Audiences will surely recognize actor John Boyega’s face in Pacific Rim Uprising – but his character, Jake Pentecost, is an unknown entity. We’ve known for a while that Boyega (also a producer on the film) will portray Jake Pentecost, the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost from the first film.
Based on the Pacific Rim Uprising trailer, we know Jake hasn’t necessarily followed in the footsteps of his father, but it’s unclear just how far this particular apple has fallen from the tree. Fans may be wondering whether Jake has inherited the same charismatic and heroic traits of his father, but according to Boyega, viewers definitely don’t see him as a hero at first.
Related: Pacific Rim Uprising Gets Official Prequel Comic
In an interview with Empire Magazine, Boyega said, “At the start of the film, he is an absolute crook.” While Jake initially has ambitions to become a Jaeger pilot with the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, the weight of his father’s legacy grows too heavy, and he abandons his dream, as well as his friend Nate Lambert (portrayed by Scott Eastwood in the film). When we first meet Jake in the film, he is a black arms dealer, who “steal[s] from people and sell[s] Jaeger parts,” as Boyega described. Empire additionally unveiled a new photo of Boyega alongside Eastwood. Take a look:
Like the first film from Guillermo del Toro, this Pacific Rim film starts with a lot of backstory and subtext that take the characters through particular arcs through the story. The protagonist of the first film, Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket, began the movie in a similar position, having quit the Jaeger program after tragedy struck. Uprising, on the other hand, looks to play a lot with the theme of legacy. Characters in the world know that Jake Pentecost has a lot to live up to, and we as audience members have certain expectations of the character from what we’ve seen of Elba in the first movie.
It isn’t unlike Boyega’s big breakout in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had the theme of legacy on the forefront. Characters like Boyega’s Finn, Rey and Kylo Ren were all aware of the legendary feats of their predecessors, as do the audiences who cherish the original Star Wars trilogy, and at some point in the story, each feel the need to prove themselves against improbable odds. While Pacific Rim obviously doesn’t have the same history as something like Star Wars, the parallel still remains.
Using the original Pacific Rim as a template, we can expect to see Jake Pentecost go through a similar emotional journey as Raleigh Becket, as he must answer a call in the fight against the Kaiju and reunite with Lambert. And Jake will find himself in the same boat as another new character Amara Namani, portrayed by newcomer Cailee Spaeny, in the female lead role in place of Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori, who will also appear in the sequel.