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The Black Tri-Stars (黒い三連星 Kuroi Sanrensei?) was an elite Principality of Zeon mobile suit team active during the One Year War. The team consisted of three pilots: Gaia (ガイア Gaia?), Ortega (オルテガ Orutega?), and Mash (マッシュ Masshu?).


Officially known as the Mobile Assault Force 7th Division 1st Mobile Suit Battalion Headquarters attached Special Duties Squad, the history of the Black Tri-Stars began in May, U.C. 0076, when then-Colonel Kycilia Zabi of the Republic of Zeon military formed the Mobile Training Battalion, an experimental unit created to establish mobile suit tactics.[1][2] Then-Sergeant Gaia, Sergeant Major Ortega, and then-Sergeant Major Mash were all members of the Mobile Training Battalion 2nd Squadron D Squad, piloting MS-05B Zaku I painted in dark sea blue, making them some of Zeon's earliest mobile suit pilots. At this point, they were not yet on the same team.[1]

MSVRSM Revil captured

The Tri-Stars finding Revil's escape craft

When the One Year War began in January, U.C. 0079, Gaia led a three-men mobile suit team on an attack on Side 5. During the battle, the team demonstrated the Jet Stream Attack for the first time. However, the operation was a failure, and they returned to the Side 3 homeland. At some point before the Battle of Loum, Gaia, now promoted to Second Lieutenant, formed a team with Ortega and Mash. They also switched to piloting MS-06C Zaku II Early Production Type.[1]

During the Battle of Loum, the team was ordered to assist Dozle Zabi by Kycilia. They were able to sink five Federation battleships,[3] including the flagship Ananke, which they sunk using the Jet Stream Attack,[4] and were responsible for capturing General Revil's escape shuttle.[1][4] Because of their achievements, their mobile suits were upgraded to the MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type following the battle. It was at this point that they adopted their trademark black, purple, and gray color scheme for their mobile suits.[1]


The Black Tri-Stars receiving Doms.

The Tri-Stars would eventually switch to the MS-06R-1A Zaku II High Mobility Type and achieve even more battle results, earning a reputation as Major General Kycilia Zabi's ace in the hole.[1] Perhaps because of this, they adopted the Mobile Assault Force emblem as their team emblem, being the only mobile suit team to do so.[1][5] Together, the trio sunk 14 battleships and cruisers.[6]

In October, U.C. 0079, the team landed on Earth after receiving ground combat training in preparation for Operation Odessa. They were given the latest ground combat heavy mobile suit, the MS-09 Dom, by Colonel M'Quve.[1]

GPF Gundam vs Tri-Stars

The Tri-Stars engaging the Gundam

The Tri-Stars launched a night attack on the White Base while it was being resupplied. Thanks to the Dom's mobility, firepower, and the teamwork of the Tri-Stars, the White Base team had a difficult time fighting them. However, Gaia was unable to defeat the RX-78-2 Gundam piloted by Amuro Ray alone, so he attempted to use the team's famed Jet Stream Attack against it. The first attack ended with the Gundam barely evading, causing the Tri-Stars to immediately resume their attack. During their second attempted use of Jet Stream Attack, however, Amuro destroyed Mash's Dom, but was too late to evade the attack from Ortega's. However, Matilda Ajan crashed her Medea into Ortega's Dom, only to have Ortega crush the Medea's cockpit with the Dom's fists, killing her.[7][8]

There were two accounts of the remaining members of the Black Tri-Stars' ultimate fate. In one account, the two surviving members went on to fight in Operation Odessa, during which they fought the Gundam once again and were killed in battle.[7] In another, they were immediately defeated and killed by the Gundam and the FF-X7-Bst Core Booster after Mash's death.[8]

At the time of their death, Gaia held the rank of Lieutenant[9] The rank of the other two members is unclear,[10] with one account stating that they both held the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.[11]

Jet Stream Attack[]

MSVRSM Loum Jet Stream

The Black Tri-Stars using the Jet Stream Attack against the Ananke during the Battle of Loum

A notable tactic used by the Black Tri-Stars was the Jet Stream Attack. The team first demonstrated this attack during the Battle of Loum, while piloting a trio of MS-06C Zaku II. After switching to the MS-09 Dom, they demonstrated the attack on Earth as well.

