Two weeks ago, I theorized why the dinosaurs who escaped at the end of ‘Fallen Kingdom’ hadn’t been blasted into extinction by humanity, and that while I would love to see a world war between humanity and dinosaurs, it was implausible when the dinosaurs are so massively outnumbered. Yet, while director Colin Trevorrow has said ‘Jurassic World 3’ won’t feature such a conflict, I wonder if he’s only telling a half-truth. While we may not see armies engaging with millions of dinosaurs on the battlefield, it’s reasonable to suspect that we will see a different kind of war: A war of survival to see which species will inherit the Earth.
To see why such a war is inevitable requires looking back at the previous films and the common theme that runs through them, which is stated perfectly in this scene from the original movie:
Without knowing it, ‘Jurassic Park’ was setting up the theme of the franchise for years to come: Our attempts to play god and control life will always fail, with catastrophic results, a theme that was more heavily featured in ‘Fallen Kingdom’:
It’s not hard to imagine Ian Malcom’s coda as a preview of what’s to come. And if what has happened in the previous films is any indication, it won’t be pretty. Consider what has happened in each film:
Jurassic Park: The intricate and delicate system keeping the dinosaurs in their pens breaks down, and the park is abandoned.
The Lost World: Humanity’s attempt to capture the animals and open another park fails, and dozens of people die despite having the best weapons and technology money can buy.
Jurassic Park 3: Ingen’s efforts at playing god created a monstrous, hybrid spinosaurus much more powerful and aggressive than a real spinosaurus, which relentlessly pursues and kills several humans on Site B.
Jurassic World: Despite all the advances in containment technology, a genetically modified dinosaur causes havoc and causes the park to be permanently shut down.
Fallen Kingdom: Humanity saved dinosaurs from extinction to sell them as weapons, and said dinosaurs still break free, escaping into the wild.
When those three clips, and these outcomes are taken into account, they lead to the ‘Jurassic’ universe’s unshakable rule: Attempting to control life will always fail. For five films, such attempts have been confined to an island or a relatively small urban area (San Diego and the Lockwood Estate), but now that the dinosaurs have escaped into the wild, and the logical outcome is that the dinosaurs will defy all our attempts to stop them.
Such an idea may seem far-fetched (there are over seven billion of us, and less than 70 dinosaurs at the time of ‘Fallen Kingdom’), but it’s my opinion that this is the logical outcome of the franchise’s theme about our lack of control, and lack of respect when it comes to playing god: Life will never be controlled, and our attempts at doing so – for both good and ill – may have paved the way for our own destruction. It’s the perfect setup for a war of survival to mark the end of a decades-long franchise.
But what form will this war take? While it’s impossible to know at this point what this conflict would be like, I think we may have already seen something very similar in a film with a remarkably similar setup: 2011’s ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ features a small group of intelligent apes escaping from a confined location and eventually rising up to take over the world. But they couldn’t have done that without a man-made virus that accidentally wipes out humanity in the subsequent sequels.
Sound familiar? It should: Humanity plays god and gives animals a boost in intelligence, but in doing so engineers the seeds of their own destruction.
Therefore, my theory is that ‘Jurassic World 3’ might see the resurrection of a prehistoric disease, virus, or plague that a rogue nation or terrorist organization might synthesize, and then release to the public at large, killing off millions and allowing the dinosaurs to run about unchecked, leading to Owen, Claire, Grant, Malcom, Ellie, and the other main characters racing against the clock to find a cure. And after many scenes of them running from carnivorous dinosaurs and fighting for their lives, I theorize that they will find a way to use science to save humanity, but at the cost of wiping out all the dinosaurs. Balance was thrown asunder when we created life, and for balance to be restored, that life has to be destroyed. Thus, at the end, all the dinosaurs die off one after another, finally ending with Rexy – the Tyrannosaur from the first film, and the icon for the entire series – being the last to pass away. Humanity is left in ruins, but will rebuild, and be wiser than before about the dangers of playing god.
Of course, this is all speculation. We still have two years to go before the film is released, and I’m eager to see how it plays with all these themes. But this is still an important example of how exploring themes can infuse long-running franchises with substance you won’t find in your average monster movie. There will always be a time for action films that are light on themes and philosophy, but adding both helps a long-running story gain deeper meaning, and lets audiences know that the writers aren’t just making something to try and earn money, but want to encourage the audience to think long after the credits have rolled, or the book has ended.