A space colony in Earth's orbit, Heliopolis is part of Orb territory, and is thus neutral in the conflict between ZAFT and the Earth Alliance. Unfortunately for them, they're attacked by Rau Le Creuset nonetheless, and the colony is eventually destroyed. A number of refugees end up on board the Archangel, and become de facto Earth Alliance crewmen despite being citizens of a neutral nation.
"If you just did nothing because you thought it wouldn't help, than you'd end up doing less than nothing. Because nothing would change."
The main character, who was attending a technical college on Heliopolis when the series began. Naturally, he ends up Falling into the Cockpit of the Strike Gundam. He's a Coordinator, which he attempts to hide at first, but it quickly comes out into the open. Kira undergoes the most Character Development of anyone in the series; starting as a somewhat goofy but generally normal kid, he forces himself to become cold and nearly mechanical in order to deal with the realities of war, but eventually breaks out of this and becomes much more idealistic (but no less determined) before the series ends.
Ace Pilot: He's the main character in a Gundam show. Yes he ends up achieving this status, and quickly at that.
Ambiguous Disorder: Kira has a lot of Amuro's personality traits, including social awkwardness, skill with machinery, and a tendency towards trying to do everything himself and losing himself in his work. If there's a difference between the two of them, it's that Kira lacks Amuro's deliberately antisocial behaviour—he wants to interact with others, he's just not that good at it.
Badass: He doesn't want to be kicking twelve different kinds of ass, but that won't stop him from doing it if he has to.
Heroes Want Redheads: In the beginning of the series, Kira has an obvious crush on Flay which later blossoms into a full fledged sexual relationship, but it just gets ugly from there. His final love interest has pink hair, which might or might not qualify their relationship for this trope.
Heroic BSOD: He pretty much lives one during the middle part of the series, as he shuts his emotions down in order to cope with the ravages of the war.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: During the series' mid-point it doesn't matter how good Kira is or how much the others praise him: he can't live up to the only person whose standards matter to him, namely, his own.
He's Back: When he and the Freedom interrupt the Battle of JOSH-A.
It's Personal: With Athrun after Tolle's death and Le Creuset after Flay's.
Knife Nut: The Strike's basic form is armed with two Armor Schneider knives, and nothing else. They come in useful a bunch of times though and some of his most critical victories with the Strike are made with them.
Multiform Balance: The Strike. Aile Striker is more or less a Jack of All Stats, while the Launcher Striker is a Mighty Glacier with heavier weaponry but less mobility, and the Sword Striker is a borderline Lightning Bruiser (not quite as fast as the Aile, but faster than the Launcher) balanced by the fact that it lacks ranged firepower.
Nice Guy: Which makes the horror show he's thrust into all the sadder.
Not Quite Dead: To the ire of his enemies and the relief of everyone else.
Pro-Human Transhuman: There's a few of these around, but Kira's the most notable example, fighting to protect his Natural friends from Coordinator soldiers from the earliest episodes of the show.
Psychic Powers: It's revealed later on that he apparently has the same Newtype-esque Telepathy that Mu and Rau have. In his case, it seems to let him connect with anyone else with the ability, as he's able to 'Sense' and talk with Rau, and later Rey in Destiny, as well as being able to 'Sense' Neo as Mu.
Reluctant Warrior: He really doesn't like fighting, but if the alternative is letting innocents suffer, then prepare for ass-kickings.
Rescue Romance: His relationship with Lacus developed from this. In fact, both traded roles of rescuer and rescuee in some points.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: The war has a very detrimental effect on Kira's mental health, causing him to hit rock bottom around the series midpoint. He recovers to a degree, but is sporting one hell of a Thousand-Yard Stare by the time Destiny roles around.
Super Reflexes: Like most Coordinators, Kira possesses reflexes that are notably superior to those of regular humans. This is one reason why he's able to operate the Strike better than pilots who trained for years to do it—he doesn't require the clumsy OS that would enable a Natural to operate the system.
Technical Pacifist: After getting the Freedom and going through a lot of soul searching, he aims to disable MS and spare the pilot, rather than destroying them outright. He will break this rule if he has to though, most notably against Le Creuset who couldn't be stopped any other way.
Tender Tears: He can be a bit weepy early in the series, though only when he's alone. Note, however, that he only does this after a battle — he's not crying for himself, he's crying for the men he's killed.
A friend of Kira's and Flay's boyfriend. He seems to be the unofficial leader of Kira's social clique — he's the cool, confident guy with the hot girlfriend. Between Flay's issues and Kira's rising importance, this is slowly Deconstructed over the first half of the series, though Sai's resilient enough to bounce back from it. During the second half of the series, he reprises his leadership role, acting as the unofficial first-among-equals for the bridge crewmen.
Took a Level in Badass: Following Kira's apparent death, Sai mans up and takes command of the bridge crew, tells Flay exactly where she can stick her issues, prevents she and Miriallia from killing Dearka, and essentially becomes one of the most important people on board the Archangel, all without ever changing his rank or official job.
Woman Scorned: Except, you know, male. He gets better much sooner than the standard, though.
One of Kira's friends. Dates Miriallia and looks up to Kira. The one to come up with the idea to join the Archangel's crew, he's always looking to make himself useful. One of the Bridge Bunnies at first, he eventually spends enough time in the simulator to graduate to Skygrasper pilot, and begins to help Kira and Mu in battle.
Beta Couple: With Miriallia who he's been dating since before the series started.
Hot-Blooded: Tolle is certainly the most enthusiastic of the Heliopolis crew, and constantly pushes to improve himself. Over the course of the series, he goes from refugee, to bridge crew, to combat pilot!
One of Kira's friends, he's something of a minor character compared to the rest of the Heliopolis crew. He's the most average of the clique, lacking any outstanding quality comparable to Sai's confidence, Miriallia's warmth, or Tolle's determination. When the Archangel reaches Orb, he decides not to stay on.
The Everyman: His main role in the series is "the average guy" — his response to things like The Reveal that Kira's a Coordinator stand in for the "normal" reaction.
"Why didn't you save him? It's because you're a Coordinator too!"
Living on Heliopolis at the beginning of the series, Flay is the daughter of the Atlantic Federation's Vice Foreign Minister, George Allster. She'd recently begun dating Sai at the beginning of the series, though Kira had had a crush on her for some time. A fairly air-headed type, the war is not kind to her.
Becoming the Mask: Pretends that she loves Kira because she blames him for her father's death and wants to make sure he'll die as punishment, but later she finds herself really falling in love with him. Sai says itto her directly.
