over Earth.

book #3 of the Mobile Suit Gundam novelization by Yoshiyuki Tomino

Another facet of Zeon Zum Deikun’s ideals can be found in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin OVA, when in October 0068 Zeon presented a draft script to his wife, Astraia:

Zeon Zum Deikun: This is wrong! Right now this is simply a demand for greater autonomy. That’s not what I want.

This speech is supposed to be a declaration of war to all who live in the Earth Sphere, but I just can’t find the words to express myself.

[Astraia invites him to go to bed; he vehemently refuses.]

If I am asleep, how will I be able to rouse my disciples? Astraia, I’m running out of time. They’ll drag me to Golgotha to execute me tomorrow. And when they do so, I will address the world from atop my cross! I will warn them that those sinners who incur the wrath of Gaia will soon be engulfed in hellfire and be annihilated!

an excerpt from Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin: I: Blue Eyed Casval

From these quotes, a summary can be drawn:

Jimba Ral

After the death of Zeon Zum Deikun, his wife Artesia entrusted Zeon’s children Casval and Artesia to the care of Ramba Ral, who stole the children away to Earth. Ramba Ral sent the children into exile with his father, Jimba Ral, who was stridently opposed to the Zabi family then in power in the Autonomous Republic of Zeon.

Jimba Ral instructed young Casval Deikun in politics. In the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet TV series, episode 3, Jimba lectures:

When he realized the historic duty of Spacenoids and codified the reformation of mankind into an ideology, that was when the grand concept of ‘Newtypes’ came into being! In every age, prophets have been solitary figures. Even Deikun’s ideology was not readily accepted by the masses at first, and …

It was only when humanity went into space and was able to view the Earth as a living organism that a time of evolution came upon us! It is newtypes, who will not only transcend imperfect communication and achieve true mutual understanding, but will also gain new physical possibilities, who will be this world’s …

English subtitles, 9anime.to version

The lecture is cut off at those ellipses, but it’s enough to get across the part of the ideology of an early Zeonism. It encompasses Earth as a living creature, and space as a transformative environment for humanity. That potential for transformation was central.

Casval Rem Deikun

Casval Rem Deikun was the son of Zeon Zum Deikun, and as Char Aznable, he fought in the forces of Zeon for Spacenoid independence.

This section is incomplete.

Edouard Mass

When Ramba Ral sent Casval Rem Deikun to Earth, Casval was adopted by Don Teabolo Mass, and took the name Edouard Mass.

I have not yet found any indication of politcs expressed by Casval as Edouard.

Char Aznable, the original

Edouard Mass moved to the Texas Colony in Loum, in Side 5, orbiting the Earth-Moon L4 Lagrange Point. There he met his doppelganger, Char Aznable.

Char Aznable applied for, and won entrance to, the Zeon military academy. In a small speech over dinner, the original Char said:

Char: Zeon is where the action is now! The times have finally caught up with Zeon Zum Deikun’s ideas! Right? Don’t you agree, Edouard?

Edouard Mass: Oh. Yes…

Char: Colony communities are being exploited unfairly! It's just like Gihren Zabi says! Spacenoids are being robbed of their hard-earned wealth, and Earth people are using that same wealth to drive Earth to ruin!

Don Teabolo Mass: Char, give it a rest with that talk. Well, even if what you say is true, I’m sure that it won’t come to war.

Char: But ten years from now? No, even in five years? Who’s to say?

Don Teabolo: I won’t allow it! War is a terrible thing!

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet episode 4, English subtitles, 9anime.to version

The original Char’s Zeonism is influenced by Zabi thought. It emphasizes the imbalance between Earth and the colonies, and sets the stage for military action. Gone is any aspect of human transformation, and the idea of Earth as a place desecrated by humanity has been replaced with desecration by Earthnoids.

This conversation would have happened in U.C. 0076 or 0077, based on the proximity to the Dawn Rebellion led by Casval.

After this conversation, Casval decided to go to the same Zeon military academy as Char. As they traveled to Zeon, Casval arranged for the death of the original Char, and subsequently took Char’s identity. It was as Char Aznable that Casval Rem Deikun rose to fame and notoriety as the Red Comet. “I’ll find my own path and make my own way,” he is recorded as saying before the swap.

