Char Aznable, born Casval Rem Deikun, is the most symbolic and prominent character from the Universal Century (UC) timeline of the Gundam anime series.
Char initially antagonist/anti-villains in Mobile Suit Gundam and later he become a protagonist/anti-hero in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam under his identity as Quattro Bajeena to help his arch-rival to defeat TITANS. And he return as the main antagonist as titular antagonist in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack which its his (and Amuro) final appearance in Gundam Series. His spirit is return along with Amuro and Lalah in the end of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
One of the Principality of Zeon's most top feared mobile suit ace pilots, Char is actually the son of Zeon Zum Deikun (the true founder of the Republic of Zeon), and is thus the true heir of Zeon. He is known by the alias of "The Red Comet", not only for destroying 5 Federation Magellan-class battleships at the Battle of Loum, but for the personal trademark colors of his customized red mobile suit, and his ruthless high-speed attack tactics. Char is also an exceptionally charismatic military leader, and was able to conceal his true identity under several different pseudonyms; including Edward Mass (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin) and Quattro Bajeena (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam). He is best known for being the eternal arch-nemesis of the original Gundam pilot, Amuro Ray.
Char's role throughout the Gundam universe varies from different series. In Mobile Suit Gundam, he is one of the main antagonists who clashes repeatedly with Amuro Ray and the White Base crew time and time again, all while planning his own hidden agenda of revenge. In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Char becomes somewhat of an anti-heroic figure. He helps to co-found the AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) resistance movement and later becomes one of the leading members of the AEUG, while fighting alongside many of his former adversaries (including his arch-enemy Amuro Ray) against the Earth Federation's rogue "Titans", task force, and briefly against the re-emerging Axis Zeon movement.
However, by the time of the movie Char's Counterattack, Char declares himself supreme leader of Neo-Zeon, and once again becomes the main antagonist of the film, this time culminating in his ultimate plan of achieving his father's dreams of emigrating all of humanity into space by dropping asteroids onto Earth, whilst taking revenge against his nemesis, Amuro Ray, by fighting against him in a mobile suit duel for the last time.
Casval Rem Deikun was born in U.C. 0059. He is the elder brother of Sayla Mass (Artesia Som Deikun), and the son of late Zeon Zum Deikun, the champion of sovereignty for the space colonies of Side 3, founder of the Republic of Zeon.
According to the manga Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, young Casval and his sister Artesia escaped to earth shortly after their father's death with the help of Jimba Ral (the father of Ramba Ral). They spent several years living a life of luxury as wards of the aristocratic Don Teabolo Mass, who gave them the surnames Edward Mass and Sayla Mass and treated them as his own adopted children. During this time, Jimba Ral constantly reminded Casval of the Zabi Family's betrayal of the Deikuns. After narrowly escaping an attempt on their lives (in which Jimba Ral died), they fled to Texas Colony.
They lived for a time in a house set up by Texas Colony's chief manager Roger Aznable, still under Teabolo Mass's care. Soon they met Roger's son Char Aznable and discovered that he and Casaval were nearly identical, except Casval had blue eyes while Char had brown. Eventually Char is taken in by Gihren Zabi's propaganda, and against his father's wishes sets off for officer training school. Casval decides to accompany him under the guise of looking out for his friend. Kycilia Zabi finds out that Casval is headed back to Side 3, and without consulting Gihren, orders Casval's death. Both near identical boys are booked to leave on the same flight, but an antique pistol and fake explosives are found in Char's bag (almost certainly planted by Casaval). Not wanting to miss the entrance exam, Char readily accepts Casval's suggestion to swap clothes in the restroom. Char boards the ship under the name Edward Mass, while Casval, under the name of Char Aznable is detained overnight. Shortly after departure, the ship explodes and kills everyone aboard (no doubt the work of Kycilia's henchmen). Edward Mass is listed among the dead and Casval takes on the name "Char Aznable", enters the Zeon Military Academy and begins wearing sunglasses to hide his eye color (as it wouldn't match any of the real Char's IDs).
After entering the academy, Char excels in his training and befriends Garma Zabi. As relations between the Zeon Republic (which has been renamed the Zeon Principality) and the Federation deteriorate, the Federation increases their troop strength in Side 3. There is wide spread fear that this troop increase is in fact an invasion and occupation force. On the eve of troop increase, Char incites Garma to lead other students in the Academy to storm the Federation base and subdue the stationed troops. For this action Casval is stripped of his rank and expelled from the Academy. He travels to Earth and works at the construction site of Federation headquarters in Jaburo. After hostility breaks out between Zeon and the Federation, he returns to Side 3 and joins the Zeon space attack forces under the command of Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi. He displays superior fighting ablilty during the Battle of Loum, single-handedly destroying five Federation Magellan-class battleships, which earned him the nickname "Red Comet". He was promoted an exceptional two rank promotion to Lieutenant Commander.