At the beginning of the attack, the three mobile suits approach the target in line formation, making it appear that there was only one mobile suit approaching. After closing the distance, the lead unit attacks the target using either ranged or melee weapon. When the target either evades or attempts to counterattack, the two follow-up units begin their attack.[12]

Since evading the initial attack usually leaves the opponent open to further attacks, this tactic is very difficult to counter. Even if an opponent survives the first wave of attacks, the Tri-Stars could simply regroup and launch another wave of attacks.[12]

Video Games[]

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-06R-1A Zaku II High Mobility Type are playable units. In Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs Zeon, 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 most non-canonical appearances, the Black Tri-Stars' dialogue is recycled from their failed attempt to destroy the Gundam, referencing such events as stepping on Gaia's Dom, the failed Jet Stream Attack and Gaia being the last of the three to die therefore failing to avenge his allies.




Illustrations & Artwork[]


Notes & Trivia[]

  • The first names of the Black Tri-Stars members were unknown. However, Gaia was referred to as "A. Gaia" in MSV.[1]
  • Despite MSV stating that the Zaku I piloted by the Black Tri-Stars were dark blue, they were depicted as having the same black, purple, and gray color scheme as the Dom in Mobile Suit Gundam: Gihren's Greed. The Master Grade model kit of the Black Tri-Stars Zaku I retconned this inconsistency by saying that the Black Tri-Stars' Zaku I were overhauled and repainted in their personal colors after the Battle of Loum.
    • The Robot Spirits figure of the Black Tri-Stars Zaku I featured a color scheme that was more faithful to MSV.
  • Gaia, Mash, and Ortega's unit number were 03, 02, and 06, respectively.[13]
  • In the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, Mash's only speaking line is "Yes sir!", with his voice provided by Ichiro Nagai.
  • In episode 2 of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, there's a sign on a building that reads "Black Three Stars".
  • The Black Tri-Stars have been so popular and memorable that they have been referenced numerous times in other Gundam works:
  • In the novelization of Mobile Suit Gundam, the Black Tri-Stars are mentioned as having captured General Revil, but they are never mentioned beyond that point.
  • In Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, the Tri-Stars do actually perform their Jet Stream Attack on the player's character when all three of them are in formation. Interestingly, if three Doms also line-up together, they will execute the same maneuver.
  • In the fourteenth episode of Full Metal Panic, Is Narashino Burning?, Sousuke and his classmate Shinji compete in a military festival with Arm Slave mecha, and an opponent team has a special move called the "Red Stream Attack", a reference to the Black Tri-Stars' Jet Stream Attack, with the secondary unit leaping at the target from behind the leading unit in a similar fashion to the Doms' signature technique.
  • In the 29th episode of Yakitate!! Japan, Close attack!! Birth of the Black Japan!, all three members of the Black Tri-Stars appear as rival bakers. The episode's "bread reaction" features the Tri-Stars acting out a rendition of the folk tale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and later a mobile suit battle, during which the Tri-Stars' Doms fight against the GF13-050NSW Nobel Gundam.
  • In the 34th episode of Mobile Police Patlabor, a singular Labor is seen shouting "Jet Stream Attack!" whilst preforming a 2 handed leaping overhead strike, much like the attack used to destroy the Medea.
  • In episode 2 of BOFURIa trio by the name of the "Blazing Brothers" who have a striking resemblance to Ortega, Mash, and Gaia, use the Black Tri-Stars' Jet Stream Attack, lining up behind eachother in the same fashion and even shouting its name.
  • In the Lucky Star OVA the Jet Stream Attack is directly referenced by name.
  • In Final Fantasy XI there is a bat trio NM(s) called the "Black Triple Stars". They have a special move called "Jet Stream".


