are three special edition movies that were released following the conclusion of Gundam SEED.
Much like the Mobile Suit Gundam
theatrical movies, the Gundam SEED: Special Edition
movies are intended to be an override of the story from the TV series.
These episodes are in fact a complete recap of all 50 episodes of the TV series and were first shown on television in Japan. The Special Edition episodes feature some new scenes and tweaks to previously animated scenes. The first special, The Empty Battlefield, which was episodes 1 to 21 of the series, was aired in two parts on Japanese TV in March 2004, followed by the next special, The Far-Away Dawn, which was episodes 22 to 40, in July 2004. The final special, The Rumbling Sky, which was episodes 41 to 50. While the story is overall unchanged, there are a few minor changes. In addition, several scenes are re-animated and re-dubbed.
It is believed that these movies were cut to better transition the story between SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny. Others believe also that the special editions were made to correct or add things that were not in the TV series due to time or budget reasons. It has been mistakenly referred to that these are in fact recap episodes. While that might be the case, they are still movies in their own right.
All three movies were released on Universal Media Disc in mid-2005. Gundam SEED: Special Edition has been licensed for North America by Bandai Entertainment and was released on DVDs in English, between July 11, 2005, and November 22, 2005.
The transition from TV to movies allowed changes to the storyline of the show to be made for the movie versions.
Special Edition I - The Empty Battlefield
- A brand new 55 second scene showing preparation for the assault on Heliopolis (shows more shots of Miguel and new shots of Rusty)
- Scenes of Kira and his friends before the going off were redone
- Newtype flash added when Mu senses Creuset for the first time
- Footage of GINN's battling with Moebius mobile armors outside the colony, has been removed.
- Debut of Cagalli is retold and a new scene of her conversation with Kira with new footage
- Athrun and Kira's first meeting during the firefight in episode 1 intercuts with scenes when they were kids instead of being shown slowly with negative colors.
- Scene of Flay emerging from the lifepod (ep 4) and hugging Kira is redone and retold. Also a new 30 second scene of Sai and Flay conversing has been added
- The scene with Rau and Athrun discussing the Strike's pilot is reduced to a 10 second flashback and is inserted into the scene where Athrun is lying and thinking about the loss of Rusty and Miguel
- The Archangel's heading to Artemis and the Battle of Artemis footage had been removed.
- Athrun's shower scene (ep 8) is lengthened and intercut with scenes of his parents; and the scene following this (his discovery of Lacus' disappearance) is completely redone and moved to be ahead of hatch opening sequence of Lacus's life pod.
- Backstory from the first clip show is never told.
- New 25 second clip of Lacus trip to the cafeteria onboard the Archangel
- The scene of Rau and Mu taking the opportunity to attack during the time that Kira is transferring Lacus to Athrun only for Lacus to order Rau to stand down and withdraw is removed.
- Scene of Kira having sex with Flay is shown cut between Strike's first battle in the desert with additional new footage.
- All the scenes of Sai's resentment towards Kira and Flay, including the scene where Sai attempts to steal the Strike, have been removed.
- Cagalli's bath sequence is changed from a bath to a shower instead, probably for fanservice.
- The scenes of Dearka and Yzak assisting Andrew Waltfeld during his final attack on the Archangel have been removed.
Special Edition II - The Far-Away Dawn
- Kira's battles with Marco Morassim are reduced to a few frames
- The scene where Cagalli and Athrun formally introduce themselves to each other has been moved into a flashback scene during the Zala Team's attack on the Archangel.
- There are only a few seconds separating Nicol's death from the next battle between Kira and Athrun.
- Tolle's death scene is redone and is more gruesome than the TV Series version.
- A new scene is added where Kisaka comes to get Cagalli after the Archangel sends a distress signal to Orb after the battle between Kira and Athrun.
- When Athrun meets with Lacus in the theatre, the gunmen attempting to assassinate her are removed.
- The scene where Erica Simmons shows that she has rebuilt the Strike and equipped it with Orb's OS system and Mu's decision to pilot it has been removed, instead it shows Mu piloting the rebuilt Strike during the Orb arc without any explanation of how he received it.
- Most of the Orb arc is shown with battle scenes being spliced together to create enlarged confrontations.
- The footage of the Le Creuset team observing the Battle of Orb has been removed.
- The footage from Gundam SEED Destiny where Shinn Asuka and his family rushing to the evacuation site prior to getting caught in a crossfire between the Freedom and Calamity is shown.
- The song Akatsuki no Kuruma by FictionJunction YUUKA is played in full towards the end of the movie instead of the shortened TV edit.
Special Edition III - The Rumbling Sky
- Background is shown of Azrael as a little boy where his hatred for Coordinators began.
- Rau's face is shown in the laboratory sequence.
- Kira has a talk with Lacus about how he isn't sure if he wasn't meant to be born in the world after he found out the truth from Rau. Lacus responds by telling Kira he belongs to the world as long as he is born and exist in the world and his birth has made her a much happier woman, she then tells him she wants him to stay with her.
- In the final battle at GENESIS, Athrun shoots down a GuAIZ Experimental Firearms Type and a CGUE D.E.E.P. Arms from SEED-MSV.
- Clotho is killed by Dearka instead of Yzak.
- Mu La Flaga's battered helmet is removed from the debris.
Ending and insert songs
Ending songs (in order):