Awesome McCoolname: All of them! Even the designation 'Jaeger,' which translates to 'Hunter.'
Awesome yet Practical: Jaegers were created because conventionally bombing the Kaiju took days, and would result in tons of collateral damage. A Jaeger punches just as a hard as a bomb and risks far less deaths by battling at sea. They can also physically intercept the Kaiju and keep it from entering a city, which is why the usual engagement range for a Jaeger is called the "miracle mile;" its where the Jaeger can most effectively fight the Kaiju while still keeping it away from a city.
However, as pointed out below, this only applies for Kaiju or anything their size. Otherwise, they're Awesome but Impractical since the cost of the tank shells/missiles/bombs needed to shoot one down is pennies compared to the cost of the Jaegar itself.
Crippling Overspecialization: The Jaegers are built specifically to fight Kaiju, and are oriented entirely for that role. They would be impractical for pretty much anything beyond fighting giant aquatic monsters.
Dwindling Party: By the time the movie takes place proper, there are only four remaining Jaegers left due to the Kaiju becoming more powerful, and time between Kaiju attacks becoming too short for additional Jaegers to be built. The Jaegers numbers drop furthermore during the film, and at the end, none are left.
Eureka Moment: They were conceived by Dr. Jasper Schoenfeld after seeing his son playing with toy monsters and robots, realizing the potential of robotic countermeasures against the Kaiju in the process.
Good Counterpart: To the Kaiju. "To fight monsters, we created monsters." Further following this theme is the fact that both the Jaegers and the Kaiju have classes they are divided into and the fact that both are so large that they require two brains to function.
Good Old Fisticuffs: Jaegers's primary fighting style, although most of them have more powerful weapons.
Gipsy Danger is an American Mark-3 Jaeger. It was stationed at the Anchorage Shatterdome along with Brawler Yukon and Chrome Brutus until its closure in 2024. Despite being decommissioned and transported to Oblivion Bay in 2021, Gipsy Danger was later returned to the Anchorage Shatterdome to undergo major reconstruction and refurbishment under the supervision of Mako Mori and Tendo Choi in 2023. It is one of the oldest Jaegers still in active combat-duty service after Cherno Alpha and had a kill count of nine Kaiju prior to its destruction.
Action Girl: Feminine prounous, plus a feminine shape to the other Jaegers. Striker Eureka being a male brawler, Crimson Typhoon an artful dodging basketball player and Cherno Alpha a Mighty Glacier.
Chest Blaster: The Nuclear Vortex Turbine located in the center of the chest is primarily designed vent excess heat. However, it can also output enough thrust to slow a fall from several thousand feet in the air and can be used as a weapon at close range. It is powerful enough to kill Slattern, the only Category 5 Kaiju ever fought.
Combat Pragmatist: The reason why despite being older and less powerful than other Jaegers, she has a lot of success in fighting Kaiju.
Dual Wielding: Hypothetically possible, but ultimately averted; Gipsy Danger has both a chainsword and a plasma caster housed in each forearm, but she only ever uses one of them at a time in the film.
Handshake Substitute: Pounds her right fist into her left palm as part of combat preparation procedure, showing that the neural link between the pilots has been established.
I Love Nuclear Power: Runs off a nuclear reactor, which is used to power its Chest Blaster as well. This proved to be an important plot point twice: it rendered Gipsy Danger immune to Leatherback's EMP ability and was later detonated (along with the rest of the Jaeger) to seal the rift.
Also uses a pair of storage containers as knuckle dusters, vents coolant to freeze its tail, and uses the exhaust from its chest-mounted turbine to blast a Kaiju to death. Seems this specific Jaeger has a knack for this.
Pride Before a Fall: At the height of the Jaeger program's success, one of Gipsy Danger's original pilots dies in the fight against Knifehead. After that, things started going downhill, with Kaiju attacks becoming more frequent and Jaegers being destroyed faster than they could be replaced.
Rocket Punch: "Elbow Rockets" provide non-detachable variant of this.
Shout-Out: Most likely based on Mazinger Z. Though the concept of Jaegers in general takes a lot from the series, Gipsy Danger especially resembles the namesake robot, down to its most powerful weapon.
Took a Level in Badass: After she was rebuilt, Gipsy gains several upgrades including its Whip Sword, and its pilots became much more careful and thus lending power to her.
Pilots: Chuck and Hercules Hansen / Stacker Pentecost
Striker Eureka is an Australian Mark-V Jaeger designed to defend the coastline of Australia from the Kaiju during the Kaiju War. It was stationed at the Sydney Shatterdome along with Vulcan Specter until its closure in 2024, and had a kill count of eleven Kaiju prior to its destruction. Striker Eureka held the best overall stats of any Jaeger ever created by the PPDC.
A Kind of One: The first and the last of the Mark-5 Jaegers ever built.
The Ace: The newest of the active Jaegers with the highest kill count at 11.