Character Development: While her Becoming the Mask phase happens earlier on, the more obvious development happens very late in the series, after Rau brings her to ZAFT and she spends time with him and Yzak, seeing the conflict from the other side.
Daddy's Girl: Flay speaks rather fondly about her father. Also why she takes her father's death so badly.
The Dark Chick: Towards Azrael, following her coming aboard the Dominion. Like Badgiruel, she quickly realizes just how mad he is.
Fantastic Racism: Towards Coordinators. She had issues with them even before the war. Her father's death only made things worse.
Fille Fatale: Only fifteen and already seducing Kira into doing what she wants.
Foil: To both Lacus and Cagali, with her general bitchiness, immaturity, and self-centredness contrasting with both Lacus' forgiving nature and Cagali's insistence on joining the fighting. She's the Fallen Princess to Lacus' All-Loving Hero and Cagali's Rebellious Princess.
Freak Out: After her father's death. It lasts for most of the show.
The Load: Despite having volunteered, Flay has no role aboard the Archangel, spending most of her time hiding in her room, complaining about things like a lack of hair care products, and causing emotional trauma in Kira and Sai. She herself acknowledges this during her time on the Dominion, where she insists on becoming a part of the bridge crew, and makes a genuinely heartfelt effort to be useful to Badgiruel.
A military alliance consisting of the nations who funded the construction of the PLANTs, formed when the Coordinators living there declared themselves independent. Devastated by ZAFT's mobile suits, they develop the Gundams with the aid of neutral nation Orb in order to counter this. Initially presented as the more sympathetic faction of the war, they're still no barrel of laughs, conscripting several of the Heliopolis refugees to crew the Archangel. As the series progresses, they become less and less sympathetic as the true nature of the leaders running it is revealed.
"It's becoming more and more difficult to understand who or what we're fighting for."
A Lieutenant stationed on the Archangel, she's forced to take command after the ZAFT attack on Heliopolis. Though uncertain of herself at first, she eventually grows to be a capable officer and a dangerous opponent to ZAFT. She keeping the Archangel in one piece through space, reentry, and all over Earth.
Badass Normal: Probably the best ship commander we meet in either show, capable of outmanouvering both fellow Naturals and the genetically superior Coordinators.
The Captain: Of the Archangel. She gains the title following her promotion.
Expy: A young lieutenant who initially comes off as unfair and overbearing is forced to take over a brand new assault carrier. They gradually grow into the role of Captain and leader, eventually becoming one of the most respected officers in the fleet, while striking up a romance with one of their senior officers. Are we talking about Murrue Ramius, or Bright Noa? She's practically his Distaff Counterpart.
The Leader: Of the Archangel crew, Type IV. Ramius is a capable officer and has the full respect of everyone working for her.
The McCoy: Albeit in a primary leadership role; Mu is her Kirk, although Natarle (who rounds out the Power Trio in the superego role) only marginally qualifies as The Spock.
Hot Teacher: Well, she was before she became a military officer.
It Has Been an Honor: With the Archangel crew whenever a time came when they would be reassigned, but they remained a team throughout the series with a few exceptions.
Lady of War: Calm, collected, feminine, and the best battleship captain in the EA Navy.
Military Maverick: Though kinder and gentler than most, Murrue doesn't hesitate to trample all over military regulations as necessary in order to protect the people on her ship. This causes problems for her with her Number Two, Natarle Badgiruel.
You Are in Command Now: La Flaga pushes her into command after the Archangel's commanding officers are killed in Le Creuset's surprise attack. He could have taken the position, as he has seniority, but Murrue is more familiar with the ship and better-suited to the position, while Mu, as the only available pilot other than Kira, is better off not tied to the bridge.
One of the few mobile armour pilots to survive the war long enough to appear in the series, he's also lucky (and good) enough to survive the initial ZAFT attack on Heliopolis. Surprisingly laid back for a guy who's been on the brink of a messy death for months at a time, he provides much needed advice and experience for the Archangel's rookie crew. Provides support for Kira and Murrue most specifically — he outranks them both, but having no experience as a ship's officer and being unable to pilot the Strike, he prefers to leave the lead roles to them. Has a rivalry with ZAFT commander Rau Le Creuset, which precedes the beginning of the series. Pilots first the Mobius Zero mobile armour, then the Skygrasper, and finally the Strike.
Abusive Parents: Al Da Flaga was an asshole, all right, and his mother seems to have been a relative non-entity.
Attack Drone: Has four wire-controlled gun pods on his Mobius Zero.
Badass: If anyone can do the exceptional in a grunt suit, it's Mu La Flaga!
Badass Normal: Made even more badass by his status as a Natural in a series where most of the awesome is reserved for Coordinators. Occasional implications throughout the series that he has Newtype abilities may mean he's a subversion, but it's never entirely clear what the extent of those abilities are beyond his instinctive awareness of le Creuset's presence.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Both inverted and Played Straight. When the Archangel touches down on Earth, he is no longer able to use his Moebius Zero due to the fact that it is a Space Fighter and won't work in atmosphere, so he settles for a Sky Grasper fighter jet instead, which is a capable craft but lacks the Attack Drone capability of the Moebius. The trope is played straight later on, when after abandoning the Earth Alliance, he gets to pilot the Strike Gundam.
Mildly Military: Despite being the senior officer present for most of the beginning of the series, Mu's not really one for standing on ceremony.
Psychic Powers: While it's never given any real focus, he's essentially the closest thing the Cosmic Era has to a Newtype. What this means within the setting is not entirely clear, but it does make him able to sense when Rau le Creuset is nearby, and vice versa.
Sole Survivor: Of his Mobius Zero squadron during the Endymion lunar campaign during his backstory, and of the Earth Alliance pilots during the attack on Heliopolis — though neither really affects his personality much.
Space Fighter: His Mobius Zero, which is one of the more realistic designs out there.
Super Prototype: The Mobius Zero, which is vastly superior to the mass production Mobius in terms of armament and speed. Justified in that only a very few pilots had the level of skill and spatial awareness required to operate the Zero and its Attack Drones effectively.
Super Reflexes: His 'Spatial Awareness', an extremely rare ability among both Naturals and Coordinators, which allows him to control AttackDrones.
Sympathy for the Devil: A poignant scene towards the end of the series has Mu sympathizing with Rau le Creuset in a conversation with Murrue; Mu is the only character who seems to fully consider what effect his past had on him. He does, however, state firmly that what he's doing can't be excused.
The Unfavorite: To his father, Al. Oddly for the trope, there is no favorite; Mu was an only child, but he looked too much like his mom. So Dad locked him away and cloned himself. And treated the clone like crap as well.