Char Aznable, the cadet

Casval Rem Deikun becomes Char Aznable, and enters the Zeon military academy. There he encounters the Zabis in person for the first time since his childhood, and leads the cadets in an attack against the Federation presence in the space colony holding the Zeon military school. I won’t recount the background events further.

At the outset of the cadets’ Dawn Rebellion, cadet commander Garma Zabi included these lines in the speech he delivered to the troops under his nominal leadership:

This may well prove to be a momentus event, because it might well provide the spark for a war between the Federation and Zeon! But think back and remember! Why did we all enroll here? Why did we strive to become soldiers? It was to protect the lives, rights, and property of Spacenoids! It wasn’t for the Federation!

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet episode 6, English subtitles, 9anime.to version

Why do I highlight Garma Zabi’s speech? I don’t think Garma’s lines were fed to him by either Char or any of his Zabi kin. I think that Garma was running on his own here. What was his Zeonism at this time? One of independence for Spacenoids, separate from the Federation. The transformative aspects of Zeon Zum Deikun’s Zeonism were not emphasized.

The aftermath of the Dawn Rebellion sent Char to Earth as a civilian, where he met Lalah Sune, one of the earliest known Newtypes.

This section is incomplete.

Gihren and Degwin Zabi

Gihren Zabi, the man so evil even his own father compared Hitler favorably to him.

This section is incomplete.

In his commencement address to the military adacemy class of which Char Aznable was a member, Gihren Zabi framed the Spacenoid cause as a militarist revolution:

The time stand on the threshhold of a new stage! Through the difficult times since the first generation of emigrants, space colony dwellers have gone from being called the dispossessed to being the chosen people!

And you cadets are our vanguard! For you are the elite! You have been rigorously selected from the chosen people to be here today. It is you cadets who will be the defenders of colony society, as well as the leaders of the new humanity!

To break human history free from its stagnation, rouse yourselves to action! Struggle on with the goal of becoming the great military leaders of tomorrow! Stand with me! Join me on the front lines of our battle!

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet episode 4, English subtitles, 9anime.to version

Zeon Zum Deikun called Earth “a sacred blue and green orb — the cradle of civilization and a sacred home that we must eternally preserve and protect,” yet here Gihren Zabi sets the expectation of war.

He fulfills it, too.

After the colony drop of Operation British and the Battle of Loum, Gihren’s father Degwin Zabi lectures him:

Degwin: Gihren, a quick peace. That is what our aim must be. I believe the wisest course is to use this victory to force the Federation to the negotiating table.

Gihren: With all due respect, we will continue to be victorious. In our next engavement, and the next, until the very end. When we do negotiate, it will be at a time of our choosing when we deem it to be most advantageous for us.

Degwin: Other men said the very same thing before their downfall! Men like Napoleon and Hitler!

Gihren: The follies of ancient history can offer us no lessons! We already live outside the bounds of human experience and are cultivating our own history! To think that such words would come from my own father, Zeon Zum Deikun’s closest comrade! What did Deikun tell us?! Did he not proudly declare that Spacenoids would become a new species of humanity?! That we would usher in the next stage of human evolution?! We have in our hands the perfect opportunity with which to make Deikun’s ideals a reality! An opportunity like this will never visit us again.

We must press on! We shall never compromise! Onwards! Ever onwards!

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet episode 6, English subtitles by David Fleming, 9anime.to version

Degwin then calls Kycilia Zabi, and asks her to stop her brother Gihren, saying no one can stop him but her, that Gihren will cause the end of Zeon the country and Zabi the family. She promises that she will remain by Degwin’s side, with a Look.

In a later scene, Degwin goes to meet the captured Earth Federation Forces general Johann Abraham Revil.

Revil: You have made your feelings abundantly clear, Sovereign. We must bring this war, the worst in human history, to an end.

Degwin: Ever since Cain and Abel in ancient times, hostility and conflict between humans have never ceased, and man has yet to understand his fellow man. What a deplorable state of affairs. Zeon Zum Deikun's intent was to free us from that old curse. Even if all things, space included, are God’s creation, is it so wrong that it was we space immigrants who found a hope that is so many times more powerful than the sense of freedom that people once felt when they made the crossing to the New World?

