'Pacific Rim: Uprising' with Jetpacks! Trailer Shows Mechs on Rockets

In 2013's "Pacific Rim," director Guillermo del Toro introduced audiences to world filled with high-tech Jaeger mechs the size of skyscrapers built by humanity to defend itself against giant monsters from an otherworldly realm. And if the first full trailer for the film's sequel is any sign, those Jaegers are now going to ride rockets. 

The new trailer for the sequel, "Pacific Rim: Uprising," debuted Friday (Oct. 5), and it's filled with even more of what made "Pacific Rim" pop for science fiction fans: more giant mechs fighting even smarter giant monsters. But for the space science fiction fan, two specific scenes stand out.

The giant Jaeger mechs of "Pacific Rim: Uprising" stand guard on gantries while wearing rocket engines on their backs in this still shot from the film's first full trailer. (Image credit: Universal)

The first one occurs 39 seconds into the trailer, when we see a row of Jaegers standing in what appear to be launch gantries. (In fact, the scene just before this one pans up a structure that is clearly labeled as Gantry 40A). 

There are four Jaegers in this scene, all standing atop vehicles that look uncannily like the giant crawler transporter NASA used to move space shuttles to the launch pad. Each Jaeger has a giant rocket pack strapped to its back.

Then, there's the second scene, at the 1-minute 16-second mark: a close-up on the ignition of rocket engines (a nod to NASA's shuttles again?) before showing Jaegers launching into the sky. 

This still shot from the first full "Pacific Rim: Uprising" trailer shows Jaeger mechs launching into the sky with rocket-powered backpacks. (Image credit: Universal)

Now, the big question: Are the Jaegers launching into space? Or are they using the rocket backpacks for an ultrafast deployment to somewhere else on Earth to fight the Kaiju monsters?

As a space fan, I am hoping the Jaegers are headed to the final frontier. But I suspect the answer is closer to the latter scenario. Remember, in "Pacific Rim," deploying Jaegers was an arduous process. Each mech had to be airlifted by its own fleet of helicopters. So, a rocket-powered fast-deployment mechanism makes sense here.

Still, at the end of "Pacific Rim" (spoiler alert), the dimensional rift in the ocean floor the Kaiju used to reach Earth was sealed. Yet in "Pacific Rim: Uprising," the monsters have clearly found another way to our planet. Are they coming from space? Ooh, I hope so. 

What do you think? Are the Jaegers headed to space with rocket-powered backpacks or just deploying for a Kaiju-smashing mission?

Either way, we'll find out on March 23, 2018, when "Pacific Rim: Uprising" hits theaters. 

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.