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What Could Have Been / Gundam

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The Gundam franchise has had What Could Have Beens aplenty:

  • The original Mobile Suit Gundam would have had the original RX-78-2 Gundam destroyed not by the Zeong, but by a grunt unit. As well, Char would have taken up a unit known as the Kikeroga and used it to drop Luna II on Earth, predating his Axis asteroid drop by 13 years.
    • Another interesting turn of events was the case of Miharu, the Zeon spy girl that became Kai's love interest. According to source books, she was originally going to be a member of the Zabi family!
    • Another was that the meeting between Degwin Sodo Zabi and General Revil would have been much different had the series been allowed to be fully completed: they would have met on the White Base and during the meeting, Degwin would have spotted Sayla and, recognizing her as Zeon Zum Daikun's daughter Artesia, would break down and beg for forgiveness, revealing that he indeed murdered Zeon.
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    • Yoshiyuki Tomino wanted the Gundam to be all-white like a Star Wars stormtrooper, a notion vetoed by the producers, who wanted kid-friendly primary colors.
  • At one point, there were plans to make a manga known as MSX, set a few years after the One Year War and featuring a whole new slew of Mobile Suits. However, it ended up getting canned when Zeta Gundam was announced.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ was supposed to have Char reappear and lead the rebellion against Haman Karn, but when Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack got greenlit, Glemy Toto replaced him.
    • Judau Ashta ended up as a fairly stock All-Loving Hero. In the original draft however he was more readily violent and out for himself and his gang. While this personality is arguably more fitting for a street child surviving by their wits like Judau, it didn't mesh well with the comedic and lighthearted tone they wanted for ZZ. Ironically the series took a Darker and Edgier turn midway through.
    • As well, there are a number of abandoned Mobile Suit ideas as to what could have shown up. Included were a G-Defensor Mk-II (the original destroyed at the end of Zeta), two different Gundam Mk-IIIs (one of which was a contender for the main hero unit. A Mk-III would later become a Mobile Suit Variation), and a Double Zeta Gundam which utilized various combiner parts, which suggest that they had different, almost Super Robot-like ideas for the suits.
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    • Speaking of Char's Counterattack, Tomino had originally proposed a different version that was rejected (said proposal was later published as a novel titled Beltorchika's Children); it would've featured Beltorchika Irma taking Chan Agi's place (although unlike Chan, she would've survived) and being pregnant with Amuro's child, an entirely different mobile suit for Char to pilot (the Nightengale), and Quess would've been killed accidentally by Hathaway Noah, leading into Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway's Flash.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam F91 was supposed to have been a full-fledged series, but was shortened into a movie instead. While the Crossbone Gundam manga answered several questions, the question remains as to what the series could have been if it went that way.
  • This happened with Victory Gundam: the titular Gundam was to be introduced in the fourth episode instead of the first. However, thanks to the new Bandai management wanting the Gundam to appear from the start, the fourth episode was broadcast first, much to Tomino's consternation. It happened again with Gundam SEED, which was originally to follow the 'Big Bang' aftermath of ∀ Gundam, tying into the UC timeline and, as an interview said, "planting the seed for the future". The concept was not followed up on by Fukuda, however, and, once again, Tomino was not happy about it. Most recently, it happened yet again with the revelation that Mizushima wanted Gundam 00 to be originally set in the UC timeline, a proposition Sunrise turned down.
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  • After Victory, reportedly the plan was to have a UC series called Polka Gundam, focused a struggle between people on Mars attempting to get back to Earth and Earthlings; however, as Victory underperformed, Bandai opted to go with a series that would be a safer bet, choosing Mobile Fighter G Gundam (likely due to the popularity of Dragon Ball Z at the time). However, the ideas in the series were likely reused in the Crossbone Gundam Manga, ∀ Gundam, and possibly Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: In one of his artbooks, mechanical designer Kunio Okawara revealed his original designs for the Gundams. Deathscythe, which hailed from Europe, had more Gothic design elements like a gargoyle head on the scythe (which had a metal blade at one point) and a large shield shaped like a coffin lid. Meanwhile, Heavyarms was the American Gundam and had a clown motif; Okawara, realizing this was too silly, changed its motif to "the American military", producing the familiar Gatling- and missile-laden design that would remain even after Trowa was made the European member of the team. Hajime Katoki would end up incorporating gothic elements into his redesign of the the Deathscythe Hell Custom (including a stylized gargoyle-head design on the scythe) in Endless Waltz.
