The Zeonism of Casval Rem Deikun, under his many names

Notes on Zeonism as proposed by the man known as Casval Rem Deikun, Edouard Mass, Char Aznable, Quattro Bajeena, and other names.

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Casval Rem Deikun was the son of Zeon Zum Deikun. His father’s death left Casval and his sister Artesia under the care of their political enemies, the Zabi family. Zeon Zum Deikun’s political allies smuggled the two children (and a cat) out of the Zabi clutches.

Casval and Artesia were adopted by Don Teabolo Mass, a friend of Zeon Zum Deikun. The children were renamed as Edouard Mass and Sayla Mass, and leived in Andalucia for many years before emigrating to Side 5’s Texas Colony.

In Texas Colony, Edouard Mass met his dopplegänger Char Aznable, a bright young man who lived in the same colony as the Mass family. Edouard and Char got along swimmingly, though young Char had been swayed by propaganda to believe in the Zabi cause. When Char shipped off to military boarding school, Edouard also shipped out for boarding school. They swapped clothes, and “Edouard” was assassinated by Zabi forces.

Now going by Char Aznable, this man was trained to fight and lead. When the One Year War was ignited, Char Aznable fought in the forces of Zeon for Spacenoid independence. His actions led to the deaths of many members of the Zabi family.

At the conclusion of the One Year War, Char retired from public life, leaving the leadership of the Zeon remnant forces known as Axis Zeon to Haman Karn as regent of Mineva Lao Zabi.

Some time later, he took the name Quattro Bajeena and infiltrated the Earth Federation Forces, joining their conflict against the EFF’s Titan Task Force. Quattro Bajeena eventually joined the Anti-Earth Union Group, taking a leadership role in the AEUG alongside many of his former EFF foes from the One Year War. Together, they fought the Gryps war against the Titans.

During the Gryps conflict, Quattro Bajeena was forced to unmask himself as Char Aznable, and to unmask Char Aznable as Casval Rem Deikun, in a bid to destroy the Titans. Axis Zeon had attacked him, and so he left the scene.

Char stayed off-camera during the First Neo Zeon War (March 3rd, UC 0088 to January 17th, UC 0089), only reemerging in UC 0093 to lead a new Neo Zeon against the Earth Federation during the Second Neo Zeon War.

It is widely assumed that Casval Rem Deikun, the man known as Char Aznable, died at the end of that conflict.

Contents:
  1. Casval Rem Deikun
  2. Edouard Mass
  3. Char Aznable, the original
  4. Char Aznable, formerly known as Casval
  5. Char Aznable, The Red Comet
  6. After the One Year War
  7. Quattro Bajeena
  8. 0092: The Moon Moon Conflict
  9. 0093: The Second Neo Zeon War, or Char’s Rebellion
  10. Endnotes

Casval Rem Deikun

Born in 00591 or 00572, Char was the first child and only son of Zeon Zum Deikun and Astraia Tor Deikun. Astraia was not known to be politically active after becoming a mother; the Deikun children’s politics came from their father.

When Zeon Zum Deikun died, Casval was too young to be politically active in public, being about 10 years old.3 Nevertheless, he viewed his father’s untimely death as an assassination by the Zabi family, specifically Degwin Sodo Zabi.

Edouard Mass

After the assassination of Zeon Zum Deikun, Ramba Ral sent Casval and his sister Artesia to Earh. They were adopted by Ral family sympathizer Don Teabolo Mass, and Casval took the name Edouard Mass.

I have not yet found any strong indication of politics expressed by Casval as Edouard. Among those who knew Edouard was Casval, Casval expressed hatred towards the Zabis, as a personal grudge, not as a political disagreement.

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, formerly known as Casval

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.

Char Aznable, The Red Comet

In the time after Char returned to space, in the service of Zeon, I’m not aware of him being politically active.

Sure, he arranged for the death of Garma Zabi at the guns of the White Base. And his hatred of the Zabi family is obvious enough that Amuro remarks:

Amuro: It’s so obvious, even Char’s gotta know. Te Zabi family’s gotta be brought down and pushed from power. Why’s he getting in our way?

Mobile Suit Gundam episode 43, “Escape”, official English dub

A Federation Newtype poses the essential question of Char: Why does he fight for Zeon, against the Federation?

Amuro: I’m convinced that I have grown, and now have the ability to defeat the true enemy. The Zabi leader’s here, I can sense it.

Char: You might’ve received such powers from Lalah. I hope you’re grateful.

Amuro: You’re the monster that brought Lalah into the war!

Char: I see! So you’re angry at me for getting her involved. That’s misguided.

Amuro: What!?

Char: If there hadn’t been a war, Lalah wouldn’t ever have awakened to her Newtype potentials.

Amuro: That’s a lame excuse!

Char: No … it’s the cold, hard truth.

Amuro: Come any closer and I’ll use this! [hefts pistol]

Char: [approaching] Newtypes like yourself are much too dangerous to have around. I’m afraid I’m going to have to get rid of you now.

[Gunfight ensues; Char is shot and flees, pursued by Amuro. They are discovered by Sayla Mass, also known as Artesia.]

Char: You are the strongest soldier. This is why I must eliminate you.

Amuro: Isn’t your true enemy the Zabi family?

Char: Not in my case! [Their fight has graduated to swords; they swashbuckle] Do you have any idea why I lured you here?

Amuro: Because you figure that a Newtype is physically just the same as an ordinary person!

Char: Right. When it comes to physical skills, even Newtypes have to be trained to develop them.

Amuro: In theory, that is!

Sayla: Amuro, Casval, please don’t! I’m begging you to stop! The two of you don’t have to fight each other! Just because there’s a war going on, you don’t have to!

[Char and Amuro clash; Char stabs Amuro through the shoulder and Amuro cracks Char’s spacesuit’s faceplate. As they embrace, they have a vision of Lalah.

Amuro: Lalah told me that Newtypes aren’t meant to be used as human tools for destroying each other!

Char: A Newtype’s a powerful weapon in battle. That’s just the way it is.

