WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for director Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising, in theaters now.
The sequel to Guillermo del Toro's 2013 sci-fi action film, Pacific Rim Uprising introduces a new generation of Pan Pacific Defense Corps pilots, a new breed of monstrous Kaiju, and a new era of Jaegers.
While many will debate which classic mecha the film's new Jaegers borrow from, one thing is for sure: The filmmakers have mad love for Gundam. The property’s signature mech, RX-78-2 Gundam, can be seen as a large statue in front of a skyscraper in the final Tokyo battle scene.
The grandfather of the giant-robot genre, the franchise debuted in 1979 with the Japanese anime television series Mobile Suit Gundam. Since then, it's grown into a global phenomenon, with films, manga, novels, video games, and no end of toys and hobby models. As satisfying as this Easter egg is, one has to wonder why the filmmakers of Pacific Rim Uprising didn’t use the actual 1:1 real-size RX-78-2 Gundam statue that was on display in Odaiba, Tokyo, until March 2017.
Pacific Rim franchise creator Del Toro has been open about his influences, and has even broken down which Japanese movie monsters inspired each Kaiju design in his 2013 film.
In a recent interview with CBR, Pacific Rim Uprising director and co-writer Steven S. DeKnight also credited some of his favorite Japanese properties that he drew from for the sequel. “I also grew up loving Ultraman and Space Giants and all the giant-monster movies," he said. "I really wanted to take all those elements and see what I could do with them.”
While he didn't mention Gundam, we're guessing it's because he was trying to not give away the Easter egg.
In theaters now, director Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim: Uprising stars John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, Scott Eastwood as Nate Lambert, Cailee Spaeny as Amara Namani, Jing Tian as Liwen Shao, Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler and Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb.