Pacific Rim Uprising: What Are the Precursors -- and What Do They Want?

pacific rim uprising precursors

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 love letter to giant robots and colossal monsters, Pacific Rim: Uprising faithfully caries out his vision under the direction of Steven S. DeKnight, who follow up on plot threads left dangling in the original movie.

Ever since we got a peek at the alien species called Precursors on the other side of the Breach in the 2013, audiences have been curious to see more of them and their world. Well, we’re sorry to report, Uprising only gives us a single glimpse of these insectoid beings, and it’s in a flashback. To be fair, there is also a stylized illustration of a Precursor in the credits sequence. Regardless, what is satisfying is learning what these uglies are up to.

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The Pan Pacific Defense Corps didn't simply hang up its guns after the transdimensional portal known as the Breach was closed at the end of Pacific Rim. The organization is still going full bore 10 years after the Kaiju War, constructing Jaegers and training pilots. Further, military subcontractor Shao Industries, led by CEO Liwen Shao, has been pushing the technology forward to decrease the reliance on human pilots in the field. To this aim, she and her team have developed drone Jaegers that can be operated remotely by a single pilot. It turns out her project director is none other than Dr. Newt Geiszler (Charlie Day), the fan-favorite character introduced in the 2013 film. In case you need a refresher, Newt and his partner Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman), "drifted" with a Kaiju brain in Pacific Rim to gather intelligence about how to close the Breach. Here's where the Precursors come in.

Precursor concept art by Guy Davis

Newt has been infected by his inter-species drift and has secretly kept the Kaiju brain that was key to humanity’s victory. The Precursors have control of Newt, and use him to infiltrate Shao Industries. He creates the first Kaiju-Jaeger hybrid, Obsidian Fury, by equipping a Jaeger with an artificial Kaiju brain. However, what no one suspects is that he has incorporated artificial Kaiju matter into the drone fleet as well and programmed them to open multiple breaches.

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Before PPDC can close those schisms between dimensions, three Kaiju come through. We eventually learn that the monsters true purpose is to create a catastrophic explosion, the effects of which would terraform Earth, making it habitable for the Precursors.

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.

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