Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment made its debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:30 pm

Just a theory. It's few times I think about these things with the goal of making sense of the story, especially cause we lack the final piece (Shin). But this one was fun to me. From some months ago actually. It does depend on some NGE knowldege though.


One of the things I always asked myself is why 14 years pass. Not in a thematic, symbolic or dramatic sense. Just, what is the actual plot reason?

What kicks the story off is Wille retriving Shinji. So let's change the question to "Why isn't Shinji retrieved earlier?" The answer to this one I can think of is pretty simple/silly and could be exchanged for lots of things really. But my guess is: Wille didn't have the technology. 2.0 specifically mentions that Evas can't get to space (while discussing how to fight Sahaquiel), so maybe it just wasn't possible to get there/only accesible to Neo-Nerv.
Honestly this isn't too satisfying or interesting. But there's another question.

The other thing I always asked myself about the events that kick off 3.0 is why Nerv didn't retrieve Shinji. Honestly their actions don't quite make sense. I remember thinking about this back when I was 16 lol.

They are in control of the tesseract carrying 01 (seemingly), since it sports their logo. And it is protected by Mark Eva units.
So why not just get Shinji, who is instrumental to everything Gendo plans in 3.0? Why wait for Wille to get them (a risk) and kidnap him then?

Are you ready boys? My idea is that just as in NGE, only Ritsuko is capable of retrieving someone trapped in an Eva (a process that is interestingly omitted in the film...it got its own episode in NGE). This is not mentioned, but could be one of those elements that just carry over from NGE. Time will tell if this ever comes up in Shin.

This would explain Nerv having to wait for Wille to take a first step. I also like the potential implications of this. Just as Nerv has all of these resources and technology Wille lacks (like seemingly endless Evas and being able to regrow Eva tissue), Wille has something Nerv lacks too: Ritsuko's brain!

Any thoughts?

I'll feel dumb if I missed this being a common theory for all this.
Last edited by kuribo-04 on Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:41 pm

View Original Postkuribo-04 wrote:So let's change the question to "Why isn't Shinji retrieved earlier?" The answer to this one I can think of is pretty simple/silly and could be exchanged for lots of things really. But my guess is: they didn't have the technology.

I'm not so sure, as the next question is "if they didn't have the tech, how did the Tesseract end up in orbit in the first place?"
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:43 pm

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:I'm not so sure, as the next question is "if they didn't have the tech, how did the Tesseract end up in orbit in the first place?"

Oh, I'm gonna clarify and edit that I mean Wille specifically.

The Nerv logo on the tesseract is the Neo-Nerv logo. So they didn't put it in space immediately after 2.0 either. Where Eva was before it was sent to space, and if Misato and co. were even trying to get to it, we can only guess.
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Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
-Asuka: THINK IN GERMAN!!! -Shinji: Öh... Baumkuchen...
Hayashida: "As game developers, our work is special. All of us here can put smiles on very many people's faces with our work."
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby pwhodges » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:11 pm

But in NGE Ritsuko failed to get Shinji back - he just appeared unexpectedly when Yui ejected him. It's been my presumption that the same happened in NTE.
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:18 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:But in NGE Ritsuko failed to get Shinji back - he just appeared unexpectedly when Yui ejected him. It's been my presumption that the same happened in NTE.

But didn't Ritsuko word it like they were responsible? "This is the only thing we found" when talking about the SDAT.

Obviously it could be Yui/Rei/both allowed it to happen, while Wille is unaware of that fact. Just as I have a feeling it's Rei making Shinji have a synch rate of 0 (in line with her wish in 2.0 to have Shinji never pilot again) while Wille doesn't seem to know the reason.
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
-Asuka: THINK IN GERMAN!!! -Shinji: Öh... Baumkuchen...
Hayashida: "As game developers, our work is special. All of us here can put smiles on very many people's faces with our work."
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby dzzthink » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:20 pm

I see :emogendo: . What you are suggesting is that Shinji was in fact absorbed into eva-01 just like in episode 20 and that Ritsuko needed to run some kind of program to bring him back. That's makes sense considering I find it hard for his physical form to not at least degrade a little if it was left in LCL for too long. It would make sense that Shinji's soul was dissolved into LCL this whole time instead, as in episode 20 it really explains how human bodies can revert back to this orange primordial soup, which is made up of that person's physiological components, psychological data and the soul.
Last edited by dzzthink on Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby kuribo-04 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:23 pm

∆ Yeah basically I'm connecting it to episode 20. Which it is sort of a reference to, though in 3.0 it's easy to forget.
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
-Asuka: THINK IN GERMAN!!! -Shinji: Öh... Baumkuchen...
Hayashida: "As game developers, our work is special. All of us here can put smiles on very many people's faces with our work."
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby dzzthink » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:30 pm

I also think the technology theory is also possible since evas are not designed for space travel, and NERV specifically wanted to keep EVa01 dormant for as long as possible. It also doesn't make any sense why nerv waited for Wille to do all the work of retrieving Shinji when they are the one with the Agenda. Makes me think that Wille wanted to get there before they did. Perhaps Nerv wanted to wait longer for some reason? Maybe there was a civil war with wille and other countries got involved and they got caught up in it before they could do anything about eva 01? Politics and bureaucracy at the end of the day could be why nothing was done. Also I imagine a recovery period for earth due to economic collapse and environmental destruction may also take some time.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby BernardoCairo » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:49 pm

I can definitely see your point! I mean, we all know that Ritsuko is probably the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Evangelions (on a technical level). So, I can clearly see all parties waiting for her to bring Shinji back. If you think about it, everyone already knows how hard it is to bring someone back from an EVA (because of Yui's incident). Besides, no one could have known that Yui would be the one to actually bring Shinji back (I'm making the assumption that everything played out similarly to the original series).
So, yeah. I can see Gendo not wanting to risk everything (especially considering that he could just wait for someone else to do the "hard work" for him). These guys are fighting a bloody war. So, the lower the risk, the better.
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Thu Feb 04, 2021 8:09 pm

Do we know for sure it's been 14 years since Third Impact proper? Could have just been like a year or two.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby Settie » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:06 pm

Here's the way i think things went, pure speculation and not in order.