That is what Deikun was thinking when he set forth his protocols for the new era. We gathered under his banner as his comrades. We had no idea that his hope for a new humanity would lead to such disgusting hatred and terrible devastation. Admiral Revil, is there nothing we can do to defuse this situation, you and I, working together?

Revil: What, indeed? It may be possible for you, but a prisoner like me?

Degwin: I understand. I understand. I understand you fully, General Revil.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin - Eve of The Red Comet episode 6, English subtitles by David Fleming, 9anime.to version

Kycilia sends Zeon Lieutenant General M’Quve, a fancier of Earth history, to Earth to sabotage the peace negotiations process and lead the ground war. Revil is sprung from a Zeon POW jail by Kycilia’s spy agency in cooperation with the Earth Federation. Why? It suits Kycilia’s purposes to provide a worthy opponent to M’Quve and a leader for the demoralized Federation. But it also suits Degwin’s purposes to release Revil so that he may negotiate on behalf of the Federation.

The war does not end with the truce that M’Quve was sent by Degwin to negotiate; Kycilia’s plan to prolong the war succeeds. The freed Revil rallies Earth against the treaty with Zeon. Degwin, enraged, blesses the Zeon invasion fleet’s mission, which fails with the loss of Earth chases the Zeon off Earth and into space, killing Dozle’s favorite son, Garma.

Seeking peace once more, Degwin arranges truce talks with Revil at a defined location in space, where Degwin and Revil are incinerated by Zeon’s latest superweapon, fired by Gihren. Gihren is killed by Kycilia. Kycilia is killed by Char.

Degwin sought political power, with the goal of Spacenoid independence.

Gihren sought political power, with the goal of Spacenoid dominance.

Char Aznable, The Red Comet

This section is incomplete.

Anavel Gato

In U.C. 0083, the Zeon-remnant Delaz Fleet declared war upon the Federation and initiated a colony drop operation known as Operation Stardust. Part of Vice Admiral Aiguille Delaz’s plan involved the theft of a nuclear-armed mobile suit from the Federation. The pilot chosen to steal that suit was Anavel Gato.

During the theft, Gato was confronted by Federation test pilot Kou Uraki:

Gato: Anavel Gato hasn’t waited three long years just to let you, the unprincipled fools that you are with your infantile greed, stand in the way of our ideals!

Uraki: What do you mean, “ideals”?

Gato: Our dream, of true freedom for all Spacenoids. We will sever the evil hold of the Earth with our sword of justice.

Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory Remastered, English dub, episode 2: “Endless Pursuit”

Quattro Bajeena

For a time, Char lived on Earth as a man named Quattro Bajeena, allied with the Anti Earth Union Government forces against the Federation’s Titans.

In Mobile Suit Gundam: Narrative, there’s a section of flashback to U.C. 0087, during the events of Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta, where someone who I think is Quattro Bajeena says:

Why can’t humans believe that they could expand their capacities by going to space? I am saying we humans must not pollute Earth! The Titans are comprised of people whose souls are pulled by Earth and are about to devour it!

In episode 7 of Zeta Gundam, Quattro said, “The souls of the planet’s residents are pulled down by gravity, so they can’t take flight like they should.”

Later in that episode, he explained the Colony 30 incident, where Spacenoids gathered for a political demonstration were exterminated by the Titans under Captain Bask with a colony-load of G3 nerve gas.

Quattro: They didn’t know what was happening until it was too late. Lieutenant Emma, you probably feel that the Anti-Earth Union Group was somehow responsible for the political rally that took place here.

Emma: ?

Quattro: However, the people on Earth were not concerned with anything but the redevelopment of their own planet, and didn’t give a thought to the welfare of Spacenoids. So what’s wrong with them having a demonstration or two? And they were merely proposing that we human beings should leave the planet Earth alone, letting it recover through its own natural processes, and that all of mankind would be better off living in outer space instead.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 7, dubbed

In episode 33, the Zeon faction from the Belt asteroid Axis appears in the Earth Sphere. Quattro and a number of AEUG leaders meet with the leadership of Axis: Haman Karn and the young Princess Mineva Zabi. Princess Zabi identifies Quattro as Char, which Quattro acknowledges.

