Short answer: At first, Rei Ayanami was to initiate the Third Impact on Gendo Ikari’s orders. However, Rei Ayanami decides to betray Gendo Ikari because she decides to believe and fulfill Shinji’s wish to merge all of the human LCL into one form so that Shinji could reunite with his friend.
She rejects Gendo by stating that “I am not a puppet,” Rei Ayanami is a clone of Shinji’s mother, Therefore, she will choose her son’s wish over Gendo Ikari’s wish. Although Rei Ayanami rejected Gendo Ikari as the leader of the instrumentality project, the instrumental project was still successful and Gendo Ikari was also able to see his dead wife for a brief moment once again. Rei Ayanami led the Third Impact by destroying every human physical form and merging their LCL into the black moon so all human consciousness gathered into one form.
What was Rei’s reason for piloting an Evangelion?
Rei Ayanami piloted the Eva 00 because Gendo ordered Rei Ayanami to pilot the Eva. All of Rei Ayanami’s actions were ordered by Gendo and she’d obey them without question. This was because she saw Gendo as her father figure. Rei Ayanami never really had any emotional attachment to the world around her. She doesn’t particulary understand emotions as well. As such, Rei is not afraid to sacrifice her life to defeat the Angels, although while the Angel thread is still going on, Rei still doesn’t know that she is a clone and can be replaced if she dies. In addition,
Rei Ayanami possesses the soul of Lilith, therefore, she can pilot any Eva and does not require human contact experiments to pilot a particular Eva. Despite that though, she has no personal goal when it comes to piloting Eva other than Gendo’s command. When Rei Ayanami fought against Angels, she never used her Angel powers like A.T. Fields, she only used A.T. Fields that were generated by Eva. The reason that she didn’t use her Angel powers is because, at the time, she thought that she was a human and not an Angel. Later, she gains self-awareness and generates her own A.T. Fields in Episode 23.
Rei’s connection with Gendo Ikari
Up until the end of the show, Rei Ayanami is shown to have admiration and respect of Shinji’s father (Gendo Ikari). The two however don’t appear as father and daughter. They don’t probably even have any love for each other but instead they display a complicated relationship where in Rei just has great admiration for him and he needs her cause she reminds him of his late wite. In the show, Rei Ayanami has a part of Shinji’s mother in her DNA, this is the reason that Rei looks very similar to Gendo Ikari’s late wife. However, The main reason why Rei Ayanami was created was because her body was to be used as a vessel for Lilith’s soul to establish a controlled relationship between Lilith and Gendo Ikari. Rei Ayanami also seems to be a mother figure to Shinji Ikari. This might be because Rei also has Shinji’s mother’s DNA.
Gendo Ikari seems to care more about Rei than Shinji and Asuka, although if Rei Ayanami dies during the fight, she can still be replaced. This is because Gendo prioritizes his goal of reuniting with his dead wife, and Rei Ayanami is the key to his goal. Gendo Ikari’s behavior causes him to sacrifice his healthy relationship with his biological son (Shinji Ikari). He abandoned his son to achieve his goals, it was very much against Yui’s goal of prioritizing Shinji Ikari.
Rei kills Angels but causes the Third Impact?
Rei Ayanami piloted an Eva and killed Angels to prevent those Angels from reaching the seed of life. Ironically, Rei herself was an angel and she merged with a seed of life. When she did this, she triggered the Third Impact. Although Rei Ayanami doesn’t fully understand emotions at the start of the show, with her time with Shinji, she grows to learn more about emotions and what the people around her mean to her. She grew to understand her emotions so much that she was able to defy Gendo Ikari’s orders and caused the Third Impact to fulfill Shinji’s wish instead of fulfilling Gendo Ikari’s dream.
interesting fact: Rei Ayanami is also an Angel herself, she can generate her own A.T. Fields. But even though Rei Ayanami is an Angel, she has no intention of destroying humanity because she was created by Gendo and is very obedient to his orders.
Why did Rei Ayanami reject Gendo Ikari at the End of Evangelion?
Before the Third Impact happened at the End of Evangelion, Rei Ayanami betrays Gendo, and instead fulfills Shinji’s desire. Rei Ayanami does this because after spending a lot of time with Shinji, she slowly begins to gain self-awareness to the point where Gendo orders her to trigger the third impact. Rei Ayanami prefers to follow Shinji’s wishes over Gendo’s, which is why even though Third Impact was successful and all human LCLs were united, humans could still choose to become their true form.
Even though Rei Ayanami refuses Gendo Ikari to be the leader of Third Impact, the Third Impact scenario still goes according to Gendo Ikari’s plan. But the difference is that Gendo Ikari’s fate is still unclear when Third Impact is taking place. Will his wish come true and he reunited with his wife? Some say Gendo was punished and remained dead by Yui because of the way he treated Shinji Ikari, and some say Gendo was part of Third Impact and became LCL like other humans. Regardless of which theory is correct, the audience can choose which theory to believe.
What happened to Rei after she fused with Lilith?
After the discussion between Rei Ayanami and Gendo Ikari, Rei Ayanami takes Adam’s embryo from Gendo’s hand, and then she fuses with Lilith’s body. Therefore, the Human Instrumentality Project begins, and the black moon rises from Earth. After fusing with Lilith, Rei Ayanami became this god-like being that looked like Rei Ayanami but a giant version with a full white appearance. In this form, Rei Ayanami has the power of a god and banishes all of the human A.T. Fields that separate their conciseness.
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Our Final thoughts:
Rei Ayanami caused the Third Impact because she chose Shinji’s desire to combine all human consciousness into one form and reunite Shinji with his dead friends, such as Misato. Rei Ayanami refuses Gendo’s desire to reunite Yui and Gendo’s souls, but instead, Yui’s soul in Eva 01 unit eats Gendo Ikari as the retribution for his treatment of Shinji Ikari. Rei Ayanami is a clone but later then she gained self-awareness so this would explain why Rei Ayanami rejects Gendo Ikari before the Third Impact begins.
Rei Ayanami has Yui’s DNA, therefore, the relationship between her and Gendo Ikari becomes complicated. On the one hand, Gendo and Yui are father and daughter relationships. On the other hand, Gendo and Yui are husband and wife. However, Rei Ayanami was created as a vessel for Lilith’s soul so that Gendo could have an established relationship with Lilith.
Thank you for reading!
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