Escape From Luna II (ルナツー脱出作戦 Runa Tsū Dasshutsu Sakusen) is the 4th episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired on April 28, 1979 in Japan and on July 26, 2001 in North America. This episode was written by Masaru Yamamoto.
White Base has finally made it to the Luna II asteroid base, but Luna II refuses to let them stay. Luna II has been in danger, and doesn't want the added risk, despite Bright's pleas and explanations about how White Base barely escaped Side 7 and has a large group of evacuees. The head of the base, Commandant Gene Wakkein comes out and reads the other officer's report of the situation. He states that he cannot take civilians at this time, and that all the civilians will be taken to Earth. He then picks out a few of the individuals who will not be leaving: Bright, Mirai, Ryu, Sayla, Kai, Hayato and Amuro. Soldiers draw their weapons on the group. Wakkein tells Bright that civilians and cadets have gained control of top secret military technology, and that there will be a court martial. White Base will be impounded, and Gundam will be secured. Captain Paolo is taken off to receive medical help, and Gundam is restrained. Bright tries to warn Wakkein that Gundam should not be deactivated with Char's Musai not far behind them, but Wakkein dismisses him.
Under Luna II, the Musai is waiting. Luna II is unable to detect the ship on the radar, so they lie there, waiting for the right time to attack. Char flashes back to encountering Sayla in Side 7, and wonders if she is his sister, Artesia. Char announces that they will not be using the Musai, but will go out in spacesuits to capture or destroy Gundam and White Base.
On Luna II, the crew of white Base has been locked up in cells. When their food is brought to them, Bright tries to tell the guards of the impending Zeon attack, but they won't listen to him. As he warned, Char and a large group of soldiers float through space in their suits, killing some guards and finally finding a way in. When they make it to the hangar, Char realizes that there is an infared security system, so they will have to be very careful in their mission.
In their cell, Amuro explains to the others how Gundam is self learning, and therefore gets better as it fights more. Suddenly, an explosion occurs, resulting in the gravity and power turning off. More explosions rock Luna II, and Wakkein watches, wondering how they could have made it in. He orders for his forces to deploy the Magellan warship.
With the power out, the locking mechanism to the cells goes out as well. Amuro and the others leave their cell, reunite with Mirai and Sayla, and the groups escapes towards White Base. In the hangar, the Magellan is leaving, but White Base and the evacuees are still left behind. Fraw asks two soldiers why they are not evacuating the White Base, but they say they've not gotten orders from the commandant. Kikka distracts the soldiers long enough for Amuro and Bright to knock them out.
The Magellan has almost made it out of Luna II, when a large number of charges set by Char around the area causes it to crash, lodging it in the tunnel, and blocking the way for White Base. Wakkein comes out of the ship and sees what's going on, trying to stop the White Base crew at gunpoint. Bright and Mirai try to talk him down, but it is Captain Paolo who finally ends the standoff. He tells Wakkein that the White Base crew are the only ones equipped to handle it, and he will take full responsibility.
Char comes in his Zaku, flanked by the two that he had received from the supply ship. Gundam makes its way around the Magellan. Char takes out his heat hawk and they fight arm-to-arm, with Ryu managing to distract the other Zakus in the Core Fighter. On White Base, Wakkein finally relents to destroying the Magellan so they can escape, and provides permission to do so. Outside, using the beam saber, Amuro is able to take out a Zaku that comes up behind him as he fights Char. The Magellan is destroyed via a large cannon on White Base. The blast destroys the second Zaku and almost hits the Musai. Char throws his heat hawk at Amuro, then flies back to the Musai.
Bright informs Captain Paolo that they have been victorious, but finds that the Captain has succumbed to his wounds and died. As White Base heads closer to Earth, a funeral is held for him, and, after Bright makes a promise to make it safely to Earth, the Captain's remains are jettisoned into space. As the casket floats off, Amuro wonders where his father is.
- Characters Introduced: Wakkein
- Deceased: Paolo Cassius
- Ships Introduced: Magellan, Salamis
- Due to Paolo's death, Bright is now the official commander of White Base.
- Script: Yu Yamamoto
- Unit Director: Shinya Sadamitsu
- Animation Director: Kazuo Tomizawa