- "All these years, I've been living in the past, never really thought about the future until now. I never did have good timing."
- —Raleigh Becket
Raleigh and Yancy were born and raised comfortably in Anchorage with their younger sister, Jazmine, and mother and father, Richard Becket and Dominique Lapierre-Becket. Their father is a hydraulic engineer who works on dams. Their parents would take them on trips, traveling to such places as Munich and Budapest. When Raleigh is ten, he helps Yancy create an armored superhero costume with a cape. Together, they pretend to be superheroes with their mother's lighter and a flashlight, patrolling an abandoned factory outside Budapest to keep "evil at bay". When Raleigh was twelve, he fell in love with a girl named Margit and received his first kiss from her.
Raleigh is fifteen when Trespasser attacks San Francisco in 2013. He and his brother watch the attack as it is broadcast on television. Some time afterward, their mother is diagnosed with cancer. Despite her illness, she continued to smoke cigarettes until her death at an unknown point. After she was buried, their father abandoned them. The two decide to forgo school to join the Jaeger Program.
Tales from Year Zero
In 2016, the two enlist into PPDC’s Jaeger Academy to train and become Rangers. Raleigh believes the people around are far more dedicated to the idea of passing the first cut than either himself or his brother, an observation Yancy is inclined to agree with. Despite their doubts, the two pass the physical and mental requirements to make the first cut of the academy and excel during simulated battles against the Kaiju.
During their time off they meet Naomi Sokolov, a young woman infatuated with Jaeger pilots. Regardless their position as trainees, she flirts with them and writes her phone number on Raleigh’s palm and asks them to call her when they have free time. Confident that her interest lies with him, Raleigh anticipates calling her. Weeks later, Raleigh and Yancy are working through another combat simulation when Raleigh catches a glimpse of Yancy’s memories when he starts to drift.
Discovering his brother went out with Naomi, their combined distraction causes them to lose the simulated battle against the Kaiju. Raleigh storms out of the Academy and heads for a bar, ignoring his brother’s attempts to explain himself. When Yancy finds him, Raleigh accuses his brother of being jealous and wanting everything he wants. Yancy argues he’s tired of waiting for his brother to “grow some balls” and take what he wants.
They get into a fight, trashing the bar in the process. They're later pulled up for their behavior by Pentecost. At his office, Pentecost berates them for their behavior and the lack of respect they show for each other and the bond created by their position as Jaeger pilots. Raleigh and Yancy apologize for actions and are dismissed from Pentecost's office.
Pan Pacific Defense Corps.
Once the Anchorage Shatterdome is established in Alaska, Raleigh and Yancy are assigned to Gipsy Danger in 2017 to defend the coastline of Alaska against incoming Kaiju attacks. Prior to 2020, Raleigh and Yancy are deployed in four different locations around the Pacific Rim to fight the Kaiju. In 2017, their first mission is outside Anchorage in Los Angeles against a Kaiju named Yamarashi. The two are forced to take point in the mission when their partner is unable to stop the Kaiju from entering the city any further. They fight the Kaiju back toward the harbor where they behead it with a cargo crane wire.
Their Conn-Pod is nearly compromised by Kaiju blood before they reach the Los Angeles Shatterdome to be hosed down. The second and third are Puerto San José, Guatemala in 2018 and San Diego in 2019 where they fight Clawhook. December 19, 2019, they accompany Horizon Brave and Hercules Hansen in Lucky Seven to Manila where they fight and kill a Category IV Kaiju.
February 29, 2020, Raleigh wakes to the sound of the Shatterdome's alarm alerting them of the arrival of a Category III Kaiju, Knifehead. Enthusiastic, he wakes his brother and the two prepare to head out in Gipsy Danger.
Supervised by Pentecost, the Beckets are ordered to defend the city from the approaching Kaiju. Yancy notices a fishing boat still out in the storm near the Kaiju's location; Pentecost reiterates that their objective is to protect the city and the boat is inconsequential to the larger picture. The brothers, however, are unwilling to leave the fishermen to die and agree to save them despite acknowledging Pentecost's orders.
