MAJOR SPOILERS for Pacific Rim Uprising ahead.
Pacific Rim Uprising ends with a major Kaiju versus Jaeger battle in Japan – but teases that the real war for mankind's future lies ahead. We break down the ending of the epic monster sequel and explore what may be in store for the franchise's future.
Pacific Rim sold itself on the most delightfully simple concept imaginable; giant robots punching giant monsters. It helped the project was the creation of Guillermo del Toro, a filmmaker who earned his geek cred many times over with the Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth. The director took his love of monster movies, anime, Saturday morning cartoons, video games, manga and mushed them all together in Pacific Rim, infusing the movie with colorful visuals and arresting set pieces. While the movie tried to spread a message about humanity working together for a common goal, the story and characters took a backseat to robots punching monsters; as it should.
Pacific Rim Uprising has a few key changes from the original. Steven S. DeKnight directs, as del Toro opted to leave to direct The Shape Of Water instead; a wise decision, judging by the Oscar sitting on his mantle. Previous leading man Charlie Hunnam has also been swapped out for Star Wars' John Boyega playing Jake Pentecost – son of Idris Elba's Stacker from the original. The movie is set 10 years after the events of Pacific Rim, where mankind has enjoyed a blissful period of no giant monster attacks. Being a sequel, that peace obviously can't last, and soon Jake and his team must face all new threats – and the realization someone on their side may be helping the monsters come through.
This Page: Pacific Rim Uprising's Ending Explained
What The Precursors Really Want
Pacific Rim revealed the Kaiju were actually created by a race of alien beings called the Precursors. These creatures opened a Breach at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean from their homeworld the Anteverse and sent through ever larger monsters with the intent of wiping out mankind and colonizing Earth. They were doing quite well, until Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Becket dropped a nuclear bomb into their universe during the finale, killing the Precursors present and sealing The Breach.
It was believed the Precursors were just going to keep sending through giant monsters to weaken humanity to the point they could simply take over, but Pacific Rim Uprising reveals there was a method to their madness. It turns out the creatures were actually headed to Mount Fuji in Japan, for once the hyper-volatile blood of a Kaiju mixes with an active volcano, it would trigger an extinction event that would both wipe out every living creature on Earth, and also terraform the atmosphere for the Precursors (a story twist that makes a pretty strange plot hole).
How Humanity Beats The Precursors (And Their Human Mole)
In the original movie scientist Newt Geiszler (Charlie Day) "drifts" (AKA forms a psychic connection) with a Kaiju brain to understand their purpose and uncovers the Precursor plot. In the decade between the two movies, Newt has become the head of a program that will replace Jaeger pilots with remote control drones, alongside scientist Liwan Shao (Jing Tian). These drones combine Jaeger tech with cloned Kaiju cells, but midway through the story, these hybrid drones launch an attack on the main Jaeger base and open breaches around the world that allow three massive Kaijus to come over from the Anteverse.
The story then reveals Newt is behind everything, as his experiences drifting in the original left him vulnerable to the Precursors psychic influence. They've been using him to form a plan to end the world once and for all.
In the end, Jake leads his rookie team of pilots to Japan, where all four Jaegers engage the Kaijus in destructive combat. Watching the chaos from a rooftop, Newt then unleashes a swarm of robots that fuse the wounded monsters into one giant, borderline unkillable Kaiju. All the Jaegers are defeated in combat except for Jake's Gypsy Avenger, and the team come up with a madcap scheme to weld a giant rocket to Gypsy and drop it right onto the Kaiju as it ascends Mount Fuji. Jake and his young co-pilot Amara make it in the nick of time, killing the monster with a high-speed punch. Scott Eastwood's Nate Lambert, not wanting to be left out, takes down Newt.