Princess Zabi: Thank you for your long-term reconnaissance of the Earth Sphere. The time has arrived for Axis to make its move. I request that you assist us in reviving the Zabi family. True prosperity for all Spacenoids depends on the restoration of Zeon. Zein Deikun’s — [Princess Zabi gasps as Char, who has ascended the steps to her throne, thrusts his face at hers, and stares deeply into her eyes.]

Quattro: Please continue, your highness.

Haman Karn: [angrily] Char Aznable!

Quattro: [angrily] How dare you raise Mineva like this! You’ve made this child a parrot!

Haman Karn: She is the successor to the Zabi family. Her Highness’s destiny is to lead all Spacenoids. It is only proper that she should understand her responsibility. Perhaps it is you who have had a change of heart. [Char grabs her; her soldiers grab him.]

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 33, dubbed

In this situation, the son of Zeon Zum Deikun demonstrates that he is unwilling to sacrifice the humanity of his goddaughter for the Spacenoid cause. Quattro and the negotiating party are imprisoned; Quattro breaks out and confronts Haman Karn at gunpoint. She states that he has betrayed “us” to which he angrily replies, “Not so! I’ve never betrayed anyone in my entire life!” So much for Garma Zabi.

As Quattro and the party escape the Axis Zeon flagship, AEUG lieutenant Reccoa Londe asks why Quattro would’ve sabotaged the negotiations so. He says it was because he was angered by how Haman Kan was manipulating Mineva.

Reccoa: So you never had any plans to restore the Zabi family to power, Lieutenant?

Quattro: I have nothing to do with the Zabi family. I am, and always have been, a man alone.

Reccoa: What do you mean?

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 33, dubbed

Later, meditating on the events of the day, Quattro calls Haman Karn “Zeon’s Ghost.”

In the final episode of Zeta Gundam, Quattro battles with Haman Kahn and Paptimus Scirocco. They enter the former residential areas of the colony Gryps II, which has been converted into a giant laser, and encounter each other in a theatre. Haman pressures Quattro to join her. Quattro refuses, saying that they must deal with Scirocco. Haman offers Quattro an alliance against Scirocco if he’ll help her restore the Zabi family. He refuses.

Haman: Scirocco’s right about you, isn’t he? In that case, Char, why don’t you help me restore the Zabi family? Just consider how we could reshape the world together. [points gun at Scirocco] Once we remove this bothersome spectator, of course.

Quattro: Stop it, Haman! Don’t you understand? I just don’t want to guide this world in the wrong direction.

Haman: [points gun at Quattro] Oh, really? Say you defeated the Zabi family and wiped out the Titans. What would your plans for the Earth Sphere be like, then?

Quattro: Even without my guidance, humanity will change as it awakens through its newtype gifts! I am content to wait for that time.

Haman: If you won’t side with me, then I’ll simply eliminate you. And I’ll restore the Zabi family myself. That’s a simple enough idea for guiding the common people.

Quattro: Can’t you see that you’re just repeating the same mistakes, Haman?

Haman: If you don’t understand how this world works, it’s better that you remove yourself from it.

Kamille Bidan: [enters stage left]The ones who need to be removed are the ones whose souls are dragged down by the Earth’s gravity. However, even that cause doesn’t justify killing so many people.

Haman: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Paptimus: Spewing your naked emotions may impress the commonfolk, but it won’t work on us.

Kamille Bidan: What’s the point of building a new world if people can’t live their own lives in it?

Paptimus: Common people are only capable of holding back true genius. They’re good for nothing. The world has always been run by a handful of geniuses.

Kamille Bidan: That’s not true!

Paptimus: Foolish boy! Your kind of cheap sentimentality will be the ruin of this world.

Haman wants to resurrect the Zabis. Scirocco wants to rule. Kamille wants to prevent deaths. And here, Quattro isn’t expressing much in the way of preferences of his own.

Char Aznable, unmasked

This section about Char’s Counterattack is incomplete.

In his speech at Sweetwater Colony, Char spoke:

This colony, Sweetwater, was built by patching together a closed-type to an open-type, and is therefore very unstable. It was made hastily, in order to accommodate those refugees who had survived the past space wars. This was the only measure taken by the Earth Federation government. They concluded that everything was fine, as long as they made a container to stick the refugees in. They remained on Earth, and refused to share the planet.