Cherno Alpha is a Mark-1 Russian Jaeger. Piloted by Sasha Kaidonovsky and her husband Aleksis, Cherno Alpha is the last of the Mark-1 Jaeger series and the oldest Jaeger still active in combat. It was assigned to the Vladivostok Shatterdome alongside Eden Assassin and Nova Hyperion, and had a kill count of six Kaiju prior to its destruction.
Badass Normal: Lacks the blades or ranged weapons of the other Jaegers we see onscreen, but it's big, powerful, and apparently held the line in Siberia for six straight years with nothing but wrestling moves and tesla-infused fists.
The Big Guy: The largest and heaviest of the remaining active Jaegers, with a bulky appearance to match.
Cranial Processing Unit: One of the only Jaegers to avert this. According to the Jaeger Designer program and blueprints◊ on the official website, Cherno Alpha's cockpit is chest-mounted, and the giant cylindrical "head" serves as a fuel storage container (and as a giant decoy for any Kaiju trying to kill the Jaeger by destroying its head).
Made of Iron: Even being double teamed by two category IV Kaijus, it takes a solid beatdown to truly destroy Cherno.
Mighty Glacier: Much slower than its compatriots, but powerful, heavily armoured and very well protected.
Stone Wall: Can take a ton of punishment, but has rather few weapons systems when compared to other Jaegers. The lack of agility also hinders its ability to perform in close combat as well.
Power Fist: Cherno Alpha's signature "Tesla Fists" are disproportionately large when compared to the rest of the Jaeger. Much like Gipsy Danger's "Elbow Rockets", they're equipped with hydraulic mechanisms that extend to add extra impetus to punches.
Shock and Awe: As per their name, the fists are also equipped with tesla coils that discharge electricity upon impact.
The Worf Effect: Is easily destroyed by Leatherback after its armor is melted by Otachi's acid.
Wrestler in All of Us: What little we see of it includes an elbow drop and a headlock on one of the Kaiju. The added bulk certainly helps.
Date of Launch: August 8th, 2018
Pilots: Cheung, Jin, and Hu Wei
Crimson Typhoon is a Mark-4 Chinese Jaeger piloted by the Wei triplets. Constructed in Hong Kong Shatterdome, Crimson Typhoon is unique among the Jaegers due to it being piloted by three Rangers as opposed to the traditional two. It successfully defeated eight Kaiju.
The Worf Effect: Is defeated by Otachi when she crushes its head with her tail claw, killing the pilots.
What Could Have Been: Initially, del Toro wanted Crimson Typhoon to have 4 arms, and it would be piloted by quadruplets. Unfortunately, the casting crew couldn't find quadruplets, but they did manage to find identical triplets.
Pilots: Stacker Pentecost and Tamsin Sevier/Gunnar and Vic Tunari
Coyote Tango is the second Mark-1 Japanese Jaeger after Tacit Ronin. It once was one of the oldest Jaegers in active duty before its retirement from combat, which was partially due ineffective radiation shielding and the massive amount of damage it had taken in battle. Coyote Tango has a record of two Kaiju kills.
All There in the Manual: Stacker's copilot, Tamsim Sevier, is shown in Tales from Year Zero but not the film proper.
Glass Cannon: Lightly armoured, forcing it to rely on attacking at range using its "Mortar Cannons".
Heroic RROD: Tamsim Sevier blacked out prior to the fight with Onibaba, leaving Stacker to handle things solo. It turns out that both Rangers were suffering from radiation poisoning from Coyote Tango's inadequately-shielded reactor. Both the Jaeger and its pilots were soon retired, but not before they contracted cancer.
Laser Blade: The game of the movie shows that Coyote Tango has these equipped in both arms, under the name of the Anti-Matter Blade. Whether or not this is actually canon is unclear.
Horizon Brave is a Mark-1 Jaeger and the first launched by the Chinese. It was among the first Jaegers constructed on Kodiak Island, Alaska when the Jaeger Program was greenlit by the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. Horizon Brave had a record of two Kaiju kills before its destruction in battle.
Kill It with Ice: The known specs indicate that its primary weapon systems rely on freezing the Kaiju.
Mecha-Mook: There are some indications that more than one Jaeger of this type has actually been produced.
Nationality: United States
Classification: Mark-1 (Prototype)
Date of Launch: April 23rd, 2015
Pilots: Adam Casey/Sergio D'onofrio and Caitlin Lightcap
Brawler Yukon is a Mark-1 prototype Jaeger. It fought against the Kaiju Karloff in Vancouver and is notable for being the first Jaeger deployed into actual combat against the Kaiju. It was destroyed by an unknown Kaiju later in the war. Karloff was not Brawler Yukon's only kill.
Romeo Blue is the second Mark-1 American Jaeger launched against the Kaiju threat after Brawler Yukon. It was deployed in Seattle to prevent a Kaiju from destroying the city and the Jaeger was destroyed when the Kaiju tore off its arm and smashed through the Conn-Pod, killing the pilots in the process. Romeo Blue has a record of two Kaiju kills.
Fragile Speedster: Lightly armoured. Unlike Coyote Tango, Tacit Ronin has enough agility to evade attacks while being strong enough to engage Kaiju at close range.