Amuro: But you’re a Newtype yourself!

Sayla: Stop this, both of you! [An explosion throws her into the embracing foes; Casval rebounds away from her. She turns to Amuro.] Amuro, are you all right?

Char: Artesia!

Artesia: Please, Casval, stop this! You haven’t any reason to hate Amuro.

Casval: Not true. When someone’s too dangerous as an enemy, I have to get them when I have the opportunity.

Artesia: I thought your enemy was the Zabi family!

Casval: Destroying that family is — no longer a top priority of mine, Artesia. Once Zeon is no more, we will enter the age of Newtypes. If Amuro can let go and understand what it is I’m trying to say … then fight along beside me. Lalah would be so happy.

Amuro: What’s that?!

Sayla: How could you even suggest that!

Mobile Suit Gundam episode 43, “Escape”, official English dub

More explosions separate the conversation partners. The takeaway is that Char is planning for a post-Zeon time, when the Earth Sphere is dominated by Newtypes. He sees Amuro as a threat; he had already left the idea of the Zabis behind.

The explosion gives Casval and Artesia some time alone; Char replaces his damaged helmet with the helmet of the dying admiral that Kycilia Zabi had left behind to surrender A Baoa Qu to the Federation. In doing so, he had removed the meteorball visor given to him by Lino Fernandez, the Zeonic cadet who knew the real Char Aznable, whose identity Casval had adopted. Removing Char’s mask, the discussion with Amuro, and the reappearance of Artesia, all seem to have reminded him of his purpose.

Casval: The air in here has gotten pretty thin. You better get out while you can.

Artesia: But what will happen to you, Casval?

Casval: I’ve realized that I can’t let the Zabi family off. [Picks up rocket launcher] I’m going to make them pay.

Artesia: But Casval!

Casval: You’re a good woman. You should forget about this war. Take care of yourself, alright, Artesia? Amuro is calling for you now.

Artesia: Amuro is?

Mobile Suit Gundam episode 43, “Escape”, official English dub

Char leaves, and finds the Zanzibar-class ship on which Kycilia is about to leave. He salutes the bridge as he floats in front of the ship in its hangar, thinking:

Casval: Garma, I’m sending your sister to join you. Consider this my farewell present.

Mobile Suit Gundam episode 43, “Escape”, official English dub

Char’s rocket launcher is aimed well; it headshots Kycilia. The Zanzibar escapes the asteroid base, but is destroyed by Federation warships. Its explosion fills the hangar bay with fire, and we don’t see Char again in Mobile Suit Gundam.

But Char’s message — that Newtypes aren't meant to be used as weapons — is borne out by Amuro’s actions in the minutes that follow. Guided by Lalah, Amuro uses his Newtype abilities to communicate with the crew of the White Base, guiding them to escape from the slowly-exploding space fortress.

After the One Year War

Having fulfilled his vendetta against the Zabi family, he then escapes from the exploding A Baoa Qu with the infant Mineva Zabi and her mother. He escorts them to the asteroid Axis.

The man who arrives in Axis is not Casval Rem Deikun, but Char Aznable, and he’s pretty certain about that. This first year after the One Year War gives him time to recover from the battlefield, and gain a sense of whom he is when he needs to play politics.

Axis is led by Admiral Maharaja Karn, who shows Captain Char Aznable a video transmission from a Zeonic fleet left in the Earth Sphere, requesting assistance.

Maharaja: By the way, the video you have just seen …. Those who continue to fight the war for independence, I was thinking about them. I would like to hear your unbiased opinion on this. [thinking: Char Aznable. I definitely do sense something more than just a pilot from him. An influential man who wants to continue fighting would bring danger to Axis…]

Char: [thinking: He intends to test me…. Just as the rumors say, Maharaja Karn is a sharp man. Which means guile and trickery are meaningless.]

Maharaja: Well? Captain Char Aznable?

Char: On my way to Axis, I wondered what this war for independence meant to me. I have often sought victory for the situation on the battlefield. However, it was not my desire for victory on the battlefield that drove me; it was my desire for the soon-to-come evolution of mankind. That which stopped me was an immense power that had been drawn into the organization called the Federation. I was defeated. [illustration: by Amuro.] I lost everything…. [Lalah]. And so the Principality forces were defeated. However, even if the Principality had won the way, I doubt that space immigration would truly free them. However, that does not mean I wish to be absorbed into the Federation’s organization. That is why I am still remaining in the Republic Army’s box.

However, continuing the fighting in this state will only spread the damage. Their actions are … meaningless.

Maharaja: [chuckles] I hold the same opinion. That is why this Axis is devoid of those who wish to continue the war. After losing strategic points such as A Baoa Qu and Solomon, Axis houses our army’s only remaining forces. If we were to put up resistance, the Federation would strike at us in full force. I have not lost the will for independent space immigration, but I have no intention of going on the path of destruction either. If possible, I would rather it continue this way and wait for when force is unnecessary for independent space immigration.

Char: Please continue to hold onto those beliefs. I will assist you in any way I can.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 1, Zeonic scanlations translation

Casval presents himself to Maharaja Karn as Char, but I think we’re beginning to see Casval beginning to develop an identity beyond his revenge on the Zabis. Char frames his support for Zeon in less-militaristic ways, to better suit his host, but he’s also formulating an idea for a post-Principality Zeon, which invites people to move into space, while still protecting the political independence of Spacenoids.

This vision of post-Zabi Zeon is presented in a meeting called by Captain Enzo, who proposes to improve the Spacenoid cause with a morale boost from crowning the year-old Mineva Zabi, daughter of Dozle and Zena (Zenna, in some translations) Zabi, as the heir and princess of the Principality of Zeon.

Captain Enzo: We have held on to the belief of true independence for space immigrants for almost a year since the war for independence. However, up until now, the moral of the Principality’s citizens has been low. Granada holds the name of “Republic”, yet is used as a colony for the Federation, spreading an influence of weakness. Adding to that Mistress Zena’s death, the Zeon populace’s hearts have sunk to the bottom. The will to fight for independence stands about as much chance as a candle in the wind.

To break us out of this situation, I would like to suggest something. We need to let the people know Mineva is the true heir to the Principality of Zeon. We should perform the ceremony for Mineva’s crowning. What do you think about this, Captain Char Aznable?

Captain Char Aznable: I do indeed feel that the lack of resources and suitable living quarters is causing stress amongst the soldiers and civilians, as well as lowering morale.

Enzo: Bravo, bravo. [soft clap] You really are very perceptive, Captain Char.

To unite the populace of Axis and raise the morale for the fight for independence, we should perform the ceremony at once.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 1, chapter 4, Zeonic scanlations translation

Char suggests a public works program to improve material conditions on Axis; Enzo suggests pageantry. This is a good indication of his mindset: he is concerned not about politics, but about practicalities.

Admiral Maharaja Karn convinces Captain Char to go along with Captain Enzo’s plan. This creates a decisive split between the Republic of Zeon, a Federation puppet government in the colony Grenada, and the Principality, which now finds itself in the asteroid Axis. Axis is not without interior political division; scenes in Volume 2 of Char’s Deleted Affair show a faction of Axis Zeon who wish to provoke another war with the Federation. Maharaja Karn tells Char that he rejects this war because Axis is not strong enough to fight and win such a war, but that is not his only reasoning.

Alone in his office, Maharaja pulls from his desk an old photograph of a political function, where Zeon Zum Deikun sits with Casval and Artesia among dignitaries.

Maharaja Karn: You must understand this, Captain Char. It’s difficult for me as we…. If possible, I won’t want to be forced to give you a dangerous mission. I want you to lend me your power, but not as a pilot, rather as a leader who bears the future of axis … no, all of Zeon …. Still, if you are the person I think you are, then it is me who wants to become a helping power for you, Captain Char Aznable. Or should I say….

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 2, Zeonic scanlations translation

Maharaja Karn begins to rely on Char as a connection to Zeon Zum Deikun. It becomes clear that Maharaja looks to Char as a font of Zeonic thought.

During a meeting discussing the actions of the pro-war faction on Axis, who make up perhaps 30% of the military, Maharaja speaks against a violent approach to the pro-war faction. Char doesn’t quite give him the anti-war line he was expecting.

Commander Heinz: But Admiral, it’s a fact that they collected our forces’ scrap ships, armed them, and used them to lure in the Federal Forces! Without the actions of Captain Char, we have no idea what state Axis could’ve ended up in! Are you suggesting that we sit here quietly and act like we’re clueless?

Admiral Maharaja Karn: No, it’s nothing like that! We should avoid arresting and bringing them to trial. Instead, we must persuade them to change their views. Their methods may be different, but their desire for the independence of Zeon is the same as ours! Therefore we need to direct the general will of Axis to shift towards the direction of an untainted and bloodless independence from the Federation. That is also the will of Zeon Zum Deikun, of whom I am a great admirer. Is it not, Captain Char?!

Char: [!] Yes…

Maharaja: Attaining our independence through principle … that shall be what we aspire to accomplish.

Char: I’m of the same mind as the admiral.

Heinz: But if such a situation were to rise again, the fate of Axis would be at stake. Would we not need to reinforce our military strength?

Char: Concerning that case, I agree — with Commander Heinz.

Maharaja: I understand. We will examine it at the next general meeting.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 2, Zeonic scanlations translation

Char plots a middle course here, neither Maharaja’s purer pacifism, nor Heinz’ reactive militarism. (Definitely not the pro-war faction’s proactive militarism.) Casval seems to be plotting a for-lack-of-a-better-word “pragmatic” approach for Axis Zeon’s relationship with the Federation: peace if possible, and war only if peace is not possible.

Char has the following conversation with then fifteen-year-old Haman Karn, after her appointment as guardian of Mineva Zabi:

Haman: Captain, is it okay for me to take on such an important role?

Char: Lady Mineva’s actual care is already handled by her attendants. All that really matters is that you’re there for her.

I can understand your anxiety. But everyone here is nervous, too. This place is on the outer frontier, far away from the Earth Sphere. Not only that, but it’s under military rule. If Axis is to continue in its existence, then there are no alternatives, other than to wage war on the federation and prevail, or negotiate with them for our independence.

As things stand now, it’s clear that neither can be achieved. The people realize it, too. To them, they’re living in a place where they don’t know whether they’ll even be alive the next day. What they need right now is hope. But lady Mineva is still too young to east their concerns. That’s why we need someone who can.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 4, pp. 10-12 Zeonic scanlations translation

Char tries to pass these thoughtful words off as someone else’s, but they’re clearly his. He sees only one path forward for Zeon: through this impossible, unnamed third option. Maintaining hope is a holding action, which Char wants to put on Haman’s shoulders.

Maharaja Karn, on the other hand, thinks that the charismatic leader necessary to revive the hope of the people of Zeon is Casval Rem Deikun. The unexpected arrival of Oksana Boginskaya, a diplomat from an independence-aligned faction of the Federation-controlled government of the Republic of Zeon, gives Maharaja a young blonde woman who is both enamored of Char and willing be used as a puppet. Oksana, briefed by Maharaja, attempts to get Char to reminisce about his youth. Maharaja believes that if Char returned to Side 3 to visit the Republic, especially as Casval Rem Deikun, he would serve as the charismatic figurehead for a peaceful independence movement.

Char doesn’t want to be used as this puppet, and turns away Oksana’s advances. Oksana reports this to Maharaja Karn, where we learn that Maharaja Karn is both trying to find out whether Char is Casval, and trying to revive a burnt-out Char.

Maharaja: How’s things go, Oksana?

Oksana: Not like I wanted….

Maharaja: Oh…. Well, I figured as much. The man’s faced death on the battlefield countless times. I won’t follow you back [to Side 3] so easily.

Oksana: I’ll have to try harder. But why not push him into revealing thta he’s really Casval Rem Deikun?

