This past March, the Kaiju and Jaegers returned to take over the big screen in Legendary Entertainment’s Pacific Rim Uprising, the follow-up to the 2013 monster hit Pacific Rim. Directed by Steven S. DeKnight, Pacific Rim Uprising starred John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day. The epic mecha movie is now available on Blu-ray, but if you’re looking for a little extra something for that Jaeger fan in your life (even if it’s you), then look no further than Insight Editions’ behind-the-scenes book.
“The Art and Making of Pacific Rim Uprising” (Insight Editions / $45.00), from author Daniel Wallace with a foreword from DeKnight, showcases the incredible concept art for the film and is filled with a wealth of behind-the-scenes insights and imagery. Bringing a whole new generation of recruits, Jaegers, and Kaiju to the screen required the creation of hugely imaginative designs, as well as the casting of a remarkable group of young actors for a groundbreaking international shoot. This deluxe book charts the full process of realizing DeKnight’s expansive vision through a wide range of remarkable visuals and interviews with the key cast and crew. It’s a fantastic addition to your collection, especially for those who want to take a deeper dive into the lore, production process, and insanely detailed designs, many of which never made it into the final film.
Insight Editions was kind enough to provide us with a review copy, and I’m happy to say that it lives up to the quality of their work. Like the name says, readers will find actual, unique insight into Pacific Rim Uprising here since Wallace got to chat with the cast and crew about the making of the movie. You’ll find insights from top-line talent but also concept artists, costume designers, production designers and more. There’s a lot to dig into here whether you’re a fan of Jaegers and/or their human pilots, or if you side with the invading Kaiju.
Also featured in “The Art and Making of Pacific Rim Uprising” is a wide range of special items, including booklets, foldouts, and stickers; these are cool little tactile additions that not only heighten the reading experience but offer extra nuggets of trivia for the movie. (I particularly like the foldout size chart for the Jaegers and Kaiju.) And for as much information as there is to consume in the book, the illustrations alone are worth the cost. There are plenty of movie-polished shots of the cast of characters and their Jaegers in action battling against the Kaiju (and each other), but I absolutely love the concept art here. It goes into crazy detail about the Jaeger pilots and their various costumes (both casual and mech-tech); the machinery used to construct, arm, and transport the Jaegers themselves; the various designs for said Jaegers and which extreme attributes set them apart from each other; and even a breakdown of the alien biology of the Kaiji, complete with species names and abilities. It’s super-nerdy stuff and I love it.
“The Art and Making of Pacific Rim Uprising” will make you want to hop into a Jaeger and pilot it into battle, but if you can’t do that, a strong second option is to watch Pacific Rim Uprising again, now that it’s on Blu-ray.