Launch Date: July 10, 2017
Country of Origin: United States of America
Kaiju Kill Count: 9
Featured In: Pacific Rim (2013)
Though not strictly a character insomuch that Gipsy Danger is a machine, a weapon, in every sense of the word there is still something of a personality to how it moves and functions in the film. That and lets be honest here folks, in a movie featuring giant monsters and robots First however, as I had promised in the film review, allow me to go into further detail on how a Jaeger functions.
As stated previously, a Jaeger requires two pilots to function though it has been noted that a singular pilot can, at the very least, get it to move despite the resulting mental and physical strain. In the initial tests for the neural bridge, or as its more aptly named the Drift, a singular pilot proved to be incapable of handling the strain whereas two minds, each directing a specific “hemisphere” of the Jaeger’s “brain” could work together to get it to function.
This… was one of the weirder aspects of being a Jaeger pilot, or Ranger as they’re called, that I could not comprehend with how little it is explained. Known simply as Drift Compatibility, this “bond” between Rangers seems to apply to those of close relations be it by blood or, in one surprising case, by marriage. I say this is surprising because, in the Drift, nothing is kept secret. The minds of the two Rangers become so closely linked that they share everything, including memories. It is for this reason why most Rangers are of blood relation as they have nearly the same set of memories and so can still distinguish themselves during the Drift and not be caught “chasing the rabbit,” an issue that occurs when a particularly vivid/dangerous memory comes to the fore of the pilot’s mind.
In the film, Drift Compatibility is shown to be something akin to a… similar mindset I suppose, where two people react and fight in almost perfect mimicry of the other. In the case of Gipsy Danger, her original Rangers were twin brothers, Yancy and Raleigh Becket. However, upon Yancy’s death via the kaiju Knifehead, Raleigh found a new partner in one Mako Mori, the adopted daughter of Marshal Stacker Pentecost and one of the people behind the Mark-3 Restoration Program responsible for fixing, and upgrading, Gipsy Danger following its near destruction at the claws of Knifehead.
Piloting a Jaeger also comes with another serious drawback in that the Rangers wear a “Drivesuit” that further links them to their Jaeger. While this serves as a mean of lowering the lag between a Ranger’s brain and that of the Jaeger down to zero, it also has another aspect to it that is supposed to aid in the Rangers’ reaction and fighting capability but I think of it as more a severe design flaw. The Drivesuits can purposefully send signals of pain to the Rangers in mimicry of whatever damage the Jaeger has undertaken.
This was shown especially in the case of Gipsy Danger as being a rather fatal flaw as Raleigh, then being the pilot for the left side of Gipsy, was almost driven to his knees when Knifehead punctured and then tore off Gipsy’s arm.
However, one unique aspect of Gipsy Danger in particular above all other Jaegers is that it possesses a form of artificial intelligence in its systems. Though not a true A.I. in the sense that it can think and act for itself, this A.I. is more of a vocal acknowledger of commands inputted by the Rangers. I bring this up mostly because the A.I. is voiced by Ellen McLain who also voiced one other artificial intelligence; GLADoS and had even gotten permission to use that same voice for Gipsy Danger’s artificial intelligence.
As to weaponry, Gipsy Danger is, primarily, outfitted for melee styled combat. Both arms contain retractable chain-like swords that can either be used as bladed whips or be conjoined together into a true blade sharp enough to slice a Kaiju in two like a hot knife through butter. The elbow of the right arm, and quite possibly the left as well, is outfitted with rocket propulsion to increase punching power while both hands are outfitted with Plasmacasters. Otherwise more informally known as Plasma Cannons, these weapons fire plasma that can puncture through and cauterize a Kaiju though accuracy is a key factor in guaranteeing that the Kaiju is indeed dead.
One distinctly unique feature on Gipsy Danger is the Nuclear Vortex Turbine located at the chest. This turbine can be used to launch concentrated nuclear radiation straight through a Kaiju but only when it is, quite literally, caught well in hand. It has also been used to help slow Gipsy Danger down during a free fall from just beneath the atmosphere.
The thing that I liked most about Gipsy Danger amongst the many Jaegers shown in the film is how it has many human like reactions. True, it is piloted by a pair of humans who actions are mirrored by that of Gipsy Danger itself but when seen on such a scale… You truly get the semblance that Gipsy Danger, than any one of the Jaegers, could almost be alive. They’re not of course but that’s not the point. The point is that may have created monsters of our own to combat against those banging on our door, but at their heart and soul they are no less human.