White Rodan (ホワイトラドン is an unused Howaito Radon)kaiju featured in early drafts of the screenplay for the 1993 Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. It is effectively the precursor for Fire Rodan.
In Wataru Mimura's first draft for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, there were initially going to be two Rodans on Adonoa Island rather than just one, a sort of tribute to the character's debut film, with the two monsters being mates. In this story, the two Rodans were to be attacked by Transforming Mechagodzilla, with the male dying and the female being knocked into the sea. After reawakening underwater, the female Rodan was to attack a nuclear submarine, transforming her into White Rodan. As her name indicates, White Rodan was characterized by her white and blue-colored skin. In Mimura's second draft, the two Rodans were replaced with two Pteranodons that battled with the vehicle formed from Mechagodzilla's upper half, the Gundalva. The female Pteranodon would then directly transform into White Rodan by feeding on a nuclear submarine, much like the female Rodan from the first draft.
Shinji Nishikawa prepared concept art for both the male and female Rodans, along with White Rodan. Nishikawa gave the female Rodan a small curved bump atop her head compared to a larger, more decorative crest for the male. At first, the female Rodan possessed light brown skin over her entire body, which would change to blue skin with white wings and a red head crest as White Rodan.
When Mimura streamlined the film's screenplay with his third and final draft, Rodan's role was reduced to only a single individual appearing, which acted more as BabyGodzilla's surrogate brother rather than his mother like White Rodan did. Rodan also interacted with Godzilla twice in this final screenplay whereas neither Rodan ever encountered him in the prior drafts. According to Mimura, it was director of special effects Koichi Kawakita idea to have Rodan be the one to revive Godzilla after Mechagodzilla nearly kills him rather than the Garuda's explosion, in order to better fit with the film's central theme of life triumphing over artificial life. "Hurricane" Ryu Hariken, who also portrayed BabyGodzilla in the film and created some unused concept art for Mechagodzilla, submitted some concept art for Rodan based on the character's Showa design, though this too went unused. Minoru Yoshida finalized Rodan's design in the film, experimenting first with some variations of Nishikawa's White Rodan design before finally arriving at Fire Rodan. Although his designs were not used in the finished film, both Nishikawa's designs for the female Rodan and Transforming Mechagodzilla were used in Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster artwork for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (early drafts)
When a group of researchers on Adonoa Island discovered a Pteranodon nest containing what seemed to be an intact egg, they were attacked by its parents, giant irradiated Pteranodons called Rodans. The United Nations deployed its new anti-Godzilla weapon Mechagodzilla to rescue the scientists. Mechagodzilla crushed one of the female Rodan's eyes and tossed her into the ocean and electrocuted the male to death. The researchers escaped the island with the egg, which to their surprise hatched into a Godzillasaurus, a natural enemy of the Pteranodon. They determined that the egg must have ended up in a Pteranodon nest, with the two Rodans raising it as their offspring.
The female Rodan eventually awakened on the ocean floor and assaulted a Russian nuclear submarine. The nuclear energy revitalized her and transformed her into White Rodan, who quickly flew to Japan to recover her surrogate son. White Rodan captured BabyGodzilla and built a nest on a rooftop, stealing food from a nearby greenhouse to feed the infant. G-Force deployed Mechagodzilla to fight the creature once again and recover Baby, forcing White Rodan to defend him. White Rodan fought valiantly, using her wings to generate a low-altitude tornado in order to keep the machine at bay. However, she was unable to hold off Mechagodzilla's onslaught and finally died from exhaustion, with her body falling into the sea.
On the remote Adonoa Island, a team of researchers discovered a seemingly-intact egg inside a Pteranodon nest, only to be attacked by the pair of Pteranodons living in the nest. The United Nations responded by deploying the Gundalva, a powerful tank which formed the upper half of their anti-Godzilla weapon, Mechagodzilla. The Gundalva easily defeated the pterosaurs, killing the male and knocking the female into the ocean. When the egg from the nest was brought back to Japan, it hatched into a Godzillasaurus rather than a Pteranodon.
The female Pteranodon was not dead however, as she awakened and promptly attacked a nearby Russian nuclear submarine. The sub's nuclear energy produced a blinding flash of light, and from it emerged the Pteranodon, who shed her skin and evolved into the gigantic White Rodan. White Rodan flew to Japan to recover her surrogate son, bringing him to a nest she built on a rooftop. White Rodan broke into a nearby greenhouse to recover food for BabyGodzilla, but the fully combined Mechagodzilla soon arrived to stop her. White Rodan tried keeping Mechagodzilla at bay using her wings to generate a low-altitude tornado, but the machine's weapons overpowered her once again until she died from exhaustion and fell into the ocean.
Female Rodan concept art by Shinji Nishikawa
Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster artwork for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, featuring Shinji Nishikawa's female Rodan and Transforming Mechagodzilla designs
White Rodan in Godzilla Kaiju Collection
- White Rodan seemingly appears in the 2015 mobile game Godzilla Kaiju Collection. It was initially under the name "Rodan (MogeGoji)" when the game launched, but a subsequent update changed its name to "Rodan (Heisei)."
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