This week, I got the opportunity to cosplay Ellie with a friend, who did Malcolm!
That awesome girl is my friend Breezy, and after we did our photo shoot we went to see Jurassic World again. This was my fourth time seeing it, and even now I’ve noticed a few new things. Most of them had to do with the way the animals behaved, but not all of them. For instance, I’m entirely sure that, in the background and softly enough that you’d have to be listening very closely to hear it, someone dropped an F-bomb during the pteranodon attack scene. It was during a sweeping overhead shot of the attack, I think it was just after Zara’s death and just before Claire and Owen showed up, and no one believed me about it but it happened, dang it. I know that a couple of people who showed up as extras during the movie’s filming are on the Jurassic Park Legacy forums; if whoever was responsible for the Jurassic Park franchise’s sole “f***” happens to be reading this, then I congratulate you, sir (the voice sounded a lot like a man). You’ve made history. And by the way, speaking of pteranodons, I saw some sexual dimorphism going on with those animals. There were some red-tinted and blue-tinted beaks on them, and the different colors were most visible when the animals were flying upwards or swooping toward the camera. I don’t know whether the red-beaked pteranodons that were prominently featured in the movie’s marketing were male or female, though. I’ll leave that to the gender-studies majors.
It’s been hotly debated for a while among fans and critics (although the two have different reasons for debating it), but I really wonder what Indominus could have said to the raptors to make them turn on Owen so quickly. They had about a full minute’s worth of conversation, which isn’t that long, so what could Indy have said? It isn’t the fact that she turned them on Owen that bothered me; Owen and the raptors didn’t have a deep enough loyalty that the girls didn’t try to chase Owen and attack him toward the end of their first scene together, or that Owen could trust them not to get near him if he left the walkway during their normal training. I just wonder how Indy could have convinced them so fast, especially since it only took her a minute to reverse a lifetime’s worth of imprinting and training. I don’t know exactly how the raptors’ language works, so I don’t know if they have a “dictionary” where very specific sounds mean certain things. I do have a hypothesis, though—Indy could basically have said, “These people are easy food. They confined you your whole lives and kept you from hunting. Now you can hunt, so there’s some free snacks behind you. Go get ‘em!”
If we assume that at least some sounds in the raptors’ language can mean certain things—clicks could mean something negative, chirps could be an order to attack, for example—then they would have words to denote certain experiences and feelings that happen often enough that words to describe them would be necessary. It follows, then, that the raptors would have “words” or ways of communicating the feelings of hunger, the presence of prey and the feeling of confinement (with the resultant anger). The girls were locked up in those head-cages for long periods of time, so they probably came up with a “word” to communicate the feeling of “I’m locked up and I can’t move, I really hate this.” That word/feeling is probably what Indominus used to turn the raptors’ feelings around. She definitely had that experience of being confined, and since she was somehow fluent in the raptors’ language (which is a conundrum of its own; she could be intelligent enough to pick up the basics of a language after hearing it a few times, though, so maybe she heard the Squad talking in the jungle and got the hang of their language) she may very well have used that word that they associated with being locked up, and then said that the locked-up feeling came from Owen and Barry. Combining that with the words for “there’s easy prey behind you” and “if you follow me, I can help you get free and/ or bring you to more prey”, Indy could have won them over. Of course the raptors resisted and talked back to her (and there’s still the issue of how she became the new alpha that quickly), but I don’t know, maybe she’s just really charismatic. I’m saying that Indominus could have changed the Raptor Squad’s minds by using their language to say that Owen and Barry confined them and that the humans would make a good meal. I may not be right, but considering that nobody who worked on the movie has said anything about the scene and that it had to have some logic behind it, my guess is as good as any.
Speaking of the raptors, I think there might be a good reason for Hoskins’ blood spattering on the wall when he died, other than just for the horror of it. The raptor who killed him, Echo, probably killed him in a way that raptors usually don’t, and that probably resulted from her inexperience in killing. Assuming that the Squad has never killed anything other than a bunch of pigs (or at least that it’s been quite a while since they have), they would definitely be able to take down a human, but not as quickly and efficiently as the raptors in the other movies. The other films’ raptors had been able to kill people with little more than a sickle claw to the intestines, but these raptors had only one opportunity to kill humans in their lives—during the jungle attack scene—and they only had the chance to kill two or three people each, tops. That probably wasn’t enough to perfect the murderous arts, so when Echo was killing Hoskins, she might have swiped his jugular vein (or at least somewhere in the throat area) instead of going straight for the stomach; that would be because she didn’t know that just a slash to the intestines would do the trick. She didn’t ever get the chance to learn that there were cleaner ways to kill a villain, and so blood got everywhere. (Someone on the JPL forums said something like that last sentence, but I don’t know if they added the inexperienced-at-killing part.)
