With the coming of Jurassic World: Dominion this summer, we’re on the eve of closing the Jurassic World trilogy.
It has been a continuation of the Jurassic Park saga that introduced new characters with old ones returning for supporting roles. It’s quite similar to how the new chapters of Star Wars were developed in what would become known as the sequel trilogy. It also draws on a lot from the previous Jurassic Park movies.
Consider the latest trailer for the film. It presents some new things we haven’t seen in the previous Jurassic Park movies with dinosaurs rampaging tundras and a pterodactyl terrorizing a plane. But there’s a lot of familiar characters and scenes present as well.
The trailer features characters that we’ve suspected of returning and were confirmed months ago. Sam Neill is back as the curious Doctor Alan Grant, first seen meeting his old colleague of Doctor Ellie Sattler, reprised by Laura Dern. The film seems to suggest they haven’t seen each other in quite some time. A more familiar face returning is Doctor Ian Malcolm, reprised by Jeff Goldblum.
His character briefly appeared in the previous Jurassic World movie, 2018’s Fallen Kingdom. In that film, he didn’t even seem to get up from his chair at a public hearing. This trailer reveals he will definitely be getting up and into the action.
There are also a few scenes you might notice from other Jurassic Park movies. There’s that iconic shot from the first film where the T-Rex places his foot into the frame in the foreground with our heroes staring upward in the background.
Our returning adventurer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is there with Alan Grant and they both whisper that useful piece of advice when dealing with towering dinosaurs: “Don’t move.” Of course, Ian is there to provide that snarky commentary we’ve come to expect from his character: “Why do they always gotta make ‘em bigger.”
When looking at the overall tone of Jurassic World, it has both the nostalgic twang of appealing to those who grew up with the film while still trying to capture a new audience of thrill seekers. The first Jurassic Park trilogy has this mixture of wonderment and terror. It has that towering John Williams score that starts with an awe for the dinosaurs. That then transitions into horrors when the dinos get loose and go on a murderous killing spree throughout the intended amusement park.
The trailer for the first Jurassic World film certainly seemed to encapsulate that similar sensation, using a piano version of the original theme to create a heartfelt nature to returning to such horrors. We get the general idea of the premise which reprises the same premise as the first Jurassic Park movie but with a bigger approach.
Consider how the first film featured plans for an amusement park of cloned dinosaurs that never came to be after everything went wrong in the name of greed and misled science. Jurassic World kicks this story up a notch by finishing the amusement park with bigger attractions and more horror when the tourists become targets of the vicious dinosaurs. There’s also the additional exploration of what happens when militaries start taking note of dinosaurs and possibly consider placing them in their armies.
Thankfully, the second Jurassic World film managed to be more than just a reprisal of the second Jurassic Park film, The Lost World. If you’ll recall, the second film featured a return to the island with Ian Malcolm and his daughter, ultimately ending with a T-rex running about a city eating people. Since the film already had a striking resemblance to the silent classic The Lost World, it felt like more of a love-letter to classic prehistoric adventures.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” seems quite similar on the surface. After all, the team of Owen and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) once again return to the island and dinosaurs are let loose on the world. However, the sequel leans further into both the greed that brings this about and the moral questioning of co-existence.
Remember, the event that started this return was the ethical dilemma of whether or not the cloned dinosaurs deserve to die with an upcoming volcanic eruption. For the dinosaur scientists like Owen and Claire, it’s a chance to preserve life when they make the journey. For greedy businessmen, it’s a chance to make a profit by auctioning off such rare creatures.
The film has an incredibly controversial ending for Claire making the tough call to either let the many dinosaurs held in captivity die there or be released into the world. Faced with a hard choice, she lets the dinosaurs loose and we have our premise for Dominion.
So how much of Dominion will resemble Jurassic Park III? From the glances of the trailer, it looks like there won’t be much of the same in terms of the premise. So far, the trailer has featured plenty of scenes with the dinosaurs terrorizing cities and nature, roaring at drive-in theaters and scurrying across rooftops.
It doesn’t appear as though the characters will be returning to the island where it all began as in Jurassic Park III. This seems obvious given that, well, the island is gone. More importantly, the island has come to them as humanity struggles to better handle a world of dinosaurs wreaking havoc on the planet.
The one thing that can be said for certain about Jurassic World is that it has found much more to explore with how dinosaurs interact with the modern world of humanity in the 21st century. It has much of the similar themes about technology going awry and monsters of the prehistoric age terrorizing our world. But it also showcases how that technology in the name of capitalism can go even further, forcing the scientists obsessed with dinosaurs to make tougher choices on a moral level when greedier and dangerous entities control the conversation.
How much of these questions will be explored in Dominion remains to be seen. Director Colin Trevorrow has stated that the film will explore just how humans and dinosaurs could co-exist together. Whether they will or will not will probably be answered by the end of the film but you can be certain there will be plenty of action of man, woman, and dinosaur clashing with bullets, claws, and teeth.