John Boyega talks character, Jaegers and Kaiju in Pacific Rim Uprising

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New Jaeger, who dis? Pacific Rim is one of those few films that I never get tired of watching or quoting at 3AM while Kervyn reaches for his gun after having his patience tested to the utmost limit. Much like Starship Troopers or Independence Day, it’s a summer blockbuster at its finest: It’s massive, loud and its primary cast of Kaiju and Jaeger pilots are rock-solid.

How that film only managed to moderately set the box office ablaze, is beyond me. Still, the core concept of humanity fighting back against monsters from beyond with mechanical monsters of their own? That’s an idea which deserved a second chance at glory. Which is exactly what Pacific Rim Uprising is looking to do.

While Pacific Rim Uprising won’t see Idris Elba return as Stacker Pentecost due to the small issue of his character being utterly dead and reduced to atoms when he detonated the bomb inside of the Striker Eureka jaeger. What the sequel does have however, is John Boyega, who picks up the mantle that his father had entrusted to Gipsy Danger pilot Mako Mori. A mantle that Boyega’s character Jake Pentecost wasn’t too keen on handling. “Jake is the prodigal son,” Boyega said to EW.

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He is a young guy who was on the cusp of greatness in his early days when he was training to be a Jaeger pilot, but he always had a troubled relationship with Stacker. I’m the son he didn’t really talk about in the first film … the product of Stacker’s first love. Father and son fell out, because of Stacker’s attention and hope and faith in Mako rather than him.

When we meet him, he is living in an abandoned mansion in Santa Monica, which is half a mansion anyway because there’s a big Kaiju claw-swipe that has crushed part of it. He sells and buys stolen goods, and some of that includes Jaeger parts.

That black market activity eventually brings Jake into conflict with the law, forcing him to choose between a life behind bars or enlisting in a new Jaeger program alongside his former best friend Lambert, played by Scott Eastwood. Two former friends who were once thick as thieves, thrust into a new life as the pilots of Gipsy Avenger as a new Kaiju threat begins to emerge. “The Kaiju have found a new way,” Boyega said.

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They are way more intelligent than we thought they were. The monsters you saw in the first movie were the test run, to see how the planet would hold up. The breach we thought was closed is not their only way into our world. Their plans are more specific. Jake leads the team in trying to build up a new defense against that.

New Kaiju demand a few new Jaegers to put launch gigantic meal fists into their gross new faces. Gipsy Avenger presents the newest form of mechanical devastation on two legs, but that Jaeger won’t be alone as Boyega broke down the four new machines that had been built in the decade since the first Kaiju War ended. “She’s an upgrade model form Gipsy Danger in the first movie,” Boyega said of Gipsy Avenger.

She is still a two-man Jaeger and has new weapons and technology. The new Gipsy has LCD screens and holographic imagery of what is going outside. Her gravity sling has improved. Pilots are no longer locked into robot by feet. It has a scanning system that makes the drift easier to handle. Gipsy Avenger is strongest and hardest to operate.

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Saber Athena

She’s the fastest Jaeger, and she is agile and assigned two skillful pilots who know how to do martial arts. She has two swords she can join together to slice stuff down. She’s flexible and very fast.

Guardian Bravo

She has big electric whips, but is very stocky and strong.

Titan Redeemer

She is a mystery rogue Jaeger, but is really strong and advanced. She has guns on the chest. That Jaeger is, in fact, a three-man rig — one is in the cockpit shooting missiles and bullets from the chest.

The first trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising should be out late on Friday, in case you’re looking forward to seeing the return of 200 tons of awesome.

Last Updated: October 6, 2017

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