What Could Have Been: In the original draft of the film's script, it is the only named active Jaeger in service alongside Gipsy Danger. Its pilots, Kaori and Duc Koyamada, developed a connection with Raleigh and Mako, going from uncertainty to camaraderie. It also had a laser capable of cleaving even a Category 5 Kaiju in half, and faced three of them in the original finale.
Date of Launch: September 14th, 2017
Matador Fury is a Mark-3 Mexican Jaeger. It was assigned to the Lima Shatterdome alongside Solar Prophet and Diablo Intercept. Sometime during the Kaiju War, Matador Fury was destroyed in combat and taken to Oblivion Bay.
Boxed Crook: The pilots, whose stipulation behind their cooperation was if they piloted the Matador Fury "one more time", they could earn their freedom.
Chrome Brutus is a Canadian Mark-3 Jaeger. It was stationed at the Anchorage Shatterdome along with Brawler Yukon and Gipsy Danger until its closure in 2024. Sometime during the Kaiju War, it was destroyed in combat and taken to Oblivion Bay.
Eden Assassin is a Mark-3 Russian Jaeger that was stationed at the Vladivostok Shatterdome along with Alpha Cherno and Nova Hyperion until it's closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Eden Assassin was destroyed in combat.
The Cameo: Its shattered remains can be seen briefly during the UN's evaluation.
Nationality: South Korea
Date of Launch: 2018
Pilots: Pang So-Yi and An Yuna
Nova Hyperion is a Mark-4 South Korean Jaeger that was stationed at the Vladivostok Shatterdome along with Alpha Cherno and Eden Assassin until it's closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Nova Hyperion was destroyed in combat.
Master Swordsman: Both of Nova's pilots competed in fencing at the Olympic level, so it's likely that they later employed those skills while piloting Nova Hyperion against the Kaiju.
The Rival: Its pilots were this prior to the Jaeger Academy. So-Yi and Yuna were both competitive fencers who dreamed of participating in the Olympics. Their hatred for each other drove their rivalry and desire to win a spot on the team. However, in the middle of a match, the Kaiju Emergency Alert System sounded inside the arena, urging its occupants to escape before the Kaiju made landfall. During the escape, So-Yi slipped and hit her head on the floor, knocking herself out. As the Kaiju rose from the water and headed for the arena, Yuna turned back and saved So-Yi just in time from the Kaiju's attack. Their experience during the Kaiju attack presumably brought the two closer together and allowed them to put aside their differences to help one another and the world as Nova Hyperion's pilots.
Date of Launch: 2018
Echo Saber is a Mark-4 Japanese Jaeger. It was stationed at the Tokyo Shatterdome along with Coyote Tango and Tacit Ronin until its closure in 2024.
You Shall Not Pass: Destroyed in the novelization by Mutavore while trying to prevent her attack on the Sydney wall.
Date of Launch: 2017
Vulcan Specter is a Mark-3 Australian Jaeger. It was stationed at the Sydney Shatterdome along with Striker Eureka until its closure in 2024.
You Shall Not Pass: Destroyed in the novelization by Mutavore while trying to prevent her attack on the Sydney wall.
Date of Launch: 2017
Shaolin Rogue is a Mark-3 Chinese Jaeger. It was stationed at the Hong Kong Shatterdome along with Crimson Typhoon and Horizon Brave. At some point during the Kaiju War, Shaolin Rogue was destroyed in combat.
All There in the Manual: According to the novelization, some of its parts (specifically the parts needed for drifting) were salvaged by Newt to use for his first drift with a Kaiju.
Nationality: United States
Date of Launch: 2018
Pilots: Kennedy LaRue and Stephanie Lanphier
Hydra Corinthian is a Mark-4 American Jaeger. It was stationed at the Panama City Shatterdome along with Puma Real until its closure in 2024. At some point during the Kaiju War, Hydra Corinthian was destroyed in combat.
Doubly so when, after one Kaiju easily tears apart the wall in Sydney, they continue to claim that the walls are humanity's best option.
"When you're a pilot, you'll realize that when you're in combat, you make decisions. And you have to live with the consequences. That's all I'm trying to do."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2016
Strike Group: Anchorage Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Gipsy Danger
Played by: Charlie Hunnam
Badass: Is stated to be one of only two people to ever be able to pilot a Jaeger by himself. And when he did this, he killed the Kaiju he was fighting even after Gipsy Danger lost an arm in the fight, then walked the thing back to shore while completely cut off from communication. He may also be the best hand-to-hand combatant in the film; he easily beat every replacement pilot until Mako came along, and Chuck was clearly outmatched when the two fought.
Combat Pragmatist: Has a habit of using improvised weapons in his fights and switching up his fighting styles when his enemy starts to adapt - possibly as a result of the kaiju adapting to the tactics Jaegers were using. Particularly evident in his fight with Chuck.
Dead Sidekick: Slightly averted in that he seemed to be the sidekick to his older brother, Yancy. But this was the main reason why he stopped being a Jaeger pilot. The neural link during his brother's death didn't help.
