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Jaegers, activate! A novice’s guide to Pacific Rim


Pacific Rim Uprising hits our screens in less than a month’s time, and we could not be more excited. It has been just short of five years since we were first introduced to this universe, and ever since the sequel has been announced, we have been eagerly seeking out all the information we can find.

However, there may be many of you keen to watch Uprising, but who are unfamiliar with the premise of the franchise as a whole. With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy guide of what you need to know about Pacific Rim so far, looking at the past, the present and the potential future releases within the series. Possible spoilers ahead!

The past

Directed by The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro, Pacific Rim depicts a future vision of Earth, in which our planet is now at war with the Kaiju, colossal sea monsters that have emerged from a breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

To defeat this threat, humanity unites to create Jaegers, massive robots which are controlled by at least two pilots in order to combat the enemy. With a cast including Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Idris Elba (Molly’s Game), Pacific Rim follows the later stages of the war, as retired pilot Raleigh Becket (Hunman) teams up with rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and Stacker Pentecost (Elba) in a last-ditch attempt to defeat the Kaiju.

Released in July 2013, Pacific Rim was praised by critics, particularly for its visual effects and action sequences. Whilst it underperformed financially in the United States, it became highly successful worldwide, with a combined gross of more than $411 million, becoming del Toro’s most commercially successful film to date.

The present

Set 10 years after the events of the first film, Pacific Rim Uprising follows a new generation of pilots fighting to defeat the Kaiju, with both sides having undergone something of an evolution.

Led by Jake Pentecost (The Last Jedi’s John Boyega), the son of the aforementioned Stacker Pentecost, the pilots must stand together in order to defeat the Kaiju once and for all. Despite being set only 10 years later, surprisingly few of the original cast members are returning for the sequel. Among the confirmed are Rinko Kikuchi as Mori and Charlie Day as scientist Newt Geiszler, with Charlie Hunnam unable to reprise his role due to existing commitments.

As well as Boyega, new additions to the cast include Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad) and Jing Tian (The Great Wall), though their roles within the film are currently a mystery. Despite not returning as director this time around, Guillermo del Toro remains a producer for the film, alongside Boyega and Cale Boyter.

Stepping into the director’s shoes this time around, in his feature film directorial debut, is Steven S. DeKnight. He’s previously worked on shows including Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is joined by a team including screenwriters Emily Carmichael (recently announced as the co-writer of Jurassic World 3), and Kira Snyder, producer of hit TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale. It's also been confirmed that composer Lorne Balfe (Geostorm) will be responsible for the music in the film.

The future

When asked about the future of Pacific Rim, DeKnight was very open about his desire to keep the franchise alive. Speaking with Nerdist, he revealed that "the plan was always to use this movie as a launching pad. If enough people show up to this, we’ve already talked about the plot of the third movie, and how the end of the third movie would expand the universe".

We’ll certainly be keeping our fingers crossed as we approach Pacific Rim Uprising's release date on 23rd March.

Hannah Dixon is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.