The Earth Sphere Federation (ESF) is a faction featured in the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00. The successor to the United Nations, it was formed by merging three superpowers of Earth (the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations, the Advanced European Union and the Human Reform League). The Federation encompassed a total of 328 countries in the year A.D. 2312 when the Earth Sphere Federation Army was commissioned.
Formation of UN Forces & Birth of ESF
During the events of AD 2307, near the end of Celestial Being's World Armed Intervention Campaign, victory was near at hand. The Union, AEU, and HRL was near the brink of complete military collapse as Team Trinity entered the fray and not only crippled their all opponents, but took measures forward to attacking their manufacturing facilities that prevented them from building new machines of war. With all measures exhausted, the 3 military powers seriously considered giving Celestial Being (CB) their unconditional surrender. However, the game changed when CB agents with their own agendas, Alejandro Corner and Laguna Harvey, stepped in and gave them a fighting chance.
The 3 world governments were each given 10 GN Drive Taus, a total of 30, and mobile suits for them to utilize for battle. It wasn't long afterwards that the 3 governments united their military might under the banner of the United Nations Forces . With the power of the GNX mobile suits, they chased away Team Trinity and forced them into retreat. UN Forces would quickly mount a new counter-offensive against the Ptolemy team by finishing them off in their own campaign titled: Operation Fallen Angels. While CB wasn't fully confirmed defeated, it was an opportunity to give the world relief that their governments was strong and competent in destroying CB. Not confirming their demise would be their undoing.
By A.D. 2310, the 3 world governments would reform their military and governments into a singular unified force giving birth to the Earth Sphere Federation. Ironically, as much as the world may have detested and feared Celestial Being in A.D. 2307, the organization had succeeded in their goal of creating a new era of peace by forcing the nations of the world into unifying under a single government. Unfortunately, this government was not exactly what the people of the world had wished for.
World Unification Campaign & Rebellion
Under the shadow leadership of Innovators, the ESF created their own shadow peace-keeping task force A-Laws. Though they claim A-Laws is a front-line deterrent against any organization that would threaten their government and peace, their true mission was to subjugate and control any nations that refused to join the ESF charter. The last of anti-Federation resistance were pockets situated in Middle Eastern countries that still had their own military strength. As such the Federation resorted to using their own force in the name of unification and peace of the world.
Having monopolized and mass-produced GN technology, they actively vented GN Tau Particles throughout the Middle East in attempts to choke out the last pockets of resistance. This ironically also shielded anti-Federation military bases from the ESF. They created strict economic policies, media suppression, proxy wars, and technology suppression in all attempts to financially cripple resisting nations and forcing them to have to join the Federation. When all other attempts failed the Federation would dispatch the A-Laws to burn the country to the ground leaving just enough of the population left to serve as a warning. With Ribbons extending Veda's information control capabilities in favor of the A-Laws the Federation public was blissfully unaware of the activities of their government as Veda censored all forms of media.
While the large majority of the public was unaware of the ESF's actions, there were those who were fully aware. Reporters that once reported the truth were replaced with false reporters. The real reporters and various people who suffered under the ESF banded together and became the coalition known as Katharon. Those that escaped capture and other people who opposed the Federation began their own campaign by creating their own intelligence networks and planning guerrilla attacks to bring attention to their cause and the true extent of the A-Laws' activities. However, since the Federation controls all forms of the media, with help from the Innovators and Veda, Katharon was portrayed as a terrorist group to the blinded eye. Those that were unable to escape capture were arrested and smuggled away to secret Federation detention facilities for anti-Federation elements. There, they are repeatedly questioned and interrogated, even potentially tortured, to release the names and locations of their resistance cells.
Because of the A-Laws use of Memento Mori, many in the Regular Forces of the ESF Army later became dissident of the government's policies. Those that took action formed the ESF Coup d'état Faction that took over the AEU Orbital Elevator before it was destroyed by the Memento Mori. Those who captured the AEU Elevator did so under the command of Colonel Pang Hercules. However, his insurrection failed and the Federation's Secretary of Defense became the President of the Federation, thanks to the Innovators. After the superweapon's destruction at the hands of Celestial Being, the government then passed an order that allowed A-Laws direct control of the regular army to reinforce the security of the world. With the ESF Army completely under them, the A-Laws became the most powerful and most feated force in Earth Sphere. The A-Laws launched a renewed campaign to destroy Celestial Being, but Katharon and ESF Coup d'état Faction intervened. After the A-Laws' last fleet was crushed, all three factions would move on and fought the Innovators.After the A-Laws were exposed thanks to the efforts of Celestial Being, Katharon and the ESF Coup d'état Faction, a more idealistic President was elected and disbanded the A-Laws, as well as returning the sovereignty to those independent nations who were attacked and forced to join the Federation. She also took to reorganizing the Earth Sphere Federation Army and later reorganized the entire Federation. Under her rule, the Federation promoted cooperation with other nations in order create a true unified Earth.