Originally an Ensign on the Archangel, she graduates to Murrue's Number Two after the attack on Heliopolis. Harder and more pragmatic than Murrue, Badgiruel remains loyal to the Earth Forces, and is eventually named captain of the Archangel'sEvil Counterpart, the Dominion. A professional soldier, she buries any doubts she has behind her ironclad faith in the military, even when forced to work with MurutaAzrael and his squad.
Badass Normal: In much the same vein as Murrue Ramius, proving that as a ship captain she's more than capable of taking on supposedly superior Coordinators.
The Captain: Was briefly acting captain of the Archangel, before passing the role to Ramius. She later becomes the actual captain of the Dominion.
Voice Actors: Isshin Chiba (Japanese), Philip Pacaud (English)
The soft spoken helmsman of the Archangel, Mr. Neumann is one of the unsung heroes of the show. Taking on a leadership role among the ship's NCO's in times of crisis, Neumann's greatest contribution to the survival of the Archangel is without a doubt his insane piloting skills.
Badass: Hell yeah! He's the main reason—more so than Kira, or La Flaga, or Ramius—that the Archangel hasn't been sunk.
Badass Normal: The best helmsman of the Cosmic Era, Natural or Coordinator.
Hidden Depths: Neumann keeps to himself and rarely speaks, but when the Archangel is in lockdown aboard Artemis, he's the one who rallies the crew and organises the breakout. Supplementary materials suggest that he may have had a crush on Natarle Badgiruel as well.
Improbable Piloting Skills: Good Lord yes! This man flies a several thousand tonne battleship as though it were a freaking fighter plane. Doing a barrel roll to point the ship's guns down or circumvent an enemy battleship? No problem. Recovering from a botched atmospheric re-entry? Not even worth a mention. Dodging beams and guided missiles alike between the time they are fired and the time they reach his ship (many times maneuvering so quickly it looks like the crew would surely be turned to red paste against the walls)? All in a day's work.
Love Hurts: In some of the video games based on SEED it is revealed that Neumann had a thing for the Archangel's Number Two, Badgiruel. This means that he had to help kill her when Ramius ordered the Dominion sunk. Ouch.
Voice Actors: Naoki Tatsuta (Japanese), Richard Newman (English)
"Firing on retreating men? You're a damn disgrace Le Creuset."
The commander of the EA's 08th Fleet, Admiral Lewis Halberton was the commisioner and mastermind behind the G-Weapons' project that created the Gundams. A capable battlefield commander, and a mentor Captain Ramius, Halberton is one of the few high-ranking OMNI officials to have any sympathy for the Coordinators, and Kira Yamato in particular.
Badass: Leads his troops in person from his flagship, the Menelaus, and will not demand they make any sacrifices he isn't willing to make.
Meaningful Name: Not Halberton himself, but his ship, the Menelaus, which is named after a Greek king, whose wife was kidnapped, starting a war. Given that SEED opens with the G-weapons that Halberton had built being stolen, it seems likely that this is more then a coincidence.
The Mentor: To Captain Ramius, who was one of his students at the military academy.
"Misunderstandings create enemies, and when you have enemies, you shoot them."
The leader of the anti-Coordinator terrorist group Blue Cosmos and a powerful figure in the Atlantic Federation. Boyish. Charming. Takes his evil Up to Eleven. He joins the crew of the Dominion with his squad of modified soldiers, more or less subverting Badgiruel's position as captain.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: He rarely considers a retreat. Justified after ZAFT fires Genesis and he wanted his recuperating forces to keep fighting, before ZAFT fired on Earth.
Ax-Crazy: You get hints about just how crazy he is throughout the show. Then the last few episodes hit and holycrap.
Bad Boss: Controls Shani, Clotho, and Orga through drug addiction, and everyone else through fear. Really starts to show after his Villainous Breakdown.
Big Bad Wannabe: A truly nasty—and very competent—one. He's the real leader of the Earth Forces and would be The Big Bad if Rau Le Creuset weren't in the story. It's worth noting that of all the contenders for this title in the series he is without a doubt the most evil.
Big Bad Ensemble: Subverted. It appears that the plot is coming down to the war between him and Patrick Zala but in reality they're both Unwitting Pawns of Rau Le Creuset.
Bigger Bad: In the Destiny spinoff, Stargazer where he, and then Djibril, take on this role vis a vis Sven Cal Bayan.
Bishōnen: Which accounts for his ridiculous popularity with the female fanbase.
Evil Is Petty: A condescending sexist and all around jerk, as well as a genocidal madman. Better yet, even his genocidal intentions are rooted, not in ideology, but in childhood grudges. He's petty all through.
Evil Laugh: Gives an epic one when he receives the plans to ZAFT's defenses and N-Jammer Cancellers.
Expy: It's not as obvious as with Patrick, but Azrael's charismatic personality, dynamic leadership, public popularity, and utter goddamn sociopathy are all derived from Mobile Suit Gundam's Gihren Zabi. They even share a passion for overkill and Weapons Of Mass Destruction. In the meanwhile, his appearance, enthusiasm, excitableness, creepy interactions with women, and manipulation of the Extended, all call to mind Gihren's clone/bastard son Glemmy Toto
Final Solution: Plans to nuke the Plants, ending the war, and killing every Coordinator in existence in the process.
Freudian Excuse: See above. Subverted in that it is intended to make him more despicable, not less.
Hannibal Lecture: Played with. When Badgiruel offers a surrender to the Archangel, he actually mocks her for making such an attempt and says everyone's just better off shooting at each other.
He-Man Woman Hater: Has some aspects of this. He's openly contemptuous of Badgiruel after finding out she's a woman, condescends to her because of her gender ("Listen to me, woman!") and is the only character in-series to use the word "bitch" to describe a female character.
Hypocrite: Genetically modifying fetus' to create Born Winners is evil! Using drugs and mental torture to create Super Soldiers out of children is not! It's also hinted that his hatred of Coordinators is a case of Driven by Envy, making him an even bigger hypocrite.
Psychopathic Manchild: Azrael's smarter then most characters of this type, but still has the attitude, reacting like a spoiled child when he doesn't get his way. "You'll pay for treating me like this!"
Smug Snake: Ungodly arrogant, and self-assured to the point of suicidal overconfidence. It's worth noting that simply holding a conversation with him can be a trying experience for characters like Badgirel.
The Sociopath: Hits every requirement on the checklist. Heck, just read the page quote.
Sore Loser: Goes out ranting and screaming about how he always wins.
Stepford Smiler: Type C. An odd example in that he's not hiding his evil (which is public knowledge), but just how unstable he is.
Straw Hypocrite: It's heavily implied that Azrael's muggle power rhetoric is just that; his real motivation is jealousy and childhood grudges.