My father, Zeon Deikun, had made a request to Earth for all space immigrants, known as Spacenoids. But he was assassinated by the Zabi family. The Zabis had called themselves the Principality of Zeon, and had launched a war of independence against Earth. You know how it was to end, with the Zabis losing the war, which sealed their fate.

But the Earth’s government had grown arrogant. The Federation forces had become corrupt from within, giving birth to roge Federation movements like the Titans, and resulting in the brazen activities of Haman, who had falsely claimed to be a protector of the Zabi family. This history has made us all refugees!

What is our future? Reflecting on this tragic history, I firmly believe mankind must do everything to prevent war from rising up again. This is the true purpose behind our operation to drop Axis onto Earth: to change history.

Hence, we will discipline the people who continue to live on Earth, and eliminate the source of any wars in the Earth Sphere!

This YouTube dub of Char’s Counterattack</cite>.

TL;DR? Don’t just attack the Earth Federation government. Eliminate the Earth’s ability to wage war on space.

And during the final fight between Char and Amuro, Char reveals that Axis was filled with nuclear bombs, the better to contaminate Earth. Char views Earthnoids as “vermin infesting the planet”, according to the English dub.

Where once he had sought reform of the Earth Federation government, and independence for Spacenoids, now Char sought simply the destruction of the Earth Federation government, leaving behind only Spacenoids as government.

Full Frontal

Three years after Char’s presumed demise at Axis during the Second Neo Zeon war in U.C. 0093, a man presenting himself as the inheritor of Char’s legacy took command of the “Sleeves” faction of Neo Zeon remnants, and began a campaign to further Spacenoid independence from the Federation. Full Frontal’s Neo Zeon focused on retrieving an artefact known as Laplace’s Box, which would undermine the legitimacy of the Earth Federation government.

Full Frontal: What we Spacenoids desire, first and foremost, is the establishment of our right to self-rule. The Federation will never consent to this. They know that the instant they do, the roles of master and servant would be reversed. The reason is obvious.

At present, life in the Earth Sphere depends on the existence of the seven Sides and the Moon, including energy production, food production, economic activity itself. The fact is that on its own, the planet Earth is no longer even capable of feeding 2 billion Earthnoid mouths.

Spacenoids, on the other hand, could easily support themselves if they were to sever ties with Earth. Zeon Deikun should have used this fact as a weapon.

However, while he may have been a great philosopher, a politician he was not. Whether it’s the Zabi family twisting Zeon’s ideals and exploiting them in a war for independence or the two Neo Zeon wars, it all boils down to the same thing.

Until we abandon the goal of forcing them to formally acknowledge us, there will be no victory in our battle against the Federation. We will strengthen the ties between the Moon and seven Sides and create an economic zone that excludes the Earth at its center. That is to say, we found the Side Co-Prosperity Sphere. If all the Sides enter into an economic partnership and boycott Earth, it will wither away into a backwater with no economic value whatsoever. The Federation Government probably won’t be able to survive, either. The only entity capable of acting as mediator for this is the Republic of Zeon.

Although it may be a Federation puppet, a certain degree of autonomy has been granted to it. The problem is that it is set to relinquish its autonomy to the Federation in four short years. If the Republic reverts back to Side 3 and is no longer permitted to act as anything beyond a local government, we will never move toward the Side Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Mineva Zabi [interrupting]: And it was at that crucial juncture that the proposal came from the Vist Foundation to turn over Laplace’s Box.

Full Frontal: Yes. Although I doubt that Cardeas Vist was aware of our plans, judging from the timing of the offer, I suspect that he hated the idea that the Federation order would become more entrenched when the Republic was dissolved.

It is common knowledge that, with the dissolution of the Republic, the Federation intends to eradicate Zeon. As is embodied by the Unicorn Gundam, a device designed to destroy the newtype myth.

Mineva: So, what you hope to gain by obtaining the Box is time. By threatening the Federation and postponing the Republic's dissolution, you gain time to create this Side Co-Prosperity Sphere of yours.

Full Frontal: That sums it up admirably.

Mineva: Now that I hear it, it all seems so petty. You want to create this Side Co-Prosperity Sphere and leave out the Federation. Rather than demanding change from those who refuse it, you will imply ignore them. That is far removed from the ideals of Zeon Deikun, who dreamed of reforming humanity.

