To the delight of fanboys (and girls) and anyone who has an affinity for gigantic things that smash other equally gigantic things, Guillermo del Toro’s epic action film Pacific Rim premiered in theaters (in the U.S.) today. (Watch the trailer here.)
In the film, the year is 2020 and the denizens of earth are several years into a battle against “200-foot-tall dinosaur-like terrors known as Kaiju—Japanese for monster.” In their terrible rampages, the Kaiju destroy whole cities, especially those around the volatile Pacific Rim. In their bid to crush the alien monsters (which come from “deep beneath the sea — a portal between dimensions in the Pacific Ocean”), humans initiate the Jaeger project.
Each Jaeger (German for hunter) is a mechanical behemoth which is controlled by two human “pilots” who are neurally linked with each other. With their minds melded, these two humans control the massive machine from inside its head (or cockpit). For a while, the use of the Jaegers was successful against the Kaiju, but ‘the invading Kaiju got bigger, faster, and worst of all, smarter.’
Some humans are ready to give up on the Jaeger project, but Marshal Pentecost believes that all he needs are a few good pilots to man the four remaining Jaegers and together they can “cancel the apocalypse.”
Enter Raleigh Becket, who Pentecost believes is one of the men for the job, if only he were willing to allow himself to be linked to another pilot again in order to control a Jaeger. Raleigh had previously been linked to his brother who died in an attack while their minds were melded. The experience is emotionally devastating for him. Eventually, a young Japanese woman, Mako Mori, who has her own difficult past (thanks to the Kaiju destroying Tokyo when she was a child), gets Raleigh to change his mind. Together, Mako and Raleigh meld minds and join with three other Jaeger teams to fight back when the Kaiju attack Hong Kong.
Of course, you know the outcome of the story. After a fair amount of battle between monsters and machines, humanity is saved from utter disaster and the Kaiju are defeated.
Pacific Rim demonstrates a great principle that the Bible encourages us all to emulate — the principle of togetherness. Notice these words from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.
Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?
And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him.
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
In life, it’s so easy to think we can go it alone. Our pride makes us believe we can do things on our own. But some of our greatest heroes show us that together is better. The Autobots would not have been able to defeat the Decepticons without the help of Sam Witwicky and other human allies. Katniss and Peeta survived the Hunger Games by sticking together. And, despite their differences, the X-Men always work together as a team in the end. Even the greatest hero, Jesus Christ, didn’t go it alone when he came to earth. He selected twelve men to join him at the outset of his mission.
No, I’m not simply saying there’s strength in numbers. But, when people (no matter how few or how many) unite in a common purpose fervently holding to a simple belief, they are unstoppable.
Nothing stands in the way of determined togetherness.
You may never face a Kaiju head-on, but you will face some monsters in life. (And, trust me, some them can be downright nasty beasties.) So, when you do, make sure someone you trust is around so you can face the monster together. Because together is better.