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Pacific Rim: Uprising's ending explained

If the first Pacific Rim made us all feel like giddy fifth graders, Pacific Rim: Uprising makes us feel like giddy fifth graders just wrote the movie. The Jaeger Brigade is back, but this time they have more swords and move with Transformers physics. One of them even has a lightning whip, because in a fifth grader's mind that's a cool thing to fight Godzillas with. By the ending, we get what we came for — a city-leveling monster mash with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and there's no world in which that's a truly bad thing.

Of course, the humans win the day, fighting back the Kaiju threat by learning the value of teamwork. Even evil Ms. Shao sets aside her corporate greed to go on a suicide mission to the stratosphere, and also suddenly knows how to pilot a Jaeger. It makes you wonder if they really need a cadet school, or if the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps just built it to add drama before each Kaiju battle.

Anyway, let's clear up those pesky little details that you may have missed in the final act. Here's the ending of Pacific Rim: Uprising explained. Spoilers ahead, of course.

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Crazy Newt

Newton Geizsler, resident Kaiju biological expert, was one of the best characters in the first film. A little crazy, a little genius, he was the one who finally put all the pieces together so the Jaeger pilots knew how to close the breach once and for all. How'd he do it? Drifting with a chunk of Kaiju brain.

Clearly, it made him a little crazy. When Newton's first introduced in Pacific Rim: Uprising, you just think he's kind of a jerk because all that success went to his head. That's okay, you think. He'll come back around once there's a real threat to deal with.

Then you see his girlfriend — a chunk of Kaiju brain in a giant jar. So he's a jerk and kinky. Let the guy live his weird life, you think. By the time it's revealed that Newt's private drift sessions with the Kaiju hive mind have turned him into a lunatic brainwashed traitor, you're pretty much prepared for the shock. And from that point on, all the chaos happening in Tokyo is being controlled by him…or is it?

Right before the mega-Kaiju leaves Tokyo for Mt. Fuji, it sidles up to the building where Newt's watching the show and gives him a look…an almost disapproving look. Like that Kaiju beast kind of wants him dead too. Because even though Newt made it possible for the Kaiju to come back, in the end he was just a pawn for their schemes. And while we're talking about that mega-Kaiju…

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Kaiju centipede

After the breaches are shut down, the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps realize that three Kaiju made it to Earth. These three baddies all converge on Tokyo, where the remaining Jaegers take a stand to protect the city by literally throwing the city's skyscrapers at the things, because the government spent all their funds on pretty laser whips and swords instead of useful chest cannons.

In the midst of all this city-destroying city saving, Newt releases his swarm of micro drones that bond the three Kaiju into one massive Mechagodzilla Kaiju, stitching them together like an interdimensional human centipede. If you blinked, you probably missed the transformation, because it happened so fast. One second there are three big lizards, the next there's only one bigger, more robotic one.

In an equally quick moment, the film later shows a hologram of the creature with its three brains — one for each adjoining Kaiju — lined up inside the big beast's body.

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Kamikaze strike

So this massive Kaiju-tron is heading for Mt. Fuji, because falling into a volcano is the best way for the Precursors — the alien species that created the Kaiju — to terraform the Earth to suit their needs. If all that explosive Kaiju blood hits a bunch of lava, it'll erupt and send a cloud of ash and dust all around the Pacific Rim, exterminating humans in the process.

Since the monster has three brains, it also has three weak spots, and the regular attacks aren't going to work. It'll take too long to destroy one brain, let alone three of them. And the mega-Kaiju is already working its way up the slope of Mt. Fuki. This is no time for sparkle whips. With no other option, Jake Pentecost and Amara launch their Jaeger almost into space, planning to drop it directly onto the Kaiju like Kirby's Super Smash Bros. rock smash.

Granted, this is where the physics of the giant robot movie get a little silly, but Pacific Rim actually explains one apparent problem. More or less.

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Knucklehead

When things — whether they be spaceships, meteorites, or robots — fall through Earth's atmosphere from space, they get hot. Super hot. Like 3,000 degrees hot. So how did Jake and Amara survive their reentry in a robot diving head-first with a broken faceplate?

One word: knuckles. As they begin their descent, Jake and Amara position their Jaeger into an epic Superman dive with its arms stretched in front of its head. For a moment, you can see the Jaeger's knuckles turn red hot — it's shielding their open cockpit. Not only does their heroic dive look cool, it's functional, too!

But would that have actually made a difference? Look, we suspended disbelief the moment we bought a ticket for Pacific Rim: Uprising, way before we even got in our seats. Nobody's sitting around debating the science of robot krav maga. Well…huh, they actually are. The point is, the movie at least tried to explain how they survived the fall without barbecuing, and that's good enough for us.

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Pacific trilogy

At the very end of the film in a pre-credits scene, we see Dr. Newton Geizsler being held captive in a dark, gloomy bunker somewhere. He's still off his rocker, spouting nonsense about how the overlords will find a way to come back, and there's no way humans will be able to stop them this time.

Viewers probably felt a minor stirring in their bowels, picturing a third film in the works. But then Jake steps in and says that the Kaiju won't be coming back…because we're coming for them. In film-closing language, that's a guaranteed promise of a sequel. And while film-closings and movie studios don't always speak the same language, there seems to be some understanding between the two in this case.

In an interview with IGN, John Boyega, who played Jake Pentecost and also served as a producer on Uprising, talked about the possibility of a third film, saying "We'll probably have to go to their world this time."

While the box office numbers will ultimately be the deciding factor in whether or not we get to see a third Pacific Rim film, we definitely have our fleshy, normal-sized, non-Jaeger fingers crossed.