Television Series
OVAs and ONAs


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mobile Suit Variation 2 - Zeon MS, MA Edition (1983), p.190-192
  2. Mobile Suit Variation 1 - Zaku Edition (1983), p.69
  3. Entertainment Bible 39 - Mobile Suit Gundam - Big Book of Tactics and Strategy (1991), p.48-55
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mobile Suit Gundam MSV-R Legend of the Universal Century Heroes: The Fabulous Shin Matsunaga Fabulous-B007: Both Sides
  5. Mobile Suit Variation 1 - Zaku Edition (1983), p.41
  6. (1991-11-01) 機動戦士ガンダム 戦略戦術大図鑑~1年戦争全記録 [Mobile Suit Gundam Big Book of Strategy and Tactics ~ One Year War Complete Collection] ENTERTAINMENT BIBLE.39 (in Japanese). Bandai, p. 142. ISBN 9784891891770. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mobile Suit Gundam Episode 24, Black Tri-Star
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow
  9. Mobile Suit Variation Handbook I (1983), p.9
  10. The Official Weekly Gundam Mobile Suit Bible 13, p.12
  11. Master Grade MS-09 Dom (2022) instruction manual
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Official Gundam Fact File Vol.69 (2013), p.23-26
  13. Gundam Official, p.226
Earth Federation White Base Amuro Ray · Bright Noa · Sayla Mass · Hayato Kobayashi · Kai Shiden · Ryu Jose · Fraw Bow · Mirai Yashima · Sleggar Law · Marker Clan · Oscar Dublin · Omur Fang · Job John · Sunmalo · Tamura · Paolo Cassius · Vammas · Howard · Maximilian · Kal · Humrau
Jaburo Officers Gopp · Woody Malden · Kolin · Antonio Callas
Luna II Officers Wakkein · Robinson · Reed · Camilla
EFSF Officers Tianem · Elran
EFF engineers Tem Ray · Mosk Han · Seki
General Revil · Matilda Ajan · Shin
Principality of Zeon Char Aznable · Degwin Sodo Zabi · Dozle Zabi · Garma Zabi · Gihren Zabi · Kycilia Zabi · Lalah Sune · M'Quve · Jimba Ral · Black Tri-Stars · Cecilia Irene · Miharu Ratokie · Cucuruz Doan · Challia Bull · Simus Al Bakharov · Dren · Gadem · Darota · Butsham · Vice · Lang · Torgan · Smith Onizawa · Sagred · Madison · Ghien · Li Hwan · Jittal · Bamlo · Kom · Fix · Matthew · Bison · Beebe · Klink · Habe · March · Delamin · Godard · Goro · Hamble · Guevil · Joyce · Kamp · Keji · Mile · Miru
A Baoa Qu Garrison Asakura · Twanning · Rio Marini
M'Quve's subordinates Uragang · Judock · Barom
Dozle's subordinates Conscon · Lackoc
Ramba Ral's Corps Ramba Ral · Crowley Hamon · Clamp · Tachi · Cozun Graham · Acous · Zeygan · Stetch
Akahana's team Akahana · Ivanov · Callahan · Lasa · Marcy · Boraskyniv
Char's troops Denim · Slender · Gene · Crown · J.Q. · Kohm
Patrol corps Cuaran · Giyal · Sol · Ross · Magu
Mad Angler corps Flanagan Boone · Connolly · Carioca
Zanzibar soldiers Mulligan · Tokwan · Dimitri
Civilians Katz · Letz · Kikka · Kamaria Ray · Fam Bow · Cameron Bloom · Icelina Eschonbach · Eschonbach · Persia · Coaly · Smith · Pero · Rolland Chuan · Chiyo · Kum · Milly Ratokie · Jill Ratokie · Bergamino · Haro