Straw Nihilist: When Badgiruel opens communications for a chance for the enemy to surrender, he mocks her with a speech that includes the character quote above.
We Have Reserves: Azrael doesn't give a damn about casualties, and goes so far as to classify Shani, Cortho, and Orga as equipment, rather than soldiers, making them totally expendable. After GENESIS is revealed, he still prioritises destroying the colonies over stopping GENESIS and saving the world.
Western Terrorists: Blue Cosmos got its start as a terror group that assassinated prominent Coordinators, and despite Azrael's public legitimacy, he's still one of these at heart.
Would Hit a Girl: Bitch slaps Flay, tries to strangle Badgiruel, and then empties his gun into her.
"For the preservation of our blue and natural Earth!"
A member of the OMNI General Staff and a card-carrying member of Blue Cosmos, Captain Sutherland is a key member of Azrael's network and provides his link to the upper echelons of the Earth Forces' military. The mastermind behind the use of the Cyclops system at JOSH-A, Sutherland sees to it that the worst of Azrael's proposals are made a reality by the military.
Armchair Military: Surprisingly, no. Sutherland is every inch the Obstructive Bureaucrat in terms of personality, but at the Battle of Jachin Due he's on the frontlines in the Earth Forces' flagship, The Doolittle.
Knight Templar: The most charitable interpretation of his character. Unlike Azrael (who's Driven by Envy) he genuinely seems to believe that the Coordinators need to be exterminated in order to save the Naturals.
Non-Action Guy: He's a General Staff officer, so he doesn't become personally involved in combat. His willingness to go to the front captaining The Doolittle keeps him out of Armchair Military territory though.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: He acts as one during his initial appearance, where he heads the investigation into the Archangel's actions, and even after his Insane Admiral status is unveiled, clearly has the heart and soul of a pencil-pusher. The absoultely banal nature of his evil provides for a sharp contrast with his flamboyant boss; he's essentially Adolf Eichmann to Azrael's Adolf Hitler.
Oh Crap: Immediately before being blown up by Yzak.
Weapons Of Mass Destruction: He's the one who decided to use the Cyclops system, and turns the key to activate it, while giving a little speech about preserving the Earth's purity.
We Have Reserves: Like his boss, Sutherland doesn't care too much about individual lives. At JOSH-A he deliberately sacrifices the lives of thousands of his allies in order to halt ZAFT and weaken Eurasia's influence.
Three "biological CPUs" brought in by Azrael to pilot his shiny new Gundams during the attack on Orb, Clotho Buer, Orga Sabnak, and Shani Andras are the Earth Alliance's most powerful weapons during the final weeks of the war. Fed a steady stream of drugs that are both performance enhancing and highly addictive, it's unclear whether this is what drove them nuts or if they were always that way. Regardless, the trio are capable of taking on Coordinators in superior mobile suits toe-to-toe and coming out on top more often than not, despite being completely and utterly psychotic. Clotho pilots the Raider; his primary hobby outside of battle is playing Shmups, and he's fond of shouting gaming-inspiring phrases like "game over!" in combat. Orga is assigned to the Calamity; outside of battle, he's usually found reading paperback novels. Shani pilots the Forbidden, and spends his downtime ignoring the rest of the world by listening to music on his headphones. He cultivates his Peek-a-Bangs to hide his heterochromia.
Ascended Extra: Clotho to an extent. He tends to get the camera focus in combat, actually manages to disable Kira one time, manages to outlive the other two and even Azrael for at least one episode, and is the only one of the trio to actually attempt to speak to Kira and Athrun. Granted all he really does is reiterate to Athrun that he's totally nuts but still.
Ax-Crazy: At least in combat; outside of battle they tend to ignore everyone around them. Shani is probably the worst.
Badass Normal: Kira thought they were also Coordinators from fighting them several times.
Expy: Not as individuals, but as the group the pre-Extended trio have a lot in common with the Cyber Newtypes of the UC era.
Flawed Prototype: They manage to be this and Super Prototype at the same time. While it's true that they have far superior combat skills to their successors in the Extended, they're also highly unstable emotionally, cannot be trusted with any jobs outside of piloting, and have a two hour time limit on combat that is absolutely crippling when it comes to usability. The later versions essentially swap out the better piloting skills for increased loyalty and versatility, and a far longer time limit (they only have to be maintained once a day).
Lack of Empathy: All three have got it bad. Clotho views it all as some sort of real-life video game, Orga doesn't care who he mows down with his BFGs and Shani... Shani's an out-and-out psycho who kills enemy soldiers for fun.
The three of them have the surnames of demons in the Ars Goetia, a tome of demonology. Clotho is based on President Buer, Orga on Marquis Sabnock, and Shani on Marquis Andras. Notably, Marquis Sabnock is a lion-headed soldier who constructs towers full of weapons, a reasonable description of the blond Orga piloting the Calamity, while Marquis Andras is far and away considered one of the most dangerous, unpredictable, and violent—pretty evocative of Shani.
Not a Game: Clotho seems to have trouble understanding that he isn't playing a video game. He keeps right on killing, not out of patriotism or loyalty, but because he hates to lose.
The Quiet One: Shani's this outside of battle. During battle he's a cackling lunatic.
The Pawns: They're well aware Azrael is using them for his profit, but are happy enough to continue being Blood Knights.
Peek-a-Bangs: Shani's help to enhance his rather emo appearance when he's out of combat.
Power Trio: Orga's the Ego, Clotho's the Superego, and Shani's the Id, although all three are certifiably insane.
Psycho Prototypes: It's revealed in the sequel that they are the forerunners of the Extended program. The Extended might have issues, but compared to these three, they're pillars of stability. Arguably an example of a Super Prototype as well given their better combat record.
Psycho Serum: Used partly to increase combat performance and partly to ensure loyalty; the effects of withdrawal are fatal, precluding any attempt at desertion.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: None of them are team players, which occasionally devolves into them fighting each other instead of their enemy. Orga is rather careless about what he's shooting at, Clotho hates it when his teammates need to hitch a ride on his flight-capable Gundam, and Shani prefers to ignore his teammates' existence entirely during combat. Still, when they do cooperate, it really sucks to be the other guy.
Transforming Mecha: Raider switches between a normal MS mode and an almost bird-like flight mode, while The Forbidden features a retractable superstructure and deflector shields.
Vitriolic Best Buds: They may not like each other very much, but they hate the rest of the world far more, and are pretty dependent on one another for emotional stability. When Shani dies, the other two freak.