On a final raptor-related note, I think I found some good proof for the “Delta is still alive” (it actually concerns Echo being alive– in the canon set up by the junior novelization, Echo was the raptor thrown by Indominus, so she’s the one who’s most likely to have survived) theory that’s circulating and that I desperately want to believe because Blue is my baby and I can’t live with it if she’s all alone. Someone would probably have to record and look closely at the final fight scene’s audio to prove this, but I think you can hear Echo making noise at the very end of the scene. When the I. rex attacked Echo, she threw her off-screen to the right, and we didn’t see where she went or what happened once she landed. After Rexy and Blue were free to leave, though, Blue ran off and immediately headed right, to the area where Echo was just tossed. (Can I note, by the way, that Blue was completely free for the first time in her life and she could have done anything she wanted, and the first thing she thought to do was to run and make sure her sister was okay?) A few seconds later, we heard a chirp that sounds just like the one that Blue let out a minute before—and then we heard a much lower, different sound, but it was a sound that was definitely coming from a raptor. Again, you’d have to listen pretty closely to hear it over the heartwarming music, but it sounded a lot like Blue was talking to Echo and Echo responded. It’s not unlikely that Echo survived anyway—Blue got up and was totally fine after Indominus threw her in a similar way—but I still can’t wait to get the DVD and turn the sound way up to prove this.
I also noticed some interesting things going on with the Gyrosphere Valley animals. First, although I don’t know if Jurassic World’s scientists were trying to recreate an entire ecosystem like Hammond tried to, but some aspects of a growing ecosystem were showing up. For instance, there were little white birds flying around the valley and landing on the dead apatosaurs; I think those guys may have had a symbiotic relationship with the apatosaurs (like sharks and lampreys, or elephants and whatever birds land on them all the time). If they do, that’s a pretty good sign that at least some of the local, “more natural” wildlife is adjusting to the dinosaurs’ presence, and that the dinos are integrating into Nublar’s ecology—and after 22 years, it would be a bit of a problem if they didn’t. And on the topic of two systems integrating, I wonder what kind of relationship with the Gyrospheres that the herbivores have? The animals sort of milled around and did their thing while the pods cruised around, but when Zach sped their vehicle up, a lot of dinosaurs ran right alongside it. It’s possible that the animals just see the Gyrospheres as large, odd dinosaurs, or as things that their keepers arrive in; I’m thinking it’s the former. Since stegosaurs, triceratops and parasaurs are herding animals, they might see the Gyrospheres at least partially as animals and members of different herds. If the dinosaurs saw them that way, it would make sense for them to run when the pods “run”, because they’d be following the other “animal”’s instincts and running from what they assume to be a threat. In other words, they might run when the Gyrospheres do because they think that something must be chasing another animal, and so they need to run away too. That doesn’t tell us how they interact with the vehicles in other contexts, but I think it’s an interesting idea that the animals might have integrated with the rest of the theme park that way, and I’d love to explore it further.
I wonder, too, what the fact that the animals were fighting a lot means. Those two parasaurs got into a fight for seemingly no reason (I liked how accurately their fight was portrayed; the animals trumpeted at and tried to intimidate each other long before they got physical, just like animals today do) and in the first control room scene, someone is saying over a walkie-talkie that the “triceratops are going at it again”. If those two separate species are picking lots of fights for no immediately visible reason, then it might mean that mating season has come to the island. That raises a lot more questions. How often does mating season come—do the animals mate more often because they aren’t sure how long they have to live (if they do, it means that the animals’ lives aren’t nearly as peaceful as they’re made out to be)? What happens when the dinosaurs lay eggs—do park employees just swoop in and grab the eggs so that they can hatch them in the Creation Lab? If the paras’ and trikes’ mating seasons are at roughly the same time, does that mean that the different species cooperate especially well? Of course, I could be totally wrong about this. The animals might all be neutered. The Valley might not be anything like a real, full ecosystem (it probably isn’t entirely like one, what with keepers coming in and providing medical care, introducing animals that have outgrown the petting zoo, etc.) and even if it were like one, it would be unlike anything else in the wild, since the park’s zookeepers routinely come in and prevent the presence of any infants in the herds. Because of both of those, there might not even be a need for mating seasons in the Valley anymore. Those fights could be for different reasons—establishing territory or upheavals in the animals’ hierarchies, for instance. But if the fights going on at the time of the movie’s events actually are over females, then we might have a rough sense of the way that the park’s herbivores live their lives. They might actually be kind of normal.
I could go on and speculate all day about dinosaur pack dynamics and the way the captive animals interacted with their surroundings all day (can you tell that I like paleontological behavior study? I don’t know if I made that clear) but I’ll spare you any further rambling and add a final thing that I noticed—Jurassic World continued the “lucky pack” thing. Sarah had her lucky pack that saved her life in Lost World, Billy had a lucky pack that saved his in JP3, and now Grey’s had his life rescued by a bag too. During the scene where the I. rex is attacking the three guys in the gift shop, she grabs at Gray’s fanny pack instead of his body, thus saving him from a toothy demise. (I know, I know it took me four viewings to notice that, but before I thought she was just grabbing at his pants.) So CinemaSins was right; the Lucky Pack lives on.
Well, thanks for reading yet another of my Jurassic World-related essays. Next, hopefully, I’ll do the first Jurassic World-centered Fanfics You Should Be Reading!