Mobile Suit Gundam
During the One Year War, Char showed great potential not only as a mobile suit pilot ace, but also as a brilliant tactician and charismatic commanding officer. After coming back from a routine mission, Char discovered the Pegasus-class assault carrier White Base on approach to Side 7. As Char was sent into the colony at Side 7 to investigate, he and his men discovered that the Federation had begun testing several prototype mobile suits. Against his orders, two of the men under his command began attacking the Federation's research facility. However these same two pilots were later killed after a civilian boy named Amuro Ray took control of the Federation's new RX-78-2 Gundam mobile suit in desperation.
As Char was taking pictures of the RX-75-4 Guntank, he was held at gunpoint by his sister, Sayla Mass. However after revealing his face to her, he was able to kick the gun out of her hand and quickly escape. Although several of the prototype mobile suits were able to escape aboard the White Base, Char would return to his Musai cruiser and continue to pursue them. Char launched several attacks against the White Base while it was en route to Earth. It was here that Char would first encounter his soon-to-be rival, Amuro Ray.
Although Char easily outclassed the inexperienced Amuro, the sheer technological superiority of the Gundam prevented him from destroying either the mobile suit or the White Base. After several failed attempts to take out the White Base in space, Char daringly attacked it once more during atmospheric re-entry. Although the attack failed, it succeeded in diverting the White Base from its intended destination, forcing it into Zeon-controlled North America. In North America, Char joined up with Garma Zabi, commander of the Zeon forces in the area.
Char entered battle in his Zaku once more as the White Base attempted to flee North America via a path through Seattle. During the battle, Char was quick to notice that the White Base was sheltered in an old half-destroyed sports dome, and that the Gundam was intent on luring Garma's Gaw Attack fleet right into the assault carrier's intended barrage. Seeing his chance to finally exact revenge on the Zabi family, Char deliberately misinforms Garma of the White Base's location and leads him straight into the trap. White Base's near-endless and brutal attack on Garma's Gaw Fleet is swift and relentless, taking Garma completely by surprise. In these final moments, Char discretely contacts Garma and passionately confesses his treachery, laughing maniacally as Garma's Gaw explodes before it hits the ground.
After Garma's death, Char was discharged from the military by Zeon's Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi for his supposed incompetence of defending Garma. However, as the war began to slowly shift into the favor of the Earth Federation thanks to "Operation: Odessa", Char was pressed back into active duty once again at the behest of Kycilia Zabi. He was given command of Zeon's Mad Angler submarine squadron and was again sent out to destroy the White Base. After tracking the ship over the Atlantic Ocean, he discovered the White Base was docking at the Federation's military headquarters in Jaburo. After gathering all available forces in the area, Char personally led a large scale assault on the base using his MSM-07S Z'Gok Command Type.
The battle still ended in failure as few mobile suits even made it into battle before being shot down by Jaburo's formidable defenses. Although Char personally made good progress into Jaburo, he was eventually forced to retreat when he again came face to face with Amuro Ray, whose piloting skills had considerably improved since their last battle. After the encounter, Char once again tried to inflict heavy damage upon Jaburo, this time by sneaking in and planting several explosives throughout the facility. His plans were again foiled by the crew of the White Base. However, in his retreat he again ran into his sister. Although he had little time to talk, he gave her a strong warning to leave the Federation before aborting his mission at Jaburo.
Later in the war, Char develops a relationship with the Newtype Lalah Sune, a girl he saved from an Indian brothel. Char also develops into a Newtype himself and subsequently forms psychic bonds with both Amuro and Lalah. Continuing his hunt for the White Base, Char boarded a Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser and tracked the White Base into orbit. He eventually followed the ship into the neutral territory of Side 6. Inside the colony he by chance encounters Amuro Ray in person for the first time. Amuro's car had become stuck in a ditch on the side of the road and Char and Lalah offered to help him out. Although Char and Amuro were both aware of each others identities nether spoke openly about it. While Amuro was frightened by the encounter, Char did not attempt to harm Amuro in any way and allowed him to return to the White Base.
After the Battle of Solomon, Char ventured from Side 6 to Side 5's Texas colony, where Colonel M'Quve had set a trap for the Gundam. Once inside Texas, Char was given a MS-14S Gelgoog Commander Type, which would finally allow him to fight on even grounds with the Gundam. However when the battle came, Char found himself outclassed by Amuro, whose skills and newtype abilities had now come to surpass his own. After the death of M'Quve and taking severe damage of his own, Char was forced to flee the battle with his life.
