"Making something... Nurturing something is really great. You can see and learn so many things from the process."
A dummy system (ダミーシステム) is an artificial pilot system for the Evangelion Units. It can be made to take over control of the Eva from the pilot, as in Episode 18, or it can work with a dummy plug (ダミープラグ), an altered entry plug which is red instead of white, as with the Mass Production Evangelions. The dummy plugs contain the personality data of either Rei Ayanami or Kaworu Nagisa and are designed to "trick" an Evangelion into thinking that it is synchronizing with a real pilot by mimicking the pilot's thought patterns.
The Rei dummy system is implied to be beset with problems. Nerv successfully uses it only once, when Gendo has it seize control of Eva-01 from Shinji in Episode 18. In Episode 19, Eva-01 rejects both Rei and the Rei dummy plug, accepting only Shinji as its pilot. Never again is any attempt made to use the dummy plug with Eva-01. A dummy system was installed on Eva-02 and the required data transferred as well, but no attempt was ever made to utilize it.
The Mass Production Evangelions exclusively use Kaworu dummy plugs, removing the human element from their actions.
At the end of Episode 23, Ritsuko destroys the Rei Tank in the Dummy Plug Plant, putting an end to the Dummy System. The connection between Rei clones and the Dummy System is neither obvious nor easy to comprehend. From what little that can be deduced, the scenes with Rei soaking in the LCL seem to have something to do with imbuing the Dummy System with her personality and/or memories.
The Dummy Plugs themselves do not have clones physically inside them (the controller Ritsuko uses to destroy them starts with Rei 4 and Rei 1-3 are accounted for) which raises the question of how the destruction of the tank of clones could affect the Dummy Plugs installed in the Evangelions. The Dummy System was successfully activated only once, and never seen in operation afterwards, so there remains no way of knowing how much functionality the systems installed aboard the Evas retain.
The existence of Kaworu Dummy Plugs for the Mass Production Evangelions means that another independently created Dummy System is in existence, but nearly nothing is known about it.
In Rebuild of Evangelion
The dummy system is first alluded to in Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone with Gendo's line, "The dummy plug is not yet in its trial stage."
In Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, Nerv HQ receives the Dummy System from Golgotha Base. A Dummy System Core Control Module is installed into Eva-01's entry plug, and the system also exists for use in a devoted plug. It is capable of making an Eva unit activate and spread an A.T. Field without the need for a physical pilot.
The module in Eva-01's plug is activated when Eva-01 and its pilot are incapacitated by the 9th Angel/Eva-03. A large mechanical array extends from behind the plug's interior array to restrain Shinji by fixing his hands to the induction levers, and it also puts a shield ("head unit") in front of his face. The internal plug display is replaced by a field of reddish streaks. Eva-01 reactivates, and dispatches of Eva-03 and the Angel infecting it with physical strength above and beyond its normal capacity, with an unrestrained brutality to match.
During the battle with the 10th Angel, in Shinji's absence, the Nerv staff attempt to activate Eva-01 on the dummy system alone. The Eva forcibly ejects the plug and refuses synchronization. Gendo attributes this "rejection" to "Yui".
Earlier in the film, Gendo and Rei are seen in a facility resembling the dummy plug plant from the series, but, due to the fact that the dummy system was delivered by a separate branch of Nerv, there is currently nothing connecting the dummy system to Rei's thought patterns or clones in this continuity. Whether the Rebuild version will be further explained remains to be seen.
|Rebuild Dummy System|