Maharaja: Until recently, it was only just a theory of mine.

Oksana: So … do you really believe he is?

Maharaja: I do. I met him several times when he was just a small child. Although the captain seems to have forgotten about it. I don’t have any proof, but I’m sure of it.

Oksana: Then… why?

Maharaja: He has to have a good reason for hiding his identity. If we were to confront him, he’d simply deny it, and that’d be that.

Besides, the forces of Axis are still my responsibility. As a military man myself, I’m in no position to force another soldier to lead a peaceful independence movement. Do you understand? It’s a very delicate matter.

Oksana: Yes.

Maharaja: Whatever the case, we need his support to attain independence for Spacenoids without resorting to war. It’s the only way we’ll live up to Zeon Zum Deikun’s ideals. If he comes forward with his true identity and takes up the reins of the movement, the people’s morale would rise alongside the prospect of independence. When that day finally comes, I’ll raise both my hands in his support.

Oksana: But right now, the captain’s too caught up in being a pilot.

Maharaja: You’re right. Having talked to him for several months now, I've come to realize that Char has grown tired from the bloodshed of war, and lost sight of his life's ambition…. But who knows how a man like him would react after being asked to lead a revolution. Still, I doubt he’s the type who’d let things end up … that way.

Oksana: I … also get that impression.

Maharaja: If he sees the sad truth of the homeland with his own eyes, that blood of his would definitely boil over. That’s why we must convince him to return to Side 3.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 4, pp. 66-71 Zeonic scanlations translation

Weeks or months later, after battles and training and mobile suit development, Maharaja Karn invites Char and another trusted soldier over for drinks.

Maharaja: As I told you before, the factions are not the issue. Forcing responsibility on them for what transpired, and causing them to fall, isn’t what’s important.

The final direction I hope to take is complete independence and autonomy of Spacenoids. Something that isn’t limited to just Axis or Zeon. But rather independence for all Spacenoids living in the colonies. If we are able to attain that goal, then I won’t have any qualms that that the organization that is the “Principality of Zeon” here on Axis will be a sacrificial stone in exchange for that. I’d stake my life on it.

… We are here to protect this organization called Axis. Of course I can’t tell that to anyone other than you.

Char, thinking to himself: I who have lived only for the purpose of fulfilling a personal vendetta. Is my existence really that trivial? You’ve made me realize this once more.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 6, pp. 113-115 Zeonic scanlations translation

Char begins to lose his neutrality, both on the position of his own existence and the topic of the future of Zeon.

In UC 0083, Oksana and Maharaja succeed — or are allowed to succeed by Enzo et, al. — in sending Haman and Char and Oksana to Side 3 for a diplomatic tour of the Republic of Zeon. During this trip, Haman celebrates her 16th birthday. Various soldiers present her with roses. Char takes note:

Char, thinking: All of the roses have the exact same color to them. Even Axis should have a certain variety itself … but in reality it seems to have been arranged far in advance.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 7, p. 87 Zeonic scanlations translation

This is a multilayered observation: The varied political opinions of the Zeon on Axis are being pruned down; its roses are a monoculture. Later scenes from that chapter show the growing warlike faction on Axis, and the dispatch of an expeditionary fleet of 20 ships from Axis to the Earth Sphere, to “reinforce” a vague and nebulous concept of a Zeon presence that might be fighting against the Federation.

This expedition stops at Ambrosia, a space station in an asteroid shoal zone, maintained by the Principality of Zeon and kept secret from the Federsation. There, the office of the Zeon Independence Alliance is led by Mr. Kaizes. Kaizes mentions to Char Admiral Maharaja’s suspicions about Casval Rem Deikun, which Char passes off as “preposterous”.

Kaizes: I had a feeling you’d say that. I’ll explain my reasoning. Assume what I said is true. If Master Casval is alive, I believe it would be wise forhim to stand up for the resurrection of Zeon. If he were to do just that, then we would be prepared to support him whenever necessary. The independence of Zeon is not only the desire of Axis or the citizens of the Republic of Zeon, but of all Spacenoids. We of the Zeon Independence Alliance are putting all our efforts towards attaining that goal.

Char: I understand your sentiments, but I’m just an ordinary soldier. I’m not this Casval you speak of.

Kaizes: Of course. You don’t have to admit to such a thing in this place. Shall we talk again after you’ve inspected Side 3 and have witnessed the state of the homeland with your own eyes?

Char: I don’t mean to be rude, but you seem to be giving me more credit than I deserve…

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 9, pp. 30-33 Zeonic scanlations translation

Kaizes apologizes, and Char goes to bed.

Char: As I thought, Admiral Maharaja realized who I really am. But just what does he think I can do, for his bloodless independence from the Federation?

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 9, p. 34 Zeonic scanlations translation

Char, more a mobile suit pilot than a diplomat, still lacks hope for a peaceful solution to the question of Zeonic independence.

The fact-finding expedition led by Char and Haman arrives in Side 3, and are met by Georges, a cadet Principality mobile suit pilot who was convinced by Councilman Kaizes to join the Federation army as a mole. Georges leads the group on a tour, but peels Char off for questioning. He tells Char that there is support within the Federation for Spacenoid independence, and that

Georges: The group I’d like to be a part of intends to establish an organization with the goal of an armed uprising, but they don’t have enough pilots. I’d like to include you in that, Captain Char. By all means, you have an ample amount of actual combat experience from the War for Independence.

Char: That’s quite a lot to take in … but it’s an interesting story nonetheless. The remnants of the old Zeon power are at Axis trying to stage an uprising. However, I'm certain they cannot win with force unless the Federation is weakened.

Georges: As my sister says, I’m a cold fish who can’t say anything right. The head of our council, Kaizes Buyers, tells me you are Casval Deikun. But I’m not at all interested in that. I want to fight together with the Red Comet, Char Aznable!

Char: [! or …]

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 9, pp. 156-157 Zeonic scanlations translation, which I think are misordered in that translation

The inspection concludes.