The group representing the Coordinators living in the PLANTs, its military arm is the primary antagonist at the beginning of the series. Fighting for independence from the Earth nations that built the PLANTs they live in, their fight is far more complicated than an idealistic crusade against tyranny. Their presentation changes drastically during the course of the series, managing to become both more and less sympathic at the same time.
"Suspicion, ignorance, prejudice, the dark emotions directed at those who can be loved. If love is the brightest light, then are these emotions created from the shadow it casts? Things that are different, things we don't understand, differences that foster anxiety, leading to hatred, and ultimately...confrontation."
Athrun's commanding officer and Patrick Zala's right-hand man, Le Creuset is a feared ZAFT ship captain and mobile suit pilot, renowned for his ability and his ruthlessness. He is assigned to hunt down the Archangel, and is later given command of the assaults on Alaska and Panama, and the defence of Jachin Due. Aways masked, Le Creuset is an enigmatic figure with a grudge against Mu La Flaga, and his own agenda, which he keeps entirely to himself. A very dangerous man, Rau originally pilots a series of Elite Mook mobile suits, but eventually upgrades to the Providence.
Ace Custom: Flies several heavily modified mobile suits, all of them painted white. These include a high-manouvere GINN, a CGUE command suit, a DINN, and one of the new production GuAIZ's, which had just come off the line, and incorporates an OS based on the one in the stolen Gundams.
Ace Pilot: One of the few Snipers in Gundam, fighting all of his battles at a distance, and to lethal effect.
Affably Evil: Early in the series, he comes off as a genuinely friendly and understanding commander, barring occasional episodes of dog-kicking. It's only later that his true nature becomes clear.
Alertness Blink: Experiences a Newtype Flash whenever Mu La Flaga is within a few kilometers. It's one of the few things that point to their having newtype-like abilities. Interestingly he also receives it under other circumstances than Mu's arrival, suggesting that his Newtype powers are stronger than Mu's.
Badass: To the point where he can fight Kira on an even footing.
Badass Normal: He may be a clone of Al La Flaga, but that doesn't give him any special abilities- aside from the hints that he and La Flaga may be Newtypes (see Alertness Blink above). Yet he's still good enough to fake being a Coordinator.
Beam Spam: He manages to out-spam Kira while piloting the Providence.
Break Them by Talking: Rau makes a habit of this — particularly with Flay, Mu, and Kira. His effectiveness varies.
Broken Ace: A villainous example, to say the least.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's not so much "quirky" as he tends to act on his own initiative more than his superiors might wish. And then there's the whole "constantly wearing a mask" thing. Damned if he doesn't get results, though.
The Chessmaster: He beautifully orchestrates events so that the Earth Alliance will fire nuclear weapons and ZAFT will fire GENESIS.
Cloning Blues: More psychological than anything else, though see below. He believes that he has no real identity, and a result his sense of self-worth is more than a little damaged.
Clone Degeneration: Rau's telomeres are too short, leaving him effectively dying of old age at 28 years old. He's forced to take increasingly large doses of drugs to counteract this, and is subject to seizures at irregular intervals as his body breaks down.
Enigmatic Minion: To Patrick Zala. From the beginning it's clear that Le Creuset has his own agenda, but just what that agenda is remains a secret until the end of the series.
Evil Counterpart: To no fewer than three characters: Mu (as his cloned "brother" and fellow Mentor), Kira (they're both results of Genetic Engineering experiments, with Le Creuset showing how badly Kira could have turned out if he hadn't ben raised by the right people), and Lacus (on a purely philosophical level).
Freudian Excuse: Was cloned by a Jerk Ass father whose first words upon seeing his new son were "this is me, right?" Said father went on to abandon and possibly abuse him. Add in his Clone Degeneration, and the fact that he's a dying man at twenty-eight, and his actions become much more understandable, if not excusable.
Manipulative Bastard: Beautifully manipulates everyone, from his subordinates to his superiors to his enemies, to further his goals.
Man in White: His suit is white, he flies white mobile suits and there's something very off about him.
Meaningful Name: "Le Creuset" is French for "crucible". Doubly meaningful, as he chose the name himself once he discovered what he was.
Mercy Kill: Seems to believe he's performing one on the human species as a whole.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Le Creuset upgrades his suits throughout the show, starting with a Ginn High Manouvere Type, than flying a CGUE, a DINN, and the first of the new GuAIZs. It's not until the finale, however, that he gains a Gundam, in the form of the Providence.
Mighty Glacier: Averted. The Providence is big and slow, but the speed with which the Dragoons move more than counterbalances this defect, and as his sword-fight with Kira shows, the suit's still quick where it counts.
The Unreveal: Done in the televised show whenever he's shown maskless, even when the protagonists get to see his face. Even in the Compilation Movie, his face is only ever shown in one shot, and for just a few seconds at that. There isn't even anything odd about his face, which is the point. He only wears the mask to cover the face of the man he was cloned from, the man he despises most in the world.
Villainous Breakdown: Inverted. Previously calm and collected, Le Creuset suffers from some seriousSanity Slippage in the final episodes, due to his belief that his plan has succeeded. After all, if it's all going to end, why pretend to be sane anymore?
The captain of the Vesalius, Ades is Le Creuset's right-hand man and a capable officer in his own right. Sometimes taken aback by Le Creuset's penchant for acting without orders, Ades nevertheless follows his superior's instructions loyally. Despite his secondary role on the ship, he seems to command the respect of the Le Creuset team's pilots.
"I can't exactly fight a war with a big smile on my face."
Kira's former best friend and one of ZAFT's elite pilots, he spends the first half of the show trying to capture Kira and the Strike. Much more cynical than Kira, he considers himself the realist of the two, and believes Kira is being manipulated by the Naturals. He too grow progressively darker and more bitter as the series progresses, culminating in a brutal fight between he and Kira in the middle of the series. Pilots the Aegis and then the Justice.
Ace Pilot: Like Kira, he quickly reaches this status.
Anti-Villain: Though not a bad person by any stretch, he's still trying to capture Kira and destroy the Archangel, until he joins the heroes later in the story.
Arranged Marriage: With Lacus Clyne, as set up by their respective fathers. They both seem okay with the arrangement, even if it does end up becoming a moot point when they both fall for other people.
Badass: Few of the people in this series can survive a fight with Kira. Athrun regularly goes one on one with him, and darn near kills him a couple of times.
Beware the Nice Ones: Le Creuset comments that Athrun is too soft for his liking and indeed it shows because Athrun never tried to fully engage Kira trying to talk with him to join the Coordinators instead. Until after the battle when Kira kills Nicol, Athrun is able to effectively ground the Archangel and go one on one with Kira, and actually destroys the Strike.
