Celestial Being: Good Guys or Bad Guys

There was a good discussion happening on here a while back before the hack and I recently got to thinking about it, is Celestial Being the good guys or bad guys? I know the show portrays them as the good guys but are they really. Taking in season 1 to account, from the worlds prespective their evil, and rightfully so, they killed many soldiers, civilians (stray shots when they fought near/in citys), and caused mulitple military companys to go out of business which not only cause people to be unemployeed, I’m sure it affected the smaller companys that supplied parts and material to said company. They even joked about how they cause inflation to skyrocket. Yea I know they were doing this for the greater good, but were they really, whats your opinion?

I actually thought of this during watching the show the 2nd time around. And it’s really a double edged sword. But that’s the way they wanted it. Their goal was to end conflict. And their way of doing so, was becoming the bad guys. They wanted the world to hate them, and unite to defeat them. By performing their armed interventions, they were able to rally the worlds various military factions to unite for the common purpose of stopping Celestial Being. The problem, was that it was united and became corrupted by the influence of Ribbons. So in the eyes of the world. They were the bad guys, but their end. Justified their means.

^ This 10X.

Yeah, I agree CB is in the middle of the spectrum. They’re not good guys because they killed many who weren’t really bad guys through and through. At the same time, their intentions were correct and was a form of tough love that humanity needed since nothing else seemed work in uniting us.

My first watch through I could easily tell that they were a force of evil. It was pretty clear cut so long as you aren’t being dense and don’t automatically think “Protagonist=Good” and rationalize everything they do. Yeah-- maybe one could say that their goal was to unite the world against them and thus bring peace-- but then… who in Celestial Being ever seems to be aware of this or seems particularly apt to sacrifice their lives once this has happened. Instead, the Gundam Meisters seem to think themselves some sort of righteous crusaders and assume that killing everyone with no concrete plan is going to result in some sort of good in the world. But it never could have.

What did the boys ever think the end game was? Did anyone on that ship have a functional goal or plan? I can’t recall a single instance where it seemed like they did. They just descended from space with vastly superior technology, blew everyone apart and then patted themselves on the back for it even though absolutely nothing was resolved through these actions. What if one or even a number of the nations involved in the international conflict had given into Celestial Being’s demands, surrendered entirely and dismantled their military? That wouldn’t have at all changed the economic disparity between the nations, the deeply held grudges or forced them to resolve these problems in a fair and just manner diplomatically.

Instead, the nation that did that would probably be branded as a weak nation that gave into terrorist threats and would now have no way of defending itself from the other nations. And while a handful of invincible Gundams are great for killing lots of soldiers, they don’t work so well for defending nation-sized areas of civilians.

And who would any nation that surrendered even be taking orders from? Celestial Being seemed to merely be a terrorist cell without any significantly clear leadership structure. Did they really have anyone who had the political and diplomatic expertise to be able to run the nation that totally surrendered itself to the dictatorial will of Celestial Being or would the nation be more or less just abandoned to its own devices?

Quite honestly-- Celestial Being is about as “good” as Al-Qaeda, the IRA, the Weathermen or any other number of terrorist organizations that strike out because they are unhappy with the world and lash out with extreme violence but don’t really have a functional plan for how the world could be any better.

As my dad once put it: You’re not a terrorist if you only get involved in active military conflicts. That makes you an additional warring faction. So… dispite the above, if they didn’t attack civilians for the sake of attacking civilians, they at the very least were not terrorists.

I like that Zodacfish, they did only involve themselves in active conflicts.

I agree with Jaster, all they seem to do is attack the fire at the top instead of trying to put out the fire by attacking the base of the fire. Unfortantly due to outside influences (team trinity, Ribbons, ect) we were never able to see the final phases of their plans, maybe that was Veda’s job, diplomacy, maybe they had skill diplmats, CB was a vast organization and we only saw a small portion

This is why 00 is one of my personal favorites in Gundam.
Rule number one about Gundam’s themes: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOOD OR EVIL IN WAR.
Look back at Wing. Our heroes weren’t terrorists at all! They were all highly trained teen soldiers sent down to earth to free the colonies from OZ. This wasn’t a holy crusade, this was a ****ing war! It wasn’t about ideals, but about freedom.
What is 00 doing? To end war by taking out the power? It reminds me what Athrun talks about. No good comes from power unless it’s properly used.
Were the Celestial Beings doings right? They are well intended, but how they attempt them is TRULY evil. This wasn’t a war, this was a holy crusade.
This is why I never thought ONCE 00 was like Wing.
And looking back at Heero and Setsuna, as Stoic as these two are, there is ONE thing that stands them on a different slab.
Heero is indeed a sweet boy inside that cold heart shell. The boy had to understand war wasn’t something to be smiling at, otherwise he will hurt someone else like that girl and her dog. Even Heero has a DARK sense of humor for someone who is so robotic like. I mean, this is the reason why I thought Heero was the bad guy and Zechs was the good guy. I REALLY thought Heero was evil!
Setsuna thought he was a Knight Templar. In other words, his goals relate to his beliefs that Gundams are gods. As messed up and hilarious as that is, this is what drove the kid. Setsuna cares nothing for the world other than changing it into something better. He never in his life thought about the process yet can only think about the results. How can he cut the twistedness from the world? LITERALLY CUT ANYTHING THAT DISRUPT IT. Another reason why Setsuna is basically Light Yagami in a Mobile Suit. Literally, he is voiced by both of Light’s English and Japanese voice actors for crying out loud.
Point showing: Heero was a soldier and did his job.
Setsuna was a Idealistic Extremist and is no better than Ali