Haman: It was much worse than I imagined. I was quite shocked by it all. While it is officially labelled as an independent nation, for all intents and purposes, it is treated like a puppet state.

Georges: That is quite an impressive observation in such a short amount of time, Lady Haman.

Oksana: I feel that the situation has gotten much worse since I left for Axis.

Char: From the eyes of someone who is aware of the era of the Principality of Zeon that is certainly true. And I understand that those who escape to Axis isare unending. But truth be told, I couldn’t sense a vitality in the eyes of the citizens like that time, either. In its current state, it’s impossible for the will of the people to rally behind a rise for independence. That is to say, so long as those who have experienced war and have long given up that desire are steering the world, unless a generational change happens over several decades, a movement for independence will not occur.

Oksana: Those of us in the independent alliance don’t intend to wait that long.

Haman: Then we should help lead them back to their desire for the independence they lost!

Char: I’m afraid the hearts and minds of the masses cannot be changed so easily. To be honest, although the federation is weakening, independence and the like through Axis’ fighting strength is an impractical proposition. Even if we were to gather all the remaining forces around the homeland, I’m doubtful it would be enough to change the current situation.

Haman: Captain! Despite that, I don’t want to give up hope!

Char: That is what is important, Haman. Whether it can be realized is something different. — However, it does not appear that Spacenoids lack a desire to obtain an independent government.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 11, pp. 32-36 Zeonic scanlations translation

Char’s conclusion — that it will require generational change to remove the war-tired citizens from power — is not to Councilman Kaizes’ will; he sends Char and Haman to a Federation-run historical museum to see if that will provoke the Zeon-raised Char towards action. “Taking in this fabricated history is a waste of time”, he says to Haman, and later, “It’s just as I imagined it would be. There was nothing of value in it.” He repeats this sentiment to Kaizes directly:

Kaizes: Captain Char. Before you return to Axis, there’s something I’d like to ask you. It’s about your decision to rise up and reveal your position to the public…

Char: Right now I am Char Aznable, nothing more and nothing less. Nothing about that will change.

Kaizes: Even after seeing the deplorable state the Republic is in, your position hasn’t changed?

Char: Taking into account the current situation of the citizens, I would say that a revival of independence from within Zeon is impossible. That’s the answer I’ve come to.

Kaizes: I see. Then we should proceed when the time is right.

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 11, pp. 52-53 Zeonic scanlations translation

Char believes that the independence of Zeon as a country, not as an ideology, will require not just military support, but also popular support. Whether or not the army is there, the people aren’t. Thus, in the year 0083, Char speaks against war.

And yet he backs Haman for Regent, when he knows that she’s more militant than he is.

After her ascension, he muses:

Narrator: Two months later: The military nexus would later be regrouped around Haman Karn and the political structure of Axis shifted toward the hardliners.

Char, musing: Maharaja Karn was the only man I was able to sympathize with, having lost my purpose to live since the battle of A Baoa Qu: I had expectations from his ideals, and little hope in the possibility of a bloodless independence from the Federation. Perhaps I was seeking a father figure in him. It was too late as he departed this world. The situation now appears to be tranquil since the end to the suspicious confrontation between the moderates and the hardliners. There were quite a few things that were lost…

Char’s Deleted Affair, volume 14, p. 26 Zeonic scanlations translation

Months pass, and eventually a trusted confederate returns from the Earth Sphere with news. Rumors begin to swirl of Char returning to the Earth Sphere on a scouting mission — rumors which are untrue, but they lead a lieutenant to go to Haman to discuss them. Haman is displeased by the rumors, but consents to the scouting operation, which involves more than 600 soldiers and several ships. The fleet travels to the Earth Sphere, and Axis sympathizers convince Char to enrol in the Federation military as a mobile suit pilot. His cover identity comes from a solider reported MIA: Lieutenant Quattro Bajeena.

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. Quattro’s secret identity as Char is not kept completely secret; some AEUG brass know.

TKTK: The conversation between the captain and commander in ch 6 of Zeta, where one remarks “spread his father’s message” about Quattro.

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

When Quattro meets with AEUG backer Wong Lee (in the back rooom of a McDaniel’s restaurant, in Lunar Granada), Wong Lee pushes for the AEUG to attack the Earth Federation base in South Africa, Jaburo. Wong Lee is a representative of Anaheim Electronics, the largest mobile suit manufacturing company. Quattro objects to the plan:

TKTK insert quote

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 8, dubbed

Yet despite this, the attack goes through.

Char on why he returned to the Earth Sphere:

TKTK insert quote 7:00

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 15, dubbed

TKTK 16:22: Char and Amuro discuss Amuro’s future.

TKTK: 20 2:28: Beltorchika tells Amuro not to act like Char, “who loses himself in battles.”

After the assassination of AEUG Commodore Blex, the allied resistance group Karaba tells Quattro to take command of the AEUG. At the same time, it is revealed that Axis Zeon has been providing support to the Titans — the Titans, who were formed to hunt down Zeon remnants and other threats to the Earth Federation.

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 0087, 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.]

Char: Please continue, your highness.

Haman Karn: [angrily] Char Aznable!

Char: [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.”

During the joint Karaba/AEUG attack on Kilimanjaro, Cyber-Newtype Four Murasume is killed by Titans pilot Jerid Messa. As Gundam pilot Kamille Bidan mourns Four’s death, Kamille angrily tells Quattro: “I’m never calling you ‘Lieutenat Quattro’ again. You have to return to Char Aznable.” Char replies, “Kamille, you’re right.” (Zeta dub, ep 36 22:00)

With Karaba, Char invades the Federation capital at Dakar, and gives a speech decrying the Federation’s Titans, but also preaching his view of his father’s ideology:

Char: I would like to start by apologizing to the members of this Assembly and all Federation citizens. We mean no disrespect to you by taking control of this session. I am Lieutenant Quattro Bajeena of the Anti-Earth Union Group. But there is something I must first disclose, before saying what I came here to say: I have another name. I am the man who was once known as Char Aznable. However, I come before you today as the bearer of the true ideals of Zeon. Please, do not think of me as the Char Aznable who served the Principality of Zeon, but as the son of Zeon Deikun, whose legacy has nothing to do with the evils and hatred wrought by the Zabi dynasty</mar>. Zeon Deikun did not found the Principality of Zeon! And one look at the lawless actions of the Titans, done with the full backing of the Earth Federation Forces, is enough to make it obvious that they are more depraved then the Zabi dynasty ever was!