And worlds apart from the madness, the passion, of Char, who tried to render Earth uninhabitable and bring all humanity into space. Are you sure this is what you really want? If this Side Co-Prosperity Sphere of yours comes to pass, the Earthnoids will probably speed up the redevelopment of Earth. In order to support an economy of their own. It would be a return to the old A.D. calendar days.

The new generation that will grow up in poverty might even plot to retaliate against the Spacenoids. Just like when Zeon started the One Year War. There will be no harmony or reform, only the strong and weak endlessly trading places into the future.

Is that what a man who decided to reveal himself to the world again really wants?

Full Frontal: I can imagine how you must feel, Highness. It is not a matter of right or wrong. It is simply the way of the world. A vessel does not think. It simply acts in accordance with the collective will it has been filled with. In order to ensure humanity’s continued survival.

Banagher Links (Pilot of the Unicorn Gundam): You talk like it doesn’t affect you. Even though you’re talking about your own people’s future, what you’re saying sounds cold and detached, like it doesn’t involve you.

That light that enveloped the Unicorn Gundam… it was warm. Like it was the combined feelings of everyone I know. If that kind of possibility is inside humans, then….

Full Frontal: I’ve seen that same light before. A light that was even larger. A light that may have been the result of the subconscious of every human in the Earth Sphere being gathered via the psycho-frame and converted into kinetic energy. A psycho-field that deflected the asteroid Axis.

And yet, even when confronted with possibility of such magnitude, people did not change. To maintain the status quo, they will sweep even possibility under the rug. It is what humans do. All we can do is hope to find peace and stability within our reality. You should be aware that this “possibility” of yours has been known to be a poison that causes wars.

Mineva Zabi: The Char Aznable that I knew truly is dead, isn’t he?

Full Frontal’s address aboard the Nahal Argama, Mobile Suit Unicorn Gundam RE:0096 episode 16, GundamInfoo English subtitles, 12:55.

Later:

[Full Frontal asks Banagher who he would give the Box to, if not Neo Zeon. Banagher says he’d use the box for everyone, for all humanity.]

Full Frontal: One man cannot be the voice for the wishes of all humanity. Not unless he becomes a vessel. But the only ones who can become vessels are those who have emptied themselves and passed through madness to emerge on the other side. That is no simple matter.

Still, you have talent. If you would truly become a vessel, come with me. You, who have been entrusted with your father’s dreams and been forced to undergo training, are a Cyber-Newtype of sorts. Now that you have exhibited the power of one, you can never go back to being part of that “everyone”. One day, you will run headlong into the same despair that I did.

Mobile Suit Unicorn Gundam RE:0096 episode 17, GundamInfo English subtitles, 14:32.

This despair is the despair that Full Frontal claims Char’s spirit felt at seeing the defeat of Char’s plan to drop the asteroid Axis on Earth in Char’s Counterattack. Char’s plan, described previously in this history, was to eliminate Earth’s ability to wage war on Spacenoids.

Towards the climax of Gundam Unicorn, Banagher Links and Mineva Zabi go to Syam Vist, the holder of Laplace’s Box. They discuss Vist’s plans for the Box. Mineva worries that opening the Box would start a new One Year War. But eventually Mineva and Banagher come around to the idea of opening the Box, telling the world of the original Charter of the Universal Century, and the place it reserved in government for Newtypes. Full Frontal interrupts.

Vist: As I have spent these many years as the Box’s guardian, staying too long in this body, I have had but one desire. If Newtypes truly existed, I wanted to entrust the Box to their care. I believed that they would be able to put the Box to better use and reclaim the future that was meant to be. If technology was being perfected that could touch the human psyche, the soul, I wished to find out if they truly did exist. But that is my desire.

There are as many “my only desires” as there are human beings. You could leave the Box unopened, or you could destroy it if you wished. And if that alone would not satisfy you, you are even welcome to strike this old fool dead. What do you desire? What do you wish for in your heart?

Banagher: If Newtypes are a new form of humanity, I don’t believe that current humans would be able to identify them. So I don’t know if she and I have the gifts you’re looking for. I don’t know what’s best for everyone, either. But, (flashback to all the things he’s seen since becoming the pilot of the Unicorn Gundam) Even so… As just one human being… I want to believe in what lies ahead. In people. In the possibility that humanity possesses.

