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'Pacific Rim: Uprising' trailer: It's mind over monster in gigantic sci-fi sequel

Gwynne Watkins
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

John Boyega is gonna need a bigger bot. The new trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising reveals that the Kaiju, giant monsters threatening the world’s cities, have evolved since the events of 2013’s Pacific Rim. Fortunately, so have the Jaegars, the mind-controlled robots that humanity has commissioned to fight the creatures. Watch the first trailer above.

Boyega plays Jake Pentecost, the estranged son of Idris Elba‘s heroic general from the first film. (Outside of a newspaper clipping seen in the preview, Elba does not appear in the sequel, set a decade later.) As Boyega explained Friday morning at the trailer’s New York Comic Con premiere, his character is reluctant to take on a leadership role; though Jake trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Jaegar pilot, he turned instead to a life of crime.

“When you first meet him, he’s a stealer, a hustler,” Boyega told the crowd. “He’s really a guy who doesn’’t want to live up to the Pentecost name and is brought back in a really unique way.”

When his misdeeds catch up to him, Jake reluctantly rejoins the Jaegar program under the mentorship of Mako (Rinko Kikuchi, returning from the first film).  Along with Lambert (Scott Eastwood), he pilots Gipsy Avenger, one of the upgraded Jaeagers designed to keep the Kaiju threat from America’s shores. Cailee Spaeny makes her film debut as another Jaegar pilot, a character named Amara who builds her own bots. (“She’s super bad-ass. I’m not, but she is,” Spaney said at NYCC.)

While the trailer only shows fleeting glimpses of the Kaiju, it does offer some excellent shots of the new Jaegars’ weapons and abilities, which include a “gravity sling,” a “vortex cannon,” a “ball of death,” and “plasma swords.” Unsurprisingly, director Steven S. DeKnight  (taking over from writer-director Guillermo del Toro) had a ball re-creating the oversized sci-fi world of Pacific Rim.

“I grew up watching Ultraman and Space Giants and Godzilla movies,” DeKnight said at NYCC. “To get a chance to play in the world Guillermo del Toro so expertly executed the first time around has been an honor and a thrill.”

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

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