Next month sees the release of Guillermo Del Toro's new film Pacific Rim. It pits the world against Kaiju monsters rising up out of the sea and the heroes that fight them in their giant robots, known as Jaegers.
It's a film that the science fiction fan in me is eagerly anticipating, but in the meantime, I had a chance to talk to the screenwriter, Travis Beacham, not only about the film, but the brand new prequel comic that leads to the events of the film, but about Star Wars as well.
Legendary Pictures, who produced the film, teamed with their comics line to bring the talent of Beacham to the table and create a comic drawn by a number of top-flight artists and with a cover by Alex Ross.
When I spoke, Beacham explained how the depth of the Star Wars universe inspired the creation of the Pacific Rim universe, and how that created the comic:
"Guillermo and I wanted a world that had depth and texture and had details that weren't necessarily in the movie. We'd already done a lot of prep work and a lot of research in figuring out the back story and the history and the pivotal moments. We knew what we weren't going to use in the movie, but us having figured it out, it forms the trajectory of the movie in a dark matter kind of way, you can tell it's there by the movement of the universe around it. And so when we went to do the graphic novel, instead of doing a straight adaptation, we thought it would be fun to create an additive experience to the movie. It would be fun to take that dark matter material that we didn't use in the movie use it to explore the world."
While the movie documents the last gasp of hope for the human race against the Kaiju, the comic, Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, tells stories from the very first monster attacks on Earth.
When asked point blank if people should be reading the comic before the movie, Beacham said:
I think you could go either way. I would recommend reading it before you see the movie, especially with Idris Elba's character in particular, Stacker Pentecost. He's sort of like Obi-Wan in A New Hope, he has that same kind of expert mystique, but in the graphic novel you get details of his back story so if you read it before hand, it reveals things about certain details in the film in a new and rewarding light.
For my money, I'm so excited about Pacific Rim, I'm not sure I'd be able to wait on picking this book up, doubly so after listening to Travis talk about it in context of the movie.
If you're interested in hearing the complete interview and listen to Travis Beacham talk about working with Guillermo Del Toro and his love of Star Wars, check out his appearance on the Full of Sith podcast.
In the meantime, Huffington Post has been given this look at Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero:
Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero comes to comic book shops this week and is available through Amazon on June 18th.