Pacific Rim

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Name: Pacific Rim
Creator: Guillermo del Toro (director), Travis Beacham (screenwriter)
Date(s): 2013
Medium: film
Country of Origin:
External Links:
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Pacific Rim is a film directed by Guillermo del Toro which is about giant fighting mechanical creations, known as jaegers, piloted by pairs of Rangers, to fight off the impending apocalypse by kaiju, giant sea monsters from another dimension. Jaeger pilots are linked by neural bridge, a connection between their brains that is dependent on compatibility.

Canon material also includes the novelization of the film, the graphic novel Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, and Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, & Monsters, an art book. In June 2014, Guillermo del Toro announced plans for another graphic novel series to be published in fall 2015, an animated series to bridge the gap between the first film and the second, and a sequel to the first film, to be shown in August 2017.[1]

History of the Fandom

The fandom appears to have begun at least in part because the film is a summer blockbuster featuring a Woman of Color in a leading role, where she is not sexualised and has a strong character of her own, and there were calls to ensure its success to show Hollywood that this kind of film can have commercial success. Shortly after the first screenings, word passed that in addition to having a strong female character, it was a story with a lot of heart and was not just an America-centric story but an international one. The concept of neural bridges and drift-compatibility added to the appeal as it made for excellent shipping opportunities and became a common fusion AU. Additional appeal comes from the two scientists, who are portrayed as geeky nerds with socialization issues.

Most of the fannish interaction occurs on Tumblr, with some interaction on Facebook, Twitter, and to a lesser extent, Dreamwidth and LiveJournal.

An online Tumblr convention, JaegerCon was held on August 9th-11th 2013, to coincide with K-Day, the date of the first kaiju attack. As of August 11, 2013, and the end of JaegerCon 2013, there are 1000 works in the Pacific Rim AO3 tag.[2]

Other conventions were organized, with ranging degrees of success, all using the trope of naming the convention after the base of operations for jaegers, known as a 'Shatterdome.' Shatterdome Atlanta [4] was first in June 2014 and was funded through an Indiegogo campaign [3] It will be held again June 13 and 14, 2015 and is partially sponsored by the auction house that sold the props, clothes, and related items from the first movie. Shatterdome Atlanta drew an unexpected appearance by actor Rob Kazinsky, who played Chuck Hansen. Shatterdome Seattle was held May 3, 2015, and was funded through both an Indiegogo campaign[4] and ticket sales, drawing a preregistered attendee count of 96. Shatterdome UK is a less-formal organization of Pacific Rim fans based in the UK. Shatterdome ATX was also announced for July 11, 2015 and planned for Austin, Texas, but as of May 2, 2015, their funding [5] campaign closed with only US$253 raised.

Characters and Pairings


Secondary Characters

  • Naomi Sokolov - a journalist, assigned to write a fluff piece on the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, who became the source of the Beckets nearly not making it through the Jaeger Academy.
  • Tamsin Sevier - A friend of Luna and Stacker Pentecost, she was a a Royal Air Force pilot. During the beginning of the Jaeger Program, she and Stacker were the pilots of the Mark-1 Jaeger, Coyote Tango.
  • Sergio D'Onofrio Lieutenant Sergio D'Onofrio was the second test pilot for the jaeger, Brawler Yukon. Sergio is among the first Rangers trained to pilot a jaeger and kill a kaiju.
  • Caitlin Lightcap - Dr. Caitlin Lightcap is the creator of the Drift and one of the individuals responsible for the Jaeger Program. Caitlin is among the first Rangers trained to pilot a Jaeger and kill a Kaiju; she piloted Brawer Yukon with Sergio.
  • Adam Casey Adam Casey was a United States Air Force captain and the first pilot to test pilot the jaeger, Brawler Yukon.


As with any female character, there has been some dispute as to whether Mako Mori should be considered a strong female character. Proponents say that she is not sexualised or judged based on her appearance or gender. She is able to physically defend herself, and has a character arc independent of male characters. Further, detailed observation shows that in many ways she is doing most of the fighting through both the Hong Kong fight sequence, and the fight sequence at the Breach. Opponents point to several moments of weakness, including when she bows to Stacker Pentecost's pressure that she not be a pilot, and when Raleigh evacuates her from the jaeger before he evacuates himself. On the whole, however, she is generally regarded as a strong character.

Some point out that given how the film manages to include a female character of such authenticity, it ought to be able to pass the Bechdel Test, as that is a much lower standard for good treatment of women. However, Mako Mori is the only prominent female character, and thus it does not. In response, there have been calls for an alternate test for analyzing the feminist nature of film to be known as the Mako Mori Test. This test would be considered "passed" if there was a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story. [7]

Use of 'Gipsy Danger' as one of the jaeger's names has attracted some controversy as it is an ethnic slur. Some fans have chosen to refer to the jaeger only as 'Danger' to deal with this.[8]. Alternately, "Lady Danger" is used.

Controversy also comes from characters and character history mentioned in secondary canon sources such as the deleted scenes, promotional interviews, the art book, the novelization, the alleged leaked first draft of the script, and/or the graphic novel, Tales from Year Zero, as well as headcanons posted by Travis Beacham, writer of the script and the novelization, by Guillermo del Toro, and by the actors. These include depictions of Hermann Gottleib as married to a model named Vanessa, what Scott Hansen did to be kicked out of the Jaeger Corps, whether Striker Eureka had escape pods, and whether there were other female/diverse characters in the Pacific Rim universe besides those shown in the final first film.


The world of drift-compatibility makes for excellent shipping fodder, and as a result, in addition to canon-based works, there are many fusion AUs in the Pacific Rim verse. Other trends includes sentient jaegers.





  • You Can Find Me in the Drift, for soul-mates found in the silence between shared memories, for undisclosed desires left unvoiced but not unexplored


Communities and Resources


  1. [1]
  2. Pacific Rim (2013) on AO3, accessed August 11, 2013.
  3. [2], accessed May 5, 2015.
  4. [3], accessed May 5, 2015
  5. "campaign
  6. Pacific Rim Wiki, accessed May 5, 2015
  7. The Mako Mori Test: 'Pacific Rim' inspires a Bechdel Test alternative on The Daily Dot.
  8. Gypsy - It’s not just a word