Genre Savvy: Presumably due to learning from his fight with Knifehead, he becomes this once he comes out of retirement. He typically goes right for the monster's special ability the moment he learns of it (tearing out Leatherback's EMP generator and Otachi's acid sprayer and destroying her tail) and makes sure to quadrupletapLeatherback.
The Hero: Main protagonist and calls most of the shots when partnered with rookie Mako Mori.
The Lancer: To his brother Yancy during the prologue, good-hearted but impulsive and jokey.
Heroic BSOD: Fell into a five-year rut because of having sharing the neural link with Yancy as he died, feeling all the despair and pain of that moment.
Hot-Blooded: Kept fairly down to earth because a live action Domon would definitely look silly, but when he gets into battle Raleigh certainly gets shouty. This may be justified, as the inside of a Jaeger seems to be pretty loud.
Shirtless Scene: Mako gets a glimpse of one across the hall when their doors (opposite each other) were simultaneously open.
Small Steps Hero: Refuses to sacrifice a boat of ten people to save a city of a million (along with Yancy).
Unlikely Hero: During his narration at the start of the film, he notes that he and his brother weren't the sort of people stereotyped to become Jaeger pilots—an occupation that netted you guaranteed fame and fortune at the time. They weren't at the tops of their classes and they weren't the best of the best when it came to sports. What set them apart was their drift compatibility.
Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her normally reserved demeanor, she's just as capable - and just as confident of how capable she is - as Raleigh. This is first hinted at by her attitude when she enters the ring with him; she puts her boots down neatly at the edge of the mat, then struts out in a manner not unlike Raleigh's swagger.
Brutal Honesty: Despite her polite nature, she's willing to tell Raleigh he's not suitable for the final mission. She also has no problem with critiquing his performance, pointing out that he could have taken out all the other candidates two moves earlier.
According to the official novelization, Raleigh deduces that Mako wasn't looking at him for his looks; she was looking at his scars, specifically the ones he got from his battle with Knifehead. Why she did this, he decides, is because she wants scars of her own.
Happily Adopted: Raleigh theorizes this to be her relationship with Pentecost. He's right.
Heroic BSOD: When she starts "chasing the RABIT" during the initial Drift, slipping into the trauma from Onibaba's attack. She recovers, but not before instinctively powered up Gipsy Danger's Arm Cannon and nearly toasting the command centre.
Ms. Fanservice: Defied by del Toro, who wanted a female lead that wasn't a "sex kitten." The closest we got to fanservice with her is the tank top she wore during the sparring scene (which all the sparring participants were wearing). Other than that, she's dressed practically.
Pillars of Moral Character: A plot point. Raleigh, the American, can't understand why she obeys Pentecost's decisions when they are clearly wrong. She replies that it's not about obedience, it's about respect.
Rei Ayanami Expy: While having a rather more well-adjusted and sociable personality and there's nothing artificial about her origin, she's the only Japanese character on the show, is stoic and reserved, fiercely loyal to her adoptive father figure, and sports Rei's haircut as said above. It's even colored blue, though only at the tips. Popular fan consensus is that it's supposed to say, "We took -some- inspiration from Evangelion but didn't try to ape it".
Explicitly invoked in the Japanese dub, where, instead of the actual actress playing her, she's voiced by the same person responsible for Rei - Megumi Hayashibara. You can't get to be a bigger expy than that!
"All I need to be to you and everybody else on this 'Dome is a fixed. Point. Your last man standing. I do not need your sympathy or your admiration, all I need is your compliance, and your fighting skills."
Retired Badass: Was once the Jaeger pilot for Coyote Tango. He is also the only other person besides Raleigh to pilot a Jaeger solo. He comes out of retirement when Hercules is too injured to pilot to Striker Eureka.
"Where you rather die? Here? Or in a Jaeger?" He says this to Raleigh early on, but you can glean the impression that he feels the same way. When Pentecost actually does die at the end, it's in a Jaeger and not from the sickness that was going to claim his life anyway.
When Mako is first introduced, she briefly attempts to speak to Pentecost in Japanese, as she believes Raleigh doesn't understand it (but he does). But that means she knew Pentecost was fluent in Japanese. Thus, this scene is also our first signal that there is more going on than we realize.
Him silently taking a pill (once the Jaeger program is shut down) hints at his Secretly Dying of radiation poisoning.
Good Is Not Nice: In the prologue, he tells Gipsy Danger to ignore a fishing boat in distress.
"You will not risk a city of one million people for a boat that carries ten."
And after they go to save it anyway, and he realizes everything's about to go wrong, he promptly tells them to take the boat and clear out.
Heroic Sacrifice: Both he and Chuck blow themselves up while in Striker Eureka in order clear a path for Gipsy Danger.
This is a nested sacrifice, since he was already dying due to inadequate radiation shielding in the early Jaeger he used to pilot, and going in even the much-advanced Striker was likely to kill him.