Char Clone: Shares the other attributes of ''MSG''-era Char Le Creuset doesn't have, like piloting red mobile suits and a rivalry with the hero. Until he switches sides that is.
Conflicting Loyalty: His status as a ZAFT soldier and doing as his father wishes conflicts with his friendship with Kira and his feelings of actually ending the war peacefully. He sides with Kira when he saves the Freedom with Big Damn Hero moment during the battle of Orb.
Heel-Face Turn: After Lacus plants some doubts about ZAFT's (and, more to the point, his father's) end goals and practices in his head, he decides to see for himself what the proper course of action is to take. This ends with him joining Kira and the crew of the Archangel.
Mutual Kill: Narrowly averted during his and Kira's midseason throwdown.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Subverted. He thought he could just continue following orders until the war was over then realized that wasn't going to happen unless he actually made an effort to seek it out, which is why he joined Kira.
My God, What Have I Done?: Though he "wins" the final fight against Kira and the Strike he was very shaken up by the event and it caused him to begin questioning what he was really fighting for. eventually lead to his Heel-Face Turn.
Sky Surfing: With the Justice, when it's in Earth's atmosphere.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: He's quieter about it than Kira, but yeah. The war slowly wears away at the better aspects of Athrun's personality, and by the time the sequel comes along he is pretty damn broken.
Shoot the Dog: He reasoned that he had to kill Kira because he couldn't convince him to join his fellow Coordinators and Kira was killing his comrades.
Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Repeatedly accuses Kira of being impressionable and idealistic, and refuses to believe that his and Lacus' idealism will solve anything in the long run. This changes after the revelation that he's the one being used.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Shown in flashbacks and invoked by Lacus. The bitter and cynical Athrun we all know and love is rather different from the nice kid who believed Earth and the PLANTS would never go to war.
"Well Done, Son" Guy: While he sincerely wishes to end the war with as few victims as possible, he also fights to earn the approval of his father, whose own agenda is much less benevolent. This clouds his judgement from time to time. Lacus calls him out on it towards the end of the series.
"Come out and fight, Strike! Or else this pain I feel will never go away!"
A member of the Le Creuset team, he's the most bloodthirsty and callous of the group. He has little respect for anyone he considers weak, and absolutely zero respect for Naturals as a consequence. He's close friends with Dearka, who shares many of his views, and has a developing rivalry with Athrun. He has no particular hate for the Earth Alliance (just contempt) until he's wounded during a battle with the Strike. After the resulting scarring, he develops a massive hate-on for Kira. Extremely temperamental and impulsive, he's the member of the group most loyal to ZAFT as a whole and Le Creuset personally. Pilots the Duel.
Badass: It's easy to forget just how good Yzak is. He goes toe-to-toe with Kira regularly, kills two Super Soldiers in the finale, saves Cagali's life and even takes down Captain Sutherland, all while using a first generation Gundam.
Even Evil Has Standards: While not very high standards, he still has them. He is ok with shooting down a fleeing enemy shuttle (after all, the enemy that runs away will come back to fight you another day), but shooting down the enemy when they are helpless and trying to surrender? That makes him frown. After all, if you kill surrendering enemies, the rest will fight to the death, making your job much harder and costing you more casualties.
That's a bit of a generous conjecture. When he sees the surrendering soldiers getting shot, he merely says, "Where's the fun in shooting soldiers that don't fight back?"
He's genuinely upset in the sequel when he discovers that the shuttle he thought was filled with fleeing soldiers was actually filled with civilians, commenting that he probably should have been killed for that.
Expy: His character design bears a striking resemblance to Henri Claytor from another one of Fukuda's series Future GPX Cyber Formula (sans the red streak on the strand of the bangs). He's also got a lot in common with Zeta Gundams Jerid Messa, in terms of his characterisation as a Hot-Blooded pilot who Can't Catch Up, and has the personality of a stereotypical Jerk Jock. Also like Jerid, Yzak initially serves to remind us that his side are the villains with his aggressive, vicious behaviour, only for the situation to change so much that by the end, he's serving as a reminder that some of them are human beings.
Jerkass Fašade: Much of his attitude towards the rest of the team is this, especially as the show progresses.
Karma Houdini: Never did get punished for shooting down the civilian shuttle. In the aftermath, he did get tried for the crime and supposedly sentenced to death, but got pardoned by Durandal. He's certainly sorry about it, if nothing else.
Kick the Dog: He has a few, such as mocking Nicol as a coward early in the series. His biggest is undoubtedly when he destroys a shuttle full of refugees during atmospheric reentry for being in his way, though in his (partial) defense, he didn't know it was filled with civilians.
Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The Duel featurs a shield. Yzak's not a big fan of it (preferring to dual wield) but it saves his life during his encounter with Shani.
Military Brat: His mother Ezalia is a member of the PLANT Supreme Council.
My Beloved Smother: To a slight degree, though mostly justified by the fact that the few interactions we see between them is just after Yzak has returned from the front lines and will be heading back into combat soon.
Murder by Mistake: He thought the shuttle he shot down was filled with fleeing OMNI personnel, and doesn't find out until after the war that they were civillians. Still a war crime, but not nearly as bad a one.
Politically Incorrect Villain: He's certainly picked up some of his mom's Fantastic Racism. Unlike Ezalia, however, Yzak's manifests more as contempt for the Naturals than out-and-out hatred, and when he finds out about the Final Solution she and Patrick Zala have cooked up he's less than happy. By the sequel he's pretty much over it.
Unknown Rival: To both Athrun and Kira. The former seems to be unaware that Yzak heckles him out of jealousy, the latter knows him only as the pilot of the Duel.
Weak, but Skilled: The Duel is easily the lowest-spec Gundam in the series, lacking any special role (Artillery, Stealth, Agility, Multi-Role), its normal weaponry is basically the Aile Strike minus the maneuverability boost. Yet Yzak gives Kira no end of trouble in the first half of the series, takes out two of the Alliance's  and is the only one of the original five Gundams to reach the end of the series in one piece.
A member of Athrun's team, he, along with Yzak Joule, formed the darker half of the foursome. Snarky and condescending at times, Dearka often has to act as the more impulsive Yzak's conscience. An artilleryman at heart, he prefers to engage his opponents at range, while mocking their inability to touch him. Pilots the Buster.
The Brute/The Big Guy: While he's no dummy, he fills this role in Le Creuset's Five-Bad Bandand later the Three Ships Alliance. With his BFG and heavily armoured mecha, Dearka is set to do some serious damage.
