In the Godzilla franchise, Mothra has long been one of the more fascinating kaiju. Not only has the creature shown compassion for mankind (as well as Godzilla), its design and overall beauty make it a unique presence in the monster brawls we've witnessed over the years.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters seems to be painting the "Queen of the Monsters" in a similar light, albeit with some modern tweaks. With the release of the film's second trailer, it seems we're getting an update on a key aspect of the mythos usually associated with the giant moth: the two fairies known as the Shobijin.
The Shobijin or "small beauties," were first seen on the big screen in 1961's Mothra movie, but they were part of novels that came before. Initially presented as two tiny fairies found on Infant Island, where Mothra was worshipped as a deity, in subsequent films, we'd see them evolve as priestesses with different powers linked to the creature. The main ability was to provide a telepathic link to Mothra and communicate with it, relaying mankind's wishes, and vice versa. Apart from acting as this conversational conduit, they also held deep knowledge on various kanji, or what's being called a Titan in Legendary's MonsterVerse. Perhaps most memorable is the way they would sing in order to summon Mothra and ensure humanity understood it wasn't an enemy.
The incoming sequel to Gareth Edwards' 2014 flick is based in hard sci-fi and less fantasy, so don't expect pint-sized fairies to show up. But director Michael Dougherty seems to have updated the concept via Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) and her mother, Monarch paleobiologist, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga). Madison's role was teased in the first trailer as someone who had a compassionate and emotional connection with Mothra, seemingly making contact with her while she was in captivity and possibly freeing her to help Godzilla. The new trailer continues to show Madison's connection to Mothra, who we later see entering into battle against what seems to be Rodan or King Ghidorah.
As for Emma's role, initially, she gave off a sinister vibe and appeared to be an antagonist. But this new trailer paints her in a more sympathetic light with her daughter, as opposed to scenes that show her in conflict with Madison and her husband, Mark (Kyle Chandler). There, he called her a monster, but it could be that Emma was misunderstood, that her dedication to unlocking Mothra's secrets has driven a wedge between them. What indicates this is a glorious shot of what seems to be Emma approaching Mothra, who coos and emits a beautiful sound instead of a roar.
Given Emma's stated role in the film as soon who uses bio-acoustics to communicate with the Titans, it does seem she'll be the first to break ground with Mothra. Now, that's not to say that some point, a telepathic link can't be made between Mothra and the Russell ladies, but it's more likely sonar technology and Emma's expertise will be establishing that line of communication, truly allowing contact to be made.
Thus, similar to the Shobijin, we'll have two women who want to save Mothra as they properly understand her intentions. And by speaking to each other, they may just end up being the key to helping Godzilla (and the rest of the world) avoid utter annihilation.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, and Zhang Ziyi. The film opens May 31, 2019.