So I’m over at my local library and, lo and behold, I come across this really cool book. It’s the companion book to the movie Pacific Rim. It’s called Man, Machines & Monsters. Written by David S. Cohen. the foreword is written by the film’s director, Guillermo Del Toro.
I’ve come across my share of companion books for movies. As a matter of fact, I own most of the companion books that came out when the three movies in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy were released. Not only are companion books great for all that cool, behind-the-scenes info, but they’re usually also gorgeously illustrated.
Man, Machines and Monsters is no exception. It’s a big, glossy coffee-table sized book chock-full of photos and illustrations and lots of info about the world of Pacific Rim and what went into creating it for the movie. The book also contains two gigantic posters, stickers (and considering this is a library book, I’m grateful and surprised that no one, so far, has removed any of the stickers.) There’s lots of concept art for the characters, the Jaegers, the Kaiju, the sets and also storyboards, sketches and photos from the movie. There are even plastic ID cards that feature Mako and Raleigh.
And, like any good companion book, there’s background information about the characters. For example, the Wei triplets, who pilot Crimson Typhoon, were initially going to be quadruplets, which makes sense since the Jaegers are piloted by two pilots, but Del Toro couldn’t find any quadruplet actors. He did, however, find, Charles, Lance and Mark Luu, who are real triplets and were cast as the pilots for Crimson Typhoon.
Another interesting tidbit of information is that the distinctive cooling tower shape on top of Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was inspired by “Mr. Fusion”, the power source for Doc Brown’s DeLorean in Back to the Future.
There is a bit of discrepancy in the book, however. In the movie Cherno Alpha is described by Pentecost as a Mark I, which makes sense as it doesn’t look as slick as the Mark IV Jaegers or the Mark V, Striker Eureka (piloted by those gotta-love-em Aussie father and son, Chuck and Herc Hansen), but in the companion book Cherno Alpha is classified as a Mark IV
Hmmm, now I feel like Brandon from Galaxy Quest. Remember that scene when he asks Jason Nesmith the following:
Brandon: Hey, Commander, uh. So, as I was saying, … In “The Quasar Dilemma”, you used the auxiliary of Deck B for Gamma override. The thing is that online blueprints indicate Deck B is independent of the guidance matrix, so we were wondering where the error lies?
Okay, I’m not that much of a nerd.
No, wait, I am. 🙂
Another bit of info about Cherno Alpha is that the Conn-Pod, which is where the pilots are housed and where they control the Jaegers, is located in Cherno Alpha’s chest, which makes it impossible to detach. So, unlike Gypsy Danger, Cherno had no escape pods. It’s like the Game of Thrones if you’re battling the Kaiju in Cherno Alpha. You either win or you die.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of Pacific Rim, you’ll enjoy this book. Just like the movie, it’s big, gorgeous and full of fun stuff.