Familiar Places and Weird New Faces

I gave this warning a few posts ago, but I’ll give it again. This post contains set photos, leaks and possible spoilers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. You have been warned.

Jurassic Outpost and Reel News Hawaii are a blessing to this fandom; they’re solely responsible for giving us a ton of news about what was happening on the JW2 set before filming recently wrapped. The photos I use in this post can be credited to them; if anyone wants to correct me on my sources, please feel free to do so. And there have been a ton of photos lately. I’ll show the least spoiler-y ones first: Claire and Owen’s costumes!

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Justice Smith’s character Clint is with them in the second photo.

Those are just my favorites; you can see many more here. As you can see, Claire and Owen are on a beach off of Nublar, washing up on the shore (and holding hands! I honestly hope they start the movie in an established relationship, if only for the sake of the movie focusing on its plot instead of a romance). In another photo, Franklin washes up with them:

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According to Reel News Hawaii, the four of them are “washing up on a beach bound for East Dock before it’s destroyed”. If you weren’t aware, there have been a ton of explosions and pyrotechnics effects on the movie’s set in Hawaii, meaning that Isla Nublar or at least a large part of it is going to go kaboom. With this in mind, the context of the “rescue operation” to Nublar changes a lot. Lava seems to be a large part of the island’s destruction, but will the rest of it be caused by humans? If so, is Claire and Owen’s rescue team going there to save as many dinosaurs as possible before they’re torched– and if they are, why would they do that if they knew that any dinosaurs taken to the mainland would be used for things like the military or experimentation? Maybe they’re going back just to rescue Blue? Maybe those on the rescue team are actually the ones responsible for blowing the island up, in an attempt to keep further dinosaur cloning technology away from those who’d use it for sinister purposes? Or someone just knocks over a can of gasoline in the wrong part of the island, and what happens happens? It’s honestly pretty frustrating having all these pieces of the puzzle but not knowing enough about the film’s plot to put them together, but enough new information has been coming together lately that I’m sure we’ll be able to put them in place soon enough.

The costumes themselves are pretty unremarkable in my opinion, unless their color-coordinated outfits are somehow the uniform of the rescue team going to Nublar, in which case I love them. (Especially because of the implication that Claire and Owen decided everyone needed to look cool if they were about to go do some badass dinosaur-rescuing, and then they proceeded to sit down and have a meeting about their uniforms and/or code names.) However, Owen is still wearing his iconic vest, and Claire has another set of practical footwear. That’s all they really need, and I’m happy for them. The fact that they’re washing up on shore in the scene that this depicts also really excites me; not only because it’s happening near the East Dock, which we know will be a prominent location in this movie, but because they were out on a boat in the ocean next to Nublar, and they appear to be worn out, possibly from frantically swimming away from something. And what could possibly be in the waters off the island that someone would wear themselves out trying to escape? That’s right, folks…

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*wicked guitar riff*

We have absolutely no confirmation or anything from the set that would possibly suggest the Mosasaur’s return, but she was a fan favorite in JW and didn’t get much screen time in it, so it would make perfect sense if Trevorrow wanted to do more with her. An underwater chase sequence with a giant prehistoric monster would really go with the horror vibe of the whole movie, and again, it would really explain why the rescue team is washed up on shore, looking happy to be alive.

Speaking of familiar locations like the East Dock returning, take a look at what else we’ll be seeing again:

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I said in my last post that I’m hyped to be seeing the ruins of Jurassic World, and I see I won’t be disappointed. The lack of anything around this little part of Main Street suggests that there won’t be a lot of time spent there, but just getting to see it at all will be awesome. It’d be even better if there were little compsongnathuses scurrying around the ruins and dimorphodons building nests in the buildings’ rafters; again, I really want to see how the ecosystem of the island has developed in the years it’s been abandoned. As I’ve mentioned previously, I think the Lost World novel is a good probable basis (Bayona and Trevorrow have said that the basis for this movie is Crichton’s works) for how the dinosaurs have adjusted to being left alone– the overall ecosystem probably isn’t doing too great. In the novel, a large part of what made Sorna’s environment fail was that the predator-prey balance was all out of whack due to way too many carnivorous dinosaurs being born. That’s definitely the case here, too, because of how many of the park’s attractions were natural predators. In the book, an indicator of the ecosystem’s unhealthiness was a large amount of dead sauropods, way more than there should have been, and we’re definitely seeing that on Nublar too:

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In other words, even if the island wasn’t blown to smithereens or fried with lava, its inhabitants probably would’ve died out by themselves before long anyway. Isla Nublar is undoubtedly doomed. As awfully depressing as that is, it’s what Crichton wrote and it’s dark, so it fits perfectly with the way Fallen Kingdom has been described. Are you sad enough yet? No? Well, take a look at this:

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As I said many times on Twitter last night, this is not at all what I expected for the continuation of Rexy’s story, and I would’ve liked it much better if the end of JW was the last time we ever saw her– that way we could always remember her as the triumphant queen of the island once again. It was confirmed a long time ago that we’d see her again in this movie, but I’d hoped that it would just be a quick glimpse of her being as happy as she was at the end of the last movie; maybe Claire and Owen would happen to see her walk by, and they’d share a somber little moment of understanding with her as she went on her way. But, as Sickle_Claw pointed out to me, if that happened in this movie, Rexy’s story would end in lava and/or an explosion, which nobody wants to see happen.

But it’s not like any of that matters now, because we know the next chapter of everyone’s favorite T. rex’s life involves being stuck in a transport truck like the mother rex from TLW, and almost certainly being taken to the mainland. We can only hope that an old dinosaur who tried her best to take down the Indominus will be treated with respect once she gets wherever she’s being taken, but somehow I don’t think that’s what JA “literally burning the first and fourth movies to the ground” Bayona has in mind for her or any other dinosaur. At this point, I’m really just hoping she makes it to the end of this movie alive, or at least meets a dignified end, since it’s not like she’ll have an island to go back to by the end of all of this.

Boy, all of this is really sad. Let’s take a minute to go back to what we loved so much during the lead-up to the first JW movie: wild speculation about what crazy new dinosaurs are about to be recklessly thrown into the franchise.

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Amblin and Mattel recently trademarked the name Indoraptor– this could just be the name of a new hybrid toy, but some fans are speculating that it could show up in the movie. A large, dangerous, extremely intelligent hybrid like an I. rex with a velociraptor (although it makes little sense, because the Indominus is already basically just a huge, extra-smart raptor) would certainly be a lot of use to the military. Personally, I don’t think that it’s anything to get too worked up about. Trevorrow is surely just as aware as the rest of us that an even bigger, even scarier version of the Indominus as Fallen Kingdom’s villain is taking things into Godzilla-movie territory, and the horror of the movie will be based around things like animal exploitation, instead of yet another big scary dinosaur chasing everybody. And there are all kinds of other hybrids in the toy lines that will (hopefully) never show up in the movies, like Carnoraptor and Pteromimus.

After the image above was tweeted, Jurassic Outpost wondered if that animatronic in the cage was in fact the mysterious Indoraptor. It would make sense if that were true, since it looks almost entirely like an Indominus save for its dark skin. Personally, I think that what we’re seeing there is a variation on the Indominus, probably created by a corporation or the military, and its skin has just been modified for their purposes. This could also be some kind of flashback to when the park was still operational, and/or it could be showing Indy or a clone of her camouflaging. It could even be a statue in Lockwood’s mansion, although I have no idea why he’d have something like that on display. Whatever that dinosaur is, I think it’s safe to say that it’s most likely not the Indoraptor, and I’m intrigued to see what it really is.

Stay tuned for more Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom updates!

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