The Last Dance: With no other pilots available, he co-pilots Striker Eureka with Chuck Hansen during the final battle even though the radiation poisoning will kill him.
Lonely at the Top: As his opening quote shows, Pentecost is the model of a career soldier taken to its logical conclusion. By deliberately severing emotional ties to his fellow human beings (with the exception of a small few, notably Mako), he makes himself a ruthlessly efficient leader who is able to make heartless yet logical decisions (not saving innocents, not even allowing mourning periods for fallens soldiers) that allows humanity to better survive against the Kaiju invaders. Though it is hinted that this is at least partly a front he puts up for the benefit of all those serving under him, to give them the unwavering leader who is required.
Old Soldier: One of the early Mark-1 pilots, and one of the most experienced pilots, bar none.
Overprotective Dad: Anyone who's read the prequel comic realizes quickly that this is why he doesn't want Mako piloting a Jaeger, particularly Gipsy Danger.
Parental Substitute: Became this for Mako after Tokyo. He adopted her and raised and trained her. The prequel comic shows he adored her.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Stern and intimidating, but is also more than willing to back Newt's ploy to sync up with a Kaiju brain after it yields results (and after initial refusal) and praises Mako and Raleigh's unorthodox tactics in handling Otachi and Leatherback.
Also very gentle with Newt after he drifts with the Kaiju, talking him through sorting out what he saw.
Scary Black Man: His positional authority and commanding presence is quite intimidating when challenged.
Secretly Dying: He is actually dying from radiation poisoning as evidenced by his nose bleeding. Due to the Mark I Jaegers being hastily designed for combat, they were not fitted with internal radiation shields to protect the pilots from the nuclear cores powering the Jaegers. Thus Pentecost slowly became poisoned every time he fought. He kept this a secret from most in order to keep the morale of his men.
Taking You with Me: He and Chuck blow themselves up to take down two Kaiju so Gipsy Danger can seal the breach.
The Wei triplets are former street fighters who have fought the Kaiju several times and became local heroes in China. In 2015, they joined the Jaeger Academy to become Jaeger pilots. They are the PPDC Rangers assigned to Crimson Typhoon, the last Mark-4 Jaeger in existence.
Hometown Heroes: They are described as being this to the people of China and their personal dragon symbol can be found all over Hong Kong.
Red Is Heroic: Their suits are patterned after their Jaeger, Crimson Typhoon.
Reformed Criminals: Before they were Jaeger pilots, the Wei triplets were street fighters in the Chinese underworld.
Lt. Aleksis Kaidonovsky is the husband of fellow Lieutenant, Sasha Kaidonovsky. Together, they defended Vladivostok, Russia from over half a dozen Kaiju attacks and successfully protected the Siberian Wall, which went unbreached by Kaiju for six years. They were both PPDC Rangers and co-pilots of Cherno Alpha, the last of the Mark-1 Jaeger series and the oldest Jaeger still active in combat.
Younger Than They Look: According to the Pacific Rim Artbook, Alexsis is 26 years old. His actor is 43, and looks it.
Hercules 'Herc' Hansen
"We can either sit here and do nothing or grab those flare guns and do something really stupid."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2015
Strike Group: Sydney Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Lucky Seven, Striker Eureka
Played By: Max Martini
Hercules Hansen is the father of Chuck Hansen, a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot, and a veteran of the Jaeger Program. He was a PPDC Ranger and the pilot of both Lucky Seven (with Scott) and Striker Eureka (with Chuck). In the aftermath of Stacker Pentecost's death, he is promoted to the rank of Marshall.
Defiant to the End / Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Even after his Jaeger is disabled, Herc convinces his son to come with him, exit their Jaeger, and fire flares in Leatherback's eyes to buy time for Hong Kong. They succeed in REALLY pissing it off. And he survives that stunt!
Strike Group: Sydney Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: Striker Eureka
Played By: Robert Kazinsky
Charles Hansen is the only son of Hercules and Angela Hansen. Chuck was ten-years-old when Sydney was attacked by Scissure, which resulted in the death of his mother. Following the authorization of the Jaeger Program, his father and uncle both enlisted in the Jaeger Academy in 2015. Chuck himself was “raised in a cockpit” by his father and on the principles of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps. He later went on to become a PPDC Ranger and the pilot of Striker Eureka.
Broken Ace: One of the youngest pilots with the highest kill count, also bad at communicating and dealing with a double dose of Daddy Issues and Survivors Guilt with regards to his father choosing to save him over his mother.
Celibate Hero: According to production notes, he has never had a girlfriend. Instead, he focuses on being the best Jaeger pilot there is. Averted recently on Travis Beacham's tumblr by saying that Chuck wasn't a virgin.
To Mako. Both of them are young and exceptionally talented pilots with war veteran fathers and suitably varying amounts of Daddy Issues, but Chuck is emotional where Mako is stoic. This plays into their interactions with Raleigh as well.
