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While thinking on Pacific Rim, it occurred to me that several factors suggested the Kaiju were actually a creature that goes through metamorphic changes (like how caterpillars become butterflies). Those factors are:

  1. They had identical DNA (I forget who mentions that), yet..
  2. Each had a different appearance.
  3. They became progressively larger.
  4. There were gaps in sending them.
  5. Towards the end, they started to arrive in groups.
  6. They had a psychic connection.

I thought that those points would all make sense if:

  1. The Kaiju were all born of the same parent (identical DNA).
  2. They were a metamorphic creature (different appearance).
  3. Creatures typically become larger as they grow (true of both metamorphic and non-metamophic creatures, but supporting the 'same batch/age' part)
  4. The gaps could be explained by a period in which the creatures were undergoing metamorphosis (like the caterpillar in the cocoon).
  5. The alien intelligence felt the younger ones had less chance of surviving long/doing much damage, so only sent one at a time. Later they progressed to more at once.
  6. The psychic connection again (vaguely) supporting 'relatedness'.

I realize there was no direct suggestion in the film that they were metamorphic. What I was wondering was: Is there any commentary or 'background information' (interviews etc.) that suggests that was a concept the movie makers were considering putting forward, but (for whatever reason) it got dropped during the process of making the movie?

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    You think that's the golden thread that'll make "Pacific Rim" make sense? I'll have some of whatever you're smoking :-P – Valorum Feb 6 '14 at 0:35
  • @Richard No, I think the movie had many plot holes. But perhaps this one has a 'lost in the production details' explanation. And no, sorry, none of it is for sale. ;) – Andrew Thompson Feb 6 '14 at 0:36
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    It should be noted that organisms with identical or near-identical DNA can grow into wildly disparate forms. Social insects come to mind. The DNA only has to allow for variation that is suppressed or enhanced based on simple factors during early development. – John O Feb 6 '14 at 2:42
  • @JohnO Good point that I only recalled now that you mentioned it. Thanks! – Andrew Thompson Feb 6 '14 at 3:57
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    @PaulD.Waite Then it's lucky I'm not American.. :) – Andrew Thompson Feb 6 '14 at 9:28
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No, they are not metamorphic.

The novelization addresses pretty much all of your questions and theories. The kaiju are manufactured using cloned parts, but are each individual kaiju is not a clone itself.

"This was harvested in Manila, six years ago."

I killed the kaiju that gland came from, Herc thought. He stepped closer, crossing from Gottlieb's Prussian fantasy of order to Newt's intuitive maelstrom. He looked closer at the two glands.

They were identical.

Herc looked at Pentecost, who was looking at Newt with absolute concentration. In the background, Gottlieb was making a great show of ignoring Newt.

"Same exact DNA," Newt said. "Two different specimens, two exact organ clones."

"Same DNA," Pentecost echoed.

"Identical," Newt said. "Like spare parts in an assembly line. The entire organisms are obviously not the same, but different parts are absolutely taken from identical cloned snippets of DNA. This is a manufactured organ. It did not evolve this way. There is something more here than just monsters wandering through an interdimensional hole, and we need to know what."

And later...

"The kaiju... the reason I found identical DNA in two separate samples is because they're grown. Fabricated, assembled. Made of spare parts."

From the Research Report prepared by Dr. Newton Geiszler and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb

Dr. Newton Geiszler has conclusively demonstrated DNA repetition among different individual kaiju. Using multiple organs and a number of different individuals, Dr. Geiszler discovered repeated DNA markers in all specimens. These repetitions occur in the same sequences, suggesting three related possibilities

  1. The kaiju are manufactured
  2. Some of the repeated strands of DNA act as encoding mechanisms for a kind of species memory.
  3. The kaiju passing through the Breach transmit their experiences on Earth back to the Anteverse.

Dr. Hermann Gottleib endorses Dr. Geiszler's conclusions.

Kaiju science believes the kaiju are created weaponry. Given this troubling observation, it must be argued that we are in an arms race with the kaiju. The kaiju get larger and more powerful with successive generations (see attached chart plotting size against frequency of Breach openings).

(snip)

We must confront the possibility that new kaiju will have built-in countermeasures to our standard combat protocols.

Finally, Newt contemplates the significance of Otachi being pregnant with a not-clone.

Seeing it was enough to make Newt rethink everything he thought he knew about kaiju procreation... and Precursor strategy. He'd known they had reproductive organs and assumed they could breed, but if a pregnant kaiju had been sent, and gone into combat first before trying to deliver its child...

Newt wouldn't have thought it possible for the news from the Anteverse to get worse, but he had a feeling it just had.

They wouldn't have to build every individual. All they had to do was hit on the right model and get two of them through the Breach to start breeding. If Hermann was right - a long shot, but always possible - that could start happening any time now. If four kaiju came through, and two of them could breed with each other, the other two could keep the Jaegers busy long enough that before anyone could do anything about it, the coastlines of Planet Earth would all be under siege by native-born kaiju.

  • Thanks for that very comprehensive answer. Well, at least I was right about one thing. There was an explanation for the identical DNA/increasing sophistication that got lost between the book and movie! – Andrew Thompson Feb 6 '14 at 1:58
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    @Andrew I'm sure they arrived upon the manufacturing in the movie. I only saw the movie, and I already thought that was the case before reading this answer. – doppelgreener Feb 6 '14 at 3:40
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    @JonathanHobbs Huh.. maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention. In my defense, big monsters fighting big robots ..Super Kewl! – Andrew Thompson Feb 6 '14 at 3:47
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    @AndrewThompson To be fair, I'm not entirely sure how much input Del Toro or Travis Beacham had in the book. These details are "official" in that they're from the "official novelization", but I don't know if they were filled in after the movie/backstory was written. – phantom42 Feb 6 '14 at 13:58
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    Also, I've watched the movie repeatedly (as you say, big monsters fighting big robots!) the production of kaiju is very lightly touched upon, but it's really not explained in any significant way. You come away more with the idea that they're designed than built on an assembly line. – phantom42 Feb 6 '14 at 14:00

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