After capturing the former Innovators' mothership, the Celestial Being, the Federation began to receive help from the quantum processing unit Veda. With Veda and the Celestial Being, the Federation government allowed the ESF Army to advance the technology of their forces. Between 2312 and 2314 the new administration also changed the public's opinion on Celestial Being themselves and allowed for a movie, based upon CB's war against the A-Laws, to be created for public viewing. The ESF Army's GNX-803T GN-XIV also had a very similar silhouette to CB's Gundams.
Two years later, the Earth Sphere Federation had established a pacifist policy in order to make up for the atrocities committed by A-Laws and the Innovators. Peace reigned throughout Earth but only because the government was fearful of using any military action as the people were still recovering from the full extent of the actions carried out by the A-Laws. Eventually, the ESF discovers newly emerging Innovators throughout the world and began to carry out research and experimentals on them aboard the Celestial Being. Veda had also been helping the ESF with its information control policies. The Federation also gained knowledge of Veda's bio-terminals, the Innovade, and recruited many into the ESF Army. Those that did not join kept the Celestial Being and Veda in perfect working for the Federation.
In 2314, the Earth Sphere Federation encountered the sentient alien lifeform, dubbed, the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shape-shifter or ELS. The ELS assimilated whatever they came within direct contact with and could assume its shape. At first the Federation was curious about the ELS but this curiosity later disappeared as the ELS caused havoc on Earth and later showed hostility to ESF Army fleets that were deployed to intercept them and understand their motive for traveling towards Earth. When an ELS armada emerged from Jupiter's Big Red Spot, having destroyed Io and Ganymede in the process, the Federation government lied to the public saying that "there was no chance the aliens were heading for the Earth". The ESF Parliament then debated on what course of action to take.
Eventually the Madam President and the Parliament order the ESF Army to mobilize and to prepare to defend the Earth. However even in creating an "Absolute Defense Line" and using the Celestial Being, the ESF Army was unable to stall the much larger ELS armada's advancement on Earth. Luckily, Gundam Meister Setsuna F. Seiei was able to open a dialogue with the ELS and cleared up any misunderstandings. The ELS then reformatted their armada into the shape of a desert flower, symbolizing that they came in peace.
Despite making peace with the ELS, the Federation began to face problems from within. In the aftermath of the ELS, those who had been partly assimilated were able to create a bond with the ELS attached to them and merged which turned them into Pseudo-Innovators. Non-Innovator Humans dubbed the "Old Human Faction" developed a problem with these false Innovator as well as the True Innovators and started a war with them. The Faction also created their own Pseudo-Innovators through restrainment, forced cooperation as well as enhancement via knowledge taken from the former HRL's Super Solider Program. It is unknown if Celestial Being commenced an Armed Intervention between the OHF and ESF or disorganized at the end of the ELS War.
However by 2364, the ESF was again at peace and efforts to colonize the Moon had been successful. The Federation had also created their most advanced ship yet, the Sumeragi deep space exploration starship, which was crewed by True Innovators and Pseudo-Innovators due to their longer life spans.
The Federation's main political governing body is the Federation Parliament. It handles the day-to-day administration of the Federation's territory. The regime in 2312 is extremely corrupt, taking advantage of Veda's real-time information control to distort the facts and cover up the crimes committed by the A-Laws. In A.D. 2312 the President of the Federation usually followed "recommendations" from the Innovators, essentially reducing him to a figurehead.
After the defeat of A-Laws and the destruction of the Innovators under Ribbons Almark, a new administration takes power, pledging to create a true Earth Sphere Federation. The new female President also promises to bring the A-Laws to justice for their abuse of power, crimes against humanity, and general disregard for non-Federation states. The female President also tried to promote membership of the Earth Sphere Federation to those nations that had still not joined the Federation. At the same time the ESF begun providing aid for non-Federation nations that had been burned by the A-Laws whilst setting up new policies and completely dismantling the A-Laws. All of these actions proved to be highly-successful and the new administration gained support and became popular with the public. This administration also, in direct opposite of previous ones, portrayed Celestial Being in a positive light to the public.
