-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sun, 26 Dec 1999 12:50:25 -0800

At 16:21 12/26/1999 +0800, you wrote:
>Anyway, a rumor about char...
>is it true that he can't drive a car? I forgot what site I got this from,
>but they say that Char can't drive an auto because he don't know how... Is
>this all true?

This is based on an exchange between Char and Lalar in the original
series. If I recall correctly, she asks him why he didn't just drive the
ele-car himself, to which he replies (paraphrasing here) "I'm ashamed to
say that I've never learned how" [to drive a car].

The notion that an ace pilot can't drive is based on an historic fact, that
Baron Manfred von Richthofen (1892~1918), the WWI German flying ace known
as the "Red Baron" on whom much of Char's "Red Comet" image is based, was
unable to drive a ground car. Richthofen had a chauffeur-driven limousine
that was the envy of his peers, the driving and maintenance of which he
considered beneath him. Aircraft were for officers and gentlemen, ground
vehicles for peasants. He would no sooner have driven a car than he would
the carriage it replaced.

As a Zeon officer, Char was also a nobleman of sorts. In any case, he'd
been raised first in the Daikun household as a child of privilege and then
in the wealthy Maas family (actually Jinba Ral and his wife using the Mass
family name, which they'd purchased in the same way that the Buffo family
later acquired the name Ronah) as a child of wealth, so he probably never
had either the need or the opportunity to learn to drive.

Piloting is a very different skill from driving and being an expert at one
does not qualify you for the other. Of course, piloting a fixed wing
aircraft is not the same as a rotary aircraft, just as driving a car is
different from driving a motorcycle or an 18-wheel truck, so piloting an MS
is not the same as piloting an aircraft, although Gundam routinely
interchanges the two skills.

>There is a point in Char's CA that he rode a horse where Amuro rode a
>jeep... but I don't think that's a supporting fact..

It illustrates their socio-economic differences as much as anything
else. As Char says to Amuro at the time, "Unlike you you, I'm not just a
pilot." As the Commander of Neo-Zeon, his rank and personal wealth
entitled him to a horse and the education to be able to ride one. His
horsemanship is a sign of nobility or at least the "breeding" associated
with aristocracy.

Still, we never do see Char behind the wheel of a car, so whether he was
joking or not, there's nothing to contradict this claim.


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