WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Godzilla: Aftershock, by Arvid Nelson, Drew Edward Nelson, Allen Passalaqua, Jeremy Colwell, John Roshell, Jimmy Betancourt and Sarah Jacobs, on sale now.
As more plot details emerged, fans eventually learned the MacGuffin of Godzilla: King of the Monsters would be a sonar device called the Orca, a piece of technology Vera Farmiga's Dr. Emma Russell uses to communicate with the Titans. But rather than wait until the sequel to 2014's Godzilla to discover its origin, Legendary reveals the backstory of the device through the Godzilla: Aftershock comic book prequel and it's surprisingly tied to one of Godzilla's main enemies.
As Godzilla battles the MUTO Prime (aka the Jinshin-Mushi) across the globe, Emma and her Monarch team realize the Prime wants to kill the lizard by laying its eggs inside the beast. They rely upon the research in their possession from the 2014 film, when they experimented upon the female MUTO to see how they can assist. That creature emitted sounds that attracted the male; the MUTOs even used sound as part of a mating dance in San Francisco.
Emma's team deduces the MUTO Prime also communicates using sonar with its incubated eggs, and she decides to retrofit the Orca her husband (Kyle Chandler's Mark) created for the United Nations for animal communication. She uses the audible signature of the Prime, so that it can mimic the signal emitted from the eggs, and weaponizes it for when the Prime next takes on Godzilla. She thinks it will finally give Godzilla the upper hand, although her scientists warn her it's a gamble.
The first time they use it, the device enrages the Prime, making it even more dangerous. Emma's team realizes they can only use the device beneath the surface, as that's the only way the Prime will be tricked into believing it's a call for help from her babies. When the plan is executed, the Orca finally has the desired effect.
The Orca temporarily stuns the Prime, allowing Godzilla to use his body-blast to incapacitate the creature, before crushing its skull with his foot. After seeing the beast trudging back into the ocean, Emma fully understands what the Orca can do. Once it's refined, it can be used, not only as a distraction tool, but as a means of communication. That explains why we've seen footage from King of the Monsters of Emma "chatting" with Mothra through ethereal hums. Orca went from a sampler, so to speak, to fully imitating animal sounds, to actually being able to understand and communicate with them.
With that background revealed, it's no wonder the Orca is being hunted by eco-terrorists in the film, because it could be manipulated to unleash even angrier kaiju onto the world.
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.