Actually, all five of the Gundams in Gundam Wing were supposed to be soldiers aiming to strike back at Earth on behalf of the colonies and their pilots just took them for their own personal vendettas instead. Maybe Heero and Trowa kept their focus on OZ for the most part, but apparently the Barton Foundation that was supposed to be backing them wasn’t terribly pleased about how their invasion vanguard turned out.

But both the Gundam boys and Celestial Being both seemed to arrive at the general conclusion of “we’re going to kill everyone who steps into a mobile suit unless you are one of us.” and in both cases, it seemed that their actions just made everything increasingly worse. As for whether Celestial Being were terrorists or not… Well… are the people who plant IEDs on the road to kill American soldiers passing through towns in Iraq and Afghanistan “terrorists” or “freedom fighters”? Because Celestial Being’s actions were quite equivalent.

CB is whatever we see it as, same with the people who plant IEDs. Of course they won’t see themselves as terrorists and will consider themselves as freedom fighters. And of course, we’ll see them as terrorists because they’re likely associated with terrorist groups and they’re killing our soldiers. Same goes for CB; some people will see them as righteous soldiers while others will see them as monsters.

Doesn’t change the fact that their actions were extreme in achieving whatever purpose they had, but at least they became the wrench that caused some progress (good or bad) to happen.

But where does the line draw at? What does it mean to be good or bad when people’s ideals are on opposite sides due to some form of war? People fight back because they want to hold onto something that they need, in this case, Celestial Beings are fighting due to their ideals. The rest of the nations on Earth fight back because they believe it is the right thing. But that reason is so vague and ambiguous. In order to control, one must fight back. The nations ARE control.

Look at OZ, to CONTROL. Perhaps that is what war is about…

That’s why war is often considered to be a senseless act and it’s tough to find a clear winner because everyone eventually suffers for it. I always thought that’s why CB did what they did; humanity wanted nothing but to control each other through wars so CB gave them the greatest conflict ever in their attempt to knock sense into people.

And THAT is what attracts me to gundam. as Anime Overviewer once said in one of his reviews*, “Gundam is a war story…War is not about Good Vs Evil, it is a conflict of ideologies…”

Gundam has either missed on some occasions (Wing, Seed, Destiny…)…or nailed right on the head (Gundam 0079, Zeta, X, 8th MS Team, and yes OO), But the same overall theme that war is not a battle of good VS evil (now yes both sides have their good and evil. sometimes working on the same sides mind you) but a conflict of Ideologies. However the battle of good VS evil does present itself but on a more personal level. Its not a single faction that is either or, but more of the individuals that present themselves as either the hero or the villan, its all a matter of perspective and the way the storytellers designate them. Case in point in Celestial being, yes their ideologies seem extreme, but in hindsight their acts of terrorism were a means to an end, but the reason that the current factions banded against them was not only that it would unite the world (that little tidbit didn’t catch on till 5 years later after the fall of the Alaws), but because that CB was challenging the Ideologies of each faction. in other words: they were challenging the Status Quo. And we humans are afraid of Change in one form or another. CB called for change in a dramatic way and in a form of fear, the factions united to destroy a form that challenged them to change. ironically, in order for them to destroy the threat of change was for them to change. Now as for heroes and villans: The Factions of Earth pre Alaws did have its own villans, and the best example is ali al Sachez, with his sadistic personality led to the deaths of a lot of people. as for heroes (albeit a tragic one per se) is Graham aker. a man who believed in what he was doing was right, however, I use the tragic word due to the fact his lust and obsession for the gundam led him down a path of hatred and vengeance (another irony, his path of redemption is seen in S2 and in Awakening). As for the Heroes and Villans of CB, the Meisters are the prime example of the heroes, while Trinity and Corner, and ultimately Ribbions Almark (and his innovators organization) are the prime examples of the Villans proposed. IN S2 The line is a tad narrowed. CB present themselves as heroes, while the Alaws and the Innovators are presented the Villans. Its a tad over done, but ironically the Federaition (the faction the Alaws were part of) did have its set of heroes like Sergie Smirinoff, not to mention the Alaws had its own set of heroes like Captain Sabine. and even the Federation Rebles (a group reminiscent of the Valkyrie Conspirators of World War II) were presented as heroes.

