Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: May 23rd, 2018
With the movie trilogy slowly coming to an end and the so called third season (Lelouch of the Resurrection) of the series approaching, I think it’s time we determined where this entry falls. First let’s look at the movie trilogy; created to “recap” the series and provide some much needed background to a new generation who might not be familiar with the original series, the movies offer a shorter version of the same content but with added scenes and re-recorded lines of dialogue. With that said, the movies are not as straightforward as you’d expect and this muddies where the new series stands.
Warning: Spoilers! I Mean it
Image Source: Promotional Content for Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Awakening Path / Sunrise
In the first movie (Awakening Path), there were several significant changes from the source material. For one, the school aspect of the series was significantly shortened and simplified; which is understandable considering the time constraints of a movie compared to a TV series. Other content was added as well, such as flashback scenes of Lelouch, Suzaku and Nunnally when they were young and living together. However, some other changes were not so superfluous: The entire Mao Arc is cut from the movies. While this might not seem significant, you have to realize it wasn’t just omitted for time constraints, they actually removed it from the story. This means that in this new rendition, Lelouch never erases Shirley’s memories, which in itself carries some significant ramifications for the events of R2. Furthermore, the events surrounding Villetta being shot are altered and it is now Diethard, not Shirley, that shoots her. Again, they are significantly altering the events of the original series, not just revisiting them.
Image Source: Promotional Content for Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Rebellion Path / Sunrise
Moving on to the second movie (Rebellion Path), we have even more significant changes to contend with. First off it is the Mordred, not Gawain, that shows up at Shikine Island. And then of course the entire Chinese Federation Arc is removed from the first season’s part of the storyline; as a matter of fact, they also removed the Chinese Federation Arc of the second season as well (Removing the Chinese aspect completely from the series). Further diverging, Nina doesn’t attempt to blow up the school, which might alter another significant plot point later on. The Million Zeroes segment is also cut (Altering fundamental themes of the series). Getting back to Shirley, who if you remember saw significant changes early on; she actually remains alive and is not killed by Rolo (This changes Lelouch’s motivation in several subsequent key scenes).
Commenting on the alterations, Taniguchi said that in spite of the changes, the general direction of the movies remains the same. However, all of these changes are significant because it means that at this point, they can’t even have a flashback in the new series without it either contradicting the original series or the movies.
Image Source: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 series
Since the new series is likely based on the movies and not the series, it is my thesis that the upcoming third season is set in an alternate continuity and will not impact the TV series at all. In previous interviews, Taniguchi had said he wanted to have Lelouch die at the end of the series since he first conceived of the project and considering how thematically instrumental it is, it seems unlikely he would undo it so readily. My guess is, since the executives at Sunrise likely wanted Lelouch to return due to his popularity, Taniguchi decided to recreate the events and take the series in a new direction so as to preserve the original work by separating it from the new season. Whatever the reason, the facts remains that the events of the series and movies are fundamentally different from one another and as such, the new series, if based on the movies, cannot exist in the same universe as the original Code Geass series.