    • Out of the main cast, the character that went through the most changes was Wu Fei. At various points in the creative process he was African rather than Chinese, had the Newtype power to Detect Evilnote , and was going to be voiced by Wataru Takagi instead of Ryuzou Ishino. Takagi would go on to play The Hero of the next series.
    • While Zechs is infamous as the series' resident Char Clone, Noin was almost a Garma Clone, being created as a much more sinister character. The only vestige of Garma!Noin that remains in the final version of the show is the Taurus, which was originally meant to be her personal MS and designed with the keywords "sleek and sinister".
    • Among the other characters, Zechs originally kept his Peacecraft surname even when masked ("Merquise" came along later in the process), Treize had a character design highly reminiscent of Gihren Zabi (hard to imagine him being Estrogen Brigade bait like that), and Lady Une was conceived as a naive country girl who was in love with Treize and did her best to impress him.
  • Had After War Gundam X not tanked and got its full 49 episodes, Dark Action Girl Ennil El would have gotten her own Gundam-esque Mobile Suit, the Esperansa II.
  • Speaking of Turn-A, Tomino didn't just want all the Gundam series used in this series, he wanted to use ALL the mecha series he created, including Ideon and Daitarn 3. That was shot down.
  • Gundam SEED had a number of things planned for the second half of the series, including having Flay pilot the Strike Rouge as propoganda material for the Earth Alliance, Flay and Sai dying in an attempt to save the Archangel from a bomb and even killing just about everyone save Athrun (who'd lose a leg). This never happened due to the immense popularity of the Seed characters among the viewers.
    • And a close fight between Strike Freedom and Destiny in the Gundam SEED Destiny finale, both terribly damaged from all the fighting.
    • Also from SEED Destiny was the rumor that Neo Roanoke would pilot the N Dagger N, an MSV-based suit based off of the Blitz Gundam. Instead, he rode in on the Exus.
    • Speaking of SEED Destiny, the original names for the Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice were the "Super Freedom" and "Knight Justice", respectively. In the case of the former, it would have explained the "Super DRAGOON" and "Super Lacerta" names.
    • Shiho Hahnenfuss was to have been voiced by Nami Tamaki (who sang one of the theme songs in both SEED and SEED Destiny), but she declined the role.
  • In Gundam 00, the incredibly feminine Tieria Erde was at one point planned to be a beautiful woman dressing like a man. That screaming you hear is the many straight male fans of the series that got trapped by Tieria during the series run, particularly during his single episode as an incredibly hot Wholesome Crossdresser. Interestingly, despite this plot point being dropped early, there is still arguably some foreshadowing for it in early episodes of the first season, such as the name and visual metaphors his gundam presents, Tieria's feminine appearence multiplying several thousand fold when he's upset, and the Pronoun Trouble he experiences after revealing his extremely masculine gundam's inner female form that dips in to the gender neutral. Sadly, fans lost a probable Ms. Fanservice and a chance to get a female "main" pilot in the series in exchange for what's probably the closest we're going to get for a canonically gay Gundam pilot.
  • Years before Gundam Wing came to American shores, Sunrise released a pilot for a series called Doozy Bots, which had a scientist named Professor Doozy turn a bunch of stereotype high school students into SD versions of various heroic Mobile Suits to battle laughable versions of Zeon-based Mobile Suits.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans was in development as early as 2009, but due to a combination of director Tatsuyuki Nagai's involvement with other projects (Waiting in the Summer, Ano Hana The Flower We Saw That Day, A Certain Scientific Railgun) and Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, it was stuck in Development Hell until 2014.
  • There was actually a live-action Gundam planned in 1983! The ambitious retelling of Mobile Suit Gundam would have done away with a lot of the original lore, make it a little more akin to Star Trek, make Amuro and Char brothers and the massive threat being a runaway AI called "Ziong".

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