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Pacific Rim 'drift' featurette details top-notch sci-fi plot device

The new mechs-and-monsters movie has an ace sci-fi concept -- two human pilots are needed for each robot and they must meld their memories.

A new behind-the-scenes teaser for the stupendous-looking mechfest Pacific Rim has appeared on YouTube, detailing one of the film's coolest plot conceits -- how two human pilots merge their consciousness to drive each mega-robot and fight off deep-sea alien monsters.

The first trailer we saw back in December turned everyone here at CNET into slavering dork-muffins, with its colossal Godzilla-like aliens and the gargantuan steel mechs that are humanity's only hope. But there were only brief glimpses of its bizarre dual-pilot system.

Two humans are needed to drive the mechs, according to the film's logic, because it's just too much for one person's squishy little brain. So the pilots have to meld their minds and become as one -- a process called 'the drift' -- each of them a different hemisphere of their battle-droid's brain.

The movie's cast do a valiant job of trying to explain this high-concept sci-fi MacGuffin with straight faces, although the footage of them in their white space suits doing exactly the same movements together looks like Daft Punk doing a boxercise video.

It's a terrific plot device though, as the robo-drivers have to share all their memories, creating a scenario rich with possibilities for human conflict and betrayal -- and fingers crossed, big robots hitting each other.

"You see exactly who they are -- you can't hide at all in the drift," explains star Charlie Hunnam. "You have to be prepared to let somebody literally peek into your soul," says director Guillermo del Toro.

Pacific Rim is out on 12 July in the UK and US, starring Brits Idris Elba and the handsome Hunnam, who's gone a bit Lloyd Grossman since his Byker Grove days. Mexican monster master del Toro writes and directs, his first stint in the canvas chair since 2008's bonkers Hellboy II.

Are you hyped for Pacific Rim? If you had to merge minds with someone to fend off otherworldly colossi, who would you pick? Share your thoughts in the comments, or on the infinite hivemind that is our Facebook page.