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Where would you rather die?
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Spoiler warning for Pacific Rim

Art does not apologize, but I will state up front that I am a photographer, not an author,

I have been reflecting, as many have, on character motivations in Pacific Rim and have to say, Stacker Pentacost is an amazingly complex character. It is my supposition that he did not ever intend to survive the final assault on the breach.

Keep in mind, when he finds Raleigh, he asks him “Where would you rather die, here, or in a Jaeger?". Now consider, Stacker himself is a fighter, a Jaeger pilot (like Marines, you are either active duty, non-active duty, or dead, just sayin’), and massively unhealthy and/or dying. Where do you think he wants to die; directing from the sidelines, or in a Jaeger?

Later, he tells Raleigh, “You’re here because you are the only other pilot to drive a Jaeger in combat solo.". This is key, why would he have needed someone he knew could drive a Jaeger solo, unless he planned for that eventuality to have occurred. His original plan was to allow Raleigh a different co-pilot until the assault on the breach and then bump them for himself. He knew the trip in Gipsy would kill him but had planned for the return of both the Jaeger and of Raleigh. This is one of the many reasons why he did not want Mako to drift with Raleigh, he didn’t want to have to remove his daughter from the mission. There are many other reasons he didn’t want Mako in the Jaeger, but others have covered those much better than I.

I also posit that it was Stacker’s intention to leave Mako in the Marshall’s position while all the other crews assaulted the breach. Obviously that did not happen, but he was still provided the opportunity to die in a manner of his choosing when Herc was injured.

Why?

Because where would you rather die; here, or in a Jaeger?

I know my choice.

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