October 0083, 4 years after the end of the One Year War. Amid the sense of peace that has permeated the Earth Sphere, an incident unfolds at The Federation’s Torrington Base. The RX-78GP02A Gundam “Physalis”, a new prototype Mobile Suit armed with nuclear weapons has been stolen by Zeon remnants led by ace pilot Anavel Gato, the Nightmare of Solomon. The Federation Carrier Albion gives pursuit to the hijackers, manned by a crew including rookie pilot Kou Uraki. After the hijackers escape, the Albion must pursue them into space and into a plot that will shake the Federation to its roots.
Can Kou Uraki, armed with the RX-78GP01 Gundam “Zephyranthes” defeat “The Nightmare of Solomon” Anavel Gato? Will his budding relationship with its engineer Nina Purpleton lead to happiness or a deadly distraction? Will he be able to handler her terrible secret past? And will the crew of the “Albion” be able to stop the undergoing plot meant to destroy the Federation before the Delaz Fleet can succeed? The Drama unfolds, and these questions are answered in Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory!
So the first thing I have to get out of the way is a big spoiler. Stardust Memory was an OVA released in the 90’s as a sort of a prequel to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. It serves to bridge the gap between the One Year War in 0079 and the Gryps Conflict in 0087. The series sets the foundation for the decline of The Federation and its adoption of the “Titans” special forces unit which would be the antagonist in Zeta and which would develop the RX-178 Gundam Mk-II. To that respect, it is a pretty significant installation to the Universal Century history, but I feel like aside from that it would have been a very good stand alone too.
The series also brings up the all-important theme of The Gundam Development Project that takes place after the One Year War. There were of course projects before this to produce Gundam Suits such as the secret project to produce the RX-78NT-1 Gundam “Alex”, and the apparent projects to produce the FA-78 Full Armor Gundam and the RX-78AL Atlas Gundam. The Gundam Development project, however, seems to be the last attempt by the Federation to produce a specialized Gundam Model till the production of the RX-93 ν (Nu) Gundam in 0093. It is also significant since this was the first post-war push for new weapons production by the Federation. All that aside though, they just are freaking awesome to look at.
Earlier I also mentioned the beginning of the Federation’s decline and how this series shows the start of that. It’s really a contrasting sort of situation though. On one hand, you have the eager and innocent Ensign Uraki and his compatriots on the Albion who seem to be on the level and show concern for the actual safety of the Federation. That is offset by a growing wave of corruption within the Federation. This is highlighted by incidents such as General Green Wyatt meeting with Cima Garahau of the Delaz Fleet, and of course Jamitov Hyman’s opportunistic plot to found the Titans using the incident as a justification.
This is a really good installation to the Universal Century Timeline and one that answers many questions that fans who grew up in the 80’s had at the time. I also think it was one of the best UC additions made in the 90’s. Luckily it is still widely available as a result of its popularity and its release date, so that makes it a plus for fans who want to obtain a copy through legitimate means. You can buy it on Blueray or DVD here from Amazon. So go out there, but it, enjoy it, and try not to have any horrible “Nightmares”.