The youngest and most sensitive member of the Le Creuset Team. He looks up to Athrun, but is often bullied by Dearka and (especially) Yzak. He pilots the Blitz, and pulls his weight in combat despite the fact that he's not as skilled as the rest of the team. A genuinely Nice Guy, Nicol's only real character flaw seems to be his belief in My Country, Right or Wrong.
Anti-Villain: More so than the rest of the Le Creuset Team, even.
The Other Darrin: Mami Matsui retired from voice acting after SEED wrapped, so Nichol has been played by Romi Park in every appearance since.
The So-Called Coward: Yzak calls him a coward and he's mostly quiet, self-effacing and unsure of himself as well as more reliant on technology than the others, but he soloed Artemis by himself. Yes, he earned that red uniform.
Token Good Teammate: He lacks Athrun's cynicism, Dearka's snark, and Yzak's anger issues, making him the only member of the team who's even remotely capable of being objective. See The Dark Chick, above.
"I'd like you to inform them: from now on, Lacus Clyne will be singing the song... of peace."
The daughter of PLANT Supreme Council Chairman Siegel Clyne, Lacus is an extremely popular Idol Singer and political activist, and is engaged to her friend Athrun. Early in the series she is picked up by the Archangel and meets Kira, an event which will come to define the rest of both their lives. The public face of the "Clyne Faction" (those moderates who support her father's policies), Lacus is a pleasant, friendly, idealistic girl, who is a heck of a lot smarter than you'd think.
All-Loving Hero: She holds no grudges and instead shows compassion to everyone.
Cry Cute/Cry into Chest: After her escape from ZAFT and her father's demise, she collapses in tears into Kira's chest.
Guile Heroine: Necessary, given that she's not a combatant of any type. Between her father's political allies and her own status as an Idol Singer, she's got... resources.
Establishing Character Moment: Two very important ones early on in the show. First, asking Mu if he knows her father because he mentioned his name, giving us the impression she is ditzy and a little too innocent. The second, and far more important, happens two episodes later, where she reprimands Rau of all people for trying to start a battle, showing us that she is more than she appears.
Obfuscating Stupidity: More like "Obfuscating Innocence", her biggest advantage is that virtually everyone underestimates her. While it's never stated, it's hard to believe that she didn't deliberately cultivate that image.
▄bermensch: Begins her trek towards this status in SEED, reaching it in Destiny. While everyone else tries to play by the cynical, realpolitik of the Cosmic Era, Lacus flat out rejects the premise, choosing intstead to overhaul the series' morality and try for something better.
"We Coordinators are very different. We should view ourselves as a completely new species. There's no reason to coexist with Naturals."
Athrun's father, Patrick Zala was one of the founding members of ZAFT alongside Siegel Clyne. At the beginning of the series, he's the head of ZAFT's armed forces. Patrick is a stoic but driven man, throwing himself into the execution of the war to the exclusion of all else — including his son. Patrick's fanaticism comes from the loss of his wife Lenore in the Bloody Valentine tragedy, which has left him with a deep-seated hatred of Naturals. He believes that Coordinators are a new species, distinct from (and superior to) Naturals.
Final Solution: He intends to fire Genesis at Earth, wiping out all the Naturals.
General Ripper: What happens when one of them becomes Supreme Council Chairman.
The Generalissimo: Continues to appear in his uniform as Chairman, and effectively transforms ZAFT into a military dictatorship, using the army to suppress all dissent.
Glorious Leader: Becomes closer and closer to the archetype as the show progresses and he becomes convinced that only he can save his people.
Hoist by His Own Petard: When his Bad Boss tendencies backfire on him. He shoots one of his underlings for questioning his orders. Said underling, wounded but alive, draws his own sidearm and kills Zala with it.
In the Back: Shot from behind by a man he failed to kill.
Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: They keep setting you up to think that Patrick's going to show his nice side, only to promptly dissapoint you.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: First he runs against, and defeats, his old friend and former political ally for the position of PLANT Supreme Council Chairman. Then he has said friend framed for treason and assassinated. It only gets worse from there.
Karmic Death: Shot in the back by a wounded man he's just tried to murder.
Knight Templar: Genuinely believes that only the most extreme methods can save his race.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: Brags about Coordinators being a Master Race that deserves to rule the world? Plots the genocide of his Natural adversaries? Wins an election and then promptly suspends the democratic process? Why yes, he is a Nazi. In fact, he's basically Adolf HitlerIN SPACE!
Start of Darkness: It's implied that he was a warmer father figure and a better human being prior to Lenore's death at Junius 7.
Superior Species: Convinced that Coordinators are far superior to "unevolved" Naturals.
Unwitting Pawn: Though less of a pawn than most, Rau Le Creuset is using him to help drive humanity to extinction.
What the Hell, Dad?: Patrick treats Athrun like any other subordinate, except when he's making sure that Athrun lives up to his high standards. Athrun seems to hold him no ill will, however; it may be that he was a warmer father figure prior to the Bloody Valentine tragedy.
"You still fail to grasp the underlying truth, Patrick. We [Coordinators] didn't evolve."
Siegel Clyne is Lacus's father. He helped found ZAFT with Patrick Zala, and is the PLANT Supreme Council Chairman at the beginning of the series. Leader of the moderate faction of Coordinators, he and his allies believe in coexistence with the Naturals, but they're steadily losing ground to the radical faction that favours all-out war. Eventually voted out of office and replaced by Patrick Zala, he attempts to remain a voice of reason, earning him the enmity of the radicals.
Yzak's mother, and a member of Patrick Zala's faction on the ZAFT Supreme Council, Ezalia is his second-in-command, and is even more ardent than Patrick in her belief that Coordinators are a new, superior species. Proud of her son's military service, Ezalia nevertheless worries about his safety, and can be quite controlling — if well-meaning — in her interactions with Yzak.
Absurdly Youthful Mother: She's 33. Her son, Yzak, is 16. That means she was 17 when she gave birth to him. In real life, it's unlikely for a woman like this to have success in politics. In a country with an aggressive pro-birth policy, it makes sense.
Dissonant Serenity: Patrick rants and raves about how the Naturals have to be exterminated. Ezalia takes it as a simple fact.
"At what point do we put an end to [war]? When every single one of your enemies has been destroyed? Perhaps then."
Known as "the Desert Tiger", Waltfeld is a feared ZAFT commander operating in the Libyan desert. He serves as the first major opponent Kira faces other than Athrun and his team, and poses a serious threat to the Archangel and her crew, despite being a pretty decent guy. Meeting him forces Kira to further reevaluate his moral stance on the war. He pilots a BuCUE and then the LaGOWE command unit.
Noble Demon: Burns down a town after letting the civillians evacuate, leaves the areas he's conquered in relative peace, lets Kira and Cagalli escape when he could have captured them... it's no wonder he couldn't stomach the Zala regime.
Shout-Out: To Erwin Rommel. Has a nickname similar to "The Desert Fox", not to mention being courteous and honorable to his enemies. Bonus points for the fact he even gives the civilians of a town time to evacuate before leveling it, which is something Rommel would have done.
"You're taking this rather well. This is difficult for you, isn't it? I can tell you're really fond of him."
Girlfriend of Andrew Waldfeld, the Desert Tiger, and a capable pilot in her own right. Just as sympathetic a character as Andy, she's rather friendly toward Kira and Cagalli when they encounter each other.
Deadpan Snarker: When she's not being sweet and understanding, she's making full use of her snarking abilities. Her best moment is probably her response to Yzak's claim that he and Dearka have more experience against the Strike than she and Waldfeld do: "Losing experience doesn't count."
An island nation in the Pacific, Orb has a high-tech industrial base but little in the way of resources; they built Heliopolis primarily as a way to mitigate this strategic weakness. A very idealistic nation, their stance in international politics is one of aggressive neutrality; though they will not attack others, they will vigorously defend themselves against any attacks. The war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT has strained this position to its breaking point, especially after the destruction of Heliopolis.
"That's right, I'm a girl. What is it with you guys?"
The adopted daughter of Uzumi Nara Atha, Chief Representative of the Orb Union. Also a rebel leader, guerilla soldier, and a capable, if brash, politician. Hates ZAFT and distrusts the Earth Forces. She provides the military backbone of the Three Ships' Alliance. Pilots a Skygrasper and then the Strike Rouge.
All Your Powers Combined: The Strike Rouge IWSP. Notably the first 'Combined' Striker Pack, though it's also the only one that hasn't made an appearance in the series, despite being repeatedly teased in the HD Remaster Openings.
Nice Girl: Violent tendecies notwithstanding, Cagalli is the first person to be unambiguously kind to Kira in the series, without professional distance or ulterior motives; notably in the form of a much needed hug when he was on the verge of a suicidal breakdown. She is also consistently considerate, warm hearted, compassionate, and openly expresses kindness without consideration to maturity or social appropriateness.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Not that she was ever considered ugly, mind you, but get her in a dress and not scowl about it and she goes from cute in a Tomboy-ish way to really beautiful (as the 3rd and 4th Openings show).
Super Mode: The only Natural to activate SEED mode.
Tomboy Princess: She has a noted distaste for fancy dresses and formal clothing, preferring simple and practical casual wear. She is also quite at home on the front lines of the battlefield, rather than commanding from the rear as would be expected.
Tsundere: Though regarding her main target — Athrun — she is extremely justified, given the circumstances of their meeting.
Twincest: She at first appears to be falling in love with Kira. They discover their true relationship before it goes too far.
"We can't leave Orb, or this world, in the hands of those bastards."
The leader of Orb and Cagalli's adopted father, Lord Uzumi is completely dedicated to maintaining Orb's neutral stance. This becomes ever more difficult as the war spirals out of control. Faced with increasing pressure to choose a side in the ZAFT-Earth Alliance conflict, he refuses to compromise his nation's ideals.
Defiant to the End: When it became clear that Orb was going to lose its fight against the Earth Alliance, he chose to blow up the very resources the EA had come to the country to seize, rendering their invasion a waste.
"I have a body capable of greater strengths and a brain capable of acquiring greater knowledge than a human being who was born naturally."
The original Coordinator, he gained international fame and fortune excelling at basically everything ever (from professional sports to cutting-edge scientific research); he eventually revealed that his spectacular success was largely due to having been genetically engineered. He released instructions for his enhancement process to the public, inadvertently coining the term "Coordinator" at the same time. Eventually assassinated by Blue Cosmos.In the Gundam SEED Astray side stories it is revealed that his brain was kept alive inside the "GG Unit", a device resembling a very large futuristic boombox, which eventually came into the possession of the Junk Guild. Equipped with a holographic avatar to interact with the living, Glenn now serves as the captain of the salvage ship/Gundam carrier Re-Home.
The Ace: A brief overview of the man's accomplishments: earning a PhD from MIT at 17, winning a silver medal at the Olympics, becoming a football star, an ace air force pilot, and a world-renowned aerospace engineer (in that order), travelling to Jupiter and back in a ship of his own design (releasing the information on how to make Coordinators to the public as he left), and designing the PLANTs during his free time on the trip. George Glenn is The AceUp to Eleven.
My God, What Have I Done?: In the Astray series Glenn expresses regrets over the events he started by revealing the process to make Coordinators. Resulting in racism, war and genocide. He also regrets that people took his term "coordinators" to name genetic engineered humans, since it was never meant to name a race but simply people who can lead humanity into a better future which is not related to their genes.
Too Cool to Live: An in-universe example. People were so pissed at how awesome he was that they assassinated him!
Virtual Ghost: Though technically still alive, Glenn's only physical presence aside from the unwieldy life-support system containing his brain is an Arnold Rimmer-style holographic projection of his old self in a captain's uniform, complete with goofy white skipper hat.
A blind monk who is one of the few individuals trusted by both the Earth Alliance and ZAFT, he acts as a mediator on the rare occasions that the two sides get along well enough to discuss anything. Among other things, he also maintains an orphanage on Earth. There is a fair bit more to him than meets the eye.
"Laws can be broken after all. They're only made by humans."
Mu La Flaga's deceased father. He considered his son too weak to be his true heir, and is later revealed to have cloned himself in an effort to gain a more worthy successor. He went on to deny said clone any sense of identity, which ended with his death in a "mysterious" fire. Whoops.
Above Good and Evil: How he saw himself. If the few quotes we have from him are a fair representation, he honestly seems to have thought he was something more than merely human.
Abusive Dad: Anyone who effectively disowns his young son because said son has his mother's genes is not going to win any Father of the Year awards, to say nothing of his treatment of Rau.
Narcissist: In fact his abusive style of parenting is what psyciatrists terms "narcissistic abuse." He disowned Mu for daring to be something more than a vehicle for his own ego, and upon seeing his clone, the first words out of his mouth are "this is me, right?" Al seems to have been incapable of viewing people as anything more than extensions of his own personality, and that's without getting into his delusions ofgrandeur.
Posthumous Character: Dies years before the series begins, but is nontheless an enormous part of the plot, given that he not only inadvertently created the Big Bad, but also funded the Ultimate Coordinator project, the process that eventually led to Kira and Cagalli's births.
Pride: In addition to being a textbook narcissist, Al's hubris knew no bounds. Le Creuset calls him out on it posthumously in a rant to Mu.