Vist: All is ready. You are able to broadcast to the entire Earth Sphere via every communications and broadcast system. Even with the power of the Foundation, this was no small feat. There is little time. The Federation will do everything in its power to stop you. Now, hurry —

(Power cuts off)

Full Frontal: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. This is actually an act of locking possibility away. You should keep the contents of the Box secret and use it as leverage to bargain with the Federation. That is what will lead Spacenoids to true prosperity.

Mineva: Leave us, Full Frontal. You’re nothing but a man who was made in Char’s image who is trying to fulfill his role. Are you certain that this Side Co-Prosperity Sphere you speak of isn’t just part of your programming? A man who never believed in humanity’s future has no right to —

Full Frontal: That may have been the case at first. But I am no longer empty. It is not I who wished to come here and see the true nature of the Box with his own eyes. In truth, I do not know, either. Whose thoughts are these that have been poured into this artificial vessel?

Syam Vist, patriarch of the Vist family. As leader of Neo Zeon, as one who speaks for all Spacenoids, I would like you to place Laplace’s Box in my care. This is not a negotiation conducted between proxies. I ask that you do not interfere as you did during the handover of the Key.

Vist: There is truth in what you say. It may be that the Box should remain unopened, so that humanity may go on living in the reality it has always known.

Full Frontal: Then why —

Vist: That’s exactly why. The Box does not belong in the hands of someone who only views its opening as a bargaining chip. The hands of men like you and me. Hear me, Ghost of Char. The Universal Century will reach the hundred-year mark soon. This is no longer our time. Is it so unthinkable that the time has come for us to turn over the reins to the children?

Full Frontal: You believe that they are true Newtypes, then?

Vist: That is of no consequence. They followed the path that led to the Box, and they have made their decision. I intend to abide by that decision.

Full Frontal: Very well. It is not my wish to engage in further acts of war. However, if you cannot accept my request, I will take the Charter of the Universal Century by force.

Mobile Suit Unicorn Gundam RE:0096 episode 20, GundamInfo English subtitles, 9:00.

Laplace’s Box, containing the true charter of the Universal Century, which would incorporate Newtypes into the Earth Federation government should they exist and should they be identified. Since the Earth Federation government does not incorporate Spacenoids, let alone Newtypes, the Federation government cannot be legitimate under the Charter. Revealing the Charter — opening the Box — would delegitimize the Earth Federation government.

In that scene, Full Frontal says he would not destabilize the Earth Federation government.

Full Frontal’s Zeonism appears to be a pragmatist response to the failures of Char Aznable’s revolutionary tactics. Rather than fight Earth, he seeks a tool. He would wield the Republic of Zeon’s legitimacy under the Federation to forge the Side Co-Prosperity Sphere between the Moon and the space-colony Sides, a government which would allow Spacenoids to ignore Earth politically and economically.

Full Frontal’s Side Co-Prosperity Sphere abandons those who live on Earth. Unlike Char, who viewed the Earth Federation government as an obstacle to peace, Full Frontal views it as a prerequisite for a peace that would later obviate it.

Mineva Zabi

Heir to the Zabi throne, Mineva Lao Zabi is not a Zeonist. During the Third Neo Zeon War in U.C. 0096, she turned against Full Frontal and sought a new path for Spacenoids.

TKTK diner scene on Earth.

After being reunited with Full Frontal aboard the Federation ship Nahal Argama, Mineva expresses her discontent with Full Frontal’s recently-described interpretation of Zeonism.

Mineva: Withdraw your forces, Full Frontal. We won’t walk down the same path as you! The Second Coming of the Red Comet… there was a time when we clung to your strength. When we were being hounded by the Federation, we had nothing else. But you are not Char!

The Char that I knew believed in human possibility!

Lieutenant Angelo Sauper: Why do you refuse to understand the captain’s ideas?!

Mineva: Garencieres Team! Officers and soldiers of Neo Zeon! Hear me! Whatever Laplace’s Box turns out to be, it will mark a profound turning point for us. It may even be capable of bringing about the future that Full Frontal speaks of. He may very prove correct. It may be the only realistic answer to ensure humanity’s continued existence.