To Raleigh. Pre-Knifehead Raleigh is quite similar to Chuck, showing the same cockiness and eagerness to fight Kaiju. Had the fight with Knifehead gone better, we might be looking at two extremely similar people.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is willing to insult Raleigh, Mako, and even his own father, but nonetheless cares about humanity's survival. He's also extremely fond and affectionate with his bulldog, Max.
Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his egotism, he criticizes Raleigh and Mako not out of jealousy, but because he's actually concerned about their ability to do their jobs. And though his accusation that pilots like Raleigh are what got the Jaeger Program cancelled are harsh, he's not completely wrong. Raleigh lost his brother and got Gypsy Danger nearly destroyed by refusing orders and engaging Knifehead 10 miles at sea rather than within the golden mile of the coast as ordered - It's easy to see how Chuck can hold Raleigh's rockstar-esque, above the rules attitude in contempt. From Chuck's point of view, Raleigh never learned from his mistakes.
Knight in Sour Armor: Chuck's actions and genuine desire to save humankind would have qualified him as a straight hero if it were not for his wrong attitude that pisses off nearly everyone around him.
Survivor Guilt: In the novelization, Chuck is very aware of his father's choice to save him instead of his mother. After all, he Drifts with him. And his father is very aware that his son would rather he had saved his mother.
Taking You with Me: He and Pentecost blow themselves up to take down two Kaiju so Gipsy Danger can seal the breach.
Heroic RROD: Blacked out prior to the battle with Onibaba, causing Stacker to pilot Coyote Tango solo. They both got radiation poisoning from the poorly shielded reactor, and Tamsin ultimately died from cancer.
Eye Scream/Psychic Nosebleed: When he tries to initially drift with a Kaiju brain, the neural load is too much for him and thus his left eye started bleeding.
Handicapped Badass: Strongly implied to be borderline manic or bipolar, which would disqualify him from a career in piloting due to issues with Drift compatibility. Not that this stops him and Hermann from mind-melding with a Kaiju and discovering information that saves the entire human race from extinction.
Meaningful Name/Genius Bonus: Together with Gottlieb; their names are a Shout-Out to Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, who were at one point rivals over the discovery of calculus. (Initially the two scientists were planned to be one character with a mixture of their traits, named Newton Gottlieb.)
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While his efforts to drift into a Kaiju brain were ultimately helpful, it's also what provokes the attack on Hong Kong by the Kaiju's masters. It may also have provided the information needed to tailor-make the Kaiju to counter the three "on-deck" Jaegers.
Additionally, when he realizes out loud that Otachi is coming for him, it results in the entire crowd in the bunker abandoning him in hopes of his death placating the Kaiju.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted. He's a biologist, and think Gottlieb's discipline is a field of theory and guesses. He is able to create a Drifting rig from random scraps, however.
Professor Guinea Pig: When no one is entertaining his crazy-sounding proposal to enter drift with a Kaiju brain, he just straps himself in. He lives, to everyone's surprise, with no lasting damage.
Vitriolic Best Buds: More vitriolic than most examples because Newt considers Gottlieb to be a stuffy rival for most of the film.
Took a Level in Badass: After very nearly getting eaten by Otachi, he's suddenly much less intimidated by Hannibal Chau.
Newt: Hey! Okay, guess who's back, you one-eyed bitch?! You owe me a kaiju brain!
The Xenophile: Harbors a deep and abiding appreciation for kaiju, seeing them as monstrous masterpieces.
Dr. Hermann Gottlieb
"Numbers do not lie. Politics and poetry, promises, these are lies. Numbers are as close as we get to the handwriting of god."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2015
Strike Group: Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: None
Played By: Burn Gorman
All There in the Manual: According to the artbook, he was at least born in Germany if not raised there, and is an expectant father. He is married to a model named Vanessa, according to writer Travis Beacham.
He also studied engineering and applied sciences in Berlin, so it seems fairly safe to assume he's spent many years, if not his entire life, in his mother country.
Big "Shut Up!": Gets on the receiving end from Pentecost when he keeps interrupting Newt's exposition of his neural bridge experience with the Kaiju brain.
Genius Cripple: Uses a cane due to a bad leg and tends to shake heavily when excited. He's also distinctly hunched, though whether or not this is an aspect of his disability or just body language to telegraph his characterization is unclear.
Germanic Depressives: Doesn't quite seem to know what to do with Newt's 'bro-handshake' at first, among other examples.
Handicapped Badass: Has a limp, a hunch, twitches, and walks with a cane. Refuses to take absolutely anyone's shit and helps save the day.
The Smart Guy: Part of the team researching the Kaiju. His speciality is mathematics. Newton thinks it's just a bunch of intelligent-sounding guesses, but his math-backed predictions prove to be consistently right.
Vitriolic Best Buds: More vitriolic than most examples because Gottlieb hates Newt for most of the film, and the two only reconcile when Gottlieb offers to share the Drift with a Kaiju brain to take the neural strain off of Newt.
"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, brother."
Jaeger Academy Class: 2016
Strike Group: Anchorage Shatterdome (formerly), Hong Kong Shatterdome
Jaegers Piloted: None
Played By: Clifton Collins Jr.
