WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Alita: Battle Angel, in theaters now.
Producer James Cameron took quite some time to get his adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's manga series Gunnm (known as Battle Angel Alita in the United States) off the ground, but with director Robert Rodriguez at the helm and Rosa Salazar in the titular role, fans are now basking in the technical spectacle that is Alita: Battle Angel.
But as is the case with any property being adapted, Alita undergoes quite a few changes in its transition to live-action, not just to condense over 60 volumes into a single story, but also to fit the mode of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Dyson Ido's Fatherhood Angle
In the manga, Dyson was Daisuke Ido, a genius inventor who brought Alita back to life in Scrap City. He's a recluse living with his helper, Gonzu, fixing cyborgs by day and going out as a Hunter-Warrior (a bounty hunter) at night to earn money. Inspired by Alita, he tries to convince his fellow bounty hunters to rebel against Vector (the city's mayor), but to no avail. The manga finds him eventually waging his personal war against the criminals that Vector has out, and tracking everyone who threatens Alita's future.
In the film, Christoph Waltz's character has a different background; while he was exiled from Zalem (known as Tiphares in the manga) alone, here he's exiled with his family, more specifically a terminally ill daughter. She ends up dying a botched robbery, inspiring him to take up crimefighting. He ends up trying to fill the gap in his life with Alita, whom he names after his dead daughter.
This gives Dyson more agency as her father-figure, culminating in him trying to stop her Alita starting a rebellion against Zalem. He's way more family-oriented and doesn't want Alita to turn into a weapon, as opposed to the manga where he was fascinated with her potential to become a destroyer.
Chiren's Big Presence
Jennifer Connelly's Chiren didn't exist in the manga at all. However, Daisuke did have a love interest, Carol, who turned out to be a clone that escaped from shady experiments in Zalem and teased him with a life he could have had. Chiren did exist, though, in the 1993 Battle Angel two-part animated feature, which influences her role in Rodriguez's movie heavily.
On the big screen, though, she's exiled with Dyson and yearns to return to Zalem to erase the memories of losing her daughter. Just like the animated flick, she sides with Mahershala Ali's Vector against her ex-husband and Alita, as she's trying to gain Vector's favor to earn a trip to Zalem. Her path is the same, as Vector ends up double-crossing her when he realizes she's sympathizing with the bond Alita formed with Dyson, and humanity as a whole.