Raleigh and Yancy arrive in time to move the Saltchuck out of immediate danger. They are attacked by Knifehead who takes advantage of their distraction. Using Gipsy Danger's Plasmacaster, the Beckets shoot Knifehead in the abdomen three times and assume its been killed when it falls back into the sea.
They let their guard down and are ambushed by Knifehead when it emerges from the water. Raleigh is unable to counter Knifehead's relentless attacks with another attack with the Plasmacaster. Knifehead rams its head into Gipsy Danger's left arm; Raleigh is momentarily paralyzed by the pain received from his suit when Knifehead tears Gipsy Danger's arm from its body.
The Kaiju tears into Gipsy Danger's head as Yancy tries to get his brother to listen to him. Knifehead pulls Yancy out from the Conn-Pod along with a section of Gipsy's head. Raleigh experiences his brother's death through the Drift. Forced to fight on his own, he kills Knifehead and pilots the Jaeger back to the shores of Anchorage where he collapses, still reeling from his brother's death. Shortly thereafter, Raleigh quit the PPDC.
Five years later, Raleigh works building the Anti-Kaiju Wall, volunteering to take on the more dangerous aspects of its construction to obtain ration cards to make a living. During a break, he and the other workers witness Mutavore break through a section of the wall in Sydney, Australia. As the workers complain about how the Kaiju easily broke through the Sydney Wall, Pentecost arrives by helicopter to talk to Raleigh.
Reluctant, Raleigh obliges Pentecost's request and takes him aside. Pentecost tells him he's looking for pilots to continue the fight against the Kaiju. Raleigh refuses, unwilling to Drift with another person after what happened with his brother. Still, Pentecost is insistent on recruiting Raleigh and asks whether he wants to die building the Wall or fighting in a Jaeger. The question is enough to convince Raleigh to follow him to the Shatterdome in Hong Kong.
Pentecost introduces Raleigh to his adopted daughter, Mako Mori. She remarks to Pentecost, in Japanese, that Raleigh was not what she expected. Responding in kind, Raleigh asks if the expectation was good or bad. Mako instead compliments him on his record as a Ranger. Entering the elevator, Raleigh is introduced to Newton Geiszler and Hermann Gottlieb, the last of PPDC's research division. When revealing his tattoo of Yamarashi, Newton expressions his wish to meet a Kaiju face-to-face and his admiration for the Kaiju's strength. Hermann, noting Raleigh's offense, apologizes in his partner's stead, dismissing him as a "Kaiju Groupie". As he departs from the elevator with Pentecost and Mako, Raleigh reassures Newton he never wants to meet a Kaiju up close.
Inside the Shatterdome, Pentecost and Mako give Raleigh the lay of the land; establishing the weapons deal he has with Cherno Alpha's pilots, Sasha and Aleksis; the defense record of Crimson Typhoon's pilots, the Wei triplets and Striker Eureka's status as the first and last Mark-5 Jaeger. Raleigh is shocked by how little of the PPDC remains when Pentecost describes them as a "resistance".
He reunites with Tendo Choi who explains Gipsy Danger's refurbishment was under Mako's supervision. When Mako shows him to his room, Raleigh inquires toward her interest in the Jaegers. Mako confesses that she wants to be a Ranger, but isn't able to because of Pentecost's wishes. Raleigh suspects with her impressive record in the simulation is more than enough to prove she's able to be a pilot, that Pentecost's reasons aren't strong enough.
Changing the subject, Mako tells him she's studied his every move and mission deployments, especially his final one in Anchorage. His tendency to deviate from standard procedure and take unnecessary risks put those at his side in danger. Mako doesn’t believe that Raleigh is the right man for the breach assault. Raleigh, stung by her opinion, agrees, but cites that actual combat differs from simulated situations. The choices he makes in the moment are ultimately the ones he has to live with.