While leaving Texas Colony, Char notices Sayla driving a jeep while looking for Amuro. He then jumps into the jeep as it passes by and forces her to stop at gunpoint. Finally having chance to talk, he tells her his reasoning for joining the Zeon military: that he has done so in order to infiltrate the Zabi family and seek revenge for the death of his father. Char then tells Sayla that she needs to leave the White Base because he does not want her to get hurt, and that war "doesn't suit her". As Char leaves the colony he gives her a case filled with gold and tells her to live a peaceful life on Earth. Late in the war, as the Earth Federation fleets begin their advance on the Zeon homeland of Side 3, Char assists Lalah on numerous sorties against the Federation. During one battle, Lalah engages the Gundam with her MAN-08 Elmeth mobile armor. As the battle progresses, Char gets sent in to back her up. He then proceeds to fight the Gundam and nearly destroys Amuro's wingman piloting a G-Fighter (TV version only, the Core Booster was used in the movie version instead). However as he goes to strike down the fighter, he was halted by Lalah and gazes into the cockpit and notices that Sayla is the pilot. Realizing he is about to kill his own sister he quickly maneuvers out of the way only to have his mobile suit disarmed (in more ways than one) by the Gundam as a result.
As Amuro pulls out his Beam Saber he flies towards Char in order to deal the final blow. However, not wanting to see him killed, Lalah rams into Char with her Elmeth, knocking him out of the way. Although this saves him the beam saber hits Lalah's mobile armor instead of Char, killing her instantly. Returning to the Zeon fleet Char yells and cries over the death of his lover. Now having a deep hatred for Amuro, he vows to get revenge in the next battle.
Before the Battle of A Baoa Qu, Char would receive the prototype MSN-02 Zeong. Char and Amuro's bitter rivalry comes to its peak in Mobile Suit Gundam. They engage in an inconclusive mobile suit battle and then a sword duel after both lose their mobile suits. In the duel, Char manages to stab Amuro in the arm, while Amuro attempts to stab Char. Char's helmet protects him from the blow, contrary to what the majority thinks (His scar left from the fight is in fact not due to the sword, it was dealt by Garma Zabi when the two were training). Sayla runs into the room and urges both men to stop. Char realizes he's been distracted by his rivalry with Amuro and refocuses on his true enemy - his vendetta on the Zabi family - and actually asks Amuro to join him.
An ensuing explosion knocks them apart but Char does rush off to save his sister. After being told by a dying Zeon soldier that Kycilia Zabi, the last surviving Zabi, is escaping, Char tells Sayla to "be a nice woman" and go back to Amuro, and takes off with a bazooka in his hands. He finds Kycilia's departing ship and salutes them ("Garma, I'm sending your sister to join you. Consider this my farewell gift.") before firing. This one final act of revenge results in the annihilation of the ship's bridge that gruesomely decapitates Kycilia in the process. He then disappears amidst the explosion.
Mobile Suit Gundam - Char's Deleted Affair - The Portrait of a Young Comet
At the end of the One Year War, Char escaped to Axis onboard a Gwazine-class battleship after the Zeon lost the war, his goal of revenge achieved by a combination of his own actions, those of his rival Amuro, and infighting among the Zabis themselves. In Axis, Char is asked to lead the remaining Zeon soldiers, not knowing of what he did to the Zabis. Instead, he defers the leadership to Haman Karn, making her Regent of Mineva Lao Zabi in the process.
In his time there, Char heroically protects Axis in two major battles against the Earth Federation. He stays there until the end of U.C. 0082, when he gets back to Side 3 for a special mission to protect Haman Karn's inspection journey of Side 3. When they arrive at Zum City in U.C. 0083, he gets an invitation by George Miguel (Brother of Nanai) to join a paramilitary spacenoid organization within the Earth Federation Force.
However, upon hearing of Mahajara Karn's fatal illness in late May 0083, Char and Haman both decide to return to Axis. Once they do, they're intercepted by the pro-war Axis faction that wishes to restart the conflict with the Earth Federation, led by one Colonel Enzo. A civil war breaks out, with Char and Haman eventually overcoming Enzo's forces. Unfortunately, Haman's father and the true political leader of Axis, Mahajara Karn, dies just shortly before the battle ends, and Haman now finds herself in charge of both Axis and Mineva. Shortly after the battle, the unexpected murder of Haman's formal tutor, Natalie Bianchi, (A murder which Haman Karn did not cause, but inadvertently allowed upon learning that Natalie was pregnant) who also engaged in the manga's titular affair with Char, causes Char to sink into a deep depression. After mourning over the loss of Natalie and his unborn child for roughly 2 months, he finally loses the motivation to remain on Axis. Tension between Char and Haman over Axis' role and the Zeon remnant's future lead Char to finally leave the asteroid permanently with over 600 other soldiers on October 29, 0083.
