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In a smililar vein to the question Accents of characters in Downton Abbey:

I recently saw the movie Pacific Rim. One of the conceits of the movie appeared to be that the main characters were all from countries around the Pacific Rim (as those were the countries being attacked). Thus we had pilot teams that were Americans, Russians, Chinese, Australians, and one Japanese.

However, the ex-pilot head of the department was a bit of a mystery to me under this scheme. My first impression based on looks was African-American, but his accent sounded British to me. I know England had a lot of colonies in SE asia, but I don't know of any that have any kind of large Afro-English communities.

I know its just fiction, but for my own mental purposes, what exactly was his English accent, and what Pacific Rim country could he reasonably have hailed from?

After looking into it a bit more, the actor playing the part is in fact British, but that doesn't mean he was trying to do his own native accent.

  • How can you even consider having a serious discussion about this. The accents in Pacific Rim were bad, horrifying, awful. They don't even merit a mention – user48562 Jul 26 '13 at 11:01
  • - the great majority of slaves brought to North America came before the US split from the UK, by the English. – Mitch Jul 26 '13 at 11:53
  • @Mitch - Yes, but my understanding was that the slave trade was exclusively a trans-Atlantic trade. I don't believe any significant numbers of them were ever transported to Pacific ports. Just to be sure, I've opened this as a question on the history stack. Feel free to follow up there if you're interested. – T.E.D. Jul 26 '13 at 12:37
  • @Aaron - I'm mostly interested in the accent(s?) the actor in question was shooting for. – T.E.D. Jul 26 '13 at 12:40
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According to the Pacific Rim wiki, Stacker Pentecost was born in Tottenham, London, and holds British citizenship.

I don’t know the movie at all, but the wiki also says he is the head of the Hong Kong Shatterdome, so perhaps his native British English has simply been influenced somewhat by Hong Kong’s colonial English accents.

  • So presumably the accent he should be going for is either some kind of north London accent, RP, or perhaps Estuary? If it were me, I might have gone with Multicultural London for an Afro-English character, but then when trying to project authority when dealing with other English speakers, perhaps such a character would naturally slide into something a bit higher on the prestige scale. I know here in the USA most AAVE speakers are "multilingual" in exactly this way. – T.E.D. Jul 25 '13 at 20:28
  • Fair warning - unless cited, Wikias are very prone to contain made-up details (don't know about Pacific Rim one, but Harry Potter and Star Wars wikias both have tons of "details" that are nothing more than some random user taking a small fact seen in the movie (e.g. someone having a British accent) and writing a paragraph of narrative around that fact to try to explain it without ANY supporting canon support other that the minor fact they are explaining. – DVK Jul 28 '13 at 19:39
  • @DVK - I was wondering about that. I didn't see any sources there for that entry, and I know on a typical wiki darn near anyone can write anything they feel like. Good ones would revert wrong things, but I'm uacquainted with this particular one, so how do I know which it is? How do I know the author didn't just make everything there up himself on the spot? For that matter, how do I know this answer's author didn't do it just to get an acceptance? :-) – T.E.D. Jul 31 '13 at 19:35

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