During the tryouts for a new pilot, Raleigh defeats every candidate chosen by Mako. Quick to notice her disappointment, Raleigh questions what her problem is. Mako cites the problem lies not with the candidates she chose, but his below-adequate tactics. Raleigh challenges Mako, appealing to her and Pentecost's pride. Pentecost, initially against it, decides to let her fight. Mako and Raleigh are evenly matched in the fight, Mako emerging victorious when she uses his weight against him and pins his leg in a arm lock.
Impressed by her abilities, Raleigh chooses Mako as his co-pilot. Pentecost, however, denies Raleigh and Mako the opportunity to be partners. Despite the Marshal's opinion, Raleigh tells her that they're Drift-compatible and that he wants her as his co-pilot. Mako thanks Raleigh for standing up for her, but chooses not to disobey Pentecost out of respect. In the mess hall, Raleigh gets to know Herc and Chuck Hansen; Herc is polite to the younger Ranger, but his son, Chuck, is content to mock his inactivity and his choice to work on the Anti-Kaiju Wall.
On the day he prepares to test pilot Gipsy Danger, he is surprised to learn Mako is his co-pilot. The two are prepped for the Drift, and Raleigh warns Mako not to chase the "R.A.B.I.T." (Random Access Brain Impulse Triggers) and latch onto a single memory. Pentecost oversees their initial progress, but is called away when Hermann tells him that Newton has successfully Drifted with a Kaiju brain.
During the Drift, Raleigh falls out of sync with Mako when he latches onto the memory of his brother's death. Though he recovers, Mako is lost lost in her memory of Onibaba's attack on Tokyo in 2016. Still connected to her, Raleigh tries wake Mako from the memory as he witnesses Onibaba's death and her rescue at the hands of Pentecost in Coyote Tango. LOCCENT Mission Control manages to cut power to the Gipsy Danger.
During Pentecost's meeting with the Hansens, Chuck emerges from Pentecost's office and insults both Raleigh and Mako. Raleigh takes Chuck on in a fight that ends in his victory when he uses a variation of the move Mako used against him. Chuck's father intervenes, preventing the fight from resuming. Mako and Raleigh convene with Pentecost, who is convinced that Mako should not pilot a Jaeger after the test. He grounds Mako and dismisses her on her request. Frustrated, Raleigh argues that the Marshal's relationship with Mako and his need to protect her is holding her back. Pentecost warns him against meddling in his personal affairs, reminding the Ranger that he is only present because of his skills as a pilot.
Raleigh meets with Mako later in the mess hall and the two head for the Jaeger bay to watch Gipsy Danger undergo repairs. He apologizes for not warning her about how his brother died. Despite Pentecost's doubts, he believes their connection through Drift was strong. Mako asks how long it's been since Raleigh has seen the "heart" of the Jaeger, Raleigh remarks that's its been a "long time".
Raleigh and Mako are sidelined when Pentecost sends Crimson Typhoon, Cherno Alpha and Striker Eureka out to battle two Category IV Kaiju, Otachi and Leatherback. Despite what appears to be a fight going in the Jaeger's favor, all three are quickly overpowered by the Kaiju who kill Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon's pilots inside their Conn-Pods.
The moment Leatherback fires its EMP, the Shatterdome and Striker Eureka are taken out of commission. Raleigh argues that Gipsy Danger's status as an analog Jaeger means they can still fight the Kaiju. Reluctantly, Pentecost sends Mako and Raleigh out in Gipsy Danger to face Leatherback and Otachi.
Raleigh and Mako are quick to tear the EMP from Leatherback's back, putting it at a disadvantage. However, the Kaiju uses its strength to toss Gipsy Danger from the harbor into the docks. Undaunted by the show of strength, Raleigh and Mako take Leatherback on, countering its every blow and pushing it back further from the city. Cutting Leatherback's arm from its body with Gipsy's Plasmacaster seems to kill the Kaiju, but Raleigh suggests that they "check" Leatherback's pulse and eviscerate the torso of the Kaiju. Entering the city, Raleigh and Mako use a ship to attack Otachi, who is searching the city for Newton.
