Scales vs Strength: Kaiju vs Jaegers in Pacific Rim Uprising
In the Pacific Rim universe, the Kaiju are giant monsters that erupted from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Entering our world through the dimension-spanning portal called the Breach, they are living weapons of mass destruction, bio-engineered to terraform planets. In Universal Pictures’ new epic action-adventure Pacific Rim Uprising, the Kaiju evolve into a deadly and unexpected new species.
(Watch the Pacific Rim Uprising featurette “A Look Inside” at https://youtu.be/aA1Z3KUJ1rA.)
In Japanese, the word “Kaiju” literally means “strange beast,” but is more commonly translated as “giant monster.” Director Steven DeKnight, who grew up watching the Japanese Kaiju movies of the 1950s and ’60s, reminisces: “I loved them as a kid, back when it was the man-in-a-suit approach. What I love about doing a Kaiju film now, with the technology we have, is that we have a chance to make it that much more spectacular. As much as I love the nostalgia of those original films, even as a kid I knew it was a guy in a rubber suit—stomping on miniatures. When our Kaiju attack a city, it feels completely real. The threat and the drama feel immediate.”
Increasing in strength and ferocity, each Kaiju is an entirely new species with its own powers and attack patterns, perfectly evolved to do battle. While no two Kaiju are the same, they share a common goal: the extinction of the human race. In the face of this lethal foe, the Jaegers are humanity’s only defense.
Being in control of a Jaeger has never been more thrilling. Pacific Rim Uprising brings its heroes and the audience even closer to the action with cutting-edge technology and wildly inventive battle tactics. The film features the next generation of robotic guardians, sporting brand new weapons systems and abilities, as well as newly designed cockpits. These Jaegers stand as tall as 25-stories, and they are faster and more agile than ever before—as well as vary in terms of scale.
Each Jaeger is an extension of its pilots, and so each has a unique fighting style, movement style and personality. Unique indeed, as the vision for the Jaegers and their interior technologies had evolved since the first film. DeKnight explains: “Inside the Jaegers, we redesigned how the pilots are connected. They’re not so bolted in, they have a full range of movement; they can spin-kick, and they can leap. It’s much more dynamic and exciting.”
In the first film, Gipsy Danger was detonated. Still, as the PPDC considered it the hero robot, so they rebuilt it and renamed it Gipsy Avenger. “Gipsy Avenger is essentially Gipsy Danger 2.0,” says DeKnight. “It’s the Starship Enterprise of this universe: the flagship Jaeger.”
Gipsy Avenger’s Conn-Pod was built on a large motion rig that could move in many directions and execute wild movements. Eastwood, who as Lambert operated the Jaeger, states: “Because the Conn-Pod is hydraulic, it could do everything from slams and big jerks. It was like being on a rollercoaster; we were plugged in and along for the ride.”