The film is an homage to kaiju, which translates literally to "strange beast" but has come to define an entire genre of Japanese science fiction dedicated to colossal monsters like Godzilla and Mothra. In Pacific Rim, the monsters destroying the human race are called Kaiju.
Rise from the Pacific
The Kaiju in Pacific Rim come not from outer space but rather from a crevice in the Pacific Ocean.
A retro poster depicts the massive robots -- called Jaegers -- that humans invent to combat their giant invaders.
Fight for Survival
In Pacific Rim, Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi play a Jaeger pilot and trainee called upon to save the human race.
Giants of Summer
Pictured here, Japan's contribution to the worldwide effort to combat the Kaiju -- a massive and menacing Jaeger called Coyote Tango -- looms over a collapsed bridge. The film hits theaters on July 12, 2013, making it one of the summer's most anticipated tentpoles.
From Russia with Metal
Russia, too, contributes to the effort with this Jaeger -- named Cherno Alpha -- seen in this poster stomping through a snowy wilderness.
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Zoe Saldana transforms into Ellen Ripley from "Aliens" while Nathan Fillion taps into his inner Captain Kirk and Chris Hardwick goes "Back to the Future" as Marty McFly in THR's tribute to graphic novels, with the help of illustrator and artist Reid Kikuo Johnson. View gallery