Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is largely setup for Jurassic World 3, establishing a new status quo in which dinosaurs have been unleashed across the face of the Earth. No longer are the prehistoric creatures restricted to a single island; now, they're free to roam in North America, and the Mosasaurus is enjoying snacking on surfers for good measure. Worse still, genetic samples and dinosaur eggs have been obtained by shady corporations and potentially even rogue nation-states. It's the logical progression of the Jurassic World franchise, finally making sense of the film series's title. As Dr. Ian Malcolm observes, "Welcome to Jurassic World."
According to Colin Trevorrow, this was part of his original pitch. Even when he was shooting the first film, Trevorrow remembers telling Spielberg, "This is the beginning. Here is the middle. And here’s the end of the end. This is where we want to go." Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom essentially serves as a bridge, as connective tissue between Jurassic World and Jurassic World 3.
While that's undoubtedly the right way to approach a franchise, it means a lot rests on the success of the final movie. If plot threads aren't tied up satisfactorily, the entire trilogy is damaged. So what does 2021's Jurassic World 3 have to do?
- This Page: Fulfilling the Promise of Jurassic World
- Page 2: Character Arcs We'd Like To See In Jurassic World 3
Deliver on the Promise of the Jurassic "World"
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's ending reveals that the trilogy's title is actually a promise. Until now, the Jurassic Park films have all been relatively contained; they've typically drawn loose inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, a novel that saw human explorers discover a small corner of the world in which dinosaurs had survived into the present. By the end of the book, a sole dinosaur made its way to London; in exactly the same way, until now the Jurassic Park franchise has settled for only an occasional glimpse of the havoc a dinosaur could wreak should it get free.
That's no longer the case. The most telling scene in the entire montage was the one where the Tyrannosaurus Rex breaks into the lion enclosure at the zoo, and roars its dominance. There's brilliant symbolism in that scene; the old King has returned, and it aims to claim its world once again. While only eleven species of dinosaur escaped the Lockwood Estate, the end montage also revealed that dinosaur eggs and genetic samples were purchased during the auction, and are out in the public. All it will take is for a few of those to hatch and dinosaurs to break out. If a few of the dinosaurs that have been liberated lay eggs in the open, then new baby dinosaurs will be introduced into the North American ecosystem.
Jurassic World has thus far been unfolding in something approaching real-time. In the same way, Jurassic World 3 should take place three years after the dinosaurs got out; humanity should have tried to put the prehistoric genie back in the bottle, and failed dismally to do so.
Finally Weaponize the Dinosaurs
One constant plot-thread running through the Jurassic World franchise has been the idea of man trying to weaponize the dinosaurs: in 2007, Ain't It Cool News discussed an early script for Jurassic World 4 that saw a corrupt corporation create dinosaur "cross-breeds that never existed in any era of nature with all sorts of custom modifications"; the hybrid dinosaurs of Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom were both created to serve as living weapons; and the whole purpose of the dinosaur auction was to persuade arms dealers, companies, and even rogue states that they wanted to buy a dino-weapon.
It's time to stop talking about it, and actually do it. Actually show people attempting to use dinosaurs as weapons; show the acid-spitting Dilophasaurus turned into a ranged weapon, show predatory carnivores set loose in the jungles to mop up guerrilla forces, with trackers placed in them so conventional military forces can then round them up. Explore this idea that's been in the works for over a decade now. But - crucially - don't do it in the context of another species of hybrid dinosaur. The attraction of the Jurassic franchise isn't the idea of seeing what new species humanity could create; it's about seeing what would happen when man and dinosaur meet. Use species of dinosaur that actually existed.
Trevorrow seems to have become aware that the idea of hybrid dinosaurs is getting old. He's already promised that Jurassic World 3 won't introduce any new hybrids. But he's as yet given no indication that the franchise will finally make the most of the idea of weaponized dinosaurs.
Page 2 of 2: Character Arcs We'd Like To See In Jurassic Park 3
Owen's Plans Need To Stop Being So Bad
The human characters of the Jurassic World franchise are often mocked for being pretty stupid. Claire chose to spend the entire first film roaming Isla Nublar in high heels, not even removing them in order to run away from a Tyrannosaurus Rex (the sequel actually lampshaded this). In the first film, the Park owner Simon Masrani chose to go from one bad decision to another. And the prize for "most foolish person in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" almost certainly has to go to Ken Wheatley, the hunter who simply has to take a tooth from the Indoraptor. But even Owen, the franchise's hero, makes blunder after blunder. His plans are absurd, and when they do work, it's more by luck than judgment. He'd have died several times in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had Blue not come to his rescue.
That needs to change. Owen is probably the most experienced man on the planet when it comes to living with dinosaurs. No doubt he's a controversial figure in the wake of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. After all, he and Claire were part of an illegal expedition to Isla Nublar that set out to specifically ignore the decision of a United States Senate Committee that the dinosaurs should be left on the island. It's also likely he and Claire will take the fall for Maisie's decision to free the dinosaurs. But the fact remains that Owen is the one man with the experience needed to tell humanity how to adapt to living with dinosaurs. He's our most valuable asset.
And that means it's time for Owen to actually show a bit of intelligence. So far, he's been one of the smartest characters in the franchise, but it's more been by the default that the Jurassic World films haven't exactly shown humanity's best and brightest. Let's actually see Owen develop as a character in the threequel, and exercise his brains.
Maisie Lockwood Needs To Lead To Bigger Things
The big twist of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was nothing to do with the dinosaurs. Rather, it was the shocking revelation that Maisie Lockwood was actually a clone of her supposed "mother". In the end, that entire arc largely seemed to be little more than a reason for her to release the dinosaurs rather than allow them to go extinct. But Jurassic World 3 could actually use it effectively.
Now, the idea of human cloning is actually a little off-brand for Jurassic World. This isn't a franchise about the ethics of human cloning, after all; cloning and genetic experiments are really just plot devices, in order to create the dinosaurs and get the story moving. So the ethical implications of this should be pretty much ignored; that's most easily done if Owen and Claire quietly hide the truth from the authorities, so nobody ever knows the Lockwoods perfected human cloning in the first place.
The more significant element here, though, is the sympathy and empathy that Maisie Lockwood has for the dinosaurs. If humanity endeavors to come up with an idea for how to get rid of the dinosaurs, Maisie's sympathy with would lead her to oppose - and potentially sabotage - it. Better yet, she could also exert a subtle influence on Owen and Claire (her adopted parents?), leading them to work against humanity as well.
More Ian Malcolm
The marketing for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom made a big deal of Jeff Goldblum's Ian Malcolm, but in the end he was relegated to a brief cameo that effectively bookended the film. Goldblum has said he's interested in returning for Jurassic World 3, but should that happen the script needs to find a better use for him. As an expert in his field, Malcolm should be one of the most important and influential men in this new so-called "Jurassic World". Given his belief that dinosaurs should have been allowed to go extinct when Isla Nublar erupted, he could even be the man behind attempts to find a way to kill the dinosaurs off again.
That would be a striking twist, potentially placing Ian Malcolm in direct conflict with Jurassic World 3's heroes. It would also subtly transform the Senate Committee hearings in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; rather than being mere expository cameos, they'd become character moments that laid the foundation for the third film.