Humanity moved to space so that our planet would not collapse under the weight of its people. There, they flourished, expanding their living space as they built more colonies with their own hands! Unfortunately, their success filled them with hubris, and their dream of glory gave birth to the nightmare of the Zabi dynasty! We must not repeat their mistake! Why won’t people understand that moving into space should broaden their horizons!? Deep down, we all believe that humanity should no longer pollute the Earth! Only the Titans, whose souls are weighed down by gravity, still think of ravaging it! Why is it so hard for people to understand? Since the dawn of history, mankind has played in its cradle, the Earth. But now, humanity must leave the nursery behind! Our infancy has come to an end!

Tell me why we must — at this turning point in our history — fight amongst ourselves, and further pollute the Earth? The Earth should be returned to its natural state, and all of humanity should make their home in space! Otherwise, Earth will no longer remain the blue planet. Even this very city of Dakar is slowly being engulfed by the desert. That is how exhausted the Earth has become! Every one of us here right now would like to see the Earth remain alive and beautiful; but if we truly feel this way, we should not cling to the Earth like parasites, only seeking to fulfill our selfish desires.

The Titans have started a conflict above us, with no regard for the lives of the delegates of this Assembly. You can observe the brutality of their actions for yourselves. They set themselves above the regular Earth Federation Forces, and smear anyone who opposes them as terrorists. But it is their arrogance that is their greatest sin; it will lead to the downfall of humanity! Those of you who have been watching these events unfold on television must realize by now that this is who the Titans are. I admit that it was wrong of us to seize this Assembly, but what of the Titans, who are trying to destroy it and its delegates? Do they have no regard for the lives of their own supporters among them?!

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 36, dubbed

When the AEUG requests Axis Zeon’s assistance in destroying the Titans’ colony laser Gryps II, the AEUG promises Side 3 in exchange for Axis destroying the colony laser.

Char: We want you to destroy Gryps II’s colony laser with the power of your battleship, Gwadan.

Haman: [laughs] I’m flattered that the Red Comet himself needs my help. But it seems you’ve forgotten something. When you beg someone for help, you should say “please.”

Char: [removes his Quattro sunglasses, bows] I beg you, Haman Karn. Please destroy the colony laser.

Haman: [laughs] I shall be true to my word. The proof of our might will be forever etched in your minds. [exits]

Char: Whatever it takes to get this done.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, episode 43, dubbed

Haman follows through, and the Gwadan disables Gryps II’s thrusters. He travels to that ship to thank Princess Mineva in person, but when the Gwadan passes the Argama, Char worries that the AEUG will have to fight against Axis Zeon and the Gwadan, doubting that the alliance will hold. He worries for Mineva.

In the final episode of Zeta Gundam, Char 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. Char refuses, saying that they must deal with Scirocco. Haman offers Char 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.

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

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

Char: 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.

Char: 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, but in his innocence cannot articulate an alternative. And at this time, Char doesn’t have his own vision for the future.

0092: The Moon Moon Conflict

Several years after the publication of the documentary Char’s Counterattack, a new history was published of the lead-up to this conflict, which provided additional details about Char’ motivations and activities leading up to the conflict.

0093: The Second Neo Zeon War, or Char’s Rebellion

In UC 0093, Char goes public again. In his identity as Casval Rem Deikun, som of Zeon Zum Deikun, he unites the Zeon remnant groups from the past decade’s conflicts. He arranges to smite Earth once more, using asteroids.

During the battle in which Char’s Neo Zeon forces redirect the asteroid Fifth Luna towards Earth, Amuro Ray encounters Char in battle:

Amuro: Why are you crashing this to Earth?! Temperatures will drop and it’ll become uninhabitable! It’ll cause a nuclear winter!

Char: Those living on Earth only care about themselves. That’s why I’ve decided to get rid of them all.

Amuro: You have no right to punish them in that way!

Char: It is Char Aznable’s destiny to enforce discipline, Amuro!

Amuro: You’re full of yourself!

Char: I’m saying that Earth isn’t going to last. Not with that!

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

What I find interesting about this is that Char has embraced the idea of “destiny.” He has become a man who believes that such a thing exits. Fifth Luna falls to Earth and obliterates Tibet.

Amuro Rey has the following conversation with Captain Bright Noa of the Federation special forces unit Londo Bell, about Char’s apparent change of heart from when we last saw him, in UC 0088, when he fought as part of the Anti-Earth Union Government coalition:

Noa: Do you think Char will go through with this plan to freeze the Earth?

Amuro: He’s already started the process.

Noa: In order to send Earth into another Ice Age, he must crash another asteroid into the planet…. But the Federation forces control everything within Earth’s orbit. That’s why he’s pushing to get Sweetwater recognized as a Neo Zeon colony.

Amuro: You think Adenauer Paraya is here for negotiations?

Noa: Yeah, I believe so.

Amuro: Char once joined our fight against the Federation forces, but he learned about those who live on Earth to the point where he truly hates them.

Noa: Yes, I realize that.

Amuro: So now he wants to settle it, for once and for all.

Noa: But why?

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Adenauer Paraya is the “Vice-Foreign Minister” of the Earth Federation, and apparently in a position to make such negotiations.

Noa’s ship drops Adenauer Paraya off at the colony Londenion, where the Earth Federation holds a secreat treaty negotiation with Char’s Neo Zeon. Noa’s question is mine, especially because in the ensuing negotiations, the Neo Zeon government gives the Federation government a large quantity of gold bars, and a promise to surrender their fleet to the Federation forces at Second Luna, in exchange for the asteroid Axis. Axis, former home of Axis Zeon, which was once the home of Haman Karn and Mineva Zabi. As a bonus, Axis comes with fully-functioning nuclear pulse engines, of the same type that Fifth Luna had.

