Here is a puzzle: If a mobile suit is only 80% complete, what does that leave you with(out), and will Char really mind?
Background: In the future presented to us by Gundam, the human population of Earth has outgrown the planet's resources, and people looked to space as an alternate homeland. Large space stations, or "colonies", were constructed to hold the overflowing population of Earth, and in the year U.C. 0079 (Don't ask us what U.C. stands for. We have forgotten already. [Universal Century -Ed.]), half of the human population live in the hundreds of colonies scattered across the solar system. These colonies were inspired by the designs of Dr. McNeil for self-sufficient extraterrestrial habitats. Each colony is a long, hollow tube that rotates on its longitudinal axis to provide artificial gravity on the interior wall of the cylinder. A complete biosphere with a self-sustaining ecosystem was created in each colony to mimic Earth, and the civilian population reside on the lush inner walls.
The colonies were once governed as independent states. The political structure of the colonies polarized through time into two halves (with plenty of neutral colonies): the Zion and the Federation. The Zion, much like the Nazis of the "middle ages", were a militant group obsessed with racial purity. In secret, they developed existing mobile suit technology (used much like Labors from the hilarious series, Patlabor) to create space-worthy war constructs, the Zaku. With armies of these Zaku, Zion launched a surprise attack on the ill-prepared populace of Earth and the other colonies, who perished by the millions. (Melodrama provided by Ayesha. Actually, it really was mass devastation. One colony was dropped on Australia and destroyed that part of the world.) The rest of the colonies retaliated by forming the Federation and began to create their own mobile suit weapons. However, the Zion, in preparation for war, had already advanced their technology ten years ahead of the Federation. To even the odds, several elite scientists in the Federation were chosen to develop one superior mobile suit, the Gundam, created at great cost out of Gundanium alloy. (Space age metal or some such junk.) The Gundam was the one and only advantage that the Federation possessed.
Piloting of the unique Gundam fell to Amuro Rei, who showed an unusual aptitude for driving the metallic behemoth when he took it for an unscheduled test drive (look up the word "euphemism"). Amuro's father was one of the original designers of the Gundam. Many likenesses may be drawn between Amuro and Shinji, of Evangelion fame. However, by the time this movie occurs, Amuro has acquired a backbone. But, really, who had the worse father figure? (Keep watching for Amuro's father. He was one warped human being.)
One more twist: Humans living in space have evolved past their previous limitations and have given rise to the Newtypes, a new generation of people with psychic abilities and superior intelligence. (They can utilize 100% of their brains as opposed to the 20% that you and I can use. (Don't you feel so inferior?)) Similar to Nazi ideals, the Zion seeks to create a new Eden on Earth, in which only the Newtypes will live.
Tonight's third and final compilation movie covers the final events of the original Gundam TV series, in U.C. 0079, leading to the peace armistice of 0080. We have been watching these three movies to provide the background for Gundam: Char's Counterattack, which will be shown in the marathon this May. Char's Counterattack was developed by a completely new design team and depicts the battle between the Newtypes. New Zaku are developed by Zion specifically to be controlled by the minds of the Newtypes. (Reminiscent of Guld's YF-21 in Macross Plus.) This alteration assists the Newtypes, brainiacs that they are, and heightens the action of the battles to come.