Steven Smith Says: I Love Robots, Even If They Can’t Love Me Back

By Steven Smith

The excitement I feel for the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film Pacific Rim can only be described as Dark Knight level proportions. I have been jonesing for big metal robots laying the smackdown on these kaiju since I first heard rumblings in the geek world. THEN we got to sit down with the honorable Guillermo himself and the nerd the fudge out at New York Comic-Con. His love for all the old “Man in suit” films from Japan was inescapable. I thought I was a fan before (Hellboy, Hellboy, Hellboy 2) but now I was target locked and ready to rock like a Jaeger.

I love robots. I always have, R2-D2 and C-3P0 are the ones you’d think I would say awakened my love for them but I trace it back to Disney’s The Black Hole. I couldn’t tell you item one what that movie was about but I remember all three robots, V.I.N.CENT, B.O.B., and Maximilian. I’m pretty sure I have a Maximilian action figure floating around somewhere. These robots were the first who made an impression on me when I realized I cared more about the them getting hurt than the human characters, and no, not in a sentimental Ewok way.

I also love me some Kaiju. The Godzilla movies were a staple in my house as well as Gamera. Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla is a personal favorite but I also like the first Gorija with his honor Raymond Burr. I knew it was a guy in a suit but my belief was suspended from on high and again, though humans got hurt I always found myself rooting for the monster. This feeling will be tested during Pacific Rim, but not by much.

You see, I grew up as an army brat and when my father was stationed in Germany we only had one channel that came through on the base and the only cartoons it showed were the cartoons, some of which were based on the Shogun Warriors: Danguard Ace, Spaceketeers, Starvengers, Grandizer, and mother fucking Gaiking. Gaiking and Godzilla were the first big toys I ever owned, kind of fitting it was giant robot and a big old monster, both with laser that came out of their heads. These animated series were all I had to watch coming home after school and I absorbed them like a tractor beam. I understood fully how the pilot of a giant robot had to shout all of his commands instead of just making them. And it made perfect sense all giant monsters exploded when beaten. Yes, they were flesh and blood, until cut in half by a giant space sword.

The love I feel towards giant robots beating the crap out of big interdimensional behemoths could be felt emanating from Guillermo del Toro and it was palpable in the room. When a director is that excited you can’t help but be swayed plus it stars Charlie Day, Stringer Bell, and Lloyd from Undeclared – how could you not want to see that?! I mentioned the robots, right? Now we have to get del Toro to work on that live action Wall-E. You read it here first!