After the negotiations are concluded, Amuro and Char encounter each other in a safari zone of the colony. “What are you doing here!” exclaims Amuro. “Unlike you, I’m more than just a pilot!” replies Char. It’s true that Char is a head of state. The conversation continues, with Amuro driving a jeep and Char on horseback.

Amuro: We fought together, Char! Why do you want to destroy it?

Char: The people on Earth do nothing but pollute it. Their souls are weighed down by gravity.

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Amuro tackles Char from his horse, punches him, and shouts, “Why?!”

Char: Earth can’t live with all those parasites!

Amuro: Human wisdom can overcome problems!

Char: Then grant all these so-called people your wisdom!

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Char escapes with the aid of a subordinate. A Federation flunky who was at the treaty negotiation tells Noa about the negotiations. Noa is upset, and confronts Adenauer Paraya:

Noa: You don’t know what Char is up to!

Adenauer: We had to sell the Axis asteroid. The money will be used to fulfill our welfare programs. Besides, Char said he'd blow up some colonies!

Noa: Char would never harm the Colonies. Char only wants to wipe out all those who remain on Earth.

Adenauer: I’m going to Luna II to oversee Neo Zeon’s disarmament.

Noa: Disarm their fleet?! Why won’t you engage Londo Bell to oversee it?

Adenauer: We can’t have Char’s fleet come close to any colony.

Noa: Then we will monitor it independently.

Adenauer: Yes, of course. If you officers determine anything amiss, make a move.

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Several things happened here. Adenauer believes that he understands Char. He believes that Char’s politics regard the space colonies and Neo Zeon as separate things, and that Char is a straightforward man of his word. He also believes that Noa is overreacting, yet he gives Londo Bell free rein.

In reality, Char believes that Neo Zeon is something closer to a military wing of the Spacenoid movement, which includes all those already in space. Char would no more attack a colony than he would attack his own fleet.

After returning triumphant to the Zeon-aligned colony Sweetwater, Char is asked by the Newtype Quess Paraya, “And are you going to destroy the Earth?” Char, freshly reminded by a trainful of singing patriots that people look to him as a leader, replies, “I won’t destroy it. I’m just going to give it a nice long rest.”

Yet.

Not an hour later, Char relaxes over a glass of scotch with his close companion Nanai Miguel. She’s the director of Neo Zeon’s Newtype laboratories. She’s Char’s chief operations officer. She may be his lover. She is in love with him. She and he are wearing bathrobes and it’s late at night.

Nanai: Just ramming Axis into Earth will cause the same calamity as that of a nuclear winter. That’s an evil scheme no dictator in history has attempted. Are you okay with that, Captain Char?

Char: It’s too late for lectures, Nanai. I believe in the rebirth of a humanity that lives in space. However, for all of us to become Newtypes, someone has to shoulder all the evils of humanity.

Nanai: And you’re okay with that? … You thought up this latest plan to get even with Amuro, right?

Char: Do you think I’d be so petty?

Nanai: Amuro Ray wrongly believes compassion to be the weapon of a Newtype. A woman may be able to forgive such a man. But Captain, you cannot forgive that of Amuro.

Char: During the first war for Zeon independence, I had a protege, a young pilot named Lalah Sune. She found compassion in Amuro, even though he was the enemy. Such deep mutual understanding is only possible between Newtypes. …

[A flashback sequence: Lalah in a mobile armor and Amuro in a Gundam fight; Char in a Gelgoog moves to intervene but is momentarily blocked by Artesia in a Core Booster. Amuro uses the distraction to attack Char, severing one of the Gelgoog’s arms. Lalah blocks a killing blow with her mobile armor; Amuro accidentally kills her.

Back in the modern day, Char stares at his whisky and ruminates: Oh, I wanted you to guide me. All because she could tap into people’s thoughts.]

Nanai: What’s the matter?

Char: Those who are too much alike will end up hating each other.

Nanai: They say that love and hate are two sides of the same coin.

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Maybe she’s accusing him of toxic masculinity and maybe she isn’t. But Char is setting himeself up as the ethical sacrifice, the scapegoat on whose shoulders falls the actions necessary to bring humanity to the next stage of evolution.

The rest of this commentary seems to suggest that perhaps Lalah and Amuro and Char would have been better off in an ashen romance (auspisticism), facilitated by Lalah whom both men respected. Without Lalah’s balancing influence, Nanai think that these two men are moving towards a pitch romance (kismesissitude), where their mutual respect and hatred and admiration and self-improvement. Char seems slightly more devoted to the Homestuck concept, however, as he is unwilling to kill Amuro. Amuro is willing to end the relationship by killing Char; he seems to see Char as an archrival rather than a life partner. Yet there is a certain resonance between these two Newtypes.

(No, I’m not shipping these two grown men. I’m pointing out the function of Lalah in their relationship, and how their relationship has degraded since her death. It’s a straight textual reading of the film, as Nanai points out.)

The next day, Char motivates the troops with this speech at Sweetwater Colony:

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.

TL;DR? The Earth Federation government is the primary source of conflict in the Earth Sphere. Reducing Earth to rubble will bring back peace.

And during the final fight between Char and Amuro, Char reveals that Axis was filled with nuclear bombs, left over from some old weapons. He had them set to explode just before the asteroid hit Earth, the better to contaminate it and make it uninhabitable for humans. Char views Earthnoids as “vermin infesting the planet”, according to the English dub.

Remember how Char earlier told Quess that he wasn’t going to destroy Earth, but instead “give it a nice long rest”? In the final battle of Char’s Counterattack, Quess tells Hathaway Noa: “You creepy Earthnoids! I have to destroy that planet, or we won’t be saved!”. And while she appears to be an easily-influenced influence-seeker, who has spent little time among the Zeon, her statement here is notable because it reflects what she’s picked up from Char’s speeches and the other Neo Zeon people she’s been spending time with. Zeonism has become, in their eyes, something of a religion of salvation through the ritual sacrifice of Earth.

