Apple TV+’s ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ meticulously plays its way into the events already set by the movies in MonsterVerse. With the audience already familiar with the monsters, the show takes the time to introduce human characters and gives the audience the space to get to know them and invest in them before things start to get tricky. One of the main characters in the series, Cate, whose life is upturned after she discovers that her father was leading a double life and had connections to the secret organization, Monarch. As she digs into her father’s past, she discovers that it stretches further back into her family tree. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Randa Family Tree in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
The events in ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ take place across two timelines. In one time, which is closer to our present, we follow Cate, with her half-brother, Kentaro, and his ex, May, as they try to unravel the secrets and lies created by Monarch with the help of Lee Shaw. In the timeline that us to the early 50s, we find Lee Shaw working with Bill Randa and a scientist named Keiko. They are on a secret mission to find the species of monsters, and what happens between them paves the way for the events that take place decades later.
In 2014, Cate survives the events of G-Day, when Godzilla leveled San Francisco. Soon after, her father, Hiroshi, dies, and in his stuff, she discovers keys and a deed to an apartment in Tokyo. She flies to Japan to settle his affairs but discovers that he had another family there: a wife and a son, Kentaro. Just when she thought she’d had enough of his secrets, it turns out that he wasn’t completely honest about his work with either of his children. He was connected to Monarch, and not just because he was working for them.
Hiroshi’s full name was Hiroshi Randa, and he was the son of Keiko and Bill Randa. They met while hunting monsters, fell in love, and had a child, all while getting involved with Monarch and continuing their research. In one of their research, things got out of hand, and Keiko met an untimely fate. At this time, Hiroshi was still a young boy. Bill, who was already dedicated to the cause of finding monsters, became even more adamant about killing them. His connection to Monarch allowed him to do that.
As Monarch grew, they discovered that there were many more monsters than they’d imagined. Bill dies in 1973 during a mission to Skull Island, but not before leaving a little something for his friend, Lee. ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ explores this time between Bill’s death and the discovery of his tapes to show what Hiroshi had really been up to all these years, including his work with Monarch.
In between this, Hiroshi led a double life in Tokyo and San Francisco. He married and had kids, one from each marriage, and kept those lives entirely separate. Or that’s what appears at first glance. It later turns out that despite his double life, everything he died, in personal and professional capacity, was heavily intertwined. This eventually leads his children, Cate Randa and Kentaro Randa, to work with an older Lee Shaw to unravel Monarch’s secrets.
This is Entire Randa Family’s First Appearance in MonsterVerse
While ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ seems to be all about the Randa family dynamic, this is the first time that anyone apart from Bill has appeared in the MonsterVerse. Bill Randa appeared in 2017’s ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ and after his death, there was no significant reference to his family or where they might be in the following movies. While Keiko had been instrumental in the research on monsters, she died years before the Skull Island expedition, and any references about Randa’s wife would only be in passing.
The absolute lack of information about Bill Randa’s family allowed a clean slate for the writers of ‘Monarch: Legacy of Monsters’ to create his family tree and create his backstory, and the impact his work has on his future generations. While they could have created an entirely new character for the show, it was better to take someone like Randa, who is important yet unexplored, and use him to create a solid link with the movies that already exist in the MonsterVerse.
Despite their immense success, the movies about Godzilla and Kong have mostly been standalone, with barely a couple of characters appearing in recurring roles. It is only in the last two movies that a concrete link has started to appear regarding the characters. With the TV show, the creators of MonsterVerse want to give the audience some continuity, laying the groundwork with familiar characters to further expand the MonsterVerse. The Randa family is a perfect choice for this approach, and with the way the events in ‘Monarch’ turn out, it’s fair to say that a new character probably wouldn’t have done it justice.
Read More: Is Monarch a Real Secret Organisation?