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 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.
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.