Otachi proves to be far more resilient in combat, using its speed against Gipsy Danger. Using the mech's coolant, Raleigh and Mako break Otachi's tail from its body when it tries tear into the Conn-Pod. Otachi retreats, and they lose sight of it. During the search Otachi blindsides them, smashing through a building head first.
Without its tail, Otachi uses its talons to grab hold of Gipsy Danger's waist and takes to the sky, smashing them through buildings. Otachi takes them above the atmosphere; as they begin to lose oxygen, Raleigh believes they're are out of options. Mako reveals the secondary weapon she equipped Gipsy Danger with: the Chain Sword. They cut Otachi in half and plummet back into the atmosphere. Pentecost advises Raleigh and Mako to purge Gipsy Danger's reactor to slow their descent.
Acting quickly, Pentecost's plan works and they land unscathed. When they return to the Shatterdome, Pentecost congratulates them and the PPDC personnel on their efforts to beat the Kaiju. Raleigh and Mako notice Pentecost's bleeding from the nose. After he retreats, Raleigh asks how long Pentecost has been sick.
The Marshal recounts the short amount of time PPDC had to build Jaegers in order to fight the Kaiju. The drawback to piloting Coyote Tango was the exposure to the radiation from its reactor. Pentecost tells Raleigh he was once the only Ranger to pilot a Jaeger on his own after his partner, Tamsin Sevier, passed out during the fight against Onibaba. Because Raleigh was also able to pilot Gipsy Danger on his own after Yancy's death, it makes him important to the mission.
Afterward, they are airlifted out to the Pacific Ocean. As they approach the Breach, they are informed by Newton and Hermann that they won't be able to deploy the bomb inside the Breach because it only reads Kaiju DNA. When they reach the Breach, two Category IV Kaiju, Raiju and Scunner, attack the two Jaegers.
Raiju makes short work of Gipsy Danger's armor; tearing its arm from its body. Scunner blindsides them and damages Gipsy further. Raleigh and Mako use the Chain Sword to cut Raiju in half and are confronted by Scunner when Slattern, a Category V Kaiju, emerges to take on Striker Eureka. The subsequent damage to Striker Eureka makes it unable to deploy the thermonuclear bomb in the Breach.
Desperate, Pentecost orders Raleigh and Mako to head for the Breach. When the bomb is detonated, Raleigh and Mako brace themselves against the explosion that parts the ocean around them. As the water rushes back around them, it knocks Gipsy Danger off balance but they're able to recover. Determined to finish the mission, Raleigh and Mako drag a part of Raiju's corpse towards the Breach.
They are halted by wounded Slattern. Gipsy tackles the Kaiju and they fall into the Breach. Slattern stabs Gipsy Danger repeatedly, rupturing Mako's air supply; in response, Raleigh purges Gipsy's reactor and burns the Kaiju to death. After they kill Slattern, they fall into world of the Precursors. Giving his air supply to Mako, he ejects her life pod and moves to set Gipsy Danger on self destruct manually. He escapes in the last pod moments before Gipsy Danger self-destructs.
Raleigh's pod surfaces moments after Mako's. Mako forces his hatch open and assumes Raleigh is dead when she can't find his pulse. She hugs him and begs him not to leave; Raleigh comes to and tells her that he can't breathe. Relieved that they survived, they relay the destruction of the breach to LOCCENT. The two embrace and wait for pick up by helicopter.