Fan of the Past: Dresses a little more old-fashioned and, in the novel, uses more old-school terms and slang.
Happily Married: In the novelization, he hooked up with Alison after Raleigh left the service.
Eye Scream: His left eye was injured when he was in a public Kaiju shelter.
Fake Nationality: He's obviously American, not Chinese. Lampshaded when he says he just mashed up the names of his "favorite historical figure and second-favorite Szechuan restaurant in Brooklyn."
Friend in the Black Market: Stacker gave him exclusive rights for scavenging Kaiju remains in some desperation, and he deals in their body parts. Apparently their bone powder is used for male enhancement.
Genre Savvy: The moment Newt tells him about the drift, Hannibal realizes how screwed Newt is. He also runs away the moment he hears a Kaiju scream. He does make the fatal mistake of Tempting Fate in front of a "dead" Kaiju.
Hidden Depths: He's roughly as knowledgeable about Kaiju as Newt is. In some areas, he knows even more.
Knife Nut: He has a gold-plated Butterfly Knife, and one of the first things he does is shove the blade up Newt's nostril.
Large Ham: According to del Toro, he was originally going to be an actual Chinese guy — but Ron Perlman was brought in precisely to make the character so over-the-top ridiculous that viewers would take the Kaiju more seriously by comparison.
Man of Wealth and Taste: Despite how much of a jerk he might be, he certainly dresses the part of a successful crime lord.
Cool Shades: He has round, gold-rimmed shades that he takes off only once. As it turns out he started using them after a wound he received in a public shelter, during a Kaiju attack.
Significant Haircut: Cuts her hair much shorter after picking up some of her co-pilot's confidence from Drifting.
Student Teacher Romance: Subverted. Despite being a grad student in a sexual relationship with the man who invented the Jaegers, it was loveless and the two break up after she starts drifting with Sergio D'onofrio.
Didn't See That Coming: They and their creators clearly weren't expecting humanity to fight back to any useful effect, something humans theorize on. This is best shown when the first Jaeger utterly demolished its Kaiju opponent.
On the other side, humanity didn't expect that the Kaiju and their creators could think beyond animalistic behaviors and evolve to deal with the Jaegers.
Humans certainly couldn't have been expecting Kaiju Blue when they decided to Nuke 'Em in early attacks...
The Dragon: There are beings on the other side of the portal responsible for creating and sending the Kaiju through the breach.
Eldritch Abomination: So ludicrously large and powerful they are more forces-of-nature that cut swathes of destruction than creatures.
Extra Eyes: Most, if not all, of the Kaiju have more than two eyes.
Hive Mind: They are all mentally connected to one another. Even the still living but damaged brain of a dead Kaiju is connected to the hive.
It Can Think: It had been assumed that the Kaiju were acting on instinct, but nobody expected them to adapt to counter the Jaegers.
Leitmotif: "2500 Tons Of Awesome", which is shared by the Kaiju as a whole. The one exception is Slattern, as detailed in his entry.
Living Weapon: They turn out to be genetically engineered attack dogs of a human-sized race from another universe. The humans don't realize that the emergence of bigger and tougher examples that can better fight the Jaegers is an arms race until the aliens have added projectile acid and EMP attacks and it's too late.
Mix-and-Match Critters: A number of the Kaiju look like a combination of different animal traits. Considering the way they are assembled by their masters, this is not entirely surprising.
People in Rubber Suits: A featurette revealed that Guillermo and the character designers wanted to invoke this when designing the Kaiju as a homage. Basically, the Kaiju are all designed as if an actor would be able to fit into them like a rubber suit, hence why most of them are bipedal.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Knifehead had just swum to Anchorage like planned, it could have slowed Gipsy Danger down for quite a while by causing their deviation to help the fishing boat turn into a dead end.
Wake Up Call Boss: Its fight with Gipsy Danger was the moment that asserted "Jaegers aren't invincible."
Breach Date: January 2, 2025
Adaptational Badass: It's dodgy as to which came first, the novelization, based on an older script most likely or the movie release and so one. The film has her as a Category 4 but serves more as a mook, while the novelization has her tear through two Jaegers before encountering Striker Eureka. Either way she is there to show how powerful Striker Eureka is, and that the wall is useless against Kaiju.
Super-Persistent Predator: Chases a ten-year-old girl down the street and then tries multiple times to grab her out of the alley she's hiding in, despite being so big that just reaching down and grabbing her should outweigh the energy gained from eating her. This is presumably a trait of all the other Kaiju as well.
Bad Ass: Earns it for not only having fought all four main Jaegers but for also having many story breaking powers and despite being cunning still has enough strength to fight in melee. Oh and she does all that while being pregnant too.
Prehensile Tail: The claw on the tip allows it to act more like an extra arm than a tail.
Story Breaker Power: The only entity (Jaeger or Kaiju) with a demonstrated ability to fly. It's obvious that Jaegers were never built for aerial combat. This revelation also should have revealed the wall defense, which had already been proven ineffective, to be a complete waste of time, but it's never brought up. Likewise with its corrosive acid.
