Wikizilla:YouTube/The Godzilla Timeline Explained
The Godzilla Timeline Explained is the 1st episode of Wikizilla's Kaiju Facts video series. It was uploaded on October 13, 2016.
This video corresponds to List of Godzilla film continuities.
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that the Godzilla movies do not all belong to the same, linear timeline. As in, there’s no direct line containing every single Godzilla movie. Instead, there’s multiple continuities in a sort of multiverse, most of these splitting off from Godzilla (1954), though not all of them do. Okay, with that said, let’s begin:
Starting this timeline off is the Showa continuity. This line goes in the order: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again, Rodan (1956), Mothra (1961), King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Ebirah Horror of the Deep, Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Zone Fighter (yes… this is part of the Showa continuity), Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, Terror of MechaGodzilla, and finally Destroy All Monsters. This continuity follows the chronological release of the films and show contained within it, with the exception of Destroy All Monsters. In-universe, this movie is the last thing to happen in the Showa series, taking place in the “late 20th century” according to the original Japanese version, and the year 1999 in the American release.
You may have noticed that All Monsters Attack (also known as Godzilla’s Revenge) is not anywhere in here. That’s because, even though this movie was made in the Showa era, it is set in the “real world,” where none of the Godzilla monsters exist, and they are all in Ichiro’s imagination; hence, it exists outside of any continuity.
Next up is the Heisei continuity, which while it’s one of the simplest in that it only contains Godzilla movies and they go in order of release, it also hosts the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah time travel plot. First though, let’s lay it out: First is Godzilla (1954), followed by The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, and lastly Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. This is pretty easy to follow, but the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah time travel plot messes everything up. It’s actually quite complex, so it’s best not to go into detail about it right here and leave it for another time. All that matters is that the events of Godzilla (1954), Godzilla (1984) and Godzilla vs. Biollante still happened in the Heisei timeline even after the time travel in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
Anyways, now we jump into the Millennium era, where the series no longer mostly fit into the timeline and are broken apart. To kick off the Millennium set, is the Godzilla 2000 continuity. Simply enough it only includes: Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla 2000: Millennium. Within Godzilla 2000 itself, no reference is ever made to a previous Godzilla film, while it is simply established that Godzilla has been attacking Japan for some time. The official Japanese Godzilla website, Godzilla.jp, confirms that the Godzilla in this film is a second Godzilla after the 1954 Godzilla within this continuity, making Godzilla 2000 a direct sequel to the 1954 film.
After that we have the Megaguirus continuity, which has Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. No, this movie is not a sequel to Godzilla 2000. It stands alone, and it actually retcons the final event of the 1954 film, because Godzilla vs. Megaguirus takes place in an alternate universe where the Oxygen Destroyer is never used to kill Godzilla, and so simply Godzilla returns throughout the years.
Next, the GMK continuity. It goes, simply enough: Godzilla (1954), then GMK. Godzilla (1998) could be sandwiched between the two if the joke in the beginning of the movie is to be taken seriously.
Now is the richest continuity in the Millennium era: The Kiryu Saga continuity. The diverse line includes the Showa films: Godzilla (1954), Rodan, Varan, Mothra, Gorath (Gorath is actually set in the year 1980, while the Kiryu Saga timeline places Maguma’s appearance in 1963. The moon is also destroyed in Gorath, while it is plainly visible in the sky during the two Kiryu Saga films. Because of these things, all that can be said to be certain is that Maguma appeared in 1963.), Atragon, Dogora, Frankenstein vs. Baragon (Supplementary materials state that the Giant Octopus appeared in 1965 along with Frankenstein and Baragon, meaning the alternate ending for the film may have taken place in this continuity.), War of the Gargantuas, King Kong Escapes, Space Amoeba [It is also established that a second Kamoebas was sighted in the year 1987.] and also includes the 2 Kiryu films, Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Then there’s the Final Wars continuity… which only has Godzilla: Final Wars. That’s it. While loose references are made to the year 1954 and stock footage from various films is shown during the opening credits, Final Wars does not actually share continuity with the 1954 film or any other films.
After that there’s the Legendary continuity. It has the films: Kong: Skull Island [which while released after Godzilla (2014), is set in 1971] Godzilla (2014), and, preliminarily, Godzilla 2 and Godzilla vs. Kong, which are confirmed to be part of it. [Godzilla: Awakening is also part of this, but it has continuity discrepancies with Godzilla (2014).]
Lastly there’s Godzilla: Resurgence, which stands alone, and Godzilla (1998), which connects to Godzilla: The Series.
That’s the whole timeline. It’s not very messy at all, but hopefully this video helped lay out the timeline, clear as day, for everyone to see. Thank you for watching, I’ll see ya next time.
[ montage ♪ ]