Warning: SPOILERS Below for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a game-changer – not just because it ends by setting up a Dinopocalypse, but because it totally retcons the original Jurassic Park. When Colin Trevorrow took over as the architect of the franchise and planned a new Jurassic World trilogy, his ideas included ultimately doing away with the very concept for Jurassic Park itself. With Fallen Kingdom (which was co-written by Trevorrow and directed by J.A. Bayona), the Jurassic saga has taken a big step forward and left the classic park behind for good.
The original concept for Jurassic Park, authored by the late Michael Crichton in his best-selling novel, was a simple and powerful idea: what if there was an island theme park full of living dinosaurs? Crichton constructed a parable warning about the dangers of genetic manipulation and cloning, and both in the novel and Steven Spielberg’s 1993 mega-blockbuster adaptation, the park is overrun by the dinosaurs before it ever opens. The next two sequels kept the action contained, this time on a neighboring island also filled with dangerous dinosaurs, except for a T-Rex that’s transported to the mainland and terrorizes San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
With Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow soft rebooted the franchise to show what Spielberg didn’t. Fans got to see the theme park fully operational and filled with happy guests – until the hybrid dinosaur Indominus rex got loose and ultimately caused the rest of the dinosaurs to escape and overrun the island. Now, Fallen Kingdom does away with the Jurassic Park idea altogether – the island of Isla Nublar is literally destroyed by an erupting volcano and the dinosaurs are brought into the rest of the world.
However, Jurassic World 2 also changed the very origins of Jurassic Park itself so that things aren’t quite the way fans remembered them from the original film. Here’s how Fallen Kingdom retconned the 1993 classic to make it fit the new narrative of the franchise:
- This Page: The Changes To Jurassic Park’s Creator
- Page 2: Fallen Kingdom Changes (and Destroys) Jurassic Park
Who Was John Hammond?
Will the real John Hammond please stand up? The “father of Jurassic Park” has now been retconned twice, and thus, it’s difficult for fans to get a clear picture of the late billionaire. In Michael Crichton’s novel, John Hammond was actually one of the villains; he was a cold, ruthless CEO who wanted to exploit the genetically engineered dinosaurs strictly for profit instead of using the technology to help Mankind. Hammond even states, “Personally, I would never help Mankind.”
However, in the Jurassic Park movies, John Hammond was retconned to be the opposite of Crichton’s version. As portrayed by the late Sir Richard Attenborough, Hammond was a kindly (though misguided) philanthropist whose goal with Jurassic Park was to “capture the imagination of the whole planet.” True, he also wanted to profit from his venture, but in a revealing moment with Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Hammond confessed his beginnings as a showman running a motorized flea circus and bared his soul that with the dinosaurs, he wanted to show the world “something real.” When confronted with the dangers of the dinosaurs let loose and overrunning the island, Hammond realized the error of his ways and escaped with his family and guests. In The Lost World (the second and final appearance of Attenborough), Hammond was repentant and insisted the dinosaurs be left alone on the island so that nature could take its course.
Jurassic World honored the now-deceased Hammond as the founder of the park with a statue, but there’s already a slight retcon when Simon Masrani, the park’s new owner (who died in the film), said that Hammond entrusted him with “his dying wish” to see the park opened – which contradicts how Hammond felt the animals should be kept isolated from Mankind the last time fans actually saw the old billionaire in 1997.
Fallen Kingdom changes Hammond’s story yet again by revealing he had a heretofore unmentioned business partner – a fellow billionaire dinosaur enthusiast named Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), who echoed Hammond’s later ideas of leaving the dinosaurs alone. The ailing Lockwood and Hammond had a falling out over Jurassic World 2‘s big twist: Lockwood uses the genetic technology to clone his dead daughter. Hammond balked at Lockwood’s plan, though the details and reasoning behind their argument (why is cloning dinosaurs okay but cloning people aren’t?) are left murky by the film. Ultimately, Hammond cut Lockwood out of his Jurassic Park plans while Lockwood went ahead and cloned his daughter anyway (possibly waiting until after Hammond had died to do so). However, Fallen Kingdom seems to imply Hammond was more of a scientist than his previous depictions as a visionary and financier indicated.
Basically, John Hammond has become less of a character and more of a malleable plot device whose ‘legend’ is altered to suit whatever the franchise’s new story needs Jurassic Park’s founder to be. It’s true, a billionaire of Hammond’s age and accomplishments must have led a complicated life, but the character as it stands now feels inconsistent with earlier depictions.
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