The Kaiju are back in Pacific Rim Uprising, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s beloved 2013 monsters versus robots movie, Pacific Rim. But, most of the characters from the original are MIA this time around. Sure, some, like Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost died in the first movie while heroically sealing the breach and (temporarily) canceling the apocalypse but others survived yet disappeared in Uprising.
It’s not unusual by any means for characters to go missing between movies in a franchise, as storylines change and actors have other obligations that prevent them from returning for the sequel. It’s also not unusual for fans to wonder where all their old favorite characters went. So, here’s a rundown of which surviving characters from Pacific Rim are or are not in Pacific Rim Uprising, which is now in theaters. First up, let’s check in on the three characters who do make a repeat appearance in Uprising.
This post contains mild spoilers for Pacific Rim Uprising
Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)
Mako, Stacker Pentecost’s adoptive daughter and one of the two heroes of the first Pacific Rim does appear in Uprising, once again played by Rinko Kikuchi. She’s not piloting a Jaeger though, as by Uprising, which is set 10 years after the first movie, she’s been promoted to Secretary-General of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps.
Mako doesn’t get a lot of time to shine in Uprising, which is a bummer. She has some nice moments with Jake Pentecost, her adoptive brother, but Mako doesn’t factor into the plot much after the first act for reasons that would be a spoiler.
Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman)
Hermann, one of the two kooky scientists who help save the day in the first Pacific Rim, is back in Uprising, and he’s doing pretty much the same thing. Hermann is still working with the Pan Pacific Defense Corp, only now he’s really interested in harnessing Kaiju blood and using it as fuel. Hermann seems mostly unchanged, though his social skills might have improved a bit. He’s not hanging out with Newt as much as he used to, for reasons we’ll get to.
Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day)
Newton is a major character in Uprising, though he no longer works for the Pan Pacific Defense Corp. Instead, he’s moved to China where he’s working on creating drone Jaegers for the Shao Corporation, working under Liwen Shao (Jing Tian). He’s also gotten married. To say anything more about what Newton’s up to would also be a huge spoiler.
Those three are the only returning characters from Pacific Rim. Here’s who is missing.
Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam)
Raleigh, the other hero of the first movie who saved the world alongside Mako, is completely missing in Pacific Rim Uprising. The real-world explanation for his absence is that the actor behind the character, Charlie Hunnam, has already committed to another film, Papillion. Due to the conflict, the studio allowed Hunnam to get out of his contract.
In-universe, however, Raleigh’s absence is totally unexplained and unremarked upon. Uprising star John Boyega got fans worried in August when he seemed to say that the series had ret-conned the end of Pacific Rim and that Raleigh had actually died, but it appeared to have been a slip-up. Likely, he was talking about Chuck Hansen, Stacker’s co-pilot during the final battle. If Raleigh died between the movies, there’s no mention of it. In one scene in Uprising, there’s a memorial wall of fallen heroes, including Stacker and the Russians from the first movie. Raleigh isn’t on it, suggesting that he’s alive somewhere, probably.
Herc Hansen (Max Martini)
One half of the father-son duo who piloted Striker Eureka, Herc survived the end of Pacific Rim because he couldn’t pilot the Jaeger in the final conflict due to an injury, forcing Stacker to take his place. Herc was promoted to Marshall, but instead of Herc, there’s a different marshal. Quan (Zhang Jin ) in Uprising.
Herc’s bulldog probably died of old age, for what it’s worth.
Tendo Choi (Clifton Collins Jr.)
Choi, who remained loyal to the Pan Pacific Defense Corps even as the Jaeger program entered its twilight years in the first Pacific Rim, is missing in Uprising.
Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman)
Hannibal, the black market Kaiju parts dealer, might’ve survived getting eaten by a premature Kaiju baby in the first Pacific Rim, but he does not show up in Uprising. His absence — and that nobody remarks upon it — is a little easier to swallow than the other missing characters’, because it’s not like he was part of the Jaeger program. He was a criminal. Presumably, he’s off doing criminal things still.
In fact, a tie-in comic, Pacific Rim Aftermath, reveals that Hannibal is alive and operating out of Los Angeles. However, he is suffering from an extremely gross and probably fatal bout of Kaiju poisoning.
According to Uprising’s director Steven S. DeKnight, Hannibal, Tendo, and Herc all almost made small appearances in the sequel, but ultimately had to remove their planned cameos.
“I had actually written a cameo for Ron Pearlman but the scheduling didn’t work out, but you know, there are so many great characters in the first movie,” DeKnight told ScreenRant. He continued:
There’s Max Martini as Herc Hansen. At one point he had a really nice role and I had to change the story. At one point he was the Marshall and that got changed and of course, I’d love to bring back Tendo for the movie, but ultimately I was trying to take all of these characters and give them a little something in the movie. Then the movie got so big I just had to tear it back.
Read Inverse’s review of Pacific Rim Uprising to see how we liked the new characters.
Pacific Rim Uprising is now in theaters.