This article contains major spoilers for the Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway ending.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway is built on a bedrock of lore and mythology that ranges back several decades, and it’s not the kind of film that newcomers to the material can just hope to jump into and enjoy. There’s a lot going on here; a lot of proper nouns, a lot of lore, a lot of references to past events, many of them detailed in various other corners of the Gundam universe. Hopefully, though, we can at least try and unpack what happens in this film, which should be useful since it’s the first of a planned three adapting a light novel series that functioned as the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack.
We’re quickly introduced to Hathaway Noa, son of Bright Noa, on a shuttle traveling from the Moon to Earth and carrying several high-ranking members of the Federation, which makes it an enticing target for eco-terrorist organization Mafty – a group that has emerged from within the wealth disparity caused by the Federation’s blasé attitude and the elite snatching up land and resources – and their enigmatic leader. Hathaway helps to fight off the attack alongside Kenneth Sleg, though develops an obviously mutual interest in Gigi Andalucia, a mysterious woman who later correctly deduces that Hathaway himself is Mafty Navue Erin, the organization’s leader.
For his role in fending off the attack Hathaway is given some bothersome luxurious treatment in the tropical city where he lands, so he encourages some associates to attack that city, causing a prompt military response and a large-scale, devastating battle. It also, rather crucially, doesn’t facilitate Hathaway’s escape. That comes later after Hathaway discovers that the military is now in possession of a prototype Gundam dubbed Penelope, piloted by a young ace named Lane Aim. This is, obviously, teeing up the all-action finale, in which Hathaway’s Xi Gundam takes on Lane Aim’s Penelope.
This final battle is complicated by the fact that Kenneth has put Gawman, a captured Mafty rebel, in the cockpit with Lane to be used as a hostage – Lane, though, naïve and idealistic as he is, lets his bargaining chip go, and he ultimate loses the fight, though he manages to narrowly survive the encounter. Hathaway then sets his sights on the Australian city of Oenbelli, where rebels are gathering en masse in open revolt against the Earth Federation government.