The Sandrock suits were designed in 1995 by Kunio Okawara, along with many of the other mobile suits appearing in the anime. Sandrock Kai, along with the other four 'second-stage' Gundams, were later redesigned by Hajime Katoki for the 1997 OVA Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz. The new design is now canonical. Retcon designs for Sandrock, along with the other four original Gundams were also created, which were published in Newtype magazine.
Gundam Sandrock is one of the five mobile suits sent to Earth as part of Operation Meteor; a plan whereby rebels would be able to weaken the controlling influence the United Earth Sphere Alliance and the Organization of the Zodiac (OZ) held over the orbital colonies. Sandrock was designed by Instructor H, and was launched from the cluster of orbital colonies located at the L4 Lagrange point.
Sandrock was piloted by Quatre from episode 1 until episode 17, where Sandrock is destroyed, allowing all five Gundam pilots to launch into space. The remains of Sandrock are retrieved in episode 20 by Sally Po and the Maganac Corps, the latter wishing to rebuild the Gundam for when they next meet Quatre. Quatre learns of the rebuilt Sandrock in episode 35, and retrieves it before travelling back into space in the next episode. In Episode 40 Sandrock is upgraded to Sandrock Kai to make it suitable for space combat. It should be noted both versions of the Sandrock feature the 'Cross-Crusher' weapon system, essentially a device in the shield which can mount both shotels in a pincer weapon. This feature is not seen in the Sandrock's Endless Waltz counterpart.
Sandrock Kai is used until the end of the series, and at one point is temporarily upgraded with the ZERO System. The suit appears in Endless Waltz, and in the various intermediary manga. Sandrock Kai is to be sent into the sun on a disposal satellite, but is retrieved by Quatre, along with three other Gundams. Sandrock Kai fights against the Mariemeia Army in Brussels, and is self-detonated at the end of the anime.
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