Six years into the Kaiju War, Raleigh and Yancy's victories against the Kaiju make the youngest Becket cocky and overly self-assured in his abilities as a Ranger. Raleigh shares a close bond with his older brother Yancy, despite the latter being generally acknowledged (even by Raleigh himself) as the more naturally-talented pilot of the two. When his brother is killed, experiencing his death at the hands of Knifehead rattles him; the emotional loss leaves Raleigh broken, humbled and without the more stable reference point Yancy served as all those years.
Raleigh continues to admire the fighting spirit in humanity, but "hates" people. He is at his happiest when he is left alone. Raleigh is willing to help others at the expense of his own advantage in battle situations. After Yancy's death, Charlie Hunnam suggests that Raleigh prefers to be left alone to himself. Additionally, Raleigh becomes an insomniac and tends to avoid sodas and coffee as a result. A wiser man, Raleigh returns to the Kaiju War ready to put ego aside and help what remains of the PPDC. Travis Beacham cites that Raleigh's characterization is designed to work against the "Chosen One" archetype popularized by characters like Luke Skywalker. Raleigh's choice to return the war is not "driven by fate", but his ability as a experienced pilot.
Although considered reckless and impatient, Raleigh possess a considerable tolerance for mental strain, as shown when he piloted Gipsy Danger alone to safety after a Knifehead attack. Herc, pilot of Striker Eureka, states that only one other pilot has managed to do that. His friendship with Mako and her determination to become a Ranger helps him to move on from his brother's death, encouraging her to fight for what she wants. Despite their rocky start, the two eventually come to share a great amount of respect for each other.
Raleigh Becket is among the most skilled Jaeger pilots in the Pan Pacific Defense Corps' history, and one of only two Rangers who managed to pilot one of the machines without assistance from a co-pilot (the other being Stacker Pentecost). Raleigh's improvisational and intuitive approach to combat often makes him a wild card to the Kaiju and his co-pilots alike, as his unpredictable nature can be either a liability or a decisive advantage. He is found to have high Drift-compatibility with Mako Mori, a younger Jaeger pilot prodigy who follows the rules and takes a perfectionist approach.
This unique combination of mindsets makes the duo uncannily proficient in tactical sense and strategic thinking while in the Drift together, a fact that becomes apparent when Raleigh and Mako proceed to single-handledly take down both Leatherback and Otachi, the two largest Category IV Kaiju on record, after these Kaiju had destroyed Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha and disabled Striker Eureka.The Pan Pacific Defense Corps. trained Raleigh to be a master in hand-to-hand combat.
As a Ranger, he is skilled in multiple martial arts. Raleigh is capable of taking down other elite Jaeger pilots like Chuck Hansen with swift efficiency in a brawl, adapting to circumstances as they develop around him. He demonstrates showmanship by pacing his fights. He finds an equal in Mako, who can best him in weaponized combat. On account of his travels with his family, Raleigh is able to understand and speak different languages, including Japanese.
- The following information was taken from the special feature "Drift Space"
- Ruling Planet: Mars
- Positives: Loyal, brave, resourceful, honest, hard working, earnest, generous, compassionate, trustworthy, committed, thrill sleeker.
- Negatives: Impulsive, foolhardy, vulnerable, withdrawn, hard-headed.
- Secret Dreams: To lead, to save, to rescue those in need.
- Most Happy If: Alone, listening to music or sitting by himself on a park bench just people watching
- Heroes: Winston Churchill, Paul McCartney, Bruce Lee, Moe, Neil Armstrong, Jaques Costeau, Dennis Leary, his uncle Charles Becket, and his own mother, Dominique Lapierre-Becket
- Present Love interest: Mako Mori
- According to Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters, Raleigh has no next of kin after Yancy dies. The novelization cites that Yancy and Raleigh's parents died some time during the Kaiju War, but lists their sister Jazmine among Raleigh's surviving kin. In the Drift Space featurette, their uncle Charles and sister Jazmine Becket are among the his next of kin.
- According to the novelization, when the Beckets visit Budapest, Yancy is eleven years old and celebrating his birthday. However, Drift Space states that Raleigh was ten when he helped his brother create his superhero costume in Budapest. Yancy would be thirteen years old at the time.
