|Japanese||Issei Masamune (Gaia)
|English||Colin Murdock (Gaia)|
|Hair Color||Light Brown (Gaia)
|Status||Killed in Action|
|Affiliation||Principality of Zeon|
|Occupation||Mobile Suit Pilots|
|Please note that this is the Gundam Wiki's article on the Black Tri-Stars: Gaia, Ortega and Mash; if you are looking for the article on the mobile suit "Gaia" from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny then you should head to ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam.|
The Black Tri-Stars (黒い三連星 Kuroi Sanrensei?) were a three-man mobile suit assault team in the classic anime TV series Mobile Suit Gundam. They are sometimes alternately referred to as the "Black Trinary", or less often, the "Black Trinity".
The trio consisted of Zeon ace pilots Lieutenant Gaia (ガイア Gaia?), Lieutenant Junior Grade Ortega (オルテガ Orutega?), and Lieutenant Junior Grade Mash (マッシュ Masshu?). The three men first met in May, U.C.0076 when the Zeon space forces began secretly practicing combat maneuvers in preparation for the upcoming war. The three were all assigned to the Mobile Training Battalion D Company, 2nd Platoon, and became good friends quickly. During the Battle of Loum on January 16th, U.C.0079, the three men first earned their notorious reputation when they captured General Revil. The three customized MS-05 Zaku I that they piloted, painted in a black-and-purple colour scheme, earned the trio the nickname "Black Tri-Stars".
The Black Tri-Stars came up with their own unique tactical maneuver with the high speed and maneuverability of the Zakus, developing their trademark attack, the "Jet Stream Attack". Moving in at high speed, the trio lines up one behind the other, forming a lethal simultaneous triple assault in which two of the members attack with ranged weapons and the last one attacks with a melee weapon. The danger of this maneuver is that dodging one attack puts the victim perfectly in the sights of the second or third attack. The three members of the Black Tri-Stars were said to be more skilled than an entire squad of normal soldiers, and they proved it constantly with their ruthless attacks on the Earth Federation's space forces. In July, 0079, the Black Tri-Stars alone in their new High Mobility Zaku IIs destroyed an entire Earth Federation Reconnaissance in Force fleet near the Zeon asteroid fortress of A Baoa Qu.
One Year WarEdit
In October, U.C.0079 the Black Tri-Stars are each given a new Dom mobile suit and are transferred to Earth by Kycilia Zabi where they join the 7th Terrestrial Mobile Division, 1st Mobile Suit Battalion. On November 6th, the Black Tri-Stars arrive at Odessa, Ukraine to shore up the defenses of the mining facilities against the Earth Federation's all-out attack. The trio immediately sets out to ambush the White Base, during which the Black Tri-Stars manage to kill Medea transport commander Ensign Matilda Ajan. However, Federation's Gundam pilot Amuro Ray is able to break through the deadly Jet Stream Attack by using Gaia's Dom as a jumping platform, and kills Mash in return, forcing the two remaining Black Tri-Stars to retreat in shock.
Gaia and Ortega return to Odessa where they honour the death of their fallen comrade, Mash. They decide the best way to both honour and avenge Mash's death would be to destroy the Gundam and the White Base. On November 9th, the remaining two Tri-Stars attack the White Base during Operation Odessa (M'quve finds out about this and berates them as they attack but the remaining Tri-Stars still continue on). However with the triad broken, Gaia and Ortega are easily killed by the Gundam, putting an end to the legacy of the Black Tri-Stars.
In the compilation movie the Black Tri-Stars battle against the Gundam is moved into a single battle, Mash was killed in the same manner as in the anime, then Gaia challenged the Gundam, but his Dom was stabbed by the Gundam's beam saber, and then as Ortega prepared to fire on Amuro, Sayla in the Core Booster blasted Ortega's Dom with her beam cannons.
The Black Tri-Stars appear as playable characters in Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space. In Encounters in Space, the Tri-Star's MS-06F Zaku II, MS-05B Zaku I, and MS-06-R Zaku II High Mobility type are playable units. In Federation vs. Zeon DX, they appear in the campaign mode for both sides, with the player taking the place of Mash in the Zeon campaign.
The Black Tri-Stars also appear in the Super Robot Wars game series whenever there's a major focus on the One Year War. The biggest departure, though, is Super Robot Wars Advance and its remake Super Robot Wars Advance Portable, which has the trio surviving until the events of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. They end up swapping out their Doms in favor of the AMX-009 Dreissen.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Gaia's full name is given as "Miguel Gaia".
- In episode 2 of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, there's a sign on a building that says "Black Three Stars", a clear reference to the Black Tri-Stars
- The Black Tri-Stars have been so popular and memorable that they have been referenced numerous times in other Gundam works:
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny features a trio of ZAFT pilots who pilot three ZGMF-XX09T DOM Trooper mobile suits, the CE quivalent to the Dom, and also perform the "Jet Stream Attack".
- Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn debuts a trio of Londo Bell pilots who refer to themselves as the "Tri-Stars", and pilot the black mobile suits, the RGM-96X Jesta. Since this OVA takes place in the UC timeline, it is most likely that the Tri-Stars modeled themselves after the Black Tri-Stars.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE presents a trio of Vagan pilots specializing in desert warfare, known as the Phantom 3. Like the Black Tri-Stars, they have their own special team attack, the "Delta Attack", and also like them they are killed off one by one.
- It can also be said that the Black Tri-Stars set the trend of a trio of enemy pilots appearing in most series, with notable examples being the Biological CPU's of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED , the Extended's of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, and Team Trinity of Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
- A trio of similar pilots also appeared in an episode of Aura Battler Dunbine, another television series directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
- In the novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam Mobile Suit Gundam: Awakening, Escalation, Confrontation, the Black Tri-Stars are mentioned as having captured General Revil, but they are never mentioned beyond that point.