The Star Gundams-Alternate Universes (90’s)

In 1994, the Gundam franchise started to create “Alternate Universe” series-stories set outside the Universal Century era that had defined the franchise for the previous fifteen years. As a result, this led to different ways of presenting the series, although often with familiar Gundam tropes-including of course, the Gundams themselves.

First up, we’ve got the Shining Gundam from G Gundam, which is perhaps one of the more ‘out there’ alternate universes, which-although it uses the space colony concepts of the Universal Century, is more about a multinational “Gundam fight” tournament. This particular Gundam’s trademark move is the “Shining finger” allowing it to project energy into it’s hand for a crushing finishing move.

The “God” or Burning Gundam is the second major suit of the series, and has several special attacks, including an upgraded Shining Finger called the God Finger, and an ultimate energy attack called the  Sekiha Tenkyoken.

The Wing Gundam appears in Gundam Wing, and is the main suit of main character Heero Yuy for a good chunk of the series. Like the Zeta Gundam before it, it has a transformation ability-in this case, the “Bird mode”.  It also includes the powerful Buster rifle.

The Wing Gundam is eventually replaced the Wing Gundam Zero, which in fact was constructed earlier than the Wing, and serves as a prototype for the Gundams used by the “Gundam team” from the show. It’s equipped with the powerful ZERO system which has advanced reaction systems, but is so complex that it can mentally unbalance it’s pilot. Eventually Heero Yuy was able to master the suit.

Like the other Wing Gundam, it has more advanced Buster rifles and bird mode.

The Zero was later redesigned into a new version for the OAV/movie “Endless Waltz”. The redesign is actually not an upgrade, but intended to show the artist’s vision of how the suit looked during the show; as Endless Waltz opens with a recreation of the battle from the end of the show.

It overall has a far slimmer look, no ‘canonical’ bird mode (although it’s wing’s wrap around it like a cocoon), and has ‘angel’ wings.

The Gundam X appears in the series of the same name, in a more postapocalyptic version of the traditional Gundam series setting. This Gundam’s main ability is a solar-panel powered cannon, and during the show’s analog to the “One Year War”, it was actually mass-produced.

It’s eventually replaced with a more powerful suit, the Gundam XX, which has upgraded features including a more powerful satellite canon.

The unusual looking “Turn A” Gundam shows up in the final installment of the 90’s Gundam AUs. It utilizes nanomachines for attack and defense, including the powerful “moonlight butterfly” maneuver. It was designed chiefly by American artist Syd Mead.


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