Tongue Trauma: After missing its spray of acid at Gipsy, the Jaeger rips out Otachi's tongue (and acid-producing gland) to keep it from trying that again.
Breach Date: January 8, 2025
Acrofatic: Not only is he burly, but he's noticeably pudgy as well. Doesn't make him much slower (or any less menacing) than the other Kaiju.
The Brute: He has a few tricks up his sleeve, but mostly relies on raw brute force.
Didn't See That Coming: Winds up on both ends of this. Nobody anticipated that there would be a Kaiju with an in-built EMP shockwave generator designed specifically to deal with the electric powered Jaegers. Of course, the aliens didn't plan for Gipsy Danger being immune to that.
Fat Bastard: He's rather heavyset for a Kaiju, and is just as vicious as the others.
For the Evulz: One of the few Kaiju who shows signs of open sadism, taking his time with Cherno Alpha and Striker Eureka's crews.
Genius Bruiser: Performs well-coordinated teamwork with Otachi using his partner as bait to set up an ambush, shuts down Striker Eureka just when it's putting itself in a position of vulnerability to use a genuinely dangerous weapon, and is the only Kaiju in the film to use tools.
It Can Think: While not as clever as Otachi, Leatherback is still intelligent enough to use tools, such as a crane for a club. He even lumbers cautiously around the disabled Striker Eureka, clearly thinking it is using the same Kaiju tactic of faking death.
Kevlard: Gipsy Danger has to shoot him nearly a dozen times to make him go down. The individual shots do damage, just not enough to get through his bulk until the damage builds up.
Killer Gorilla: Has a gorilla-like body, although it's named after the leatherback turtle.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Even after Gipsy Danger shoots off his arm and blasts him in the gut several times, Raleigh tells Mako that they need to "check for a pulse." Cue Gipsy Danger blasting Leatherback's body several more times.
Bad Ass: Basically the devil, the first and only Category 5 and the first to actually hurt Striker Eureka without resorting to underhand tactics. And of course there's that little surviving a point-blank super nuke matter.
Beware My Stinger Tail: Not only can they club but are strong enough to stab into Gipsy Danger's back turing their tumble.
Cats Are Mean: When he's on all fours his body looks very feline influenced as well as the shape of his front two hands/claws look like a lion's.
Dance Battler: His tail-end, anyway. He twirls them disorientingly before lashing out with all three to devastating effect.
Dragon-in-Chief: While all Kaiju serve as The Dragon to their other-dimensional masters, Slattern is the worst of them all and serves as the final obstacle of the story.
Final Boss: Sent out at the very end to deal with Gipsy Danger and Striker Eureka.
Leitmotif: "Category 5", a darker, faster-paced, highly varied and even more ominous variation on the main Kaiju leitmotif (complete with choral backing!) which emphasizes the power and dread that Slattern possesses.
Made of Iron: Even compared to the other Kaiju. To the point of surviving the equivalent of 1.2 million tons of TNT blowing up in his face.
Pentecost: Don't use that word. Call it "Slattern", if you must.
Rasputinian Death: Cut open numerous times by Striker Eureka (including having his throat slit and his arms nearly sliced off), has a nuclear bomb explode in his face, stabbed repeatedly by Gipsy Danger, and then he only dies when he's cooked alive by Gipsy Danger's nuclear turbine at point blank until the blast starts coming out his back.
Alien Invasion: The Kaiju are their means of clearing out Earth so they can colonize it.
Big Bad: The force that is sending the Kaiju through the Rift.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Fully aware that humans might try to turn the tables on them by invading through the rift, they programmed it to scan for Kaiju DNA first so only Kaiju could pass through. Eventually a loophole is found around that, though.
Hoist by His Own Petard/Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If sending the pregnant Otachi was a backup measure to kill the interloper Newt via her child, it backfired spectacularly and only provided an easily accessible brain that provided crucial information for the final assault on the Breach.
Laser-Guided Karma: They've completely wiped out countless civilizations in order to drain their planets of their resources, of which Earth and humanity were their latest targets. Humanity, however, fought back and created monsters to fight their monsters. One of these weapons would then make it through the portal they used in order to access our world and nuke them into oblivion.
The Man Behind The Monsters: More like Aliens Behind The Monsters, but it still counts given they're responsible for all of the havoc in the film's universe.
Nested Mouths: Their actual faces pop out of what appears to be a mouth, similar to Raiju. It might be a suit, but who knows?
No Biochemical Barriers: Averted. The Precursors first attempted to conquer Earth during the time of the dinosaurs, but the atmosphere was too hostile for them to move in. Millions of years later, humanity has polluted the environment to their standards, allowing them to move in again.
Oh Crap: Their reaction to seeing Gipsy Danger about to self destruct directly in front of them. Downplayed due to their lack of facial expressions, but you know it is there.
Organic Technology: They apparently wrote the book on this. They have an assembly line of Kaiju.
Planet Looters They apparently move from planet to planet, and will move on when done with Earth.