Having left Axis, Char returns to the Earth Sphere in September 0084 and infiltrates the Earth Federation Forces ranking with the alias "Quattro Bajeena". Almost immediately, he finds himself involved in conflicts against the Earth Federation's newly formed Titan Task Force, fighting and shooting down 2 enemy battleships within hours of acquiring his new identity. After meeting the Federation politician Blex Forer, Char joins a group of former Earth Federation Force's soldiers and eventually became a founding member of the Anti-Earth Union Group.
Char reappears in UC 0087 during Zeta Gundam, scantly disguised by replacing his mask with a pair of large sunglasses and using the alias "Quattro Bajeena". Originally returning to Earth as a spy for Axis, things are turned upside down with the subsequent creation and rise of the oppressive Titans, causing Char to re-evaluate his objectives as he chooses to assist in leading the AEUG.
This time, rather than serving as the rival of the new protagonist of the series, Kamille Bidan, Char serves as Kamille's mentor in the war against the Earth Federation's oppressive Titans military arm. Furthermore, Char becomes a trusted ally of his former adversaries in Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Ray, Hayato Kobayahi and Bright Noa. He serves under Bright Noa as leader of AEUG mobile suit forces.
Zeta Gundam prominently portrays Char's image as a charismatic hero who is always willing to stand up and fight for the freedom of spacenoids. His political speech in front of Federation Assembly in Dakar, which was broadcast throughout the Earth and the space colonies, is one of the most highlights in the UC Gundam timeline. It cements Char's total commitment toward space colonization and migration of humanity into space since humanity would continue to thoughtlessly pollute the Earth if allowed to remain. It is also in that same speech that he publicly denounces the Titans claiming them to be barbaric and have no regard for the people they hurt; justified by the Titans attack on the Assembly itself, even though many key politicians of the Federation were still inside at the time.
Despite AEUG's victory in the Gryps War against the Titans, Char is defeated in the final battle by Haman Karn, leader of the emerging Axis (later Neo Zeon) faction and assumed dead. However, as the final credits roll, Char's badly damaged mobile suit floats by, its cockpit hatch mysteriously open implying it to be empty. Bright Noa remarks to Sayla Mass that he has a gut feeling that Char is simply watching from the sidelines and waiting for the right opportunity to return center stage in UC affairs.
Another five years passed before Char returns in the movie Char's Counterattack, as the leader of the revived Neo Zeon faction. The opening scenes of the movie shows his intention to drop the massive asteroid base Axis into the Earth, forcing a dramatic increase in migration of its population into space, which he believes will force all of humanity to evolve into Newtypes as well as to prevent any further pollution upon Earth by creating a Nuclear Winter. Only one thing stands in his way: the Earth Federation's elite Londo Bell task force, led by his former superior and ally Bright Noa, and the Londo Bell's top ace pilot, his old arch-rival Amuro Ray.
Both Char and Amuro pilot mobile suits equipped with an advanced Psycommu system known as a Psycoframe. Amuro's RX-93 Nu Gundam was also installed with the system with the blueprints to the Psycoframe technology purposely provided to Anaheim Electronics by Char himself. This effectively sets the stage for the much-awaited showdown between the two rivals. In the final battle on Axis where Char is still soundly defeated by Amuro, both rivals' Psycoframes react to one another and overload causing them to both disappear without a trace which also causes the raw explosion of psychic energy to halt the asteroid's advance into Earth. Both Char and Amuro are considered MIA. (In the novelization of Char's Counterattack, both characters are confirmed to be KIA.) The follow-up Gundam Unicorn also supports this idea. However, in the official Universal Century timeline for the animated series, it lists Amuro Ray and Char Aznable as MIA.
During the events of Char's Counterattack, Char, like Amuro experienced the pyschoframe overload. Having nothing left to live for, Amuro presumably consented to moving on to the afterlife. Char's soul, however, was strangely split in two with half of Char consenting to move on while the other half remained behind to eventually become Full Frontal. As a result Char as Full Frontal is spiritually incomplete and no longer believes in humanities collective future as Newtypes.
Later, during the series' conclusion, Full Frontal is liberated by Lalah Sune's spirit. She informs Char that he's tired and has done enough. Full Frontal then abandons his physical body and spiritually becomes whole again, subsequently entrusting to Banagher Laplace's Box and thus humanity's future. After Banagher and Riddhe leave, the spirits of a (now) complete Char, Amuro, and Lalah briefly converse. Amuro asks Char if Char agrees with Lalah. Char tells Amuro yes and to leave the rest to Banagher, Riddhe, and the younger generation. Together, the three Newtype spirits then ascend to an unknown destination.