[gundam] Turn-A... then what? (Was: Turn A (Again))


Doc (figureight@pacific.net.ph)
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 00:51:45 +0800


Hmm... didn't this thread exist way back? Something about "pipedream
sequels" if I remember...

Anyway,

We're all very curious as to how Turn-A will turn out (especially with
that claim floating around that the series is actually part of the UC
timeline or even the more ambitious claim that it will unify the entire
Gundam universe).

Lately, however, I'm getting more interested not with the state of
mankind during the Turn-A era but with what it becomes AFTER Turn-A. I
mean, the story will either end with the earthnoids or the lunarians
winning the conflict or perhaps some shade in between. If Tomino is
ambitious enough, he might be able to end the series with a unique take
on one of many sub-themes (realities of war, relationships, etc.). But
all the same, by the end of the series, humankind will probably be no
further than where it was centuries ago (after 0079, 0083, 0093, etc.).

The Gundam universe, in its entirety, has already made its point(s)
clear:

     1) Man needs a new philosophy in order to take his step to the
     stars (e.g. Zeon's),

     2) Current political and social structures are not suited to
     an interplanetary (heck even interSTELLAR) human race and must
     be revamped as much as man's philosophy,

     3) While advances technology can make life in space a reality
     for the human race, it also contains the ability to forever
     stunt man's development,

     4) Finally, the real reason why Mobile Suits are so cool and
     so apt is because it reflects the ultimate truth behind all
     warfare: in the end, what kills you isn't something really
     abstract like a gun, or a missile or an explosion-- what kills
     you is something with two arms, two legs, and a head... in
     short, man himself...

All in all, I'm kinda tired of seeing humankind experience geometric
leaps in growth (like living in space colonies and piloting man-shaped
mobile suits) only to see it blast itself back to the dark ages again
and again. I'm tired of seeing the earth and its inhabitants subjected
to a mind-numbing cataclysm (e.g. devastating wars, colony drops,
asteroid impacts, etc.) which puts us all to the brink again and again.

We've all wondered at a concrete direction for Gundam as far back as F91
(jeez, even as far back as Z-Gundam!). In my opinion, if ever it was
headed anywhere since that time, it had already arrived there by the
time CCA came out--and it has stayed there ever since. To move from its
stagnation, we would only have two or three alternatives:

     1) We could do a different take on the original storyline but
     focus on something else (which was attempted with 0080, 8th MS
     Team, etc.). We could even move from there by really taking
     unique POVs on the war (as suggested numerous times in this
     ML, like lives of GM Pilots, Mechanics, etc.).

     2) We could do a radical rehash of the original storyline, and
     perhaps come up with something new like in #1 (and we've seen
     this attempted by all the alternate Gundam universes like
     Wing, X, etc.).

     or...

     3) We could finally elevate humankind to the next level-- have
     it achieve (at least partially) its long time dream of
     conquering the heavens... have it occupy the entire solar
     system and perhaps nearby stars (pretty far in the future, I
     know)... and then see what problems crop up by then.

Now, at this point, it's easy to fall into thinking that a #3 scenario
above would just be like the Gundam we all know but on a vastly expanded
scale (Feds occupying the Sol system, and the rebellious colonies in
Alpha Centauri, and other nearby sytems). While such a plot really isn't
too difficult to envision, going in that direction would be missing the
whole point.

But determining what conflicts and problems may plague a human race at
that level doesn't come without a lot of reflection. Exactly what does
constitute a "problem" to a society possessing supertechnology (or at
least enough to reach other planets or stars)? I think I'm being honest
when I say that I can't venture a suggestion right now, but the prospect
for growth in that direction is far greater than going back into old
themes or remnants of those themes in order to gut what continuity we
have left to hold on to.

More than that, I don't think continuity is so much an issue here
anyway-- Tomino can go on making Gundam contradicting itself as much as
he wants. All I'm asking is that for Gundam to give us something REALLY
new for a change (as much as it gave people in the 70s something new
from the run of the mill anime at the time). Gundam was a pioneering
effort-- and its effects can be felt in the new form of animation
(especially, robot and science fiction anime) it help usher in.
Unfortunately, many of the shows Gundam had inspired had already
superseded it in one way or another (take Macross, Evangelion, etc.).

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think anyone in this mailing list
wants to see Gundam lose the race it helped create and was first in
longer than anyone else in the business.

~DOC

P.S. Hey, I know that last sentence was unqualified but I love Gundam!
And it sure makes a good ending to a paragraph!

P.S.S. I'm hunting for models from the CCA series. Brand new,
second-hand, third-hand, as long as it stands! Directions please! I've
had my ReGZ and Jagd Doga (Quess custom) for several years now and I'd
hate to be forced to sell them just because I couldn't complete the line
(don't be too shocked... it's just the way I collect...). I'm also
looking for the CCA soundtrack. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks :)

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