- In Pacific Rim, Raleigh states he was fifteen at the time of the first Kaiju attack. However, his birthday (December 11) was after the attack, not before, making him fourteen at the time of Trespasser's attack in 2013.
- According to the novelization, Raleigh is dismissed from the Jaeger Program for disobeying Pentecost's orders.
- According to Drift Space, Raleigh and Yancy are "scrappy fighters".
- Raleigh keeps hard candies in his pockets and chews them when he's nervous.[note 1]
- Raleigh is a World War II enthusiast.
- Because Yancy and Raleigh were still connected, Raleigh knows what Yancy intended to say before he was killed.
- According to the novelization, Raleigh was responsible for naming Gipsy Danger.[note 2]
- During early production of Pacific Rim, Raleigh and Yancy's last name was "Antrobus". However, Guillermo del Toro thought the name was too strange and it was changed to "Becket".[note 3]
- Prior to the release of the film on DVD, Travis Beacham confirmed that Jazmine existed in his "world bible" but would not discuss any further details.
- In an interview with Time Out New York Guillermo del Toro jokingly states that Mako and Raleigh's fight scene was shot "like a sex scene" and mirrored how he met his wife.[note 4] Additionally, del Toro also wanted to show a partnership and triumph between men and women "without a love story" and "soldiers".[note 5]
- When asked whether or not Mako and Yancy Becket were Drift compatible, Travis Beacham instead stated that Drift compatibility is not inherent and that the PPDC likely would not have chosen Mako and Raleigh for partners despite the fact that they chose each other.
- In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Charlie Hunnam stated he could not return for the Pacific Rim sequel because of scheduling conflicts with the remake of Papillon.
- In an interview with IGN.com John Boyega stated that Raleigh died with Stacker Pentecost during the events of Pacific Rim.[note 6] Fans speculated that he unintentionally spoiled a plot thread in Uprising, but he likely confused Raleigh for Chuck Hansen, who died with Pentecost at the climax of the film.
- ↑ del Toro: "[Raleigh’s] main endeavour is to numb himself: work, push-ups, TV droning in the background. He is an insomniac and thus avoids coffee or sodas. The things he genuinely loves are hard candy of really bright colors (he keeps a handful in his pocket and chews them nervously), heights, and adrenaline … Construction equipment is his passion and he reads all he can about WWII."
- ↑ "Mako watched him remember. He could almost feel her wishing for the Drift again so she could experience the memory too. "You named her, right?" she asked. Raleigh nodded." pg. 196
- ↑ del Toro: "Travis is truly a genius at world creation and naming. He came up with Jaeger and kaiju. We shared robot names - I put half, he put half - but Hercules Hansen? That’s a fucking name! Stacker Pentecost. He had something weird for Raleigh, I changed it to Raleigh Becket. It was originally Raleigh Antrobus. What a fucking name! It sounded like a suppository."
- ↑ Interviewer: "That fight scene between the two of them may still qualify as the best sex scene to show up in any movie this summer, even if they are both fully clothed."
Guillermo del Toro: "That’s exactly how I shot it—like a sex scene. That scene was all about two people having an intimate connection after beating the crap out of each other. Basically, it’s the story of my life. And how I met my wife. [Laughs]"
- ↑ del Toro: “I wanted to show that men and women can be friends without having a relationship. Theirs is a story about partnership, equality and a strong bond between partners. It’s important for little girls to know not every story has to be a love story and for boys to know that soldiers aren’t the only ones to triumph in war.”
- ↑ John Boyega: “As you know, Pacific Rim 1 ended with Stacker Pentecost [played by Idris Elba] dying, and Raleigh [played by Charlie Hunnam] dying as well, and they feel like they’ve closed the Breach, but unfortunately the enemy has grown more intelligent and has other ways of doing things, and we are met with a rogue character.”