- "There are things you can't fight - acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you get out of the way. But when you're in a Jaeger, suddenly, you can fight the hurricane. You can win!"
- —Raleigh Becket
CreationThe Jaeger Program was first developed by Dr. Lars Gottlieb shortly after Jasper Schoenfeld proposed the idea for the Jaeger at the 2014 conference in Seoul, South Korea following the fourth Kaiju attack on Sydney, Australia in September.
Prior to the conference, Schoenfeld looked for a more efficient way of killing the monsters without the use of nuclear weapons. Upon witnessing his son playing with a toy robot and toy monster in his room, he came across the inspiration for giant humanoid mechs which could stand up to the Kaiju without resorting to nuclear weapons. Dr. Jasper Schoenfeld's idea was approved by the United Nations.
With the help of Caitlin Lightcap, an expert in brain-machine interface, Schoenfeld was given funding to begin construction on the first prototype Jaeger in a warehouse in Pittsburgh. However, the cost of production made the Pan Pacific Defense Corps hesitant to continue funding Schoenfield and Lightcap. The assistance of Stacker Pentecost in testing the Pons System's effectiveness, however, convinced the Defense Corps. to give the scientists a larger backing than before.
Though the construction of the first Mark-1 prototype Jaeger Brawler Yukon was successful, drawbacks connected to the neural interface overloading the mind of its test pilot brought into question the Jaeger Program's feasibility. Lightcap's risk to bridge with the mind of the next test pilot, Sergio D'onofrio, created a connection between the two allowing them to simultaneously pilot the Jaeger successfully. Pleased with the results, the Defense Corps greenlit the production of more Mark-1 Jaegers that were later deployed across the Pacific in specific countries.
The “Mark" label assigned to each Jaeger refers to the launch schedule. The production program was divided into five annual roll-outs that began in 2015 and ended in 2019. Six Mark-1’s were deployed in 2015, followed by the Mark-2’s in 2016 and the Mark-3's in 2017. Mark-4 and Mark-5 Jaegers were the last produced in 2018 and 2019. Jaegers have no standardized design template; body-types vary widely within each “mark." This level of diversity among the Jaeger designs and weaponry was a tactical response to the high variability in Kaiju shapes.
All Mark-1 through Mark-3 Jaegers utilized nuclear reactors, which put their pilots at substantial risk of developing cancer. Gipsy Danger and Cherno Alpha were the last active nuclear-powered Jaegers to play a part in the continued defense of Hong Kong and mission to assault the Breach. Mark-4 and Mark-5 Jaegers, however, used digital technology, minimizing the dangers to the pilots inside the Conn-Pod.
Unfortunately, the development of the Jaeger program has not come cheaply. The cost of building the Mark-5 Jaeger Striker Eureka, for example, was reputed to be over a hundred billion dollars, more than ten times the cost of a nuclear aircraft carrier.
Deployed and constructed in Shatterdomes, Jaegers are handled and maintained by dedicated teams assigned to each mech. The Jaeger A.I. and LOCCENT Mission Control oversee various operations and deployment.
Jaegers are controlled by two, or rarely three, pilots stationed inside the Conn-Pod. Pilots are equipped in a type of specialized armor that allows them to simultaneously interface with the machine. The pilots' very minds are connected in a neural bridge that allows them to control the machine's every movement.
2019 marked the height of success for the Jaeger Program, with thirty active Jaegers. Of the more than thirty Jaegers built, only four remained in active service as of 2025. Eight Jaegers were lost in 2024 alone when the Kaiju attacked an unprecedented fourteen times, leaving only four Jaegers intact.
The Jaeger Program eventually was phased out and resources were instead redirected towards building the Anti-Kaiju Wall under the Wall of Life Program. Although the latter proved useless, as demonstrated when Mutavore effortlessly broke through the Sydney Wall within an hour of assaulting it, the United Nations still refused to support the continuation of the Jaeger Program. Instead, they consented only to allow Marshal Stacker Pentecost a mere eight months' worth of funding for continued operations out of Hong Kong, using four of the program's recently decommissioned Jaegers as he saw fit.
When Hong Kong came under attack by Leatherback and Otachi, two of the remaining Jaegers (Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha) were destroyed. Striker Eureka would have met the same fate if not for Gipsy Danger's intervention, which fortuitously reversed the tide of battle. The two surviving Jaegers were later deployed (along with a high-yield thermonuclear device) to the Marianas Trench in an attempt to seal off the Breach and prevent more Kaiju from emerging. Unfortunately, they were intercepted by Slattern, Raiju, and Scunner.
While Striker Eureka fought Slattern, Gispy Danger managed to kill Raiju. When Slattern sustained too much damage, it called for aid, leading Scunner to the battle. Striker Eureka detonated the thermonuclear device, destroying both the Jaeger and pilots Stacker Pentecost and Chuck Hansen, in order to buy Gipsy Danger sufficient time to enter the Breach. The blast killed Scunner and severely injured Slattern. Gipsy Danger managed to finish off Slattern and the Precursors within the portal by detonating its nuclear reactor, thereby ending the ongoing threat from the breach and the Kaiju War.
- The following Mark classifications below are in accordance to information provided by Travis Beacham. Jaegers classified as "Unknown" have yet to be given Mark status.
- The word "Jaeger" (usual spelling with umlaut: Jäger) is German for "Hunter".
- According to Stacker Pentecost, Mark-1 Jaegers took a total of fourteen months to build. The Defense Corps' haste, however, resulted in poor or no radiation shielding which puts the pilots in extreme risk of radiation poisoning.
- According to Pan Pacific Defense Corps. website, the Jaeger deployment graph states that five Mark-1 Jaegers were launched in 2015 instead of six. This is likely a result of Cherno Alpha's status being corrected from Mark-4 to Mark-1 by Travis Beacham.
- Tango Tasmania, a Mark-1 Jaeger mentioned in the novelization of Pacific Rim, brings the number of Mark-1 Jaegers produced in 2015 up to seven.
- According to Travis Beacham, the writers had named 21 Jaegers. This number does not include Lucky Seven and Tango Tasmania, but it doesn't mean that there were not more than 21, nor does Stacker Pentecost's citing of the Hong Kong Shatterdome's capacity of 30 restrict the amount of Jaegers to numbering 30.
- The Jaegers were inspired from a well-known Japanese mecha anime genre according to Guillermo del Toro.
Tales From Year Zero
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Pacific Rim
- ↑ Pacific Rim: Drift Space (Blu-Ray Feature)
- ↑ EXCLUSIVE: 'Pacific Rim' Writer Travis Beacham On 'Year Zero' And The Psychic Bonds Of Kaiju Killers
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero
- ↑ PACIFIC RIM Lexicon Entry #3: Mark-(x)
- ↑ Pan Pacific Defense Corps: Shatterdome
- ↑ Jaeger Deployments
- ↑ Travis Beacham: Mark-4 Jaegers
- ↑ Re: Pacific Rim (Spoilers thread)
- ↑ Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization, page 54