L. M. Lloyd (ubik@austin.rr.com)
Sun, 11 Jun 2000 19:59:07 -0500


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From: Blackeagle <cdupchurch@hotmail.com>
To: <gundam@aeug.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2000 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: [gundam] CCA

> >I really don't agree with you. I think that CCA was a great movie,
> >given what it was. The first thing you have to understand , is
> >that CCA was suppose (and yes I do know how silly this sounds now
> >days) to be the end of the Gundam Saga.
>
> I know that. I just don't think it does a particularly good job.

Well, if you don't like it you don't like it, that is the glory of
personal opinions, no two are alike.

> It's interesting that you mention Bright and Cameron, because
> that's one of the few character pieces that worked for me. They
> chose to bring back a minor character from the classic series.
> His history and his decision to help the White Base in the
> original series gave a nice subtle layer of meaning to his
> actions. If only the rest of the movie were done as well!
>
> I dissagree with you about Quess, Hathaway, etc. I don't think the
> fact that it has been done before justifies giving it short shrift
> here. Nor does the fact that the filmmakers want to illustrate
> the 'young people at war' theme. It seems like they're just going
> through the motions. In my opinion, if it's doing, then it's
> worth doing well.
>

I think you misunderstand what I am saying, or I didn't say it well.
The relationship between Quess and Hathaway is not what is important,
nor is the "young people at war" theme. What is important, is that
after several years, and more deaths than you can count, nothing has
changed. While there certainly could have been more time devoted to
Quess and Hathaway, I feel that would have been bad writing. The
trials and tribulations of Quess and Hathaway are unimportant to the
message, all that is important to the message, is that after
countless battles to "settle" what was set in motion by Zion Dikun's
teachings, the same events transpire, with no real progress being
made. In other words, we only need to see enough of Quess and
Hathaway to recognize the pattern, the pattern is what is important,
not the characters. The best analogy I can give, is that a joke about
a priest and a rabbi won't work, if you try to give a brief insight
into the tenets of Catholicism and Judaism before delivering the
punchline. Sure the joke requires and understanding of both in order
to be funny, but it also requires timing to be funny, so you have to
assume that the audience is able to fill in the blanks from previous
experience. In much the same way, if you go into too much detail
about Quess and Hathaway, you run the risk of making the audience
think that the relationship between them holds some special
significance, when the whole point of their relationship in the movie
is to echo the times this has happened before.

By the same token, it is not really important to the story why or how
Char charmed Quess, but rather the important issue is to show the
similarities between the modern Char, and his one-time nemesis
Scirocco.

I don't necessarily think that devoting more time to something means
you have done it well. I think that devoting more time to the
ancillary characters of CCA would have diluted the story
unnecessarily. You only need to show as much as is required to get
your point across. Any more and you are belaboring the point.

> >As far as the motives behind what Char and Amuro's actions, I did
> >not think it was confusing at all. Char and Amuro both have to be
> >the "hero" in their own mind, and neither one is willing to let
> >someone decide the future. As such, Char has decided that he can
> >not have his perfect world as long as the earth is the center of
> >power, and Amuro knows that he can only prove himself the hero he
> >knows he is by
> >defeating Char. I think part of what you are missing, is that in
> >MSG, Z, CCA the motives often have far more personal roots, than
> >the
> >politically driven machinations of a story like 0083.
>
> But the plot driven structure of the movie means the personal
> motivations aren't made clear. Is Char doing this to create his
> newtype utopia or just so he can fight Amuro and avenge Lala? I
> can understand that the movie wants to keep his motives murky, but
> it just ends up being confusing.
>

Neither of the two motivations you list are the main factor as I see
it. One of the thing I like most about Gundam, is that much like real
life, the true motivations of the characters never explicitly appear
in the script. Char's motivation is his desire to be the top dog.
Political rhetoric, and personal grudges might influence the
particulars of how he tries to accomplish his goal, but the ultimate
goal is about control. Char wanted to prove that he was the one man
worthy of deciding the fate of the human race.

> It's interesting that you mention 0083, because that's another
> Gundam series where I feel some of the personal motivations are
> inadequately explained.

Well, I don't really like 0083, so I am not going to try to defend
it.

>
> It just doesn't dork for me as a final payoff. The Char/Amuro duel
> isn't even the best of their confrontations.
>

I am not sure what you mean by "best," but I think the end of the
confrontation is a beautiful way to demonstrate what the true power
of newtypes can be if used for something other than destruction, and
in that respect, I think it is the ultimate statement of what Gundam
has always been about.

> Also, why not an OVA? Up to this point OVAs have been used to tell
> side stories, but that doesn't mean it's the only thing the format
> can do. If Gundam fans wanted to see the last Char vs Amuro
> battle in the theater, Bandai could have released a compilation
> movie along with the last episode.
>

The reason I say it could not have been an OVA, is because you don't
end 10 years of TV shows with a fizzle of OVAs. A property as
prominent as Gundam deserves a dramatic closure, and you don't drag a
finale over multiple acts. I guess the problem here is that you keep
talking about how you think CCA could have been a better story, but I
can't see CCA as a story at all. The story is comprised of MSG, Zeta,
and ZZ, CCA is just the last episode of the story. To me saying that
Char's motivation in CCA is murky, is like saying you can't
understand why Amuro got so upset when they wouldn't let him pilot
the Mk. II in Zeta. If you take Zeta as a separate story, then a lot
of it does not make any sense, but as part of the whole story of
Gundam, it all fits just fine.

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