The Brachiosaurus death scene in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom tragically nodded back to Steven Spielberg's original entry in the Jurassic franchise, but it wasn't the only Spielberg reference. The scene was also - oddly enough - inspired by E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.
In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, former Jurassic World operations manager-turned-dinosaur activist Claire Dearing recruits former Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady for a dinosaur rescue mission after an active volcano threatens their survival. However, after they discover that the entire mission is a front for an illegal operation tied all the way back to John Hammond's former partner Benjamin Lockwood, they begin unraveling a dark conspiracy that may well lead to the extinction of the entire human race. Also starring Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, and Isabella Sermon, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls) and co-written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. However, amid all the dinosaur action, one of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's saddest scenes tied all the way back to E.T. courtesy of some classic visual imagery that even the most eagled-eyed fans might have missed.
Director J.A. Bayona revealed on his personal Twitter account that the scene in which the Brachiosaurus from the first Jurassic Park is left to die on the island in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom tips its hat to E.T. In the scene, the combination of smoke and fire silhouetting the dinosaur is directly inspired by E.T.'s unique glowing heart. In the movie, the alien's glowing heart functions as a visual, emotional connection to its own species, representing health and vitality, so it's especially heartbreaking that Fallen Kingdom's most emotional scene would borrow from that visual cue. Bayona said in his tweet, "Fun fact: the reference for the look of this shot was the heart of E.T."
While this is an especially resonant moment in the movie, it's hardly the only Easter egg. There are creative nods stemming all the way back to Spielberg's first Jurassic Park, including John Hammond's amber cane, a comedic spin on the driver side mirror sequence in which the T-Rex is "closer than it appears" (this time subbing in Owen for a dinosaur), and even an upside-down Jurassic Park jeep, nodding back to the tree-escape scene involving Dr. Alan Grant and Tim.
The Jurassic franchise is currently a bit of a far cry from the first movie - evolving from an intimate suspense thriller to a globe-spanning action-adventure series - but the Spielberg connections are never far off (see: the Spinosaurus' Jaws-inspired shot from Jurassic Park III). That said, this little Easter egg is proof that it's usually the subtler touches in the series that resonate the most.
Source: J.A. Bayona
- Jurassic World 3 (2021) release date: Jun 11, 2021