Personality & Character
Stella is a mentally unstable and fragile person. Though it was never fully revealed, it's suggested she suffered severe psychological trauma as a child from the horrors of war. When she's at her best, her personality is that of an innocent child. She's playful, carefree, and has a limited understanding of her surroundings. Because of her childlike behavior, she's not useful for battle unless focused. It's why she was mentally conditioned to react to "die" or "death."
Seeing how she's fearful of dying, Stella's teammates often would use "die" to trigger her to focus. Even though she's a talented MS pilot, her mind is still that of a frightful little girl and often needs direction for action. Her teammates would often direct her wrath upon specific targets, telling her that her opponent is out to kill them all. Because she completely trusts her teammates, she takes action without question. Unfortunately, her own fear of death can be a liability in battle. It's necessary to bring out her anxiety to get Stella to battle, but at times the fear can be so overwhelming that she experiences hallucinations and delusions, at times lashing out to both friend and foe. If Stella's teammates can't successfully calm her fears, the best they can do is either wait it out or sedate her.
Her experiences are manipulated by her commanders and doctors. If Stella experiences something that can potentially contaminate her mind, it can be removed. It's because of that, Stella can at times experience déjà vu, familiarity to people or objects, but at times nothing at all if the mind wipe is sufficient. This is all done for Phantom Pain to manage her fragile mind without her losing direction in their mission.
One of the few people she truly trusts and has genuine affection for is Neo Roanoke, to the point that she disobeyed direct orders and put her ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam in a disadvantageous position because she was worried about him in a battle.
Skills & Abilities
Stella is a fully trained soldier and an Extended. Because of her artificially enhanced abilities, her body and mind can react just as well as a Coordinator or possibly have the advantage over them. Even though her mind is childlike, when focused, she can hack and reprogram an entire MS operating system and customize it for personal specifications within seconds. As a soldier, she knows how to use firearms, stealth infiltration tactics, and MS piloting. Because "Extended" soldiers are merely perfected for war and nothing else, they all suffer psychological and physical side effects from their enhancements. Their bodies are often maintained by a full medical team, ready with drugs and advanced medical devices to keep them functioning. They also require regular re-conditioning.
Second Alliance-PLANT War
Incident at Armory One
Together with her comrades Sting Oakley and Auel Neider, Stella infiltrates into the PLANT colony Armory One, and with the help of some ZAFT-soldiers, they steal three of ZAFT's newly developed Second Stage Series units. Stella becomes the pilot of the ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam. They heavily damage the base inside the colony and fight against Shinn Asuka in the ZGMF-X56S Impulse Gundam. During the battle it appears that when someone mentions the word “die”, she completely goes berserk. Stella and the two boys nevertheless escape from the base on the Mirage Colloid-equipped ship Girty Lue but are pursued by the ZAFT-battleship Minerva.
Break the World
After the “Break the World” incident, the Phantom Pain is stationed on Earth on the carrier John Paul Jones and Stella is later engaged in another battle with Shinn.
During her stay on Earth, Shinn saves her from drowning after she falls from a cliff, but neither of them knows who the other is. She panicked when he said her block word, "die". Shinn, knowing that Stella was scared to die, hugs her and tells her that she won't die. He also told her that he will protect her. Stella, recalling that was the same phrase that Neo said to her, starts crying in Shinn's arms. He apologizes for scaring and upsetting her, and tells her to stop crying. He wraps a handkerchief around her ankle to stop the bleeding. Stella takes Shinn's hand, puts it on her face, asking him if he will protect her. He says that he will protect her. Stella became attached to Shinn and they grew closer to each other.
Shinn builds a campfire to dry his shirt and her clothes. When she stood up to get a pink shell, he felt embarrassed because she's topless. During this time Shinn swears to protect her, but when she returns to the Phantom Pain, her memories are erased. When the Minerva is attacked by the joined forces of the Earth Alliance and the Orb Union at Dardanelles, Stella again fights and during this battle, she inadvertently kills the new pilot of the Minerva, Heine Westenfluss.
