The Great Gundam Wing Rewatch ‘14
Episode 01: THE SHOOTING STAR SHE SAW
Part 1 of 2 (Introductions)
"With high expectations, human beings leave Earth to begin a new life in space colonies. However, the United Earth Sphere Alliance gains great military powers, and soon seizes control of one colony after another in the name of Justice and Peace. The year is After Colony 195. Operation Meteor. In a move to counter the Alliance’s tyranny, rebel citizens of certain colonies scheme to bring new arsenals to the Earth, disguising them as shooting stars. However, the Alliance headquarters catches on to this operation."
April 07 195. The show’s pilot episode saw the launch of Operation Meteor. All five “shooting stars” rode the wave course to enter the Earth atmosphere at the same time (we agree with Zechs when he said the Alliance surveillance is practically blind for dismissing those objects as just “some parts of satellites”). Zechs caught up with only one: Heero Yuy and his Wing Gundam.
The Shooting Star She Saw gives us a perfect introduction to some of the major players in the AC 195 events. So far we have:
- Zechs Marquise. How have we forgotten he’s got his own classy version of Bronx cheer for the Alliance? His scorn is simply impossible to ignore. Aside from the “practically blind” comment above, he also managed to pull a “There’s no bright future for soldiers scurrying for their rewards!” when the Alliance offered to bring up the fallen Wing Gundam from the sea.
But what really gave us a real view of his character is his “[Catching up with only one of those “shooting stars”] would be enough for now. There is no reason for [frontline soldiers] like us to be overworked for meaningless honor.” For him, this is the mark of a true soldier. It’ll take us a few episodes to know what this really means, but it’s a good glimpse.
- Heero Yuy. In his appearance in the first half of this episode, Heero is shown as a soldier extremely dedicated to his missions. When he saw a civilian shuttle on his way, he seems more than willing to shoot it down just to accomplish his goal. When a new order is issued for him to alter mission and to focus on Zechs’ OZ carrier instead, he obeyed with no questions.
Perhaps this is the origin of the now-defunct idea that Heero is the Perfect Soldier, aka an emotionless machine only concerned about completing his missions. Actually, “Perfect” is proven to be completely false even in the first minutes of the series, as he was discovered prematurely by the enemy even before landing on Earth.
Oh, and he’s emotionless? We’re not buying it. Crazy perhaps, but not emotionless. If you’re yet to rewatch the first episode, brace yourselves for his manic laughing-out-loud scene after blowing up a mobile suit.
- Relena Darlian. She’s introduced as the spoiled fifteen-year-old daughter of the Vice Foreign Minister. See: her father asked her if she wasn’t happy about going back home to Earth and she snapped, “No, not one bit!” When Mr.Darlian apologized again for not spending much time with her, she seemingly rebuked him with a, “Father, next time we go out to space, how about leaving yourself a little bit of free time?”
Just to clarify things, we want to say we understand where the first-wave,early 2000s Relena-hating fandom were coming from. But sometimes we think these people either (1) only watched the series’ first few episodes or (2) were yaoi fans blinded by the first-impressions-last saying. We personally think Relena is the perfect portrait of growth in the series and you don’t need a magnifying glass to see that.
- Treize Khushrenada. When we talk about Treize, what we’re really talking about is class
sass and power. As the leader of OZ and the Specials division of the Alliance, Treize’s influence is unquestionable. He arrived late in a meeting with Alliance big shots and was instantly assaulted with questions about what happened to Zechs’ encounter with the Gundam:
Vente: Colonel Treize. I hear your subordinate lost three mobile suits when they entered the atmosphere.
Treize: Yes, sir? Your point being?
Septem: You wasted three mobile suits just to bring a minor rebellion under control!
Treize: And, as a result, we were able to prevent the rebellion from developing into anything.
Septem: I’m not talking about the results! You’re abusing the Alliance military’s valuable combat resources!
Treize: Valuable combat resources? Are you talking about our soldiers? Or are you talking about mobile suits?
You know what our (or this mod’s) favorite part of GW is? Philosophical debates. From this exchange alone, we can see a philosophical rift between OZ (or Treize himself) and the Alliance. These are just nudges, hints about the takes and motives of the organizations, but they already say a lot. We can’t wait for all the details to be unfolded!
Stay tuned for PART 02!
Instead of clogging your dashes with liveblogs, we decided to divide each update into two or three parts, mainly about the characters and the events (don’t worry, we won’t leave out the mech battles!). The first part here is more character-centric, tackling how they are introduced and how the fandom seemed to have perceived the characters in the past years.
Again, this is part of FYGW’s Great Gundam Wing Rewatch ‘14. If you want to join in on the fun, just tag your posts #GWRewatch14. You can find chronologically arranged posts on our blog here.