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Why Did Mechagodzilla Immediately Fight Godzilla In Godzilla Vs. Kong?

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The film Godzilla vs. Kong, now streaming on HBO Max, is a great deal of fun for fans of kaiju films who want to see giant monsters fighting each other — but trying to make sense of the plot can be quite a task, and you're honestly better off if you just allow some questions to remain unanswered. Still, if you've seen it, there are a few logical issues you might want answers about — and you simply need a bit of contextual backstory to put the pieces together.

For example, when Mechagodzilla comes to life, it immediately sets its sights on Godzilla. This keeps the giant reptilian monster away from the injured King Kong, lying in the middle of Hong Kong's neon urban landscape — which in turn gives Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), and Jia (Kaylee Hottle) time to bring the great ape back to life so he can help Godzilla win the day at the end of Godzilla vs. Kong. But what makes Mechagodzilla turn his attention instantly to Godzilla in an area where three apex predators are running around free? Turns out, there's a reasonable explanation for this that harks back to a previous film.

Mechagodzilla's focus on Godzilla is all about the King Ghidorah connection

As you may recall in 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, King Ghidorah is Monster Zero — and he almost kills Godzilla before Mothra sacrifices herself by transferring her energy to Godzilla so Godzilla can ultimately defeat King Ghidorah. You may also recall that in the new Godzilla vs. Kong, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), and Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) discover that one of King Ghidorah's three telepathic heads is being used to create and control Mechagodzilla, with ill-fated Ren Serizawa (Shun Oguri) as its pilot. Upon being charged up by the energy that King Kong allowed the humans to access in Hollow Earth, Mechagodzilla frees itself of this control and starts tromping off on his own, without human influence. The metal monster has become sentient. 

This isn't made clear in the movie, but if you notice how Mechagodzilla certainly seems to know what it's doing when it comes to fighting Godzilla, you'll realize that its newfound self-control probably comes thanks in no small part to Ghidorah's remaining consciousness. This means, of course, that Mechagodzilla remembers and reacts to Godzilla as its main threat — an old and formidable enemy who is responsible for its previous death. This isn't simply the instinct of an apex predator trying to remove the competition of other titans, which has been the main explanation for Kong and Godzilla's epic fights so far. (Although Kong, of course, has other motivations due to his connection with the Iwi people and Jia in particular.) This is personal. Mechagodzilla is basically seeking revenge.

It's also an obscure Easter egg paralleling Mechagodzilla's 2002 turn

In an Easter egg that Looper has pointed out before, there's even more context to this story if you know the history of the Godzilla films. Mechagodzilla has been around since 1974 when the film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was released and originated the character as an alien. But the 2002 film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla gave the metal creature a more terrestrial origin: It revealed that the government-funded Mechagodzilla is built from the bones of the original Godzilla — the one that died in the original 1954 film. So, in the 2002 film, when the current Godzilla roars, the sound triggers Mechagodzilla's subconscious memories and it remembers its own death. The result is, naturally, a destructive rampage around the city.

Thus, the fact that this version of Mechagodzilla is built upon the bones of King Ghidorah creates an analogy that's hard to miss, paralleling the situation from the previous film. Mechagodzilla remembers its own death at the hands of Godzilla. So, its main motivation upon gaining sentience is to attack Godzilla. And, even better, this situation in Godzilla vs. Kong results in an Easter egg that only true fans of the movies will understand.