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.

Amuro and Char meet in combat, mobile suit on mobile suit. Amuro blows up a Neo Zeon cruiser attached to Axis, which was providing cover for the nuclear bomb technicians.

Char: I can’t contaminate the Earth if they blow up here! [the ship explodes] Amuro! Don’t you realize that the humans remaining on Earth, they’re just vermin infesting the planet?

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Amuro doesn’t hear those words; they’re just Char’s state of mind. Amuro enters Axis, and Char follows. Amuro sets some explosive traps for Char, and leaves radios in his wake to broadcast a message to Char. Char hears these messages, and slowly catches up with Amuro.

Amuro: There are some things you don’t understand. Revolutions are dreamt up by intellectuals, but reality forces them to take drastic measures. Following a revolution, the passions of rebirth get taken over by mediocrity. Intellectuals hate this, and withdraw from politics and society to become recluses. Eventually,

Char: I’m not planning to change the world! Those ignorant people are just taking advantage of your powers!

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

They shoot at each other some and then escape the rabbit-warren caves of Axis. Explosives planted by a Londo Bell task force craxk Axis in twain, boosting half the asteroid into a higher orbit that won’t have it collide with Earth. That same explosion brakes the rear half, putting it on a collision course. Char’s mobile suit is defeated; Amuro catches Char’s escape pod and carries it with him as he tries to boost the falling half of Axis to a higher orbit.

Amuro: Why are you laughing?

Char: Looks like I win. According to my calculation, the back end of Axis is being pulled in by Earth’s gravity. Your plan has backfired!

Amuro: So you think! I’ll use the Gundam to push back that worthless piece of rock!

Char: Don’t be stupid!

Amuro: I’ll just have to try!

Char: You’re insane!

Amuro: I’m not as impatient as you! I can wait for humanity to learn and grow!

Char: Axis is starting to free fall to Earth….

Amuro: You’re underestimating Nu Gundam!

Char: If I feared for my life, I would never have dared to give you the psycho-frame data!

Amuro: What?

Char: It would be my hollow victory if you had a second-rate mobile suit. But this has become absurd!

Amuro: You’re so arrogant. Why do you always have to look down on other people?

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

There are more lines said between the two of them, but you get the gist of it. Char believes he has triumphed, and is perplexed by Amuro’s efforts to save Earth in the present moment, when he has clearly lost. Amuro exhibits an optimism that Char lacks in this film.

Amuro’s optimism pays off when Earth Federation mobile suits arrive to help push Axis, and when those EFF mobile suits are joined by some Zeonic suits. Amuro tells the EFF and Zeon forces to leave, for their suits cannot deal with the heat of reentry. An EFF pilot replies, “We won’t let Londo Bell take all the credit.” A Zeon pilot says, Earth’s fate rests in the balance! It’s worth a try!” Not all Zeon soldiers believe in the elimination of Earth, it seems. Yet despite their hopes, their suits explode or melt.

Char: In the end, only such sorrow will spread across until it finally destroys the Earth. Then humans will be forced to judge themselves by themselves, and they will have to atone for their sins against nature and Earth. Amuro. Why don’t you realize this?

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

Amuro’s continued insistence that the pilots flee their fiery fate kicks off a psycho-frame resonance between Nu Gundam and the psycho-frame in char’s cockpit escape capsule. Glowing light spreads across Axis, shoving off the EFF and Zeon mobile suits alike, flinging them to safety. Trapped in his cockpit, Char insists on the rightness of his plans.

Char: I see. Humans, who can possess warmth, are still cruel enough to destroy Earth. You must understand that, Amuro!

Amuro: I do understand that. That’s why we have to show the world the light of the human heart!

Char: For a man who thinks that way, you were awfully cold to Quess. Eh?

Amuro: I’m not a machine! I couldn’t be a father type to Quess. Is that it? Is that why you used Quess like some kind of machine?

Char: So, Quess was searching for a father figure. I see why I found her annoying, and turned her into a machine.

Amuro: I thought you were more broadminded!

Char: Lalah Sune was a woman who may have become a mother to me. You took her life, so don’t you judge me!

Amuro: Lalah? A mother?

a fansub of Char’s Counterattack.

It is that point that the Axis Shock occurs. A great light erupts from the psycho-frame, and Axis begins to move away from Earth. The two halves of Axis move into a safe orbit, and a glittering aurora shines in the night skies of Earth. Roll credits.

Was it the realization that these two men both looked up to Lalah that triggered the Axis Shock? Their empathy for each other? The act of communication and understanding between two enemies? Some intervention by the spirit of the departed Lalah? It is a mystery.

Amuro and Char were declared Missing In Action; their bodies never found.

The remains of Char’s mobile suit, the Sazabi, are found on Axis three years later, in UC 0096, by former-Zeon members of an Earth Federation Forces investigation team. That’s Gundam: Twilight Axis.

With Char gone, his Neo Zeon movement maintains its structure and organization long enough for Full Frontal to appear on the scene and organize the Sleeves faction of Neo Zeon in the Gundam Unicorn works. From this forms the faction led by Mineva Zabi, which is seen in Gundam Narrative alongside a more-militant Republic of Zeon nationalist group led by Zeon prime minister Bakharov.

Char’s faction’s final goal of destroying Earth is never achieved.

Char’s personal goals are not answered.

Endnotes

  1. November 17, U.C. 0059 is given as Casval’s birthdate on the Gundam Wiki for the original timeline but is unsourced. 

  2. U.C. 0059 is given as Casval’s birth year on the Gundam Wiki articl for The Origin imeline, but is unsourced. 

  3. The date of Zeon Zum Deikun’s deaht differs by timeline. In the Origin, Zeon Zum Deikun died in UC 0068, when Char was approximately 11, though the lack of specific birthdate and deathdate make this calculation imprecise. In the main timeline, Zeon Zum Deikun died in UC 0069, when Char was 10.