Truth is, War is a conflict of Ideologies, but both sides of that conflict has its own set of heroes and villans. One mans hero is another mans villan and vice versa for the opposite faction. But what makes one a Hero and another a Villan? Is it their actions? Their Psyche? Their Morals, Values, Beliefs, and so on? is it their product of free will? Honestly, people makes Free will a big deal, but honestly its been a mistaken phrase. Free Will (everyone believes) is the choices we make, however, I don’t think so. Free Will is frankly boiled down to one true choice: Good Or Evil. Once one has made that choice, the choices and actions one make are the consuquences of that single choice. THAT is, in this writers opinion, the ultimate embodiment of Free Will. And as Morpheus has once said, “Everything begins with choice”.

So My question to you is: What choices have you made that has led you up to this moment?

*im paraphrasing cause my memory’s bad sometimes :stuck_out_tongue:

History is written by the victor, thats how we determine the heros and villians of a conflict.

I’m really enjoying the discussion

@Kenico, is that a real question you’re asking us or is that a rhetorical question? Just making sure, haha.

In terms of the first season, was it for the greater good? We as humans will always have conflict, its one of the things I disagreed about with Star Trek, humans have a natural ability to scape goat anyone thats out side the norm or different. So could they end conflict when its something so natural for humans to do. Honestly I believe its impossible to take away conflict from the human race, its to ingrained into who we are as a species that I find the fight hopeless. Not to sound like the downer but I find it the fact of life

Considering the result, I believe it was for the greater good. It exposed a conspiracy and a third faction vying for complete control of the world. It wasn’t benevolent control either so despite the damage it took to bring it down, it was a necessary cost. If CB didn’t do their thing, Ribbons would have been in control of humanity already.

The whole ending conflict through force ideal doesn’t work, but CB seemed to already know that.

I also agree that humanity as a species isn’t ready to put aside conflict. Our complete history shows that and it’s not going to change just because we move to space or meet an alien species. Only an extreme solution would improve things, but we all know those will never be put into play.

To be fair though-- conflict over the last 200 years has actually become less violent and less brutal. Weapons have become more efficient at killing, but conflicts have been at the cost of smaller and smaller percentages of the population. Targeting of civilians has declined-- 200 years ago, if you were anywhere close to a conflict chances are you would have all your possessions stolen and would be raped if you were a woman. Starting with World War I, it became a generally understood practice that one did not target medics or medical centers (although the U.S. has been flagrantly disregarding this recently with their drone activity). It was also understood in naval battles that one would take prisoners from sunk and defeated ships if at all possible.

Terribly nerve gas was utilized in World War I and then became a banned weapon of war across the world afterwards. In World War II, igniting whole neighborhoods in flames to cook whole populations of civilians alive was done-- and hasn’t really been done since. In World War II, the only two nuclear weapons that were ever dropped were dropped. These acts were so terrible and horrorific that the militaries across the globe generally agreed that they should never be done again.

Although living in the U.S. which has been involved in occupying a few countries for so long might not realize it, the 21st century has thus far been the most peaceful decade and a half in perhaps recorded history. The majority of the world is peaceful and, outside of the situation in Syria right now, even the conflicts being fought are involving sides generally trying to avoid killing civilians rather than going out of their way to target them. Even the act of 9/11 while Americans would like to think was the most horrible thing to happen ever in all of history… about 3000 people dead and three buildings knocked out? Yeah-- compared to the death tolls suffered in Vietnam, Korea and World War II, even including 9/11-- the whole Afghanistan/Iraq thing has been comparatively bloodless for the Americans and even the populations in those countries didn’t suffer half as much as the Vietnamese or Koreans did when Americans decided to get involved in their countries.

Whether this is despite or because of the greatly improved technology used in weaponry is certainly up for debate. But international violence has decreased-- moreover, interpersonal violence has decreased around the world in these years. Even though America locks up a greater percentage of its population than literally any other country on the planet including the “corrupt and terrible” China, the truth is that violent crime around the world is at an all time low.

Assuming that this general trend continues over the next 200-300 years, a future Utopia like Star Trek isn’t entirely out of the question. Of course, the effects of global climate change combined with the population growth that isn’t slowing down nearly as much as it needs to could change all this.

All in all, if Gundam 00 is meant to be a world that has our current world as its history, there is a lot the creators didn’t seem to consider well about our world. Honestly, a giant space elevator and free energy wouldn’t be enough pressure to create warfare that would be serious enough to warrant Celestial Being getting involved.

I agree to a point, conflict has been dropping and continues to drops, but I think the primal nature will always be there. I could forsee the “free” solar power as a potential for major conflict, some countries don’t get access and the show made it clear that oil producing countries suffered because of export restrictions. The solar power wars sounds like a pretty bad conflict.
I wish the second season brushed more on this, instead of having a completely different feel

I think CB had a good cause, but went about a kind of screwed up way of doing it, see a war kill both sides. Dosen’t allways work out to well, as you’ll just incite the fear of the masses on both sides, and open a situation where someone like the A-Laws could come in and take over and rule with an iron fist.

I think they realized that mistake after Season 1 of 00 though.