|The Original Universal Century Charter|
|Under control of||Vist Foundation|
Laplace's Box (ラプラスの箱 Rapurasu no Hako?) is an object that is prominently featured in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. Although it is currently in the custody of the Vist Foundation, the box is highly coveted by both the Earth Federation and Neo Zeon since the box is rumored to be capable of destroying the Earth Federation. But despite its power, the box's existence is known only to the highest echelons of the Federation and Neo Zeon's leadership, and only a select few individuals actually know its true contents.
Description & Characteristics
Spoiler Warning: Heavy spoilers!
The contents of Laplace's Box contains the original charter for the Universal Century, which was drafted in U.C. 0001 by the first Federation government. The charter itself contained Clause 9 within the Earth Federation constitution, and granted people who lived in space more freedom from the influence of Earth, as well as granting them the right to be involved in the Federation government. Clause 9 itself was solid proof that the original constitution was signed by UN leaders and therefore legal. However the original charter was lost during the terrorist attack on the Laplace Space Colony during Ricardo Marcenas's speech but was found by Syam Vist, a terrorist who was the only person to survive the incident. Eventually Syam married into the Vist family via underground connections. He used the Box to establish the Vist Foundation, whose purpose, in turn, was to guard and maintain the Box.
In truth, the attack on the space colony Laplace was actually plotted by George Marcenas, Ricardo's son and a member of a right-wing political faction within the Federation's coming government. Opposed to his father's more liberal and controversial stands, George had him assassinated, so that he could both take over the Federation government and use those killed in the Laplace Incident as martyrs for his cause. Soon after, both objectives would be completely met, with George eventually succeeding his father as Prime minister, but what he made the Federation would end up endowing it with the "rich man's club" image that would prevail for generations to come.
Thus Laplace's Box presents a major problem for the Earth Federation, as the Universal Century Charter's continued existence threatens to undermine the Federation's current administration. First, as the Federation had chosen to rule over those living in space to the point of oppression, countless 'spacenoids' have gained a negative view of the Federation. Second, the Laplace Incident was the primary excuse for the Federation's consolidating its grip over space (under the pretense of terrorism prevention), in turn through blame being placed on radical space colonists. Thus, if Laplace's Box and/or the truth behind the Laplace Incident came to public attention, the Federation's true level of corruption would become apparent and its reign over the Earth Sphere would be brought to an end.
Following the Incident, all replicas of the charter were modified by George Marcenas and his followers to better suit their ideology. Among these modifications was the removal of the final sub-article in its 7th Chapter: In the future, should the emergence of a new space-adapted human race be confirmed, the Earth Federation shall give priority to involving them in the administration of the government. This sub-article would have guaranteed the human inhabitants of space representation in the fledgling Earth Federation, and the removal contributed directly to the oppression of the spacenoids which would eventually lead up to the scores of independence wars and conflicts that riddled the Universal Century. Because of these reasons, the Box is perfectly capable of completely overthrowing the Earth Federation by irrefutably proving that the current government is an illegitimate one, thereby fundamentally undermining its political authority and philosophy. By threatening to reveal the Box's contents to the world, the Vist Foundation was able to gain much political influence within the Federation government while amassing a large fortune and carving a place in the Federation aristocracy for itself.
By U.C. 0096, fear of the Box has become a tradition within the highest levels of the Federation government and although most of the individuals directly involved with the Box have died by this point, what remains is the delicate power balance the Box has established and its relationship with the Vist Foundation. But with the Federation beginning to take steps towards consolidating its relationship with Zeon into an antagonistic one, the Vist Foundation makes the decision to transfer control of the Box to Neo Zeon so that the flaws of the Universal Century can be fixed. In order to ensure that its acquiral did not lead to further needless bloodshed, the Foundation crafted a key to test the hearts of those who sought the Box. This key became the La+ Program, installed on the UC Project's RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.
Apart from Neo Zeon, who wanted to use the Box to overthrow the Federation, the Federation itself desired to either destroy or gain control of the Box in order to preserve their dominion in the Earth Sphere. Similarly, Martha Vist Carbine of Anaheim Electronics wanted to take the Box for herself to gain control of both the Vist Foundation and the Federation.
Final Novel Version
The final coordinates of the "Laplace Box" are pointed out by the Unicorn: it was the colony builder of Industrial 7, "Magellanica". While Marida was sacrificed, the Nahel Argama manages to break-through the Neo Zeon fleet and faces the "Box". Having finally arrived at Magallanica, Banagher Links and Audrey Burne are greeted by Syam Vist, suzerain of the Vist Foundation. Syam shows the true contents of the "Laplace Box", which is the true form of the Universal Century Charter: "When the new breed of humans adjusted to outer space are born, they'll be made to take part in government management by priority." The Federation government's somewhat rejected democratic policy was also considered in the basis of the plan, and as such, the appearance of Zeonism became a huge bane upon the Federation. A word which entrusted the future desires to the possibility of people. At the same time, Martha and Ronan are planning on suppressing the contents of the "Box" by aiming the colony laser "Gryps II" at the detached mobile fortress "Magallanica".
Final OVA Version
Final Manga Version
Universal Century Charter
Executed at the space residence of Laplace on the first day of U.C. 0001 By the Prime Minister of the Earth Federation, Ricardo Marcenas.
Space settlement projects shall be integrated at a high level into the policies of the Earth Federation and ensured in accordance with the principles of social stability.
The Earth Federation and its Member States shall execute active space emigration policies to as to (sic) ensure a decent existence for all those who lack sufficient resources.
2. In the future, should the emergence of a new space-adapted human race be confirmed, the Earth Federation shall give priority to involving them in the administration of the government.