- "I'd like to tell you I took a moment to notice how beautiful the city was that morning... but I didn't... I had no idea it would be my last chance."
- —Tendo Choi
Tendo was born in Bejing, China. He was raised primarily in San Francisco. In regards to his nationality, when questioned or prompted to identify his ethnicity, Tendo often chooses "other". Tendo barely speaks Cantonese despite the virtue of knowing his grandfather, Yeye Choi.
During the events of the K-DAY, Tendo works as a ferryman in San Francisco. When Trespasser attacks, he and his co-workers help civilians onto the ferry and move away from the city in order to protect them from the monster. Remembering his grandfather, Yeye, was still in Chinatown, Tendo chooses to leave the docks and head into the city. Tendo is successful in reaching Yeye's apartment before the Kaiju or the army encroaches further into the city.
On the way out of the building, they are caught in the crossfire that reaches his block. Tendo never notices his grandfather is exposed to Kaiju blood as he struggles to start his car. Once the car starts, they are able to escape the city and the two reach docks. They are forced to wait for the ferry to return as the air force flies overhead and continues to force the Kaiju further into the city.
A ferry returns to pick them up, Tendo and Yeye climb aboard and are moved safely away from the battle zone. Tendo, however, is unable to help his grandfather as he begins to die from exposure to the Kaiju's blood. Before he dies, Yeye's last words to his grandson are, "Endure this". Yeye dies in Tendo's arms as Trespasser is killed with a nuclear bomb.
Pan Pacific Defense Corps.
Three years after his grandfather's death, Tendo joins the Jaeger Academy in 2016. Later, as a J-Tech Chief and LOCCENT Officer, Tendo oversees major operations of the Rangers deployed in Jaegers. He is the eyes and ears of their missions, typically responsible for naming and classifying the Kaiju as they emerge from the Breach.
February 29, 2020, Tendo oversees Yancy and Raleigh Becket's mission to stop the Category III Kaiju, Knifehead, from reaching the city of Anchorage. Tendo is the first to pick up on Knifehead's life signs when the brothers assume the Kaiju is dead from several rounds from their Plasmacaster.
Neither he nor Marshal Stacker Pentecost can do anything for Gipsy Danger's pilots as Knifehead gains the advantage and kills Yancy. The aftermath of the battle leaves Gipsy Danger damaged and without a co-pilot. The Jaeger is shipped to Oblivion Bay with the rest of the destroyed or retired Jaegers.
Tales from Year Zero
With Gipsy Danger's reconstruction still underway, Tendo Choi meets Naomi Sokolov, a journalist assigned to write a fluff piece on humanity's fight against the Kaiju. His intention was to head her off at the gates of the Shatterdome to inform her that Marshal Pentecost was away on personal business in Hawaii.
The two eventually begin to discuss the closure of the Shatterdomes and the steady decline of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps' faith in the Jaeger Program. Curious, he asks if she's writing an expose on the Defense Corps. Though she tells him no, he recounts to her his point of view of K-DAY when the Trespasser attacked San Francisco. When the interview concluded, Tendo promises to keep a look out for her article.
He asks for the name of her article, she tells him it's entitled "Why We Fight," and he asks if they could do anything else in their situation. They meet again a month after their meeting in Anchorage. Watching the construction of the Anti-Kaiju Wall in the distance, Naomi laments that she doesn't think she could do any of the stories she heard justice with "a few pages of nostalgia"; she continues to question why the PPDC are abandoning the Jaeger Program. Tendo tells her to write the story she wants. Naomi begins by interviewing Tendo on matters of humanity's future.
In 2020, Tendo began seeing a woman named Alison who works in munitions. Though she was romantically involved with another man, Tendo would continue to pursue her. Tendo later marries Alison, and at some point, Alison gives birth to their son. However, the increase of Kaiju attacks leaves him distanced from his family and stationed at the LOCCENT at all times.
A year later, Tendo is among the handful of personnel still active within what remains of the PPDC. The increase of Kaiju attacks in the aftermath of Gipsy Danger's partial destruction at the hands of Knifehead, was the beginning of the lacking support in the Jaeger Program. He fears that the United Nations decision to relocate them to Hong Kong and provide with a minimal of eight months funding, is the end of the Jaeger Program.
Marshal Pentecost, however, dismisses their lack of support and chooses to continue on fighting without. In Hong Kong's Shatterdome, Tendo reunites with Raleigh Becket, glad to see his friend. He explains that Mako is the one responsible for reviving Gipsy Danger after the fight in 2020 with Knifehead.
Later, he oversees Mako's first Drift. The process appears to go smoothly until Raleigh drops out of sync with Mako and she latches onto the memory of Onibaba's attack in Tokyo. She powers the plasmacaster and aims for LOCCENT. Tendo warns the workers to get out of the area as he, Herc and Chuck Hansen move to disconnect Gipsy Danger from the system in order to prevent the weapon from going off.
The incident grounds both Raleigh and Mako as Tendo detects two Category IV Kaiju, Leatherback and Otachi, approaching Hong Kong. Monitoring the progress of the battle, Tendo and the likes of Hermann Gottlieb are caught off guard when Leatherback uses its EMP to disable Striker Eureka in the aftermath of Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon's destruction. Tendo reminds Marshal Pentecost that everything the Jaegers use now is digital. They won't be able get anything running for two hours. Raleigh is quick to remind them that Gipsy Danger is analog and therefore they can still fight.
In the aftermath of Gipsy Danger's fight with both Leatherback and Otachi, Tendo picks up on two more Category IV Kaiju, Scunner and Raiju, emerging from the Breach. However, he notes that neither are leaving the area of the Breach, but appear to be guarding it. When Striker Eureka and Gipsy Danger are airlifted to the location of the Breach in the Pacific Ocean, Tendo and an injured Herc, relay odd movement in their area.
During the battle at the Breach, Tendo picks up a Category V Kaiju, Slattern, emerging from the Breach. When Pentecost and Chuck attempt to kill it and Scunner, they are only successful in killing the latter. Slattern dies at the hand of Raleigh and Mako as they enter the Breach. After the Breach is destroyed by Gipsy Danger's self-detonation, Mako and Raleigh relay the success of their mission to LOCCENT. Tendo and the rest of the Shatterdome celebrate.
- The depiction of Tendo's account on the Trespasser's attack appears condensed into mere hours in Tales From Year Zero. Pacific Rim and its subsequent novelization cite that Trespasser's attack lasted six days; three nuclear missiles were required to kill it.
- According to Clifton Collins Jr., Tendo Choi is of Chinese and Peruvian decent. However, Travis Beacham cites that Tendo's father is Chinese-Filipino while his mother is Chilean.
- Tendo carries a Rosary with him at all times. His reasoning for wearing it is "in case all else fails".
- Clifton Collins Jr. speculates that Tendo Choi is a man with a "criminal past" or reformed convict.
- Tendo wears what appears to be a nicotine patch on his left arm.
- Tendo has a tattoo on his right hand.
- The badge on Tendo's shirt at the beginning of the film reads, "Commander Choi".
- The "legalizer" tattoo on the right side of his neck is a reference to the 1997 film, One Eight Seven, starring Clifton Collins Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization
- ↑ Tomokazu Sugita, Megumi Hayashibara, Tohru Furuya Cast in Pacific Rim Film's Dub
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Clifton Collins Jr. Talks Tendo Choi in Pacific Rim
- ↑ Travis Beacham: Tendo Choi casting
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Travis Beacham: Tendo Choi's nationality
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Pacific Rim
- ↑ Travis Beacham: Tendo's Rosary
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Tendo Details
- ↑ Tendo's Badge