'Pacific Rim: Uprising' First Look at New Jaegers, Major Change

Legendary Pictures/Universal Pictures, Entertainment Weekly

Guillermo del Toro’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot-esque Jaegers will go up against the alien clone-Godzillas, the Kaiju, again in the upcoming Pacific Rim: Uprising. And the stakes are higher than ever this time around.

As seen in an Entertainment Weekly article published on Thursday, the near-future world first introduced to fans in del Toro’s 2013 Pacific Rim has undergone some major changes. After 10 years, the Kaiju and their masters have figured out a way back to Earth, and civilians are preparing themselves for the upcoming battle.

Mako Mori, Rinko Kikuchi’s scene-stealing character from the first film, is back as the head of the Jaeger program and has to deal with the return of her adoptive brother, John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost. Jake had a massive falling out with his father, martyr and all-around badass Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), so he’s been living rough for a while.

According to Boyega, “Jake is the prodigal son. 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.”

Jake abandoned his training and fell out with both Stacker and his drift partner Lambert (Scott Eastwood) because he feared he’d never live up to his family’s reputation and that Stacker cared more for Mako.

“When we meet [Jake], 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,” Boyega said. “He sells and buys stolen goods, and some of that includes Jaeger parts.”

Apparently, there’s a huge black market for Jaeger parts, especially along the coasts. When the Kaiju began attacking 10 years prior, the wealthy had all moved inland, leaving the poor to fend for themselves on the coasts. They all got a bit of a break after Mako and Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket saved the world; then the horror started back up again.

Rather than wait around to be saved, the less-fortunate masses started building their own Jaegers from black market parts.

From left to right: new Jaegers Saber Athena, Bracer Phoenix, Gypsy Avenger, and Guardian Bravo.

One of these amateur pilots is Cailee Spaeny’s Amara, who Jake quickly befriends; they get into some trouble and, to pay for their crimes, they have to join the Jaeger program and teach the new kids how to fight. Jake and his partner Lambert lead the charge to teach the newbies what they know, all while strapped into a host of brand-new Jaegers (above).

Jake and Lambert pilot Gypsy Avenger, the follow-up to Mako and Raleigh’s Gypsy Danger. And the other three new Jaegers, Saber Athena, Bracer Phoenix, and Guardian Bravo are all appropriately named and suped-up with high-tech weapons and faster movement than ever before.

Unlike the Jaegers of the first film, pilots are more free-moving, according to Boyega: “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.”

All this basically adds up to Pacific Rim: Uprising being one hell of a good time.

Pacific Rim: Uprising premieres in theaters on March 23, 2018.