However, can that truly be called the future? Wasn't "the future" supposed to refer to a time that is different from the present? A better world? The human evolution and harmony that were dreamed of by Zeon Deikun are nowhere in that world. As the successors to the name of Zeon, as those who brought about the tragedies of the One Year War, we have a responsibility! If we simply accept reality as reality, we cannot fulfill that responsibility. The light that the Unicorn showed us —

Angelo Sauper: How can the last child of Zabi say such a thing?

[All this time, Mineva has been riding in a mobile suit piloted by Marida Cruz. Cruz’s father figure and commanding officer, Captain Zinnerman, orders Cruz to open the cockpit of her mobile suit, and she does so. Sauper jams his mobile suit’s gun into the open hatch. Mineva asks Zinnerman why he's stuck in the past; it's because he seeks revenge for the death of his wife and daughter. Marida calls him father, asks him to let her have her way. He assents; Marida closes her hatch and punches Angelo’s mobile suit.]

Angelo Sauper: Zinnerman, you bastard! You people are always like this! Irresponsible! Weak! That’s why we need power that goes beyond humanity! The Captain is a man who's transcended humanity!

Banagher Links: Humanity's future is to be built by humans, isn’t it? People are weak. Flawed. That’s why we entrust [the future] to each other. It’s passed on, and people keep walking forward. No matter how painful the path might be!

Mobile Suit Unicorn Gundam RE:0096 episode 17, GundamInfo English subtitles, 15:47.

Several things are made clear in this scene:

In a later episode, Mineva goes with Banagher Links to visit Syam Vist, the guardian of Laplace’s Box. They are interrupted by Full Frontal.

Mineva: Syam Vist. For many years, you have used this to extort concessions from the Federation government. Why give that up now?

Vist: Four years from now, in U.C. 0100, the autonomy of the Republic of Zeon will be revoked. The name of Zeon, along with his ideology, will sink into oblivion. The word “Newtype” will eventually be forgotten as well, and the curse of the Box will return to nothingness. As well as its prayer.

Without giving in to despair, without trying to stymie it, a prayer to turn back towards the God called possibility. If we miss this opportunity —

Mineva: But if we do this, war will break out again. If it has been signed by representatives of every nation, this monument carries the weight of law. If an anti-government group like the Zeon remnants were to get their hands on it, it would be the perfect weapon to bring down the Federation. If that happens, it will be the One Year War all over again. It’s too steep a price to pay for the truth of their goodwill.

Mobile Suit Unicorn Gundam RE:0096 episode 20, GundamInfo English subtitles, 9:00.

This princess of Zeon is opposed to war, having seen the effects it had upon her country. But because Mineva believes in “the god called ‘possibility’ that lives inside us all,” in the 22nd episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096, Mineva takes the microphone that Syam Vist offers her, and tells the world of the contents of Laplace’s Box, because she thinks it will make the world a better place for Spacenoids.

Rita Bernal

In a conversation with her close friends Jona Basta and Michele Luio about whether Heaven exists, known Newtype Rita Bernal addresses whether the future is fixed:

Rita: I’m not so sure. Isn’t it different for Newtypes? People who go into space will start using the half of their brains that had been unused and become a new humanity that can understand each other without misconceptions. That means that the consciousness that’s trapped inside our bodies, our minds, souls or whatever, will regain their original form, right?

Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, 43:42

This conversation happend during the reign of the Titans, around or after the fall of the Gryps Colony lase (aka Gryps II) on January 18, U.C. 0088 and before the defeat of the Titans on February 22, U.C. 0088. These dates come from analysis of the timeline of Zeta Gundam, and a conversational remark made by a Zeonic officer who ran the Titans Newtype training program the three children were imprisoned in.

It’s almost 20 years since Zeon Zum Deikun last proclaimed his theory of Newtypes, but that aspect of Zeonism has survived despite the rise and fall of Zeon as an autonomous government.

@mitigatedchaos

I feel that I must include the following for completeness. It’s not Gundam canon, but tumblr user @mitigatedchaos writes interesting things, and this is relevant to Zeonism.

First, read this series of posts. If you are confused, read the follow-up partial explanation post, delving into one part of the setting.

The zeal that burns in each of our hearts for the colonies’ cause (what you would call the “Zeon”) is a protected form of religious expression, not least out of justice for the visionary Mr. Musk who was taken from us before his time.

Even buried in political satire, Zeonism is depicted as a religion of liberation for Spacenoids.