During 2314 the Madam President of the Federation continued to uphold the Federation's pacifist policies even in light of events such as the attempted assassination of Marina Ismail. She would also make it a priority to develop an "infrastructure" for dealing with Innovators before they became wide spread. This government also made several wise and strategic decisions such as evacuating those who had the potential to become Innovators, and thus could utilize quantum brainwaves, into anti-QBW shelters which kept them hidden from the ELS. This government would have to eventually give up its pacifism to allow the ESF Army to defend the Earth from the ELS. It is more than likely that the same administration and Madam President continued to serve their term after the ELS War and was the one to begin negotiation with the ELS to create an alliance or partnership between Humanity and ELS.
The Earth Sphere Federation military is the largest armed force in the world, comprising of the combined military might of the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations, the Human Reform League, the Advanced European Union, and the few (if any) miscellaneous member states. It was created to be the primary peacekeeping force of the Federation before the creation of the A-Laws. After the A-Laws failed to destroy the reemerged Celestial Being after several attempts, the entire ESF Army was placed under the A-Laws' authority by the Federation President. By A.D. 2314 the ESF Army was again the Federation's primary military and had been upgraded with Innovator and Celestial Being technology gleamed from the captured Celestial Being. The ESF Army played a critical role in holding back the ELS threat in 2314. It is completely unknown if the Earth Sphere Federation Army still exists in the year of 2364 A.D.
- The ESF is a reminiscent of the United Earth Sphere Alliance and the later Earth Sphere Unified Nation from Gundam Wing, United Nations Earth and later New United Nations Earth from After War Gundam X, and the Earth Federation from Mobile Suit Gundam.
- ESF shares the same Japanese name with Earth Federation of Mobile Suit Gundam, which is 地球連邦 (Chikyuu Renpou) however, in official English translation instead of being called the Earth Federation in Gundam 00 it is instead translated as "Earth Sphere Federation" which was done to avoid confusion with Earth Federation from the Universal Century series which the same would apply to United Nations Earth from Gundam X who bears the same name too.
- ESF has common traits with State Military from Fullmetal Alchemist. ESF and State Military were corrupt from the beginning as a mysterious party (Innovators and Homonculus) controls the government and military throughout the shadows causing world affairs and conflicts to unfold until they are later exposed. Coincidentally, both Gundam 00 and Fullmetal Alchemist are written by the same director Seiji Mizushima.
- The Super Robot Wars Z series, specifically from Z2 Part 2 onwards, necessitated a few storyline alterations to accommodate the other series that were incorporated into the Z2 world. The Human Resource League, while now absorbed into the ESF, continued to pursue it's own agenda via it's Chinese members thanks to the Code Geass plot inclusions, but the conclusion of the plot arc from Code Geass R2 ending the Chinese Federation's machinations would effectively negate this brief rupture in the alliance. The AEU, while nominally part of the ESF, regained a degree of autonomy to perform it's own independent agenda thanks to the work of OZ, though the conclusion of the Gundam Wing TV series plot, which resulted in the destruction of the White Fang and the eminence gris behind OZ would also negate this rupture. The Britannian Union (an amalgam of the Union and Britannia from Code Geass) also pursued it's own agenda to a degree, thanks to a secret understanding between Ribbons Almark and Emperor Charles, though the conclusion of the Code Geass plotline also negated this rupture, and the closing arc of the Gundam 00 storyline was combined with the re-reformation of the ESF into the United Federation of Nations from Code Geass, which resulted in the removal of the influence of the A-Laws and the Innovades, and by the conclusion of SRW Z2 Saisei-hen, the ESF (rechristened the UFN) was at the effective state of unity it was by the end of the Gundam 00 TV series. Other changes of note is that there are two Japans in the Z2 world (separated by a distance of 300 miles), with one being the Area 11 from Code Geass, and the other a free nation, and thanks to the formation of the UFN, both versions became members of the UFN. The Z2 world also had the "Dark Continent" (a region starting from southern portion of Africa to the Antarctic), which was home to the denizens of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann world, who also became allied with the UFN by the conclusion of Z2.
- By SRW Z3, a dimensional quake distorted the reality of the Z2 world, merging it with the Z1 world, which meant that while the ESF and all aforementioned entities noted above remained as they were, this meant the PLANTs and colonies of the UC Gundam reality would become part of the political framework of the world, which included the people of UC Earth Federation (effectively absorbed into the UFN). The events of Char's Counterattack, Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, and Unicorn Gundam would present new threats to the stability of the UFN as well a threats from numerous other alien entities, which would eventually include the ELS from the Gundam 00 Movie. By the end of Z3's second part, all of these threats would be put behind the UFN, which would now be politically unified with the SEED and UC colonies.