First Look at John Boyega in Pacific Rim Uprising

 

Thanks to EW.com we’ve got our first look at John Boyega’s character in Pacific Rim Uprising.

Boyega plays Jake who is the son of Stacker Pentecost, Idris Elba’s character from the 2013 original, and although his father is no longer around, Jake finds his cause like his father when as the Kaiju return a decade later to attack a still recovering world.  

“Jake is the prodigal son,” Boyega told EW. “He is a young guy who was on the cusp of greatness in his early days when he was training to be a Jaeger pilot, but he always had a troubled relationship with Stacker. I’m the son he didn’t really talk about in the first film … the product of Stacker’s first love.”

Father and son fell out, he says, “because of Stacker’s attention and hope and faith in Mako rather than him.” Mako is the Jaeger meister who helped save the world last time, played by Rinko Kikuchi, who returns for the sequel – unlike previous costar Charlie Hunnam.

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This time, Mako is Jake’s protector, despite their awkward history. “He felt he never lived up to his father’s expectations and so he decided to leave the Jaeger program and start stealing for a living,” Boyega says.

Jake thrives as a black market retailer. The monster attacks from the sea have driven the wealthy inland. Middle America is now prime real estate, while the poor populate the coasts, where they could be the first to face an assault.

“When we meet him, he is living in an abandoned mansion in Santa Monica, which is half a mansion anyway because there’s a big Kaiju claw-swipe that has crushed part of it,” Boyega says. “He sells and buys stolen goods, and some of that includes Jaeger parts.”

The masses of poor huddled on the coasts have decided to start building their own giant machines. If there’s going to be a fight, they’re going to make sure they’re ready for it. That brings him into contact with newcomer Cailee Spaeny’s amateur Jaeger pilot, Amara, who is building one of her own battle-bots.

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When the two of them break one too many laws and Mako can’t protect them anymore, they’re given a choice. Actually, not much of a choice. “The only thing he can do to compensate for his crimes is join the Jaeger program and teach the kids what he learned,” Boyega says.

That reunites him with his old friend Lambert (played by Scott Eastwood), who will mind-meld with him to co-pilot on the state-of-the-art new Jaeger known as Gipsy Avenger. You can see them both below, bracing for battle.

“They were brothers,” Boyega says, but that bond broke when Jake ran away. “Being in each other’s heads in The Drift, they know each other’s thoughts, so they have great moments of hashing out what happened in the past.”

 

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While they’re sorting out their grudge, it’s also going to be a monster mash.

“The Kaiju have found a new way,” Boyega says. “They are way more intelligent than we thought they were. The monsters you saw in the first movie were the test run, to see how the planet would hold up. The breach we thought was closed is not their only way into our world. Their plans are more specific. Jake leads the team in trying to build up a new defense against that.”