One of the challenges facing Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim is the sense that we’ve seen it all. That all the designs for future tech are drawn from obvious inspirations, and that almost everything can be traced to someone else’s ideas. So what’s exciting about the latest featurette for this summer blockbuster is how much everyone says the designs were made to avoid having direct reference points.

Here, del Toro and crew talk about how they were influenced by Anime, but didn’t want their Jaegers (the big robots) to look too much like something familiar. They also talk about how the Jaegers are owned by different countries, which led to different engineering plans, with one big robot a three-armed Jaeger that’s piloted by Japanese triplets. What’s impressive about all of this is how (to this point) Pacific Rim feels like a big complex world, the sort of science fiction fantasy that is so dense it becomes addictive. Here’s that featurette:

In an era of sequels and franchises and reboots, Pacific Rim is — if nothing else — different enough that everyone involved deserves credit for taking a chance on it. Whether it works on not has yet to be seen. But if it does work, well, it could be the first blockbuster in a long time that’s more than just ephemeral.

What’s your favorite Guillermo del Toro film to date?