Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Wed, 12 May 1999 02:57:23 -0700


Probe writes,

>Hey dudes! Turn-A story questions/comments at the bottom!

  Woo hoo! :-)

> That's kinda strange... did it go immobile after the beam rifle burned
>out or something? Or did it go immobile after the enemy mecha retreated?

  The enemy retreated after receiving a glancing blow from the beam
rifle, so it's unclear whether the Turn A was only programmed for a
single warning shot, was programmed to drive off the enemy, or didn't
know how to proceed after the beam rifle blew up...

> Isn't there a line in one of the later episodes that "The White Doll
>Statue should be hid from anyone from the moon" or something like that?

  Couldn't say. At any rate, its existence soon becomes common knowledge.

> Looks like the Lunarians dropped off three kids a few years before the
>show starts, in a Flat Mobile Suit. By that, I expect this means that the
>kids all have some mecha piloting skill (Since it seems dubious that they
>would have arrived in some sort of self-piloting MS).

  Yep, so it would seem. Of course, the Flat's a three-seater, so only
one of 'em needs to be able to pilot...

>Why did the Lunarians send little children if
>this was supposed to be a tactical reconnaisance mission, why did not they
>send people of unquestioned loyalty, and why did they not make any
>provision for equipping these kids with proper gear or communications
>equipment? What did they expect these children to accomplish, without
>"Spilling the beans"? Exactly how were they supposed to communicate and
>inform their superiors back on the moon, and how were they supposed to
>reconnoiter the Earth if the first thing they did was get cooshy jobs at
>the closest local village?

  Aha, but it _wasn't_ a military mission. At the point when the kids
were sent to Earth, the idea was that the Moonrace would return
peacefully. The advance scouts were simply supposed to get the lay of the
land, figure out how the Earth people live, and assess the ability of the
Moonrace to adapt to Earth's environment (maybe that's why they sent
kids, who would be more adaptable). The kids have been incommunicado
since they arrived on Earth, but they expect their kinfolk to join them soon.

> Another question: How do kids or people raised on the moon survive in
>Earth's gravity well?
> Possible solution: They've got "Minofsky Gravity" or giant treadmills or
>something on the moon.

  Doubtful - Tomino has _never_ resorted to the bogus artificial gravity
cop-out of live-action sci-fi. And treadmills obviously wouldn't work,
since the "gravity" would be higher at one end than at the other. Most
likely the Moonrace simply have some adapting in store for them.

> Another question: Why are the Moon-People trying to return to Earth? I
>have as yet to hear _any_ reason given for this move.

  It's apparently a major plot mystery, which will be addressed in future
episodes...

> Onward: Looks like the Gwen industrialist has been communicating
>extensively with the lunar forces. Why? It doesn't seem like he wants them
>to come. Who gave him his communications setup? He mentions it was a gift
>of the Moon-People if I remember correctly. If so, when did they arrive to
>give him this device? Is he on the side of the Militia? Is he pushing his
>own agenda? Who's really supposed to be in control here?

  The Moonrace have been negotiating in secret with Earth's feudal lords,
of whom Gwen is one. I'm not sure how they got the radio specs to Gwen,
but maybe there's an explanation there. Among the lords, Gwen seems to be
the most adamantly opposed to giving land to the Moonrace, and he's a
sponsor of both the Militia and miner Sid's mobile suit excavation
project. Evidently he has his own plans for the Earth...

  For all that, Gwen doesn't seem like the Char character here. I think
that honor goes to red-goggled Harry Ord, a very cool-looking enemy ace.

> The Lunarians arrive, and seem to expect to encounter resistance on
>Earth, after all, they send TONS of big nasty mecha and go on a rampage of
>some sort, necessitating the revival of the Turn-A Gundam statue.

  Right. Since Gwen and the other lords declined to grant them real
estate, they came prepared to seize it by force (to the shock and
surprise of Loran and his fellow scouts).

>What triggers the 'breakup' of the statue?

  Nearby fighting, as I recall.

>What did the statue look like before it busted out to reveal the Turn-A?

  Goofy. Kinda like a helmeted god, in seated position, with a makeshift
stage in its lap for the coming of age ceremony.

>How did the Waldoms arrive on Earth anyway?

  They just kinda descend from the heavens, though I assume they were
dropped from carrier ships.

>Do any other Flats arrive?

  Yep, six in total.

> Who are the militia, who is supplying them, and what do they really
>think they're gonna accomplish against giant Mobile Suits?

