WARNING: This article contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Pacific Rim Uprising, in theaters now.
Pacific Rim Uprising, for all of its trailers and marketing, surprisingly kept its cards pretty close to the chest, revealing the broad strokes of the film, but not much else. We knew John Boyega's Jake Pentecost was the son of Idris Elba's Stacker Pentecost (from the original film), and that he and other new characters would hop aboard new Jaegers to defend the world from a new wave of Kaiju. And that... was pretty much it -- the rest of the film's story was a mystery.
As fans of the original Pacific Rim know, the first movie ended with the Breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean being closed for good thanks to the efforts and sacrifice of the heroes of the Pan Pacific Defense Crops. While we knew that the Kaiju would return in Uprising, we didn't know how or why. However, the real twist of the film is not how the Kaiju manage to return -- it's who is behind their resurgence o our planet. In fact, Uprising is different than its predecessor because it doesn't just feature alien villains; this time around, there's a human to blame for the invasion: Newt Geiszler. (Looks like CBR's Jason Cohen was right!)
Played by Charlie Day, Dr. Newt Geiszler was one of the main characters of the first Pacific Rim. As a brilliant scientist with unparalleled knowledge of Kaiju physiology, he and his partner Hermann were instrumental in defeating the Kaiju and closing the Breach. In fact, the humans owe the totality of their victory -- and survival -- to Newt, since he was the one who had the idea to drift with a Kaiju brain in order to learn everything they could about the alien monsters. Going against the better judgement of his friend Hermann, Newt drifted with a Kaiju brain -- but while this allowed the humans to learn about the Anteverse and the Precursors, it also made the aliens aware of Newt, on a personal level.
As we come to discover, this connection is still going strong in the sequel. Although Newt appears to be his usual quirky, slightly arrogant self, we quickly find out that there is more to him -- a lot more. He ominously tells Hermann that drifting with Kaiju brain was a total rush. His behavior appears increasingly erratic. And finally, the truth reveals itself when we discover that his girlfriend Alice is actually the Kaiju brain from the first film -- a brain Newt still drifts with quite frequently. Worse still, we discover that Newt isn't really Newt anymore. His constant drifting has led him to become infected by the Precursors. He's now controlled by the aliens, manipulated to allow their return to Earth. Before long, we see that he isn't the one who speaks with his friends and allies -- they are speaking through him.
Newt's obsession with the Kaiju turned unhealthy, to the point that he became the linchpin to the monsters returning to destroy the world, years after the war should have been over.
By movie's end, the Precursor-controlled Newt (any chance Prewt will catch on?) is knocked unconscious, and his reign of terror is put to a stop. However, we see him again, in the post-logo scene of the film. There, John Boyega's Jake Pentecost faces the villain, and it's there that we discover that the aliens have full control of Newt's body and mind, to the point that the real Newt appears to be totally gone. But is he still in there? Is there any chance that the Precursor's could be purged from his mind? Here's hoping a third movie answers the question.
In theaters now, director Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising stars John Boyega, Rinko Kikuchi, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, Karan Brar, Ivanna Sakhno, Zhang Jin, Zhu Zhu, Burn Gorman and Charlie Day.
KEEP READING: Pacific Rim Uprising: Your Guide to the New Jaegers