  • After the failure of 3rd impact Seele decided to modify the last remaining adam to make it have a dual pilot capability since Lillith somehow sealed itself off.
  • At some point Willie either stole or found the Wunder and proceeded to modify it with the essentials for a crew to man it, leaving the retrieval of Unit-1 to the last minute to prevent interference from Nerv(as stated by Ritsuko they believed at first that Nerv was after Unit-1 and not Shinji).
  • Since Shinji was Seeles backup plan (Mari mentions as much) ReiQ was likely made to be the one to "awaken" Shinji in order to retrieve him from Unit-1.
  • Since it was Asukas plea for help that woke Shinji (i'm going with this until the movies prove otherwise) Nerv had to scramble the Mark-9 and ReiQ to prevent Shinji from finding out too much.
  • Seele would've used the Mark-4s in orbit to bring Unit-1 back when Unit-13 was ready.
  • While Unit-13 was being reborn in that womb-like chamber, the Makr-4s were kept as guard dogs for Unit-1, except that Shinji awakening then wasn't planned to happen before Unit-13 was ready.

So the thing that is missing is and actual timeline of events to explain why the events played out the way they did. There was and 11th angel and an attack on Nerv HQ. The 12th angel and 3rd impact happened at some point afterwards, likely followed by both sides scrambling to outdo each other in the aftermath of 3rd impact. Angels vary widely in their arrivals with 7th-9th happening within the timespan of a couple of months and the 10th just a few days after the 9th. So it's hard to tell when exactly the 11th and 12th incidents happened.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby BusterMachine4 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:12 pm

View Original PostShinjiStranglesAsuka wrote:Do we know for sure it's been 14 years since Third Impact proper? Could have just been like a year or two.

I highly doubt that. WILLE has clearly had quite a bit of time to gather resources, and the characters are deliberately made to seem more jaded, as if they’ve spent a long time in this hell. If there was a big time skip between 2.0 and Third Impact, they would have had time to properly repair Unit 2 after the 10th Angel battle.

On the other hand, Settie’s speculation makes a lot of sense. The idea of Nerv holding back on awakening Shinji until Unit 13 was ready is actually a brilliant idea.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby ShinjiStranglesAsuka » Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:48 pm

View Original PostSettie wrote:Snip


Very nice ideas.

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby kuribo-04 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:22 am

It's true Eva-13 being ready is another kick-off event in the film. I didn't consider as potential start of the chain of events.
But I wonder why Nerv didn't retrieve Shinji earlier then if there was the risk of Wille getting him.
Shinji: "Sooner or later I'll be betrayed... And they'll leave me. Still... I want to meet them again, because I believe my feelings at that time were real."
Ryuko: "I'm gonna knock ya on your asses!"
-Asuka: THINK IN GERMAN!!! -Shinji: Öh... Baumkuchen...
Hayashida: "As game developers, our work is special. All of us here can put smiles on very many people's faces with our work."
~('.'~) (~'.')~ Dancin Kirby

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby Joseki » Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:55 am

View Original PostArcadia's legacy wrote:I'm not so sure, as the next question is "if they didn't have the tech, how did the Tesseract end up in orbit in the first place?"


This is actually a real issue in our world.

Putting stuff in low Earth orbit is relatively easy, retriving it is actually currently impossible. Not difficult, completely impossible.

Only the Space Shuttle had the capacity to retrieve small/medium satelites in orbit and it was a very, very dangerous operation too.




The technical limitations is my current theory too. I mean, why put Unit 01 in orbit in the first place if not to make it impossible to recover? Who puts it up there and when is another very interesting question.

My guess is the UN/IPEA. It's possible they went "yeah fuck this, no one is ever touching it again it's too dangerous". They also seemed to be the most powerful organization at the time of 2.0.

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Postby Arcadia's legacy » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:32 am

But then there's the fact that the Tesseract has the Neo-NERV logo on it, implying that it's time in orbit being relatively recent
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Postby Joseki » Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:06 am

I completely forgot about the logo lol

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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby EscapismIsBad » Fri Feb 05, 2021 12:43 pm

^
^
Maybe, but for that I think we'll have to wait for 3.333, Neo-Nerv may have been formed during the rebellion of Wille pre Third Impact

I wouldn't disregard Gendo sent out 01 to space to protect it from Wille, Seele and the Angels.
Wille wouldn't hesitate a little to destroy ANY Nerv EVA unless it's helpful to them, Seele doesn't need 01 at all and preferably would destroy the unit since it could be a breach in their plans, the remaining Angels probably wouldn't even hesitate to infect an Adam with the soul of Lilith and without any pilot (essentially defenseless) to cause an Impact.
It may be also that Seele required 01 to be sent out to space to avoid any interferences (Evangelion 01 awakening way before the proposed time) in their plans and utilize 13 instead.
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Re: Why Shinji is retrieved after 14 years, why Nerv waits for it

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Postby Zusuchan » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:58 pm

I think that while Ritsuko is certainly rather knowledgeable about the Evas both in NGE and NTE, it's entirely possible some things may have been hidden from her in NTE, seeing as the events there seem to largely correspond with the plans of a few people. I think Gendo could very well have extracted Shinji from Unit-01 himself, but didn't choose to do it for whatever reasons, maybe the lack of proper tech to get it down to Earth.

I hope that Shin gives a few answers about this.


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