PACIFIC RIM: Christian Unity | FCC 65

In Pacific Rim, the pilots of the Jaegers have to be drift compatible in order to operate those machines. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we use the idea of drift compatibility to discuss the theme of Christian unity.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:04:10 – Pacific Rim Discussion
  • 01:07:20 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:18:15 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:33:40 – Lightning Round
  • 01:39:30 – Upcoming

Unity on the Inside and the Outside

The film Pacific Rim hosts a world overrun by alien sea monsters with plans of destruction for the human race, and the only worthwhile resistance can be found in the Jaeger (German for “hunter”) Program. But piloting a Jaeger proved too much for just one pilot both physically and mentally, so the engineers designed a two-person operating system (so as to mimic the unity of the left and right hemispheres of the brain), and that proved to be the better option.

This image from PACIFIC RIM shows the Jaegers lined up and ready for battle.

These two pilots have to have a special bond, one that transcends comparable physicality and mentality (although those certainly are a part of it). The two pilots have to be Drift compatible with each other; that is, the two pilots have to be so in tune with each other while inside the Drift (the space between their collective conscience and that of the Jaeger) and while unified on the other side that each will be able to be strong for the other when the other is weak.

This image from PACIFIC RIM shows Raleigh and Mako getting ready for the neural handshake.

That’s the kind of dynamic that God has created for His Church when it comes to spiritual gifts. He’s given some gifts to and withheld some gifts from some people while simultaneously giving other gifts to and withholding other gifts from other believers. He does this so as to create a culture of codependency in which believers have to rely on each other in order to love and serve God by loving and serving those whom God has told us to love and serve.

Key Texts:

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

Philippians 2:1-2

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

Use the audio player at the top of this article to listen to the podcast, or use the links below for other convenient ways to hear FCC.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Okay guys, bear with me here because the Pacific Rim episode sent me into geek overload.

    First, John and David beat me to the punch recommending y’all watch Hellboy. My thoughts mirrored Michael’s about that movie, but I think it will pleasantly surprise you as it did me. I’ll toss in Pan’s Labyrinth as well, perhaps even for The List(echo, echo, echo) it’s in Spanish and could be your first foreign language film- who knows?

    On to Idris Elba, who I have quite the man crush on. He may be the best actor on the planet who should be a household name, but is not. I’d stack his skills up against anyone else’s with confidence. If you want to see him doing some amazing work, check out Luther on Netflix, it ran for 3 Seasons for a total of only 14 episodes, with a Two-Part Special due out in the future Elba is indeed a smooth operator, and by the way, did Sade sponsor the last episode?

    I had tempered expectations when I went to see Pacific Rim, and it blew me away. It has one battle scene, I bet you know which, along with the young Mako scene, that rank among my all-time favorites. It’s really just what I would hope for and love in a summer blockbuster. One thing I get from this movie is it’s relevance to 1 Cor 13, especially with Marshall Pentecost. His character shows love by protecting the people of earth, and especially his adopted daughter, and has hope that his greatly reduced Jaeger program can still defend the Earth from the Kaiju. And we also see a willingness to sacrifice on the part of the Jaeger pilots.

    Back in June, The Theonauts did an episode about God as father, where you can hear them talk about aspects of fatherhood you see Idris Elba’s character exemplifying.

    One of the things I love about Pacific Rim is that it’s basically a live action version of anime. The giant mechs and the romantic tension as opposed to sexual tension are a couple of examples. The Matrix is also a film you’ve covered that can be thought of as live action anime. This is a genre that has a well earned reputation for inappropriate material, but that is not ubiquitous. Actually, I have found it very refreshing how sex is often handled in anime, where a romance can occur between 2 characters for a film or TV series where they don’t even kiss, or perhaps just do so once. The end of Pacific Rim reflects this where they just embrace, and you could be confident a western film would have probably had them kissing. Anime has some weird and strange tropes, with heightened emotions and highly distorted animation at times that can be off putting to a western audience. If you can handle this without being taken out of the story, it may be a genre for you. There are many sub-genres in anime, and it can open up a lot of great story-telling to you if you find you enjoy it. So, I’m including links to a few shows on Crunchyroll, which is sort of Netflix for anime. They have apps available for tablets, Playstation, XBox, Roku, etc. And you can watch most of their stuff free with ads, or do a 14 day free trial.

    This show I had in mind specifically for Brenden:

    This show I had in mind for Michael:

    For good measure, here’s a Sci Fi show with mechs:

    Of course, I think you’d both enjoy all 3 shows, but I wanted to recommend something specific to each of you.

    Great job guys, thanks for the show! By the way, what’s more likely to happen first- Brenden watching Doctor Who or Michael watching Lion King? The world may never know. #muhweeladgimli

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