I might go the risk of a slightly opinionated question here, but it seems to me that Pacific Rim employs quite some unusual forenames for many of its major characters, e.g. Raleigh, Yancy, Stacker, Newton, Hercules (or "Herc"), compared to the more or less Anglo origin of those characters. So is there any further significance to or reason for all those unusual names or was this just an arbitrary decision? (Or maybe those forenames aren't as weird as I think them to be, yet they struck me as pretty remarkable in their frequency of occurrence.)
I think they were just having fun making those names up. In an interview, Guillermo del Toro said:
Travis is truly a genius at world creation and naming. He came up with Jaeger and kaiju. We shared robot names - I put half, he put half - but Hercules Hansen? That’s a fucking name! Stacker Pentecost. He had something weird for Raleigh, I changed it to Raleigh Becket. It was originally Raleigh Antrobus. What a fucking name! It sounded like a suppository.
The imaginative naming of robots was used as a part of a promotion campaign, which I see as a further confirmation that this was done purely for fun.
A movie like "Pacific Rim" really must avoid taking itself seriously, because it'd make it look absurd. So, a healthy dose of goofiness is more than welcome, and the names fit in that perfectly.