In 1993, famed director Steven Spielberg created “Jurassic Park,” based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name. The science fiction film earned $1.034 billion at the box office, making it not only the highest-grossing film of 1993 but the highest-grossing film ever at the time. It held the record for six years. Given its success, it’s no wonder why sequels continue to be made, and in a few months, the sixth movie will hit theaters. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge the origin of “Jurassic World: Dominion.”
The First Five Films
The audience’s first foray into the world of “Jurassic Park” explains the revival of the extinct, larger-than-life creatures. The creator of the dinosaur theme park, John Hammond, needs dinosaur experts to approve the live exhibits before his lawyer will declare the park safe to open. Paleontologist Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), along with chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), show surprise when they witness dinosaurs crossing the land, but concern accompanies their curiosity.
Of course, things go awry when a storm hits the theme park and a hack disables the electronic security system, which lets loose a T-rex and puts three people — Alan Grant and two children — in peril. The action-packed, suspenseful scenes keep the audience on the edge of their seat. In regards to the special effects, “Jurassic Park” offered some of the best CGI of its time and has even held up throughout the decades.
Neither of the following movies in the trilogy could live up to the original, but they still offer excitement. In “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997), Hammond reveals to Malcolm that he has a second, hidden island filled with other dinosaurs before he requests that Malcolm study the dinosaurs there. As always, things do not go according to plan. The last movie in the original trilogy, “Jurassic Park III” (2001), finds Grant agreeing to conduct an aerial survey of the hidden island from the sequel. Too late, however, he discovers the real reason for his group’s travel plans: to save a missing child on the island, which runs rampant with dinosaurs. After an accident, the group is marooned on the island and must find a way to escape.
Although the rebranded “Jurassic World” (2015) comes with a new cast of characters and new dinosaurs, it is not a complete reboot. The trilogy references the previous films and features a new theme park that has built on the research of the previous park. However, a fully operating dinosaur-themed zoo begs for problems. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) enters as a Velociraptor trainer that shares a special friendship with the clawed creature Blue. A new type of dinosaur, Indominus rex, also accompanies the new cast. When the lab-grown dino hybrid breaks out, it creates a chain reaction that causes all the other dinos to escape and rain terror on the crowds at the park.
The film’s sequel primarily takes place on the mainland. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018) was not a hit with everyone, but the sequel did supply surprising twists and new characters, while keeping Grady and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) from the previous movie. Dearing persuades Grady to return to the abandoned island that hosted the last theme park, which will soon be destroyed by an erupting volcano that will also drive all the special creatures back to extinction. The company that accompanied them to the island, however, betrays the heroes. The corporation captures the dinos with the intent to sell them. The main characters try to prevent the auction and, in the process, things go wrong. The end of the movie leaves the audience with the question: “What happens now?”
A Lesser Known Story
All five live-action creations were feature films, but in the modern age, not everything needs a grand release in theaters or on DVD. One less well-known tale is “Battle at Big Rock.” Due to the events in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” all dinosaurs are now free, roaming in the wild. Like an extended end-credit scene, the 10-minute short depicts a family camping trip in the wilderness. Narration from a radio provides context: Dinosaurs are becoming increasingly common and causing more problems, something the family will soon experience. At first, a harmless Triceratops and her baby enter the grounds and the human family watches with curiosity. However, the sense of wonder ends when a carnivore bursts in, hunting for a meal. The excitement escalates with every minute. This is the last movie content fans have before the threequel and gives a sneak peek into the new reality humans will have to face.
“Jurassic World: Dominion”
For seven years, fans awaited the last film of the trilogy, “Jurassic World: Dominion.”
“The Prologue” provides an additional view into the upcoming movie, presenting the opening five minutes. It starts like a dino documentary, showing a variety of prehistoric creatures in the wild: Pterodactyls, Ankylosauruses, Brachiosauruses and an entire herd of Triceratops. The tranquil atmosphere ends, however, when a Giganotosaurus kills a T-rex. The annoying sound of a flitting mosquito fills the air as it lands on the deceased T-rex and takes some of its blood. This, of course, recalls how scientists revived the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” — the blood of a dinosaur was extracted from a mosquito encased in amber. Because of that tiny insect, 65 million years later, dinosaurs still roam the Earth and now they are in the wild.
Released a few weeks ago, the “Jurassic World: Dominion” trailer ignited anticipation, aided by its reunions and callbacks. The main cast and the Velociraptor Blue are not the only ones returning to the big screen. The actors from the original trilogy gather together once more to create another dino-filled film, much to fans’ excitement. The trailer includes many throwbacks to all the movies that came before it, evoking joyful nostalgia in every fan. Some of the parallels are subtle, including the awestruck stare at a Brontosaurus and a Triceratops knocking over a jeep, recalling the 1997 film.
Other references are more recognizable. Reminiscent of the original movie, Sattler, wearing a red button-down tied over a blue shirt, slowly takes off her sunglasses, astonished by the creatures in front of her. Later in the trailer, both the old and new cast venture into the forest. When a Giganotosaurus stomps in front of the characters, both Grant and Grady say the words, “Don’t move.” Anyone who has seen the previous films immediately recognizes the iconic line that advises stillness in the presence of a T-rex. Following that sequence is a clip with the three original characters (Malcolm, Grant and Sattler) standing in a recognizable sequence, the same order as they once did in the original film. The creators were thorough when they crafted the parallels between the trilogies.
Both old and new dinos are introduced in this film. A Dilophosaurus reappears, making this the first time since 1993 that audiences get to see the venom-spitting dino, which also marked the doom of one character in particular. New creatures enter the picture, as well. Cute baby dinos tromp through the trailer, which indicates an issue for humans. Since the dino clones can reproduce, their roaming the Earth will never stop. The trailer compiles clips of the terrors that dinos are causing across the world, which is what every movie has been working up to.
The appearance of some dinosaurs has been slightly modified, especially to include feathers. This change was made to more accurately depict how these creatures actually looked.
Amid the modifications, fans catch a glimpse of a familiar face. Dr. Wu, the geneticist that created the dinosaurs in every “Jurassic Park” film, makes a quick appearance in the trailer, showing that we have not seen the last of him yet. This, coupled with the human DNA in the preceding movie, begs the question if he is trying to clone people, since he knows it can be done. (This achievement was marked in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”)
Opening with a voiceover, the trailer starts with quotes from previous movies. The words, “I wanted to show them something that wasn’t an illusion” recalls John Hammond’s words in the very first movie. He wanted to create a show beyond smoke and shadows, something physical, but he never imagined how much his dream would impact the world.
Another quote is from our favorite chaos theorist: “Life will find a way,” which was originally said to Hammond in “Jurassic Park” in protest of endorsing his creations. Malcolm explains that despite all of the ways Hammond inhibited them, the dinosaurs would manage to overcome those challenges and create their own way of life. Malcolm’s comment foreshadows the havoc the monsters would wreak.
The trailer also includes a quote by Malcolm that is new and gives a nod to the title of the movie: “We not only lack dominion over nature. We are subordinate to it.” Every event in the previous movies has been building to a new challenge for humans and it will finally explode in the conclusion.
The trailer says in amber-colored font, “Experience the epic conclusion of the Jurassic Era.” However, this does not mean the end of the series — “Jurassic World: Dominion” will not be the last film of the franchise. Instead, it will be the beginning of a new era, where humans must adapt to dinosaurs in the wild and as part of their everyday lives.
“Jurassic Park: Dominion” will charge into theaters on June 10, 2022.