  They're a makeshift military force organized by Gwen and the other
feudal lords. The volunteers are told they're being recruited for a war
against an overseas nation, but that's just a cover story.

>The Lunarians
>_seem_ to be coming to Earth with someone's permission, at least, there's
>a semblance of some diplomacy here... what's the deal really supposed to
>be?

  As outlined above, the negotiations broke down due to the stubborness
of Gwen and his ilk. But, after the Moonrace carry out this show of
force, they return to the negotiating table; the next few episodes
feature more attempts to wrangle a peaceful settlement.

> Why are all the Lunarian 'moles' so quickly turned to the side of
>protecting Earth with the last MS on Earth?

  They simply want to stop the war. They love their own people, and
they've now come to love the Earth people too, so they'll do whatever it
takes to avert an all-out war. If that means equalizing the odds by
joining the Militia, then I guess they're willing to do that too...

>There is a line in one of the episodes where one of
>the three kids is telling Rolan to fight with the Turn-A for or against
>Diana-Counter, "Either Way is good". I dunno, maybe this is a lame
>translation, but this seems to show an uncharacteristically blase
>attitude towards warfare and possible genocide of the people on Earth!

  I don't think genocide is at issue - at least, not yet. Maybe the idea
was that throwing in with one side or another would at least speed the
war to a resolution of some kind...?

>Why
>are those giant 40 meter tall Waldoms having such a
>hard time capturing the Gundam?

  Haven't seen them fight yet, but I suspect they're meant as terror
weapons rather than agile dueling machines. The Sumo, used by Queen
Diana's royal guard, is a nimble 20-meter type like the Turn A.

>Part of one of the later episodes seems to
>suggest that the Turn-A's presence makes the Lunarians think that Earth
>has MS, and Gwen wants them to continue to think this. However, it seems
>like a culture with easy orbital space travel, mecha, and spacecraft would
>have no problem simply scanning around to confirm "Nope... no MS on this
>planet"

  Well, they didn't spot the Turn A, did they? :-)

> What do we really know about the Lunarians? They seem to be ruled by a
>"Queen Amaria" type character of some sort, but do we get an idea of what
>the regular Lunarians are like? Why the hell does she come to Earth while
>there's still a rouge unaccounted for MS running around causing Havok?
>What is the deal with Diana Counter? Is their sole purpose to catch the
>Turn-A or pacify Earth or what?

  I think these fall under the category of Things to be Explained in
Future Episodes...

> And why do the Wadoms have white legs and black bodies? What is that
>strange webwork thing supposed to be on their legs? (Wierd).

  That's nanoskin, a self-repairing protective coating. The Turn A
supposedly has the same stuff on the backs of its legs.

>What is that
>big orange muscular looking robot called "Whaddo" on the Japanese site?

  There's a little seven-meter guy called a Wadd, sort of an
anti-personnel model with a huge glass head that contains its cockpit and
a little rat-like tail. Then there's a large, construction-orange guy
with an empty frame for a torso; that's the Rib, a civilian construction
mobile suit. Which are you thinking of?

>How does it help to simply 'dig up' old ancient MS when your country and
>culture couldn't possibly repair its reactors, provide it with Deuterium
>fuel, charge its ECAPs or maintain/repair it in any way?

  I haven't seen the excavation footage, so I can't really say just yet.
Good questions, though.

> Okay... I have lots more questions but I'm too sleepy right now. My
>overall opinion is of guarded optimism. The show seems to be targetting a
>slightly younger audience than WG (my opinion) and really seems to be
>playing up the Miyazaki style of calculated-nostalgia (Some beautiful
>artwork juxtiposing high-tech robots with 1910-stylisms, I'll admit that I
>like that ALOT) I'm fully prepared to accept it as a good story, but I'll
>stand by my first impression that "It's just not Gundam-like" for now.
>Something about it just doesn't seem very serious.

  But one of the reasons why Gundam hsn't lost its spark after twenty
years is that the creators keep stretching the definition of what is and
isn't Gundam-like. While some fans would surely be happy with endless
rehashes of the One Year War, that's a sure recipe for stagnation and
creative brain death (think Star Trek Voyager). Supposedly, what Tomino's
trying to do with this series is to encompass all the wacky coolness that
recent Gundam creators have added to the saga... via homage, reference,
whatever. If this kind of redefinition doesn't float your boat, then fair
enough, but if you're clinging to a narrow definition of what is and
isn't Gundam then I don't think you're going to enjoy this show any more
than G Gundam...

-- Mark

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