Pacific Rim: The Problem of the Wall

If you haven’t seen the incredible greatness that is Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM, this article may make no sense to you. It also contains spoilers.


I loved PACIFIC RIM. I cared about the characters, and they weren’t all white and male, which is always nice to see. Also I cared about the INCREDIBLE ROBOT BATTLES WITH GIANT ROBOTS which I am quite enthusiastic about. In discussing it with my pal, something came up in regards to the global shutdown of the jaeger program:

was it ever revealed why the politicians wanted to shut down the program? they heavily hinted that it wasn't a principled decision, but they never revealed the reason.


My purely speculative answer is that, like the US Space Program, Jaegers had become commonplace and there was no political capital left there to justify the (presumably) massive budget. As shooting things into space is the closest thing we’ve got to giant robots, I thought the parallel worked. I also caught an implication that there was political pressure to throw weight behind a job-creating wall–an economically less-risky thing than making giant robots to do epic battle. Plus, a giant public works project in the midst of a worldwide depression is absolutely a massive economy booster, especially compared to Military-Industrial complex rockstar robot jockeys.

The giant wall is certainly a dubious solution for an ongoing threat, but the Jaeger program was so routine that, except for that math scientist who noticed the escalating pattern, people just thought the kaiju would show up randomly and get handled. This was all so lightly touched upon in the film, but I really think the connection to the slow shutdown of the US space program is the clear implication here.





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