So, according to Pacific Rim wiki, it seems like the name of the Mark I Jaeger is a reference to the Chernobog or, more generally, to the Russian term for "black" (Cherno)... but, given the shape of the mech (with its towering nuclear-reactor-like upper torso part), could it be a reference to Chernobyl incident too?

I have found nothing about it browsing the web, and I got really curious about it.

Is there any out-of-universe or canon information about it?

Thanks (and sorry if the question could look strange)!

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    According to this blog, no. But it is unsourced information. The novelization makes no mention of a connection (the name "Chernobyl" doesn't even show up in the novel). I'll check the making-of book tonight, but I don't recall any connection being mentioned.
    – phantom42
    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:55
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    The wikia points to this concept art with a full name of "Chernabog Alpha" shown, but there's no information as to the provenance of the image; whether it's sourced from the movie process or just fan art.
    – gowenfawr
    Aug 24, 2015 at 13:07
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    Going through the making-of book, there's nothing about the origin of Cherno Alpha's name. Interestingly, while Cherno does have a nuclear reactor on its top, the shape of the head was actually inspired by Mr Fusion from Back to the Future.
    – phantom42
    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:24
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    A lack of a definite answer doesn't make a question off-topic. It's possible that an answer exists out there somewhere and we just haven't found it yet.
    – phantom42
    Aug 25, 2015 at 11:28
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    @phantom42 - The lack of a definitive answer generally indicates that I'm stuck at work :-P
    – Valorum
    Aug 25, 2015 at 17:45

2 Answers 2


These concept art photos (from "Man, Machines and Monsters" the official 'making of' book of the film) clearly indicates that the original name for Cherno Alpha was in fact

Chernabog Alpha

enter image description here

Obviously, the genesis for this is Chernobog, the slavic proto-deity rather than Chernobyl, the nuclear power station.

Chernobog (Proto-Slavic *čĭrnŭ 'black' and *bogŭ "god"), also spelled as Chernabog ... is a Slavic deity, whose name means black god ... The only historical sources, which are Christian ones, interpret him as a dark, accursed god ... The name is attested only among West Slavic tribes of the 12th century ... He is the counterpart of Belobog. - edits mine

That being said, it's interesting to note that the etymology of the word "Chernobyl" is actually quite similar, literally meaning "Black Root"

  • Yeah, I suppose the making-of book clears up all the doubts :D As the other answer pointed out, it would have been really black-humor-ish to give such name to a Russian Jaeger ;) Thanks! Aug 25, 2015 at 17:40
  • "etymology of the word "Chernobyl" is actually quite similar, literally meaning "Black Root"" - [citation needed]. May 11, 2017 at 11:47
  • @Gallifreyan - Chornobyl is Russian for black wormwood root (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl).
    – Valorum
    May 11, 2017 at 13:35
  • * Ukrainian. Explains why I hadn't heard of its origin. We use the part "быль" (byl) for grass too, but it's not common at all. May 11, 2017 at 17:35

I don't have a canon proof, but logically speaking, your theory doesn't seem to make any sense.

Chernobyl was one of the greatest technological accidents in USSR/Russia's history, and a major embarrassment to their national sense of greatness and pride.

As such, Russia naming a major heroic defender after it would make absolutely no sense, in-universe.

That's like British naming their Jaeger "Titanic".

As the commentors noted, a far more plausible allusion is "Chernobog" - which not only makes a lot more sense as far as naming BAMF mecha from Russia, but is also a name and allusion familiar to Western nerds (among other reasons, from Heirs or Alexandria series by Flint, Lackey and Freer; Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and Disney's Fantasia).

As was noted, there's even a shot of concept art for its feet on Wikia that explicitly gives the Jaeger's full name as "Chernobog". It doesn't say what the image's source is, but the date on it seems to be more inline with official studio concept art and not fanart:

enter image description here

  • See answer above. It's from the "making of book".
    – Valorum
    Aug 25, 2015 at 17:25
  • Chernobog was indeed my first guess but, since the shape of the energy cell and the name, I had some "wait a minute!" moment :D > irony mode on: BTW, naming a British Jaeger "Titanic" would have been both quite funny and foreshadowing, indeed (considering Jaeger fight in water for 3/4 of the fights during the movie)! Aug 25, 2015 at 17:38

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