When the Minerva investigates the extended facility in Lodonia, – the place where the Extended are created – Stella informs both Sting and Auel, the latter suffering a mental breakdown due to believing that "mother" was still in the lab. Determined to help Auel, Stella boards the Gaia and breaks her way out to attack the Minerva but is defeated by Shinn and Athrun Zala.
Upon investigating the defeated Gaia, Shinn is horrified to see Stella and violates military law by taking her to the Minerva's sick bay. Due to her highly-aggressive behaviour, she is kept forcefully strapped down, with only the constant visits from Shinn calming her down. The Minervas doctors later reveal to both Minerva captain, Talia Gladys and Shinn that she tested positive for excessive amounts of chemicals within her body, exposing her as one of the Extendeds from Lodonia.
ZAFT's doctors eventually realize that Stella had only been kept alive thanks to a specialized machine in the hands of the Alliance. Without the means or knowledge to create such a machine, she was likely to die and her corpse being sent to ZAFT's research team for investigation. Rather than allow her to die or become a lab rat, Shinn defies military law once again and takes the weakened Stella to the Alliance in secret. She is then handed over to Neo under the promise to not let her join any more battles.
Battle of Berlin
After her condition has stabilized, Stella is assigned to be the pilot of the gigantic mobile suit GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam. With her new suit, she destroys many cities in West-Eurasia until she reaches Berlin. There, she engaged in a fight with Kira Yamato in the ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam and later Shinn also joins the fight. Although she is able to hold her own against both the Freedom and the Archangel, the Minerva arrives to also engage and sends out the Impulse. Shinn proceeds to charge straight for the Destroy's cockpit and successfully slashes it open. Stella soon suffers from even more stress in the battle when Neo is shot down by the Freedom while the Chaos is destroyed by the Archangel's MVF-M11C Murasames. As she breaks down even further, Shinn, having learned from Neo that Stella was the Destroy's pilot, lowers his weapons and approaches Stella, calling out to her. Shinn's voice allows Stella to finally calm down and stop her attack. Unfortunately, an explosion in the cockpit brings her back to reality, and she immediately panics when she sees the Freedom behind Shinn. Unable to control herself, Stella attempts to retaliate once again, before the Freedom finally steps in the stabs the Destroy's Super Scylla Cannons before they can fire. The attack would cause catastrophic damage to her unit, and Stella is mortally wounded by various explosions as Destroy is finally put to rest. Shinn rescues her out of the cockpit. She tells him that she loves him and finally dies in his arms. Shinn then brings her corpse and sinks it in a nearby lake, swearing to avenge her death at the hands of the Freedom. Shinn then managed to defeat Kira during ZAFT's Operation Angel Down.
Battle of Messiah
After the ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam is crippled beyond repair by the ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice Gundam, Stella appears to Shinn in her spirit, telling him that she's finally got over her past and thus very happy. She bids him to see each other in the future, before passing onto the next world. (That really provides quite a relief and comfort to Shinn himself.)
Notes & Trivia
- Stella has a French surname.
- Although many fans consider her relationship with Shinn Asuka as that of love interests, another interpretation from Super Robot Wars series suggests that her childlike attitude reminded Shinn of Mayu Asuka and she's more of a sister to him.
- Stella's background and relationship with Shinn is similar to that of Four Murasame and Kamille Bidan from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.
- In addition, both characters die via destruction of a giant mobile suit and die in the main character's arms.
- Stella can be saved and join the protagonists' group in Super Robot Taisen Z, K and L and join with the ZGMF-X88S Gaia Gundam, but there is no way to obtain the GFAS-X1 Destroy Gundam.
- Incidentally, Stella's spirit appears to Shinn in the same way as Flay Allster's spirit appears to Kira Yamato in Gundam SEED, in which Houko Kuwashima voices over both female characters.
- The meaning of Stella's name is "star", in contrast to Luna's name which means "moon". Coincidentally, both names are in Latin.
- Stella appears in the Extreme Vs series as the pilot of the Gaia, where she can also summon the Chaos and Abyss for support. She also pilots the Destroy as one of the game's unplayable arcade bosses.
- Likely due to her encounters against Lunamaria Hawke's Gunner ZAKU Warrior early into Gundam SEED Destiny, Stella hates red mobile suits. She also thinks that Newtypes is simply another name for Coordinators.