- "Love is why we fight... that was the breakthrough... and it wasn't mine."
- —Jasper Schoenfeld
Jasper was the professor of Caitlin Lightcap. Despite his marriage to a woman named Nancy, the two became romantically involved. Their relationship ended shortly after Schoenfeld learned his wife was pregnant. After the birth of his son, Nancy and Jasper’s relationship ends in divorce. Jasper suggests his relationship with Lightcap wasn’t something he took seriously; and as a result may have caused problems for Lightcap later in her life around the time she was accepted into D.A.R.P.A..
Tales from Year Zero
During the beginning of the Kaiju attacks, the world was still searching for a better means of fighting the Kajiu than the use of nuclear weapons. When the fourth attack occurred in Sydney, Australia, Schoenfeld is struck with a moment of inspiration when he sees his eight year old son playing with his robot and monster toys in his room.
Prior to the creation of the Pan Pacific Defense Corps, Jasper attends a conference in Seoul, South Korea, addressing the growing Kaiju crisis. When Stacker Pentecost demands to know what anyone will do about the creatures, Jasper takes the golden opportunity and presents his idea for the "Jaeger" in the conference and is given an audience with the United Nations. Later, he approaches Lightcap and asks for help in finalizing his idea for the Jaeger; Caitlin is hesitant to agree, but Jasper assures her that his offer isn’t a charity case and that he wouldn’t ask for her help otherwise. Overwhelmed by his generosity, Lightcap accepts his offer.
Pan Pacific Defense Corps.
Months after the conference, the Pan Pacific Defense Corps is established and the Jaeger Program is underway. Jasper and Lightcap manage to build a single arm for their prototype, but no more. When Pentecost discovers they’ve only managed to construct the arm of a Jaeger, Jasper explains that they don’t have the funding to hire test pilots to test out Lightcap’s Pons technology. Stacker decides to volunteer.
Connected to the Pons, Pentecost (albeit with difficulty) manages to move the arm. With this success and additional funding ensured, the project is relocated to Kodiak Island. Jasper and Caitlin celebrate the move and the prospect of building the rest of the prototype Jaeger. During a conversation, Jasper admits that he regrets how he ended his relationship with Lightcap. Lightcap argues she understood he was starting a family with Nancy.
Jasper, however, says his effort to save his relationship with Nancy meant little, considering she is the one he missed. In the midst of the Jaeger Program’s development, the two reignite their relationship. Jasper, preoccupied with the construction and designs of the Jaegers, is unaware of the relationship developing between Lightcap and Sergio D'Onofrio.
Success with Program
When the first test run of the Brawler Yukon with Adam Casey ends with his death, Lightcap’s concern for Sergio and suggestion to postpone the next demo triggers a bout of jealousy in Jasper, thinking she has gotten too close to Sergio. Lightcap argues that if the next run fails, they lose the entire program. Jasper angrily refuses to postpone the demo.
The following month, Sergio manages to control Brawler Yukon for a time before he starts to suffer from a seizure. When Lightcap decides to try to link up with Sergio, neither herself or Jasper are sure it will work. Yet, Lightcap manages to succeed and the demonstration with the Pons is enough for the higher ups to greenlight the construction of other Jaegers.
Jasper and Lightcap begin to drift apart from each other. Jasper watches as Ligthcap becomes more confident in herself as she trains with Sergio. Realizing the connection between the two was somehow healing her, Jasper is not remiss to let her go when she finally confesses that she is in love with Sergio.
When the Brawler is sent out to fight the Kaiju Karloff in April of 2015, Jasper tries to dissuade Lightcap from joining Sergio to fight. Lightcap assures him that she is prepared. Jasper is astonished by Lightcap and Sergio’s victory.
Nine years later, Jasper relocates to Big Sur, California. His fame as the creator of the Jaeger and involvement in the Jaeger Program left many requesting to interview him on the behest that he tell the story that led to its creation.
He is willing to give reporter Naomi Sokolov an audience when she promises not to mention Oppenheimer. When she asks that he begin with his “eureka” moment, Jasper recounts the previous decade to her, placing heavy emphasis on Lightcap’s contribution to the project. He admits in the end that it was Lightcap’s capacity for love and her willingness to risk her own life that solidified the Jaeger Program. Love was why people continued to fight the Kaiju.